Etymology
Advertisement
zero (n.)
"figure which stands for naught in the Arabic notation," also "the absence of all quantity considered as quantity," c. 1600, from French zéro or directly from Italian zero, from Medieval Latin zephirum, from Arabic sifr "cipher," translation of Sanskrit sunya-m "empty place, desert, naught" (see cipher (n.)).

A brief history of the invention of "zero" can be found here. Meaning "worthless person" is recorded from 1813. As an adjective from 1810. Zero tolerance first recorded 1972, originally U.S. political language. Zero-sum in game theory is from 1944 (von Neumann), indicating that if one player wins X amount the other or others must lose X amount.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ingenuity (n.)

1590s, "honor, nobility," from French ingénuité "quality of freedom by birth" and directly from Latin ingenuitatem (nominative ingenuitas) "condition of a free-born man," figuratively "frankness, generosity, noble-mindedness," from ingenuus "frank, candid, noble" (see ingenuous).

Etymologically, this word belongs to ingenuous, but in 17c. ingenious "intellectual, talented" and ingenuous so often were confused (even by Shakespeare) that ingenuity in English has come to mean only "capacity for invention or construction." That sense of this word is first attested 1640s; the word for it in Middle English was ingeniosity (the native word is craftiness). French ingénuité, meanwhile, has evolved through "natural and graceful freedom of manners" to "graceful simplicity" (compare ingenue); for the sense "ingeniousness," French uses ingéniosité.

Related entries & more 
vulgar (adj.)

late 14c., "common, ordinary," from Latin vulgaris, volgaris "of or pertaining to the common people, common, vulgar, low, mean," from vulgus, volgus "the common people, multitude, crowd, throng," for which de Vaan offers no further etymology.

The meaning "coarse, low, ill-bred" is recorded by 1640s, probably from earlier use (with reference to people) in the meaning "belonging to the ordinary class" (1520s). Chaucer uses peplish for "vulgar, common, plebeian" (late 14c.). Related: Vulgarly.

What we have added to human depravity is again a thoroughly Roman quality, perhaps even a Roman invention: vulgarity. That word means the mind of the herd, and specifically the herd in the city, the gutter, and the tavern. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts"]

For Vulgar Latin, see here

Related entries & more 
machine-gun (n.)

"a gun which by means of a mechanism delivers a continuous fire of projectiles," 1870, from machine (n.) + gun (n.). As a verb, "to shoot down or kill by means of a machine gun," it is attested by 1915. Related: Machine-gunned; machine-gunning; machine-gunner.

A man is entitled to the fruits of his labor, and to assert a just claim is a duty as well as a right. In the year 1861 I first conceived the idea of a machine gun, which has been ever since the great controlling idea of my life; and it certainly cannot be regarded as egotism when I express the belief that I am the originator of the first successful weapon of the kind ever invented. [R.J. Gatling, quoted in Scientific American, Oct. 15, 1870]

Though in the light of subsequent advancements Gatling's invention of 1862 is not considered a modern machine-gun.

Related entries & more 
ice-cube (n.)

"ice cut in small blocks for cooling drinks, etc.," 1902, from ice (n.) + cube (n.).

One of the newest plans for the economical use of artificial ice has recently been patented by Van der Weyde, of Holland. The invention is based on the fact that two smooth surfaces of freshly cut ice when brought into contact at a temperature below thirty-two degrees will unite firmly. At a higher temperature the junction yields to a blow, and the ice breaks into the original parts. Van der Weyde casts blocks of ice into small cubes, which are stamped with a trade mark. These cubes are joined into a larger cube of any desired weight and sent out for use. The mark is a guarantee that the ice is pure, and the small cubes, weighing an ounce each, are easily separated into a shape convenient for use. ["Artificial Ice in Cubes," Lawrence Chieftain (Mount Vernon, Missouri), June 21, 1894]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Pleiades (n.)

late 14c., Pliades, "visible open star cluster in the constellation Taurus," in Greek mythology they represent the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, transformed by Zeus into seven stars. From Latin Pleiades, from Greek Pleiades (singular Plēias), perhaps literally "constellation of the doves" from a shortened form of peleiades, plural of peleias "dove" (from PIE root *pel- "dark-colored, gray"). Or perhaps from plein "to sail," because the season of navigation begins with their heliacal rising.

Old English had the name from Latin as Pliade. The star cluster is mentioned by Hesiod (pre-700 B.C.E.); only six now are visible to most people; on a clear night a good eye can see nine (in 1579, well before the invention of the telescope, the German astronomer Michael Moestlin (1550-1631) correctly drew 11 Pleiades stars); telescopes reveal at least 500. Hence French pleiade, used for a meeting or grouping of seven persons.

Related entries & more 
ambrotype (n.)

type of photograph on glass with lights given by silver and shades by a dark background showing through, 1855, American English, apparently from Greek ambrotos "immortal, imperishable" (see ambrosia), with second element from daguerreotype.

This invention consists in an improved process of taking photographic pictures upon glass, and also of beautifying and preserving the same, which process I have styled "ambrotype." My improved process has reference to the art of taking pictures photographically on a film of collodion upon the surface of a sheet of glass, the collodion being suitably prepared for the purpose. By the use of the said process, the beauty and permanency of such pictures are greatly increased, and I have on this account styled the process "ambrotype," from the Greek word ambrotos, immortal. ["Specification of the Patent granted to James A. Cutting, of Boston, in the United States of America, Photographer, for an Improved Process of taking Photographic Pictures upon Glass and also of Beautifying and Preserving the same. Dated London, July 26, 1854," printed in Journal of the Franklin Institute, September 1855]
Related entries & more 
tiffany (n.)

"type of thin, transparent fabric," c. 1600; earlier a common name for the festival of the Epiphany (early 14c.; in Anglo-French from late 13c.), from Old French Tifinie, Tiphanie "Epiphany" (c. 1200), from Late Latin Theophania "Theophany," another name for the Epiphany, from Greek theophania "the manifestation of a god" (see theophany).

Also popular in Old French and Middle English as a name given to girls born on Epiphany Day. The fabric sense is found only in English and is of obscure origin and uncertain relation to the other meanings, unless "holiday silk" or as a fanciful or playful allusion to "manifestation:"

The invention of that fine silke, Tiffanie, Sarcenet, and Cypres, which instead of apparell to cover and hide, shew women naked through them. [Holland's "Pliny," 1601]

The fashionable N.Y. jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. (1895) is named for its founder, goldsmith Charles L. Tiffany (1812-1902) and his son, Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933), who was the art nouveau decorator noted for his glassware. The surname is attested in English from 1206.

Related entries & more 
fiction (n.)
early 15c., ficcioun, "that which is invented or imagined in the mind," from Old French ficcion "dissimulation, ruse; invention, fabrication" (13c.) and directly from Latin fictionem (nominative fictio) "a fashioning or feigning," noun of action from past participle stem of fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign," originally "to knead, form out of clay," from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build."

Meaning "prose works (not dramatic) of the imagination" is from 1590s, at first often including plays and poems. Narrower sense of "the part of literature comprising novels and short stories based on imagined scenes or characters" is by early 19c. The legal sense (fiction of law) is from 1580s. A writer of fiction could be a fictionist (1827). The related Latin words included the literal notion "worked by hand," as well as the figurative senses of "invented in the mind; artificial, not natural": Latin fictilis "made of clay, earthen;" fictor "molder, sculptor" (also borrowed 17c. in English), but also of Ulysses as "master of deceit;" fictum "a deception, falsehood; fiction."
Related entries & more 
Semite (n.)

1847, "a Jew, Arab, Assyrian, or Aramaean" (an apparently isolated use from 1797 refers to the Semitic language group), back-formation from Semitic or else from French Sémite (1845), from Modern Latin Semita, from Late Latin Sem, Greek Sēm "Shem," one of the three sons of Noah (Genesis x.21-30), regarded as the ancestor of the Semites in Bible-based anthropology, from Hebrew Shem. In this modern sense it is said to have been introduced by German historian August Schlözer in 1781.

The credit, if such it be, of having originated the name "Semitic" (from Noah's son Sem or Shem) for the Hebrew group, is to be given either to Schlözer or to Eichhorn, — to which of the two is doubtful. The first known use of the term is in Schlözer's article on the Chaldæans, in Eichhorn's Repertorium, 8, 161 (1781), and he seems to claim the honor of its invention ; but a similar claim is made by Eichhorn himself, without mention of Schlözer, in his Allgemeine Bibliothek, 6, 772 (1794). [Philip Schaff, ed., "Religious Encyclopedia," 1889]
Related entries & more 

Page 4