Etymology
Advertisement
Hobson's choice (n.)
English university slang term, supposedly a reference to Thomas Hobson (c. 1544-1631), Cambridge stable manager who let horses and gave customers a choice of the horse next in line or none at all. Phrase popularized c. 1660 by Milton, who was at Cambridge from 1625-29.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
oaf (n.)

1620s, auf, oph (modern form from 1630s; oafish is from 1610s), "a changeling; a foolish or otherwise defective child left by the fairies in place of another carried off," from a Scandinavian source such as Norwegian alfr "silly person," in Old Norse "elf" (see elf). Hence, "a misbegotten, deformed idiot, a simpleton" (17c.). Until recently, some dictionaries still gave the plural as oaves.

Related entries & more 
angora (n.)
type of wool, 1810, from Angora, city in central Turkey (ancient Ancyra, modern Ankara), which gave its name to the goat (1745 in English), and to its silk-like wool, and to a cat whose fur resembles it (1771 in English). The city name is from the Greek word for "anchor, bend" (see angle (n.)).
Related entries & more 
designated (adj.)

1868, "appointed or nominated but not yet installed," past-participle adjective from designate (v.). The baseball designated hitter "substitute named before the start of a game to hit for the pitcher" was introduced in the American League in 1973; it soon gave wide figurative extension to designated, as in designated driver (by 1985).

Related entries & more 
cactus (n.)
c. 1600, in a classical sense, "cardoon, artichoke," from Latin cactus, from Greek kaktos, name of a type of prickly plant of Sicily (the Spanish artichoke), a "foreign word of unknown origin" [Beekes]. In reference to the green, leafless, spiked American plants from 1769, because Linnaeus gave the name to them thinking they were related to the classical plant. Related: Cactal.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
orrery (n.)

a model solar-system machinery constructed to represent the motions of the planets in their orbits, 1713, invented c. 1704 by English clockmaker George Graham (1673-1751) and constructed by instrument maker John Rowley. Graham gave a copy to his patron, Charles Boyle (1674-1731), 4th Earl of Orrery (Cork) and named it in his honor.

Related entries & more 
cabal (n.)
1520s, "mystical interpretation of the Old Testament," later "an intriguing society, a small group meeting privately" (1660s), from French cabal, which had both senses, from Medieval Latin cabbala (see cabbala). Popularized in English 1673 as an acronym for five intriguing ministers of Charles II (Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale), which gave the word its sinister connotations.
Related entries & more 
padre (n.)

"priest, chaplain," used in reference to priests in Spain, Italy, and Mexico and South America, or the southwest of the U.S., 1580s, from Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese padre, from Latin patrem (nominative pater) "father" (see father (n.)). The title of the regular clergy in those languages. Papar was the name the Norse arriving in Iceland gave to Irish monks whom they found there.

Related entries & more 
fuchsia (n.)
red color (like that of the Fuchsia flowers), 1921, from the ornamental shrub (named 1703 by French botanist Charles Plumier; by 1753 in English), from the Latinized name of German botanist Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566) + abstract noun ending -ia. The German surname is literally "fox." Not related to Latin fucus "seaweed, sea wrack, tangle" (see fucus) which also gave its name to a red color prepared from it.
Related entries & more 
chanteuse (n.)

"female singer of popular songs," 1866, from French chanteuse (16c.), fem. agent noun of chanter "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing"). In Old French, the word was chanteresse, which gave Middle English chaunteresse "nun who sings or leads the singing" (late 14c.). Milton has chauntress, but the word seems to have gone extinct before the 19c. reborrowing.

Related entries & more 

Page 3