1822 in the figurative sense, "violently making conformable to standard, producing uniformity by deforming force or mutilation," from Procrustes, name of the mythical robber of Attica who seized travelers, tied them to his bed, and either stretched their limbs or lopped of their legs to make them fit it. With ending as in Herculean. By 1776 as Procrustian. The figurative image, though not the exact word, was in English at least from 1580s.
The name is Greek Prokroustēs "one who stretches," from prokrouein "to beat out, stretch out," from pro "before" (see pro-) + krouein "to strike," from PIE *krou(s)- "to push, bump, strike, break" (source also of Russian krušit' "to strike, stamp," Lithuanian kraušyti "to stamp off;" Russian kroxa "morsel, crumb;" Lithuanian krušti "to stamp, push (apart)").
Old English Easterdæg, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from Proto-Germanic *austron-, "dawn," also the name of a goddess of fertility and spring, perhaps originally of sunrise, whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *aust- "east, toward the sunrise" (compare east), from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn.
Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of Latin Pascha to name this holiday (see paschal).
Easter egg is attested by 1825, earlier pace egg (1610s). Easter bunny is attested by 1904 in children's lessons; Easter rabbit is by 1888; the paganish customs of Easter seem to have grown popular c. 1900; before that they were limited to German immigrants.
If the children have no garden, they make nests in the wood-shed, barn, or house. They gather colored flowers for the rabbit to eat, that it may lay colored eggs. If there be a garden, the eggs are hidden singly in the green grass, box-wood, or elsewhere. On Easter Sunday morning they whistle for the rabbit, and the children imagine that they see him jump the fence. After church, on Easter Sunday morning, they hunt the eggs, and in the afternoon the boys go out in the meadows and crack eggs or play with them like marbles. Or sometimes children are invited to a neighbor's to hunt eggs. [Phebe Earle Gibbons, "Pennsylvania Dutch," Philadelphia, 1882]
masc. proper name, name of the Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, Middle English Moises, from Latin, from Greek Mouses, from Hebrew Mosheh, which is of unknown origin.
Most scholars see in it the Hebraization of Egyptian mes, mesu 'child, son,' which is often used in theophorous names. According to this derivation the words of Pharaoh's daughter in Ex. 2:10, 'For out of the water I drew him' are not the explanation of the Hebrew name Mosheh, but express the idea that the Egyptian name given by Pharaoh's daughter resembles in sound, and therefore, reminds us of, the Hebrew verb mashah 'he drew out,' which is suggestive of the words spoken by Pharaoh's daughter. [Ernest Klein, "A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language"]
As an expletive or oath, Oh, Moses, 1840; Holy Moses is attested by 1877.
Latin name of Britain, preserved in poetry and as the proper name of the female figure who personifies the place on coinage, etc.
When Britain first, at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."
[James Thomson, 1740]
city in South Carolina, U.S., named for King Charles II of England. In reference to a dance style characterized by side-kicks from the knee, from 1923 (as title of a song), 1925 as a dance, named for the city.
Whether the Charleston (dance) has come to stay or not, it behooves every open-minded hostess and musician to "try it out" anyhow. [Ethel P. Peyser, The Rotarian, July 1926]