Etymology
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minutes (n.)

"written record of proceedings at a meeting of a corporation, society, etc., made by its secretary or other recording officer," c. 1710, plural of minute "summary or draft of a document or letter," which is is attested from mid-15c. Perhaps from Latin minuta scriptura "rough notes," literally "small writing" (see minute (adj.)), on the notion of "a rough copy in small writing."

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half-hour (n.)
"period of thirty minutes," early 15c., from half + hour. Related: Half-hourly.
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clepsydra (n.)

"ancient Greek water-clock," 1640s, from Latinized form of Greek klepsydra, from stem of kleptein "to steal, to hide" (see kleptomania) + hydor "water," from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet."

A device for measuring time by the amount of water discharged from a terra cotta vessel into another through a small hole (it works on the same principle as the hourglass). It was used in classical Athens to measure smaller segments of time (probably 30 minutes or less) than the sundial (six minutes seems to have been a typical time to drain the vessel) and especially to regulate the allowed time for speeches in tribunals.

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minuteman (n.)

also minute-man, in U.S. history, one of a class of militia who held themselves in readiness for immediate service in arms (i.e. ready "at a minute's notice" or "in a matter of minutes"), 1774, from minute (n.) + man (n.). As the name of a type of ICBM, from 1961, so called because they could be launched with very little preparation.

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Arctic Circle 

1550s in astronomy, in reference to a celestial circle, a line around the sky which, in any location, bounds the stars which are ever-visible from that latitude (in the Northern Hemisphere its center point is the celestial north pole); the concept goes back to the ancient Greeks, for whom this set of constellations included most prominently the two bears (arktoi), hence the name for the circle (see arctic). In Middle English it was the north cercle (late 14c.).

In geography, from 1620s as "the circle roughly 66 degrees 32 minutes north of the equator" (based on obliquity of the ecliptic of 23 degrees 28 minutes), marking the southern extremity of the polar day, when the sun at least theoretically passes the north point without setting on at least one summer day and does not rise on at least one winter one.

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taps (n.)
U.S. military signal for lights out in soldiers' quarters (played 15 minutes after tattoo), 1824, from tap (v.), on the notion of drum taps (it originally was played on a drum, later on a bugle). As a soldier's last farewell, played over his grave, it may date to the American Civil War. The tune was revised several times in mid-19c.
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sidereal (adj.)

also siderial, 1630s, "star-like;" 1640s, "of or pertaining to the stars," earlier sideral (1590s), from French sidereal (16c.), from Latin sidereus "starry, astral, of the constellations," from sidus (genitive sideris) "star, group of stars, constellation," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *sweid- "to shine" (source also of Lithuanian svidus "shining, bright").

Sidereal time is measured by the apparent diurnal motion of the fixed stars. The sidereal day begins and ends with the passage of the vernal equinox over the meridian and is about four minutes shorter than the solar day, measured by the passage of the sun over the meridian.

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micturition (n.)

1725, "the need very badly to urinate," from Latin micturitum, from past participle of micturire "to desire to urinate," desiderative of mingere "to urinate," from PIE root *meigh- "to urinate." As during the final 20 minutes of a 4-hour film after drinking a 32-ounce Mountain Dew from the snack bar and the movie ends with a drawn-out farewell scene while Frodo is standing on the pier and wavelets lap audibly on the dock the whole time as if the director was a sadist set on compounding your torment. Also used, incorrectly, for "act of urinating."

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adjournment (n.)

mid-15c., from Old French ajornement "daybreak, dawn; summons (to appear in court)," from ajorner (see adjourn), with unetymological -d- added in English on the mistaken notion of a Latin origin.

Adjournment is the act by which an assembly suspends its session in virtue of authority inherent in itself; it may be also the time or interval of such suspension. A recess is a customary suspension of business, as during the period of certain recognized or legal holidays .... Recess is also popularly used for a brief suspension of business for any reason: as, it was agreed that there be a recess of ten minutes. [Century Dictionary]
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tropic (n.)
late 14c., "either of the two circles in the celestial sphere which describe the northernmost and southernmost points of the ecliptic," from Late Latin tropicus "of or pertaining to the solstice" (as a noun, "one of the tropics"), from Latin tropicus "pertaining to a turn," from Greek tropikos "of or pertaining to a turn or change; of or pertaining to the solstice" (as a noun, "the solstice," short for tropikos kyklos), from trope "a turning" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn").

The notion is of the point at which the sun "turns back" after reaching its northernmost or southernmost point in the sky. Extended 1520s to the corresponding latitudes on the earth's surface (23 degrees 28 minutes north and south); meaning "region between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn" is from 1837.
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