yahoo (n.)Related entries & more
"a brute in human form," 1726, from the race of brutish human creatures in Swift's "Gulliver's Travels." "A made name, prob. meant to suggest disgust" [Century Dictionary]. "Freq. in mod. use, a person lacking cultivation or sensibility, a philistine; a lout; a hooligan" [OED]. The internet search engine so called from 1994.
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YahwehRelated entries & more
1869, hypothetical reconstruction of the tetragrammaton YHWH (see Jehovah), based on the assumption that the tetragrammaton is the imperfective of Hebrew verb hawah, earlier form of hayah "was," in the sense of "the one who is, the existing."
yak (n.)Related entries & more
"wild ox of central Asia," 1795, from Tibetan g-yag "male yak." Attested in French from 1791.
yak (v.)Related entries & more
YakimaRelated entries & more
Native American people of Washington State, 1852, perhaps from Sahaptin /iyakima/ "pregnant women."
yakuza (n.)Related entries & more
traditional Japanese organized crime cartel, literally "eight-nine-three" (ya, ku, sa) the losing hand in the traditional baccarat-like Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu. The notion may be "good for nothing," or "bad luck" (such as that suffered by someone who runs afoul of them), or it may be a reference to the fact that a player who draws this hand requires great skill to win.
YaleRelated entries & more
university in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S., founded 1701 as Collegiate School, renamed 1718 in honor of a gift from British merchant-philanthropist Elihu Yale (1649-1721). As a kind of lock, 1854, invented by U.S. mechanic Linus Yale Jr. (1821-1868). The surname is Welsh, from ial, and means "dweller at the fertile upland." Related: Yalie.
y'all (pron.)Related entries & more
Children learn from the slaves some odd phrases ... as ... will you all do this? for, will one of you do this? ["Arthur Singleton" (Henry C. Knight), "Letters from the South and West," 1824]
We-all for "us" is attested by 1865; we-uns by 1864. Who-all attested from 1899.
yam (n.)Related entries & more
1580s, igname (current form by 1690s), from Portuguese inhame or Spanish igname, from a West African language (compare Fulani nyami "to eat;" Twi anyinam "species of yam"); the word in American and Jamaican English probably is directly from West African sources. The Malay name is ubi, whence German öbiswurzel.