Etymology
Advertisement
Orwellian (adj.)

"characteristic or suggestive of the writings of George Orwell," 1950 (first attested in Mary McCarthy), from English author George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair, 1903-1950), especially in reference to his novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1949). It has come to be used in reference to the totalitarian systems he satirized and inveighed against.

It is as if George Orwell had conceived the nightmare instead of analyzed it, helped to create it instead of helping to dispel its euphemistic thrall. [Clive James, "The All of Orwell," 2001]

The surname is attested from late Old English, from place names, either "spring by the point" (of land), or "stream of the (river) Orwe," a variant form ofarrow.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
bankruptcy (n.)
1700, "the breaking up of a business due to its inability to pay obligations," from bankrupt, "probably on the analogy of insolvency, but with -t erroneously retained in spelling, instead of being merged in the suffix ...." [OED]. Figurative use from 1761. Earlier words for it (late 16c.-17c.) were bankrupting, bankruption, bankrupture, bankruptship.
Related entries & more 
antipope (n.)
also anti-pope, early 15c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Medieval Latin antipapa, from Greek anti "against, opposite, instead of" (see anti-) + papa (see pope). There have been about 30 of them, the last was Felix V, elected at Basel in 1439.
Related entries & more 
Gordian knot (n.)
1560s, tied by Gordius (Greek Gordios), first king of Phrygia in Asia Minor and father of Midas, who predicted the one to loosen it would rule Asia. Instead, Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot with his sword; hence the extended sense (1570s in English) "solve a difficult problem in a quick, dramatic way."
Related entries & more 
plagal (adj.)

denoting a mode or melody in Gregorian music in which the final is in the middle of the compass instead of at the bottom, 1590s, from Medieval Latin plagalis, from plaga "the plagal mode," probably from plagius, from Medieval Greek plagios "plagal," in classical Greek "oblique," from plagos "side" (from PIE root *plak- (1) "to be flat").

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
donut (n.)
see doughnut. It turns up as an alternate spelling in U.S. as early as 1870 ("Josh Billings"), common from c. 1920 in names of bakeries. Halliwell ("Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words," 1847) has donnut "a pancake made of dough instead of batter," which Bartlett (1848) writes "is no doubt the same word" as the American one.
Related entries & more 
Parousia (n.)

"the Second Coming," 1875, a reference to Matthew xxiv.27, from Greek parousia, literally "presence," from para- (see para- (1)) + ousia "essence," from on, genitive ontos, present participle of einai "to be" (from PIE root *es- "to be"). Parusia, from a Modern Latin form of the Greek word, is a term in rhetoric: "the use of the present tense instead of the past or future, for dramatic effect."

Related entries & more 
sang-froid (n.)

also sangfroid, "presence of mind, coolness, mental composure," 1712, from French sang froid, literally "cool blood," from sang "blood" (from Latin sanguis; see sanguinary) + froid "cold" (from Latin frigidus; see frigid). "In the 17th c. the expression was in France often written erroneously sens froid, as if it contained sens "sense" instead of the homophonous sang "blood'." [OED].

Related entries & more 
mother-of-pearl (n.)

"nacreous inner layer of the shell of various bivalve mollusks," c. 1500, translating Medieval Latin mater perlarum, with the first element perhaps connected in popular imagination with obsolete mother (n.2) "dregs." Compare Italian madreperla, French mère-perle, Dutch parelmoer, German Perlmutter, Danish perlemor. It is the stuff of pearls but in a layer instead of a mass.

Related entries & more 
antiphrasis (n.)
in rhetoric, "the use of a word in a sense opposite to its proper meaning; ironic use of a word in sarcasm or humor," 1530s, from Latin antiphrasis, from Greek antiphrasis, from antiphrazein "to express (something) by the opposite," from anti "against, opposite, instead of" (see anti-) + phrazein "to tell, declare, point out, express" (see phrase (n.)). Related: Antiphrastic.
Related entries & more 

Page 3