U.S. automobile corporation, organized 1925 as Chrysler Corporation by Walter P. Chrysler (1875-1940) out of the old Maxwell Motor Co. (Maxwell produced a car named Chrysler in 1924). The surname is a spelling variant of German Kreisler, perhaps related to kreisel "spinning top," but the sense connection is unclear.
city in Ohio, U.S., laid out 1796 by Gen. Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806) and later named for him. His descendants included U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908). The family name (attested from 12c.) is from one of several place names in England based on Middle English cleove, a variant of cliff.
northern constellation, from Latin auriga "a charioteer, driver," also the name of the constellation, which is often explained as from aureae "reins, bridle of a horse" (from os, genitive oris, "mouth;" see oral) + agere "set in motion, drive, lead" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Its bright star is Capella.
1822 in the figurative sense, "violently making conformable to standard, producing uniformity by deforming force or mutilation," from Procrustes, name of the mythical robber of Attica who seized travelers, tied them to his bed, and either stretched their limbs or lopped of their legs to make them fit it. With ending as in Herculean. By 1776 as Procrustian. The figurative image, though not the exact word, was in English at least from 1580s.
The name is Greek Prokroustēs "one who stretches," from prokrouein "to beat out, stretch out," from pro "before" (see pro-) + krouein "to strike," from PIE *krou(s)- "to push, bump, strike, break" (source also of Russian krušit' "to strike, stamp," Lithuanian kraušyti "to stamp off;" Russian kroxa "morsel, crumb;" Lithuanian krušti "to stamp, push (apart)").
formed May 16, 1928, as Transcontinental Air Transport, merged 1930 with Western Air Express to form Transcontinental and Western Air Inc. (TWA). Name changed to Trans World Airlines 1950, but the moniker remained the same. Its last remnants were bought out by rival American Airlines in April 2001.
masc. proper name, name of the Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, Middle English Moises, from Latin, from Greek Mouses, from Hebrew Mosheh, which is of unknown origin.
Most scholars see in it the Hebraization of Egyptian mes, mesu 'child, son,' which is often used in theophorous names. According to this derivation the words of Pharaoh's daughter in Ex. 2:10, 'For out of the water I drew him' are not the explanation of the Hebrew name Mosheh, but express the idea that the Egyptian name given by Pharaoh's daughter resembles in sound, and therefore, reminds us of, the Hebrew verb mashah 'he drew out,' which is suggestive of the words spoken by Pharaoh's daughter. [Ernest Klein, "A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language"]
As an expletive or oath, Oh, Moses, 1840; Holy Moses is attested by 1877.
Latin name of Britain, preserved in poetry and as the proper name of the female figure who personifies the place on coinage, etc.
When Britain first, at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."
[James Thomson, 1740]
islands discovered by Columbus in 1492, settled by English in 1648, long after the native population had been wiped out by disease or carried off into slavery; the name is said to be from Spanish baja mar "low sea," in reference to the shallow water here, but more likely represents a local name, Guanahani, the origin of which had been lost and the meaning forgotten.
family name of Scottish origin, from Gaelic caimbeul "wry or crooked mouth," from cam "crooked, deformed, one-eyed, cross-eyed." Also in surname Cameron. The Campbell Soup Company was started in 1869 in Camden, N.J., by fruit merchant Joseph A. Campbell (1817-1900) and Abraham A. Anderson; Campbell bought Anderson out in 1877. Andy Warhol began painting their cans in 1962.
city in South Carolina, U.S., named for King Charles II of England. In reference to a dance style characterized by side-kicks from the knee, from 1923 (as title of a song), 1925 as a dance, named for the city.
Whether the Charleston (dance) has come to stay or not, it behooves every open-minded hostess and musician to "try it out" anyhow. [Ethel P. Peyser, The Rotarian, July 1926]