by 1979, initialism (acronym) from role-playing game (see roleplay). As an initialism for rocket-propelled grenade, by 1970.
1970, proprietary name of a rocket-propelled short-range guided missile, trademarked 1970 by Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale, from French exocet "flying fish" (16c.), from Latin exocoetus, from Greek exokoitos "sleeping fish, fish that sleeps upon the beach," from exō "outside" (see exo-) + koitos "bed."
"thing thrown or discharged as a weapon for the purpose of hitting something," 1650s, from missile (adj.), 1610s, "capable of being thrown," chiefly in phrase missile weapon, from French missile and directly from Latin missilis "that may be thrown or hurled" (also, in plural, as a noun, "weapons that can be thrown, darts, javelins"), from missus "a throwing, hurling," past participle of mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission). Sense of "self-propelled rocket or bomb" is first recorded 1738; in reference to modern rocket-propelled, remote-guidance projectiles by 1945.
in reference to solid-fuel rockets (1809) or matches (1839), a reference to English inventor Sir William Congreve (1772-1828), who learned the tactic of rocket warfare while serving in India. He was a descendant of the family of William Congreve the Restoration playwright (1670-1729), being probably his great-great-nephew.
"metal tube rocket launcher," 1942, transferred from the name of a junkyard musical instrument used (c. 1935) as a prop by U.S. comedian Bob Burns (1896-1956); the word is an extension of bazoo, a slang term for "mouth" or "boastful talk" (1877), which is probably from Dutch bazuin "trumpet."
1974, from French rétro (1973), supposedly first used of a revival c. 1968 of Eva Peron-inspired fashions and short for rétrograde (see retrograde). There is an isolated use in English from 1768, and the word apparently was used in 19c. French as a term in billiards. As a noun, short for retro-rocket (1948) from 1961.
"a busy rumour" [Rowe], 1620s (earlier "a fancy," c. 1600), figurative use from buzz (v.). The literal sense of "a humming sound" is from 1640s. A "buzz" was the characteristic sound of an airplane in early 20c.; hence verbal sense "fly swiftly," by 1928; by 1940 especially in military use, "fly low over a surface as a warning signal" (for example that target practice is about to begin):
The patrol aircraft shall employ the method of warning known as "buzzing" which consists of low flight by the airplane and repeated opening and closing of the throttle. [1941 Supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America," Chap. II, Corps of Engineers, War Department, p. 3434, etc. ]
The meaning "pleasant sense of intoxication" is recorded by 1935. The children's game of counting off with 7 or multiples of it replaced by buzz is attested from 1864 and is mentioned in "Little Women" (1868). To give (someone) a buzz (by 1922) is from the buzz that announced a call on old telephone systems (1913). Buzz bomb "V1 rocket" is from 1944.
"artificial satellite," extended from the name of the one launched by the Soviet Union Oct. 4, 1957, from Russian sputnik "satellite," literally "traveling companion" (in this use short for sputnik zemlyi, "traveling companion of the Earth") from Old Church Slavonic supotiniku, from Russian so-, s- "with, together" + put' "path, way," from Old Church Slavonic poti, from PIE *pent- "to tread, go" (see find (v.)) + agent suffix -nik.
The electrifying impact of the launch on the West can be gauged by the number of new formations in -nik around this time (the suffix had been present in a Yiddish context for at least a decade before); Laika, the stray dog launched aboard Sputnik 2 (Nov. 2, 1957), which was dubbed muttnik in the Detroit Free Press, etc. The rival U.S. satellite which failed to reach orbit in 1957 (because the Vanguard rocket blew up on the launch pad) derided as a kaputnik (in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal), a dudnik (Christian Science Monitor), a flopnik (Youngstown Vindicator, New York Times), a pffftnik (National Review), and a stayputnik (Vancouver Sun).