Etymology
Advertisement
dramatis personae 

"the characters in a play," Latin for "persons of a drama." From the genitive of Late Latin drama and the plural of persona.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
civil union (n.)
by 2000, the usual U.S. term for legally recognized same-sex unions short of marriage.
Related entries & more 
Dewey Decimal system (n.)

library classification system that organizes information into 10 broad areas subdivided numerically into progressively smaller topics, by 1885, named for Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) who proposed it 1876 while acting librarian of Amherst College. He also crusaded for simplified spelling and the metric system.

Related entries & more 
easy chair (n.)
also easy-chair, one designed especially for comfort, 1707, from easy + chair (n.).
Related entries & more 
milk of magnesia (n.)

1880, proprietary name for white suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water, taken as an antacid, invented by U.S. chemist Charles Henry Phillips. Herbal or culinary preparations more or less resembling milk had been similarly named (for example milk of almond) since late 14c.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
sea monkey (n.)

1909 as a heraldic animal, 1964 as a U.S. proprietary name for brine shrimp (Artemia salina), which had been raised as food for aquarium fish but were marketed as pets by U.S. inventor Harold von Braunhut (1926-2003), who also invented "X-Ray Specs" and popularized pet hermit crabs. He began marketing them in comic book advertisements in 1960 as "Instant Life," and changed the name to Sea Monkeys in 1964, so called for their long tails.

Related entries & more 
Petri dish (n.)

1892, named for German bacteriologist Julius Petri (1852-1922), who first devised it c. 1887.

Related entries & more 
American dream 

coined 1931 by James Truslow Adams, U.S. writer and popular historian (unrelated to the Massachusetts Adamses), in "Epic of America."

[The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position. [Adams]

Others have used the term as they will.

Related entries & more 
Cowper's gland (n.)

1738, so called because discovered by English anatomist William Cowper (1666-1709); for the surname see Cooper.

Related entries & more 
lex talionis (n.)
1590s, legal Latin, "law of retaliation," an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, from lex "law" (see legal) + talionis, genitive of talio "exaction of payment in kind" (see retaliation). Not related to talon. Other legal Latin phrases include lex domicilii "the law of the place where the person resides," lex fori "law of the place in which an action is brought."
Related entries & more 

Page 4