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Old English spearca, from Proto-Germanic *spark- (cf. Middle Low German sparke, Middle Dutch spranke, not found in other Germanic languages). Electrical sense dates from 1748. Slang sense of "a gallant, a beau, a lover" (c.1600) is perhaps a figurative use, but also perhaps from cognate Old Norse sparkr "lively." Spark plug first recorded 1903 (sparking plug is from 1902); figurative sense of "one who initiates or is a driving force in some activity" is from 1941.
c.1300, from spark (n.). Slang meaning "stimulate, to trigger" first attested 1912. Related: Sparked; sparking.
Fortran superset, used in Fundamentals of Data Structures, E. Horowitz & S. Sahni, Computer Science Press 1976.
city, Washoe county, in northwestern Nevada, U.S., on the Truckee River. Adjacent to Reno and part of the Reno-Sparks distribution centre, it is mainly residential. Originally named Harriman for the railroad company's president, Sparks was founded in 1904 as a switching yard and repair centre for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It was almost immediately renamed Sparks in honour of Nevada Governor John T. Sparks, whose ranch was nearby and who unsuccessfully opposed legislation to regulate the railroad's tariffs. The town grew slowly until the early 1950s, when a postwar building boom saw its conversion into a suburb of nearby Reno. At the turn of the 21st century, Sparks was Nevada's fourth largest city. Inc. 1905. Pop. (1970) 24,187; (1990) 53,367; (2000) 66,346.