group of islands off the north coast of Scotland, from Old Norse Orkney-jar "Seal Islands," from orkn "seal," which is probably imitative of its bark. With Old Norse ey "island" (compare Jersey). Related: Orcadian; Orkneyman.
city in France, French Orléans, from Roman Aurelianum, named 3c. C.E. in honor of emperor Aurelian, who reigned from 270 to 275 and reunited Gaul with Rome. The place had formerly been called Genabum, from roots *gen- "bend" (in a river) + *apa "water." In French politics, the name of a family descended from a younger brother of Louis XIV; one of its princes reigned 1830-1848 as Louis Philippe. Hence Orleanist "an adherent of the princes of Orleans."
"of or related to Orpheus or the doctrines attributed to him," 1670s, from Latinized form of Greek orphikos "pertaining to Orpheus," the legendary master musician of ancient Thrace, son of Eagrus and Calliope, husband of Eurydice, who had the power of charming all living things and inanimate objects with his lyre. His name is of unknown origin. In later times he was accounted a philosopher and adept in secret knowledge, and various mystic doctrines were associated with his name, whence Orphic mysteries, etc. (late 17c.). The earlier adjective was Orphean (1590s). Related: Orphism.
name of a group of Siouxan tribes originally from Missouri, 1690s, via French, from their self-designation Wazhazhe. The ornamental tree osage orange (Toxylon pomiferum), is attested by that name by 1817; it was originally found in and around their country.
surname, also Osborne, Osbourn, Osbourne, etc., a Scandinavian name (Old Norse Asbiorn, Old Danish Asbiorn) meaning literally "god-bear," from os "a god" (see Oscar) + the Germanic word for "bear" (see bear (n.)). The name is found in England before the Conquest, perhaps directly from Scandinavia; it also was common in Normandy and was brought over from thence.
"of or pertaining to the ancient people of southern Italy," 1590s, from Latin Osci, Opsci (plural) "Oscans," literally "worshippers of Ops," a harvest goddess, the name related to Latin ops (genitive opis) "abundance, plenty, wealth, riches," from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance." As a noun, in reference to a member of the people occupying much of southern Italy in ancient times, 1753; in reference to their language, by 1813.
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.