Etymology
Advertisement
Erechtheus 

legendary first king and founder of Athens, from Latin Erechtheus, from Greek Erekhtheos, literally "render, shaker" (of the earth), from erekhthein "to rend, break, shatter, shake." Hence Erechtheum, the name of a temple on the Athenian acropolis.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Priscian (n.)

Late Latin Priscianus, name of the celebrated Roman grammarian (c. 500-530); commonly in the phrase break Priscian's head (1520s) "violate rules of grammar" (Latin diminuere Prisciani caput). For the name, see Priscilla.

Related entries & more 
clematis (n.)

plant genus, mostly herbaceous climbers, 1550s, "periwinkle," from Latin clematis, from Greek klematis, in Dioscorides as the name of a climbing or trailing plant (OED says probably the periwinkle) with long and lithe branches, diminutive of klema "vine-branch, shoot or twig broken off" (for grafting), from klan "to break" (see clastic).

Related entries & more 
Procrustean (adj.)

1822 in the figurative sense, "violently making conformable to standard, producing uniformity by deforming force or mutilation," from Procrustes, name of the mythical robber of Attica who seized travelers, tied them to his bed, and either stretched their limbs or lopped of their legs to make them fit it. With ending as in Herculean. By 1776 as Procrustian. The figurative image, though not the exact word, was in English at least from 1580s.

The name is Greek Prokroustēs "one who stretches," from prokrouein "to beat out, stretch out," from pro "before" (see pro-) + krouein "to strike," from PIE *krou(s)- "to push, bump, strike, break" (source also of Russian krušit' "to strike, stamp," Lithuanian kraušyti "to stamp off;" Russian kroxa "morsel, crumb;" Lithuanian krušti "to stamp, push (apart)"). 

Related entries & more 
Sabbath (n.)

Middle English sabat, from Old English sabat "seventh day of the week in the Jewish calendar; Saturday" as observed by the Jews as a day of rest from secular employment and of religious observance, from Old French sabat and directly from Latin sabbatum, from Greek sabbaton, from Hebrew shabbath, properly "day of rest," from shabath "he rested" (from labor). The spelling with -th is attested from late 14c. but was not widespread until 16c.

The Babylonians regarded seventh days as unlucky, and avoided certain activities on them; the Jewish observance might have begun as a similar custom. Among European Christians, the time of "Sabbath" shifted from the seventh day to the first (Sunday) via the Christians' celebration of the Lord's resurrection on the first day of the week (a Christian Sabbath) "though no definite law, either divine or ecclesiastical, directed the change" [Century Dictionary], but elaborate justifications have been made. In English Sabbath as "Sunday" is evident by early 15c. The sense change was completed among the English people generally during the Reformation.

The original use of the word is preserved in Spanish Sabado, Italian Sabato, and other languages' names for "Saturday." Hungarian szombat, Rumanian simbata, French samedi, German Samstag "Saturday" are from Vulgar Latin *sambatum, from Greek *sambaton, a vulgar nasalized variant of sabbaton. Gothic Sabbato, Sabbatus probably are directly from Greek.

The meaning "any day (or month or year) in which religious rest is enjoined" is by late 14c.; the word also was used in Medieval Latin of any feast day, the solstice, etc. Sabbath-breaking "act of profaning the Sabbath" is attested from 1650s (to break the Sabbath is from late 14c.), formerly a legal violation in parts of the old U.S., "immoral, disturbing, or unnecessary labors or practices" [Century Dictionary]. Sabbath-school is by 1798.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement