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.
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.