Etymology
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sextant (n.)

instrument for determining latitude in navigation and surveying, 1620s, from Modern Latin sextans, which is said to have been first used in this sense c. 1600 by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, from Latin sextans "a sixth, a sixth part," from sex "six" (see six). So called because the sextans has a graduated arc equal to a sixth part of a circle. In ancient Rome, sextans also was the name of a coin of the republic worth one-sixth of an as. Related: Sextantal.

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canoe (n.)

"light boat propelled by hand-held paddle or paddles," 1550s, originally in a West Indian context, from Spanish canoa, a word used by Columbus, from Arawakan (Haiti) canaoua. Extended to rough-made or dugout boats generally. Early variants in English included cano, canow, canoa, etc., before spelling settled down 18c. To paddle one's (own) canoe "do for oneself make one's way by one's own exertions," is from 1828, American English.

THEY have a very expressive term at the West, in speaking of a man who would be the architect of his own fortune, that he must paddle his own canoe. [Harper's New Monthly Magazine, May 1854]
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merengue (n.)

popular dance, 1936, from Haitian or Dominican Creole méringue, from French méringue (see meringue), perhaps on the notion of "a mixture."

The Spanish word for this style of dance and music, merengue, literally means "meringue (the sweet dessert)" -- although it is unclear exactly how the dance might have come to be called "The Meringue." ["Spanish Word Histories and Mysteries," American Heritage Dictionaries, 2007]
Méringuer vient du mot créole "méringue". Méringue désigne une danse lascive, introduite depuis quelque temps en Haïti, et qui remplace, avec avantage pour quelques-uns, le respectable carabinier de nos pères. [footnote in Alcibiade Fleury-Battier, "Sous les Bambous," Paris, 1881]
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interregnum (n.)

1580s, from Latin interregnum "an interval between two reigns," literally "between-reign," from inter "between" (see inter-) + regnum "kingship, dominion, rule, realm," related to regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). In the republic, it meant a vacancy in the consulate. The earlier English noun was interreign (1530s), from French interrègne (14c.).

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Liberia 

African nation, begun as a resettlement project of freed American slaves in 1822 by the American Colonization Society (founded for that purpose in 1816), launched as a free republic in 1847; the name was chosen by society member and U.S. senator Robert Goodloe Harper (1765-1825) from Latin liber "free" (see liberal (adj.)) + -ia. Related: Liberian, but this also can mean "pertaining to Pope Liberius" (352-66).

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Mexico 

republic lying to the south of the U.S., from Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) mexihco, which originally referred to the Valley of Mexico around present-day Mexico City. It became the name of the nation (formerly New Spain) upon independence from Spain in 1821.

The etymology of this is opaque. Because of the difference in vowel length, it cannot be derived from ME-TL 'maguey.' The sequence XIH also differs in vowel length from XIC-TLI 'navel,' which has been proposed as a component element. The final element is locative -C(O). [Kartunnen]
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conscription (n.)

late 14c., "a putting in writing, a written record," from Latin conscriptionem (nominative conscriptio) "a drawing up of a list, enrollment, a levying of soldiers," noun of action from past-participle stem of conscribere "to enroll," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").

Meaning "enlistment (of soldiers)" is from 1520s; the sense "compulsory enrollment by lot or selection of suitable men for military or naval service" (1800) is traceable to the French Republic act of Sept. 5, 1798. Technically, a conscription is the enrollment of a fixed number by lot, with options of providing a substitute.

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Boer (n.)

"Dutch colonist in South Africa," 1824, from Dutch boer "farmer," from Middle Dutch, cognate with Old English gebur "dweller, farmer, peasant," and thus related to bower, German Bauer, and the final syllable of neighbor; from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."

The Boer War (1899-1902), in which Great Britain defeated the South African Republic of Transvaal and Orange Free State, was technically the Second Boer War, there having been a brief preview 1880-1881.

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centrist (n.)

"person of moderate or intermediate political views," 1872, from French centriste, from centre (see center (n.)). Originally in English with reference to French politics; general application to other political situations is by 1889.

Where M. St. Hilaire is seen to most advantage, however, is when quietly nursing one of that weak-kneed congregation who sit in the middle of the House, and call themselves "Centrists." A French Centrist is—exceptis eoccipiendis—a man who has never been able to make up his mind, nor is likely to. ["Men of the Third Republic," London, 1873]
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Rome 

capital of Italy; seat of an ancient republic and empire; city of the Papacy, Old English, from Old French Rome, from Latin Roma, a word of uncertain origin. "The original Roma quadrata was the fortified enclosure on the Palatine hill," according to Tucker, who finds "no probability" in derivation from *sreu- "flow," and suggests the name is "most probably" from *urobsma (urbs, robur) and otherwise, "but less likely" from *urosma "hill" (compare Sanskrit varsman- "height, point," Lithuanian viršus "upper"). Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Etruscan (compare Rumon, former name of Tiber River).

Common in proverbs, such as Rome was not buylt in one daye (1540s); for when a man doth to Rome come, he must do as there is done (1590s); All roads lead to Rome (1795).

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