From the "What was she thinking?" Department:
The rather beautiful word isabelline, meaning 'a grayish-yellow or parchment colour' appears to derive from a rather less salubrious source. Apparently, in the sixteenth century, it was common for men to grow beards and swear not to shave them until something had been achieved (eg a war won or a leader restored). Archduchess Isabella of Austria wanted to show support for her father Philip II who was laying siege to the city of Ostend. Not being able to grow a beard, she swore not to change her undergarments until the city was taken. However, this took over three years leading to her grey-yellow underwear and the word's probable origin.
via Vitamin Q, a rather interesting blog of lists and trivia.
The city of Ostend finally surrendered at the end of the third year, when Archduchess Isabella was catapulted over its walls, rendering insensate most of Ostend's citizens.
Later note: this origin of the word is disputed.
訓読み == kunyomi == kun reading
Left radical is 'words/speak' (言), right radical is 'river' (川), acting
phonetically to express 'order'. This character originally meant 'ordered
argument', i.e., a logical argument. Its meaning later expanded to include
lessons and directions in general. Henshall
suggests as a mnemonic: 'Words flow like river in lesson.'
FYI: the 'kun reading' is the pronunciation of the character based on a native Japanese word. It is listed second, in lower case. (The first reading is the 'ON' reading, based on the Chinese pronunciation of the character.) Curiously, this character, one of whose meanings is 'kun reading' has no kun reading itself. Go figure.