- Taurus (n.)
- zodiac constellation, late Old English, from Latin taurus "bull, bullock, steer," also the name of the constellation, from PIE *tau-ro- "bull" (source also of Greek tauros, Old Church Slavonic turu "bull, steer;" Lithuanian tauras "aurochs;" Old Prussian tauris "bison"); from PIE *tauro- "bull," from root *(s)taeu- "stout, standing, strong" (source also of Sanskrit sthura- "thick, compact," Avestan staora- "big cattle," Middle Persian stor "horse, draft animal," Gothic stiur "young bull," Old English steor, see steer (n.)); extended form of root *stā- "to stand" (see stet).
Klein proposes a Semitic origin (compare Aramaic tora "ox, bull, steer," Hebrew shor, Arabic thor, Ethiopian sor). Meaning "person born under the sign of the bull" is recorded from 1901.
At midnight revels when the gossips met,
The Taurid meteors (peaking Nov. 20) so called from 1878.
He was the theme of their eternal chat:
This ask'd what form great Jove would next devise,
And when his godship would again Taurise?
[William Somerville, "The Wife," 1727]