a popular pet form of the masc. proper name James (in Middle English records, Gemme, Jemme are more common than Jimme). In mid-18c. often associated with effeminacy and male fastidiousness; hence jemmy (adj.) "spruce, neat" (1750), jemminess (1756). As "a short crowbar," favored by burglars, from 1811. Compare jimmy (n.).
1899, in reference to the artistic, literary, and decorative styles popular in middle-class, mid-19c. German households. It is from German, a reference to Gottlieb Biedermeier, the name of a fictitious writer of stodgy poems (invented by Ludwig Eichrodt as a satire on bourgeois taste). The term was used in German publications from c. 1870. Also as an adjective, "conventional, bourgeois."
1890, in reference to a punch-card system used in a mechanical tabulator and later for data processing in in the earliest computers, from name of U.S. inventor Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), who designed the system. For a time, in mid-20c. it sometimes was used figuratively in reference to modern society viewed as a processing machine.
personification of riches and worldliness, mid-14c., from Late Latin mammona, from Ecclesiastical Greek mamōnas, from Aramaic mamona, mamon "riches, gain;" a word left untranslated in Greek New Testament (Matthew vi.24, Luke xvi.9-13), retained in the Vulgate, and regarded mistakenly by medieval Christians as the name of a demon who leads men to covetousness.
mid-14c., "adherent of a heretical Christian sect in 4c. North Africa," from Medieval Latin Donatista, from Donatus name of two of the principal men in it. The schism had more to do with episcopal succession in Carthage than with doctrine. The name is literally "bestowed, given," from past participle of Latin from donare "give as a gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). Related: Donatism.
masc. proper name, from French, from German Lambert, from Old High German Lambreht, from lant "land" (see land (n.)) + beraht "bright" (from PIE root *bhereg- "to shine; bright, white."). Old English cognate was Landbeorht. The English popularity of the name 12c. and after probably is due to immigration from Flanders, where St. Lambert of Maestricht was highly venerated. Attested as a surname from mid-12c.
fem. proper name, Middle English Jille, Jylle, Gille, etc., familiar shortening of Jillian, Gillian, which represent the common Middle English pronunciation of Juliana (see Gillian). A very popular name for girls in medieval England, hence its use as a familiar, almost generic, name for a girl (early 15c.; paired with Jack since mid-15c.).
place mentioned in Genesis xiv.18, from Hebrew Shālēm, usually said to be another name for Jerusalem and to mean "peace" (compare Hebrew shalom, Arabic salaam). A typical meetinghouse name among Baptists and Methodists, so much so that by mid-19c. it (along with Bethel and Ebenezer) had come to be used in Britain generically to mean "non-conformist chapel."
city in Warwickshire, mid-13c., an alteration of Old English Couentre (1043), probably literally "Cofa's tree," from Old English masc. personal name Cofa (genitive Cofan) + tree (n.). If this is correct, the name might refer to a boundary marker or a public assembly place. The explanation that it was named for a convent (see covent) founded there 11c. likely would be folk etymology.
surname attested from mid-12c., literally "dweller at the hares' wood." Harley Street in London from the 1830s was associated with eminent physicians and used metonymically for "medical specialists collectively." As a type of motorcycle, by 1968, short for Harley-Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., 1905 by engine designer William S. Harley (1880-1943) and Arthur Davidson.