Etymology
Advertisement
Casanova (n.)
"man of carnal adventures, connoisseur of seduction," 1888, from Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seignalt (1725-1798), the infamous debaucher. His name could be Englished as Jacob Jerome Newhouse, which sounds somewhat less romantic.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Sturm und Drang (n.)
1844, literally "storm and stress," late 18c. German romanticism period, taken from the title of a 1776 romantic drama by Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger (1752-1831), who gave it this name at the suggestion of Christoph Kauffmann. See storm (n.) + throng (n.).
Related entries & more 
Valentino (n.)
"gigolo, good-looking romantic man," 1927, from Italian-born U.S. movie actor Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), who was adored by female fans. His full name was Rodolfo Guglielmi di Valentino, from the Latin masc. proper name Valentinus (see Valentine).
Related entries & more 
Sadie 

fem. proper name, a familiar form of Sarah. Sadie Hawkins Day (1939) is from name of a character in U.S. newspaper cartoon strip "Li'l Abner," by Al Capp (1909-1979); in reference to a day in early November on which women take the lead in romantic matters.

Related entries & more 
Valentine (n.)

mid-15c., "sweetheart chosen on St. Valentine's Day," from Late Latin Valentinus, the name of two early Italian saints (from Latin valentia "strength, capacity;" see valence). Choosing a sweetheart on this day originated 14c. as a custom in English and French court circles. Meaning "letter or card sent to a sweetheart" first recorded 1824. The romantic association of the day is said to be from it being around the time when birds choose their mates.

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd cometh there to chese his make.
[Chaucer, "Parlement of Foules," c. 1381]

Probably the date was the informal first day of spring in whatever French region invented the custom (many surviving medieval calendars reckon the start of spring on the 7th or 22nd of February). No evidence connects it with the Roman Lupercalia (an 18c. theory) or to any romantic or avian quality in either of the saints. The custom of sending special cards or letters on this date flourished in England c. 1840-1870, declined around the turn of the 20th century, and revived 1920s.

To speak of the particular Customs of the English Britons, I shall begin with Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. when young Men and Maidens get their several Names writ down upon Scrolls of Paper rolled up, and lay 'em asunder, the Men drawing the Maidens Names, and these the Mens; upon which, the Men salute their chosen Valentines and present them with Gloves, &c. This Custom (which sometimes introduces a Match) is grounded upon the Instinct of Animals, which about this Time of the Year, feeling a new Heat by the approach of the Sun, begin to couple. ["The Present State of Great Britain and Ireland" London, 1723]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement