Etymology
Advertisement
simian (adj.)
"characteristic of monkeys or apes," c. 1600, from Latin simia "ape," from simus "snub-nosed," from Greek simos "snub-nosed" (like the Scythians), also a masculine proper name, of unknown origin. Biological meaning "pertaining to monkeys" is from 1863. The noun meaning "an ape or monkey" first is attested in 1880.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
anthropoid (adj.)
"manlike," especially, in zoology, "human or simian, of humans and monkeys" (as opposed to lemurs and other less-human-like primates), 1835, from Greek anthropoeides "like a man, resembling a man; in human form;" see anthropo- + -oid. As a noun, from 1832 (the Greek noun in this sense was anthroparion). Related: Anthropoidal.
Related entries & more 
ape (n.)

Old English apa (fem. ape) "an ape, a monkey," from Proto-Germanic *apan (source also of Old Saxon apo, Old Norse api, Dutch aap, German affe), probably a borrowed word, perhaps from Celtic (compare Old Irish apa, Welsh epa) or Slavic (compare Old Bohemian op, Slovak opitza), and the whole group probably is ultimately from an Eastern or non-Indo-European language.

The common word until the emergence of monkey in 16c. More technically, in zoology, "a simian; tail-less, man-like monkey" 1690s. The only native apes in Europe are the Barbary apes of Gibraltar, intelligent and docile, and these were the showman's apes of the Middle Ages. Apes were noted in medieval times for mimicry of human action, hence, perhaps, the other figurative use of the word, to mean "a fool" (c. 1300).

To go ape "go crazy" is by 1953 (unsanitized or emphatic go apeshit is by 1954), American English; early attestations suggest armed forces slang. To lead apes in hell (1570s) was the fancied fate of one who died an old maid. Middle English plural was occasionally apen. Middle English also had ape-ware "deceptions, tricks."

Related entries & more