late 14c., "the direction east; the part of the horizon where the sun first appears," also (now with capital O-) "the eastern regions of the world, eastern countries" (originally vaguely meaning the region east and south of Europe, what is now called the Middle East but also sometimes Egypt and India), from Old French orient "east" (11c.), from Latin orientem (nominative oriens) "the rising sun, the east, part of the sky where the sun rises," originally "rising" (adj.), present participle of oriri "to rise" (see origin).
Meaning "a pearl of the first water" is by 1831, short for pearl of the Orient (late 14c.) originally meaning one from the Indian seas. Hence also the meaning "a delicate iridescence, the peculiar luster of a fine pearl" (1755). The Orient Express was a train that ran from Paris to Istanbul via Vienna 1883-1961, from the start it was associated with espionage and intrigue.
Egyptian dancing-girls, 1799, from Arabic gawazi, plural of gaziya. "In Egypt, a degraded class of public dancers, male and female, by some considered a race of Gipsies, devoted to the amusement of the lowest populace" [Century Dictionary, 1902].
so named 1868, from Japanese to "east" + kyo "capital;" its earlier name was Edo, literally "estuary."
word-forming element in scientific compounds meaning "of glass; glass-like, transparent," from Greek hyalos "glass, clear alabaster, crystal lens used as a burning glass," apparently a non-Greek word, said to be of Egyptian origin (glass was first made in Egypt).
from 330 C.E. to 1930 the name of what is now Istanbul and formerly was Byzantium, the city on the European side of the Bosphorus that served as the former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, from Greek Konstantinou polis "Constantine's city," named for Roman emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (see Constantine), who transferred the Roman capital there.
ornamental figure formed of four capital gammas, Medieval Greek gammadion, diminutive of Greek gamma (see gamma).
"pertaining to or belonging to Nubia," c. 1730, from Medieval Latin Nubianus, from Nubia (see Nubia). As an adjective, c. 1400 in reference to an Eastern sect; 1788 as "a Nubian slave" in Egypt; 1790 as a type of horse; 1899 as a type of black dress material.
Canadian capital, founded 1827 as Bytown, named for English officer John By, who oversaw construction of the canal there; renamed 1854, when it became capital, for the Ottawa River, which took its name from the Algonquian people who lived in Michigan and Ontario. Their name is said to be from adawe "to trade."
Norwegian capital city, a name probably based on Old Norse os "estuary, river mouth," in reference to the place's situation.
title of the kings of ancient Egypt, often treated as a personal name, Old English Pharon, from Latin Pharaonem, from Greek Pharaō, from Hebrew Par'oh, from Egyptian Pero', literally "great house." Related: Pharaonic.