Florence nightingale

[nahyt-n-geyl, nahy-ting-] /ˈnaɪt nˌgeɪl, ˈnaɪ tɪŋ-/

Florence (“the Lady with the Lamp”) 1820–1910, English nurse: reformer of hospital conditions and procedures; reorganizer of nurse’s training programs.
a brownish European songbird, Luscinia megarhynchos, with a broad reddish-brown tail: well known for its musical song, usually heard at night
any of various similar or related birds, such as Luscinia luscinia (thrush nightingale)
Florence, known as the Lady with the Lamp. 1820–1910, English nurse, famous for her work during the Crimean War. She helped to raise the status and quality of the nursing profession and founded a training school for nurses in London (1860)

Old English næctigalæ, nihtegale, compound formed in Proto-Germanic (cf. Dutch nachtegaal, German Nachtigall) from *nakht- “night” (see night) + *galon “to sing,” related to Old English giellan “yell” (see yell). With parasitic -n- that appeared mid-13c. Dutch nightingale “frog” is attested from 1769. In Japanese, “nightingale floor” is said to be the term for boards that creak when you walk on them.

French rossignol (Old French lousseignol) is, with Spanish ruiseñor, Portuguese rouxinol, Italian rosignuolo, from Vulgar Latin *rosciniola, dissimilated from Latin lusciniola “nightingale,” diminutive of luscinia “nightingale.”

Nightingale Night·in·gale (nīt’n-gāl’, nī’tĭng-), Florence. 1820-1910.

British nurse who organized (1854) and directed a unit of field nurses during the Crimean War and is considered the founder of modern nursing.


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