mid-15c., posthumus, "born after the death of the originator" (author or father), from Late Latin posthumus, from Latin postumus "last," especially "last-born," superlative of posterus "coming after, subsequent" (see posterior). Altered in Late Latin by association with Latin humare "to bury," suggesting death; the one born after the father is in the ground obviously being his last. An Old English word for this was æfterboren, literally "after-born." Related: Posthumously.
"cunning, deceitful, habitually duplicitous, unscrupulous, destitute of political morality," 1570s, from Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Florentine statesman and author of "Il Principe," a work advising rulers to place advantage above morality. A word of abuse in English well before his works were translated ("The Discourses" in 1636, "The Prince" in 1640), in part because his books were Indexed by the Church, in part because of French attacks on him (such as Gentillet's, translated into English 1602). Related: Machiavellianism.
1670s, from Latinized form of Greek dēmiourgos, literally "public or skilled worker, worker for the people," from dēmos "common people" (see demotic) + -ergos "that works," from ergon "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to do").
The title of a magistrate in some Peloponnesian city-states and the Achæan League; taken in Platonic philosophy as a name for the maker of the world. In the Gnostic system, "conceived as a being subordinate to the Supreme Being, and sometimes as the author of evil" [OED]. Related: Demiurgic; demiurgical (c. 1600); demiurgeous.
"pleasing inactivity, sweet idleness," 1814, from Italian, literally "sweet doing nothing." The Latin roots are dulcis "sweet" (see dulcet), facere "to make, do" (see factitious), and nec entem, literally "not a being."
This phrase, frequent enough in English literature, does not seem to occur in any Italian author of note. Howells says that he found it current among Neapolitan lazzaroni, but it is not included in any collection of Italian proverbial sayings. [Walsh]