polyethylene terephthalate used as a textile fabric, 1951, proprietary name coined by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.; an invented word of no etymology, on the model of nylon, etc.
father of Icarus in Greek mythology, builder of the Cretan labyrinth, from Latin Daedelus, from Greek Daidalos, literally "the cunning worker," from or related to daidallein "to work artfully, embellish," a word of disputed etymology. Beekes writes, "we should consider Pre-Greek origin." Related: Daedalian.
18c.-19c. West African kingdom, a native name of unknown etymology. Made a French protectorate in 1894, it gained full independence in 1960, and in 1975 changed its name to Benin. Related: Dahoman, Dahomean.
1809, name of a group of native peoples from the American plains speaking a Siouan language, from Dakota dakhota "friendly" (the name often is translated as "allies"). Recorded by Lewis and Clark (1804) as Dar co tar; in western dialects of the Teton subgroup, Lakota, Lakhota; in Assiniboine dialect, Nakota, Nakhota. The north-central U.S. Dakota Territory was organized in 1861 and divided into North and South and admitted as two states in 1889. Related: Dakotan.
city in Texas, U.S., settled 1841, named 1846 for George M. Dallas (1792-1864), U.S. vice president under Polk (1845-49). The family name (13c.) is from the barony of Dallas (Moray) or means "dweller at the house in the dale."
1670s, "of or pertaining to Dalmatia" (q.v.); as a noun, 1580s, "inhabitant of Dalmatia."
The breed of spotted dogs so called from 1893, short for Dalmatian dog (1810), presumably named for Dalmatia, but dog breeders argue over whether there is a Croatian ancestry for the breed, which seems to be represented in Egyptian bas-reliefs and Hellenic friezes. They were popular in early 1800s as carriage dogs, trotting alongside carriages and guarding the vehicles in owner's absence (the alternative name coach-dog is attested from 1792). Even fire departments nowadays tend to spell it *Dalmation.
THE use to which this beautiful and shewy breed is applied, being so universally known both in Town and Country, needs a bare mention: how long it has been the fashion to keep these dogs, as attendants of the Coach Horse Stable, and as precursors to the Carriage, as if to clear the way and announce its approach, does not appear in our common books of reference on the subject; but the practice may probably be a century or two old, and was doubtless derived from Continental usage. ["The Sportsman's Repository," London, 1831]
ancient city in Syria, famous in medieval times for silk and steel, mid-13c., probably via Old French, from Latin Damascus, from Greek Damaskos, from Semitic (compare Hebrew Dammeseq, Arabic Dimashq), from a pre-Semitic name of unknown origin.
flattering courtier of Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse; his name in Greek means literally "fame of the people," from dēmos, damos "people" (see demotic) + -kles "fame," a common ending in Greek proper names, related to kleos "rumor, report, news; good report, fame, glory," from PIE *klew-yo-, suffixed form of root *kleu- "to hear." To teach Damocles the peril that accompanies a tyrant's pleasures, Dionysius seated him at a banquet with a sword suspended above his head by a single hair. Hence the figurative use of sword of Damocles, by 1747. Related: Damoclean.
name of one of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel or its territory, named for its founder; literally "he who judges," related to Hebrew din "to judge." In the Old Testament, it occupied the northernmost part of Israel, hence its use proverbially for "utmost extremity," as in from Dan to Beersheba (the southernmost region), 1738. Related: Danite.