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familiar shortening of masc. proper name Thomas, used by late 14c. as a type of a nickname for a common man. Applied 17c. as a nickname for several exceptionally large bells. Short for Uncle Tom in the sense of "black man regarded as too servile to whites" is recorded from 1959. Tom Walker, U.S. Southern colloquial for "the devil" is recorded from 1833. Tom and Jerry is first attested 1828 in many extended senses, originally the names of the two chief characters (Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn) in Pierce Egan's "Life in London" (1821); the U.S. cat and mouse cartoon characters debuted 1940 in "Puss Gets the Boot." Tom Thumb (1570s) was a miniature man in popular tradition before P.T. Barnum took the name for a dwarf he exhibited.
1530s, back-formation from Middle English myxte (early 15c.) "composed of more than one element, of mixed nature," from Anglo-French mixte, from Latin mixtus, past participle of miscere "to mix, mingle, blend; fraternize with; throw into confusion," from PIE *meik- "to mix" (cf. Sanskrit misrah "mixed," Greek misgein, mignynai "to mix, mix up, mingle; to join, bring together; join (battle); make acquainted with," Old Church Slavonic mešo, mesiti "to mix," Russian meshat, Lithuanian maišau "to mix, mingle," Welsh mysgu). Also borrowed in Old English as miscian. Related: Mixed; mixing.
1580s, "act of mixing," from mix (v.).
Watson Wat·son (wŏt'sən), James Dewey. Born 1928.
American biologist who with Francis Crick proposed a spiral model, the double helix, for the molecular structure of DNA. He shared a 1962 Nobel Prize for advances in the study of genetics.
American astronomer who demonstrated that the essential brightness of a star could be calculated by studying its spectrum and who introduced a method for measuring the distance of stars based on their brightness. In 1915 he discovered Sirius B, the first known white dwarf star, and his measurement of the gravitational red shift in the light leaving its surface was accepted as evidence for Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
American biologist who, working with Francis Crick, identified the structure of DNA in 1953. By analyzing the patterns cast by x-rays striking DNA molecules, they discovered that DNA has the structure of a double helix, two spirals linked together by bases in ladderlike rungs. For this work Watson and Crick shared with Maurice Wilkins the 1962 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.
: sleeping, resisting, tom-ming, killing the enemy/ You too young to be TommingRelated Terms
(often the mix) A mixture; combination of components; medley: most important element in an auto maker's marketing mix/ I enjoy what callers bring into the mix (1959+)verb
To fight; mix it: Them last two babies mixed many times a month (1921+)