1799 (n.), 1800 (adj.), in reference to the politics and policies of U.S. politician and statesman Thomas Jefferson, first great leader of the Democratic Party and president 1801-09. The surname, literally "son of Geoffrey," is attested from mid-14c.; in Middle English also Jeffrison, Geffreysone, Geffrason. Jeffersonianism is from 1804 in reference to the political beliefs of Thomas Jefferson; often it means advocacy of the greatest possible individual and local freedom and corresponding restriction of the national government.
Greek goddess of love and beauty, personification of female grace, 1650s; the ancients derived her name from Greek aphros "foam," from the story of her birth, but the word is perhaps rather from Phoenician Ashtaroth (Assyrian Ishtar). Beekes writes, "As the goddess seems to be of oriental origin ..., the name probably comes from the East too. .... It may have entered Greek via another language." He concludes, "[I]t seems possible that the name came from the one languages [sic] which on historical grounds we should expect to be relevant: Cypriot Phoenician."
Associated by the Romans with their Venus, who originally was a less-important goddess. It was pronounced in 17c. English to rhyme with night, right, etc.
from Latin Europa "Europe," from Greek Europe, which is of uncertain origin; as a geographic name first recorded in the Homeric hymn to Apollo (522 B.C.E. or earlier):
"Telphusa, here I am minded to make a glorious temple, an oracle for men, and hither they will always bring perfect hecatombs, both those who live in rich Peloponnesus and those of Europe and all the wave-washed isles, coming to seek oracles."
Often explained as "broad face," from eurys "wide" (see eury-) + ops "face," literally "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). But also traditionally linked with Europa, Phoenician princess in Greek mythology. Klein (citing Heinrich Lewy) suggests a possible Semitic origin in Akkad. erebu "to go down, set" (in reference to the sun) which would parallel occident. Another suggestion along those lines is Phoenician 'ereb "evening," hence "west."
early 14c., brasile, "brasilwood," name of a type of red wood from an East Indian tree, used in making dye (in modern times known as sappan-wood or Indian redwood), from Medieval Latin brasilium, Old French bresil, which probably is related to brese "embers," and like it from a Germanic source (compare braze (v.1)), from PIE root *bhreu- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn," and so called for resemblance of color to a glowing ember.
But as the product came to Europe via India perhaps this is a folk-etymology of some word in Arabic or another Asian language (an Old Italian form, verzino, suggests to some a possible connection with Arabic wars "saffron"). The same word for the same stuff entered Portuguese and Spanish (brasil) and Italian (brasile).
The South American country was named Santa Cruz by its "discoverer," Pedro Alvarez Cabral (1500), but within a decade on maps it began to be called terra de brasil "red-dyewood land" because it produced a valuable red dyewood similar to East Indian type, and that name predominated from 1550s.
Complicating matters is Hy Brasil, a name attested since early 14c. for a legendary island or rock in the North Atlantic off the west coast of Ireland. It is so-called perhaps from the "red dyewood" word by association with Pliny's Insulae Purpurariae ("Purple Islands") in the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco.
organized as a U.S. territory 1836; admitted as a state 1848. Originally applied to the Wisconsin River; a native name of unknown origin. Early spellings include Mescousing and Wishkonsing. "Of all the states of the American union, none has a name that has been spelled in more ways or interpreted more variously, than Wisconsin," according to Virgil J. Vogel, "Indian Names on Wisconsin's Map" (University of Wisconsin Press, 1991). He lists 15 spellings and says the word has been attributed to French, Menominee, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, Sauk-Fox, and Winnebago.
It was Wisconsan on an 1823 map of Michigan Territory; the modern spelling dates to 1829, but Wiskonsin remained a stubborn variant until the territorial legislature fixed the spelling in 1845.
Modern scholarship seems to look to the writings of Marquette (1670s) and his use of Mascouten, etc., for a river and people name. Vogel describes the theory:
The Foxes' tribal name is Mesquackie, also spelled Meskwaki, Miscoquis, Miskwkeeyuk, Muskwaki, Musquakie, etc. The name means "red earth," deriving from the Fox tradition that they were created of red earth by the Great Spirit. The French called them Renards [Foxes] because they mistook a clan name for the tribal name. There is a remarkable resemblance between Marquette's Mescousing and the name Mesquakie. The terminal -akie in the tribal name means "earth," and the terminal -ing in Meskousing means "place." It is possible that the original term was Meskwa ("red, inanimate") aki ("earth") ing ("place"). Marquette could have shortened it.
"the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments," early 14c., from Anglo-Latin biblia, Old French bible (13c.) "the Bible," also any large book generally, from Medieval and Late Latin biblia "the Bible" (neuter plural interpreted as feminine singular), from phrase biblia sacra "holy books," a translation of Greek ta biblia to hagia "the holy books." The Latin word is from the Greek one, biblion "paper, scroll," also the ordinary word for "a book as a division of a larger work;" see biblio-.
The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c. 223. Bible replaced Old English biblioðece (see bibliothec) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804. Bible-thumper "strict Christian" is from 1870. Bible belt in reference to the swath of the U.S. South then dominated by fundamentalist Christians is from 1926; likely coined by H.L. Mencken.
Her first husband was a missionary to China, and died miserably out there, leaving her with a small baby and no funds. Her second seems to have left her nearly as quickly, though under his own steam: her souvenir was another infant. For years she toured the Bible Belt in a Ford, haranguing the morons nightly under canvas. [H.L. Mencken, review of Aimee Semple McPherson's "In the Service of the King: The Story of My Life," The American Mercury, April 1928]
Walter Scott and Pope's Homer were reading of my own election, but my mother forced me, by steady daily toil, to learn long chapters of the Bible by heart; as well as to read it every syllable through, aloud, hard names and all, from Genesis to the Apocalypse, about once a year; and to that discipline — patient, accurate, and resolute — I owe, not only a knowledge of the book, which I find occasionally serviceable, but much of my general power of taking pains, and the best part of my taste in literature. ... [O]nce knowing the 32nd of Deuteronomy, the 119th Psalm, the 15th of 1st Corinthians, the Sermon on the Mount, and most of the Apocalypse, every syllable by heart, and having always a way of thinking with myself what words meant, it was not possible for me, even in the foolishest times of youth, to write entirely superficial or formal English .... [John Ruskin, "Fors Clavigera," 1871]