city founded 1853, named for Seatlh (c. 1790-1866), native chief who befriended white settlers. His name is in the Salishan tongue.
fem. proper name, an assibilated form of Mag, pet form of Margaret. Also used as the name of a barn-owl and a magpie.
MADGE. The private parts of a woman. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]
name of an ancient region extending vaguely westward from the River Volga, Latin Sarmatia, from Greek Sarmatēs, their name for an ancient tribe which wandered the plains of easternmost Europe until it merged with other peoples (their language apparently was an Iranian tongue); later poetically identified with Poland. Related: Sarmatian.
Bulgarian capital, Roman Serdica, from the Thracian Serdi people who lived thereabouts. Conquered by the Bulgarians 9c. who altered the name by folk-etymology to Sredeti, which in their tongue meant "center, middle." It got its current name 14c. when the Turks conquered it and converted the 6c. church of St. Sophia into a mosque; the name thence extended to the whole city.
name of a North American native people of upper New York and adjacent Canada, and their (Iroquoian) language, 1630s, Mohowawogs (plural), which is said to derive from a word in a southern New England Algonquian tongue meaning "they eat living things," perhaps a reference to cannibalism. Compare Unami Delaware /muhuwe:yck/ "cannibal monsters." The people's name for themselves is kanye'keha:ka.
In reference to the haircut style favored by punk rockers, c. 1975, from fancied resemblance to hair as worn by the native people in old movies and illustrations. The style of cut earlier was called a Mohican (1960). Mohoc, Mohock, a variant form of the word, was the name given 1711 to gangs of aristocratic London ruffians (compare Apache). As the name of turn in figure skating that involves a change of foot but not a change of edge, by 1880.
borough of New York City, named for Jonas Bronck, who settled there in 1641.
Jonas Bronck, who arrived at New Amsterdam in 1639, and whose name is perpetuated in Bronx Borough, Bronx Park, Bronxville — in New York — was a Scandinavian, in all probability a Dane and originally, as it seems, from Thorshavn, Faroe Islands, where his father was a pastor in the Lutheran Church. Faroe then belonged to Denmark-Norway and had been settled by Norwegians. The official language of the island in Bronck's days was Danish. ... Bronck may have been a Swede if we judge by the name alone for the name of Brunke is well known in Sweden. [John Oluf Evjen, "Scandinavian immigrants in New York, 1630-1674," Minneapolis, 1916]
The derisive Bronx cheer ("made by blowing through closed lips, usually with the tongue between" - OED) is attested by 1929.
eighteenth letter of the English alphabet, traceable to Phoenician and always representing more or less the same sound, which in many languages is typically so resonant and continuous as to be nearly akin to the vowels, but in English is closer to -l-.
It was aspirated at the start of words (hr-) in Old English, as in Greek, but this was abandoned in English spelling and pronunciation by the end of the Old English period, but the rh- spelling survives in many words borrowed from Greek. In many languages and some dialects (e.g. Scottish) it is pronounced with a distinct trilling vibration of the tongue-tip, which gave it its ancient nickname of "the dog letter;" in other regional dialects (e.g. Boston) it is omitted unless followed by a vowel, while in others it is introduced artificially in pronunciation ("idear," "drawring").
If all our r's that are written are pronounced, the sound is more common than any other in English utterance (over seven per cent.); the instances of occurrence before a vowel, and so of universal pronunciation, are only half as frequent. There are localities where the normal vibration of the tip of the tongue is replaced by one of the uvula, making a guttural trill, which is still more entitled to the name of "dog's letter" than is the ordinary r; such are considerable parts of France and Germany; the sound appears to occur only sporadically in English pronunciation. [Century Dictionary]
Louise Pound ("The Humorous 'R'") notes that in British humorous writing, -ar- "popularly indicates the sound of the vowel in father" and formations like larf (for laugh) "are to be read with the broad vowel but no uttered r."
The moment we encounter the added r's of purp or dorg in our reading we know that we have to do with humor, and so with school-marm. The added consonants are supposed to be spoken, if the words are uttered, but, as a matter of fact, they are less often uttered than seen. The words are, indeed, largely visual forms; the humor is chiefly for the eye. [Louise Pound, "The Humorous 'R,'" American Mercury, October 1924]
She also quotes Henry James on the characteristic prominence of the medial -r- sound (which tends to be dropped in England and New England) in the speech of the U.S. Midwest, "under some strange impulse received toward consonantal recovery of balance, making it present even in words from which it is absent, bringing it in everywhere as with the small vulgar effect of a sort of morose grinding of the back teeth."
In a circle, meaning "registered (trademark)," attested by 1925. R&R "rest and relaxation," is attested by 1953, American English; R&B "rhythm and blues" (type of popular music) is attested by 1949, American English. Form three Rs, see Three Rs.