Word Origin & History
O.E. and O.Fr. fenix, from M.L. phenix, from Gk. phoinix "mythical bird," also "the date" (fruit and tree), also "Phoenician," lit. "purple-red," perhaps a foreign word, or from phoinos "blood-red." Exact relation and order of the senses in Gk. is unclear.
Ðone wudu weardaþ wundrum fæger
fugel feþrum se is fenix hatan
Fig. sense of "that which rises from the ashes of what was destroyed" is attested from 1591. The city in Arizona, U.S., so called because it was founded in 1867 on the site of an ancient Native American settlement.
1861, originally the name of a breakaway Confederate region of southern New Mexico; organized roughly along modern lines as a U.S. territory in 1863. From Sp. Arizonac, probably from a local name among the O'odham (Piman) people meaning "having a little spring." Alternative theory is that it derives
from Basque arizonak "good oaks."