1961, member of the U.S. anti-communist John Birch Society, which was founded 1958 and named for John Birch, U.S. Baptist missionary and Army Air Forces captain killed by Chinese Communists shortly after the end of World War II, who is considered the first American casualty of the Cold War.
mythical river of Hades (whose water when drunk caused forgetfulness of the past), in Homer, a place of oblivion in the lower world; from Greek lēthē, literally "forgetfulness, oblivion," from PIE root *ladh- "be hidden" (see latent). Related to lēthargos "forgetful" and cognate with Latin latere "to be hidden." Also the name of a personification of oblivion, a daughter of Eris. Related: Lethean.
masc. proper name, also Charley, familiar form of Charles (also see -y (3)); 1965 in Vietnam War U.S. military slang for "Vietcong, Vietcong soldier," probably suggested by Victor Charlie, military communication code for V.C. (as abbreviation of Viet Cong), perhaps strengthened by World War II slang use of Charlie for Japanese soldiers, which itself is probably an extension of the 1930s derogatory application of Charlie to any Asian man, from fictional Chinese detective Charlie Chan.
Other applications include "a London night watchman" (1812); "a goatee beard" (1834, from portraits of King Charles I and his contemporaries); "a fox" (1857); in plural "a woman's breasts" (1874); "an infantryman's pack" (World War I); and "a white man" (Mr. Charlie), 1960, American English, from African-American vernacular.
region or island at northernmost part of the world, Old English, from Latin, from Greek Thyle "land six days' sail north of Britain" (Strabo, quoting a lost portion of a work by Polybius, itself based on a lost account of a voyage to the north by 4c. B.C.E. geographer Pytheas). The identity of the place and the source of the name have sparked much speculation; Polybius doubted the whole thing, and since Roman times the name has been used in a transferred sense of "extreme limits of travel" (Ultima Thule).
The barbarians showed us where the sun set. For it happened in those places that the night was extremely short, lasting only two or three hours; and the sun sunk under the horizon, after a short interval reappeared at his rising. [Pytheas]
The name was given to a trading post in Greenland in 1910, site of a U.S. air base in World War II.