Etymology
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ptomaine (n.)

generic name of alkaloid bodies formed from animal or vegetable tissues during putrefaction, 1880, from Italian ptomaina, coined by Professor Francesco Selmi of Bologna, 1878, from Greek ptōma "corpse," on the notion of poison produced in decaying matter. Greek ptōma is etymologically "a fall, a falling," perhaps a euphemism, via the notion of "fallen thing, fallen body;" a noun derivative of piptein "to fall" (from PIE *pi-pt-, reduplicated form of root *pet- "to rush; to fly"). The modern word is incorrectly formed, and Selmi is scolded for it by the OED, which says proper Greek would be *ptomatine.

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manners (n.)

"external behavior (especially polite behavior) in social intercourse," late 14c., plural of manner in a specific sense of "proper behavior, commendable habits of conduct" (c. 1300).

Under bad manners, as under graver faults, lies very commonly an overestimate of our special individuality, as distinguished from our generic humanity. [Oliver W. Holmes, "The Professor at the Breakfast Table," 1858]

Earlier it meant "moral character" (early 13c.).

MANNERS-BIT, a portion of a dish left by the guests that the host may not feel himself reproached for insufficient preparation. [Rev. Joseph Hunter, "The Hallamshire Glossary," 1829]
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heroin (n.)

1898, from German Heroin, coined 1898 as trademark registered by Friedrich Bayer & Co. for their morphine substitute. According to tradition the word was coined with chemical suffix -ine (2) (German -in) + Greek hērōs "hero" (see hero (n.1)) because of the euphoric feeling the drug provides, but no evidence for this seems to have been found so far.

A new hypnotic, to which the name of 'heroin' has been given, has been tried in the medical clinic of Professor Gerhardt in Berlin. [The Lancet, Dec. 3, 1898]
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idealist (n.)

"one who represents things in an ideal form," 1829, from ideal + -ist. Earlier (1796) in a philosophical sense "one who believes reality consists only in (Platonic) ideals" (see idealism).

It seems even incredible, that any Idealist in any age could forget himself so far as to run his head against a post, merely because he found in his system, that no external world does exist, and that therefore nothing could be without to hurt him. [F.A. Nitsch, "A General and Introductory View of Professor Kant's Principles," 1796]

Earlier still, "one who holds doctrines of philosophical idealism" (1701).

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narwhal (n.)

"sea-unicorn, dolphin-like Arctic sea mammal" (one of the teeth of the male is enormously developed into a straight spirally fluted tusk), 1650s, from Danish and Norwegian narhval, probably a metathesis of Old Norse nahvalr, literally "corpse-whale," from na "corpse" (see need (n.)) + hvalr "whale" (see whale). If this is right, it likely was so called from its whitish color, resembling that of dead bodies. But according to nature writer Barry Lopez ("Arctic Dreams"), Winfred P. Lehmann, professor of Germanic linguistics, suggested the name was folk-etymology and said nahvalr was a West Norse term meaning "whale distinguished by a long, narrow projection."

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lucubration (n.)

1590s, "close study or thought;" 1610s, "a product of such study or thought, literary work showing signs of too-careful elaboration," from Latin lucubrationem (nominative lucubratio) "nocturnal study, night work," noun of action from past-participle stem of lucubrare, literally "to work by artificial light," from stem of lucere "to shine," from suffixed (iterative) form of PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness." Related: Lucubrations.

The current story in antiquity was that Aeschylus had been killed near Gela in Sicily by a tortoise dropt on his head by an eagle, which mistook the bald shiny pate of the venerable poet for a stone, and hoped to smash the tortoise on it. See Biographi Graeci, ed. Westermann, p. 120 ; Aelian Nat. Anim. vii. 16 ; Suidas, s.v. Αίσχύλοσ ; Valerius Maximus, ix. 12. Ext. 2. This important topic has produced the usual crop of learned dissertations. The late Professor F. G. Welcker gravely discussed it by the help of ornithological information derived from Aesop's fables, notes of travel made by the professor himself on the supposed scene of the catastrophe, and statistics as to the number of bald-headed men in antiquity. The interesting inquiry has since been prosecuted by other scholars with equal judgment and learning. The reader who desires to peruse these ponderous lucubrations should consult Rheinisches Museum, N.F. 7 (1850), pp. 139-144, 285 sq ; id., 9 (1854), pp. 148-155, 160* ; id., 37 (1882), pp. 308-312 ; Fleckeisen's Jahrbücher, 26 (1880), pp. 22-24 ; Welcker, Antike Denkmäler, 2. pp. 337-346. [J.G. Frazer, notes to Pausanias's "Description of Greece," 1898]
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poliomyelitis (n.)

1874, also polio-myelitis, coined by German physician Adolph Kussmaul (1822-1902) from Greek polios "grey" (from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale") + myelos "marrow" (a word of unknown origin) + -itis "inflammation." So called because the gray matter in the spinal cord is inflamed, which causes paralysis. The earlier name was infantile paralysis (1843).

In many respects, also, this affection resembles the acute spinal paralysis of infancy, which, from the researches of Charcot, Joffroy, and others, have been shown pathologically to be an acute myelitis of the anterior cornua. Hence, for these forms of paralysis, Professor Kussmaul suggests the name of 'poliomyelitis anterior.' [London Medical Record, Dec. 9, 1874]

Polioencephalitis (also poliencephalitis) "inflammation of the gray matter of the brain" is by 1885.

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aesthete (n.)

attested from 1878, in vogue 1881, from Greek aisthetes "one who perceives," from stem of aisthanesthai "to perceive (by the senses or by the mind), to feel," from PIE *awis-dh-yo-, from root *au- "to perceive." Or perhaps from aesthetic on the model of athlete/athletic. The idea is somewhat older than the word. Aesthetician "professor of taste" is from 1829; aestheticist is from 1868.

1. Properly, one who cultivates the sense of the beautiful; one in whom the artistic sense or faculty is highly developed; one very sensible of the beauties of nature or art.—2. Commonly, a person who affects great love of art, music, poetry, and the like, and corresponding indifference to practical matters; one who carries the cultivation of subordinate forms of the beautiful to an exaggerated extent: used in slight contempt. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
I want to be an aesthete,
  And with the aesthetes stand;
A sunflower on my forehead,
  And a lily in my hand.
[Puck, Oct. 5, 1881]
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dyslexia (n.)

"a difficulty in reading due to a condition of the brain," 1885, from German dyslexie (1883), from Greek dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" (see dys-) + lexis "word" (taken as "reading"), from legein "speak" (from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')") + abstract noun ending -ia. Dyslexic (n.) is recorded by 1946; dyslectic (adj.) by 1962.

Professor Berlin has written a very interesting monograph upon the disease called dyslexia, which he believes allied to the alexia, or word-blindness of Kussmaul. He gives a clinical history of six cases, collected during a period of twenty-three years, all having this peculiarity, that they could read aloud the average type, Jaeger three to five, only a few words in succession. These words were correctly spoken and without confusion or stammering, but as soon as a few words had been read the patients seemed anxious to get rid of the book, and, on being questioned, stated that they had an unpleasant feeling which they could not well define. [The Satellite of the Annual of the Universal Medical Sciences, Philadelphia, November 1887]
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photosynthesis (n.)

by 1895, loan-translation of German Photosynthese, from photo- "light" (see photo-) + synthese "synthesis" (see synthesis). Related: Photosynthetic. Another early word for it was photosyntax.

[T]he body of the work has been rendered into English with fidelity, the only change of moment being the substitution of the word "photosynthesis" for that of "assimilation." This change follows from a suggestion by Dr. Barnes, made a year ago before the American Association at Madison, who clearly pointed out the need of a distinctive term for the synthetical process in plants, brought about by protoplasm in the presence of chlorophyll and light. He proposed the word "photosyntax," which met with favor. In the discussion Professor MacMillan suggested the word "photosynthesis," as etymologically more satisfactory and accurate, a claim which Dr. Barnes showed could not be maintained. The suggestion of Dr. Barnes not only received tacit acceptance by the botanists of the association, but was practically approved by the Madison Congress in the course of a discussion upon this point. [The Botanical Gazette, vol. xix, 1894]
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