Etymology
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Great Britain 
c. 1400, Grete Britaigne "the land of the Britons before the English conquest" (as opposed to Brittany), also "England and Wales;" see great (adj.) + Britain.
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magna mater 

a fertility goddess, 1728, Latin, literally "great mother;" see magnate + mother (n.1).

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War of 1812 
In reference to the conflict between the U.S. and Great Britain, so called in U.S. by 1815.
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Novus Ordo Seclorum 

on the Great Seal of the United States of America, apparently an allusion to line 5 of Virgil's "Eclogue IV," in an 18c. edition: Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur ordo "The great series of ages begins anew." The seal's designer, Charles Thomson, wrote that the words "signify the beginnings of the New American Era." (see Annuit Coeptis).

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Queensberry Rules 
drawn up 1867 by Sir John Sholto Douglas (1844-1900), 8th Marquis of Queensberry, to govern the sport of boxing in Great Britain.
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magna cum laude 

designating a diploma or degree of higher standard than average, by 1856, Latin, literally "with great praise;" from magna (see magnate) + cum laude.

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prime minister 

"leading minister of a government, the chief of the cabinet or ministry," 1640s, see prime (adj.) and minister (n.). Applied to the First Minister of State of Great Britain since 1694.

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grand mal 
"convulsive epilepsy" (with loss of consciousness), 1842 as a French term in English, from French grand mal, literally "great sickness" (see grand (adj.)). Opposed to petit mal.
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big shot (n.)
"important person," 1929, American English, from Prohibition-era gangster slang; earlier in the same sense was great shot (1861). Ultimately a reference to large type of gunshot; see shot (n.).
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grand prix 
1863, French, literally "great prize," originally in English in reference to the Grand Prix de Paris, international horse race for three-year-olds, run every June at Longchamps beginning in 1863.
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