masc. proper name, from Greek alexis, from alexein "to ward off, keep, protect" (see Alexander). The Latin form was Alexius.
surname, literally "John's (child);" see John. Phrase keep up with the Joneses (1917, American English) is from Keeping Up with the Joneses, the title of a popular newspaper comic strip by Arthur R. "Pop" Momand (1886-1987) which debuted in 1913 and chronicled the doings of the McGinnis family in its bid to match the living style of the Joneses. The slang sense "intense desire, addiction" (1968) probably arose from earlier use of Jones as a synonym for "heroin," presumably from the proper name, but the connection, if any, is obscure. Related: Jonesing.
masc. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Alexandros "defending men," from alexein "to ward off, keep off, turn (something) away, defend, protect" + anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). The first element perhaps is related to Greek alke "protection, help, strength, power, courage," alkimos "strong;" and cognate with Sanskrit raksati "protects," Old English ealgian "to defend."
As a kind of cocktail recipe featuring crème de cacao and cream, Alexander is attested from 1913; the reason for the name is unclear.
"civilian who is thought to be prospering back home with a soldier's sweetheart, wife, job, etc.," by 1979, said to date from World War II, from masc. proper name Jody, for no clear reason. Hence Jody call.
region in South Asia, named for its people, said to be from Banga, name of a founding chief. It is attested in Europe as far back as Marco Polo (1298), who wrote of Bangala. Related: Bengali; Bengalese.
clothing manufacturer trendy in the 1970s and 1980s, the company name was bought in 1930s from A.J. Izod, a London tailoring establishment. The surname (also Izzard, etc.) goes back to the Middle Ages and might be related to the proper name Isold.
also Laocoön name of a Trojan priest of Apollo, from Latin Laocoon, from Greek Laukoun, from laos "people" (see lay (adj.)) + koeo "I mark, perceive."
Laocoön, n. A famous piece of antique sculpture representing a priest of that time and his two sons in the folds of two enormous serpents. The skill and diligence with which the old man and lads support the serpents and keep them up in their work have been justly regarded as one of the noblest artistic illustrations of the mastery of human intelligence over brute inertia. [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]
1972, rough acronym from American Sign Language, which was known by that name since 1960, but its history goes back to 1817, evolving from French Sign Language (introduced at American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn.) and indigenous sign languages, especially that of Martha's Vineyard. [See "Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language," Nora Ellen Groce, Harvard University Press, 1985]
medieval Spanish county and later kingdom, from Vulgar Latin *castilla, from Latin castella, plural of castellum "castle, fort, citadel, stronghold" (see castle (n.)); so called in reference to the many fortified places there during the Moorish wars. The name in Spanish is said to date back to c.800. Related: Castilian. As a fine kind of soap, in English from 1610s.