Etymology
Advertisement
so-called (adj.)
mid-15c., from so (adv.) + past participle of call (v.). As a "sneer word" (1980, Safire, who lumps it with self-proclaimed, would-be, and purported), from 1837.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
radiolarian (n.)

"one of the Radiolaria," a name applied by Haeckel (1862) to the protozoa called by Ehrenberg Polycystina. The classification name is Modern Latin, from Latin radiolus, diminutive of radius (q.v.), so called for the organisms' radiant "spikes."

Related entries & more 
box-turtle (n.)
1825, American English for what is called by English writers a box-tortoise (1834), from box (n.1), so called for its resemblance to a tight, closed box when the head, tail, and legs are drawn in.
Related entries & more 
greenback (n.)
"U.S. dollar bill," 1862, so called from the time of their introduction, from green (adj.) + back (n.); bank paper money printed in green ink had been called this since 1778 (as opposed to redbacks, etc.).
Related entries & more 
gam (n.)
"a leg," 1781, see gams. Called "cant" in the oldest citation.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
grunion (n.)
type of Pacific fish, 1901, from American Spanish gruñon "grunting fish," from grunir "to grunt," from Latin grunnire, from Greek gryzein "to grunt," from gry "a grunt," imitative. Compare the unrelated American fish called the grunt, "so called from the noise they make when taken."
Related entries & more 
towhee (n.)
marsh-robin, 1730, so called for the note of its cry.
Related entries & more 
brain-coral (n.)
1709, from brain (n.) + coral; so called for its appearance.
Related entries & more 
butter-bean (n.)
1819, so called for its color, from butter (n.) + bean (n.).
Related entries & more 
hight (v.)

"named, called" (archaic), from levelled past participle of Middle English highte, from Old English hatte "I am called" (passive of hatan "to call, name, command") merged with heht "called," active past tense of the same verb. Hatte was the only survival in Old English of the old Germanic synthetic passive tense. Proto-Germanic *haitanan "to call, summon," also is the source of Old Norse heita, Dutch heten, German heißen, Gothic haitan "to call, be called, command," and is perhaps from an extended form of PIE root *keie- "to set in motion," but Boutkan finds it to be of uncertain origin.

Related entries & more