fem. proper name, Russian, probably from Norse Helga, literally "holy," from Proto-Germanic *hailaga (from PIE *kailo-; see health). The masc. form is Oleg.
surname, from marshal (n.). The city in Texas, U.S., was named in 1841 for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835). The Marshall Plan, "U.S. assistance to aid certain Western European nations recovering from World War II," is from 1947, named for its initiator, George C. Marshall (1880-1959), who was U.S. Secretary of State 1947-49. The Marshall Islands in the western Pacific were explored in 1788 by British naval captains John Marshall (1748-1819) and Thomas Gilbert, and named for the former (for the latter, see Kiribati). Related: Marshallese.
American colony, later U.S. state, 1681, literally "Penn's Woods," a hybrid formed from the surname Penn (Welsh, literally "head") + Latin sylvania (see sylvan). Not named for William Penn, the proprietor, but, on suggestion of Charles II, for Penn's late father, Admiral William Penn (1621-1670), who had lent the king the money that was repaid to the son in the form of land for a Quaker settlement in America. The story goes that the younger Penn wanted to call it New Wales, but the king's secretary, a Welshman of orthodox religion, wouldn't hear of it. Pennsylvania Dutch (adj.) in reference to the German communities of the state, which retained their customs and language, is attested from 1824.
The statuette awarded for excellence in film acting, directing, etc., given annually since 1928 was first so called in 1936. The common explanation of the name is that it sprang from a 1931 remark by Margaret Herrick, secretary at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on seeing the statuette: "He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar." Thus the award would be named for Oscar Pierce, U.S. wheat farmer and fruit grower. The popularity of the name seems to trace to columnist Sidney Skolsky, and there are other stories of its origin.