masc. proper name, from Old French Robin, diminutive of Robert (q.v.). Robin Goodfellow, "sportive elf or domestic fairy of the English countryside," said to be the offspring of King Oberon of Fairyland and a mortal, is attested by 1530s (Tyndale), popular 16-17c.; Robin Hood is from at least late 14c.
fem. proper name, from Aramaic (Semitic) Maretha, literally "lady, mistress," fem. of mar, mara "lord, master." As the type name of one concerned with domestic affairs, it is from Luke x.40-41. Martha's Vineyard was discovered 1602 by English explorer Gabriel Archer and apparently named by him, but the identity of the Martha he had in mind is unknown now.
old name for Ethiopia, 1630s, from Modern Latin Abyssinia, from Arabic Habasah, the name for the region, said to be from Amharic hbsh "mixed" or Arabic habash "mixture," in reference to the different races dwelling there. In 1920s-30s popular as a slang pun for the parting salutation "I'll be seeing you." Related: Abyssinian (1620s; as a breed of domestic cat, 1876). In early use also Abyssine.
city in Devon, England, named for its location at the mouth of the Plym River; the river is in turn named for Plympton, literally "plum-tree farm." Earlier Plymouth was known as Sutton Prior. The town in Massachusetts, U.S., was named 1620 by immigrants on the "Mayflower," which had sailed from Plymouth, England, and landed at what became known as Plymouth Rock; Plymouth Rock as the name of a large variety of domestic hen, originally bred in the U.S., is by 1873.
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.