Etymology
Advertisement
Victorian (adj.)
1839, "belonging to or typical of the reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain" (ruled 1837-1901). Figurative sense of "typified by prudish or outdated attitudes" is attested by 1934. The noun meaning "a person from or typical of Victorian times" is from 1876.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
tanner (n.2)
"sixpence," slang word first recorded 1811, of unknown origin. J.C. Hotten, lexicographer of Victorian slang, thinks it may be from tanner and skin, rhyming slang for "thin," presumably in reference to the smallness of the coin. Not to be confused with tenner, slang for "ten-pound note," which dates from 1861.
Related entries & more 
limelight (n.)
1826, popular name for Drummond light or calcium light, a brilliant light created by the incandescence of lime (n.1); adopted for lighthouses and later for the Victorian stage, where it illuminated the principal actors, hence the figurative use of the phrase in the limelight "on stage, at the center of attention" (1877).
Related entries & more 
aquarium (n.)

1830, noun use of neuter of Latin aquarius "pertaining to water," as a noun, "water-carrier," genitive of aqua "water" (from PIE root *akwa- "water"). The word existed in Latin, but there it meant "drinking place for cattle." Originally especially for an artificial pond growing aquatic plants; of indoor "ocean gardens" by 1853. The Victorian mania for indoor aquariums began with the book "The Aquarium," published 1854 by English naturalist Philip Henry Gosse. An earlier attempt at a name for "fish tank" was marine vivarium.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ithyphallic (adj.)
1795, in reference to a type of meter used in ancient Greek poetry (earlier as a noun, "poem in ithyphallic meter," 1610s), from Latin ithyphallicus, from Greek ithyphallikos, from ithyphallos "phallus carried in the festivals," from ithys "straight, straight upward" + phallos "erect penis" (see phallus). Credited to Archilochus, the meter was that of the Bacchic hymns, which were sung in the rites during which such phalluses were carried. Thus, in Victorian times, the word also meant "grossly indecent" (1864) and sometimes was used in scholarly works in its literal sense of "with erect penis" (1837).
Related entries & more 
revival (n.)

1650s, "act of reviving after decline or discontinuance;" specifically from 1660s as, "the bringing back to the stage of a play which has not been presented for a considerable time;" from revive + -al (2).

The sense of "a general and extraordinary religious awakening in a community" is in Cotton Mather (1702, revival of religion); by 1818 it was used of enthusiastic religious meetings (often by Methodists) meant to inspire revival. In reference to the Victorian popularity of Gothic architecture, by 1850. Revivalist "one who promotes or leads a religious revival" is attested by 1812. Related: Revivalism.

Related entries & more 
May Day 

"first of May," on which the opening of the season of flowers and fruit formerly was celebrated throughout Europe, mid-13c.; see May + day (n.). May Queen "girl or young woman crowned with flowers and honored as queen at the games held on May Day," seems to be a Victorian re-invented tradition; the phrase Queen of Maij is attested from c. 1500.

May Day's association with communism (and socialism and anarchism) dates to 1890. A U.S. general strike for an eight-hour workday began May 1, 1886, and culminated in the Haymarket bombing affair in Chicago on May 4. By 1890 strikes, protests, and rallies were being held in Europe by socialist and labor organizations on May 1, at first in support of the eight-hour day, more or less in commemoration of the 1886 strike.

Related entries & more 
Main Street (n.)

"principal street of a (U.S.) town," 1810, from main (adj.) + street. Used allusively to indicate "mediocrity, small-town materialism" from late 19c., a sense reinforced by the publication of Sinclair Lewis's novel "Main Street" (1920).

But a village in a country which is taking pains to become altogether standardized and pure, which aspires to succeed Victorian England as the chief mediocrity of the world, is no longer merely provincial, no longer downy and restful in its leaf-shadowed ignorance. It is a force seeking to dominate the earth, to drain the hills and sea of color, to set Dante at boosting Gopher Prairie, and to dress the high gods in Klassy Kollege Klothes. Sure of itself, it bullies other civilizations, as a traveling salesman in a brown derby conquers the wisdom of China and tacks advertisements of cigarettes over arches for centuries dedicate to the sayings of Confucius. ["Main Street"]
Related entries & more 
evolution (n.)
1620s, "an opening of what was rolled up," from Latin evolutionem (nominative evolutio) "unrolling (of a book)," noun of action from past participle stem of evolvere "to unroll" (see evolve).

Used in medicine, mathematics, and general writing in various senses including "growth to maturity and development of an individual living thing" (1660s). Modern use in biology, of species, first attested 1832 in works of Scottish geologist Charles Lyell. Charles Darwin used the word in print once only, in the closing paragraph of "The Origin of Species" (1859), and preferred descent with modification, in part because evolution already had been used in the discarded 18c. homunculus theory of embryological development (first proposed under this name by Bonnet, 1762) and in part because it carried a sense of "progress" not present in Darwin's idea. But Victorian belief in progress prevailed (and the advantages of brevity), and Herbert Spencer and other biologists after Darwin popularized evolution.
Related entries & more