city on the Ohio River in Ohio, U.S., founded 1789 and first called Losantiville; the name was changed 1790 by territorial Gov. Arthur St. Clair, in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati, a fraternal veterans' organization founded 1783 by former Revolutionary War officers (St. Clair was a member) and named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, 5c. B.C.E. Roman hero who saved the city from crisis and then retired to his farm rather than rule. His name is a cognomen in the gens Quinctia, meaning literally "with curly hair," from Latin cincinnus "curl, curly hair." Related: Cincinnatian.
"the 130th Psalm" (one of the seven penitential psalms), so called for its opening words in Latin, literally "out of the depths (have I cried)." From ablative plural of profundum (see profound).
"cold, factual person," from the name of the school-board superintendent and mill-owner in Dickens' "Hard Times" (1854):
THOMAS GRADGRIND, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir - peremptorily Thomas - Thomas Gradgrind. With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic. ....
In such terms Mr. Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general. In such terms, no doubt, substituting the words 'boys and girls,' for 'sir,' Thomas Gradgrind now presented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers before him, who were to be filled so full of facts.
Indeed, as he eagerly sparkled at them from the cellarage before mentioned, he seemed a kind of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge. He seemed a galvanizing apparatus, too, charged with a grim mechanical substitute for the tender young imaginations that were to be stormed away.
proprietary name of a make of watches, registered 1908 by German businessman Hans Wilsdorf, with Wilsdorf & Davis, London. Invented name. The company moved out of Britain 1912 for tax purposes and thence was headquartered in Geneva.
"person out of touch with current conditions," 1829, the name of the character in Washington Irving's popular Catskills tale (published 1819) of the henpecked husband who sleeps enchanted for 20 years and finds the world has forgotten him.
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).
1948, shortened form of television (q.v.). Spelled out as tee-vee from 1949. TV dinner (1954), made to be eaten from a tray while watching a television set, is a proprietary name registered by Swanson & Sons, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
city in California, named c. 1866 for George Berkeley (1685-1753), Bishop of Cloyne, who denied the objective reality of the material world. The college there opened in 1873. The surname (also Barclay) is the birch-tree wood or clearing. The transuranic element berkelium (1950) is named for the laboratory there, where it was discovered. It does not occur naturally.
Whether they knew or not
Goldsmith and Burke, Swift and the Bishop of Cloyne
All hated Whiggery; but what is Whiggery?
A levelling, rancorous, rational sort of mind
That never looked out of the eye of a saint
Or out of drunkard's eye.
[Yeats, from "The Seven Sages"]
"assembly for popular education," 1873, from town in New York, U.S., where an annual Methodist summer colony featured lectures. The name is from ja'dahgweh, a Seneca (Iroquoian) name, possibly meaning "one has taken out fish there," but an alternative suggested meaning is "raised body."