"witches' sabbath," a midnight meeting supposed to have been held annually by demons, sorcerers, and witches under the leadership of Satan, to celebrate their orgies, 1650s, a special application of the French form of Sabbath (q.v.).
pseudo-translation of French Cendrillon, from cendre "ashes" (see cinder). Used figuratively for something unappreciated or something that ends at midnight. A widespread Eurasian folk tale, the oldest known version is Chinese (c. 850 C.E.); the English version is based on Perrault's "Cendrillon" (1697), translated from French 1729 by Robert Sambler, but native versions probably existed (such as Scottish "Rashin Coatie").
The German form is Aschenbrödel, literally "scullion," from asche "ash" (see ash (n.1)) + brodeln "bubble up, to brew." Native words, wisely passed over by Sambler, for "woman whose occupation is to rake ciders into heaps" were cinder-woman (17c.); cinder-wench (1712). Used figuratively for "neglected family member" or in reference to something that ends at midnight.
also nocturne, name of a division of the office of matins said just before daybreak (in the early Church a service recited after midnight), c. 1200, from Old French nocturne "evening service; curfew," from Medieval Latin nocturna, "group of Psalms used in the nocturns," from Latin nocturnus "pertaining or belonging to the night" (see nocturnal).
canonical hour, mid-13c., from Old French matines (12c.), from Late Latin matutinas (nominative matutinæ) "morning prayers," originally matutinas vigilias "morning watches," from Latin matutinus "of or in the morning," associated with Matuta, Roman dawn goddess (see manana). Properly a midnight office (occupied by two services, nocturns and lauds) but sometimes celebrated at sunrise. The Old English word was uht-sang, from uhte "daybreak."
one of several Middle English variations of shop (n.). It appears in Chaucer. Noted by 1918 as an antiquarian affectation in U.S. commercial establishments.
YE EAT SHOPPE
I admit that the name is against it. As a matter of fact, 732 Eighth Avenue is nothing more nor less than a good old-fashioned midnight lunch-room camouflaged by a flossy title. [Helen Worden Erskine, "The Real New York," 1933]
1864, named for its designer, U.S. inventor Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903); patented by 1862 but not used in American Civil War until the Petersburg campaign of June 1864 as an independent initiative by U.S. Gen. Ben Butler.
For the first time in this war, the Gatling gun was used by Butler in repelling one of Beauregard's midnight attacks. Dispatches state that it was very destructive, and rebel prisoners were very curious to know whether it was loaded all night and fired all day. [Scientific American, June 18, 1864]