Etymology
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Zoe 

fem. proper name, Greek, literally "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."

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Mae West 

type of inflatable life jacket, 1940, military slang, in reference to the screen name of the buxom U.S. film star (1892-1980).

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Gradgrind (n.)

"cold, factual person," from the name of the school-board superintendent and mill-owner in Dickens' "Hard Times" (1854):

THOMAS GRADGRIND, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir - peremptorily Thomas - Thomas Gradgrind. With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic. ....
In such terms Mr. Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general. In such terms, no doubt, substituting the words 'boys and girls,' for 'sir,' Thomas Gradgrind now presented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers before him, who were to be filled so full of facts.
Indeed, as he eagerly sparkled at them from the cellarage before mentioned, he seemed a kind of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge. He seemed a galvanizing apparatus, too, charged with a grim mechanical substitute for the tender young imaginations that were to be stormed away. 
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Abel 

masc. proper name, in the Old Testament the second son of Adam and Eve, from Hebrew Hebhel, literally "breath," also "vanity;" "so called from his short life and sudden death" [Thayer].

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Zion 

late Old English Sion, from Greek Seon, from Hebrew Tsiyon, name of a Canaanite hill fortress in Jerusalem captured by David and called in the Bible "City of David." It became the center of Jewish life and worship.

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Ammon 

name of the Greek and Roman conception of the Egyptian sovereign sun-god Amun (said to mean literally "hidden"), also Amen-Ra. This they confused with the ram-headed divinity, god of life, worshipped at an oracular sanctuary in Libya. See ammonia. Related: Ammonian.

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mister 

as a conventional title of courtesy before a man's Christian name, mid-15c., unaccented variant of master (n.), but without its meaning. As a form of address when the man's name is unknown (often with a tinge of rudeness), from 1760.

The disappearance of master and mister, and the restricted and obsolescent use of sir, as an unaccompanied term of address, and the like facts with regard to mistress, Mrs., and madam, tend to deprive the English language of polite terms of address to strangers. Sir and madam or ma'am as direct terms of address are old-fashioned and obsolescent in ordinary speech, and mister and lady in this use are confined almost entirely to the lower classes. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
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Balthazar 

masc. proper name, from French, from Latin, from Greek Baltasar, from Hebrew Belteshatztzar, Biblical king of Babylon (who "saw the writing on the wall"), from Babylonian Balat-shar-usur, literally "save the life of the king." As a type of very large wine bottle by 1935, in allusion to Daniel v.1.

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Methusela 

also Methuselah, Biblical patriarch, son of Enoch, he was said to have lived 969 years, the oldest lifespan recorded in Old Testament. Used from late 14c. as the type of a very long life or long-lived person. The name is Hebrew Metushelah, which appears to be "man of the dart," from singular of methim "men" + shelah "dart."

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Faustian (adj.)

1870, in reference to Johann Faust (c. 1485-1541), German wandering astrologer and wizard, who was reputed to have sold his soul to the Devil. Fantastic tales of his life were told as early as the late 16c., and he was the hero of dramas by Marlowe and Goethe. The Latinized form of his name, faustus, means "of favorable omen."

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