historical route over the Alps between Germany and Italy, from Breuni, name of a people who lived near there, which is perhaps from Celtic.
city in Texas, named for the nearby pass where the Rio Grande emerges from the Rockies, Spanish, short for el paso del norte "the northern pass;" see pass (n.1).
ancient country on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor, from Latinized form of Greek Kilikia. At its east end was the pass through Mount Amanus into Syria known as the Cilician Gates.
imaginary earthly paradise, by 1938, from Shangri-La, name of Tibetan utopia in James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon" (1933, film version 1937). In Tibetan, la means "mountain pass."
masc. proper name, Germanic, perhaps from Proto-Germanic *fardi-nanth- and meaning literally "adventurer," with first element perhaps Proto-Germanic *fardiz "journey," abstract noun related to or from *far- "to fare, travel" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over"); second element is Proto-Germanic *nanthiz "risk," related to Old English neðan, Old High German nendan "to risk, venture."
Mesopotamian river, arising in Armenia and flowing to the Persian Gulf, Old English Eufrate, from Greek Euphrates, from Old Persian Ufratu, perhaps from Avestan huperethuua "good to cross over," from hu- "good" + peretu- "ford" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over"). But Kent says "probably a popular etymologizing in O.P. of a local non-Iranian name" ["Old Persian," p.176]. In Akkadian, purattu. Related: Euphratean.
in the figurative phrase cross (or pass) the Rubicon "take a decisive step," 1620s, a reference to a small stream to the Adriatic on the coast of northern Italy which in ancient times formed part of the southern boundary of Cisalpine Gaul. It was crossed by Caesar, Jan. 10, 49 B.C.E., when he left his province to attack Pompey. The name is from Latin rubicundus "ruddy," in reference to the color of the soil on its banks.
place in Yorkshire, earlier Scarðabork, etc., apparently a viking name, from Old Norse and meaning "fortified place of (a man called) Skarthi," who is identified in old chronicles as Thorgils Skarthi, literally "Thorgils Harelip," from Old Norse skartð "notch, hack (in the edge of a thing); mountain pass." It has been noted that a literal reading of the name as "gap-hill" suits the location. Scarborough warning "short notice or none" is from 1540s.
1970, fleshed out in the form of a fem. proper name, from GNMA, acronym of Government National Mortgage Association.
masc. proper name, from German Bernhard, literally "bold as a bear," from Old High German bero "bear" (see bear (n.)) + harti "hard, bold, strong" (from PIE root *kar- "hard"). Saint Bernard (1091-1153) was the famous Cistercian monk; the breed of Alpine mastiff dogs is said to have been so called from early 18c. (in English by 1839), because the monks of the hospice named for him in the pass of St. Bernard (between Italy and Switzerland) sent them to rescue snowbound travelers.