To me, the word chauvinism is nearly synonymous with sexism, but it can refer to prejudiced support for one's group of any type. In the past, this specifically had to do with extreme patriotism bordering on the absurd (sort of like jingoism). The term is named after Nicolas Chauvin of Rochefort, a probably fictitious French veteran who is credited as an actor in some very idolatric vaudevilles about Napoleon and the First Republic. He became a bit of a joke in France, and that's how the definition emerged. Chauvin's surname is a French version of Latin Calvinus, which derives from the noun calvus, meaning "bald". That, through Proto-Italic kalwos, ultimately comes from Proto-Indo-European klewo, also "bald". Use of the word chauvinism in literature peaked in the early 1970s and has been declining since.
The word ACAB seems to have taken the Internet by storm. It was Urban Dictionary's top trending definition on June 2, Google searches for it have been exponentially increasing since the George Floyd protests began, and as I'm writing this, there's an average of roughly five tweets every minute tagged #ACAB. The acronym stands for "all cops are bastards", and it emerged in English prisons in the 1970s. Inmates would scratch it on walls or get it tattooed across their knuckles, and the term soon became popular on the outside through punk bands and its use in riots. ACAB got so bad that several European countries made the term illegal, so some people took to stylizing it as 1312, corresponding to the letters' places in the alphabet. Recently, I've noticed a lot more people using it with lowercase letters, sometimes as an adjective (e.g. "John is a pretty acab person") or a noun ("John supports acab"). It'll be interesting to see how it linguistically develops further.
Today, the word stoic or stoical primarily serves as an adjective describing someone who does not exhibit a lot of emotion. That definition is from the late sixteenth century; before that, the term exclusively referred to the capital-s Stoic school of philosophy, which teaches that you should not become emotional over things that you can't directly control. Stoicism was almost named Zenonism after its founder Zeno of Citium, but the Stoics didn't want to give the impression that anyone, even Zeno, was infallible, so they instead named the philosophy after the Stoa Poikile, the Athenian hall where he taught. This literally translates to "painted corridor", because the building was covered with murals depicting the Greek victory at the Battle of Marathon. The stoa part of that, which could also mean "porch" or "colonnade", traces to the Proto-Indo-European word for "stand", sta.
A narwhal is a kind of whale native to the Arctic circle that's well known for having a horn-like large tusk protruding from its face. The word comes either from Dutch narwal or Norwegian narhval, but ultimately traces to the Old Norse word nahvalr, which meant "corpse whale". Some people back then thought that the pale white color of the mammals resembled that of cadavers, hence the name. Nahvalr is composed of Old Norse na, meaning "corpse" (from Proto-Germanic nawiz and Proto-Indo-European nehu, also "corpse") and the noun hvalr, meaning "whale" (through Proto-Germanic hwalaz, this derives from the Proto-Indo-European root kalos, which described a specific kind of catfish). After narwhals became an internet meme in 2009, Google searches for them spiked, peaking in 2015.
The city of Atlanta has undergone a lot of name changes. It was originally called Terminus because it was the site of the end (or terminus) of the Western and Atlantic railroad line. For a brief period in the 1930s, it was known as Thrasherville, after pioneer and general store owner John Thrasher, although that was never the official name. In 1842, when it was clear that the city had become far more than a train station, some residents called for it to be named Lumpkin, after Wilson Lumpkin, the governor of Georgia at the time. Lumpkin declined, asking that they name it after his daughter Martha Atalanta instead, so they called it Marthasville. Just over two years later, when the Georgia railroad was completed, the main engineer asked that it be renamed Atlanta-Pacifica, and Lumpkin compromised to Atlanta, since his daughter's middle name was Atalanta anyway.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.