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.
masc. proper name, Middle English Rycharde, from Old French Richard, from Old High German Ricohard "strong in rule," from Proto-Germanic *rik- "ruler" (see rich) + *harthu "hard," from PIE *kar-o- (from PIE root *kar- "hard"). "One of the most popular names introduced by the Normans. Usually Latinized as Ricardus, the common form was Ricard, whence the pet form Rick, etc." ["Dictionary of English Surnames"]
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]
in reference to the former Jordanian territory west of the River Jordan, 1967.
"revolver," 1904, slang shortening of Gatling gun; by 1880, gatlin was slang for a gun of any sort.
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."
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.
1958, coined by U.S. microbiologist Richard B. Roberts (1910-1980) from ribo(nucleic acid) + -some "body" (see somato-). Related: Ribosomal.