city in Greece, from Latin Corinthus, from Greek Korinthos, from Pelasgian *kar- "point, peak." The -nthos identifies it as being from the lost pre-IE language of Greece.
Entries linking to Corinth
1590s, "of or pertaining to Corinth," the ancient Greek city-state. The earlier adjective was Corynthoise (mid-15c.). From 1650s as an architectural order. As a noun, "inhabitant of Corinth," 1520s (Corinthies is attested from late 14c.).
In classical times among the other Greek states Corinth was noted for ornate architecture and notorious for its luxury and licentiousness (and for not scorning trade and profit); hence Corinthian, noun and adjective, in various slang or colloquial sense in English, especially "a swell, a man about town" (early to mid-19c. but especially 1820s).
We would confine the word to nobility and gentry of education, who join heartily in the sports of the turf or the ring, the latterly particularly ; but well-dressed prigs assume the envied name, or seedy sordid knaves, who have no souls for those things. [John Bee, "Sportsman's Slang," 1825]
c. 1500, "very small kind of seedless blackish raisin or dried grape, used in cookery and confections," a shortening of raysyn of Curans (late 14c.) "raisins of Corinth," with the -s- mistaken for a plural inflection. From Anglo-French reisin de Corauntz. The raisins were exported from southern Greece.
In 1570s the word was applied to the small round red or black berry of an unrelated Northern European plant (genus Ribes), then lately introduced in England, on its resemblance to the raisins. It later was applied to plants having similar fruit in America and Australia.
updated on December 25, 2012