legendary Greek sculptor/goldsmith who created a beautiful statue of a woman he made and wished to life, from Greek Pygmaliōn. The story is centered on Cyprus and his name might be a Greek folk-etymology adaptation of a foreign word, perhaps from Phoenician. Notable in 20c. for the Pygmalion word, a British euphemistic substitute for bloody, from the notorious use of that word in Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" (1913: "Walk? Not bloody likely!"), the basis of the 1964 movie "My Fair Lady."
masc. proper name, literally "fair-haired," from Old English scir "bright" (see sheer (adj.)) + locc "lock of hair" (see lock (n.2)). Slang for "private detective, perceptive person" (the latter often ironic) is attested by 1903, from A.C. Doyle's fictional character Sherlock Holmes (the character's full name in this sense was so used from 1896; Holmes debuted in 1887 and was popular by 1892).
faint constellation and 11th zodiac sign, late Old English, from Latin aquarius, literally "water carrier," properly an adjective, "pertaining to water" (see aquarium); a loan-translation of Greek Hydrokhoos "the water-pourer," the old Greek name of this constellation.
The Aquarians (1580s) were a former Christian sect; its adherents used water instead of wine at the Lord's Supper. Aquarian Age (alluded to from 1913) is an astrological epoch (based on precession of the equinoxes) supposed to have begun in the 20th century (though in one estimate, 1848), it would be characterized by the traits of this sign, usher in world peace and human brotherhood, and last approximately 2,160 years. The term and the concept probably got a boost in popular use from the rock song "Age of Aquarius" (1967) and when An Aquarian Exposition was used as the sub-title of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1969).