Etymology
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literati (n.)

"men and women of letters; the learned class as a whole," 1620s, noun use of Latin literati/litterati, plural of literatus/litteratus "educated, learned" (see literate). The proper singular would be literatus (fem. literata), though Italian literato sometimes is used in English.

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taut (adj.)

mid-13c., tohte "stretched or pulled tight," possibly from tog-, past participle stem of Old English teon "to pull, drag," from Proto-Germanic *theuhanan, from PIE root *deuk- "to lead," which would connect it to tow (v.) and tie. Related: Tautness.

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astronomer (n.)

"one versed in the laws of the heavenly bodies," late 14c., from astronomy (q.v.) + -er (1). It replaced French import astronomyen (c. 1300), which, had it survived, probably would have yielded *astronomian. For sense differentiation, see astrology, and compare astrologer.

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boutique (n.)

"trendy fashion shop," 1950, earlier "small shop of any sort" (1767), from French boutique (14c.), from Old Provençal botica, from Latin apotheca "storehouse" (see apothecary). Latin apotheca directly into French normally would have yielded *avouaie.

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Lindy Hop (n.)

popular dance, 1931, it originated in Harlem, N.Y., named for Lindy, nickname of U.S. aviator Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) who in 1927 made the first solo nonstop trans-Atlantic flight. The lind in the surname would mean "linden."

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SALT (n.)

Cold War U.S.-U.S.S.R. nuclear weapons negotiations, 1968, acronym for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (which would make SALT talks redundant, but the last element sometimes also is understood, especially after their outcome, as treaty).

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soi-disant (adj.)

"self-named, so-called, would-be," 1752 (in Chesterfield), French, from soi "oneself" (from Latin se, see se-) + present participle of dire "to say" (from Latin dicere "speak, tell, say," from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").

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panacea (n.)

"universal remedy," 1540s, from Latin panacea, a herb (variously identified) that would heal all illnesses, from Greek panakeia "cure-all," from panakēs "all-healing," from pan- "all" (see pan-) + akos "cure," from iasthai "to heal" (see -iatric). Earlier in English as panace (1510s).

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quadriplegia (n.)

"paralysis of both arms and legs," 1895, a medical hybrid coined from Latin-based quadri- "four" + -plegia, as in paraplegia, which is ultimately from Greek plege "stroke," from root of plēssein "to strike" (from PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike"). A correct, all-Greek formation would be *tetraplegia.

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pre-atomic (adj.)

"before the atomic age," 1914, in "World Set Free," in which H.G. Wells anticipates the word the future would use to look back from a time defined by events that hadn't yet happened in his day; from pre- + atomic.

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