Etymology
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Ariel 

1382, in the Wyclif Bible, a word taken untranslated from the Vulgate, from Greek ariel (Septuagint), from Hebrew ariel; in later Bibles, translated as "altar."

(Gesenius would here translate "fire-hearth of God," after Arab. arr; elsewhere in O.T. the same word occurs as a man's name, and appellation of Jerusalem, where it is taken as = "lion of God.") Ariel in T. Heywood and Milton is the name of an angel, in Shakespeare of "an Ayrie spirit"; in Astron. of one of the satellites of Uranus. [OED]

As the name of a species of gazelle found in the Middle East, 1832, from Arabic aryil, variant of ayyil "stag." The Uranian satellite was discovered in 1851.

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Oscar 

masc. proper name, Old English Osgar "god's spear," from gar "spear" (see gar) + os "god" (only in personal names), for which see Aesir.

The statuette awarded for excellence in film acting, directing, etc., given annually since 1928 was first so called in 1936. The common explanation of the name is that it sprang from a 1931 remark by Margaret Herrick, secretary at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on seeing the statuette: "He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar." Thus the award would be named for Oscar Pierce, U.S. wheat farmer and fruit grower. The popularity of the name seems to trace to columnist Sidney Skolsky, and there are other stories of its origin.

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Cassandra 

fem. proper name, Latinized form of Greek Kasandra, Kassandra, name of the daughter of Priam and Hecuba of Troy, seduced by Apollo, who gave her the gift of prophecy, but when she betrayed him he amended it so that, though she spoke truth, none would believe her. Used figuratively since 1660s.

The name is of uncertain origin, though the second element looks like a fem. form of Greek andros "of man, male human being." Watkins suggests PIE *(s)kand- "to shine" as its source. The name also has been connected to kekasmai "to surpass, excel," and Beekes suggests a source in PIE *(s)kend- "raise."

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Skraeling (n.)

1767, Norse name for inhabitants of Greenland encountered by the Viking settlers there, from Old Norse Skræingjar (plural), apparently literally "little men" (compare Icelandic skrælna "shrink"); another term for them was smair menn. The name may have been used first in reference to the inhabitants of Vineland (who would have been Indians), then transferred to Eskimos, who adopted it into their own language as Kalaleq.

Hans Egede, who published a dictionary of Greenland Eskimo in 1739, says that the Eskimos themselves told him that they got the name from the Norsemen who once lived in Greenland. [Gordon, p.217-8]
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Pyrenees 

chain of mountains between France and Spain, 1550s, from French Pyrénées, from Latin Pyrenæi montes, from Greek Pyrēnē, name of a daughter of Bebryx/Bebrycius who was beloved of Herakles; she is said to be buried in these mountains (or that the mountains are the tomb Herakles reared over her corpse).

The name is said to mean literally "fruit-stone," but Room says it might be Greek pyr "fire" + eneos "dumb, speechless," which perhaps translates or folk-etymologizes a Celtic goddess name. "In medieval times there was no overall name for the range and local people would have known only the names of individual mountains and valleys" [Adrian Room, "Place Names of the World," 2nd ed., 2006]. Related: Pyrenean.

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Albion 

ancient name of England, attested in Old English, from Latin, sometimes said to be from the non-Indo-European base *alb "mountain," which also is suggested as the source of Latin Alpes "Alps," Albania, and Alba, an Irish name for "Scotland." But more likely from Latin albus "white" (see alb), which would be an apt description of the chalk cliffs of the island's southern coast.

Breoton is garsecges ealond, ðæt wæs iu geara Albion haten. [translation of Bede's "Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum," c. 900 C.E.]

Perfidious Albion, a reference to the supposedly treacherous policies of Britain when dealing with foreign powers, translates French rhetorical phrase la perfide Albion, said to have been in use since 16c. but popularized by Napoleon in the recruiting drive of 1813.

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Samoyed (n.)

Siberian Mongolian people, 1580s, from Russian samoyed (11c.), traditionally literally "self-eaters," i.e. "cannibals" (the first element cognate with same, the second with eat), but this might be Russian folk etymology of a native name:

The common Russian etymology of the name Samoyed, meaning "self-eater," deepened the Russians' already exotic image of far-northerners. The most probable linguistic origin of Samoyed, however, is from the Saami — saam-edne, "land of the people" [Andrei V. Golovnev and Gail Osherenko, "Siberian Survival: The Nenets and Their Story," Cornell University, 1999]

Which would make the name a variant of Suomi "Finn." The native name is Nenets. As a language name by 1829. As the name of a type of dog (once used as a working dog in the Arctic) it is attested from 1889 (Samoyed dog).

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Jehovah 

1530, Tyndale's transliteration of Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHWH using vowel points of Adhonai "my lord" (see Yahweh). Used for YHWH (the full name being too sacred for utterance) in four places in the Old Testament in the KJV where the usual translation the lord would have been inconvenient; taken as the principal and personal name of God.

The vowel substitution was originally made by the Masoretes as a direction to substitute Adhonai for "the ineffable name." European students of Hebrew took this literally, which yielded Latin JeHoVa (first attested in writings of Galatinus, confessor to Leo X, 1516). Jehovah's Witnesses "member of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society" first attested 1933; the organization founded c. 1879 by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916); the name from Isaiah xliii.10.

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Missouri 

originally a name for a group of native peoples among Chiwere (Siouan) tribes, from an Algonquian word recorded c. 1700, said to mean literally "people of the big canoes." Formed as a U.S. territory in 1812 (out of the whole of the Louisiana Purchase not admitted that year as the state of Louisiana); admitted as a state 1821.

In U.S. history, the Missouri Compromise (1820) in Congress admitted Missouri as a slave state, along with Maine as a free one, but set a line westward from the main southern boundary of Missouri above which no new states would be admitted with slavery. It has been the Show-Me State since at least 1902; the expression I'm from Missouri, you'll have to show me is attested from at least c. 1880. Related: Missourian.

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Elgin Marbles (n.)

1809, a collection of sculptures and marbles (especially from the frieze of the Parthenon) brought from Greece to England and sold to the British government by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin (1766-1841).

The removal of the marbles, many of which were torn violently from their original positions upon the Parthenon, to the further damage of that monument, was in itself an act of vandalism; but their transportation to England at a time when Greece was accessible with difficulty opened the eyes of the world to the preeminence of Greek work. It was one of the first steps toward securing an accurate knowledge of Hellenic ideals, and has thus influenced contemporary civilization. [Century Dictionary]

The place is in Scotland, literally "little Ireland," from Ealg, an early Gaelic name for Ireland, with diminutive suffix -in. "The name would have denoted a colony of Scots who had emigrated here from Ireland ..." [Room].

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