Etymology
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western (adj.)

"toward or of the west," late Old English westerne "western, westerly, coming from the west," from west + -erne, suffix denoting direction. The noun meaning "book or movie about the Old West" is first attested 1909. Westerner is from 1837 as "person from the U.S. West," 1880 as "Euro-American," as opposed to Oriental.

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Sahara 

great desert of northern Africa, 1610s, from Arabic çahra "desert" (plural çahara), according to Klein, noun use of fem. of the adjective asharu "yellowish red." Related: Saharan.

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Gobi 

desert in central Asia, from Mongolian gobi "desert." Gobi Desert is thus a pleonasm (see Sahara).

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Sahel 

belt of mostly grassy land just below the Sahara in West Africa, from Arabic sahil "sea coast, shore." Originally in reference to the coastal region. Related: Sahelian.

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Sudan 

1842, from Arabic Bilad-al-sudan, literally "country of the blacks" (originally the stretch of Africa between the Sahara and the equator), from sud, plural of aswad (fem. sauda) "black." In early use also Soudan, from French. Related: Sudanese.

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Almoravides 

Muslim Berber horde from the Sahara which founded a dynasty in Morocco (11c.) and conquered much of Spain and Portugal. The name is Spanish, from Arabic al-Murabitun, literally "the monks living in a fortified convent," from ribat "fortified convent."

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occidental (adj.)

c. 1400, "to, of, or in the west (of the sky or the earth)," from Old French occidental (14c.) and directly from Latin occidentalis "western," from occidentem (see occident). Meaning "of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the western regions of the earth (especially Western Europe and its derivative civilizations in the western hemisphere" (opposed to oriental), 1550s. As a capitalized noun meaning "a Western person" (opposed to Oriental) it is attested from 1823. Related: Occidentalism; occidentalist.

Those who inhabit (to us) the western regions of the world, and to express whom the English language wants a word, the opposite of Orientals; though word-coining be much condemned, I will venture to employ Occidentalsas substantive and say, (etc.) ["The Bee," 1823] 
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Timbuktu 

city on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, older spelling Timbuctoo, used allusively in English for "most distant place imaginable" from at least 1863. The name is from Songhai, literally "hollow," in reference to the depression in which it stands.

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