Etymology
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Mahomet 

a popular form of the name Muhammad (the prophet of Islam) in Middle English, late 14c., via Old French. Other Middle English variants, dating back to c. 1200, include Makomete, macomete, machamete, machamote, mahimet, mahumet macumeth, makamed. In Middle English maumet was "a representation of a pagan deity, an idol" (c. 1200); "a false god" (mid-14c.), from Old French mahumet; hence also maumetrie "worship of pagan deities, idolatry." A curious misunderstanding of a prophet and faith notable for severe monotheism. Related: Mahometan.

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personage (n.)

mid-15c., "body of a person" (with regard to appearance), also "notable person, a man or woman of high rank or distinction," from Old French personage "size, stature," also "a dignitary" (13c.), from Medieval Latin personaticum (11c.), from Latin persona (see person). As a longer way to say person, the word was in use from 1550s (but often slyly ironical, with suggestion that the subject is overly self-important).

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photo (n.)

1860, a colloquial shortening of photograph. The verb is by 1865, from the noun. Photo-finish, of a race that ends with two or more competitors crossing the finishing line at nearly the same time (so a photograph taken at the finish line at the moment of crossing is the only way to determine who won) is attested from 1936. Photo opportunity "arranged opportunity to take a photograph of a notable person or event" is from 1974, said to be a coinage of the Nixon Administration.

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monument (n.)

late 13c., "a sepulchre," from Old French monument "grave, tomb, monument," and directly from Latin monumentum "a monument, memorial structure, statue; votive offering; tomb; memorial record," literally "something that reminds," a derivative of monere "to remind, bring to (one's) recollection, tell (of)," from PIE *moneie- "to make think of, remind," suffixed (causative) form of root *men- (1) "to think." Meaning "any enduring evidence or example" is from 1520s; sense of "structure or edifice to commemorate a notable person, action, period, or event" is attested from c. 1600.

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notorious (adj.)

1540s, "publicly known and spoken of," from Medieval Latin notorius "well-known, commonly known," from Latin notus "known," past participle of noscere "come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know." Middle English had notoire (mid-14c. in Anglo-French), from Old French, "well-known." Negative connotation, now predominant, "noted for some bad practice or quality, notable in a bad sense, widely but discreditably known" arose 17c. from frequent association with derogatory nouns. Related: Notoriously.

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Pygmalion 

legendary Greek sculptor/goldsmith who created a beautiful statue of a woman he made and wished to life, from Greek Pygmaliōn. The story is centered on Cyprus and his name might be a Greek folk-etymology adaptation of a foreign word, perhaps from Phoenician. Notable in 20c. for the Pygmalion word, a British euphemistic substitute for bloody, from the notorious use of that word in Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" (1913: "Walk? Not bloody likely!"), the basis of the 1964 movie "My Fair Lady."

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prominent (adj.)

mid-15c., "projecting, jutting out, standing out beyond the line or surface of something," from Latin prominentem (nominative prominens) "prominent," present participle of prominere "jut or stand out, be prominent, overhang," from pro "before, forward" (see pro-) + -minere "project, jut out," which is related to mons "hill" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project").

Of features, "conspicuous, standing out so as to strike the mind or eye," from 1759; of persons, "notable, leading, eminent, standing out from among the multitude," from 1849. Related: Prominently.

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commonplace (n.)

1540s, "a statement generally accepted," a literal translation of Latin locus communis, itself a translation of Greek koinos topos "general topic," in logic, "general theme applicable to many particular cases." See common (adj.) + place (n.). Meaning "memorandum of something that is likely to be again referred to, striking or notable passage" is from 1560s; hence commonplace-book (1570s) in which such were written down. Meaning "well-known, customary, or obvious remark; statement regularly made on certain occasions" is from 1550s. The adjectival sense of "having nothing original" dates from c. 1600.

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Bow bells (n.)

to be "born within the sound of Bow Bells" is the traditional (since early 17c.) definition of a Cockney; the reference is to the bells of the church of St. Mary-le-Bow in London's Cheapside district. A church or chapel probably stood there in Anglo-Saxon times, and was rebuilt many times; the bells were noted for their sound from 16c., and a great tenor bell hung there from 1762 to 1941, when the church was most recently destroyed, in a German air raid. The church is so called for the arches which were a notable feature in the medieval building from 12c., hence it is from bow (n.1).

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luminary (n.)

mid-15c., "lamp, light-giver, source of light," from Old French luminarie (12c.), "lamp, lights, lighting; candles; brightness, illumination," from Late Latin luminare "light, torch, lamp, heavenly body," literally "that which gives light," from Latin lumen (genitive luminis) "light, source of light, daylight, the light of the eye; distinguished person, ornament, glory," related to lucere "to shine," from suffixed (iterative) form of PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness."

From late 15c. as "celestial body." Sense of "notable person" is first recorded 1690s, though the Middle English word also had a figurative sense of "source of spiritual light, example of holiness" (mid-15c.). As an adjective, "pertaining to light," from 1794 but this is rare.

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