late 14c., "government, rule, authority, control," a sense now obsolete, from Old French regiment "government, rule" (14c.), from Late Latin regimentum "rule, direction," from Latin regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").
The military meaning "unit of an army" is recorded by 1570s, from a sense in French; the reference in the word originally was to permanent organization and discipline. The exact number of soldiers in a regiment has varied widely over time and place.
The Aeolian harp (the phrase is attested from 1791) was made of tuned strings set in a frame; passing breezes caused them to sound harmoniously. Another name for it was anemochord (1832). The ancient district of Aiolis in Asia Minor was said to have been named for the wind god, hence Aeolian also refers to one branch of the ancient Greek people.
city in Pennsylvania, U.S., founded 1754 by the French and called Fort Duquesne in honor of Michel-Ange Duquesne (1702-1778), governor of New France; captured by the British 1758 and renamed in honor of British statesman William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778). The Scottish -burgh is unusual in the U.S. (compare Edinburgh) and may be from the Scottish officers who led its capture in the Seven Years War. The spelling varied with -burg in 19c., but when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names regularized all -burgh spellings to -burg, the Pittsburghers protested, and the -h officially was restored in 1911
c. 1300, "mountain top, sharp peak, promontory," from Old French pinacle "top, gable" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin pinnaculum "peak, pinnacle, gable," extended form (via diminutive suffix, but not necessarily implying smallness) of Latin pinna "peak, point," (see pin (n.)). Figurative use is attested from c. 1400. The meaning "pointed turret on the buttress or roof of a building" is from late 14c.
Its constructive object is to give greater weight to the member which it crowns, in order that this may better resist some lateral pressure. The application of the term is generally limited to an ornamental spire-shaped structure, standing on parapets, angles, and buttresses, and often adorned with rich and varied devices. [Century Dictionary]
type of German army rifle, by 1874; it was introduced 1871, having been invented by brothers Peter Paul (1838-1914) and Wilhelm (1834-1882) Mauser.
After many and most varied experiments, the supreme military authorities of the German empire have now finally decided to supply the whole of the German army—with the exception of the Bavarians, who have a most excellent weapon already in the Werder gun—with a gun of a new pattern, made by a Würtemberg gunsmith of the name of Mauser, who lives at Oberndorf. This new pattern is called the Mauser gun or rifle. This Mauser gun is said to be in every way vastly superior to the chassepot. [G.L.M. Strauss, "Men Who Have Made the New German Empire," London, 1875]
British slang word with varied senses, not all of them certainly connected; see Partridge, who lists two noun uses: "female pudenda" (c. 1845), which might be back-slang from fan, shortening of fanny (in the British sense); and "nothing," in prostitutes' slang from c. 1940; a verbal use, a euphemism for fuck (v.) in oaths, imprecations, expletives (as in naff off), 1959, "making it slightly less obvious than eff" [Partridge]; and an adjective naff "vulgar, common, despicable," which is said to have been used in 1960s British gay slang for "unlovely" and thence adopted into the jargons of the theater and the armed forces.
unit of measure, Old English eln, originally "forearm, length of the arm" (as a measure, anywhere from a foot and a half to two feet), from PIE root *el- "elbow, forearm." The exact distance varied, in part depending on whose arm was used as the base and whether it was measured from the shoulder to the fingertip or the wrist: the Scottish ell was 37.2 inches, the Flemish 27 inches. Latin ulna also was a unit of linear measure, and compare cubit. The modern English unit of 45 inches seems to have been set in Tudor times.
Whereas shee tooke an inche of liberty before, tooke an ell afterwardes [Humfrey Gifford, "A Posie of Gilloflowers," 1580].
"of many kinds; numerous in kind or variety; diverse; exhibiting or embracing many points, features, or characteristics," Old English monigfald (Anglian), manigfeald (West Saxon), "various, varied in appearance, complicated; many times magnified; numerous, abundant," from manig (see many) + -feald (see -fold). A Proto-Germanic compound, *managafalþaz (source also of Old Frisian manichfald, Middle Dutch menichvout, German mannigfalt, Swedish mångfalt, Gothic managfalþs), perhaps a loan-translation of Latin multiplex (see multiply).
It retains the original pronunciation of many. Old English also had a verbal form, manigfealdian "to multiply, abound, increase, extend;" in modern times the verb meant "to make multiple copies of by a single operation." Related: Manifoldness.