city in eastern England, Old English Grontabricc (c. 745) "Bridge on the River Granta" (a Celtic river name, of obscure origin). The change to Cante- and later Cam- was due to Norman influence. The river name Cam is a back-formation in this case, but Cam also was a legitimate Celtic river name, meaning "crooked." The university dates to 1209. Cambridge in Massachusetts, U.S., originally was New Towne but was renamed 1638 after the founding there of Harvard College, John Harvard being a graduate of Cambridge in England.
city in New Jersey, U.S., 1783, named for Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden (1714-1794), Whig politician who was popular in America due to his opposition to British taxation policies and for whom many American towns and counties were named.
"large ruminant quadruped used in Asia and Africa as a beast of burden," Old English camel, perhaps via Old North French camel (Old French chamel, Modern French chameau), from Latin camelus, from Greek kamelos, from Hebrew or Phoenician gamal, perhaps related to Arabic jamala "to bear."
Another Old English word for the beast was olfend, apparently based on confusion of camels and elephants in a place and time when both were unknown but for travelers' vague descriptions. The confusion was general in the older Germanic languages (Gothic ulbandus, Old High German olbenta, Old Saxon olbhunt, Old Norse ulfaldi). Also compare camelopard. Of the two distinct species, the Arabian has one hump (the lighter, thoroughbred variety is the dromedary); the Bactrian has two. The camel-walk dance style is recorded from 1919.
genus of shrubs and small trees native to eastern Asia and Indonesia, 1753, named by Linnæus from Latinized form of surname of Georg Joseph Kamel (1661-1706), Moravian-born Jesuit who described the flora of the island of Luzon, + abstract noun ending -ia.
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.
type of rich, sweet, yellowish cream-cheese, 1867, from the name of a village near Argentan, Normandy, where it originally was made (the modern form of the cheese dates to 1792). The place name is Medieval Latin Campus Maimberti "field of Maimbert" (a West Germanic personal name).