bright white star in constellation Leo, 1550s, Modern Latin, apparently first so-called by Copernicus, literally "little king," diminutive of rex "king" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). Probably a translation of Basiliskos "little king," a Hellenistic Greek name for the star, mentioned in Geminos and Ptolemy (in the "Almagest," though elsewhere in his writings it is usually "the star on the heart of Leo"); perhaps a translation of Lugal "king," said to have been the star's Babylonian name. Klein holds it to be a corruption of Arabic rijl (al-asad) "paw of the lion" (compare Rigel).
line of Jewish princes who ruled in Judea, late 14c., from Late Latin Maccabæus, surname given to Judas, third son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, leader of the religious revolt against Antiochus IV, 175-166 B.C.E. Usually connected with Hebrew maqqabh "hammer," but Klein thinks it an inexact transliteration of Hebrew matzbi "general, commander of an army." Related: Maccabean.
"of or pertaining to the dynasty to which the first French kings belonged," 1690s, from French Mérovingien, from Medieval Latin Merovingi, "descendants of Meroveus," (mythical?) ancestor of the line of Frankish kings in Gaul c. 500-752 beginning with Clovis; Merovingi is a Latinization of his Germanic name (compare Old High German Mar-wig "famed-fight") with the Germanic patronymic suffix -ing.
"of or in the manner of Anacreon," the "convivial bard of Greece," celebrated lyrical poet (560-478 B.C.E.), born at Teos in Ionia. Also in reference to his lyric form (1706) of a four-line stanza, rhymed alternately, each line with four beats (three trochees and a long syllable), also "convivial and amatory" (1801); and "an erotic poem celebrating love and wine" (1650s).
The name is literally "Up-lord," from ana "up" (see ana-) + kreon "lord, master," which Beekes calls "an inherited word from Indo-European poetic language," from PIE *kreih- "splendor," and he compares Sanskrit sri- "magnificence, riches, splendor, fame."
U.S. lawyer and writer Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) in 1814 set or wrote his poem "The Star-Spangled Banner" to the melody of the drinking song of the popular London gentleman's club called The Anacreontic Society, dedicated to "wit, harmony, and the god of wine." The tune is late 18c. and may be the work of society member and court musician John Stafford Smith (1750-1836).
type of map projection, 1660s, invented by Flemish geographer Gerhard Kremer (1512-1594), who Latinized his surname, which means "dealer, tradesman," as Mercator (see merchant). He first used this type of map projection in 1568. Its great distortions in the northern and southern regions renders it unsuitable for land maps, but as on it a constant compass bearing always is represented by a straight line, it is useful for sea maps.
line of French kings (who also ruled in Naples and Spain), who ruled 1589-1792 and 1815-1848; its name is from Bourbon l'Archambault, chief town of a lordship in central France, probably from Borvo, name of a local Celtic deity associated with thermal springs, whose name probably is related to Celtic borvo "foam, froth." Proverbially, they "forget nothing and learn nothing" (the quip is attested by 1830, source unknown), hence the name was used generally of extreme conservatives.
masc. proper name, variant of Marcus (q.v.). Among the top 10 names given to boy babies born in the U.S. between 1955 and 1970.
Mark Twain is the pseudonym of American writer and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), who had been a riverboat pilot; he took his pen name from the cry mark twain, the call indicating a depth of two fathoms, from mark (n.1) in a specialized sense of "measured notification (a piece of knotted cloth, etc.) on a lead-line indicating fathoms of depth" (1769) + twain.
member of a Teutonic tribe, Old English, from Latin Angli "the Angles," literally "people of Angul" (Old Norse Öngull), a region in what is now Holstein, said to be so-called for its hook-like shape (see angle (n.)). Or the name might refer to fishing (with hooks) as a main activity of the people, and Proto-Germanic *anguz is said also to have meant "narrow," so it might refer to shallow coastal waters.
People from the tribe there founded the kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbia, and East Anglia in 5c. Britain. Their name, rather than that of the Saxons or Jutes, may have become the common one for the whole group of Germanic tribes because their dialect was the first committed to writing.
masc. proper name, German Siegfried, first element from Old High German sigu "victory," from Proto-Germanic *seges- "victory" (source also of Old Frisian si, Old Saxon sigi, Middle Dutch seghe, Dutch zege, German Sieg, Old Norse sigr, Danish seier, Gothic sigis, Old English sige "victory, success, triumph"), from PIE root *segh- "to hold" (source also of Sanskrit saha- "victory," sahate "overcomes, masters").
Second element from Old High German frithu "peace" (from suffixed form of PIE root *pri- "to love"). Siegfried Line, World War I German fortifications in France, is from German Siegfriedlinie, named for the hero in Wagner's "Ring" cycle.