seminal rock and pop group formed in Liverpool, England; named as such 1960 (after a succession of other names), supposedly by then-bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, from beetles (on model of Buddy Holly's band The Crickets) with a pun on the musical sense of beat. Their global popularity dates to 1963.
the cocktail, attested from 1947 (originally touted in part as a hangover cure), said to be named for Mary Tudor, queen of England 1553-58, who earned her epithet for vigorous prosecution of Protestants. The drink earned its, apparently, simply for being red from tomato juice. The cocktail's popularity also coincided with that of the musical "South Pacific," which has a character named "Bloody Mary."
ancient country of Asia Minor bordering the Aegean. It was an empire under Croesus, famous for his wealth. The name is from a supposed ancestor Ludos. The people also figure, as Ludim, in the Old Testament (Genesis x.13), which seems to have sometimes confused them with the Libyans. Related: Lydian, attested from 1540s as a noun, 1580s as an adjective, and 1570s as a musical mode.
type of musical instrument (originally a player piano popular in silent movie theaters, later a type of jukebox), 1925, named for The Wurlitzer Company, founded near Cincinnati, Ohio, 1856 by Rudolph Wurlitzer (1831-1914), Saxon immigrant to U.S. An importer at first, he started production of pianos in 1880; coin-operated pianos in 1896.
Late Latin, literally "lamb of God." From c. 1400 in English as the name of the part of the Mass beginning with these words, or (later) a musical setting of it. Latin agnus "lamb" is from PIE *agwh-no- "lamb" (see yean). For deus "god," see Zeus. The phrase is used from 1620s in reference to an image of a lamb as emblematic of Christ; usually it is pictured with a nimbus and supporting the banner of the Cross.
Latin, literally "A Step to Parnassus," the mountain sacred to Apollo and the Muses; from Latin gradus "a step; a step climbed; a step toward something" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go"). Also see Parnassus. It was the title of a dictionary of prosody used in English public schools for centuries as a guide to Roman poetry. The book dates from the 1680s. Also the name of a treatise on musical composition written in Latin by Johann Joseph Fux, published in Vienna in 1725, and of a much-used book of exercises for piano.
region or island at northernmost part of the world, Old English, from Latin, from Greek Thyle "land six days' sail north of Britain" (Strabo, quoting a lost portion of a work by Polybius, itself based on a lost account of a voyage to the north by 4c. B.C.E. geographer Pytheas). The identity of the place and the source of the name have sparked much speculation; Polybius doubted the whole thing, and since Roman times the name has been used in a transferred sense of "extreme limits of travel" (Ultima Thule).
The barbarians showed us where the sun set. For it happened in those places that the night was extremely short, lasting only two or three hours; and the sun sunk under the horizon, after a short interval reappeared at his rising. [Pytheas]
The name was given to a trading post in Greenland in 1910, site of a U.S. air base in World War II.
sea-nymph, in Greek mythology, late 14c., Nereides (plural), via Latin from Greek Nēreis (genitive Nēreidos), daughter of the ancient sea-god Nēreus, son of Pontus and Gaia, husband of Doris, whose name is related to naros "flowing, liquid, I flow" (see Naiad). In zoology, "a sea-centipede" (1840).
The most famous among them were Amphitrite, Thetis, and Galatea. The Nereids were beautiful maidens helpful to voyagers, and constituted the main body of the female, as the Tritons did of the male, followers of Poseidon or Neptune. They were imagined as dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, wooed by the Tritons, and passing in long processions over the sea seated on hippocamps and other sea-monsters. Monuments of ancient art represent them lightly draped or nude, in poses characterized by undulating lines harmonizing with those the ocean, and often riding on sea-monsters of fantastic forms. [Century Dictionary]
1590s, "of Ionia," the districts of ancient Greece inhabited by the Ionians, one of the three (or four) great divisions of the ancient Greek people. The name (which Herodotus credits to an ancestral Ion, son of Apollo and Creusa) probably is pre-Greek, perhaps related to Sanskrit yoni "womb, vulva," and a reference to goddess-worshipping people. As a noun from 1560s.
Ionia included Attica, Euboea, and the north coast of the Peloponnesus, but it especially referred to the coastal strip of Asia Minor, including the islands of Samos and Chios. The old Ionic dialect was the language of Homer and Herodotus, and, via its later form, Attic, that of all the great works of the Greeks. The name also was given to the sea that lies between Sicily and Greece, and the islands in it (1630s in English in this sense). The musical Ionian mode (1844) corresponds to our C-major scale but was characterized by the Greeks as soft and effeminate, as were the Ionians generally.
The Ionians delighted in wanton dances and songs more than the rest of the Greeks ... and wanton gestures were proverbially termed Ionic motions. [Thomas Robinson, "Archæologica Græca," 1807]