Etymology
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burn (n.)

c. 1300, "act or operation of burning," from Old English bryne, from the same source as burn (v.). Until mid-16c. the usual spelling was brenne. Meaning "mark or injury made by burning" is from 1520s. Slow burn is attested by 1938, in reference to U.S. movie actor Edgar Kennedy (1890-1948), who made it his specialty.

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flack (n.)

"publicity or press agent," 1945, also by that year as a verb, said to have been coined at show biz magazine Variety (but the first attested use is not in Variety) and supposedly from name of Gene Flack, a movie agent, but influenced by flak. There was a Gene Flack who was an advertising executive in the U.S. during the 1940s, but he seems to have sold principally biscuits, not movies.

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microphone (n.)

1680s, "ear trumpet for the hard-of-hearing," coined from Greek mikros "small" (see micro-) + phōnē "sound," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say." The notion is "instrument for augmenting small sounds." Modern sense of "transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal" is by 1924 in radio broadcasting and movie recording, from the earlier sense "amplifying telephone transmitter" (1878). Of the two spellings of the short form of the word, mike (1924) is older than mic (1961). Related: Microphonic; microphony.

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sheik (n.)

also sheikh, "head of an Arab family," also "head of a Muslim religious order," and later also a general title of respect, 1570s, from Arabic shaykh "chief," literally "old man," from base of shakha "to grow old." Popularized by "The Sheik," the 1919 novel in an Arabian setting by E.M. Hull, and the movie version, "The Sheikh" (1921), starring Rudolph Valentino, which gave the word its colloquial sense of "strong, romantic lover." The word gave French fits: Old French had it as seic, esceque, and later forms included scheik, cheikh.

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monster (n.)
Origin and meaning of monster

early 14c., monstre, "malformed animal or human, creature afflicted with a birth defect," from Old French monstre, mostre "monster, monstrosity" (12c.), and directly from Latin monstrum "divine omen (especially one indicating misfortune), portent, sign; abnormal shape; monster, monstrosity," figuratively "repulsive character, object of dread, awful deed, abomination," a derivative of monere "to remind, bring to (one's) recollection, tell (of); admonish, advise, warn, instruct, teach," from PIE *moneie- "to make think of, remind," suffixed (causative) form of root *men- (1) "to think."

Abnormal or prodigious animals were regarded as signs or omens of impending evil. Extended by late 14c. to fabulous animals composed of parts of creatures (centaur, griffin, etc.). Meaning "animal of vast size" is from 1520s; sense of "person of inhuman cruelty or wickedness, person regarded with horror because of moral deformity" is from 1550s. As an adjective, "of extraordinary size," from 1837. In Old English, the monster Grendel was an aglæca, a word related to aglæc "calamity, terror, distress, oppression." Monster movie "movie featuring a monster as a leading element," is by 1958 (monster film is from 1941).

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cliff-hanger (n.)

also cliffhanger, "suspenseful situation," 1950, a transferred use from an earlier meaning "movie serial" (1937), from cliff + hang (v.). In some U.S. continued-next-week silent cinema serials in the "Perils of Pauline" days, the episode often ended with the heroine "hanging over a cliff from a fraying rope through which the villain was sawing with a dull knife, to be saved by Crane Wilbur or Milton Sills" [Collier's magazine, July 6, 1946].

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Pygmalion 

legendary Greek sculptor/goldsmith who created a beautiful statue of a woman he made and wished to life, from Greek Pygmaliōn. The story is centered on Cyprus and his name might be a Greek folk-etymology adaptation of a foreign word, perhaps from Phoenician. Notable in 20c. for the Pygmalion word, a British euphemistic substitute for bloody, from the notorious use of that word in Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" (1913: "Walk? Not bloody likely!"), the basis of the 1964 movie "My Fair Lady."

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Rambo 

used allusively from 1985, in reference to John Rambo, hero of Canadian-American author David Morrell's novel "First Blood" (1972), popularized as portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in the Hollywood movie version (1982), a U.S. Vietnam veteran, "macho and self-sufficient, and bent on violent retribution" [OED]. The family name is an old one in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (where Morrell supposedly first heard it), originally Swedish, sometimes said to represent Swedish place name Ramberget, or to be from French Huguenots who took refuge in Sweden.

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spoiler (n.)

1530s, "one who robs or plunders," agent noun from spoil (v.). Meaning "one who mars another's chance at victory" is attested from 1950 in U.S. politics, perhaps from boxing. Aeronautics sense is from 1928, because the flap thwarts the "lift" on the plane; transferred to structures serving a similar purpose on speedboats (1957) and motor vehicles (1963). Meaning "information about the plot of a movie, etc., which might 'spoil' it for one who has not seen it" is attested by 1982.

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money-pit (n.)

"edifice or project requiring constant outlay of cash with little to show for it," 1986 (year of a movie of the same name); see money (n.) + pit (n.). Before that (1930s), it was used for the shaft on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, that supposedly leads to treasure buried by Capt. Kidd or some other pirate. "Whether that name refers to the treasure or the several million dollars spent trying to get the treasure out is unclear." [Popular Mechanics, Sept. 1976]

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