You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Toponym’ tag.

Empty clap-trap oratory; nonsense, particularly political nonsense. Toponym from Buncombe county in North Carolina, whose congressman in 1820 made a long, pointless speech just to try and impress the voters.

A traditional form of popular musical comedy in Spain. Derived from the name “Real Sitio de la Zarzuela” in Madrid, where these works were first performed in the early 17th century.

Worn out, trite, and over-used, mainly referring to phrase, sayings, or ideas. From “hackney”=to use a horse for general-purpose riding; to over-use < Middle English “hackeney” = a horse < Hackney, a village in England where horses were kept.

A thick stick of blackthorn or oak used in Ireland, typically as a weapon. Toponym (named after a place) from the village of Shillelagh in County Wicklow, Ireland, thought to be where the wood used to create the sticks was originally sourced.

A fast, whirling Italian dance. Named after the town of Tarentum in Southern Italy, which is also the origin of the tarantula spider. The whirling dance was thought to be cure for a tarantula bite.

Thick white sauce, made of raw egg yolks and oil, often eaten on sandwiches or salad. Uncertain origin, possibly from feminine of French “mahonnais” meaning “from Port Mahon , capital of Minorca.”

The art of making women’s hats. Toponym from Italian “Milano”=the city of Milan, from where women’s hats and apparel were made < Latin “Mediolanum,” the chief city of Lombardy.

A walking stick made of wood from the port of Malacca. Malay “Melaka”=a port on the west coast of the Malay peninsula in SE Asia.

A type of dry white wine from Germany. An abbreviation of “Hochheimer Wein”=wine from Hocheim.

A type of young onion with a small round end and a long green stem. Anglo-Norman “scaloun” < based on Latin “Ascalonia caepa”= onion from Ascalon, a port in Palestine.

Using the site

Use the Search box below to look for a specific word. Use the A-Z tab to browse pages of words.
Follow Tweetionary: An Etymology Dictionary on