1765, from Late Latin Scandinavia (Pliny), Skandinovia (Pomponius Mela), name of a large and fruitful island vaguely located in northern Europe, a mistake (with unetymological -n-) for Scadinavia, which is from a Germanic source (compare Old English Scedenig, Old Norse Skaney "south end of Sweden"), from Proto-Germanic *skadinaujo "Scadia island." The first element is of uncertain origin; the second element is from *aujo "thing on the water" (from PIE root *akwā- "water;" see aqua-). It might have been an island when the word was formed; the coastlines and drainage of the Baltic Sea changed dramatically after the melting of the ice caps.
rare metallic element discovered by spectroscope, 1879, from Modern Latin Scandia (see Scandinavia), used by L.F. Nilson of Uppsala as the name of earth he had isolated, which later was recognized as one of the missing elements predicted by Mendeleev and given the chemical ending -ium. Related: Scandic.
1784; see Scandinavia + -ian. As a noun, from 1766 of the languages, 1830 of the people; by 1959 in reference to styles of furniture and decor. In U.S. colloquial use sometimes Scandihoovian, Scandiwegan, etc. (OED dates both of those to 1929, used in sea slang, "generally in mild contempt"). Alternative adjective Scandian (1660s) is from Latin Scandia.
Gaelic Lachlann, earlier Lochlann, literally "lake-" or "fjord-land," i.e. "Scandinavia;" as a name, denoting "one from Norway."
Scandinavian country from Dane, the people's name, + Danish mark "border" (see mark (n.1)). The modern form is attested from late 14c. (from earlier Denemarke, c. 1200, from Old English Dene-mearce), but originally it meant western Scandinavia generally, "the lands of the Danes and Northmen." As an adjective, Middle English had Dene-marchish.
"of or pertaining to the Scandinavian people or their languages or physical type," 1898, from French nordique (in anthropologist Joseph Deniker's system of race classifications), literally "of or pertaining to the north," from nord "north" (a loan-word from Old English; see north). Perhaps influenced by German Nordisch. As a noun, from 1901. Strictly, the blond peoples who inhabit Scandinavia and the north of Britain. As a type of skiing competition, it is attested by 1949.
surname, also Osborne, Osbourn, Osbourne, etc., a Scandinavian name (Old Norse Asbiorn, Old Danish Asbiorn) meaning literally "god-bear," from os "a god" (see Oscar) + the Germanic word for "bear" (see bear (n.)). The name is found in England before the Conquest, perhaps directly from Scandinavia; it also was common in Normandy and was brought over from thence.
"of or pertaining to Denmark or the Danes," 14c., replacing Old English Denisc "people of Denmark" (also including the Norse), with vowel change as in Dane (q.v.). As a noun, "the language of the Danes," from early 15c. Danish pastry is by 1934; shortened form danish is by 1963. It seems to have been invented in Vienna, but for some reason it was associated with Scandinavia. The Danes correctly call it Wienerbrod "Viennese bread." In reference to furniture styles, Danish modern is from 1948.
early 15c., wadde, "small bunch of fibrous, soft material for padding or stuffing," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Medieval Latin wadda (14c., source also of French ouate, Italian ovate), or Dutch watten (source of German Watte), or Middle English wadmal (c. 1300) "coarse woolen cloth," which seems to be from Old Norse vaðmal "a woolen fabric of Scandinavia," probably from vað "cloth" + mal "measure."
The meaning "something bundled up tightly" (especially paper currency) is from 1778. To shoot (one's) wad "do all one can do" is recorded by 1860. The immediate source of the expression probably is the sense of "disk of cloth used to hold powder and shot in place in a gun." Wad in slang sense of "a load of semen" is attested from 1920s, and the expression now often is felt in this sense. As a suffix, -wad in 1980s joined -bag, -ball, -head in combinations meaning "disgusting or unpleasant person."