Etymology
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America 

1507, "the western hemisphere, North and South America," in Cartographer Martin Waldseemüller's treatise "Cosmographiae Introductio," from Modern Latin Americanus, after Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) who made two trips to the New World as a navigator and claimed to have discovered it. His published works put forward the idea that it was a new continent, and he was first to call it Novus Mundus "New World." Amerigo is more easily Latinized than Vespucci (Latin Vesputius, which might have yielded place-name Vesputia). The sense in English naturally was restricted toward the British colonies, then the United States.

The man's name Amerigo is Germanic, said to derive from Gothic Amalrich, literally "work-ruler." The Old English form of the name has come down as surnames Emmerich, Emery, etc. The Italian fem. form merged into Amelia.

Colloquial pronunciation "Ameri-kay," not uncommon 19c., goes back to at least 1643 and a poem that rhymed the word with away. Amerika "U.S. society viewed as racist, fascist, oppressive, etc." is attested from 1969; the spelling is German but may also suggest the KKK.

It is a thousand pities that the puny witticisms of a few professional objectors should have the power to prevent, even for a year, the adoption of a name for our country. At present we have, clearly, none. There should be no hesitation about "Appalachia." In the first place, it is distinctive. "America" is not, and can never be made so. We may legislate as much as we please, and assume for our country whatever name we think right — but to use it will be no name, to any purpose for which a name is needed, unless we can take it away from the regions which employ it at present. South America is "America," and will insist upon remaining so. [Edgar Allan Poe, "Marginalia," in Graham's Magazine, Philadelphia, December 1846]
FREDONIA, FREDONIAN, FREDE, FREDISH, &c. &c. These extraordinary words, which have been deservedly ridiculed here as well as in England, were proposed sometime ago, and countenanced by two or three individuals, as names for the territory and people of the United States. The general term American is now commonly understood (at least in all places where the English language is spoken,) to mean an inhabitant of the United States; and is so employed, except where unusual precision of language is required. [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
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Appalachia 
"cultural and geographical region of inland Eastern U.S.," 1880s, from the Appalachian Mountains, which are its core. Earlier Appalachia was proposed as a better name for "United States of America" by Washington Irving in 1839 (though he preferred Alleghenia) and this may have been the coinage of the word (see America).
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Laurasia 
Paleozoic supercontinent comprising North America and Eurasia, 1931, from German (1928), from Laurentia, geologists' name for the ancient core of North America (see Laurentian) + second element of Eurasia.
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Cosa Nostra 

1963, "the Mafia in America," Italian, literally "this thing of ours."

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AOL 
dominant online service of the late 1990s, initialism (acronym) of America Online, a company name attested from late 1989.
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Jeff (n.)
shortened or familiar form of masc. proper name Jeffrey; in early to mid-20c., sometimes used by African-Americans to indicate a Southern rural poor white person, probably from Jeff Davis, president of the Confederate States of America.
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Jennifer 
fem. proper name, from Welsh Gwenhwyvar, from gwen "fair, white" + (g)wyf "smooth, yielding." The most popular name for girls born in America 1970-1984; all but unknown there before 1938. Also attested as a surname from late 13c.
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Roosevelt 

the presidential family in America originally bore the name Van Roosevelt, "of the field of roses," descriptive of their estates in Holland. Claes Martenszen Van Rosenvelt, emigrated to New Amsterdam 1649. His son (1653) and all his descendants dropped the "Van." Related: Rooseveltian.

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Virginia 
British colony in North America, name appears on a map in 1587, named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. The fem. proper name is from Latin Virginia, fem. of Virginius, earlier Verginius, probably related to Vergilius (see Virgilian). Related: Virginian.
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Camden (n.)
city in New Jersey, U.S., 1783, named for Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden (1714-1794), Whig politician who was popular in America due to his opposition to British taxation policies and for whom many American towns and counties were named.
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