Greek hero, son of Zeus and Danaë, slayer of the gorgon Medusa, from Greek Perseus, a name of unknown origin. Also the name of an ancient northern constellation representing him.
"a meteor from an annual shower that appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus," 1867, from Modern Latin Perseides (plural; Schiaparelli, 1866), from Greek Perseis "daughter of Perseus" (see Perseus; also see -id). The name might have been introduced in English via the writings of Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. Other recorded old names for them in English include August meteors and Tears of St. Lawrence (whose feast day is August 10).
The computer language (1959) is a contraction of algo(rithmic) l(anguage); see algorithm.
Greek deity, daughter of Perseus and Asteria (said to be originally Thracian), later identified as an aspect of Artemis, early 15c., from Latinized form of Greek Hekatē, usually said to be the fem. of hekatos "far-shooting" (but Beekes prefers a Pre-Greek origin). In English literature associated since Shakespeare ("I Henry VI," III.ii.64) with witches and sorcery. Related: Hecatean.
northern constellation, 1667 (earlier Andromece, mid-15c.), from Greek, literally "mindful of her husband," from andros, genitive of anēr "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man") + medesthai "to be mindful of, think on," related to medea (neuter plural) "counsels, plans, devices, cunning" (and source of the name Medea). In classical mythology the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, she was bound to a rock to be destroyed by the sea monster Cetus, but was rescued by Perseus, mounted on Pegasus. The whole group was transferred to the Heavens (except the rock).
"female monster with a petrifying look," late 14c., in Greek legend, any of the three hideous sisters, with writhing serpents for hair, whose look turned beholders to stone, from Greek Gorgones (plural; singular Gorgō) "the grim ones," from gorgos, of a look or gaze, "grim, fierce, terrible," later also "vigorous, lively," a word of unknown origin. Beekes' sources reject the proposed connections to Old Irish garg "raw, wild," Old Church Slavonic groza "shiver," Armenian karcr "hard."
Transferred sense of "terrifyingly ugly person" is from 1520s. Their names were Medusa, Euryale, and Stheino, but when only one is mentioned, Medusa usually is meant. Slain by Perseus, her head was fixed on the aegis of Athena.
famous winged horse in Greek mythology, also the name of an ancient northern constellation, late 14c., Pegase, from Latin, from Greek Pēgasos, usually said to be from pēgē "fountain, spring; a well fed by a spring" (plural pēgai), especially in reference to the "springs of Ocean," near which Medusa was said to have been killed by Perseus (Pegasus sprang from her blood). But this may be folk etymology, and the ending of the word suggests non-Greek origin.
Advances since the 1990s in the study of the Luwians, neighbors of the Hittites in ancient Anatolia, show a notable convergence of the Greek name with Pihaššašši, the name of a Luwian weather-god: "the mythological figure of Pegasus carrying the lightning and thunderbolt of Zeus, ... is likely to represent an avatar of the Luwian Storm-God of Lightning ...." [Alice Mouton, et al., eds., "Luwian Identities," 2013]