"iced gin drink served in a tall glass" (called a Collins glass), 1940, American English; earlier Tom Collins (by 1878), of uncertain origin. Popular in early 1940s; bartending purists at the time denied it could be based on anything but gin. The surname (12c.) is from a masc. proper name, a diminutive of Col, itself a pet form of Nicholas (compare Colin).
1915, proprietary name (Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y.) of a type of hard, heat-resistant glass, an arbitrary coinage, in which advertisement writers and eager etymologists see implications of Greek pyr "fire" and perhaps Latin rex "king;" but the prosaic inventors say it was based on pie (n.1), because pie dishes were among the first products made from it. The -r-, in that case, is purely euphonious.
"of, pertaining to, or resembling in any way Prometheus," 1580s, from Prometheus (q.v.) + -an. Before the introduction of modern matches (see lucifer), promethean was the name given (1830) to small glass tubes full of sulphuric acid, surrounded by an inflammable mixture, which ignited when pressed and afforded a ready light. Related: Prometheans.
Prometheans are small glass bulbs, filled with concentrated sulphuric acid, and hermetically sealed, and surrounded with a mixture of inflammable materials, amongst which the chlorate of potash forms one ; and the whole being again inclosed or surrounded with paper, also rendered still more inflammable by means of resinous matters. Upon pinching the end containing the glass bulb, between the jaws of a pair of pliers, the bulb breaks, and the sulphuric acid instantly kindles the surrounding materials. ["Arcana of Science and Art," London, 1830]
1871, nonsense word (perhaps based on jabber) coined by Lewis Carroll, for the poem of the same name, which he published in "Through the Looking-Glass." The poem is about a fabulous beast called the Jabberwock.
name taken by Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skriabin (1890-1986), Soviet minister of foreign affairs 1939-1949, from Russian molot "hammer," cognate with Latin malleus, from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." Molotov cocktail "glass bottle filled with flammable liquid and a means of ignition" (1940) is a term from Russo-Finnish War (used and satirically named by the Finns).
masc. proper name, Gaelic, literally "son of life." The first reference to bad luck associated with Shakespeare's "Macbeth," and to avoidance of naming it, is from 1896, alludes to an incident of 1885, and says the tradition goes back "so far as modern memory can recall." The original superstition seems to have pertained particularly to the witches' scenes, which were played up dramatically in 19c. productions, and especially to Matthew Locke's 17c. music to accompany the witches' song, which was regularly played through the 19th century.
It is strange how the effect of this music has exerted such a long surviving influence on members of the dramatic profession. It is still considered most unlucky to sing, hum, or whistle the witch airs in the theatre except in the ways of business. [Young-Stewart, "The Three Witches," in The Shakespearean, Sept. 15, 1896]
If you number an actor or actress among your friends, and desire to retain his or her friendship, there are three things you positively must not do, especially if the actor is of the old school. Do not whistle in the theatre, do not look over his shoulder into the glass while he is making up, and do not hum the witch's song from "Macbeth." ... [O]lder actors would almost prefer to lose their salary than go on in "Macbeth" on account of this song. They believe that it casts spells upon the members of the company. ["Some Odd Superstitions of the Stage," Theatre magazine, July 1909]