Etymology
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monoceros (n.)

c. 1300, "the unicorn," from Old French monoceros "unicorn," from Latin monoceros, from Greek monokerōs, from monos "single" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + keras "horn of an animal," from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head." The constellation below the Twins and the Crab is recorded by this name in English by 1797. Probably it owes its origin to Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius in the 1590s.

This is a modern constellation, generally supposed to have been first charted by Bartschius as Unicornu; but Olbers and Ideler say that it was of much earlier formation, the latter quoting allusions to it, in the work of 1564, as "the other Horse south of the Twins and the Crab"; and Scaliger found it on a Persian sphere. [Richard Hinckley Allen, "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]
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plausible (adj.)

1540s, "acceptable, agreeable; deserving applause or approval" (senses now obsolete), from Latin plausibilis "praiseworthy, pleasing, acceptable," from plaus-, past-participle stem of plaudere "to applaud" (see plaudit). Meaning "having the appearance of truth, apparently right, seemingly worthy of acceptance or approval" is recorded from 1560s; especially "having a specious or superficial appearance of trustworthiness." Related: Plausibly.

The expression plausible deniability emerged during the Watergate scandal (1973) but is said to be from CIA jargon in the 1950s (Allen Dulles sometimes is credited with the first public use); the thing itself is older: "the situation that allows senior officials or powers to deny responsibility for discreditable actions by others in their hierarchy because no one can confirm the deniers knew of the actions."

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Uncle Tom (n.)

"servile black man," 1922, somewhat inaccurately in reference to the humble, pious, but strong-willed main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852). The image implied in the insult perhaps is more traceable to the late 19c. minstel show versions of the story, which reached a far wider audience than the book.

I don't recall anyone in the 1920s using the term 'Uncle Tom' as an epithet. But what's amazing is how fast it caught on (in the 1930s). Black scholars picked up (the term) and just started throwing it at each other. [Ernest Allen, quoted in Hamilton, Kendra, "The Strange Career of Uncle Tom," Black Issues in Higher Education, June 2002]

As a verb, attested from 1937.

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mensa (n.)

"altar top," 1848, Latin, literally "table," also "meal, supper," and "altar, sacrificial table," hence used in Church Latin for "upper slab of a church altar" (see mesa). With a capital M-, the name of an organization for people of IQs of 148 or more founded in England in 1946, the name chosen, according to the organization, to suggest a "round table" type group. The constellation (1763) originally was Mons Mensae "Table Mountain." It is the faintest constellation in the sky, with no star brighter than magnitude 5.0.

La Caille, who did so much for our knowledge of the southern heavens, formed the figure from stars under the Greater Cloud, between the poles of the equator and the ecliptic, just north of the polar Octans; the title being suggested by the fact that the Table Mountain, back of Cape Town, "which had witnessed his nightly vigils and daily toils," also was frequently capped by a cloud. [Richard Hinckley Allen, "Star Names and Their Meanings," London: 1899]
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top (adj.)

"being at the top," 1590s, from top (n.1). Top dollar "high price" is from 1942. Top-drawer (1920) is from British expression out of the top drawer "upper-class." Top ten in popular music is from 1945 ("Billboard"). The top dog is the one uppermost in a fight, from 1868 in figurative use, opposed to the underdog.

But if the under dog in the social fight runs away with a bone in violation of superior force, the top dog runs after him bellowing, "Thou shalt not steal," and all the other top dogs unite in bellowing, "This is divine law and not dog law;" the verdict of the top dog so far as law, religion, and other forms of brute force are concerned settles the question. [Van Buren Denslow, "Modern Thinkers: What They Think and Why," 1880]
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regency (n.)

early 15c., regencie, "government by regents, existence of a regent's rule;" also "sovereignty, royal quality," from Medieval Latin regentia "rule," from Latin regens (see regent).

Notable instances were: France 1715-1723 (under Philip, Duke of Orleans), Britain 1811-1820 (under George, Prince of Wales, Prince Regent), "in each case with suggestion of debauchery" [Weekley]. In reference to the style of that time, attested from 1880 (there is an unexplained use in Jane Austen from 1793; OED says it "may possibly reflect the public controversy surrounding the Regency Bill of 1788"). Compare French equivalent Régence, attested in English from 1919.

In U.S. history, Albany Regency (by 1830) refers to dominant political faction (Van Buren, Marcy, Wright, Dix, etc.) in New York state c. 1820-1850 that used patronage to control the state Democratic party.

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beautician (n.)

first recorded 1924, American English (Mencken found it in the Cleveland, Ohio, telephone directory), from beauty + ending as in technician. Beauty salon is from 1912, a substitution for prosaic beauty shop (1898). Beauty parlor is from 1894.

The sudden death of a young woman a little over a week ago in a down-town "beauty parlor" has served to direct public attention to those institutions and their methods. In this case, it seems, the operator painted on or injected into the patron's facial blemish a 4-per-cent cocaine solution and then applied an electrode, the sponge of which was saturated with carbolized water. [The Western Druggist, October 1894]
Back in 1917, according to Frances Fisher Dubuc, only two persons in the beauty culture business had paid an income tax; by 1927 there were 18,000 firms and individuals in this field listed as income-tax payers. The "beautician" had arrived. [Frederick Lewis Allen, "Only Yesterday," 1931]
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corset (n.)

late 14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), "a kind of laced bodice, close-fitting body garment," from Old French corset (13c.) "bodice, tunic," diminutive of cors "body," from Latin corpus "body" (from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance").

Meaning "stiff supporting and constricting undergarment for the waist, worn chiefly by women to shape the figure," is from 1795. They fell from fashion in the changing fashions after World War I. Related: Corseted, corsetted (1829); corseting; corsetry.

With the short skirt went an extraordinary change in the weight and material and amount of women's clothing. The boyishly slender figure became the aim of every woman's ambition, and the corset was so far abandoned that even in so short a period as the three years from 1924 to 1927 the combined sales of corsets and brassières in the department stores of the Cleveland Federal Reserve District fell off 11 per cent. [Frederick Lewis Allen, "Only Yesterday," 1931]
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Karen (2)

fem. proper name, Danish shortened form of Katherine. Rare before 1928; a top-10 name for girls born in the U.S. 1951-1968.

The modern pejorative use in reference to a person regarded as ignorant, meddlesome, entitled, racist, or generally negative, is attested by 2005, originally often with reference to meanness or stupidity, and exploded in popularity 2018, with more emphasis on the racism and privilege. Its use as rhetorical shorthand probably was encouraged, if not inspired by, the 2004 movie "Mean Girls" (screenplay by Tina Fey) and by comedian U.S. Dane Cook's 2005 stand-up act, both of which produced memes and Twitter references. Claims that it originated in African-American circles are unsupported.

Beth Harpaz's 2001 book "Girls in the Van," about Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate campaign, reports that Clinton's assistants Karen Dunn and Karen Finney were known as The Karens. Finney went on to a career as a commentator, and some of the earliest abstract uses of Karen in the late 2000s are as the personification of a liberal do-gooder.

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cradle (n.)

"baby's bed," usually mounted on rockers or suspended for rocking or swinging, c. 1200, cradel, from Old English cradol "little bed, cot," from Proto-Germanic *kradulaz "basket" (source also of Old High German kratto, krezzo "basket," German Krätze "basket carried on the back").

Figurative sense of "the place where any person or thing is nurtured in the early stages of existence" is from 1580s. The word also was used from late 14c. in reference to various mechanical devices for holding or hoisting. As "frame of wood with long, curved teeth and a scythe blade for cutting grain and laying it in a straight swath," 1570s. As "rest on a telephone for the receiver when not in use" is from 1903.

The children's game of cat's-cradle is so called by 1768. Cradle-snatching "amorous pursuit of younger person" is from 1906.

"It's like cradle-snatching to want to marry a girl of sixteen, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself, for you can't be much more than twenty one yourself." ["Edith Van Dyne" (L. Frank Baum), "Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad," 1906]
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