mid-15c., Pelagien, "adherent of the teaching of the heretic Pelagius;" also as an adjective; from Medieval Latin Pelagianus, from Pelagius, Latinized form of the name of the 4c. British monk who denied the doctrine of original sin. Combated by Augustine, condemned by Pope Zosimus in 418 C.E. His name in Welsh was said to have been Morgan, literally "sea-dweller" (hence his Church name, from Greek pelagos "sea;" see pelagic). Related: Pelagianism.
American colony, later U.S. state, 1681, literally "Penn's Woods," a hybrid formed from the surname Penn (Welsh, literally "head") + Latin sylvania (see sylvan). Not named for William Penn, the proprietor, but, on suggestion of Charles II, for Penn's late father, Admiral William Penn (1621-1670), who had lent the king the money that was repaid to the son in the form of land for a Quaker settlement in America. The story goes that the younger Penn wanted to call it New Wales, but the king's secretary, a Welshman of orthodox religion, wouldn't hear of it. Pennsylvania Dutch (adj.) in reference to the German communities of the state, which retained their customs and language, is attested from 1824.
1771, by some identified with the name of the old woman (literally "grandmother") in the Old Norse poem "Rigsþul," by others derived from Old Norse oðr "spirit, mind, passion, song, poetry" (cognate with Old Irish faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," Old English woþ "sound, melody, song," Latin vates "seer, soothsayer;" see wood (adj.)).
It is the name given in Icelandic c. 1300, by whom it is not known, to two Icelandic books, the first a miscellany of poetry, mythology, and grammar by Snorri Sturluson (d.1241), since 1642 called the Younger or Prose Edda; and a c. 1200 collection of ancient Germanic poetry and religious tales, called the Elder or Poetic Edda. Related: Eddaic; Eddic.
masc. proper name, New Testament name of two of Christ's disciples, late 12c. Middle English vernacular form of Late Latin Jacomus (source of Old French James, Spanish Jaime, Italian Giacomo), altered from Latin Jacobus (see Jacob).
The Welsh form was Iago, the Cornish Jago. James the Greater (July 25) was son of Zebedee and brother of St. John; James the Less (May 1) is obscure and scarcely mentioned in Scripture; he is said to have been called that for being shorter or younger than the other. Fictional British spy James Bond dates from 1953, created by British author Ian Fleming (1908-1964), who plausibly is said to have taken the name from that of U.S. ornithologist James Bond (1900-1989), an expert on Caribbean birds.
"Russian radical socialist of the revolutionary period," 1917, from Russian bol'shevik (plural bol'sheviki), from bol'shiy "greater," comparative of adjective bol'shoy "big, great" (as in Bolshoi Ballet), from Old Church Slavonic boljiji "larger," from PIE root *bel- "strong" (source also of Sanskrit balam "strength, force," Greek beltion "better," Phrygian balaios "big, fast," Old Irish odbal "strong," Welsh balch "proud;" Middle Dutch, Low German, Frisian pal "strong, firm").
The faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party after a split in 1903 that was either "larger" or "more extreme" (or both) than the Mensheviks (from Russian men'shij "less"); after they seized power in 1917, the name was applied generally in English to Russian communists, then also to anyone opposed to an existing order or social system. Bolshevism is recorded from 1917.
1950, with -ism + name of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957) of Wisconsin, leader of U.S. anti-Communist agitation. He entered the Senate in 1947, but his rise to national attention began with a widely reported speech on Feb. 9, 1950, in which he claimed to have a list of known Communists working for the State Department. The term is said to have been coined by Washington Post political cartoonist Herbert Block ("Herblock") in an editorial cartoon from March 29, 1950. The Army-McCarthy subcommittee hearings in the U.S. Senate ran from April to June 1954.
The surname is from Irish Mac Carthaigh "son of Carthach" (Welsh Caradawc), an ancient Celtic name, also known in its Latinized form, Caractacus (last of the British leaders to resist Rome, captured 51 C.E.)
masc. proper name, in Old Testament, Jacob's youngest son (Genesis xxxv.18), from Hebrew Binyamin, literally "son of the south," though interpreted in Genesis as "son of the right hand," from ben "son of" + yamin "right hand," also "south" (in an East-oriented culture). Compare Arabic cognate yaman "right hand, right side, south;" yamana "he was happy," literally "he turned to the right."
The right was regarded as auspicious (see left and dexterity). Also see Yemen, southpaw, and compare deasil "rightwise, turned toward the right," from Gaelic deiseil "toward the south; toward the right," from deas "right, right-hand; south." Also compare Sanskrit dakshina "right; south," and Welsh go-gledd "north," literally "left."
In reference to a favorite younger son, it is from the story of Jacob's family in Genesis. With familiar forms Benjy, Benny. Slang meaning "money" (by 1999) is from the portrait of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the U.S. $100 bill. In some old uses in herb-lore, etc., it is a folk-etymology corruption of benzoin.
the surname is recorded from 1248; it means "a spearman." This was a common type of English surname: Shakelance (1275), Shakeshaft (1332), etc. To shake (v.) in the sense of "to brandish or flourish (a weapon)" is attested from late Old English:
Heo scæken on heore honden speren swiðe stronge.
[Laymon, "Brut," c. 1205]
and was in use through Middle English. Compare also shake-buckler "a swaggerer, a bully;" shake-rag "ragged fellow, tatterdemalion," an old name for a beggar.
"Never a name in English nomenclature so simple or so certain in origin. It is exactly what it looks -- Shakespear" [Bardsley, "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," 1901]. Nevertheless, speculation flourishes.
The spelling is that of the first folio. The name was variously written in contemporary records, as all surnames were. In one signature, the author spells it Shakspere. It also was spelled Shakespear and Shakespere, the former being the proper modern spelling, the latter being the spelling adopted by the New Shakespere Society of London and the first edition of the OED and Century Dictionary. Related: Shakespearian (1753); Shakesperean (1796); Shakesperian (1755).
name supposedly given by Leif Erikssson to lands he explored in northeastern North America c. 1000; it could mean either "vine-land" or "meadow-land," and either way was perhaps coined to encourage settlement (compare Greenland).
That others might have found the New World before Columbus was popular knowledge: Irving's "History of New York" (1809) lists Noah along with Phoenician, Carthaginian, Tyrean, Chinese, German, and Welsh candidates, along with "the Norwegians, in 1002, under Biorn." Evidence in the old sagas of a Norse discovery of North America had been noticed from time to time by those who could read them. In early 19c. the notion was seriously debated by von Humboldt and other European scholars before winning their general acceptance by the 1830s. The case for the identification of Vinland with North America began to be laid out in English-language publications in 1840. Lowell wrote a poem about it ("Hakon's Lay," 1855). Thoreau knew of it ("Ktaadn," 1864). Physical evidence of the Norse discovery was uncovered by the excavations at L'Anse aux Meadows in 1960.
cited as a typical authority on card or board games, by 1755, a reference to Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), author of several works on card-playing. The surname, according to Bardsley, represents a Northern English dialectal pronunciation of hole. "In Yorks and Lancashire hole is still dialectically hoyle. Any one who lived in a round hollow or pit would be Thomas or Ralph in the Hoyle." ["Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," London, 1901]
To the making of rule-books there is no end, and books on card games are no exception to the rule. Many claim to be the last word in 'Official Rules', and to this end disguise themselves under the name of HOYLE as an earnest of proof and authority. It may therefore be rather surprising to learn that Hoyle died over 200 years ago, and positively disconcerting find that most card games do not actually have official rules. What's more, the original Hoyle, an eighteenth-century Whist tutor, only described some half-dozen card games, and in not a single instance did he write any rules explaining how the game is played. [David Parlett, "A History of Card Games," 1991]