Tartar mid-14c. (implied in Tartary, "the land of the Tartars"), from M.L. Tartarus, from Pers. Tatar, first used 13c. in reference to the hordes of Ghengis Khan (1202-1227), said to be ultimately from Tata, a name of the Mongols for themselves. Form in European languages probably influenced by L. Tartarus "hell" (e.g. letter of St. Louis of France, 1270: "In the present danger of the Tartars either we shall push them back into the Tartarus whence they are come, or they will bring us all into heaven"). The historical word for what now are called in ethnological works Tatars. A Turkic people, their native region was east of the Caspian Sea. Ghengis' horde was a mix of Tatars, Mongols, Turks, etc. Used figuratively for "savage, rough, irascible person" (1660s); Byron's tartarly (1821) is a nonce-word. To catch a Tartar "get hold of what cannot be controlled" is recorded from 1660s; original sense not preserved, but probably from some military story similar to the old battlefield joke:
Irish soldier (shouting from within the brush): I've captured one of the enemy.
Captain: Excellent! Bring him here.
Soldier: He won't come.
Captain: Well, then, you come here.
Soldier: I would, but he won't let me.
Tartar sauce is first recorded 1855, from Fr. sauce tartare.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • tartar — TARTÁR, tartaruri, s.n. (În mitologia antică) Loc aşezat în fundul infernului, în care se presupunea că erau chinuiţi cei care păcătuiau faţă de zei: (în credinţa creştină) iad, infern. – Slav (v. sl. tartarŭ din gr.). Trimis de pan111,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Tartar — may refer to: wiktionary*An alternate spelling of the name Tatars, an ethnic group in present day Russia (this term formerly extended to nearly all Central Asian, Turkic and Mongol ethnic groups) *Tartar sauce *Calculus (dental), hardened dental… …   Wikipedia

  • Tartar — Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tartar — Tar tar, n. [F. tartre (cf. Pr. tartari, Sp., Pg., & It. tartaro, LL. tartarum, LGr. ?); perhaps of Arabic origin.] 1. (Chem.) A reddish crust or sediment in wine casks, consisting essentially of crude cream of tartar, and used in marking pure… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tartar — ► NOUN 1) a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay. 2) a deposit of impure cream of tartar formed during the fermentation of wine. ● cream of tartar Cf. ↑cream of tartar ORIGIN Greek tartaron …   English terms dictionary

  • Tartar — Tar tar, n. 1. [Per. T[=a]t[=a]r, of Tartar origin.] A native or inhabitant of Tartary in Asia; a member of any one of numerous tribes, chiefly Moslem, of Turkish origin, inhabiting the Russian Europe; written also, more correctly but less… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tartar — hat mehrere Bedeutungen: Tartar GR, eine ehemalige Gemeinde im Bezirk Hinterrhein, Kanton Graubünden, Schweiz RIM 24 Tartar, US amerikanische Luftabwehrrakete eine andere Schreibweise von Tatar, siehe Tataren eine andere Schreibweise von Tərtər… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tartar — is the hardened product of longstanding plaque accumulating minerals from the saliva and foods. Plaque is the soft accumulation of food debris and bacteria around teeth. These bacteria feed on left over food in the mouth to excrete toxins that… …   Medical dictionary

  • tartar — bitartrate of potash (a deposit left during fermentation), late 14c., from O.Fr. tartre, from M.L. tartarum, from late Gk. tartaron tartar encrusting the sides of wine casks, perhaps of Semitic origin. The purified substance is cream of tartar.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Tartar — Tàrtar m DEFINICIJA mit. 1. bezdan vječne tame i njegov bog; bacanje u Tartar je bila najstrašnija moguća kazna (Zeus je Titane bacio u Tartar, ali ih je poslije ipak pustio van, ostao je samo Tifon) 2. najmračniji dio Hada, katkad izjednačen s… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

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