Etymology
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Sammy (n.)

British slang for "U.S. soldier in World War I," 1918, a reference to Uncle Sam.

A Sammie may be defined as an American soldier as he appears in an English newspaper or a French cinema. It is a name he did not invent, does not like, never uses and will not recognize. [Stars & Stripes, March 29, 1918]
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Samnite (n.)

member of an ancient people (an offshoot of the Sabines) who inhabited Samnium in Italy, late 14c., from Latin Samnites (plural), from Samnium, which probably is related to Sabine (q.v.). The class of gladiators (distinguished by their oblong shield) was so-called because they were armed like the natives of Samnium.

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Samoa 

Pacific island, an indigenous name, said to be from the name of a Polynesian chieftain, or else meaning "place of the moa." Related: Samoan (by 1837).

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Samos 

Greek island in the Aegean, from Old Greek samos "a height, dune, seaside hill." Many references to it are as the birthplace of Pythagoras.

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Samothrace 

Aegean island, from Samos + Thrace, representing the sources of two waves of settlers who came to the island in ancient times. Related: Samothracian.

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samovar (n.)

"copper urn, used in Russia and nearby regions, in which water is kept boiling for use as needed in making tea," 1830, from Russian samovar, literally "self-boiler," from sam "self" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with") + varit "to boil" (from Old Church Slavonic variti "to cook," from PIE root *wer- "to burn"); but this is perhaps folk-etymology if the word is from Tatar sanabar "tea-urn."

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Samoyed (n.)

Siberian Mongolian people, 1580s, from Russian samoyed (11c.), traditionally literally "self-eaters," i.e. "cannibals" (the first element cognate with same, the second with eat), but this might be Russian folk etymology of a native name:

The common Russian etymology of the name Samoyed, meaning "self-eater," deepened the Russians' already exotic image of far-northerners. The most probable linguistic origin of Samoyed, however, is from the Saami — saam-edne, "land of the people" [Andrei V. Golovnev and Gail Osherenko, "Siberian Survival: The Nenets and Their Story," Cornell University, 1999]

Which would make the name a variant of Suomi "Finn." The native name is Nenets. As a language name by 1829. As the name of a type of dog (once used as a working dog in the Arctic) it is attested from 1889 (Samoyed dog).

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sampan (n.)

a word applied by Europeans to any small, light boat on the Chinese pattern, used on the coasts of East Asia, 1610s, from Chinese san pan, literally "three boards," from san "three" + pan "plank." In 16c. Spanish made it cempan; Portuguese had it as champana.

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sample (n.)

c. 1300, saumple, "something which confirms a proposition or statement, an instance serving as an illustration" (a sense now obsolete in this word), from Anglo-French saumple, which is a shortening of Old French essample, from Latin exemplum "a sample," or a shortening of Middle English ensaumple (see example (n.)).

The meaning "small quantity (of something) from which the general quality (of the whole) may be inferred" (later usually in a commercial sense) is recorded from early 15c. The sense of "specimen for scientific sampling" is by 1878; the sense in statistics, "a portion drawn from a population for study to make statistical estimates of the whole," is by 1903. As an adjective from 1820.

The word also was used in Middle English in many of the senses now only found in example, such as "an incident that teaches a lesson; a model of action or conduct to be imitated."

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sample (v.)

1767, "test by taking a sample, select a specimen of," from sample (n.). As "present samples or specimens of" by 1870. Earlier it had meant "to be a match for" (1590s); "set an example" (c. 1600), sense now obsolete in this word. Related: Sampled; sampling.

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