Etymology
Advertisement
Hicksite 

1828, noun and adjective, in reference to a seceding group of American Quakers, from the name of their spiritual leader, Elias Hicks. The remainder of the profession (the minority numerically) were known as Orthodox Friends. The schism occurred in 1827 at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. The surname is from Hick, popular pet form of Richard.

About the only way I can tell whether a particular Meeting was Orthodox or Hicksite has to do with clocks and pianos. If these — particularly a clock — are present, that Meeting was Hicksite. If not, it was Orthodox. [Francis G. Brown, "Downingtown Friends Meeting," 1999]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Octavian 

masc. proper name, from Latin, from Octavius, from octavus "eighth," from octo (see eight).

But although we find so marked differences in the use of the numerals as names, it is impossible to believe that this use did not arise in the same way for all; that is, that they were at first used to distinguish children by the order of birth. But when we find them as praenomina in historical times it is evident that they no longer referred to order of birth. [George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina," in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 1897]
Related entries & more 
Philip 

masc. proper name, most famously in classical history king of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great (compare philippic); the from Latin Philippus, from Greek Philippos "fond of horses," from philos "beloved, loving" (see philo-) + hippos "horse" (from PIE root *ekwo- "horse"). Skelton made it the name applied to a common sparrow (perhaps from resemblance to the bird's call). In 16c., Philip and Cheyney was a way to say "any two common men."

You remember the story of the poor woman who importuned King Philip of Macedon to grant her justice, which Philip refused : the woman exclaimed, "I appeal" : the king, astonished, asked to whom she appealed : the woman replied, "From Philip drunk to Philip sober." [Emerson, "New England Reformers," 1844]
Related entries & more 
Promethean (adj.)

"of, pertaining to, or resembling in any way Prometheus," 1580s, from Prometheus (q.v.) + -an. Before the introduction of modern matches (see lucifer), promethean was the name given (1830) to small glass tubes full of sulphuric acid, surrounded by an inflammable mixture, which ignited when pressed and afforded a ready light. Related: Prometheans.

Prometheans are small glass bulbs, filled with concentrated sulphuric acid, and hermetically sealed, and surrounded with a mixture of inflammable materials, amongst which the chlorate of potash forms one ; and the whole being again inclosed or surrounded with paper, also rendered still more inflammable by means of resinous matters. Upon pinching the end containing the glass bulb, between the jaws of a pair of pliers, the bulb breaks, and the sulphuric acid instantly kindles the surrounding materials. ["Arcana of Science and Art," London, 1830]
Related entries & more 
Prince Charming 

1837, from French Roi Charmant, name of the hero of Comtesse d'Aulnoy's "L'Oiseau Bleu" (1697). In English he was adopted into native fairy tales, such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella."

As for me, I have always agreed with the fairy books that the moment when Prince Charming arrives is the perfect climax. Everything that goes before in the life of a girl simply leads up to that moment, and everything that comes after dates from it; and while the girl of the twentieth century, sallying forth in search of adventure, may not hope to meet at the next turn a knight in shining armor, or a sighing troubadour, she does hope, if she is normal and has the normal dreams of a girl, to find her hero in some of the men who pass her way. [Temple Bailey, "Adventures in Girlhood," Philadelphia, 1919]

 See charming

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Archibald 

masc. proper name, from Old High German Erchanbald, literally "genuine-bold," from erchan "genuine" + bald (see bold). Archie, British World War I military slang for "German anti-aircraft fire" or the guns that produce it (1915) is said in contemporary sources to be from the airmen dodging hostile fire and thinking of the refrain of a then-popular music hall song.

It's no use me denying facts, I'm henpecked, you can see!
'Twas on our wedding day my wife commenced to peck at me
The wedding breakfast over, I said, "We'll start off today
Upon our honeymoon."
Then she yelled, "What! waste time that way?"
[chorus] "Archibald, certainly not!
Get back to work at once, sir, like a shot.
When single you could waste time spooning
But lose work now for honeymooning!
Archibald, certainly not!"
[John L. St. John & Alfred Glover, "Archibald, Certainly Not"]
Related entries & more 
Frank (n.)
one of the Germanic tribal people (Salian Franks) situated on the lower Rhine from 3c. that conquered Romano-Celtic northern Gaul c.500 C.E.; from their territory and partly from their language grew modern France and French. Old English franc, franca "freeman, noble; Frank, Frenchman," from Medieval Latin francus, a Late Latin borrowing of Frankish *Frank, the people's self-designation (cognate with Old High German Franko, the Latin word also is the source of Spanish and Italian names Franco).

The origin of the ethnic name is uncertain; it traditionally is said to be from the old Germanic word *frankon "javelin, lance" (compare Old English franca "lance, javelin"), their preferred weapon, but the reverse may be the case. Compare also Saxon, traditionally from root of Old English seax "knife." The adjectival sense of "free, at liberty" (see frank (adj.)) probably developed from the tribal name, not the other way round. It was noted by 1680s that, in the Levant, this was the name given to anyone of Western nationality (compare Feringhee and lingua franca).
Related entries & more 
Languedoc (n.)
language of the south of France in the Middle Ages, the language of the troubadours (Provençal is one of its principal branches), 1660s, from French langue d'oc "speech of the south of France," literally "the language of 'yes,' " from oc, the word used south of the Loire for "yes," which is from Latin hoc "this," which in Vulgar Latin came to mean "yes" (see oui). The name also was given to one of the provinces where it was spoken. Opposed to langue d'oïl, from the way of saying "yes" in the north of France, from Old French oïl (Modern French oui). The langue d'oïl developed into standard Modern French. Related: Languedocian.

Langue d'oc was truer to Latin than Old French or Castilian Spanish were, and had fewer Germanic words. Dante considered it a separate language, and it and the northern French were not always mutually intelligible. Jonathan Sumption's "The Albigensian Crusade" [Faber and Faber, 1978] refers to a court official at Albi "who in 1228 referred to a seal as bearing an inscription in 'French or some other foreign language.'" The French authorities began to repress langue d'oc in 16c.
Related entries & more 
Vanessa 

fem. proper name, also the name of a butterfly genus. As a name, not much used in U.S. before 1950. It appears to have been coined by Swift c. 1711 as a pseudonym for Esther Vanhomrigh, who was romantically attached to him, and composed of elements of her name. He used it in private correspondence and published it in the poem "Cadenus and Vanessa" (1713).

The name Cadenus is an anagram of Decanus; that of Vanessa is formed much in the same way, by placing the first syllable of her sir-name before her christian-name, Hessy. [William Monck Mason, "History and Antiquities of the Collegiate and Cathedral Church of St. Patrick, Near Dublin," 1820]

As the name of a genus of butterflies that includes the Red Admiral and the Painted Lady, it dates to 1808, chosen by Danish entomologist Johan Christian Fabricius (1745-1808) for unknown reasons. He has no obvious connection to Swift, and the theory that it was intended for *Phanessa, from Greek phanes "a mystical divinity in the Orphic system" does no honor to his classical learning.

Related entries & more 
Vinland 
name supposedly given by Leif Erikssson to lands he explored in northeastern North America c. 1000; it could mean either "vine-land" or "meadow-land," and either way was perhaps coined to encourage settlement (compare Greenland).

That others might have found the New World before Columbus was popular knowledge: Irving's "History of New York" (1809) lists Noah along with Phoenician, Carthaginian, Tyrean, Chinese, German, and Welsh candidates, along with "the Norwegians, in 1002, under Biorn." Evidence in the old sagas of a Norse discovery of North America had been noticed from time to time by those who could read them. In early 19c. the notion was seriously debated by von Humboldt and other European scholars before winning their general acceptance by the 1830s. The case for the identification of Vinland with North America began to be laid out in English-language publications in 1840. Lowell wrote a poem about it ("Hakon's Lay," 1855). Thoreau knew of it ("Ktaadn," 1864). Physical evidence of the Norse discovery was uncovered by the excavations at L'Anse aux Meadows in 1960.
Related entries & more 

Page 2