the presidential family in America originally bore the name Van Roosevelt, "of the field of roses," descriptive of their estates in Holland. Claes Martenszen Van Rosenvelt, emigrated to New Amsterdam 1649. His son (1653) and all his descendants dropped the "Van." Related: Rooseveltian.
zebra-like South African animal, partly striped, 1785, from Afrikaans (1710), from the name for the beast in a native language, perhaps Khoisan (Hottentot) quacha, which often is said somehow to be of imitative origin. According to OED, in modern Xhosa, the form is iqwara, with a clicking -q-. What was likely the last one died in an Amsterdam zoo in 1883.
late 14c., divisioun, "act of separating into parts, portions, or shares; a part separated or distinguished from the rest; state of being at variance in sentiment or interest," from Old French division and directly from Latin divisionem (nominative divisio), noun of action from past-participle stem of dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).
Military sense "portion of an army, fleet, or ship's company" is from 1590s. Mathematical sense of "operation inverse to multiplication" is from late 14c. The mathematical division sign supposedly was invented by British mathematician John Pell (1611-1685) who taught at Cambridge and Amsterdam.
mechanical musical time-keeper, 1815, coined in English from Greek metron "measure" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure") + nomos "regulating," verbal adjective of nemein "to regulate" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). The device was patented in England in 1815 by Johann Maelzel (1772-1838), German-born civil engineer and showman, who gave it its modern name, but he incorporated the ideas of a device invented in Amsterdam in 1814 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel (1777-1826). Related: Metronomic.
former New Amsterdam (city), New Netherlands (colony), renamed after British acquisition in 1664 in honor of the Duke of York and Albany (1633-1701), the future James II, who had an interest in the territory. See York. Related: New Yorker. Latinized Noveboracensian "of or pertaining to New York" (1890) contains the Medieval Latin name of York, England, Eboracum. New York minute "very short time" attested by 1976.
Some of Mr. [Horace] Gregory's poems have merely appeared in The New Yorker; others are New Yorker poems: the inclusive topicality, the informed and casual smartness, the flat fashionable irony, meaningless because it proceeds from a frame of reference whose amorphous superiority is the most definite thing about it—they are the trademark not simply of a magazine but of a class. [Randall Jarrell, "Town Mouse, Country Mouse," The Nation, Sept. 20, 1941]
borough of New York City, named for Jonas Bronck, who settled there in 1641.
Jonas Bronck, who arrived at New Amsterdam in 1639, and whose name is perpetuated in Bronx Borough, Bronx Park, Bronxville — in New York — was a Scandinavian, in all probability a Dane and originally, as it seems, from Thorshavn, Faroe Islands, where his father was a pastor in the Lutheran Church. Faroe then belonged to Denmark-Norway and had been settled by Norwegians. The official language of the island in Bronck's days was Danish. ... Bronck may have been a Swede if we judge by the name alone for the name of Brunke is well known in Sweden. [John Oluf Evjen, "Scandinavian immigrants in New York, 1630-1674," Minneapolis, 1916]
The derisive Bronx cheer ("made by blowing through closed lips, usually with the tongue between" - OED) is attested by 1929.
1824, a Latin word meaning "swaddling clothes," also, figuratively, "childhood, beginnings, birthplace, place where a thing had its earliest development, the beginning of anything;" especially "early printed book using movable-type technology," From Gutenberg's beginning c. 1439 to the close of the year 1500. Latin incunabula "a cradle; a birthplace," figuratively "rudiments or beginnings," is from in "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + cunabula, diminutive of cunae "cradle," from PIE *koi-na-, suffixed form of root *kei- (1) "to lie," also forming words for "bed, couch."
Interest in collecting them began c. 1640 with the celebration of (as it was supposed) the 200th anniversary of printing. Perhaps this use of the word traces to the title of the first catalog of such books, Incunabula typographiae (Amsterdam, 1688). The word in this sense has come into general use throughout Europe. The number of books put on the market throughout Europe during that period has been estimated at 20 million. Prof. Alfred W. Pollard [Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1941] wrote that "up to the end of the 17th century," Caxton's original printings "could still be bought for a few shillings."
1683, a name applied disparagingly by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) to English colonists in neighboring Connecticut. It may be from Dutch Janke, literally "Little John," diminutive of common personal name Jan; or it may be from Jan Kes familiar form of "John Cornelius," or perhaps an alteration of Jan Kees, dialectal variant of Jan Kaas, literally "John Cheese," the generic nickname the Flemings used for Dutchmen.
[I]t is to be noted that it is common to name a droll fellow, regarded as typical of his country, after some favorite article of food, as E[nglish] Jack-pudding, G[erman] Hanswurst ("Jack Sausage"), F[rench] Jean Farine ("Jack Flour"). [Century Dictionary, 1902, entry for "macaroni"]
Originally it seems to have been applied insultingly to the Dutch, especially freebooters, before they turned around and slapped it on the English. A less-likely theory (attested by 1832) is that it represents some southern New England Algonquian language mangling of English. In English a term of contempt (1750s) before its use as a general term for "native of New England" (1765); during the American Revolution it became a disparaging British word for all American natives or inhabitants. Contrasted with southerner by 1828. Shortened form Yank in reference to "an American" first recorded 1778. Latin-American form Yanqui attested in English by 1914 (in Mexican Spanish by 1835).
The rule observed in this country is, that the man who receives that name [Yankee] must come from some part north of him who gives it. To compensate us for giving each other nicknames, John Bull "lumps us all together," and calls us all Yankees. ["Who is a Yankee?" Massachusetts Spy, June 6, 1827]