proprietary name for a brand of heavy automobile trucks, named for brothers John M., Augustus F., and William C. Mack, who established Mack Brothers Company, N.Y., N.Y., in 1902. Their trucks have been formally known as Mack Trucks from 1910.
river in Canada, named for Scottish fur trader and explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie, who discovered and explored it 1789.
edible fish of the North Atlantic (Scomber scombrus), c. 1300, from Old French maquerel "mackerel" (Modern French maquereau), of unknown origin; perhaps so called from the dark blotches with which the fish is marked, from Latin macula "spot, stain" (see macula). But the word is apparently identical with Old French maquerel "pimp, procurer, broker, agent, intermediary" (itself attested in English in this sense by early 15c.), a word from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch makelaer "broker," from Old Frisian mek "marriage," from maken "to make").
The connection would be obscure, but medieval people had imaginative notions about the erotic habits of beasts. The fish approach the shore in shoals in summertime to spawn. Compare ancient Greek aitnaios "an unknown fish celebrated for its marital constancy;" alphēstēs, the wrasse, "a fish with a singular and unsavoury reputation ... a byword for the incontinent and lewd" (both in Thompson, who also notes that the hermaphroditic nature of certain fishes, discovered by modern naturalists, was known to Aristotle). The exclamation holy mackerel is attested from 1876.
port and island in Michigan in the straits connecting lakes Michigan and Huron, from Mackinac, from Ojibway (Algonquian) mitchimakinak "many turtles," from mishiin- "be many" + mikinaak "snapping turtle."
As a type of flat-bottomed, flat-sided boat with a sharp prow and a square stern, 1812, so called because used on the Great Lakes. As a type of heavy blanket given to the Indians by the U.S. government, it is attested from 1822, so called because the fort there was for many years the most remote U.S. spot in the Northwest and many Native Americans received their supplies there..
waterproof outer coat or cloak, 1836, named for Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), inventor of a waterproofing process (patent #4804, June 17, 1823). The Mcintosh type of apple was named for John McIntosh of Upper Canada, who began selling them in 1835. The surname is from Gaelic Mac an toisich "Son of the chieftain." As a name of a type of computer it is attested from 1982.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, [President and CEO A.C.] Markkula said "more than three new products" are scheduled to be announced within the next year. Among them will be a high-end, personal business computer code-named "Lisa" and a limited, less expensive business computer called "Mackintosh." [Computerworld, Oct. 18, 1982]
also mackle, "a spot, a blemish," 1706, from French macle "a spot," from Latin macula (see macula). Also as a verb (1590s). Related: Macled; mackled; mackling.
ornamental trimming made by leaving long fringes of thread and knotting the threads together in a geometrical pattern, 1865, from French macramé (19c.), said to be from Turkish maqrama "towel, napkin," from Arabic miqramah "embroidered veil." The thing is older in Europe than the word.
word-forming element meaning "long, abnormally large, on a large scale," taken into English via French and Medieval Latin from Greek makros "long, large," from PIE root *mak- "long, thin."
also macro-biotic, 1797, "tending to prolong life," 1797, from Greek makrobiotikos "long-lived," from makros "long" (from PIE root *mak- "long, thin") + bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). The specific reference to a Zen Buddhist dietary system dates from 1936. Hence macrobiote "a long-lived person or animal" (1852); macrobiosis "long life, longevity" (1837); macrobiotics "the study of longevity" (by 1832); "theory of macrobiotic diets" (by 1948).