masc. proper name, also Charley, familiar form of Charles (also see -y (3)); 1965 in Vietnam War U.S. military slang for "Vietcong, Vietcong soldier," probably suggested by Victor Charlie, military communication code for V.C. (as abbreviation of Viet Cong), perhaps strengthened by World War II slang use of Charlie for Japanese soldiers, which itself is probably an extension of the 1930s derogatory application of Charlie to any Asian man, from fictional Chinese detective Charlie Chan.
Other applications include "a London night watchman" (1812); "a goatee beard" (1834, from portraits of King Charles I and his contemporaries); "a fox" (1857); in plural "a woman's breasts" (1874); "an infantryman's pack" (World War I); and "a white man" (Mr. Charlie), 1960, American English, from African-American vernacular.
It was the typical name in the North and the Northern armies for a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War, and the Southern soldiers were, collectively Johnnies, generically Johnny Reb. In the Mediterranean, it was a typical name for an Englishman by c. 1800. In the Crimean War it became the typical name among the English for "a Turk" (also Johnny Turk), later it was extended to Arabs; by World War II the Arabs were using Johnny as the typical name for "a British man"). Johnny Crapaud as a derogatory generic name for a Frenchman or France is from 1818.
Johnny-come-lately "a new arrival" first attested 1839. Johnny-on-the-spot is from 1896. Johnny-jump-up as an American English name for the pansy is from 1837. Johnny-cocks, a colloquial name for the early purple orchid (Orchis mascula) is attested from 1883.
U.S. state, river, and native tribe, all named for the bay, which was named for Baron (commonly "Lord") De la Warr (Thomas West, 1577-1618), first English colonial governor of Virginia. The family name is attested from 1201, from Delaware in Brasted, Kent, which is probably ultimately from de la werre "of the war" (a warrior), from Old French werre/guerre "war" (see war (n.)). Related: Delawarean.
youth of Abydos, lover of Hero. He swam nightly across the Hellespont to visit her in Sestos, on the Thracian side, until he drowned. The name is from Greek Leiandros, literally "lion-man," from leon "lion" + anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man").