Etymology
Advertisement
vital statistics (n.)
1837, with reference to birth, marriage, death, etc.; meaning "a woman's bust, waist, and hip measurements" is from 1952. See vital.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
in vivo 
1898, Latin; "within a living organism," from vivere "to live" (see vital).
Related entries & more 
curriculum vitae (n.)

"brief account of one's life and work," 1902, Latin, literally "course of one's life" (see curriculum + vital). Abbreviated c.v.

Related entries & more 
arbor vitae (n.)

also arbor-vitae, type of evergreen shrub, 1660s, name given by French physician and botanist Charles de Lécluse, Latin, literally "tree of life;" see arbor (n.2) + vital. Also used in late 18c. rogue's slang as a cant word for "penis."

Related entries & more 
aqua vitae (n.)
also aqua-vitae, early 15c., Latin, literally "water of life," an alchemical term for unrefined alcohol. Applied to brandy, whiskey, etc. from 1540s. See aqua- + vital. Compare whiskey, also French eau-de-vie "spirits, brandy," literally "water of life."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
dumdum (n.)

type of metal-cased bullet which expands on impact, 1897, named for Dum-Dum arsenal in Bengal. British army soldiers made them to use against fanatical charges by tribesmen. Outlawed by international declaration, 1899. The place name is literally "hill, mound, battery," cognate with Persian damdama.

It was to stop these fanatics [Ghazi] — and that firstclass fighting man Fuzzy-Wuzzy, of the Soudan and of Somaliland—that the thing known as the Dum-Dum bullet was invented. No ordinary bullet, unless it hits them in a vital part or breaks a leg, will be sufficient to put the brake on these magnificently brave people. ["For Foreign Service: Hints on Soldiering in the Shiny East," London, 1915]
Pile on the brown man's burden
And if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old fashioned reasons
With Maxims up-to-date;
With shells and dum dum bullets
A hundred times make plain,
The brown man's loss must ever
Imply the white man's gain.
[Henry Labouchère, from "The Brown Man's Burden," 1899]
Related entries & more