family name attested from early 12c., an Anglo-French form of the place name Grantham (Lincolnshire). In reference to crackers, bread, etc., made from unsifted whole-wheat flour, 1834, American English, from Sylvester Graham (1794-1851), U.S. dietetic reformer and temperance advocate. Related: Grahamism. Graham's law in physics (1845) is a reference to Scottish chemist Thomas Graham (1805-1869). Graham Land in Antarctica was named 1832 by English explorer John Biscoe in honor of Sir James Graham (1792-1861), first lord of the Admiralty; the U.S. name for it was Palmer Peninsula in honor of American explorer Nathaniel Palmer, who had led an expedition there in 1820. The rival names persisted until 1964.
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