Etymology
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commonwealth (n.)

mid-15c., commoun welthe, "a community, whole body of people in a state," from common (adj.) + wealth (n.). Specifically "state with a republican or democratic form of government" from 1610s. From 1550s as "any body of persons united by some common interest." Applied specifically to the government of England in the period 1649-1660, and later to self-governing former colonies under the British crown (1917). In the U.S., it forms a part of the official name of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico but has no special significance.

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Bahamas 
islands discovered by Columbus in 1492, settled by English in 1648, long after the native population had been wiped out by disease or carried off into slavery; the name is said to be from Spanish baja mar "low sea," in reference to the shallow water here, but more likely represents a local name, Guanahani, whose origin had been lost and whose meaning has been forgotten.
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commonweal (n.)

mid-14c., comen wele, "a commonwealth or its people;" mid-15c., comune wele, "the public good, the general welfare of the nation or community;" see common (adj.) + weal (n.1).

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Nassau 

capital of the Bahamas, a name attested from 1690s, given in honor of King William III of England (1650-1702), of the House of Orange-Nassau, from the duchy of Nassau in western Germany, named for a village in the Lahn valley, from Old High German nass "wet." Related: Nassauvian.

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common (n.)
Origin and meaning of common

c. 1300, "a fellowship or brotherhood; early 14c., "people of a community or town, freemen, citizenry;" late 15c., "land held in common," from Old French commune and Medieval Latin communia, and partly from common (adj.). Also compare commons. Latin communis "common, general" (adj.) also served as a noun meaning "common property; state, commonwealth."

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wrecker (n.)
1804, in reference to those who salvage cargos from wrecked ships, from wreck (n.). In Britain often with a overtones of "one who causes a shipwreck in order to plunder it" (1820); but in 19c. Bahamas and the Florida Keys it could be a legal occupation. Applied to those who wreck and plunder institutions from 1882. Meaning "demolition worker" attested by 1958. As a type of ship employed in salvage operations, from 1789. As a railway vehicle with a crane or hoist, from 1904.
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protector (n.)

late 14c., protectour, "a defender, guardian, one who defends or shields from injury or evil," from Old French protector (14c., Modern French protecteur) and directly from Late Latin protector, agent noun from protegere (see protection). Related: Protectoral; protectorial; protectorian. Fem. forms protectrix, protectryse both attested from mid-15c. Protectee is attested from c. 1600.

In English history, "one who has care of the kingdom during the king's minority or incapacity, a regent" (as the Duke of Somerset during the reign of Edward VI); Lord Protector was the title of the head of the executive during part of the period of the Commonwealth, held by Oliver Cromwell (1653-58) and Richard Cromwell (1658-59).

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republic (n.)

"state in which supreme or executive power rests in the people via representatives chosen by citizens entitled to vote," c. 1600, from French république (15c.), from Latin respublica (ablative republica) "the common weal, a commonwealth, state, republic," literally res publica "public interest, the state," from res "affair, matter, thing" (see re) + publica, fem. of publicus "public" (see public (adj.)).

Applied to particular states so constituted by 1630s. The notion of "community in which there is a certain equality of members" is behind such expressions as republic of letters "collective body of those engaged in literary pursuits," attested from 1702.

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republican (n.)

"one who favors a republican form of government or republican principles" (or, as Johnson puts it, "One who thinks a commonwealth without monarchy the best government"), 1690s; see republican (adj.).

With capital R-, in reference to a member of a specific U.S. political party (the Anti-Federalists) from 1782, though this was not the ancestor of the modern U.S. Republican Party, which dates from 1854. In between, National Republicans was a name of the party that opposed Jackson and rallied behind John Quincy Adams in late 1820s.

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conch (n.)

"large sea-shell," originally of bivalves, early 15c., from Latin concha "shellfish, mollusk," from Greek konkhē "mussel, cockle," also metaphoric of shell-like objects ("hollow of the ear; knee-cap; brain-pan; case round a seal; knob of a shield," etc.), from PIE root *konkho- (source also of Sanskrit sankha- "mussel") or else from a Pre-Greek word.

Since 18c. used of large gastropods. As a name for natives of Florida Keys (originally especially poor whites) it is attested from at least 1833, from their use of the flesh of the conch as food; the preferred pronunciation there ("kongk") preserves the classical one. Related: Conchate; conchiform; conchoidal.

The white Americans form a comparatively small proportion of the population of Key West, the remainder being Bahama negroes, Cuban refugees, and white natives of the Bahamas and their descendants, classified here under the general title of Conchs. [Circular No. 8, U.S. War Dept., May 1, 1875]
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