former transliteration of the name of the Chinese capital city, now (in the pinyin system) called Beijing. In the Wade-Giles system it was Peiping; the form Peking pre-dates Wade-Giles and was formed by the old British-run, Hong Kong-based Chinese postal system. Peking duck, "large domestic duck of white plumage and orange beak and legs," is attested from 1880.
also Sabaean, an inhabitant of the region of Arabia now known as Yemen, from Latin Sabaeus, from Greek Sabaios "the people of Saba" (which the ancients believed to be a city), from Arabic Saba', a name variously explained in Biblical literature. The tribes are mentioned obscurely in the Bible (Hebrew Sheba). In ancient times it was an important transit route to Europe for spices, perfumes, and precious stones from India.
Bulgarian capital, Roman Serdica, from the Thracian Serdi people who lived thereabouts. Conquered by the Bulgarians 9c. who altered the name by folk-etymology to Sredeti, which in their tongue meant "center, middle." It got its current name 14c. when the Turks conquered it and converted the 6c. church of St. Sophia into a mosque; the name thence extended to the whole city.
early 15c., "a fortification outside a city wall or gate; a rampart, barricade," from Middle Dutch bulwerke or Middle High German bolwerc, probably [Skeat] from bole "plank, tree trunk" (from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell") + werc "work" (see work (n.)). Thus "bole-work," a construction of logs. Figurative sense "means of defense or security" is from mid-15c. A doublet of boulevard.
city in Warwickshire, mid-13c., an alteration of Old English Couentre (1043), probably literally "Cofa's tree," from Old English masc. personal name Cofa (genitive Cofan) + tree (n.). If this is correct, the name might refer to a boundary marker or a public assembly place. The explanation that it was named for a convent (see covent) founded there 11c. likely would be folk etymology.
city in north-central Italy, famous during the Middle Ages for its university, 16c. for its painters, from Latin Bononia, which represents either Gaulish bona "foundation, fortress," or Boii, the name of the Gaulish people who occupied the region 4c. B.C.E. As a large type of sausage first made there, 1850, from bologna sausage (1590s). Also see baloney.
(1755-1793), queen consort of Louis XVI; as the name for a decorative style of France in that period, by 1887. She likely did not say "let them eat cake" (see cake (n.)). The city of Marietta, Ohio, U.S., founded in 1788, was named for her in honor of Louis XVI's financial support of the American Revolution.
"a stated market in a town or city; a regular meeting to buy, sell, or trade," early 14c., from Anglo-French feyre (late 13c.), from Old French feire, faire "fair, market; feast day," from Vulgar Latin *feria "holiday, market fair," from Latin feriae "religious festivals, holidays," related to festus "solemn, festive, joyous" (see feast (n.)).
City in western England, Middle English Bridgestow, from Old English Brycgstow, literally "assembly place by a bridge" (see bridge (n.) + stow). A local peculiarity of pronunciation adds -l to words ending in vowels. Of a type of pottery, 1776; of a type of glass, 1880. In British slang, bristols, "breasts," is by 1961, from Bristol cities, rhyming slang for titties.
1560s, originally the flat stone atop a grave (or the lid of a stone coffin); from tomb + stone (n.). Meaning "gravestone, headstone" is attested from 1711. The city in Arizona, U.S., said to have been named by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find there was his tombstone.