Etymology
Advertisement
Rhode Island 

U.S. state, the region is traditionally said to have been named by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano when he passed through in 1524, based on an imagined similarity between modern Block Island and the Greek Isle of Rhodes. More likely it is from Roodt Eylandt, the name Dutch explorer Adriaen Block gave to Block Island c. 1614, literally "red island," so called for the color of its cliffs. Under this theory, the name was altered by 17c. English settlers by folk-etymology influence of the Greek island name (see Rhodes) and then extended to the mainland part of the colony. By 1685 the island had been renamed for Block. The Rhode Island red domestic fowl was so called by 1896, for its plumage.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
McCarthyism 

1950, with -ism + name of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957) of Wisconsin, leader of U.S. anti-Communist agitation. He entered the Senate in 1947, but his rise to national attention began with a widely reported speech on Feb. 9, 1950, in which he claimed to have a list of known Communists working for the State Department.  The term is said to have been coined by Washington Post political cartoonist Herbert Block ("Herblock") in an editorial cartoon from March 29, 1950. The Army-McCarthy subcommittee hearings in the U.S. Senate ran from April to June 1954.

The surname is from Irish Mac Carthaigh "son of Carthach" (Welsh Caradawc), an ancient Celtic name, also known in its Latinized form, Caractacus (last of the British leaders to resist Rome, captured 51 C.E.)

Related entries & more