Etymology
Advertisement
Magnificat (n.)

"Hymn of the Virgin Mary," c. 1200, from Latin third person singular of magnificare, from magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). So called from the opening of the Virgin's hymn (Luke i.46, in Vulgate Magnificat anima mea dominum "My soul doth magnify the Lord") which is used as a canticle.

To correct Magnificat(before one has learnt Te Deum) is a 16c.-17c. expression for presumptuous fault-finding, attempting that for which one has no qualifications.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
hourglass (n.)

also hour-glass, instrument for measuring time, 1510s, from hour + glass (n.). Used 19c. in a variety of technical and scientific senses to describe the shape; in reference to women's torsos by 1897.

Men condemn corsets in the abstract, and are sometimes brave enough to insist that the women of their households shall be emancipated from them; and yet their eyes have been so generally educated to the approval of the small waist, and the hourglass figure, that they often hinder women who seek a hygienic style of dress. [Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, "The Story of My Life," 1898]
Related entries & more 
kaffeeklatsch (n.)

"gossip over cups of coffee," 1877, from German Kaffeeklatsch, from kaffee "coffee" (see coffee) + klatsch "gossip" (see klatsch).

THE living-room in a German household always contains a large sofa at one side of the room, which is the seat of honor accorded a guest. At a Kaffeeklatsch (literally, coffee gossip) the guests of honor are seated on this sofa, and the large round table is wheeled up before them. The other guests seat themselves in chairs about the table. [Mary Alden Hopkins, "A 'Kaffeeklatsch,'" "Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics," May 1905]
Related entries & more 
assumption (n.)

c. 1300, "the reception, uncorrupted, of the Virgin Mary into Heaven" (also the Aug. 15 Church festival commemorating this, Feast of the Assumption), from Old French assumpcion, asumpsion (13c.) and directly from Latin assumptionem (nominative assumptio) "a taking up, receiving, acceptance, adoption," noun of action from past-participle stem of assumere "take up, take to oneself" (see assume).

Meaning "minor premise of a syllogism" is late 14c. Meaning "appropriation of a right or possession" is mid-15c. in English, from a Latin use (Cicero). Meaning "action of taking for oneself" is recorded from 1580s; that of "something taken for granted" is from 1620s.

Related entries & more 
reign (v.)

late 13c., regnen, "to hold or exercise sovereign or royal power in a state," also of God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, from Old French regner "rule, reign" (12c.), from Latin regnare "have royal power, be king, rule, reign," from regnum "kingship, dominion, rule, realm," which is related to regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). Of customs, vices, etc. in a particular place, early 14c. Related: Reigned; reigning; regnal.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
bird (n.2)
"maiden, young girl; woman of noble birth, damsel, lady, lady in waiting," also "the Virgin Mary," c. 1200, perhaps a variant of birth (n.) "birth, lineage," confused with burd and bride (q.q.v.), but felt by later writers as a figurative use of bird (n.1), which originally meant "young bird" and sometimes in Middle English was extended to the young of other animals and humans. In later Middle English bird (n.2) largely was confined to alliterative poetry and to alliterative phrases. Modern slang meaning "young woman" is from 1915, and probably arose independently of the older word (compare slang use of chick).
Related entries & more 
mediator (n.)

mid-14c., mediatour, "one who intervenes between two parties (especially to seek to effect a reconciliation)," from Late Latin mediator "one who mediates," agent noun from stem of mediare "to intervene, mediate," also "to be or divide in the middle," from Latin medius "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"). Originally applied to Christ, who in Christian theology mediates between God and man. Meaning "one who intervenes between two disputing parties for the purpose of effecting reconciliation" is first attested late 14c. Feminine form mediatrix (originally of the Virgin Mary) from c. 1400. Related: Mediatorial; mediatory.

Related entries & more 
Frankenstein (n.)

allusive use for man-made monsters dates to 1838, from Baron Frankenstein, character in Mary Shelley's 1818 novel "Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus." Commonly taken (mistakenly) as the proper name of the monster, not the creator, and thus franken- extended 1990s as a prefix to mean "non-natural." The German surname is probably literally "Franconian Mountain," stein being used especially for steep, rocky peaks, which in the Rhineland often were crowned with castles. The Shelleys might have passed one in their travels. The German surname also suggests "free stone."

Frankenstein is the creator-victim; the creature-despot & fatal creation is Frankenstein's monster. The blunder is very common indeed -- almost, but surely not quite, sanctioned by custom. [Fowler]
Related entries & more 
doll (n.)

1550s, Doll, an endearing name for a female pet or a mistress, from the familiar form of the fem. proper name Dorothy (q.v.). The -l- for -r- substitution in nicknames is common in English: compare Hal for Harold, Moll for Mary, Sally for Sarah, etc. 

From 1610s in old slang in a general sense of "sweetheart, mistress, paramour;" by 1640s it had degenerated to "slattern." Sense of "a child's toy baby" is by 1700. Transferred back to living beings by 1778 in the sense of "pretty, silly woman." By mid-20c. it had come full circle and was used again in slang as an endearing or patronizing name for a young woman.

Related entries & more 
Orwellian (adj.)

"characteristic or suggestive of the writings of George Orwell," 1950 (first attested in Mary McCarthy), from English author George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair, 1903-1950), especially in reference to his novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1949). It has come to be used in reference to the totalitarian systems he satirized and inveighed against.

It is as if George Orwell had conceived the nightmare instead of analyzed it, helped to create it instead of helping to dispel its euphemistic thrall. [Clive James, "The All of Orwell," 2001]

The surname is attested from late Old English, from place names, either "spring by the point" (of land), or "stream of the (river) Orwe," a variant form ofarrow.

Related entries & more 

Page 6