Three of last week's "Egyptology" words (faience, natron, and Rosetta Stone) were toponyms: words derived from place names. So were two of the words presented the previous week under the "Dirksenian prose" theme (fustian; Chautauqua). So it seems appropriate to follow with a theme of toponyms, even though we've done one recently – particularly since I've recently come across a few more toponyms to add to my list.
We'll start with one more toponym of egyptology.
canopic – relating to an ancient Egyptian jar, etc. used to hold the viscera of an embalmed body
[after Canopus, an ancient city in northern Egypt]
– Malta Independent, Nov. 22, 2006
viscera – (plural noun; sing. viscus) the internal organs in the main cavities of the body, especially those in the abdomen
bialy – a flat, round baked roll topped with onion flakes (somewhat like a bagel but, unlike the bagel, it is not boiled before baking)
[after Bialystok, a city in northeast Poland]
– Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
[after the French town of Arras, where tapestries were made]
You may recall from Hamlet, that Polonius hides behind an arras, to eavesdrop ("Behind the arras I'll convey myself, / To hear the process … ), and that Hamlet stabs him there. As Queen Gertrude relates (Act 4, Scene 1):
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries, 'A rat, a rat!'
And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
The unseen good old man.
doolally –UK and India: dotty; eccentric; "nuts"
[Indian army slang doolally tap: from Deolali, a town near Bombay, + tap fever]
– New York Times, May 9, 1982
Lawrence Mortimer said, 'As you can tell, my mother went doolally years ago. Me and my wife tried to get her certified in 1999, but her doctor said collecting books wasn't a reason for having her put away.' 'Indeed not', said Mr Carlton-Hayes, 'or I should have been confined to a padded cell many years ago.'
– Sue Townsend, Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction
As to etymology: Some say Deolali was the site of a sanitarium; some say it was where British soldiers waited, pending transport home after their tour of duty, and were driven mad by heat, idleness and boredom. The tap may be from previous importation of tap as an English term meaning malarial fever (Pers. tap fever, heat), or directly from Urdu tap fever; ultimately it traces to Skr. tapa heat; pain; torment.
In the play, The Producers, the main character's name is Max Bialystok.
In St-Exupery's book, Flight to Arras, the main character overflies Arras to spy out concealed German forces. Makes me wonder if St-Ex had Hamlet in mind when he wrote it.
Today's word is not in any on-line dictionary I've found, but it's quite common in the press. I have provided the definition below.
K Street – the political lobbying industry of Washington, D.C.
– Time, Nov. 26, 2006
[Senator] Ken Conrad's Web site proclaims [he] "has been a leading voice for fiscal responsibility" in Washington … [but] the parsimonious Mr. Conrad is attempting to shovel [$4.9 billion of drought relief] into a Senate military construction bill … . If this is the sort of "fiscal discipline" we can expect …, K Street ought to be popping the champagne corks.
– Wall Street Journal, Nov. 11, 2006
parsimonious – excessively sparing or frugal
metonymy – substituting one word or phrase for another with which it is closely associated, as Washington for the United States government
Two toponyms today. For the former we return to Washington, D.C., which gave us yesterday's word. For the latter we have a familiar word, but you probably did not know it came from a place-name.
Beltway – (typically in the phrase inside the Beltway) the political establishment of Washington, D.C., including federal officeholders, lobbyists, consultants, and media commentators
– Stratfor, Nov. 22, 2006
– Bill Bryson, Made In America (citation omitted)
[Note: Wikipedia has a different explanation: "The limousine car is named after the region because the inhabitants wore a hood with a profile perceived to be similar to that of the car."