"pertaining to or resembling the works of the legendary 3c. Gaelic bard Ossian," 1786, from Ossian, an Anglicization of Oisin, a name meaning literally "little fawn." James Macpherson claimed to have collected and translated his works (1760-1763) under the name Ossian, and the success of his poetic prose sparked a Celtic revival and fascination with the glamour of the lost world of the bards. The works ("Fingal" and others) turned out to be largely Macpherson's forgery, and the style later was regarded as bombastic, but the resulting swerve in European literature was real. Related: Ossianesque.
1910, in reference to the set of Bohemian writers, artists, and intellectuals (including E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Vanessa and Clive Bell, John Maynard Keynes) centered on Lytton Strachey; so called from the London neighborhood where several lived and worked.
Women in love with buggers and buggers in love with womanizers, I don't know what the world is coming to. [Lytton Strachey]
The place name is recorded 1291 as Blemondesberi "manor held by the Blemond family," from Blémont in France. It was laid out for housing in 17c., fashionable from 18c.
town in Germany, first recorded 993 as Poztupimi; the name is Slavic, the first element is po "by near," the second element evidently was influenced by Dutch names in -dam. The Potsdam Conference of the victorious Allies in World War II was held July 17-Aug. 2, 1945, to decide the fate of Germany. During the Cold War, the town was in the Soviet sector and the bridge there across the Havel was one of the restricted border crossings between East Germany and West Berlin. The Americans and the Soviets used it for the exchange of captured spies.
city in California, named c. 1866 for George Berkeley (1685-1753), Bishop of Cloyne, who denied the objective reality of the material world. The college there opened in 1873. The surname (also Barclay) is the birch-tree wood or clearing. The transuranic element berkelium (1950) is named for the laboratory there, where it was discovered. It does not occur naturally.
Whether they knew or not
Goldsmith and Burke, Swift and the Bishop of Cloyne
All hated Whiggery; but what is Whiggery?
A levelling, rancorous, rational sort of mind
That never looked out of the eye of a saint
Or out of drunkard's eye.
[Yeats, from "The Seven Sages"]
surname, from marshal (n.). The city in Texas, U.S., was named in 1841 for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835). The Marshall Plan, "U.S. assistance to aid certain Western European nations recovering from World War II," is from 1947, named for its initiator, George C. Marshall (1880-1959), who was U.S. Secretary of State 1947-49. The Marshall Islands in the western Pacific were explored in 1788 by British naval captains John Marshall (1748-1819) and Thomas Gilbert, and named for the former (for the latter, see Kiribati). Related: Marshallese.
masc. proper name, German Siegfried, first element from Old High German sigu "victory," from Proto-Germanic *seges- "victory" (source also of Old Frisian si, Old Saxon sigi, Middle Dutch seghe, Dutch zege, German Sieg, Old Norse sigr, Danish seier, Gothic sigis, Old English sige "victory, success, triumph"), from PIE root *segh- "to hold" (source also of Sanskrit saha- "victory," sahate "overcomes, masters").
Second element from Old High German frithu "peace" (from suffixed form of PIE root *pri- "to love"). Siegfried Line, World War I German fortifications in France, is from German Siegfriedlinie, named for the hero in Wagner's "Ring" cycle.
"The Academy," as a place where arts and sciences were taught, 1580s, from phrase groves of Academe (translating Horace's silvas Academi), the name of the public gymnasium and gardens near Athens where Plato taught, from Greek he Akademeia (see academy).
Latin academia also was used in reference to Plato's doctrines. Academe in a modern, general sense of "the world of universities and scholarship" is attested in English from 1849. (academia in the sense of "academic community" is from 1956.)
Academe properly means Academus (a Greek hero); & its use as a poetic variant for academy, though sanctioned by Shakespeare, Tennyson & Lowell, is a mistake; the grove of A., however, (Milton) means rightly The Academy. [Fowler]
a name of the moon goddess, equivalent to Latin Luna, from Greek selēnē "the moon; name of the moon goddess," related to selas "light, brightness, bright flame, flash of an eye." This is reconstructed to be from PIE root *swel- (2) "to shine, beam" (source also of Sanskrit svargah "heaven," Lithuanian svilti "to singe," Old English swelan "to be burnt up," Middle Low German swelan "to smolder") and to be related to swelter and sultry.
Daughter of Hyperion and Theia, sister of Helios. Related: Selenian "of or pertaining to the moon as a world and its supposed inhabitants," 1660s. Another early word for "moon-man, supposed inhabitant of the moon" is selenite (1640s); Greek had selēnitai "moon-dwellers, the men in the moon" (Lucian).