"serving to prepare the way for something to follow," early 15c., preparatori, from Late Latin praeparatorius, from Latin praeparatus, past participle of praeparare "make ready beforehand" (see prepare).
Earlier in same sense was preparative (c. 1400). The word was applied by 1822 in the United Kingdom to junior schools in which pupils are "prepared" for a higher school.
region and former duchy south of Lake Geneva (now France, before 1860 part of the Kingdom of Sardinia), French Savoie, from Roman Sapaudia, which is of unknown origin. Related: Savoyard "native or inhabitant of Savoy," with French -ard (see -ard). By mid-18c. they were "well known in other countries as musicians itinerating with hurdy-gurdy and monkey" [OED].
lake of the River Jordan, mid-13c., from dead (adj.); its water is 26 percent salt (as opposed to 3 or 4 percent in most oceans) and supports practically no life. In the Bible it was the "Salt Sea" (Hebrew yam hammelah), also "Sea of the Plain" and "East Sea." In Arabic it is al-bahr al-mayyit "Dead Sea." The ancient Greeks knew it as he Thalassa asphaltites "the Asphaltite Sea." Latin Mare Mortum, Greek he nekra thalassa (both "The Dead Sea") referred to the sea at the northern boundaries of Europe, the Arctic Ocean.
medieval Spanish county and later kingdom, from Vulgar Latin *castilla, from Latin castella, plural of castellum "castle, fort, citadel, stronghold" (see castle (n.)); so called in reference to the many fortified places there during the Moorish wars. The name in Spanish is said to date back to c.800. Related: Castilian. As a fine kind of soap, in English from 1610s.
state in southwestern India, also in reference to the Scytho-Dravidian race living there, 1763 (Mharatta), from Marathi Maratha, corresponding to Sanskrit Maharastrah, literally "great country," from maha- "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + rastra "kingdom," from raj "to rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").
Old English landmearc "object set up to mark the boundaries of a kingdom, estate, etc.," from land (n.) + mearc in its sense "object which marks a boundary or limit" (see mark (n.1)). General sense of "conspicuous object which, by its known position, serves as a guide to a traveler," originally especially an object that can be seen from sea, is from 1560s. Modern figurative sense of "event, etc., considered a high point in history" is from 1859.
1640s, from Late Latin Visigothus (plural Visigothi), perhaps "West Goths" (which could be Latinized from a Germanic source such as Old High German westan "from the west"), as opposed to Ostrogothi; but according to some authorities, Visi/Vesi appears to be a Latinized form of a tribal name. Their kingdom endured to 507 in southern France, till 711 in Spain. In common with Vandal their name later was used for "uncivilized person" (1749). Related: Visigothic.
city in Hampshire, capital of Wessex and later of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Old English Uintancæstir (c.730), from Ouenta (c. 150), from Venta, a pre-Celtic name perhaps meaning "favored or chief place" + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). As the name of a kind of breech-loading repeating rifle it is from the name of Oliver F. Winchester (1810-1880), U.S. manufacturer.
old name of a region and French colony in southern Vietnam, from French Cochin-China, from Portuguese corruption of Ko-chen, which is of uncertain meaning. Properly a name of a division of the old kingdom of Annam, it was taken as the general name of the region. The China was added to distinguish it from the town and port of Cochin in southwest India, the name of which is Tamil, perhaps from koncham "little," in reference to the river there. Related: Cochin-Chinese.
mid-14c., monarchie, "a kingdom, territory ruled by a monarch;" late 14c., "rule by one person with supreme power;" from Old French monarchie "sovereignty, absolute power" (13c.), from Late Latin monarchia, from Greek monarkhia "absolute rule," literally "ruling of one," from monos "alone" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + arkhein "to rule" (see archon). Meaning "form of government in which supreme power is in the hands of a monarch" is from early 15c.