neighborhood near Chelsea in London, named for Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), who purchased the manor of Chelsea in 1712 and whose celebrated collections contributed to the British Museum. Previous to development the place was known as Great Bloody Field ["Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names"]. The tree genus Sloanea was named for him. Sloane Ranger is attested from 1975, with a play on Lone Ranger.
cape in southwestern Spain, from Arabic taraf-al-garb "end of the west," or taraf-agarr "end of the column" (in reference to the pillars of Hercules). The British naval victory over the French there was fought Oct. 21, 1805; hence London's Trafalgar Square, named in commemoration of it.
holder of any of the scholarships founded at Oxford in 1902 by British financier and imperialist Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), for whom the former African colony of Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) also was named. The surname is literally "dweller by a clearing," from Old English rodu "plot of land of one square rod." Related: Rhodesia; Rhodesian.
masc. proper name, from the family name, from the region of the Clyde River in Scotland (see Clydesdale). Most popular in U.S. for boys c. 1890-1910, falling off rapidly thereafter, hence probably its use in 1940s teenager slang for "a square, one not versed in popular music or culture."
masc. proper name, from Latin Junius, name of a Roman gens. In U.S. history, the pseudonym of the author of a famous series of letters in the "Public Advertiser" from 1768-1772 critical of crown policy. Related: Junian.
port and island in Michigan in the straits connecting lakes Michigan and Huron, from Mackinac, from Ojibway (Algonquian) mitchimakinak "many turtles," from mishiin- "be many" + mikinaak "snapping turtle."
As a type of flat-bottomed, flat-sided boat with a sharp prow and a square stern, 1812, so called because used on the Great Lakes. As a type of heavy blanket given to the Indians by the U.S. government, it is attested from 1822, so called because the fort there was for many years the most remote U.S. spot in the Northwest and many Native Americans received their supplies there..
city in Warwickshire, mid-13c., an alteration of Old English Couentre (1043), probably literally "Cofa's tree," from Old English masc. personal name Cofa (genitive Cofan) + tree (n.). If this is correct, the name might refer to a boundary marker or a public assembly place. The explanation that it was named for a convent (see covent) founded there 11c. likely would be folk etymology.
pet-form of Joseph (q.v.). Meaning "generic fellow, man" is from 1846. Used in a wide range of invented names meaning "typical male example of," for example Joe college "typical college man" (1932); Joe Blow "average fellow" is U.S. military slang, first recorded 1941. "Dictionary of American Slang" lists, among other examples, Joe Average, Beige, Lunch Bucket, Public, Sad, Schmoe, Six-pack, Yale, Zilch
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.