Etymology
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self-made (adj.)

1610s, "made by ones own actions or efforts," from self- + made. Self-made man is attested from 1826, American English; the notion is "having attained material success in life without extraneous advantages."

This expression, in the sense in which I here use it, is perhaps peculiar to our own country ; for it denotes a class of men to be found in no other part of the world. It is true, that in Europe there have been those, who, having a bent of the mind, or a genius, as it is called, for some particular employment, have by their own unassisted, persevering efforts, risen to eminence in their favorite pursuit. But the self-made men of our country differ much from these. Genius in them is sterling common senses ; and their object was not the gratification of the mind in some strong predilection for a favorite employment, but rather the attainment of those intellectual habits and resources, which might prepare them for usefulness, and give them influence and eminence among their fellow men. [Samuel P. Newman, "Address Delivered Before the Benevolent Society of Bowdoin College, Tuesday Evening, Sept. 5, 1826"]
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muscle-man (n.)

1929, originally "an underworld enforcer;" sense of "strong man" is attested by 1952; from muscle (n.) + man (n.).

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leg-man (n.)
"assistant who does leg work," 1923; see leg (n.)).
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man-of-war (n.)

late 14c., "a soldier;" see man (n.) + war (n.). Meaning "armed ship, vessel equipped for warfare" is from late 15c. Man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c. in combinations (such as merchantman). The sea creature known as the Portuguese man-of-war (1707) is so called for its sail-like crest. The great U.S. thoroughbred race horse was Man o' War (1917-1947).

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medicine man (n.)

"Native North American shaman," by 1801, from adoption of the word medicine in native speech with a sense of "magical influence; something supposed to possess curative, supernatural, or mysterious power." The U.S.-Canadian boundary they called the Medicine Line (attested by 1880), because it conferred a kind of magic protection: punishment for crimes committed on one side of it could be avoided by crossing over to the other. Compare Middle English use of medicine in secondary senses of "moral, psychological, or social remedy; safeguard, defense."

Unless some understanding is arrived at between the American and Canadian Governments that offenders may be promptly and vigorously dealt with, I very much fear that killing and stealing will increase to such an extent that the country along the border will be scarcely habitable. When the Indians are made to understand that the mere fact of "hopping" across the line does not exempt them from punishment, there will be a much greater guarantee of their good behaviour. Now they call the boundary the "Medicine line," because no matter what they have done upon one side they feel perfectly secure after having arrived upon the other. [Report of Superintendent L.N.F. Crozier, Dec. 1880, in "North-West Mounted Police Force Commissioner's Report," 1880]

Hence also medicine bag "pouch containing some article supposed to possess curative or magical powers, worn on the person by native North American people" (1802). 

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straw man (n.)

1590s, "doll or scarecrow made of bound straw," from straw (n.) + man (n.). Figuratively, in debates, by 1896, from man of straw "an easily refuted imaginary opponent in an argument," which is recorded from 1620s.

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letter-man (n.)
of college athletes, 1913, from letter (n.1) in the sports sense + man (n.).
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point man (n.)

"one who leads a military patrol in formation in a jungle, etc.," 1944, said to be from point (n.) in military sense of "small leading party of an advance guard" (1580s) + man (n.). A more literal sense also is possible. Point (n.) in U.S. also meant "position at the front of a herd of cattle," and pointman in this sense is attested by 1903.

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man-eater (n.)

also maneater, c. 1600, "a cannibal," from man (n.) + eater. By 1829 in reference to the great white shark; by 1840 of tigers in India that have acquired a taste for human flesh and have a special propensity for killing and eating humans; later also of lions. Also used of horses that tend to bite (1840). By 1906 of women (the female equivalent of a womanizer). Related: Man-eating.

The term Man-eater is applied to those Tigers, which, deserting their usual haunts in the jungle, frequent the neighbourhood of Villages, and prey chiefly on men. They are almost invariably found to be old animals, and generally females. They are usually very cunning and cowardly. [Capt. Walter Campbell, "The Old Forest Ranger; or, Wild Sports of India," 1842]
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ape-man (n.)

also apeman, hypothetical "missing link" between the highest anthropoid apes and human beings, progenitor of the human race, 1869, in a translation of Haeckel, from ape (n.) + man (n.). Man-ape is attested from 1823 as "anthropoid ape, orangutan." The name Martin Halfape appears in an English roll from 1227.

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