Etymology
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infamous (adj.)
a 16c. merger of two Middle English words, with the form of infamous "not well-known" (early 15c.) and the sense of infamis (late 14c.), "of ill repute, famous for badness." Infamous is from Medieval Latin infamosus, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin famosus "celebrated" (see famous). Infamis is from Latin infamis "of ill fame" (see infamy).

Meaning "causing infamy" is from 1550s. As a legal term, "disqualified from certain rights of citizens because of conviction for certain crimes" (late 14c.). The neutral fameless (in the sense original to infamous) is recorded from 1590s. Related: Infamously.
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unfamous (adj.)
late 14c., "not well known, obscure," from un- (1) "not" + famous (adj.). Also from late 14c. as "notably bad," a sense now in infamous.
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*bha- (2)

*bhā-; Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to speak, tell, say."

It forms all or part of: abandon; affable; anthem; antiphon; aphasia; aphonia; aphonic; apophasis; apophatic; ban (n.1) "proclamation or edict;" ban (v.); banal; bandit; banish; banlieue; banns (n.); bifarious; blame; blaspheme; blasphemy; boon (n.); cacophony; confess; contraband; defame; dysphemism; euphemism; euphony; fable; fabulous; fado; fairy; fame; famous; fandango; fatal; fate; fateful; fatuous; fay; gramophone; heterophemy; homophone; ineffable; infamous; infamy; infant; infantile; infantry; mauvais; megaphone; microphone; monophonic; nefandous; nefarious; phatic; -phone; phone (n.2) "elementary sound of a spoken language;" phoneme; phonetic; phonic; phonics; phono-; pheme; -phemia; Polyphemus; polyphony; preface; profess; profession; professional; professor; prophecy; prophet; prophetic; quadraphonic; symphony; telephone; xylophone.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek pheme "speech, voice, utterance, a speaking, talk," phōnē "voice, sound" of a human or animal, also "tone, voice, pronunciation, speech," phanai "to speak;" Sanskrit bhanati "speaks;" Latin fari "to say," fabula "narrative, account, tale, story," fama "talk, rumor, report; reputation, public opinion; renown, reputation;" Armenian ban, bay "word, term;" Old Church Slavonic bajati "to talk, tell;" Old English boian "to boast," ben "prayer, request;" Old Irish bann "law."

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gibbet (v.)
"to kill by hanging," 1590s, from gibbet (n.). Also "to hang a dead body in a public place for the sake of infamous exposure;" hence, figuratively "expose to ridicule" (1640s). Related: Gibbeted; gibbeting.
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Casanova (n.)
"man of carnal adventures, connoisseur of seduction," 1888, from Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seignalt (1725-1798), the infamous debaucher. His name could be Englished as Jacob Jerome Newhouse, which sounds somewhat less romantic.
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famous (adj.)
late 14c., "celebrated in public report, renowned, well-known" also "notorious, infamous," from Anglo-French famous, Old French fameus (Modern French fameux), from Latin famosus "much talked of, renowned," often "infamous, notorious, of ill repute," from fama (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say"). A native word for this was Old English namcuð, literally "name-known." Catch phrase famous last words in the humorous sense "remark likely to prove fatally wrong" is attested from 1921 (early lists of them include "Let's see if it's loaded ... We'll get across before the train comes ... Which one is the third rail? ... Light up, it can't explode").
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flagitious (adj.)
"shamefully wicked, criminal," late 14c., from Old French flagicieus or directly from Latin flagitiosus "shameful, disgraceful, infamous," from flagitium "shameful act, passionate deed, disgraceful thing," related to flagrum "a whip, scourge, lash," and flagitare "to demand importunately," all from PIE root *bhlag- "to strike" (see flagellum). Related: Flagitiously; flagitiousness.
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prostitution (n.)

1530s, "act or practice of offering the body to indiscrimninate sexual intercourse for hire," from French prostitution and directly from Late Latin prostitutionem (nominative prostitutio) "prostitution," noun of action from past-participle stem of prostituere "to expose publicly to prostitution" (see prostitute (v.)). Figuratively (of abilities, etc.), "act of devoting or offering to a base or infamous use," by 1640s.

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Star Chamber (n.)
late 14c., apartment in the royal palace at Westminster in which members of the king's council sat to exercise jurisdiction 14-15c., it evolved 15c. into a court of criminal jurisdiction, infamous under James I and Charles I for arbitrary and oppressive proceedings. Abolished 1641. Supposedly so called because gilt stars had been painted on the ceiling. Later there was a star on the door.
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swart (adj.)

Old English sweart "black, dark," of night, clouds, also figurative, "wicked, infamous," from Proto-Germanic *swarta- (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Middle Dutch swart, Dutch zwart, Old Norse svartr, German schwarz, Gothic swarts "dark-colored, black"), from PIE root *swordo- "dirty, dark, black" (source of sordid). The true Germanic word, surviving in the Continental languages but displaced in English by black. Of skin color of persons from late 14c. Related: Swartest.

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