when two competing hypotheses explain the data equally well, choose the simpler. Or, as Sir William Hamilton puts it, "Neither more, nor more onerous, causes are to be assumed, than are necessary to account for the phenomena." Named for English philosopher William of Ockham or Occam (c. 1285-c. 1349), "The Invincible Doctor," who expressed it with Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter neccssitatem.
So called after William of Occam (died about 1349): but, as a historical fact, Occam does not make much use of this principle, which belongs rather to the contemporary nominalist William Durand de St. Pourçain (died 1332). [Century Dictionary]
"the southern Pacific islands and Australia, conceived as a continent," 1849, Modern Latin, from French Océanie (c. 1812). Apparently coined by Danish geographer Conrad Malte-Brun (1755-1826). Earlier in English as Oceanica (1832). Oceania was the name of one of the superstates in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Oceanea was the name of James Harrington's 17c. ideal state, and the name later was applied to the British empire. Related: Oceanean.
masc. proper name, from Latin, from Octavius, from octavus "eighth," from octo (see eight).
But although we find so marked differences in the use of the numerals as names, it is impossible to believe that this use did not arise in the same way for all; that is, that they were at first used to distinguish children by the order of birth. But when we find them as praenomina in historical times it is evident that they no longer referred to order of birth. [George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina," in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 1897]
chief Teutonic god, the All-Father, a 19c. revival in reference to Scandinavian neo-paganism, from Danish, from Old Norse Oðinn, from Proto-Germanic *Wodanaz, name of the chief Germanic god (source of Old English Woden, Old High German Wuotan), from PIE *wod-eno-, *wod-ono- "raging, mad, inspired," from root *wet- (1) "to blow; inspire, spiritually arouse" (see wood (adj.)). Related: Odinism (1796 in reference to the ancient religion; by 1855 in reference to a modern Germanic revival).
1939, "of or pertaining to desire felt for the opposite-sex parent," from Oedipus complex (1910), coined by Freud from Sophocles' play "Oedipus Tyrannus," in which the title character, the Theban hero, answers the Sphinx's riddle and unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother; from Greek Oidipous (see Oedipus). The name was used figuratively in English from 1550s for "one who is clever at guessing riddles," which had adjectival form Oedipean (1620s).
"of great antiquity or age," 1809, from Greek Ōgygos, Ōgygēs, Ōgygios, name of a mythical king of Attica or Boeotia (or both) of whom nothing is known and who even in classical times was thought to have lived very long ago. Also sometimes with reference to a famous flood said to have occurred in his day.
U.S. state, admitted 1803, named for the river, which is from Seneca (Iroquoian) ohi:yo', a proper name from ohi:yo:h, literally "good river." The Seneca also used this of the Allegheny, which they considered the headwaters of the Ohio. Related: Ohian (1819); Ohioan (1818).