Etymology
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buttercup (n.)

common name of a type of small wildflower with a yellow bloom, 1777, perhaps (OED) a merger of two older names, gold-cups and butterflower. See butter (n.) + cup (n.).

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paydirt (n.)

also pay dirt, "profit, success," 1873, from pay (n.) + dirt (n.); a word from mining, where it was used by 1856 in a literal sense of "gravel or sand containing a sufficient amount of gold to be profitably worked."

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sluice (v.)

1590s, "let out, cause to flow out; draw off (liquid)," by or as by a sluice, from sluice (n.). In gold-mining, "to scour or cleanse by a sluice," by 1859. Related: Sluiced; sluicing.

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donor (n.)

mid-15c., donour, "one who gives or bestows, one who makes a grant," from Anglo-French donour, Old French doneur (Modern French donneur), from Latin donatorem (nominative donator) "giver, donor," agent noun from past participle stem of donare "give as a gift," from donum "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give").

As "person from whom blood is removed for transfusion," by 1875; in reference to those living or dead from whom organs or tissues are removed for transplantation, by 1918 (originally of guinea pigs).

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nugget (n.)

1852, "lump of gold," probably from southwestern England dialectal nug "lump," a word of unknown origin [OED]. Another theory is that it is from a misdivision of an ingot. Transferred sense (of truth, etc.) is from 1859.

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hallmark (n.)

1721, official stamp of purity in gold and silver articles, from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, site of the assay office; see hall + mark (n.1). General sense of "mark of quality" first recorded 1864. As a verb from 1773.

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lacquer (n.)

1570s, "dye obtained from lac;" 1670s as "gold-colored solution of shellac," from obsolete French lacre, name for a kind of sealing wax, from Portuguese lacre, unexplained variant of lacca "resinous substance," from Arabic lakk, from Persian lak (see lac).

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wire (v.)

c. 1300, "adorn with (gold) wire," from wire (n.). From 1859 as "communicate by means of a telegraphic wire;" 1891 as "furnish with electrical wires and connections." Related: Wired; wiring.

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bimetallic (adj.)

also bi-metallic, "composed of two metals," 1864; see bi- "two" + metallic. In economics, "pertaining to the use of both silver and gold as standards in currency," 1876, from French bimétalique (Cornuschi).

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arroyo (n.)

"watercourse, dry stream bed," 1845, a California word, from American Spanish, in Spanish, "rivulet, small stream," perhaps from Latin arrugia "shaft or pit in a gold mine," which is apparently a compound of ad "to" (see ad-) + ruga "a wrinkle" (see rugae).

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