Etymology
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Jordan 

river in ancient Palestine; the crossing of it is symbolic of death in high-flown language as a reference to Numbers xxxiii.51. Also a type of pot or vessel (late 14c.), especially a chamber-pot, but the sense there is unknown. The modern nation-state dates to 1921. Related: Jordanian.

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West Bank 

in reference to the former Jordanian territory west of the River Jordan, 1967.

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Pisgah 

name of the mountain east of the River Jordan, whence Moses was allowed to view the Promised Land he could not enter (Deuteronomy iii.27); with figurative use from 1640s. The name is Hebrew, literally "cleft."

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Nabataean (n.)

also Nabatean, c. 1600, "one of the Arab peoples dwelling in ancient times east and south of Palestine," builders of the rock city of Petra in modern Jordan, from Latin Nabataeus, Greek Nabataios; their name is of unknown origin.

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Shiloh 

village on the west bank of the Jordan River, perhaps from an alteration of Hebrew shalo "to be peaceful." The American Civil War battle fought in western Tennessee (April 6-7, 1862) was so called for being fought around the little Shiloh log church (Methodist), which was destroyed in the battle.

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Canaan 

ancient name of a land lying between the Jordan and the Mediterranean promised to the children of Israel and conquered by them, so called from Canaan, son of Ham (Genesis x.15-19). Related: Canaanite. In the Apostle name Simon the Canaanite it is a transliteration of an Aramaic name meaning "zealot."

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Gatling gun (n.)

1864, named for its designer, U.S. inventor Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903); patented by 1862 but not used in American Civil War until the Petersburg campaign of June 1864 as an independent initiative by U.S. Gen. Ben Butler.

For the first time in this war, the Gatling gun was used by Butler in repelling one of Beauregard's midnight attacks. Dispatches state that it was very destructive, and rebel prisoners were very curious to know whether it was loaded all night and fired all day. [Scientific American, June 18, 1864]
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Dead Sea 

lake of the River Jordan, mid-13c., from dead (adj.); its water is 26 percent salt (as opposed to 3 or 4 percent in most oceans) and supports practically no life. In the Bible it was the "Salt Sea" (Hebrew yam hammelah), also "Sea of the Plain" and "East Sea." In Arabic it is al-bahr al-mayyit "Dead Sea." The ancient Greeks knew it as he Thalassa asphaltites "the Asphaltite Sea." Latin Mare Mortum, Greek he nekra thalassa (both "The Dead Sea") referred to the sea at the northern boundaries of Europe, the Arctic Ocean.

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shibboleth (n.)

late 14c., in Bible translations, the Hebrew word shibboleth, meaning "flood, stream," also "ear of corn," as used in Judges xii.4-6. During the slaughter at the fords of Jordan, the Gileadites took it as a password to distinguish their men from fleeing Ephraimites, because Ephraimites could not pronounce the -sh- sound. (Modern commentators have decided the Hebrew word there probably was used in the "river" sense, in reference to the Jordan).

Hence the figurative sense of "watchword or test-word or pet phrase of a party, sect, school, etc." (by 1630s), which evolved by 1862 to "outmoded slogan still adhered to."

Elsewhere in history, a similar test-word was cicera "chick pease," used by the Italians to identify the French (who could not pronounce it correctly) during the massacre called the Sicilian Vespers (1282). There have been, and will be, others.

During training exercises on Pavuvu and Guadalcanal, the need to improve battlefield security is to be implemented not by a simple password, but by an identification procedure described as "sign and countersign." The ground rules are to sequentially interrogate an unknown friend or foe with the name of an automobile, preferably one with an "L" in its vocalization. The response is to be a cognomen for another automobile uttered in the same manner. This insures the "friend" entering our lines will reply with the correct countersign in a dialect distinctly American; call out "Cadiwac" or "Chryswer," and you're dead. [Perry Pollins, "Tales of a Feather Merchant: The World War II Memoir of a Marine Radioman," 2006]
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Listerine (n.)

1879, American English, formulated by Dr. Joseph Lawrence and Jordan Wheat Lambert as a multi-purpose disinfectant and anti-septic for surgery. In 1895, after it was discovered to kill germs commonly found in the mouth, the Lambert Company started marketing it as an oral antiseptic. The product was named for Joseph Lord Lister, F.R.S., O.M. (1827-1912), the English surgeon, who in 1865 revolutionized modern surgery by applying Pasteur's discoveries and performing the first ever antiseptic surgery. Lister objected in vain to the use of his name on the product.

Lister (attested from 1286, an Anglian surname) is contracted from litster, from Middle English liten "to dye, color" (from Old Norse; see lit (n.1)) + fem. agent suffix -ster; hence, "a dyer." Unless it is from lister (late 14c.) "clerk whose duty is to read and expound Scriptures; one who reads books, a reader" (from a variant of French litres).

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