type of blue cheese, 1878, short for Gorgonzola cheese (1866), named for Gorgonzola, village near Milan where it was made.
In the neighbourhood is Gorgonzola, celebrated in the annals of the middle ages for the victory of Frederigo Barbarossa over the Milanese, in 1158; for the capture of the chevalric and poetic king Ensius, in 1243; for the advantage gained by the Torriani over the Visconti, in 1278, and which the latter revenged in 1281; but above all, famous for its strachino a cheese of European celebrity. ["Italy and its Comforts," London, 1842]
type of small whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), 1939, supposedly from the Norwegian surname Meincke.
The name minke is said to have derived from one of Svend Foyn's crew by the name of Meincke, who mistook a school of these whales for blue whales. Whalers all over the world considered this incident so amusing that they used his name as a household word to describe this species. [J.N. Tønnessen & A.O. Johnsen, "The History of Modern Whaling" (transl. R.I. Christophersen), 1982]
Also known in English as the lesser rorqual and little piked whale.
Middle English purpel, from Old English purpul, a dissimilation (first recorded in Northumbrian, in the Lindisfarne gospel) of purpure "purple dye, a purple garment," purpuren (adj.) "purple; dyed or colored purple," a borrowing by 9c. from Latin purpura "purple color, purple-dyed cloak, purple dye," also "shellfish from which purple was made," and "splendid attire generally." This is from Greek porphyra "purple dye, purple" (compare porphyry), a word of uncertain origin, perhaps Semitic, originally the name for the shellfish (murex) from which it was obtained. Purpur continued as a parallel form until 15c., and through 19c. in heraldry.
Attested from early 15c. as the name of the color formed by the mixture of blue and red (later from nearly violet-blue to not quite crimson; in the Middle Ages also applied to darker, richer reds). Tyrian purple (properly a crimson), produced around Tyre, was prized as dye for royal garments, hence the figurative use of purple for "imperial or regal power," by 1550s. Also the color of mourning or penitence (especially in royalty or clergy).
Rhetorical use in reference to "splendid, gaudy" (since mid-18c. typically of prose) is from 1590s. In U.S. politics, indicating an alternative to the increasing division of the country into red (Republican) and blue (Democratic), by 2004.
Purple Heart, the U.S. decoration for service members wounded in combat, was instituted 1932; originally it was a cloth decoration begun by George Washington in 1782. Hendrix' Purple Haze (1967) is slang for "LSD." Purple death "cheap Italian red wine" is by 1947. Purple finch, the common North American bird, was so called by 1760 in catalogues; "the name is a misnomer, arising from the faulty coloring of a plate by Mark Catesby, 1731" [Century Dictionary]. It also is called house finch, for its domesticity. Purple martin is from 1743.
mid-14c., navie, "fleet of ships," especially for purposes of war, from Old French navie "fleet; ship," from Latin navigia, plural of navigium "vessel, boat," from navis "ship," from PIE root *nau- "boat."
Meaning "a nation's collective, organized sea power" is from 1530s. The Old English words were sciphere (usually of Viking invaders) and scipfierd (usually of the home defenses). Navy blue was the color of the British naval uniform. Navy bean attested from 1856, so called because they were grown to be used by the Navy. Navy-yard "government dockyard," in the U.S. "a dockyard where government ships are built or repaired" is by 1842.
the common European jay (Garrulus glandarinus), early 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old North French gai, Old French jai "magpie, jay" (12c., Modern French geai), from Late Latin gaius "a jay," probably echoic of the bird's harsh warning cry and supposedly influenced by Latin Gaius, a common Roman proper name.
For other bird names from proper names, compare martin and parrot. Applied to the North American blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) from 1709; it is unrelated but has similar vivid markings, is noisy and restless, and also has a harsh call. Applied to humans in sense of "impertinent chatterer, loud, flashy dresser" from 1520s. Jolly as a jay was a Middle English expression for "very happy, joyful."
Greek goddess of victory (identified by the Romans with their Victoria), literally "victory, upper hand" (in battle, in contests, in court), probably connected with neikos "quarrel, strife," neikein "to quarrel with," a word of uncertain etymology and perhaps a pre-Greek word. As the name of a type of U.S. defensive surface-to-air missiles, attested from 1952. The brand of athletic shoes and apparel, based near Portland, Oregon, has been so known since 1971, named for the Greek goddess, having been founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports.
common name of various plants bearing small blue, red, or black berries, 1660s, American English, probably an alteration of Middle English hurtilbery "whortleberry" (15c.), from Old English horte "whortleberry." Technically the fruit and plant of Gaylussacia, but also widely colloquially applied to the closely related blueberry (Vaccinium).
It figured in various colloquial American phrases, meaning sometimes "person or thing of little consequence" (1835), which seems to be the sense that inspired "Mark Twain's" character name (in comparison to Tom Sawyer), but also "that which is just right." Huckle as a dialect word meaning "hip" is from 1520s in English, from Low German.
"dull bluish-green, gray," 1670s, from Latin glaucus "bright, sparkling, gleaming," also "bluish-green," from Greek glaukos, a word used in Homer of the sea as "gleaming, silvery" (apparently without a color connotation); used by later writers with a sense of "greenish" (of olive leaves) and "blue, gray" (of eyes). Beekes says it is probably a substratum word from Pre-Greek.
Homer's glauk-opis Athene probably originally was a "bright-eyed," not a "gray-eyed" goddess. Greek for "owl" was glaux, perhaps from its bright, staring eyes, but this, too, might be an unrelated Pre-Greek word. Middle English had glauk "bluish-green, gray" (early 15c.).