Etymology
Advertisement
Domesday book 

1178 in Anglo-Latin, the popular name of Great Inquisition or Survey (1086), a digest in Anglo-French of a survey of England undertaken at the order of William the Conqueror to inventory his new domain, from Middle English domes, genitive of dom "day of judgment" (see doom (n.)). "The booke ... to be called Domesday, bicause (as Mathew Parise saith) it spared no man, but iudged all men indifferently." [William Lambarde, "A Perambulation of Kent," 1570]

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Mace (n.3)

chemical spray originally used in riot control, 1966, technically Chemical Mace, a proprietary name (General Ordnance Equipment Corp, Pittsburgh, Pa.), probably so called for its use as a weapon, in reference to mace (n.1). The verb, "to spray with Mace,"  is attested by 1968. Related: Maced; macing.

Related entries & more 
Middletown 

"typical U.S. middle class community," 1929, from the title of a book published that year ("Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture") by New York sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd, based on information collected 1924-25 in Muncie, Indiana. The U.S. Geological Survey lists 40 towns by that name, not counting variant spellings; see middle (adj.) + town.

Related entries & more 
Spenserian (adj.)
1817, from Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599), Elizabethan poet (for the origin of the surname, see Spencer). Spenserian stanza, which he employed in the "Faerie Queen," consists of eight decasyllabic lines and a final Alexandrine, with rhyme scheme ab ab bc bcc.

"The measure soon ceases to be Spenser's except in its mere anatomy of rhyme-arrangement" [Elton, "Survey of English Literature 1770-1880," 1920]; it is the meter in Butler's "Hudibras," Scott's "Lady of the Lake," and notably the "Childe Harold" of Byron, who found (quoting Beattie) that it allowed him to be "either droll or pathetic, descriptive or sentimental, tender or satirical, as the humour strikes me; for, if I mistake not, the measure which I have adopted admits equally of all these kinds of composition."
Related entries & more