Etymology
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marathon (n.)

1896, marathon race, from story of Greek hero Pheidippides, who in 490 B.C.E. ran to Athens from the Plains of Marathon to tell of the allied Greek victory there over Persian army. The original story (Herodotus) is that he ran from Athens to Sparta to seek aid, which arrived too late to participate in the battle.

It was introduced as an athletic event in the 1896 revival of the Olympic Games, based on a later, less likely story, that Pheidippides ran to Athens from the battlefield with news of the victory. The word quickly was extended to mean "any very long event or activity." The place name is literally "fennel-field." Related: Marathoner (by 1912); Marathonian.

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telethon (n.)
prolonged TV fundraiser, 1949, from television + marathon (see -athon). Milton Berle's 16-hour television cancer fundraiser in April 1949 might have been the first to be so called.
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-athon 
also -thon, word-forming element denoting prolonged activity and usually some measure of endurance, abstracted from marathon; for example walkathon (1931), skatathon (1933); talkathon (1948); telethon (1949).
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Aeschylus 
Greek Aiskhylos (525-456 B.C.E.), Athenian soldier, poet, and playwright, Father of Tragedy. The inscription on his tomb, said to have been written by him, mentions nothing of his fame as a poet but boasts that he had fought at Marathon. The name is said to be originally a nickname, "Little Ugly," a diminutive of aiskhos "ugly, ill-favored" (also "morally base, shameful"). Related: Aeschylean.
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triathlon (n.)
1970, from tri- "three" + Greek athlon "contest;" formed on model of decathlon, biathlon, etc. Originally of various combinations of events; one of the earliest so called combined clay-pigeon shooting, fly-fishing, and horse-jumping; another was cross-country skiing, target shooting, and a giant slalom run; and a third connected to the U.S. Army involved shooting, swimming, and running. Applied to the combination of a long swim, a bicycle-race, and a marathon by 1981.
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charette (n.)

also charrette, c. 1400, "a chariot, a cart," from Old French charrete "wagon, small cart" (12c.), diminutive of charre, from Latin carrum, carrus "wagon" (see car).

Meaning "a concerted effort by concerned individuals to accomplish a given task by marathon work in a defined, short time" is attested by 1977, originally among architects, from French charette (by 1880s in this sense); it is said to be from the jargon of student architects hurrying to finish their models before they would have to be placed in the charrette which collected them for consideration.

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stoic (n.)
late 14c., "philosopher of the school founded by Zeno," from Latin stoicus, from Greek stoikos "pertaining to a member of or the teachings of the school founded by Zeno (c. 334-c. 262 B.C.E.), characterized by austere ethical doctrines," literally "pertaining to a portico," from stoa "porch," specifically Stoa Poikile "the Painted Porch," the great hall in Athens (decorated with frescoes depicting the Battle of Marathon) where Zeno taught (see stoa). Meaning "person who represses feelings or endures patiently" first recorded 1570s. The adjective is recorded from 1590s in the "repressing feelings" sense, c. 1600 in the philosophical sense. Compare stoical.
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sandwich (n.)

1762, said to be a reference to John Montagu (1718-1792), 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was said to be an inveterate gambler who ate slices of cold meat between bread at the gaming table during marathon sessions rather than rising for a proper meal (this account of the origin dates to 1770).

It also was in his honor that Cook named the Hawaiian islands (1778) when Montagu was first lord of the Admiralty (hence the occasional 19c. British Sandwicher for "a Hawaiian"). The family name is from the place in Kent, one of the Cinque Ports, Old English Sandwicæ, literally "sandy harbor (or trading center)." For pronunciation, see cabbage. Sandwich board, one before and one behind the carrier, is from 1864.

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