Etymology
Advertisement
peninsula (n.)

"piece of land almost surrounded by water but connected with a mainland by a neck or isthmus," 1530s, from Latin paeninsula "a peninsula," literally "almost an island," from pæne "nearly, almost, practically," which is of uncertain origin, + insula "island" (see isle). In 16c. sometimes Englished as demie island.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
peninsular (adj.)

"of or pertaining to a peninsula; in the form of a peninsula; carried on in a peninsula," 1610s, from peninsula + -ar or from French péninsulaire (16c.). Related: Peninsularity.

The Peninsular War was the successful military operations in Spain and Portugal 1808-14 by the British and allied local forces, largely under Wellington, to drive the French from the Iberian peninsula. The Peninsular Campaign in the American Civil War was the unsuccessful attempt by the Army of the Potomac, under McClellan, in the spring and early summer of 1862 to capture Richmond, Va., by advancing up the peninsula between the Rappahannock and James rivers.

Related entries & more 
Balkans 

the mountainous peninsula between the Adriatic and Black seas (including Greece), probably from Turkic.

Related entries & more 
Qatar 

peninsula-state in the Persian Gulf, probably from Arabic katran "tar, resin," in reference to petroleum. The Romans knew it as Catara. Related: Qatari.

Related entries & more 
simoom (n.)

"hot, dry desert wind" in the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere in that region, 1790, from Arabic samum "a sultry wind," literally "poisonous," from samma "he poisoned," from sam "poison."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Hispanic (adj.)

"pertaining to Spain" (especially ancient Spain) 1580s, from Latin Hispanicus, from Hispania "Iberian Peninsula," from Hispanus "Spaniard" (see Spaniard). Specific application to Spanish-speaking parts of the New World is from 1889, American English; since c. 1972 especially applied to Spanish-speaking persons of Latin American descent living in the U.S. As a noun meaning "Hispanic person" from 1972.

Related entries & more 
Norway 

European nation on the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula, Middle English Nor-weie, from Old English Norweg, Norþweg "Norway, the Norwegian coast," from Old Norse Norvegr "north way, a way leading to the north," from norðr (see north) + vegr "way," from Proto-Germanic *wegaz"course of travel, way" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"). Contrasted with suthrvegar "south way," i.e. Germany, and austrvegr "east way," the Baltic lands. Compare Norwegian.

Related entries & more 
bergamot (n.)

type of citrus tree, also its fruit (similar to bitter orange), and the essence prepared from the oil of the rind of the fruit (formerly much used in perfumery), 1690s, from French bergamote (17c.), from Italian bergamotta, named for Bergamo, town in northern Italy. The name is Roman Bergamum, from a Celtic or Ligurian berg "mountain," cognate with the identical Germanic word.

Earlier (1610s) it was the name for a kind of pear deemed especially luscious; in this sense the word is ultimately a Romanic folk-etymologization of Turkish beg-armudi "prince's pear" or "prince of pears," influenced in form by the place-name (probably not directly from the town name, because it is on the opposite end of the peninsula from where the pear grows). Also used of garden plants of the mint order with a smell like that of oil of bergamot (1843).

Related entries & more 
austral (adj.)

"southern, of or pertaining to the south," 1540s, from Latin australis, from auster "south wind; south," from Proto-Italic *aus-tero- (adj.) "towards the dawn," from PIE *heus-tero- (source also of Sanskrit usra- "red; matutinal," usar-budh- "waking at dawn;" Greek aurion "tomorrow;" Lithuanian aušra "dawn;" Old Church Slavonic jutro "dawn, morning; tomorrow;" Old High German ostara "Easter"), from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn.

The Latin sense shift in auster, if it is indeed the same word other Indo-European languages use for "east," for which Latin uses oriens (see Orient (n.)), perhaps is based on a false assumption about the orientation of the Italian peninsula, "with shift through 'southeast' explained by the diagonal position of the axis of Italy" [Buck]; see Walde, Alois, "Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch," 3rd. ed., vol. I, p.87; Ernout, Alfred, and Meillet, Alfred, "Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine," 2nd. ed., p.94.

Or perhaps the connection is more ancient, and from PIE root *aus- "to shine," source of aurora, which also produces words for "burning," with reference to the "hot" south wind that blows into Italy. Thus auster "(hot) south wind," metaphorically extended to "south."

Related entries & more 
gown (n.)

long, loose outer garment, c. 1300, from Old French goune "robe, coat; (nun's) habit, gown," related to Late Latin gunna "leather garment, skin, hide," of unknown origin. Used by St. Boniface (8c.) for a fur garment permitted for old or infirm monks. Klein writes that it is probably "a word adopted from a language of the Apennine or the Balkan Peninsula." OED points to Byzantine Greek gouna, a word for a coarse garment sometimes made of skins, but also notes "some scholars regard it as of Celtic origin."

In 18c., gown was the common word for what now usually is styled a dress. It was maintained more in the U.S. than in Britain, but was somewhat revived 20c. in fashion senses and in combinations (such as bridal gown, nightgown). Meaning "flowing robe worn on official occasions as a badge of office or authority" is from late 14c. As collective singular for "residents of a university" (1650s) it typically is used in rhyming opposition to town.

Related entries & more