Etymology
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Kentucky 
U.S. state (admitted 1792), earlier a county of Virginia (organized 1776); the name is of Iroquois or Shawnee origin, perhaps a Wyandot (Iroquoian) word meaning "meadow" (compare Seneca geda'geh "at the field"); the original use in English seems to have been the river name; the native use perhaps was first in reference to a village in what now is Clark County known in Shawnee as Eskippakithiki. Related: Kentuckian.
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bluegrass (n.)
also blue-grass, music style, 1958, in reference to the Blue Grass Boys, country music band 1940s-'50s, from the "blue" grass (Poa pratensis) characteristic of Kentucky. The grass so called from 1751; Kentucky has been the Bluegrass State at least since 1872; see blue (adj.1) + grass.
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two-time (v.)
"to deceive, cheat, betray," 1924, perhaps from notion of "to have two at a time." An earlier reference (1922) in a Kentucky criminal case involves a double-cross or betrayal without a romance angle. Related: two-timing (adj.); two-timer.
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bourbon (n.)
type of American corn whiskey, 1846, from Bourbon County, Kentucky, where it first was made, supposedly in 1789. Bourbon County was organized 1785, one of the nine established by the Virginia legislature before Kentucky became a state. The name reflects the fondness felt in the United States for the French royal family, and especially Louis XVI, in gratitude for the indispensable support he had given to the rebel colonists. See Bourbon.
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headwaters (n.)
attested 1530s, then not again until 1792 (in descriptions of Kentucky), so possibly the modern word is a re-formation; see head (n.) "origin of a river" + water (n.1).
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splurge (n.)
1828, "ostentatious display," American English, of uncertain origin; originally among the class of words considered characteristic of "Western" (i.e. Kentucky) dialect. Perhaps a blend of splash and surge. The meaning "extravagant indulgence in spending" is first recorded 1928.
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salt river (n.)

"a tidal river," 1650s; see salt (n. ) + river. as a proper name, it was used early 19c. with reference to backwoods inhabitants of the U.S., especially those of Kentucky (there is a Salt River in the Bluegrass region of the state; the river is not salty, but salt manufactured from salt licks in the area was shipped down the river). The U.S. political slang phrase to row (someone) up Salt River "send (someone) to political defeat" probably owes its origin to this geographical reference, as the first attested use (1828) is in a Kentucky context. The phrase may also refer to the salt of tears.

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mortician (n.)

1895, American English, coined from mortuary + -ician, as in physician.

An undertaker will no longer be known as an "undertaker and embalmer." In the future he will be known as the "mortician." This was decided on at the second day's meeting of the Funeral Directors' Association of Kentucky, which was held in Louisville. [The Medical Herald, July 1895]
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pissant (n.)

1660s, "an ant," from first element of pismire (q.v.) + ant. Meaning "contemptible, insignificant person" is from 1903.

[B]y sun-down [the gals] come pourin out of the woods like pissants out of an old log when tother end's afire. ["Dick Harlan's Tennessee Frolic," in collection "A Quarter Race in Kentucky," Philadelphia, 1846]
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riproaring (adj.)

also rip-roaring, "full of vigour, spirit, or excellence" [OED], 1834, in affectations of Western U.S. (Kentucky) slang, altered from riproarious "boisterous, violent" (1821), from rip (v.) "tear apart" + uproarious; see uproar. Rip-roarer was noted as a nickname for a Kentuckian in 1837. Related: Riproaringest.

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