"informal session of folk musicians," 1940, American English, earlier "a gadget" (1927), of unknown origin, perhaps a nonsense word.
Another device used by the professional car thief, and one recently developed to perfection, according to a large Chicago lock-testing laboratory, is a "hootenanny," so-called by the criminals using it. [Popular Mechanics, February 1931]
1892 (n.) "an adherent of populism," also (with capital P-), "a member of the Populist Party;" 1893 (adj.); American English, from Latin populus "people" (see people (n.)) + -ist. Originally in reference to the U.S. Populist Party (or People's Party), organized February 1892 to promote certain issues important to farmers and workers (expansion of the currency, state control of railways, and restriction on the ownership of land). The term outlasted the party, and by 1920s came to mean "representing the views of the masses" in a general way, and from the 1950s as "anti-establishment" on either the left or the right.
1580s (n.); 1590s (adj.), in reference to Roman leap year, from Late Latin (annus) bisextilis "leap year," more literally "the twice sixth-day, (a year) containing a second sixth (day)." To keep the Julian calendar consistent with the sun, the sixth day (by inclusive reckoning) before the Calends of March was doubled every four years. The date corresponds to our February 24th. From Latin bissextus/bisextis (dies), from bis "twice" (see bis-) + sextus "sixth (day before the First of March)," from sex "six" (see six).
[self-propelling projectile] 1610s, "projectile consisting of a cylindrical tube of pasteboard filled with flammable or explosive matter," from Italian rocchetto "a rocket," literally "a bobbin," diminutive of rocca "a distaff," so called because of cylindrical shape. The Italian word probably is from a Germanic source (compare Old High German rocko "distaff," Middle Dutch rokke, Old Norse rokkr), from Proto-Germanic *rukkon- (from PIE root *rug- "fabric, spun yarn").
Originally of fireworks rockets, the meaning "device propelled by a rocket engine" is recorded by 1919 (Goddard); rocket-ship in the space-travel sense is attested from February 1927 ("Popular Science"); earlier as a type of naval warship firing projectiles. Rocket science in the figurative sense of "difficult, complex process or topic" is attested by 1985; rocket scientist is from 1952.
That such a feat is considered within the range of possibility is evidenced by the activities of scientists in Europe as well as in America. Two of them, Prof. Herman Oberth and Dr. Franz Hoeff, of Vienna, are constructing a five-ton rocket ship in which they hope to reach the moon in two days. [Popular Science, February 1927]
The great occupation of the nations of western Europe, from the beginning of the fifteenth century to near the close of the eighteenth century, was colonization and the establishment of empire on the American continent. The year 1775 witnessed the opening of the first act in the great drama of the decolonization of this continent, the end of which is not yet. [Speech of Hon. W.H. Seward of New York in the Senate, February 8, 1853, in Appendix to the Congressional Globe, 2nd Session, 32nd Congress]
"designate as worthy of priority," by 1967 in U.S. government jargon, apparently popularized during the 1972 U.S. presidential contest, from root of priority + -ize. "A word that at present sits uneasily in the language" [OED, 1989]. Related: Prioritized; prioritizing.
Sen. Pete Dominick (R-Colo.) claims that it took him and his staff almost six years (Dominick is up for election next year) just to learn "governmentalese." He notes words such as "generalizationable" and "prioritize" and other words constructed with liberal use of hyphens: "quasi-pseudo-anti-regionalism" and "multi-duplex-co-establishment." [Don MacLean, "Washington Watch" newspaper column, February, 1967]
"inspissated juice of the poppy plant," especially as used in medicine from 17c. for relief of pain and production of sleep, late 14c., from Latin opium, from Greek opion "poppy juice, poppy," diminutive of opos "vegetable juice, plant juice, fig curd," from PIE *sokwo- "juice, resin" (source also of Old Church Slavonic soki "juice," Lithuanian sakaī (plural) "resin").
Die Religion ist der Seufzer der bedrängten Kreatur, das Gemüth einer herzlosen Welt, wie sie der Geist geistloser Zustände ist. Sie ist das Opium des Volks. [Karl Marx, "Zur Kritik der Hegel'schen Rechts-Philosophie," in "Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher," February, 1844]
The British Opium War against China lasted from 1839-42; the name is attested from 1841. Opium-eater, one who habitually uses opium in some form, is by 1821.