1773 (as St. A Claus, in "New York Gazette"), American English, in reference to the customs of the old Dutch colony of New York, from dialectal Dutch Sante Klaas, from Middle Dutch Sinter Niklaas "Saint Nicholas," bishop of Asia Minor who became a patron saint for children. Now a worldwide phenomenon (Japanese santakurosu). Father Christmas is attested from 1650s.
county in Virginia, the name (also used in other places in U.S.) is that of Sir Walter Raleigh's lost colony in what is now North Carolina; probably an Algonquian name, recorded by 1584. It might be the same word as rawranock "shells used for money, kind of wampum," which is attested in English by 1624.
c. 1400, "proprietor, one who possesses or holds the title to a thing," also "worldly person, person tied to worldly goods or personal comforts," from noun uses of Old French proprietaire and Medieval Latin proprietarius "of a property owner" (see proprietary (adj.)). From 1630s in reference to the American colonies, "grantee or owner of a colony" (called proprietary colonies in distinction from charter colonies and royal colonies or provinces.
1530s, "the giving of thanks," from thanks (n.) + present participle of give (v.). In the specific sense of "public celebration acknowledging divine favors" thanksgiving dates from 1630s (the first one in America was held October 1621 by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest); though Thanksgiving Day itself is not attested until 1670s.
1630s, "owner, by royal grant, of an American colony," probably from proprietary (n.) in this sense. OED describes it as "Anomalously formed and substituted in 17th c. for the etymological word PROPRIETARY." In the general sense of "one who holds something as property, one who has the legal right or exclusive title" to something, it is attested from 1640s. Related: Proprietorship.
title of a military commander in Muslim north Africa, 1650s, from Turkish dai "maternal uncle," a friendly title used of older men, especially by the Janissaries of Algiers of their commanding officers. As these often became rulers in the colony it was used in English as the title of governor of Algiers under Ottoman rule, There were also deys in Tunis and Tripoli.
old name of a region and French colony in southern Vietnam, from French Cochin-China, from Portuguese corruption of Ko-chen, which is of uncertain meaning. Properly a name of a division of the old kingdom of Annam, it was taken as the general name of the region. The China was added to distinguish it from the town and port of Cochin in southwest India, the name of which is Tamil, perhaps from koncham "little," in reference to the river there. Related: Cochin-Chinese.
U.S. state, formerly a Spanish colony, probably from Spanish Pascua florida, literally "flowering Easter," a Spanish name for Palm Sunday, and so named because the peninsula was discovered on that day (March 20, 1513) by the expedition of Spanish explorer Ponce de León. From Latin floridus "flowery, in bloom" (see florid). Related: Floridian (1580s as a noun, in reference to the natives; 1819 as an adjective).
city in Maryland, U.S., founded 1729, named for Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), 2nd baron Baltimore, who held the charter for Maryland colony; the name is from a small port town in southern Ireland where the family had its seat, from Irish Baile na Tighe Mor, literally "townland of the big house." In old baseball slang, a Baltimore chop was a hit right in front of the plate that bounced high.
ancient Greek colony in Libya; the name is of unknown origin. Cyrenaic (1640s) typically refers to the philosophy ("practical hedonism") of Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435-c. 356 B.C.E.); as a noun, "a Cyrenaic philosopher," from 1580s.
According to Aristippus, pleasure is the only rational aim, and the relative values of different pleasures are to be determined by their relative intensities and durations. He maintained also that cognition is limited to sensation. [Century Dictionary]