capital of the Bahamas, a name attested from 1690s, given in honor of King William III of England (1650-1702), of the House of Orange-Nassau, from the duchy of Nassau in western Germany, named for a village in the Lahn valley, from Old High German nass "wet." Related: Nassauvian.
originally the name of the river, from the French rendering of an Algonquian name (French missionaries first penetrated the river valley in its upper reaches) meaning "big river;" compare Ojibwa mshi- "big," ziibi "river." Organized as a U.S. territory 1798; admitted as a state 1817. Related: Mississippian (by 1775; as a geological period, by 1891).
1580s, "pertaining to Nemea," a wooded valley in the northern Argolis, from Greek nemos "grove, forest," from PIE *nemos (source also of Latin nemus "forest, (holy) wood" and the Celtic word for "(holy) wood, sanctuary" preserved in Gaulish nemeton, Old Irish nemed). Especially in reference to the lion there, which was said to have been killed by Herakles as one of his 12 labors. The Nemean Games were one of the four great national festivals of the ancient Greeks. The victor's garland was made of parsley.
1861, in reference to a type of extinct hominid, from German Neanderthal "Neander Valley," name of a gorge near Düsseldorf where humanoid fossils were identified in 1856.
The place name is from the Graecized form of Joachim Neumann (literally "new man," Greek *neo-ander), 1650-1680, German pastor, poet and hymn-writer, who made this a favorite spot in the 1670s. Adopting a classical form of one's surname was a common practice among educated Germans in this era. As a noun, by 1915; as a type of a big, brutish, stupid person from 1926. They were extinct by about 35,000 years ago. That they interbred with modern humans was long debated and denied, but DNA analysis settled the question in 2013: They did.