What is the X in X-mas?
1768, a name first used in English to name a Ceylonese python, it was applied erroneously to a large South American boa, called in Brazil sucuriuba. The word is of uncertain origin, and no snake name like it now is found in Sinhalese or Tamil. One suggestion is that it is a Latinization of Sinhalese henacandaya "whip snake," literally "lightning-stem" [Barnhart]. Another suggestion is that it represents Tamil anaikkonda "having killed an elephant" [OED].
city, seat (since 1977) of Anaconda-Deer Lodge county, southwestern Montana, U.S., 23 miles (37 km) northwest of Butte. Laid out in 1883 as Copperopolis by Marcus Daly, founder of Montana's copper industry, the settlement was the seat of Deer Lodge county. In 1977 the governments of Anaconda and Deer Lodge county were consolidated. The city grew rapidly after 1884, when Daly built a copper smelter on nearby Warm Springs Creek. Daly's plant became one of the world's largest nonferrous and reduction works, and its 585-foot (178-metre) smokestack dominates the landscape. The city was incorporated in 1888 and was renamed Anaconda, after Daly's mining camp in Butte, to avoid confusion with Copperopolis in Meagher county. Daly, who had hoped to make Anaconda the state capital, built one of the most ornate hotels in the nation-the Hotel Marcus Daly-there. His newspaper, the Anaconda Standard, had a plant as modern as any in New York City at the time, though it had a readership of only a few thousand.