U.S. state (organized as a territory 1861, admitted 1864), named for the Sierra Nevada mountain range on its western boundary, which are literally the "snowy mountains," from fem. of Spanish nevado "snowy" (see neve).
"important vein of an ore or mineral in rock," 1849, from mother (n.1) + lode (n.); said to be a translation of Mexican Spanish veta madre, a name given to rich silver veins. The American use is first in reference to a conspicuous vein of quartz rich in gold discovered during the gold rush in the Sierra Nevada of California. The colloquial or figurative sense of "richest source of something" is by 1916.
"the largest, most hideous, and most ferocious of the baboons" [OED], 1744, perhaps ultimately from a West African language, but formed into the English components man (n.) + drill (n.4) "baboon," which is of West African origin. The earliest reference reports the name is what the animal was "called by the white men in this country [Sierra Leone], but why it is so called I know not, nor did I ever hear of the Name before, neither can those who call them so tell, except it be for their near Resemblance of a human Creature, though nothing at all like an Ape." [William Smith, "A New Voyage to Guinea"]. French mandrill, Spanish mandril seem to be from English.