Eastern European nation, the name taken officially in 1861 at the union of the old lands of Wallachia and Moldavia, from Latin Romani "people from Rome," which was used to describe the descendants of colonists there from Roman times; see Roman + -ia. In late 19c., early 20c. often Rumania, or, from French, Roumania. Related: Romanian; Rumanian; Roumanian. In Middle English, Romanie was "the Roman Empire," from Latin Romania. Romanian in the sense of "of or pertaining to
Gypsies" is by 1841 (see Romany).
Earlier Lemuria was the name of the Roman feast of the Lemures, evil spirits of the dead in Roman mythology. The head of each household ritually exorcised them every 9th, 11th, and 13th of May. Related: Lemurian
"extremely low condition of mental function, mental incapacity," 1806, from Latin dementia "madness, insanity," literally "a being out of one's mind," from dement-, stem of demens "mad, raving" (see dement) + abstract noun suffix -ia.
It existed earlier in an Englished form, demency (1520s), from French démence. Especially in reference to senile dementia "the failure of mind which occurs in old age" (1822). Dementia praecox for what now would be called schizophrenia is a Modern Latin form recorded from 1899 in English, 1891 in German, from French démence précoce (1857). See precocious.
one of three large divisions of western Pacific islands, 1840, from French Mélanésie (by 1835); see melano- "black" + nēsos "island" (see Chersonese) + -ia. Modeled after Polynesia and meant to signify "the islands inhabited by blacks."
La Melanesia comprende la grande isola Australia, e quelle degli arcipelaghi di Salomone, di Lapèrouse, di Quiros, e dei gruppi della Nuova Caledonia, di Norfolk, e della Diemenin. A cagione dei Neri Oceanici, che, quasi esclusivamente, ne popolano le regioni, questa parte della Oceania ebbe dai moderni geografi e viaggiatori (il Graberg, il Rienzi, il d'Urville, ec.) il nome di Melanesia. ["Corso di Geografia Universale," Firenze, 1839]
Related: Melanesian (1835, n., "a native of Melanesia;" 1840, adj., "of or belonging to Melanesia or the peoples inhabiting it").
poetic name for United States of America, earlier for the British colonies there, 1730s, also the nation's female personification, from name of Christopher Columbus (also see Colombia) with Latin "country" ending -ia.
A popular name for places and institutions in the U.S. in the post-Revolutionary years, when former tributes to king and crown were out of fashion: such as Columbia University (New York, U.S.) founded in 1754 as King's College; re-named 1784. Also District of Columbia (1791, as Territory of Columbia); "Hail, Columbia," Joseph Hopkinson's patriotic song that served in 19c. as an unofficial national anthem (1798); "Columbiad," Joel Barlow's attempt to write an epic for the United States (1807). Columbiad also was the name of a heavy, cast-iron, smooth-bore cannon introduced in the U.S. in 1811. Related: Columbian.
"a difficulty in reading due to a condition of the brain," 1885, from German dyslexie (1883), from Greek dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" (see dys-) + lexis "word" (taken as "reading"), from legein "speak" (from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')") + abstract noun ending -ia. Dyslexic (n.) is recorded by 1946; dyslectic (adj.) by 1962.
Professor Berlin has written a very interesting monograph upon the disease called dyslexia, which he believes allied to the alexia, or word-blindness of Kussmaul. He gives a clinical history of six cases, collected during a period of twenty-three years, all having this peculiarity, that they could read aloud the average type, Jaeger three to five, only a few words in succession. These words were correctly spoken and without confusion or stammering, but as soon as a few words had been read the patients seemed anxious to get rid of the book, and, on being questioned, stated that they had an unpleasant feeling which they could not well define. [The Satellite of the Annual of the Universal Medical Sciences, Philadelphia, November 1887]
federation comprising the southern end of the Malay peninsula (except Singapore) and the northwestern part of Borneo, from Malay + Latinate ending -ia. Originally an early 19c. British geographers' name for the Indonesian archipelago. Related: Malaysian.
"pendent mass of ice tapering downward to a point, formed by the freezing of drops of water flowing down from the place of attachment," early 14c., isykle, from is "ice" (see ice (n.)) + Middle English ikel, a word that by itself meant "icicle," from Old English gicel "icicle, ice" (found in compounds, such as cylegicel "chill ice"), from Proto-Germanic *jekilaz (source also of Old Norse jaki "piece of ice," diminutive jökull "icicle, ice; glacier;" Old High German ihilla "icicle"), from PIE *yeg- "ice" (source also of Middle Irish aig "ice," Welsh ia). Dialectal ickle "icicle" survived into 20c.
The latter element came to lose its independent meaning, and has suffered under popular etymology; explained in books as a mere dim. termination -icle, as in article, particle, etc., it appears transformed in the obs. or dial. forms ice-sickle, ise-sicklc, ice-shackle, ice-shoggle, OSc. iceshogle, icechokill, etc. [Century Dictionary]