Etymology
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telephonic (adj.)
1830, "pertaining to communication by sound over great distances," originally theoretical, from tele- + phonic. From 1834 in reference to the system of Sudré using musical sounds (see telephone), and with reference to Bell's invention from 1876, in which cases it can be taken as from telephone + -ic.
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contango (n.)

1853, "charge made or percentage received by a broker or seller for deferring settlement of a stock sale," a stockbroker's invention, perhaps somehow derived from continue, or from Spanish contengo "I contain, refrain, restrain, check." Continuation was used in this sense from 1813. As a verb, from 1900.

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handcuff (n.)

1640s as a decorative addition to a sleeve; 1690s as a type of restraining device, from hand (n.) + cuff (n.) in the "fetter for the wrist" sense (attested from 1660s). Old English had hondcops "a pair of hand cuffs," but the modern word is a re-invention. Related: Handcuffs. The verb is first attested 1720. Related: Handcuffed; handcuffing.

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heuristic (adj.)
"serving to discover or find out," 1821, irregular formation from Greek heuriskein "to find; find out, discover; devise, invent; get, gain, procure" (from PIE *were- (2) "to find;" cognate with Old Irish fuar "I have found") + -istic. As a noun, from 1860. Greek had heuretikos "inventive," also heurema "an invention, a discovery; that which is found unexpectedly."
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miniskirt (n.)

also mini-skirt, "skirt with a hem-line well above the knee," 1965, from mini- + skirt (n.); reputedly the invention of French fashion designer André Courrèges (1923-2016).

"The miniskirt enables young ladies to run faster, and because of it, they may have to." [John V. Lindsay, New York Times, Jan. 13, 1967]

Related: Miniskirted.

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ester (n.)
compound formed by an acid joined to an alcohol, 1852, coined in German in 1848 by German chemist Leopold Gmelin (1788-1853), professor at Heidelberg. The name is "apparently a pure invention" [Flood], perhaps a contraction of or abstraction from Essigäther, the German name for ethyl acetate, from Essig "vinegar" + Äther "ether" (see ether). Essig is from Old High German ezzih, from a metathesis of Latin acetum (see vinegar).
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patent (n.)

late 14c., "open letter or official document from some authority granting permission to do something; a licence granting an office, right, title, etc.," shortened from Anglo-French lettre patent (also in Medieval Latin litteræ patentes), literally "open letter" (late 13c.), from Old French patente "open," from Latin patentem (nominative patens) "open, lying open," present participle of patere "lie open, be open" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").

The Letters Patent were ... written upon open sheets of parchment, with the Great Seal pendent at the bottom ... [while] the 'Litteræ Clausæ,' or Letters Close, ... being of a more private nature, and addressed to one or two individuals only, were closed or folded up and sealed on the outside. [S.R. Scargill-Bird, "A Guide to the Principal Classes of Documents at the Public Record Office," 1891]

Meaning "a licence granted by a government covering a new and useful invention, conferring exclusive right to exploit the invention for a specified term of years" is from 1580s.

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trapeze (n.)

swing with a cross-bar, used for feats of strength and agility, 1861, from French trapèze, from Late Latin trapezium (see trapezium), probably because the crossbar, the ropes and the ceiling formed a trapezium.

The French, to whose powers of invention (so long as you do not insist upon utility) there is no limit, have invented for the world the Trapeze .... [Chambers's Journal, July 6, 1861]
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copacetic (adj.)

"fine, excellent, going well," 1919, but it may have origins in 19c. U.S. Southern black speech. Origin unknown; suspects include Latin, Yiddish (Hebrew kol b'seder), Italian, Louisiana French (coupe-sétique), and Native American. Among linguists, none is considered especially convincing. The popularization, and sometimes the invention, of the word often is attributed to U.S. entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878-1949).

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psychographic (adj.)

also psycho-graphic, "of or pertaining to psychography," 1856, from psychograph "supernatural photographic image or device" (1854)  from psycho- + -graph. Also see psychography. Related: Psychographics.

—What next? Among the new patents announced is one to Adolphus Theodore Wagner, of Berlin, in the kingdom of Prussia, professor of music, for the invention of a "psychograph, or apparatus for indicating a person's thoughts by the agency of nervous electricity." [Arthur's Home Magazine, May 1854]
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