fem. proper name, from French Jeanne, Old French Jehane, from Medieval Latin Johanna (see John). As a generic name for "girl, girlfriend" it is attested from 1906 in U.S. slang. Never a top-10 list name for girls born in the U.S., it ranked in the top 50 from 1931 to 1956. It may owe its "everywoman" reputation rather to its association with the popular boy's name John.
type of map projection, 1660s, invented by Flemish geographer Gerhard Kremer (1512-1594), who Latinized his surname, which means "dealer, tradesman," as Mercator (see merchant). He first used this type of map projection in 1568. Its great distortions in the northern and southern regions renders it unsuitable for land maps, but as on it a constant compass bearing always is represented by a straight line, it is useful for sea maps.
country in Eastern Europe, named for the river through it, probably from a PIE word meaning "dark, darkish color, soiled, black" (see melano-).
"the galaxy as seen in the night sky," late 14c., loan-translation of Latin via lactea; see galaxy. Formerly in Middle English also Milken-Way and Milky Cercle. The ancients speculated on what it was; some guessed it was a vast assemblage of stars (Democrates, Pythagoras, even Ovid); the question was settled when Galileo, using his telescope, reported that the whole of it was resolvable into stars. Old native names for it include Jacob's Ladder, the Way to St. James's, and Watling Street (late 14c.).
Old English suþrige (722), literally "Southerly District" (relative to Middlesex), from suðer, from suð (see south) + -ge "district" (see yeoman). Bede and others use it as a folk-name, as if "People from Surrey." Meaning "two-seated, four-wheeled pleasure carriage" is from 1895, short for Surrey cart, an English pleasure cart (introduced in U.S. 1872), named for Surrey, England, where it first was made.
traditional name for a rich man, late 14c., from Latin dives "rich (man)," related to divus "divine," and originally meaning "favored by the gods" (see divine (adj.)). Also compare Dis. It was used in Luke xvi in Vulgate and from this it has been commonly mistaken as the proper name of the man in the parable.
masc. proper name, from Latin Vivianus (source also of French Vivien), literally "living, alive," (see vivid). But Klein says it is "prob. a misreading of the Celtic name Ninian."
legendary castle of King Arthur, a name first found in medieval French romances; the name corresponds to Latin Camuladonum, the Roman forerunner of Colchester, which was an impressive ruin in the Middle Ages. But Malory identifies it with Winchester and Elizabethans tended to see it as Cadbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort near Glastonbury.
late 14c., orange bright star in the constellation Bootes (also used of the whole constellation), from Latin Arcturus, from Greek Arktouros, literally "guardian of the bear" (the bright star was anciently associated with nearby Ursa Major, the "Big Dipper," which it seems to follow across the sky). For first element see arctic; second element is Greek ouros "watcher, guardian, ward" (from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for"). It is fourth-brightest of the fixed stars. The double nature of the great bear/wagon (see Big Dipper) has given two different names to the constellation that follows it: Arktouros "bear-ward" and Bootes "the wagoner."
Arcturus in the Bible (Job ix.9 and xxxviii.32) is a mistranslation by Jerome (continued in KJV) of Hebrew 'Ayish, which refers to what we see as the "bowl" of the Big Dipper. In Israel and Arabia, the seven stars of the Great Bear seem to have been a bier (the "bowl") followed by three mourners. In the Septuagint it was translated as Pleiada, which is equally incorrect.
1867, American English, originally Kuklux Klan, a made-up name, supposedly from Greek kuklos, kyklos "circle" (see cycle (n.)) + English clan. Originally an organization of former Confederate officers and soldiers, it was put down by the U.S. military in the 1870s. Revived 1915 as a national racist Protestant fraternal organization, it grew to prominence but fractured in the 1930s. It had a smaller national revival 1950s as an anti-civil rights group, later with anti-government leanings. In late 19c. often simply Kuklux.