before vowels ornith-, word-forming element meaning "bird, birds," from combining form of Greek ornis (genitive ornithos; plural ornithēs) "a bird," in Attic generally "domestic fowl, cock or hen," which often was added to the specific name of the type of bird, from PIE *or- "large bird" (see erne).
For "bird" Greek also had ptēnon (plural peteina), related to pteron "wing," from the root meaning "to fly."
"very large diurnal raptorial bird of the genus Aquila," mid-14c., from Old French egle, from Old Provençal aigla, from Latin aquila "black eagle," fem. of aquilus "eagle," often explained as "the dark colored" (bird); see aquiline. The native term was erne.
Golf score sense is by 1908 (according to old golf sources, because it "soars higher" than a birdie). As the name of a U.S. $10 coin minted from 1792 to 1933, established in the 1786 resolution for a new monetary system (but at first only the desperately needed small copper coins were minted). The figurative eagle-eyed "sharp-sighted" (like an eagle) is attested from c. 1600.
"of or pertaining to a region, place, or point nearer the north than some other," Old English norþerna, norðerne "northern, of the north; Northumbrian; Scandinavian," cognate with Old High German nordroni, Old Norse norroenn (see north). With -erne, suffix denoting direction. Related: Northernmost.
Northerner "man from the north of England" is attested from late 13c. as a surname. In the U.S. sense "native or resident of the northern states or territories" it is attested by 1818. Northern lights "aurora borealis" is recorded by that name by 1721 (earlier north-light, 1706).
masc. proper name, from French Ernest, which is of German origin (compare Old High German Ernust, German Ernst), literally "earnestness" (see earnest (adj.)). Among the top 50 names for boys born in U.S. from 1880 through 1933.