1580s, "strap passing between the forelegs of a horse as part of the harness," from French martingale (16c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Provençal martegalo, fem. of martegal "inhabitant of Martigue," a commune northwest of Marseilles, making the etymological sense "worn in the manner of the people of Martigue;" or perhaps it is from Spanish almartaga, a word for a sort of halter or rein, from Arabic almartak, in which case it might have been influenced in form by the Provençal word. The nautical sense of "short, perpendicular spar under the bowsprit-end" is by 1794.
1891, short for Martini cocktail (1886), perhaps from Martini & Rossi, Italian firm that makes vermouth (an ingredient of the drink); the firm was in existence then by that name, but it is not specified among the ingredients in the earliest recipes (such as Harry Johnson's "Bartender's Manual," 1888). Another theory holds that it is a corruption of Martinez, California, the town where the drink was said to have originated. See discussion in Lowell Edmunds' book "Martini, Straight Up" (1998).
As the name of a type of rifle used by the British army from 1871 to 1891, it is attested from 1870, from Friedrich von Martini, who invented the breech mechanism on it.
early 15c., "fur or pelt of the European sable" (Martes zibellina), from Old French sable (also martre sable "sable martin"), in reference to the carnivorous arctic mammal or its highly prized fur, borrowed in French from Germanic (compare Middle Dutch sabel, Middle Low German sabel, Middle High German zobel), ultimately from a Slavic source (compare Russian, Czech sobol, Polish soból, the name of the animal), "which itself is borrowed from an East-Asiatic language" [Klein], but Russian sources (such as Vasmer) find none of the proposed candidates satisfactory.
In reference to the animal itself in English from mid-15c. The earlier word for the fur was sabeline (c. 1200), from Old French sabeline and directly from Medieval Latin sabelinum.
c. 1200, ipocrisie, "the sin of pretending to virtue or goodness," from Old French ypocrisie, from Late Latin hypocrisis "hypocrisy," also "an imitation of a person's speech and gestures," from Attic Greek hypokrisis "acting on the stage; pretense," metaphorically, "hypocrisy," from hypokrinesthai "play a part, pretend," also "answer," from hypo- "under" (see hypo-) + middle voice of krinein "to sift, decide" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). The sense evolution in Attic Greek is from "separate gradually" to "answer" to "answer a fellow actor on stage" to "play a part." The h- was restored in English 16c.
Hypocrisy is the art of affecting qualities for the purpose of pretending to an undeserved virtue. Because individuals and institutions and societies most often live down to the suspicions about them, hypocrisy and its accompanying equivocations underpin the conduct of life. Imagine how frightful truth unvarnished would be. [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938," 2005]
1868, from German Entropie "measure of the disorder of a system," coined 1865 (on analogy of Energie) by German physicist Rudolph Clausius (1822-1888), in his work on the laws of thermodynamics, from Greek entropia "a turning toward," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + trope "a turning, a transformation" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn"). The notion is supposed to be "transformation contents." Related: Entropic.
It was not until 1865 that Clausius invented the word entropy as a suitable name for what he had been calling "the transformational content of the body." The new word made it possible to state the second law in the brief but portentous form: "The entropy of the universe tends toward a maximum," but Clausius did not view entropy as the basic concept for understanding that law. He preferred to express the physical meaning of the second law in terms of the concept of disgregation, another word that he coined, a concept that never became part of the accepted structure of thermodynamics. [Martin J. Klein, "The Scientific Style of Josiah Willard Gibbs," in "A Century of Mathematics in America," 1989]
It is the American version of British All-Hallows summer, French été de la Saint-Martin (feast day Nov. 11), etc. Also colloquial was St. Luke's summer (or little summer), period of warm weather occurring about St. Luke's day (Oct. 18). An older and simpler name for it was autumn-spring (1630s).
late 15c. (Caxton), "monkey," a sense now obsolete, from Dutch meerkat "monkey" (related to Old High German mericazza), apparently from meer "lake" (see mere (n.1)) + kat (see cat (n.)). But compare Hindi markat, Sanskrit markata "ape," which might serve as a source of a Teutonic folk-etymology, though the word was in Germanic before any known direct contact with India. The word was applied to the small South African mammals by 1801, probably via Dutch settlers, who seem to have applied the word to a variety of burrowing animals, perhaps via folk-etymology of a native word.
The little meerkats were surely created for the express purpose of being made into pet animals. Certainly no prettier or funnier little live toys could possibly be imagined. Nearly every homestead in the Karroo has its tame meerkat, or more likely two or three, all as much petted and indulged, and requiring as much looking after, as spoilt and mischievous children. [Annie Martin, "Home Life on an Ostrich Farm," 1890]
"business of writing, editing, or publishing a newspaper or public journal," 1821, regarded at first as a French word in English, from French journalisme (1781), from journal "daily publication" (see journal); compare journalist.
Where men are insulated they are easily oppressed; when roads become good, and intercourse is easy, their force is increased more than a hundred fold: when, without personal communication, their opinions can be interchanged, and the people thus become one mass, breathing one breath and one spirit, their might increases in a ratio of which it is difficult to find the measure or the limit. Journalism does this office .... ["New Monthly Magazine," London, 1831]
[Géo] London was in western France covering the trial of a parricide that began in mid-afternoon. Because he had an early deadline, he telephoned a story that he was certain would take place: an angry crowd cursing the accused as he was marched to the courthouse from his holding cell at the police station. London then relaxed over lunch until he saw with dismay the guards and the prisoner coming but "not even the shadow of a gawker." His reputation at stake, he stalked to the door, cried out, "Kill him!" and returned to his table. [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938"]
Bavarian capital, German München, from root of Mönch "monk" (see monk); founded 1158 as a market town by Benedictine monks. In allusions to "appeasement" it is from the meeting of German, British, French and Italian representatives there on Sept. 29, 1938, which resulted in the cession of Sudetenland to Germany in exchange for Hitler's pledges.
During the flight [from Munich] Daladier sat silent and morose, worried about the reception he would receive at Le Bourget, about how the French would react to his having betrayed Czechoslovakia and France's promises. As the plane circled for landing, he and others saw a massive crowd awaiting them. Expecting jeers, hisses, rotten fruit, and maybe worse, Daladier declared stolidly: 'They are going to mob me, I suppose. ... I appreciate their feelings,' and insisted on absorbing their wrath by being the first off the plane. But as he stood dumbfounded on the gangplank, thousands surged forward carrying flags and flowers, shouting 'Hurrah for France! Hurrah for England! Hurrah for peace!' Daladier turned back to Léger and cursed, 'The God-damned fools!' [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938"]
"all right, correct," 1839, only survivor of a slang fad in Boston and New York c. 1838-9 for abbreviations of common phrases with deliberate, jocular misspellings (such as K.G. for "no go," as if spelled "know go;" N.C. for "'nuff ced;" K.Y. for "know yuse"). In the case of O.K., the abbreviation is of "oll korrect."
Probably further popularized by use as an election slogan by the O.K. Club, New York boosters of Democratic president Martin Van Buren's 1840 re-election bid, in allusion to his nickname Old Kinderhook, from his birth in the N.Y. village of Kinderhook. Van Buren lost, the word stuck, in part because it filled a need for a quick way to write an approval on a document, bill, etc.
Spelled out as okeh, 1919, by Woodrow Wilson, on assumption that it represented Choctaw okeh "it is so" (a theory which lacks historical documentation); this spelling was ousted quickly by okay after the appearance of that form in 1929. Greek immigrants to America who returned home early 20c. having picked up U.S. speech mannerisms were known in Greece as okay-boys, among other things.
The noun is first attested 1841, "endorsement, approval, authorization" (especially as indicated by the letters O.K.); the verb, "to approve, agree to, sanction," is by 1888. Okey-doke is student slang first attested 1932.