1680s, "pertaining to muscles," from Latin musculus (see muscle (n.)) + -ar. Earlier in same sense was musculous (early 15c., from Latin musculosus). Meaning "brawny, strong, having well-developed muscles" is from 1736. Muscular Christianity (1857) is originally in reference to philosophy of Anglican clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), who rejected the term. Muscular dystrophy is attested from 1877.
You have used that, to me, painful, if not offensive, term, 'Muscular Christianity.' My dear Sir, I know of no Christianity save one, which is the likeness of Christ, and the same for all men, viz., to be transformed into Christ's likeness, and to consecrate to His service, as far as may be, all the powers of body, soul, and spirit, regenerate and purified in His Spirit. All I wish to do is, to say to the strong and healthy man, even though he be not very learned, or wise, or even delicate-minded--in the aesthetic sense: 'You, too, can serve God with the powers which He has given you. He will call you to account for them, just as much as he will call the parson, or the devout lady.' [letter, Oct. 19, 1858, to a clergyman who in a review had called him a "muscular Christian"]
name of a large venomous snake of sub-Saharan Africa, attested by 1859, from Zulu (i)mamba or Swahili mamba.
"Now about snakes. I have never forgotten your quiet, dignified unbelief in my snake histories, and have taken every opportunity of finding out all I can about them; more particularly of the 'mamba' or chasing snake. It is a most vicious creature, and will chase you a mile. You must ride hard if one makes for you. It reaches sixteen or eighteen feet, and has the power of erecting itself on its tail when in pursuit of its object; then throwing itself down and rushing on twenty yards or so, and then rearing up again: and so on, till it comes to some bush or tree, round which it throws its strong tail, and then strikes right and left at its enemies." [Journal of the Society of Arts, March 11, 1859]
late 14c., verbal noun from stand (v.). In the sense of "rank, status," it is first recorded 1570s. Sense of "state of having existed for some time" is 1650s. Legal sense is first recorded 1924. Sports sense is from 1881. To be in good standing is from 1789. Standing room is from 1788, originally in reference to theaters. SRO for "standing room only" is attested by 1890.
A young gentleman attempting to get into Drury-lane play-house, found there was such a croud of people that there was no room. Just without the door, a damsel of the town accosted him with 'can't you get in, sir?' to which he replied in the negative. 'If you'll go along with me, resumed she you may get in very easily, for I can furnish you with very good standing room.' ["The Banquet of Wit, or A Feast for the Polite World," London, 1790]
proverbial for "something extremely rare or non-existent," late 14c., from Juvenal ["Sat." vi. 164], but the real thing turned up later in Australia (Chenopsis atratus).
"Do you say no worthy wife is to be found among all these crowds?" Well, let her be handsome, charming, rich and fertile; let her have ancient ancestors ranged about her halls; let her be more chaste than all the dishevelled Sabine maidens who stopped the war—a prodigy as rare upon the earth as a black swan! yet who could endure a wife that possessed all perfections? I would rather have a Venusian wench for my wife than you, O Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, if, with all your virtues, you bring me a haughty brow, and reckon up Triumphs as part of your marriage portion. [Juvenal]
Blue dahlia also was used 19c. for "something rare and unheard of."
also alchy, 1841, "an alcoholic drink" (also "alcoholic drink personified"), a slang shortening of alcoholic liquor first attested in temperance publications. As "a drunkard" (short for alcoholic (n.)) it is suggested by 1888.
"What is his name?"
"Hall is his real name; but they call him Alky, because he drinks — Alky Hall; alcohol, you know. But he's given up drinking now, since I told him about temperance and lent him my Sargent's 'Temperance Tales.' I'll warrant you he'll never drink another drop." [Joseph Kirkland, "The McVeys," 1888]
"to vomit, eject the contents of the stomach," 1600, probably of imitative origin (compare German spucken "to spit," Latin spuere; also see spew (v.)). First attested in the "Seven Ages of Man" speech in Shakespeare's "As You Like It." Related: Puked; puking.
Rude railway-trains, with all your noise and smoke,
I love to see you wheresoe'er ye move :
Though Nature seems such trespass to reprove :
Though ye the soul of old romance provoke,
I thank you, that from misery ye unyoke
Thousands of panting horses.
[Richard Howitt, from "Railway Sonnets," Hood's Magazine, March 1845]
Railway time "standard time adopted throughout a railway system" is by 1847.
1846, toast or expression wishing good health (from 16c., famously a drinking pledge by German students), Latin, literally "may it advantage (you)," third person singular present subjunctive of prodesse "to do good, be profitable" (see proud (adj.)).