Etymology
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philodendron (n.)

genus of araceous climbing shrubs native to tropical America, 1837, from the Modern Latin genus name (Schott, 1830), from Greek philodendron, neuter of philodendros "loving trees," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + dendron "tree" (from PIE *der-drew-, from root *deru- "to be firm, solid, steadfast," also forming words for "wood, tree"). The plant so called because it clings to trees.

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subliminal (adj.)

1873, "below the threshold" (of consciousness or sensation), formed from Latin stem of sublime (Latin limen, genitive liminis) + -al (1)). Apparently a loan-translation of German unter der Schwelle (des Bewusstseins) "beneath the threshold (of consciousness)," from Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), author of a textbook on psychology published in 1824. The scare over subliminal advertising came in 1957. Related: Subliminally.

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ice-cube (n.)

"ice cut in small blocks for cooling drinks, etc.," 1902, from ice (n.) + cube (n.).

One of the newest plans for the economical use of artificial ice has recently been patented by Van der Weyde, of Holland. The invention is based on the fact that two smooth surfaces of freshly cut ice when brought into contact at a temperature below thirty-two degrees will unite firmly. At a higher temperature the junction yields to a blow, and the ice breaks into the original parts. Van der Weyde casts blocks of ice into small cubes, which are stamped with a trade mark. These cubes are joined into a larger cube of any desired weight and sent out for use. The mark is a guarantee that the ice is pure, and the small cubes, weighing an ounce each, are easily separated into a shape convenient for use. ["Artificial Ice in Cubes," Lawrence Chieftain (Mount Vernon, Missouri), June 21, 1894]
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philosopher (n.)

early 14c., philosophre, "scholar, learned person, wise person; one devoted to the search for universal truth, a student of metaphysical and moral sciences," replacing Old English philosophe, from Latin philosophus "philosopher," from Greek philosophos "philosopher, sage, one who speculates on the nature of things and truth," literally "lover of wisdom," from philos "loving" (see philo-) + sophos "wise; a sage" (see sophist). The form with -er is from an Anglo-French or Old French variant of philosophe with an agent-noun ending. Fem. forms were philosophress (1630s), philosophess (1660s).

Pythagoras was the first who called himself philosophos, instead of sophos, 'wise man,' since this latter term was suggestive of immodesty. [Klein]

Philosopher in the Middle Ages also could be "alchemist, magician, diviner," hence Philosophers' stone (late 14c., translating Medieval Latin lapis philosophorum, early 12c.), a reputed solid substance supposed by alchemists to change baser metals into gold or silver; also identified with the elixir and thus given the attribute of prolonging life indefinitely and curing wounds and disease. In French pierre philosophale, in German der Stein der Weisen.

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tart (adj.)

"having a sharp taste," 1520s, also attested once, obscurely, from late 14c., perhaps from Old English teart "painful, sharp, severe, rough" (in reference to punishment, pain, suffering), from Germanic *ter-t-, from PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel." But the gap in the record is unexplained. Figurative use, with reference to words, speech, etc., is attested from c. 1600. Related: Tartly; tartness, both also absent in Middle English.

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tear (n.1)

"fluid drop from the eye," Old English tear "tear, drop, nectar, what is distilled in drops," from earlier teahor, tæhher, from Proto-Germanic *tahr-, *tagr- (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian tar, Old High German zahar, German Zähre, Gothic tagr "tear"), from PIE *dakru- (source also of Latin lacrima, Old Latin dacrima, Irish der, Welsh deigr, Greek dakryma).

To be in tears "weeping" is from 1550s. Tear gas is so called by 1917.

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cataplexy (n.)

"sudden nervous shock and paralysis, the state of an animal when it is feigning death," 1880, Latinized and Anglicized from German Kataplexie(1878), from Greek kataplexis "stupefaction, amazement, consternation," from kataplēssein "to strike down" (with fear, etc.), from kata "down" (see cata-) + plēssein "to strike, hit" (from PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike"). The German word was coined by William Thierry Preyer (1841-1897), English-born German physiologist, in "Die Kataplexie und der thierische Hypnotismus" (Jena). Related: Cataplectic.

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aspirin (n.)

coined 1899 in German as a trademark name by German chemist Heinrich Dreser, from Latin Spiraea (ulmaria) "meadow-sweet," the plant in whose flowers or leaves the processed acid in the medicine is naturally found, + common chemical ending -in (see -ine (2)).

Spiraea (Tournefort, 1700) is from Latinized form of Greek speiraia "meadow-sweet," so called from the shape of its follicles (see spiral (adj.)). The initial -a- is to acknowledge acetylation; Dreser said the word was a contraction of acetylierte spirsäure, the German name of the acid, which now is obsolete, replaced by salicylic acid.

Die Bezeichnung Aspirin ist abgeleitet aus "Spirsäure" — alter Name der Salicylsäure und A = Acetyl; statt: Acetylirte Spirsäure, kurzweg "Aspirin". [H, Dreser, "Pharmakologisches über Aspirin (Acetylsalicylsäure)," in "Archiv für die Gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere," 1899, p.307]

The custom of giving commercial names to medicinal products began in Germany in the late 19th century, when nascent pharmaceutical firms were discovering medical uses for common, easily made chemicals. To discourage competitors they would market the substance under a short trademarked name a doctor could remember, rather than the long chemical compound word. German law required prescriptions to be filled exactly as written.

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wander (v.)

Old English wandrian "move about aimlessly, wander," from West Germanic *wundrōjanan "to roam about" (source also of Old Frisian wondria, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wanderen, German wandern "to wander," a variant form of the root represented in Old High German wantalon "to walk, wander"), from PIE root *wendh- "to turn, wind, weave" (see wind (v.1)). In reference to the mind, affections, etc., attested from c. 1400. Related: Wandered; wandering. The Wandering Jew of Christian legend first mentioned 13c. (compare French le juif errant, German der ewige Jude).

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pachyderm (n.)

1838, from French pachyderme (c. 1600), adopted as a biological term for non-ruminant hoofed quadrupeds 1797 by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832), from Greek pakhydermos "thick-skinned," from pakhys "thick, large, massive" (see pachy-) + derma "skin" (from PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel," with derivatives referring to skin and leather). Cuvier's order of Pachydermata is now disused in zoology, but pachyderm remains in common use to describe elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, etc. Related: Pachydermal; pachydermic; pachydermatous.

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