country named for river that flows past it, which is from a native name in an extinct language, said to represent uru "bird" + guay "tail," perhaps a reference to some totemic animal. Related: Uruguayan.
former principality in central Russia that formed the nucleus of the modern Russian nation; from French Moscovie, from Modern Latin Moscovia, old name of Russia, from Russian Moskova "(Principality of) Moscow." In Muscovy duck (1650s), the tropical American bird, and certain other uses it is a corruption of musk. Related: Muscovite; Muscovian.
name of the boy-hero in J.M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" (1904), first introduced in Barrie's "The Little White Bird" (1902). Used allusively for an immature adult man from 1914 (by G.B. Shaw, in reference to the Kaiser).
Well, Peter Pan got out by the window, which had no bars. Standing on the ledge he could see trees far away, which were doubtless the Kensington Gardens, and the moment he saw them he entirely forgot that he was now a little boy in a nightgown, and away he flew, right over the houses to the Gardens. It is wonderful that he could fly without wings, but the place itched tremendously, and, perhaps we could all fly if we were as dead-confident-sure of our capacity to do it as was bold Peter Pan that evening. [Barrie, "The Little White Bird"]
also Sacajawea, name of the Shoshoni woman who accompanied and aided the Lewis & Clark expedition.
She had been a captive among the Hidatsas (a Siouan people), and her Hidatsa name was tsaka'aka wi'a, lit. 'bird woman' (Hartley, 2002). Her Shoshoni name, rendered as Sacajawea and translated 'boat launcher,' may have been a folk-etymological transformation of the Hidatsa term (Shaul, 1972). [Bright]
Her image appeared on U.S. dollar coins from 2000.
fem. personal name, originally another form of Jane, Janey and a diminutive of Jane or Janet; in modern use (mid-20c.) typically a shortening of Jennifer. Jenny is attested from c. 1600 as female equivalent of jack (n.), and like it applied to animals (especially of birds, of a heron, a jay, but especially Jenny wren, 1640s, in bird-fables the consort of Robin Redbreast). Also like jack used of machinery; Akrwright's spinning jenny (1783) is said to have been named for his wife, but is perhaps rather a corruption of gin (n.2) "engine."
fem. proper name (c. 1300), from Old French Margaret (French Marguerite), from Late Latin Margarita, female name, literally "pearl," from Greek margaritēs (lithos) "pearl," which is of unknown origin.
OED writes, "probably adopted from some Oriental language" [OED]. Beekes writes, "An oriental loanword, mostly assumed to be from Iranian" and cites Middle Persian marvarit "pearl." He adds, "The older view" derives it from Sanskrit manjari "pearl; flowering bead," "but the late and rare occurrence of both the Skt. and Greek form is no support for a direct identification." He also reports a suggested origin in Iranian *mrga-ahri-ita- "born from the shell of a bird" = "oyster."
Arabic marjan probably is from Greek, via Syraic marganitha. In Germanic languages the word was widely perverted by folk-etymology, for example Old English meregrot, which has been altered as if it meant literally "sea-pebble." The word was used figuratively in Middle English for "that which is precious or excellent, a priceless quality or attribute." Derk margaryte was "a corrupted conscience."