used for "London Metropolitan Police," 1864, from the name of short street off Whitehall, where from 1829 to 1890 stood the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Force, hence, the force itself, especially the detective branch. After 1890, it was located in "New Scotland Yard."
surname attested from late 13c. (earlier le Despenser, mid-12c.), literally "one who dispenses or has charge of provisions in a household," short for Anglo-French espencer, Old French despencier "dispenser" (of provisions), "a butler or steward" (see dispense).
Middle English spence meant "larder, pantry," and is short for Old French despense "larder" (Modern French dépense), from despenser "to distribute," hence the surname Spence. Another form of the word is spender, which also has become a surname.
As a type of repeating rifle used in the American Civil War, 1863, named for U.S. gunsmith Christopher Spencer, who, with Luke Wheelock, manufactured them in Boston, Mass.
1970, proprietary name of a rocket-propelled short-range guided missile, trademarked 1970 by Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale, from French exocet "flying fish" (16c.), from Latin exocoetus, from Greek exokoitos "sleeping fish, fish that sleeps upon the beach," from exō "outside" (see exo-) + koitos "bed."
9c., Sumor sæton, from Old English sumorsæta, short for *sumorton sæte "the people who live at (or depend upon) Somerton," a settlement attested from 8c. (Sumertone), and meaning "summer settlement." In 12c. it begins to be unmistakably a place-name (Sumersetescir) not a collective name for a people.
fem. proper name; from the name of the fertile coastal plain between Jaffa and Mount Carmel, from Hebrew, short for yesharon, properly "the Plain," from stem of yashar "was straight, was even" (compare Hebrew mishor "level land, plain"). A top-10 name for girls born in the U.S. between 1943 and 1949.
also Kruger rand, 1967, South African gold coin (issued for investment purposes) bearing a portrait of Transvaal President Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825-1904); second element is rand, unit of decimal currency introduced in Republic of South Africa 1961, named for The Rand, gold-mining area in Transvaal, short for Witwatersrand (see rand).
fem. pet name, a diminutive of Bet, itself short for Elizabet or Elizabeth. Betsy or Bessy (a variant form) as the typical pet-name for a favorite firearm is attested in American English by 1833 (Davy Crockett). Also compare Brown Bess, attested by 1785 as British army slang for the old flintlock musket.
"of or pertaining to Germany or the Germans," 1550s, from German (n.). German shepherd as a breed of dog (1922) is short for German shepherd dog (1889), which translates German deutscher Schäferhund. German Ocean as an old name for the North Sea translates Ptolemy. German measles attested by 1856. German-American is from 1880. German Reformed church is from 1812.
masc. personal name, from Latinized form of Hektor, name of the Trojan hero, oldest son of Priam and Hecuba, in the "Iliad," from Greek hektor, literally "holder, stayer;" an agent noun from ekhein "to have, hold, possess" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold"). As a proper name it is rare in England but used in Scotland to render Gaelic Eachdonn. Heck for short.
masc. proper name, Old Testament prophet (compare jeremiad) who flourished c. 626-586 B.C.E., from Late Latin Jeremias, from Hebrew Yirmeyah, probably literally "may Jehovah exalt," but Klein suggests it also might be short for Yirmeyahu "the Lord casts, the Lord founds," and compares the first element in Jerusalem. The vernacular form in English was Jeremy.