Etymology
Advertisement
Morpheus 

late 14c., name for the god of dreams in Ovid, son of Sleep, literally "the maker of shapes," from Greek morphē "form, shape, figure," especially "a fine figure, a beautiful form; beauty, fashion, outward appearance," a word of uncertain etymology. Related: Morphean. Morphō was an epithet of Aphrodite at Sparta, literally "shapely."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Uncle Sam (n.)
symbol of the United States of America, 1813, coined during the war with Britain as a contrast to John Bull, and no doubt suggested by the initials U.S. in abbreviations. "[L]ater statements connecting it with different government officials of the name of Samuel appear to be unfounded" [OED]. The common figure of Uncle Sam began to appear in political cartoons c. 1850. Only gradually superseded earlier Brother Jonathan (1776), largely through the popularization of the figure by cartoonist Thomas Nast. British in World War I sometimes called U.S. soldiers Sammies.
Related entries & more 
Che 

nickname of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto Guevara (1928-1967), given to him by Cuban exiles in Guatemala in mid-1950s, from his dialectal use of Argentine che, a slang filler word in speech.

Related entries & more 
Marianne 

fem. proper name, from French, a variant of Marian; sometimes Englished as Mary Anne. It was the name of a republican secret society formed in France in 1851, when it became the designation of the female figure of "liberty" popular since the days of the Revolution; hence "personification of the French Republic" (1870).

Related entries & more 
Aldine (n.)

typeface, 1837, from Aldus Manutius (1450-1515), Venetian printer who used it in his popular editions of Greek and Roman classics. His name is a Latinized form of Italian Aldo Manuzio; the first name is short for Teobaldo (see Theobald), and, like many Italian masc. given names, of Germanic origin. The device characteristic of Aldine books is a figure of a dolphin on an anchor.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Lydia 
ancient country of Asia Minor bordering the Aegean. It was an empire under Croesus, famous for his wealth. The name is from a supposed ancestor Ludos. The people also figure, as Ludim, in the Old Testament (Genesis x.13), which seems to have sometimes confused them with the Libyans. Related: Lydian, attested from 1540s as a noun, 1580s as an adjective, and 1570s as a musical mode.
Related entries & more 
Britannia 

Latin name of Britain, preserved in poetry and as the proper name of the female figure who personifies the place on coinage, etc.

When Britain first, at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."
[James Thomson, 1740]
Related entries & more 
Phoebe 

fem. proper name, originally (late 14c.), a name of Artemis as the goddess of the moon, also the moon itself (mid-15c.); from Latin Phoebe, from Greek Phoebē, from phoibos "bright, pure," a word of unknown origin. The fem. form of Phoebus, an epithet of Apollo as sun-god. Phoebe, a notable figure in the early Church, is mentioned in Romans 16:1-2. Most popular as a given name for girls born in the U.S. in the 1880s and 2010s.

Related entries & more 
Teflon (n.)
commercially important synthetic polymer, 1945, proprietary name registered in U.S. by du Pont, from chemical name (poly)te(tra)fl(uoroethylene) + arbitrary ending -on; popularized as a coating of non-stick pans in 1960s; metaphoric extension, especially in reference to U.S. President Ronald Reagan, is attested from an Aug. 2, 1983, speech on the floor of Congress by Pat Schroeder.
Related entries & more 
Slav (n.)

late 14c., Sclave, from Medieval Latin Sclavus (c. 800), from Byzantine Greek Sklabos (c. 580), from Proto-Slavic *sloveninu "a Slav," probably related to *slovo "word, speech," which suggests the name originally identified a member of a speech community (compare Old Church Slavonic Nemici "Germans," related to nemu "dumb;" Greek heterophonos "foreign," literally "of different voice;" and Old English þeode, which meant both "race" and "language").

Max Vasmer, the authority for Slavic etymologies, rejects a connection to *slava "glory, fame," which, however, influenced Slav via folk etymology. This is the -slav in personal names (such as Russian Miroslav, literally "peaceful fame;" Mstislav "vengeful fame;" Jaroslav "famed for fury;" Czech Bohuslav "God's glory;" Latinized Wenceslas "having greater glory"), perhaps from PIE root *kleu- "to hear."

In English, it was spelled Slave c. 1788-1866, influenced by French and German Slave. As an adjective from 1876.

Related entries & more