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By the Same Author 

"A book of extraordinary interest; everyone 
interested in words should immediately obtain 
a copy, and those who do not yet realise 
how enthralling a subject word-history is could 
not do better than sample its flavour in Mr 
Weekley's admirable book." — Spectator. 

Third Edition 


"Mr Weekley inspires confidence by his 
scholarly method of handling a subject which 
has been left, for the most part, to the amateur 
or the cfSkvik." ^Spectator. Second Edition 


" Under Professor Weekley's guidance a study 
of the origin and significance of surnames 
becomes full of fascination for the general 
reader." — 7>7///i. Second Edition 







" Each language alters, either by occasion 
Of trade, which, causing mutuall commutation 
Of th'earths and Oceans wares, with hardy luck 
Doth words for words barter, exchange, and truck : 
Or else, because Fame-thirsting wits, that toyle. 
In golden termes to trick their gracious stile, 
With new-found beauties prank each circumstance, 
Or (at the least) doe new-coyned words inhaunce 
With currant freedome, and againe restore 
Th'old, rusty, mouldy, worme-gnawne words of yore." 

(Sylvester, Babylon.) 

LONDON |\ ^ 


I 9 2 I 

5;\^ L5BRA?^V 


Elsie, 'What's that, Daddy?' Father, 'A cow.' Elsie, 'Why?' 

(Punch, ]z.n. 17, 1906) 

Sporting old Parson, ' I didn't ask you what a "yorker" was, — 
{with dignity) — I know that as well as you do. But why is it 
called a "yorker"?' 

Professional Player, 'Well, I can't say, sir. I don't know what 
else you could call it.' (ib. Sept. 23, 1882) 


Cop. 2. 


This Dictionary is offered to those lovers of our language who, without wishing 
to stumble about in the dim regions which produce pre-historic roots and con- 
jectural primitive-Teutonic word-forms, have an educated interest in words and 
an intelligent curiosity as to their origins and earlier senses. That is to say, it 
is meant for the class whose feeling for words is intermediate between the two 
extreme attitudes illustrated on the opposite page. It represents the results of 
etymological studies which may be said to have begun when the author, having 
reached the disyllabic stage of culture, acquired the habit of theorizing about 
words and worrying his elders with unanswerable questions. In form and scope 
it attempts to supply the help which many word-lovers, as distinct from philo- 
logical experts, are still seeking. In the course of time it has gone through several 
metamorphoses. Conceived many years ago as a glossary of curious etymologies, 
an offshoot of which was the author's "Romance of Words" (1912), it has 
gradually grown, in the same uni.itentional way as Topsy, until it has become, 
from the point of view of vocabulary, the most complete Etymological Dictionary 
in existence. It may seem presumptuous for one who is by trade a student of 
foreign languages to essay the task of compiling a dictionary of his own; but the 
extenuating circumstance may be urged that the central Anglo-Saxon patch which 
is the nucleus of Modern English has been so long and so thoroughly worked by 
competent hands that not much remains to be done, at any rate from the un- 
ambitious point of view of the present writer. On the other hand, the huge and 
ever-growing foreign accretions can perhaps be not unprofitably investigated by 
one whose philological studies have been largely outside English. 

Indeed, one of the forms through which this book has passed was that of an 
Etymological Glossary of the foreign elements in the language. This glossary was 
to have excluded not only the native element, but also all those words of Latin 
origin which, as Skinner says, "non obscure Romanam redolent prosapiam." But, 
reflecting that, after all, most people's Latin has a way of getting rusty, and that 
at no distant date a Soviet Board of Education may send Latin to join Greek in 
the limbo of "useless" studies, the author decided to rope in all the Latin words, 
as being likely to have at least an antiquarian interest for the rising generation. 
The difficult problem of demarcating strictly the native element from the early 
Scandinavian and Low German contributions was solved, or rather dodged, by 
the final decision to include everything, both native and foreign. The author thus 
finds that he has produced something much more ambitious than he originally 
intended. He can only plead, like Jo, that he "didn't go fur to do it." 



The vocabulary dealt with is, roughly speaking, that of the "Concise Oxford 
Dictionary" (1911), collated, during the printing of the book, with 
oca u ary ^^^^ ^^ Cassell's " New English Dictionary " (1919). These two marvels 
of completeness and compression include, however, a great number of scientific 
and technical words which can hardly be regarded as forming part of the English 
language, while omitting, either by accident or design, others which, in my 
opinion, have acquired civic rights. As our language grows with the same majestic 
and unnoticed progress as our empire, it results that every dictionary is, strictly 
speaking, out of date within a month of its publication, and many words will be 
found here which are not recorded in either of the above compilations. 

I have included the whole of the literary and colloquial vocabulary, so far as 
Archaisms the former is not purely archaic and the latter not purely technical 
and Slang or local. In the matter of archaisms some clemency has been extended 
to Scott, whose picturesque, too often sham-antique, vocabulary made the author 
a word-hunter before his age had got into double figures. A certain number of 
Shakespearean words which still re-echo more or less unintelligibly in phrases to 
which Shakespeare gave currency are also included. Many slang words and ex- 
pressions hitherto passed over by etymologists are here historically explained. 
In the past the slang of one generation has often become the literary language of 
the next, and the manners which distinguish contemporary life suggest that this 
will be stOl more frequently the case in the future. 

In the matter of "scientific" terms, often coined with complete indifference 

Scientific ^0 linguistic laws and the real meanings of words, I have made it a 

terms j-^ie to exclude everything which the "New English Dictionary" 

quotes only from technical treatises and dictionaries. But, as almost all the 

elements from which such terms are composed are found in more familiar words, 

the intelligent reader will have no difficulty in finding enlightenment; e.g. anyone 

who has not enough Greek to interpret photomicrography has only to look up 

photo-, micro-, graph-, and the search will do him no harm. Here again, it is 

impossible to predict what words may be promoted from Algebra to English in 

the course of the next few years. A European war may familiarize the public 

with unimagined lethal products of Kultur, just as a comic opera plot against a 

Prime Minister may turn the name of an obscure Indian poison into a temporary 

household word. On the whole it wall be found that I have leaned rather towards 

inclusion than exclusion, though neologisms of Greek origin are bunched together 

as concisely as possible wherever the alphabetical order allows of this being done. 

Foreign words are included, if, though still sufficiently "foreign" to be usually 

Foreign printed in italics, they are likely to occur in reading and in educated 

words conversation; and their etymology is traced as fully as that of the 

other words, i.e. just as far back as the ground seems firm and the author believes 

himself a competent guide. Among such foreign words are many neologisms 

due to the Great War, a certain number of which may successfully resist that 

demobilization of the war-words which is now actively proceeding. The more 


recondite foreign technicalities of war have been avoided, but the Anglo-Indian 
vocabulary of the British army, much of which is already to be found in the 
works of Mr Kipling and other Anglo-Indian writers, has been drawn upon freely. 
Purely Latin words and phrases are usually explained without comment, Latin 
etymology, except where it rests on quite sure foundations or shows interesting 
parallels with our own language, being outside the scope of this work. 

As a rule the proper name is only admitted to the etymological dictionary 
Proper when it has attained the small initial. This seems rather an artificial 
names distinction and one not always easy to establish. My own interest in the 
etjrmology of personal names, and my conviction that the part they have played 
in the creation of our vocabiilary is not yet realized by etymologists, have led me 
to include here a much larger proportion of them than is usually found in ety- 
mological dictionaries. The boundary-line between names and words is hardly 
real. It is constantly being crossed before our eyes, as it has been crossed through- 
out the history of language, and I cannot see why Guy Fawkes should be admitted 
to the dictionary as guy, while Tommy Atkins remains outside. It will be found 
that I have proposed personal-name origins for many of the hitherto unsolved 
problems of etymology, and that, in general, I have brought the two classes of 
words into closer connection than earlier etymologists. In the case of derivatives 
of proper names I have omitted the obvious {Dantesque, Mosaic, Shakespearean, 
etc.), but included the less familiar. 

The word "etymology" is used here in a wider, if shallower, sense than in 
previous etymological dictionaries. These usually limit themselves to 
answering the question "Whence?" It has always seemed to the 
author that the living word is of more interest than its protoplasm, and that 
"Whence? " is only part of the problem, the real solution of which involves also 
answering the questions "How?" "When?" "Why?" and even, occasionally, 
"Who?" Few people, at least of those who care for words, need the help of a 
dictionary to elucidate agnostic^ or demarcation, but many may be interested to 
learn that we owe the first to Huxley and the second to a Papal bull of 1493. 
Nor is it at first sight apparent why a large furniture van should bear a Greek 
name signifying a collection of all the arts. 

In the matter of etymology, strictly speaking, the method has been as follows. 
Aryan & For f^e small nucleus of Aryan words the parallel forms are given j 
Teutonic from the other languages, Teutonic and Romance, together with some 
indication of the existence of the word in Celtic and Slavonic, Persian and Sanskrit. 
It is in dealing with this small group that the author has felt most out of his depth 
and inclined to be apologetic, especially for inconsistencies in transliteration. 
Words of Common Teutonic origin are accompanied by the Dutch, German, 
Old Norse, and (if recorded) Gothic forms, while for West Germanic words the 
Dutch and German cognates are given. The classification of the Anglo-Saxon and 

^ Though the " etymology " from Latin agnosco has been ascribed to more than one 
eminent man. 


Scandinavian element into these three groups (Aryan, Common Teutonic, West 
Germanic) is not a simple matter, and no doubt some errors will be found. 

For words from Old or Modern French, or from the other Romance languages, 
I give the Latin original\ tracing this a little further back when it 
element can be done with certainty. The parallel French, Italian and Spanish 
forms are usually given, and sometimes those of other Romance languages. It 
is well known that nouns and adjectives of these languages are usually derived 
from the Latin accusative case. It seemed unnecessary to repeat this information 
for every word, the more so as both cases would often give the same result, e.g. Old 
French maistre represents Latin magister as well as magistrum, while pater and 
patrem would both produce pere. I have usually, for simplicity, given the nomina- 
tive, showing the stem of imparisyllabics, e.g. custom, OF. coustume {coutume), 
L. c'onsuetudo, -tudin-. For words adopted early from French the Modern French 
French ^^rm is given when it does not differ essentially from Old French, 
words Where the citation of the Old French form seems desirable^, its 

current representative is added in brackets, and the same course is followed for 
the other modern European languages. Everybody knows that our words of 
French origin are chiefly from Old French, and it is just as simple and true to 
say that English dame is French dame as to insist on the "Old." 

In cases where it seems of interest the approximate date of appearance in the 
language is given for foreign words, as also for many apparently native 
rono ogy ^^^^^^^ which are not recorded until the Middle English period or later. 
But it must be understood that such dates, usually based on the quotations of the 
"New English Dictionary," are subject to revision. The actual written record of 
a word is largely a matter of accident, and the author's researches into the history 
of surnames have revealed the fact that hundreds of words and compounds are 
some centuries older than their first appearance in literature. Also, during the 
progress of the "New English Dictionary," numerous documents have been, 
published which carry back the history of many words far beyond the dates which 
were known a few years ago. I have occasionally called attention to such cases. 
I have also tried to show how or why certain foreign words were introduced into 
the language, or what writers may be regarded as having coined, or given currency 
to, a new word or to an old word used in a new sense. Sometimes the honour 
belongs to a forgotten scribbler, but Shakespeare's share in such creations is 

No definitions are given, except the brief indications which are needed to 

distinguish homonyms or to suggest the region of ideas to which an 

unfamiliar word belongs. I learn from the "New English Dictionary" 

that to kiss is "to press or touch with the lips (at the same time compressing aPxd 

1 Throughout the Dictionary the word "from" is used to indicate a connection which does not 
amount to exact phonetic equivalence, e.g. poplar, OF. poplier (peuplier), from L. poptdus. 

2 Where the English word is identical with the Old French the latter is not repeated, e.g. haste, 
OF. (h&te). 



then separating them), in token of affection or greeting, or as an act of reverence," 

and from Skeat that twenty is "twice ten." So much knowledge I assume every 

reader to possess. On the other hand, I have tried to trace the 
Meanings . . 

meanmgs of each word as well as its form, to account for, or at least 

indicate, the various directions which the sense has taken, and to explain the 
chief figurative uses and the proc^^g^ which they have become part of the 
living language, passing over of^raBPffiT that is obvious to average intelligence. 
Hence this Dictionary include3||J|pS^ way, a dictionary of phrases. This has in- 
volved a very rigid system of selection. To deal fully with the phraseology con- 
nected with any common verb would be an enormous task. This may be illustrated 
by the fact that the "New English Dictionary" recognizes fifty different senses 
for the locution to take up, which again is only an item in the mammoth article 
devoted to the verb to take. But it seemed possible, within reasonable limits, to 
supply an answer to a question addressed to the author much more frequently 
than any of those mentioned on p. vii, viz. " Why do we say...? " I have seldom 
touched on proverbs, the common inheritance of the nations, though expressed 
in a notation which varies according to national history, tradition, pursuits and 
characteristics. All of us constantly use phrases which, starting from some great, 
or perhaps small, writer or orator, have become an inseparable element of colloquial 
English, but which we often find it hard to localize. These reminiscences I have 
tried to run to earth, without, however, aspiring to furnish a complete dictionary 
of popular misquotations. It will be noticed that a very large number of such 
expressions belong to the vocabulary of sport^, and still more of them perhaps to 
that of the sea, the Englishman's second language. Among my authorities (p. xx) 
and sources for quotations {ih.) nautical literature accordingly holds a large 
place. I am aware that all this is not usually regarded as etymology, but I see 
no reason why it should not be. A reader who is left cold by the words bean and 
feast may be interested in their collocation, most of us use habitually the expression 
foregone conclusion in a sense remote from that intended by its coiner, and 
the current sense of psychological moment is altogether different from its 
original use. 

It will be seen from what precedes that this Dictionary, whatever its defects or 
merits, is something of a new departure. In some respects it accidentally resembles, 
no doubt lo7igo intervallo, the German edition of Falk and Torp's "Etymologisk 
Ordbog over det Norske og det Danske Sprog," from which, however, it differs 
by the modesty of its philological ambition and by the inclusion of quotations. It 
Quotations ^^^ always seemed to the compiler that a dictionary without quota- 
tions is too unrelieved in its austerity. Those included here range 
chronologically from the Venerable Bede to Mr Horatio Bottomley, and represent 
the results of nearly fifty years omnivorous reading stored away in a rather 
retentive memory. Some are given to prove the early occurrence of a word, 

1 United States metaphor is more often expressed in terras of the backwoods, the mine and the 



others to illustrate an interesting phase of meaning or an obsolete pronunciation, 
others again as loci classici or for their historic interest, and a few no doubt 
because their quaintness appealed to the compiler. Some are given with only 
vague reference, having been noted for private satisfaction at a time when the 
project of a dictionary had not been formed. For many I am indebted to the 
"New English Dictionary," though coincidence does not by any means always 
Sources of indicate borrowing. On p. xx will be found a list of works specially 
quotations j-ead or re-read for the purpose of the Dictionary, the reason for their 
selection being, I think, fairly obvious. I have made much use of the Bible trans- 
lations, from the Anglo-Saxon Gospels to the Authorized Version, which have so 
strongly influenced the vocabulary and phrasing of modern English, and also of 
the medieval and 16-17 century Latin-English dictionaries, so valuable for the 
light they throw on the contemporary meanings of words. It did not seem de- 
sirable to add to the already too great bulk of the Dictionary by giving a list of 
all works quoted. Such a list would be almost a catalogue of English literature, 
with the addition of a very large number of non-literary sources, such as early 
collections of letters, private diaries, household accounts, wills and inventories, 
state papers, documents dealing with local administration, and most of the early 
travel records published by the Hakluyt Society, Matter of this kind, constantly 
published by antiquarian societies and by the Government, supplies a linguistic 
Tom Tiddler's Ground for the word-hunter. All quotations are given unaltered, 
except that u and v, i and j are distinguished, and th, g (or y) substituted for 
obsolete Anglo-Saxon and Middle English symbols^. From c. 1600 (Shakespeare 
and Authorized Version) modernized spelling is usual, but this depends usually on 
the edition consulted. Occasionally (e.g. cozen) the original Shakespearean spelling 
is given for et5miological reasons. 

There are at present two schools of etymologists, the phonetic and the 
Phonetics & Semantic. The former devote themselves to the mechanical expiana- 
Semantics -j-jon of speech-sounds and believe that "the laws of sound-change 
admit of no exceptions." The latter are guided in their investigations by the 
parallelisms and contrasts to be observed in sense-development in different 
languages. The present writer belongs, in his humble way, to the second school. 
He has every respect for the laws of phonetics, a science which has, within the 
last forty years, transformed the methods of the qualified etymologist ; but he is 
at one with the greatest representative of the semantic school in declining to 
regard these laws as though they had been delivered to mankind on Mount 
Sinai. So it will be found that the minutiae of phonetics occupy little space in 
this Dictionary, and that occasionally, though with a caveat, etymologies are 
proposed which actually run counter to phonetic theory. A good many accidents 
happen to words in the course of their lives, and individual fancy is not without 
influence. Phonetics will explain general laws, but can hardly tell us by what 

^ Foreign symbols, other than Greek, are replaced throughout by transliteration into English 
italics. Such transliteration is necessarily sometimes of a rough-and-ready character. 



process the schoolboy converts swindle into swiz, how bicycle becomes hike, or 
why the Prince of Wales should be known to his Oxford intimates as the Pragger 
Wagger. It is possible to recognize the great debt that etymology owes to the 
phonetician without necessarily regarding the study of the yelps and grunts of 
primitive man or his arboreal ancestors as the be-all and end-all of linguistic science. 

The chief authority used in this compilation is, of course, the "New English 
. Dictionary," the noblest monument ever reared to any language. 
But, in the nearly forty years that have elapsed since the inception 
of that great national work, and largely as a result of its inspiration, a great deal 
of good etymological work has been done and new sources of information have 
been opened. It will consequently be found that the etymologies given here some- 
times differ from, or modify, those put forward by the "New English Dictionary" 
and uncritically repeated by other compilations. Besides the dictionaries re- 
cognized as more or less authoritative enumerated on p. xvii, I have had as mines 
of new knowledge many essays and monographs by eminent continental scholars, 
together with the numerous philological periodicals published in Europe and 
America. I have worked through all of these, so far as they touch, immediately 
or remotely, on English etymology, and venture to hope that not much of real 
importance has escaped me. Nor should I omit to mention, as a store-house of 
curious lore, our own "Notes and Queries." Considerations of space have limited 
the list of authorities (pp. xvii-xx) to the essential tools with which I have worked 
day by day, but no reputable source of information has remained unconsulted. 
As a rule authorities are not quoted, except for an occasional reference to the 
views of the "New English Dictionary," or, in disputed etymologies, of Skeat. 
In some few very ticklish cases I have sheltered myself behind the great name of 
Friedrich Kluge, my sometime chief and teacher, and, in dealing with the strange 
exotics which come to us from the barbarian fringe, I have now and then invoked 
the authority of my old schoolfellow James Piatt, whose untimely death in 1910 
deprived philology of the greatest linguistic genius of modern times. 

The various preliminary drafts and t^^ final shaping o) lius ijictiODa-y .- viug 
extended over many years, it is inevitable that there should be some unevenness, 
not to say inconsistency and needless repetition, in the final performance. There 
are moods in which conciseness seems most desirable, ann ••'■'■'■ ■- ■• ^rl." % 
temptation to be discursive gets the upper hand. My own impression is that the 
book improves as it goes on. The kind of shorthand which has to be used in com- 
pressing so vast a matter into one moderate-sized volume must lead to occasional 
obscurity, but I hope and believe that this has tended to diminish with the 
progress of the work. Scaliger compares the lexicographer with the convict — 

Si quern dira manet sententia judicis olim 

Damnatum aerumnis suppliciisque caput, 
Hunc neque fabrili lassent ergastula massa 
Nee rigidas vexent fossa metalla manus : 
Lexica contexat, nam cetera quid moror? Onines 
I Poenarum facies hie labor unus habet. 


This is too gloomy a picture. There are, in dictionary-making, desolate patches, 
especially those that are overgrown with the pestilent weeds of pseudo-scientific 
neologism. There are also moments when the lexicographer, solemnly deriving 
words from Aztec, Maori or Telugu, languages of which he knows no more than 
the man in the moon, is more conscious than usual of being a fraud. But, as far 
as this book is concerned, the greater part of the work of compilation has been 
a labour of love, the end of which had in it as much of regret as of relief. 

There remains to me the pleasant duty of expressing my thanks to the learned 
friends and confreres who have assisted me in watching over the Dictionary in 
its progress through the press. The compiler of a work of this kind must inevitably 
take much at second-hand and deal with many subjects of which his own know- 
ledge is superficial or non-existent. Thus he is bound occasionally to give himself 
away badly unless his work is criticized by specialists in the various branches of 
linguistic science. It is not without a shudder that the author recalls certain 
precipices from which he was kindly but firmly pulled back by helpers more 
learned than himself. Professor Allen Mawer, of the Armstrong College, New- 
castle, has most kindly read the whole work in proof and emended it from the 
point of \dew of the scientific Anglist. His assistance has been invaluable. My 
friend and Cambridge contemporary, the late Dr E. C. Quiggin, had undertaken 
to verify all Celtic forms and etymologies, but he had only read the first few sheets 
when his tragically sudden death robbed me of his help and the learned world 
of a scholar of rare attainments. Professor T. H. Parry-Williams, of Aberystwyth, 
at once responded to my invitation to replace Dr Quiggin and has untiringly 
given me the help of his specialist knowledge throughout. Professor Edward 
Bensly, formerly of Aberystwyth, has read the whole of the proofs. Readers of 
"Notes and Queries" will readily understand that no words can express what the 
Dictionary owes to his vast and curious erudition. My colleague, Mr E. P. Barker, 
has acted especially as classical corrector. He has called my attention to many 
points of Latin and Greek etymology, and, in collaboration with Professor Bensly 
and the reader of the Cambridge University Press, will, I trust, have gone far to 
create the illusion that the compiler of this Dictionary really knows something 
about Greek accents. In dealing with Slavonic words I have always had at my 
service the remarkable linguistic knowledge of my colleague, Mr Janko Lavrin. 
Practically all my scientific confreres at Nottingham have been occasionally pestered 
by me with inquiries as to the words specifically associated with their barbarous 
pursuits. Professor E. H. Parker, of Manchester, has enlightened me as to the 
origin of a few Chinese expressions, and Dr J. Rendel Harris has advised me on 
the transliteration of some Semitic words. It would no doubt have been better 
for the Dictionary if I had had the audacity to trouble these two high authorities 
more frequently. My especial thanks are due to my colleague, Mr R. M. Hewitt, 
who has not only given me his assistance in many languages of which I know little 
or nothing, but has also taken the keenest interest in my work from the beginning 
of its final shaping and has made to it contributions which amount to collabo^'^ 



tion. The later sheets have had the advantage of being read by Professor Paul 
Barbier, of Leeds, whose authority on European fish-names is unique. To all these 
distinguished scholars, some of whom I have never seen in the flesh, and all of 
whom would probably regard an eight-hour day as approximating to the existence 
of the Lotus-eaters, I offer my most sincere thanks for the help so generously and 
untiringly given, together with my apologies for such blunders as may be due 
to my ineptitude in applying their learning. Finally I have to acknowledge the 
very great debt I owe to the care and accuracy of Mr W. H. Swift, reader to the 
Cambridge University Press. 

Although this Dictionary is intended chiefly for the educated man (and woman) 
in the street, or, as Blount puts it, " for the more-knowing women and less-knowing 
men," it may also conceivably fall into the hands of scholars in this country or 
abroad. I need not say that criticisms and suggestions from such will be welcome 
to the author. If some of the more austere are scandalized by an occasional tone of 
levity, most unbecoming in such a work, I would remind them that its production 
has coincided with the sombre tragedy of the War and the sordid tragedy of the 
Peace, and that even a lexicographer may sometimes say, with Figaro, " Je me 
presse de rire de tout, de peur d'etre oblige d'en pleurer." 


University College, Nottingham. 
September 1920. 



abbrev. : abbreviation 

abl. : ablative 

abstr. : abstract 

ace. : accusative 

act. : active 

adj.: adjective 

adv. : adverb-ial-ly 

aeron. : aeronautics 

AF. : Anglo-French 

Afr. : Africa-n 

agent. : agential 

AL. : Anglo-Latin 

alch.: alchemy 

Alp. : Alpine 

Amer. : America-n 

anat. : anatomy 

Anglo-Ind. : Anglo-Indian 

Anglo-Ir. : Anglo-Irish 

antiq. : antiquarian 

aphet. : aphetic 

app.: apparently 

Arab.: Arabic 

Aram.: Aramaic 

arch. : architecture 

archaeol.: archaeology 

Armen. : Armenian 

art. : article 

AS.: Anglo-Saxon 

AS. Gosp. : Anglo-Saxon Gospels (see p. xx) 

assim.: assimilation 

Assyr. : Assyrian 

astrol.: astrology 

astron. : astronomy 

attrib. : attributive 

augment. : augmentative 

Austr. : Austrian 

Austral. : Australia-n 

auxil. : auxiliary 

AV. : Authorized Version of Bible 


Bibl. : 

bibl. : 

biol. : 




Brit. : 




: Biblical 


: Breton 
: British 
. : building 
: Bulgarian 


c. : circiter=a.hout 

Camb.: Cambridge 

Canad.: Canadian 

carpent. : carpentry 

Cath. Angl. : Catholicon Anglicum (see p. xvui) 

Celt. : Celtic 

cent.: century 

cf. : con/ey= compare 

Chauc. : Chaucer (see p. xx) 

chem. : chemistry 

Chin. : Chinese 

Chron. : Chronicle 

class.: classical 

cogn.; cognate 

collect.: collective 

colloq. : colloquial-ly 

commerc. : commercial 

compar. : comparative 

compd.: compound 

Com. Teut. : Common Teutonic 

con].: conjunction 

contemp. : contemporary 

contr. : contraction 

cook. : cookery 

Coop. : Cooper (see p. xviii) 

Corn. : Cornish 

corrupt. : corruption 

Cotg. : Cotgrave (see p. xix) 

crim. : criminal 

Croat. : Croatian 

Coverd. : Coverdale (see p. xx) 

Cumb. : Cumberland 

Dan.: Danish * 

dat. : dative 

def. : definite 

demonstr. : demonstrative 

Dev. : Devonshire 

dial. : dialect 

Diet. : Dictionary 

Diet. Cant. Crew: Dictionary of the Canting 

Crew (see p. xx) 
Diet. Gen.: Dictionnaire General (see p. xvii) 
dim,: diminutive 
dissim. : dissimilation 
Du.: Dutch 
Due. : Du Cange (see p. xviii) 

E. : East 

EAngl. : East Angha-n 

eccl. : ecclesiastical 

econ. : economics 

EDD. : English Dialect Dictionary (see p. xvii) 

EFris. : East Frisian 

e.g. : exempli gratia=iox instance 

Egypt.: Egyptian 

EInd. : East India-n 

electr. : electricity 

ellipt. : elliptical-ly 

eng. : engineering 

entom. : entomology 

equit. : equitation 

erron. : erroneous-ly 

esp. : especial-ly 

Est. : Estienne (see p. xviii) 

ethn. : ethnology 

etym. : etymology, etymological-ly 

euph. : euphemism, euphemistic 

Europ. : European 

exc. : except 

F. : French 

facet. : facetious 

Fale. : Falconer (see p. xx) 

falc. : falconry 

f., fem. : feminine 

fenc. : fencing 

feud. : feudal-ism 

fig. : figurative-ly 

financ. : financial 

fl. : j?on<z7= flourished 

Flem.: Flemish 



Flor. : Florio (see p. xix) 
folk-etym. : folk-etymology 
fort. : fortification 
frequent. : frequentative 
Fris. : Frisian 
fut. : future 

G. : Greek 

Gael. : Gaelic 

gard. : gardening 

gen. : general-ly 

Gent. Diet. : Gentleman's^Dictionary (see p. xx) 

geog. : geography 

geol.: geology 

geom. : geometry 

Ger. : German 

gerund. : gerundive 

Godef. : Godefroy (see p. xviii) 

Goth. : Gothic 

gram. : grammar 

Hakl. : Hakluyt (see p. xx) 

Hall. : Halliwell (see p. xviii) 

Heb. : Hebrew 

her.: heraldry 

Hind. : Hindi 

hist. : history, historical-ly 

H. of C. : House of Commons 

Hor. : Horace 

hort. : horticulture 

Hung. : Hungarian 

Icel. : Icelandic 

ident. : identical 

i.e. : id e5/=that is 

imit. : imitation, imitative 

imper. : imperative 

impers. : impersonal 

improp. : improperly 

incept. : inceptive 

incorr. : incorrect-ly 

Ind. : India-n 

indef. : indefinite 

infin. : infinitive 

init. : initial 

instrum. : instrumental 

intens. : intensive 

inter. : interrogative 

interj.: interjection 

intrans. : intransitive 

Ir. : Irish 

iron. : ironical 

irreg. : irregular 

It. : Italian 

Jap.: Japanese 

joe: jocular 

Johns. : Johnson (see p. xviii) 

Kil. : Kilian (see p. xix) 

L. : Latin 

lang. : language 

leg. : legal 

legislat. : legislative 

Lesc. : Lescallier (see p. xx) 

Let. : Letters 

LG. : Low German 

ling. : linguistics 

lit.: literal-ly 

Litt. : Littleton (see p. xviii) 

loc. : locative 

log. : logic 

Ludw. : Ludwig (see p. xix) 

LXX. : Septuagint 

m., masc. : masculine 

Manip. Voc. : Manipulus Vocabulorum (see p. xviii) 

masc: masculine 

math. : mathematics, mathematical 

ME. : Middle English 

mech. : mechanics, mechanical 

med. : medicine, medical 

MedL. : Medieval Latin 

Merc. : Mercian 

metall. : metallurgy 

metaph. : metaphy.sics 

metath. : metathesis 

meteorol. : meteorology 

mxetr. : metre, metrical 

Mex. : Mexican 

MHG. : Middle High German 

mil. : military 

Milt. : Milton 

min. : mineralogy 

Minsh. : Minsheu (see pp. xviii, xix) 

mistransl. : mistranslation 

MLG. : Middle Low German 

Mod., mod. : modern 

Mol.: Moli^re 

MS(S).: manuscript(s) 

mus.: music-al 

myth.: mythology, mythical 

N. : North. 

NAmer. : North America-n 

naut. : nautical 

nav. : naval 

Nav. Accts. : Naval Accounts (see p. xx) 

NED. : New English Dictionary (see p. xvii) 

neg. : negative 

neol. : neologism 

neut. : neuter 

nom.: nominative 

Norm. : Norman 

north.: northern 

Northumb. : Northumbrian 

Norw. : Norwegian 

NT : New Testament 

numism. : numismatics 

O: Old 

obj.: objective 

obs. : obsolete 

occ: occasional-ly 

ODu.: Old Dutch 

OF. : Old French 

offic. : official 

OFris. : Old Frisian 

OHG. : Old High German 

Olr. : Old Irish 

Olt. : Old Italian 

OL. : Old Latin 

OLG. : Old Low German 

ON. : Old Norse 

ONE. : Old North French 

onomat. : onomatopoetic 

OPers. : Old Persian 

OProv. : Old Provengal 

OPruss. : Old Prussian 

opt. : optics 

orig. : original-ly 

ornith. : ornithology 

OSax. : Old Saxon 



OSlav. : Old Slavonic 
OSp. : Old Spanish 
OSw. : Old Swedish 
OT. : Old Testament 
OTeut. : Old Teutonic 
Oxf . : Oxford 

paint. : painting 

palaeont.: palaeontology 

Palsg. : Palsgrave (see p. xviii) 

part. : participle 

pass. : passive 

Paston Let. : Paston Letters (see p. xx) 

path.: pathology 

PB.: Prayer-Book 

perf . : perfect 

perh.: perhaps 

Pers. : Persian 

pers.: person-al 

Peruv. : Peruvian 

phil. : philology 

philos. : philosophy 

Phoen.: Phoenician 

phon. : phonetics 

phot.: photography 

phys. : physics 

physiol.: physiology 

Pic: Picard 

Piers Plowm. : Piers Plowman (see p. xx) 

pi. : plural 

pleon. : pleonasm, pleonastic 

poet.: poetical-ly 

Pol. : Polish 

pol. : political-ly 

pop. : popular 

Port.: Portuguese 

posit.: positive 

possess. : possessive 

p.p. : past participle 

prep.: preposition 

pres. : present 

pres. part. : present participle 

pret. : preterite 

print. : printing 

prob. : probably 

Prompt. Parv. : Promptorium Parvulorum (see 

p. xviii) 
pron.: pronoun 
pronunc. : pronunciation 
prop. : properly 
Prov.: Proven9al 
pugil.: pugilism 
Purch. : Purchas (see p. xx) 

quot. : quotation 

q.v.: quod vide=vi\ see 

Rac. : Racine 

R.C. : Roman Catholic 

redupl. : reduplication 

ref . : reference 

reflex. : reflexive 

rag. : regular 

rel.: religion, religious 

rhet.: rhetoric 

Rom.: Romance, Romanic 

Rum.: Rumanian 

Russ. : Russian 

RV. : Revised Version of the Bible 

S. : South 

SAfrDu.: South African Dutch 

Sard. : Sardinian 

Sc: Scottish 

sc. : scz7ice<= understand 

Scand.: Scandinavian 

scient. : scientific 

sculpt.: sculpture 

Semit. : Semitic 

Serb.: Serbian 

Shaks. : Shakespeare 

Sic. : Sicilian 

sing.: singular 

Slav.: Slavonic 

Slov. : Slovenian 

Sp. : Spanish 

spec: special, specific-ally 

Spens. : Spenser 

subj.: subjunctive 

superl. : superlative 

surg. : surgery 

s.v. : sub voce=nnd&r the word 

Sw. : Swedish 

swim.: swimming 

Sylv. : Sylvester (see p. xx) 

synon.: synonymous 

Syr.: Syriac 

Tasm. : Tasmanian 

techn. : technical 

temp.: iempore = \n the time (o ) 

Teut. : Teutonic 

theat. : theatre, theatrical 

theol. : theology, theological 

topogr. : topography 

Torr. : Torriano (see p. xix) 

trad. : traditional-ly 

trans. : transitive 

transl. : translation 

Trev. : Trevisa (see p. xx) 

Turk. : Turkish 

Tynd. : Tyndale (see p. xx) 

typ. : typography 

ult. : ultimate-ly 
univ. : university 
US. : United States 
usu. : usually 

var. : variant 

ven. : venery 

Venet. : Venetian 

vet.: veterinary 

v.i. : vide infra=see below 

Virg. : Virgil 

viz.: videl2cei=na,me\y 

VL. : Vulgar Latin 

Voc. : Vocabularies (see p. xviii) 

vol. : volume 

v.s. : vide supra— see above 

Vulg. : Vulgate 

vulg. : vulgar 

W. : West 

Westm. : Westmorland 
WGer. : West Germanic 
Wye : Wyclif (see p. xx) 

zool.: zoolog}' 

unrecorded form 
: combining with 



New English Dictionary, ed. Murray, Bradley, Craigie, Onions (Oxford 1884...) NED. 
English Dialect Dictionary, ed. J. Wright (Oxford 1898-1905) EDD. 

Miiller, E. Etymologisches Worterbuch der Englischen Sprache, 2nd ed. 

(Cothen 1878-9) 
Kluge & Lutz. English Etymology (Strassburg 1898) 
Skeat, W. W. Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed, 

(Oxford 1910) 
Holthausen, F. Etymologisches Worterbuch der Englischen Sprache (Leipzig 


Diez, F. Etymologisches Worterbuch der Romanischen Sprachen, 5th ed., by 
Scheler (Bonn 1887) 

Korting, G. Lateinisch-Romanisches Worterbuch (Etymologisches Worter- 
buch der Romanischen Hauptsprachen), 3rd ed. (Paderborn 1907) 

Meyer-Liibke, W. Romanisches Etymologisches Worterbuch (Heidelberg 

Littre, E. Dictionnaire de la Langue Franfaise (Paris 1878) 

Scheler, A. Dictionnaire d'fitymologie Franfaise (Brussels & Paris 1888) 

Dictionnaire General de la Langue Fran^aise, ed. Hatzfeld, Darmesteter, Diet. Gin. 

Thomas (Paris, n.d.) 
Korting, G. Etymologisches Worterbuch der franzosischen Sprache (Pader- 
born 1908) 
Cledat, L. Dictionnaire fitymologique de la Langue Frangaise, 4th ed. (Paris 

Zambaldi, F. Vocabolario Etimologico Itahano (Citta di Castello 1889) 
Pianigiani, O. Vocabolario Etimologico della Lingua Itahana (Rome & 

Milan 1907) 
Puscariu, S. Etymologisches Worterbuch der Rumanischen Sprache, I. Latein- 
isches Element (Heidelberg 1905) 

VercoulUe, J. Beknopt Etymologisch Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, 
2nd ed. (Ghent & 's-Gravenhage 1898) 

Franck, J. Etymologisch Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, 2nd ed., by 
Van Wyk ('s-Gravenhage 191 2) 

Grimm, J. & W. Deutsches Worterbuch (Leipzig 1854...) 

Paul, H. Deutsches Worterbuch, 2nd ed. (Halle a. S. 1908) 

Weigand, F. L. K. Deutsches Worterbuch, 5th ed., by Hirt (Giessen 1909) 

Kluge, F. Etymologisches Worterbuch der Deutschen Sprache, 8th ed. (Strass- 
burg 1915) 

Falk & Torp. Norwegisch-Danisches Etymologisches Worterbuch (Heidel- 
berg 1910). The German edition of the same authors' Etymologisk Ord- 
bog over det Norske og det Danske Sprog (Kristiania 1900-6) 

Feist, S. Etymologisches Worterbuch der Gotischen Sprache, 2nd ed. 
(Halle a. S. 1920...) 

Walde, A. Lateinisches Etymologisches Worterbuch, 2nd ed. (Heidelberg 

Macbam, A. Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, 2nd ed. (Stir- 
ling 191 1 ) 

Yule & Burnell. Hobson-Jobson, a Glossary of Anglo-Indian Words and Yule 
Phrases, 2nd ed., by Crooke (London 1903) 



Sweet, H. Student's Dictionai-y of Anglo-Saxon (Oxford 1897) 

Clark Hail, J. R. Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Cambridge 1916) 

Stratmann, F. H. Middle-English Dictionary, ed. Bradley (Oxford 1891) 

\Vhite Kennett (11728). Glossary (London 1816) 

Nares, R. Glossary (esp. for Shakespeare and his contemporaries), new ed., by 

Halliwell & Wright (London 1872) 
Halliwell, J. O. Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, loth ed. (Lon- Hall. 

don 1887) 
Schmidt, A. Shakespeare-Lexicon (Berlin & London 1874) 
Onions, C. T. Shakespeare Glossary (Oxford 191 1) 
Skeat & Mayhew. Tudor and Stuart Glossary (Oxford 1914) 

Godefroy, F. Dictionnaire de I'Ancienne Langue Fran9aise (Paris 1881-1902) Godef. 
Raynouard, M. Lexique Roman (Old Provenfal) (Paris 1844), -with supple- 
ment by Levy (1894...) 
Schade, O. Altdeutsches Worterbuch, 2nd ed. (Halle a. S. 1872-82) 
Cleasby & Vigfusson. Icelandic-English Dictionary (Oxford 1874) 
Du Cange. Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis, ed. Henschel (Paris Due. 



i. English 

Minsheu, J. Guide into the Tongues (London 1617), 2nd ed. (1625) Minsh. 

Blount, T. Glossographia, or a Dictionary interpreting... Hard Words (Lon- 
don 1656) 
Skinner, S. Etymologicon Linguae Anglicanae (London 1671) 
Phillips, E. New World of Words (London 1678) 
The same, 7th ed., by J(ohn) K(ersey) (London 1720) 
Spelman, H. Glossarium Archaiologicum (London 1687) 
Junius, F. (11678). Etymologicum Anglicanum, ed. Lye (Oxford 1743) 
Coles, E. English Dictionary (London 1708) 
Bailey, N. English Dictionary (London 1721, 1727) 
The same enlarged (London 1730) 

Johnson, S. Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd ed. (London 1765) Johns. 

Ash, J. Dictionary of the English Language (London 1775) 
Walker, J. Pronouncing Dictionary (London 1791) 
Todd, H. J. New edition of Johnson's Dictionary (London 1827) 

ii. Latin — English 

Wright, T. Anglo-Saxon and Old English (= Middle English) Vocabularies, Voc. 

2nd ed., by Wiilcker (London 1884) 
Promptorium Parvulorum (1440), ed. Way (Camden Soc. 1843-65) Prompt. Parv. 

The same, ed. Mavhew (EFTS. 1908). This is the ed. usuallv quoted 

Catholicon Anglicum (1483), ed. Herrtage (EFTS. 1881) " Cath. Angl. 

Levins, P. Manipulus Vocabulorum (1570), ed. Wheatley (EFTS. 1867) Manip. Voc. 

Cooper, T. Thesaurus Linguae Romanae & Britannicae (London 1573) Coop. 

Morel, G. Latin-Greek-English Dictionary, ed. Hutton (London 1583) 
Holyoak, F. Latin-English Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Oxford 161 2) 
Thomas, T. Latin-English Dictionary, 14th ed. (London 1644) 

Littleton, A. Latin-English Dictionary (London 1677) Lift. 

Coles, E. Latin-English Dictionary, 5th ed. (London 1703) 

iii. Foreign 

Palsgrave, J. Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse (1530). Reprint (Paris Palsg. 

Du Guez, G. Introductorie for to lerne... French trewly (? 1532). Reprinted 

with Palsgrave 
Estienne, R. Dictionarium Latinogallicum (Paris 1538) Est. 



Cotgrave, R. French-English Dictionary (London 1611) 

The same, ed. Howell (1650), with English-French glossary by Sherwood. 

This is the ed. usually quoted, but the differences are inessential 
Menage, G. Origines de la Langue Frangoise (Paris 1650) 
The same enlarged, Dictionnaire ]£tymologique ou Origines de la Langue 

Frangoise (1694) 
Midge, G. New Dictionary French and Enghsh, with another, English and 

French (London 1679) 
The same enlarged (1688) 

Florio, J. Italian-English Dictionary (London 1598) 

The same, 2nd ed. (161 1) 

The same enlarged, ed. Torriano (1659) 

Duez, N. Dittionario Itahano & Francese (Leyden 1660) 

Vocabolario de gli Accademici della Crusca (Venice 1686) 

Percyvall, R. Dictionarie in Spanish, English, and Latine (London 1591) 
Minsheu, J. Most copious Spanish Dictionarie, with Latine and Enghsh (Lon- 
don 1599) 
Oudin, C. Tesoro de las dos Lenguas, Espanola y Francesa (Brussels 1660) 
Stevens, J. New Spanish and English Dictionary (London 1706) 


Vieyra, A. 

Dictionary of the Portuguese and English Languages (London 

Trium Linguarum Dictionarium Teutonicae (Dutch) Latinae Gallicae (Frane- 

ker 1587) 
Kilian, C. Etymologicum Teutonicae (Dutch) Linguae sive Dictionarium Teu- 

tonico-Latinum, ed. Potter (Amsterdam 1620) 
The same enlarged, ed. Hasselt (1777) 
Hexham, H. A copious English and Netherduytch Dictionarie (Rotterdam 

1648), also Woorden-boeck begrijpen-ie den Schat der Nederlandtsche 

Tale, met de Engelsche Uytlegginge (1672) 
Sewel, W. Large Dictionary English and Dutch (Amsterdam 1708) 
The same, 3rd ed. (1727) 
The same enlarged (1766) 

Ludwig, M. C. Dictionary English, Germane and French (Leipzig 1706), 
also Teutsch-EngUsches Lexicon (171 6) 

Junius, A. Nomenclator Octilinguis, ed. Germberg (Frankfurt 1602) 

Calepin, A. Dictionarium Octihngue (Lyon 1663) 

Howell, J. Lexicon Tetraglotton (Eng. Fr. It. Sp.) (London 1665) 






Dictionary of the Scottish Language (Edinburgh 181 8) 

Motherby, R. Taschen-Worterbuch des Schottischen Dialekts (Konigsberg 

Jamieson, J. Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, ed. Lang- 

muir & Donaldson (Paisley 1S79-87) 
Francisque-Michel. Critical inquiry into the Scottish Language (Edinburgh 

& London 1882) 
Morris, E. E. Austral English (London 1898) 

Joyce, P. W. English as we speak it in Ireland (London & Dublin 1910) 
Thornton, R. H. American Glossary (Philadelphia & London 191 2) 

Skene, J . The Exposition of the Termes and Diificill Wordes conteined in the 
Foure Buikes of Regiam Majestatem (Edinburgh 1599) 

Cowell, J. Interpreter, or Booke containing the Signification of Words (Lon- 
don 1637). The first ed. (1607) was condemned by Parliament and burnt 
by the hangman 

The same enlarged (1708) 


Leigh, E. Philologicall Commentary (London 1658) 
Blount, T. Law-Dictionary, 2nd ed. (London 1691) 
Jacob, G. New Law-Dictionary (London 1729) 

Sea-Dictionary of all the Terms of Navigation (London 1 708) 

Lescalher, D. Vocabulaire desTermes de Marine Anglois etFran9ois (Paris 1777) Lesc. 
Falconer, W. Universal Dictionary of the Marine, 2nd ed. (London 1781) Falc. 

Romme, C. Dictionnaire de la Marine Fran9oise (Rochelle & Paris 1792) 
Vocabulary (Enghsh and French) of Sea Phrases and Terms of Art used in 

Seamanship and Naval Architecture. By a Captain of the British Navy 

(London 1799) 
Jal, A. Glossaire Nautique, Repertoire Polyglotte des Termes de Marine 

Anciens et Modernes (Paris 1848) 
Smyth & Belcher. Dictionary of Nautical Terms (Glasgow 1867) 
Kluge, F. Seemannssprache (Halle a. S. 191 1) 

Gentleman's Dictionary, in Three Parts, viz. I. The Art of Riding the Great Gent. Diet. 

Horse. II. The Military Art. III. The Art of Navigation (London 1705) 
MiUtary Dictionar)^ 3rd ed. (London 1708). See also Sea-Dictionary 
News-Readers Pocket-Book (London 1759). A later ed. of the above and of 

the Sea-Dictionary 
Faesch, J. R. Kriegs-Ingenieur-Artillerie- und See-Lexicon (Dresden & 

Leipzig 1735) 

Worlidge, J. Systema Agriculturae, 3rd ed. (London 1681) 
Dictionarium Rusticum, Urbanicum & Botanicum, 2nd ed. (London 171 7) 

New Dictionary of the Canting Crew, by B. E., Gent. (London c. 1700) Diet. Cant. Crew 

Grose, F. Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (London 1785) 
Hotten, J. C. Slang Dictionary (London 1864) 

Davies, T. L. O. Supplementary English Glossary (London 1881) 
Smythe-Palmer, A. Folk-Etymology (Dictionary) (London 1882) 
Stanford Dictionary of Anglicized Words and Phrases, ed. Fennell (Cam- 
bridge 1892) 


Anglo-Saxon Gospels (c. 1000) AS. Gosp. 

Piers Plowman (1362-93), ed. Skeat (Oxford 1886) Piers Plowm. 

Wyclifite Bible Translations (c. 1380) Wye. 

Chaucer (Globe Edition 191 o) Chauc. 

Trevisa. Translation of Higden's Polychronicon (c. 1390) (Rolls Series, 1865- Trev. 


Paston Letters (1422-1509), ed. Gairdner (Edinburgh 1910) ■ Paston Let. 

Naval Accounts and Inventories (1485-8, 1495-7), ed. Oppenheim (Navy Nav. Accts 

Records Society 1896) 

Tjmdale. New Testament (1525), Old Testament, incomplete (1529-31) Tynd. 

Coverdale. Bible Translation (1535) Coverd. 

Hakluyt. Principal Navigations Voyages Traf&ques and Discoveries (1598- Hakl. 

1600). Reprint (Glasgow 1903-5) 

Sylvester. Bartas his Devine Weekes and Workes translated (London 1605) Sylv. 

Authorized Version of the Bible (161 1) A V. 

Shakespeare (ti6i6) Shaks. 

Purchas. Hakluytus Posthumus or Purchas his Pilgrimes (1625). Reprint Purch. 

(Glasgow 1905-7) 
Captain John Smith. Works (1608-31). Reprint (Edinburgh 1910) 
Pepys. Diary (1659-69), ed. Wheatley (London & Cambridge 1893-6) 

Milton (ti674) Milt. 
Evelyn (J1706). Diary, ed. Bray (London 1879) 

* See Preface, p. x. 


Malui brevius omnia persequi, et leviter attingere, quae nemini esse 
ignota suspicari possint, quam quasi pa\puiMv, perque locos communes 
identidem expatiari. 

(Claud. Minos Divion. in praefat. commentar. 
Alciat. Emblemat.) 

a. See an. 

a-. As E. prefix this generally represents AS. 
an, on{ahed, asleep, twice-a-day, etc.) , less fre- 
quently ME. of {anew) and AS. ge- {aware). 
In a few words it represents an AS. prefix 
a-, orig. ur-, cogn. with Ger. er-, and having 
intens. force {arise, awake). In words of F. 
or L. origin it comes from ad {achieve, ar- 
rive) or ab {avert). Many scient. terms begin 
with G. a-, neg. {amorphous) . Less common 
origins are illustrated by the words along, 
ado, affray, alas. The gerund preceded by 
a- (= on), now dial., was literary E. in 17 

Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a-fishing 

(John, xx'. 3). 

A I. Symbol used in Lloyd's Register to de- 
scribe a ship as first-class, the A referring 
to the hull and the i to the stores. Ci. first- 
rate (see rate''-). 

A proper A i copper-bottom lie 

{Times, Oct. 26, 1917). 

aard-vark. SAfr. quadruped. Du. aarde, 
earth, vark, pig {see farrow). Ci. aard-wolf. 

aasvogel [SAfr.]. Vulture. Du., lit. carrion 
fowl; cf. Ger. aas, carrion, prob. cogn. with 
essen, to eat. 

ab-. L., from, away; cogn. with of (q.v.). 
Also a-, abs-. 

aba. Substitute for sextant, invented by, 
and named from, Antoine d'Abbadie. 

aback. AS. on bcBc (see a-), now reduced to 
bach, exc. in naut. lang. Taken aback is a 
naut. metaphor from the sudden checking 
of a ship through the square sails being 
flattened back against the masts by a 
change of wind or bad steering. 
Gang thu sceocca on baec 

[AS. Gospels, Matt. iv. 10). 

abacot. Ghost- word which appears in most 
diets, from Spelman onward and defined as 
" a cap of state, wrought up into the shape 
of two crowns, worn formerly by English 
kings." Orig. misprint for a bicocquet, an 

OF. word (Sp. bicoqiiete, cap) of doubtful 

abacus. Frame with balls on wires for me- 
chanical calculation. L., G. a^a^, d/3aK-, 
board, slab. 

abaddon [Bibl.]. Heb. dbaddon, destruction, 
used in Rev. ix. 11 of the angel of the 
bottomless pit, a«id by Milton {Par. R. iv. 
624) cf the pit itself (cf. Job, xxvi. 6, R /.). 
The aungel of depnesse, to whom the name bi 
Ebru Labadon [var. Abbadon], forsothe bi Greke 
Appolion, and bi Latyn havynge the name Destrier 

(Wye. Rev. ix. 11). 

abaft [naut.]. AS. on bceft, the latter for bi 
ceftan. See aft, and cf. aback. 

abaisance [archaic]. OF. abaissance, humil- 
ity, from abaisser, to abase (q.v.). Hence a 
deep bow. Confused in E. with obeisance 
(q.v.) by which it .is now quite absorbed. 
abaisance; a low conge, or bow (Bailey). 

abandon. F. abandonner, from OF. adv. a 
bandon, at will, at discretion (whence pleon. 
ME. at abandon). Bandon, from ban^ (Q-v.), 
had in OF. & ME. the meaning of control, 
jurisdiction, etc. Current sense of adj. 
abandoned is from earlier abandoned to, 
given up to (not necessarily to wickedness, 
etc. in ME.). 

Trestute Espaigne iert hoi en lur bandun 

{Rol. 2704). 
The Scottis men dang on so fast. 
And schot on thame at abandoune (Barbour). 

abandon: bandon, free licence, full libertie for 
others to use a thing (Cotg.). 

abase. F. abaisser, VL. *ad-bassiare. See 

abash. OF. esba'iv, esba'iss- {dbahir), to as- 
tound, make to gape, from L. ex and a 
second element which may be bah! ex- 
clamation of astonishment (see bay^). The 
-iss- of F. inchoative verbs regularly be- 
comes -ish in E. {cherish, flourish, etc.), but 
in ME. we find also forms in -iss {cheriss, 
fluriss), so that abash has been confused in 



form with abase (q.v.), in ME. also abaiss, 
and this confusion has influenced the sense 
of abash. Cf. bashful. 

And thei weren abaischt [Fw/g. obstupuerunt] with 
greet stoneying (Wye. Mark, v. 42). 

abate. F. abattre, lit. to beat off, from battre, 
to beat, VL. *battere for battuere. See bate^. 
Cf. to knock something off (the price). 

abatis, abattis [m?7.]. Defence made of felled 
trees. F. abattis, from abattre, to fell (v.s.). 
The ending -/5, OF. e'is, represents L. 
■aticius, added to verb-stems. 

abattoir. Slaughter-house. F., from abattre, 
to fell. See abate. 

abba [Bibl.]. See abbot. 

Abbassides [hist.]. Caliphs of Baghdad (749- 
1258), claiming descent from Abbas, uncle 
of Mohammed. Most famous was Haroun- 
al-Raschid. * 

abbe, abbess, abbey. See abbot. 

abbot. AS. abbod, L. abbas, abbat-, G. aji(ia.<i, 
Syriac abba, father [Mark, xiv. 36), applied 
in East to all monks and in West re- 
stricted to superior of monastery; cogn. 
with Arab, abn, father, so common in per- 
sonal names. Ult. a word from baby lang. ; 
cf. papa, baby, babble, and see pope. Other 
words of this group come via F., e.g. abbe, 
abbess (Late L. abbatissa), abbey (Late L. 
abbatia), or are of later and learned forma- 
tion, e.g. abbatial, abbatical. Vague use of 
F. abbe for ecclesiastic, esp. one not holding 
Church office, dates from 16 cent. 

abbreviate. From L. abbreviare , from ad and 
brevis, short. Cf. abridge. 

abc. From 13 cent. Cf. alphabet, abecedarian. 

Abderite. Democritus (q.v.), who was bom 
at Abdera (Thrace). Cf. Stagirtte. 

abdicate. From L. abdicare, to proclaim off. 

abdomen. L., from abdere, to hide away, from 
ab and dare, to give. 

abduct. For earlier abduce. From L. ab- 
ducere, abduct-, to lead away. 

abeam [naut.]. Abreast, level with, i.e. 
neither ahead nor astern. The beams of a 
ship are at right-angles to the keel; cf. 
beam-ends . 

abear [dial.']. AS. dberan, from bear^. Obs. 
from c. 1300, exc. in dial. 

"Territorial" is a word that the dunderheads of 
the War Office "cannot abear" 

(Sunday Times, Aug. 25, 1918). 

abecedarian. Alphabetical, concerned with 
the alphabet. Still used in US. for begin- 

ners at school. Cf. MedL. abecedarium, 

barbarously formed from ABC. 

abecedarium: an absee (Coop.). 
abed [dial.]. For on bed. See a-. 
abele. White poplar. Du. abeel, OF. aubel, 

Late L. albellus, from albus, white, 
aberglaube. Ger., superstition, from glauben, 

to believe, with pejorative prefix as in 

abgoit, idol, 
aberration. From L. aberrare, to wander off. 

See err. 
aberuncator. Incorr. for averruncator (q.v.). 
abet. OF. abeter, to egg on, from OF. beier, to 

bait, ON. beita, to cause to bite. See bait, 

bet. First in Shaks. (v.i.), but the noun 

abetment is found in ME. 

Abetting him to thwart me in my mood 

(Com. of Errors, ii. 2) 

abeyance. OF. abeance, from abeer, to gape at, 
compd. of bayer, beer, to gape. Now usu. of 
a right or estate which is regarded with 
(gaping) expectancy. See bay^. 

abhor. L. abhorrere, to shrink from, from 
horrere, to bristle (see horrid). The abhor- 
rers (hist.) expressed in various petitions 
to Charles II their abhorrence of Whig and 
Nonconformist views. 

abide. AS. dbidan, from bidan, to bide (q.v.), 
remain. Followed by gen., it meant to wait 
for ; hence, to endure, put up with, as still in 
dial, [can't abide) . Shaks. use in the sense of 
pay for, expiate (v.i.) is due to confusion 
with obs. abye, AS. abycgan, to expiate, 
from bycgan, to buy, pay for. 
If it be found so, some will dear abide it 

(Jill. Caes. iii. 2). 

abiet- [chem.]. From L. abies, abiet-, fir. 

abigail. Waiting-maid. Name of character 
in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady 
(161 6), this perh. suggested by i Sam. 
XXV. 24 sqq. 

ability. Re-fashioned, after ModF. habilete, 
from ME. & OF. ablete. See able. Often 
hability in 16-17 cents. 

abiogenesis [biol.]. Generation of living or- 
ganisms from dead matter. Coined (1870) 
by Huxley from G. a-, neg., ^tos, life. So 
also biogenesis, its opposite. 

abject. From L. abicere, abject-, to cast away, 
from jacere. 

abjure. 1.. abjurare, to swear oH. See jury. 

ablactation. Weaning. From L. ablactare, 
from lac, lact-, milk. 

ablative. Lit. bearing away. F. ablatif, L. 
ablativus, from ablat- [auferre). Coined by 
Julius Caesar, there being no ablative in G. 

5 ablaut 

ablaut [ling.]. Change of vowel. Ger., from 

laut, sound, with prefix cogn. with off. Cf. 

umlaut. Introduced by Jakob Grimm 

ablaze. For on blaze. See a- and blaze^, and 

cf. aback, abed, etc. 

They setten all on blase (Gower). 

able. OF. (replaced hy habile), L. habilis, fit, 
apt, from habere, to have, hold. Cf. capable 
for sense-development. 

ablution. From L. abluere, ablut-, to wash 
away. Orig. a chem. term (Chauc), "the 
rinsing of chymical preparations in water, 
to dissolve and wash away any acrimo- 
nious particles" (Johns.). 

abnegate. From L. abnegare, to deny off. Cf. 

abnormal. "Few words show such a series of 
pseudo-etymological perversions; G. dvw- 
/xaXos, L. anomalus, having been altered in 
Late L., after norma, to anormalis, whence 
F. anormal and E. anormal, the latter 
referred to L. abnormis and altered to 
abnormal. It has displaced the earlier ab- 
normous" [NED.]. See normal, anomalous. 

aboard [naut.']. F. a bord, of Teut. origin (see 
board) . With to lay aboard cf . orig. meauing 
of vb. to board (see board, accost). 

abode. From abide; cf. road [rode) from ride. 

abolish. F. abolir, aboliss- from L. abolescere, 
from abolere, to destroy. Hence abolition- 
ism, -ist, orig. coined by opponents of slave- 
trade (c. 1800). Some connect the L. word 
with G. oXXvfjii, I destroy. 

abominable. L. abominabilis, from abominari, 
to deprecate, shrink from the omen (cf. 
absit omen). Strong meaning is due to 
erron. medieval derivation from ab homine, 
as though inhuman, unnatural. Hence 
usual MedL., OF. & ME. spelling ab- 
homin-. So Holof ernes: 

This is abhominable, which he would call abomin- 
able [Love's Lab. Lost, v. i). 

aborigines. L., from ab origine. First applied 
to original inhabitants of Greece and Italy. 

abortion. From L. aboriri, abort-, to mis- 
carry, from oriri, to appear. 

abound. F. abonder, 1.. abtindare, to overflow, 
from unda, wave. Cf. superfluous. 

about. AS. on-butan, for on be utan, on by 
outside, titan being adv. from prep. iit. Cf. 
above. All senses spring from primitive 
meaning, e.g. a man about fifty is "in the 
neighbourhood" of fifty (cf. similar use 
of F. environ). 

absent 6 

above. From AS. bitfan for be ufan, by up- 
ward, from uf, up. First element added 
later by analogy with abaft, about (q.v.). 
Hence above-board, "a. figurative expres- 
sion, borrowed from gamesters, who, when 
+hey put their hands under the table, are 
changing their cards. It is used only in 
familiar language" (Johns.). Cf. ¥. jouer 
cartes sur table, to play fair. 
abracadabra. Cabalistic word used as charm ; 
first occurs in 3 cent. ? From G. a/Spaids, 
cabalistic word composed of letters whose 
numerical values give 365, the number of 
successive manifestations attributed to the 
Supreme Being by the gnostic Basilides. 
abrade. L. abradere, to scrape off. See razor. 
abram, to sham [naut.]. To feign sickness. 
Hotten's explanation is very doubtful. 

An Abraham-man is he that walketh bare-armed 
and bare-legged and faynyth hymselfe mad 

(Awdeley, Fraternytye of Vacabonndes, 1561). 
It appears to have been the practice in former 
days to allow certain inmates of Bethlehem Hospital 
to have fixed days to go begging. Hence impostors 
were said to " sham Abraham" (the Abraham Ward 
in Bedlam having for its inmates these mendicant 
lunatics) when they pretended they were licensed 
beggars on behalf of the hospital (Hotten). 

abranchiate [biol.]. Without gills. Cf. bran- 

chiopod. See a-. 
abreast. Perh. orig. of breast; cf. F. aller de 

front. See anew. 
abridge. F. abreger, L. abbreviare, from ad and 

brevis, short. Cf. F. alleger, to lighten, VL. 

*alleviare, from levis, light. 
abroach, to set [archaic]. Orig. to pierce a 

cask. See broach. 
abroad. Altered, on adj. broad, from ME. on 

brede, on breadth, v.'idely scattered, etc. 

Mod. sense of foreign travel is evolved from 

ME. meaning of out of doors. Cf. travel, 

voyage, for similar sense-development 

characteristic of sea-faring race, 
abrogate. From L. abrogare, to call off. Cf. 

abrupt. From 'L.fibrumpere, abrupt-, to break 

off. See rout. 
abscess. L. abscessus, from abscedere, abscess- 

to go away, from cedere, to go. 
abscissa [math.]. L. (sc. linea), from abscin- 

dere, absciss-, to cut off. 
abscond. E. abscondere, to hide awaj-. Orig. 

trans., mod. use being for earlier reflex. 

The poor man fied from place to place absconding 
himself (A^££). 1721). 

absent. F., L. absens, absent-, pres. part, of 
abesse, to be away (see entity) . First records 




for absentee (Camden, Blount, Swift) refer 
to Ireland. 

absentee: a word used commonly with regard to 
Irishmen living out of their country (Johns.). 

absinthe. F., L. absinthium, G. anj/ivdLov, the 

herb wormwood. In this sense used in E. 

in i6i2,' while the liqueur is first mentioned 

by Thackeray. 
absit [univ.]. L., let him be absent. Cf. exeat. 
absolve. L. absolvere, to set free, replacing 

from 1 6 cent, earlier assoil (q.v.). Hence 

absolute, freed from restraint or conditions. 

Much earlier (12 cent.) is absolution, in 

eccl. sense. 
absorb. L. absorbere, to suck away, swallow 

absquatulate [US.]. To make off, skedaddle. 

Facetious US. coinage, perh. suggested by 

squat, to settle. 

Rumour has it that a gay bachelor, who has 
figured in Chicago for nearly a year, has skedaddled, 
absquatulated, vamosed, and cleared out. 

(Rocky Mountain News, 1862). 

abstain. From F. abstenir, VL. *abstenire for 
abstinere, to hold away. Orig. reflex, (cf. 

Wryte unto them that they absteyne them selves 
from fyithynesse of idols (Coverd. Acts, xv. 20). 

abstemious. From L. abstemius, from temetum, 
strong drink. Wider sense in E. partly due 
to association with abstain. 

absterge. L. abstergere, to wipe away. 

abstinence. F. ; see abstain. Total abstinence 
in spec, sense dates from c. 1830. 

The passionate Eastern character, like all weak 

ones, found total abstinence easier than temperance 

(Kingsley, Hypatia)^ 

abstract. From L. abstrahere, abstract-, to 

draw away. As adj., withdrawn from 

matter, opposite of concrete. 
abstruse. From L. abstrudere, abstrus-, to 

push away. 
absurd. F. absurde, L. absurdiis, from siirdus, 

deaf, dull, dissonant. 
abundance. See abound. 
abuse. F. abuser, VL. *abusare, from abuti, 

abus-, to misuse. Sense of reviling first in 

Shaks. [Oth. v. i). 
abut. Mixture of two F. verbs, viz. abouter, 

to join at the end {bo74.t) , and archaic abuter, 

to join exactly, reach the aim (but). But 

bout and but are ult. ident. 
aby [poet.]. See abide. Revived by Scott, 
abysm. OF. abisme [abime), VL. *abismus, 

altered, after words of G. origin in -ismus, 

from abyssus, G. afSva-a-o^, bottomless. 

whence abyss. Mod. pronunc. is due to 
spelling, the -s- becoming mute in early 

Feele such a case, as one whom some abisme, 
In the deep ocean kept had all his time 

(Drummond of Hawthornden, 1616). 

abyss. See abysm. 

ac-. For ad- before c-. 

acacia. L., G. aKaKLu, prob. from clk-^, point. 

academy. F. acade'mie, L., G. uKaS-q/xeia. Orig. 
grove near Athens where Plato taught, 
named after a demi-god 'AkolStjixo?. Sense 
of learned assembly after It. accademia. 

Acadian. ^ F. acadien, from Acadic, Nova 
Scotia (see Evangeline), from native name. 

acanthus. L., G. aKav^os, from aKavOa, thorn, 
from OLKT], point. Cf. acacia. 

Accadian [ling.]. Lang, preserved in cunei- 
form inscriptions earlier than Assyr. and 
prob. obs. c. 2000 B.C. From Accad in 
Shinar (Gen. x. 10). 

accede. L. accedere, to move towards. See 

accelerate. From L. accelerare, from celer, 

accent. F., L. accentus, from ad cant-its (see 
chant), orig. tran.slating G. Trpoawhia, from 
Trpos, to, 0)8?;, song, in sense of song added 
to instrumental music. Used in E. of 
diacritic signs from 16 cent. 

accept. F., L. acceptare, frequent, of accipere, 
accept-, from capere, to take. 

access. F. acces or L. accessus, from accedere, 
access-, to approach, come to. Cf. accession, 
coming to (the throne), accessory, coming as 

accidence. For accidents, pi. of accident, in 
sense of grammatical phenomenon. Cf. 
occurrence . 

Not changing one word for another, by their acci- 
dents or cases 

(Puttenham, Art of English Poesie, 1589). 

accident. F., from pres. part, of L. accidere, 
to happen, befall, from cadere, to fall. 
Orig. chance, hap. 
Moving accidents by flood and field (Oth. i. 3). 

accipitral. From L. accipiter, hawk, associ- 
ated with accipere, to take for oneself, but 
prob. for *acu-peter, sharp winged, with 
second element cogn. with G. tttc/sov. 

acclaim. From L. acclamare , to shout to. 
See claim. 

acclimatize. From F. acclimatcr. See climate. 

acclivity. From L. acclivitas, upward slope, 
from ad, to, clivus, rising ground. Cf. de- 




accolade [hist.]. F., It. accollata, from accol- 
lare, to embrace, from L. collum, neck. 

accollade: a colling, clipping, imbracing about the 
necke; hence, the dubbing of a knight, or 'cne 
ceremony used therein (Cotg.). 

accommodate. From L. accommodare, to fit 
to. See commodious. 

accompany. From F. accompagner. See 

accomplice. For earlier complice, F., L. com- 
plex, complic-, lit. woven together. Mod. 
form may be a mistake for a complice or 
be due to some fancied connection with 

Your brother, the booke-binder, and his accom- 
plishes at Burie (Nashe, 1589). 

accomplish. F. accomplir, accompliss-, from 
OF. complir, VL. *complire for complere, 
to fill. Current sense of accomplishment is 
"some study accomplished which accom- 
plishes the student" (NED.). 

accompt. Restored spelling of account (q.v.). 

accord. F. accorder, VL. *accordare, from 
corda, harp-string, but affected in sense by 
association with cor, cord-, heart. Cf . con- 
cord, discord. Hence accordion, invented at 
Vienna (1829), with ending imitated Irora. 
clarion. Of one's own accord, i.e. consent, 
was in ME. hy one's own accord. 

accost. F. accoster, VL. *accostare, from ad 
and costa, rib. Orig. to border on, come in 
contact with. Cf . F. aborder, " to approach, 
accoast, abboord; boord or lay aboord; 
come,or draw neer unto" (Cotg.). See coas^. 

accouchement. F., from accoucher, to bring 
to bed. See couch. Early 19 cent. euph. 

account. OF. aconter, VL. * accomputare , from 
coinputare, to reckon. Seecount^. Account- 
ant is from the OF. pres. part. For two 
groups of meanings (also in recount), now 
represented in F. by differentiated forms 
conter, compter, cf. those cf tell. 

accoutre. F. accoutrer, orig. to fit out, equip, 
in any way. For mod. restriction of mean- 
ing cf. dress. Of obscure origin. ?From F. 
coutre, ploughshare, L. culter, with orig. 
sense of equipping a plough, ? or from F. 
couture, seam, VL. *consutura. 

accredit. F. accrediter. from credit, credit 

accretion. L. accretio-n-, from accrescere, 
accret-, to grow to (v.i.). 

accrue. Orig. p.p. fern, of F. accroitre, to 
grow, L. accrescere (v.s.). Cf. value, issue, 
etc., and see crew, recruit. 

accumulate. See cumulate. 

accurate. From L. accurare, to give care to. 
See cure'^. 

accursed. Perverted spelling of acursed, where 
the a- is intens. as in awake. See curse. For 
intrusive -c- cf. acknowledge . 

accuse. F. accuser, L. accusare, to call to 
account, causa. Hence accusative, trans- 
lating G. atTtaTLKrj, from alrca, cause. 

ace. F. as, L. as, ass-, unity, said to be 
Tarentine as for G. eis, one. Oldest sense 
is side of dice with one pip, the lowest 
throw. Hence ambsace (q.v.), deuce ace 
(see deuce), and within an ace of. With 
sense of crack airman, after ModF,, cf. fig. 
use of trump'^. 

Your lordship is the most patient man in loss, the 
most coldest that ever turn'd up ace (Cymb. ii. 3). 

Aceldama. G. 'AKcXSa/xa, representing Aram. 
h'qal d'md, field of blood {Acts, i. 19). 

acephalous. From G. d-, neg., Kef^akrj, head. 

acerbity. F. acerbite, L. acerbitas, from acer- 
biis, harsh to the taste, from acer, keen. 

acetic \chem.~\. From L. acetum, vinegar, from 
acere, to be sour (v.s.). Hence acetylene. 

Achates. Faithful friend. L. fidus Achates, 
companion of Aeneas (Virg.). 

ache. The verb, AS. acan (? cogn. with L. 
agere), was earlier, and correctly, ake, the 
noun was ache [ch as in church), whence 
dial, eddage, headache; cf. bake, batch, 
speak, speech, etc., and note pronunc. in 
quct. below. The noun was influenced by 
the verb and both became ake, while in the 
18 cent, the spelling ache was introduced. 
"For this paradoxical result Dr Johnson is 
mainly responsible ; ignorant of the histor\' 
of the words, and erroneously deriving 
them from the Greek a^os (with which 
they have no connection), he declared 
them 'more grammatically written ache'" 
(NED.). The verb was orig. strong (past dc). 

I'll rack thee with old cramps. 
Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar 

(Temp. i. 2). 

acherontic. Gloomy, moribund, from G. 'Axc- 
pwv, river of Infernal Regions. Cf. stygian. 

achieve. OF. achiev-, tonic stem of achever, 
VL. *accapare, from ad and caput, head, or 
formed in F. from a and chef. Cf. F. vetiir 
d chef de, to succeed in. 

Achilles tendon. Great tendon of the heel. 
Allusion to vulnerable heel of Achilles, by 
which his mother held him when dipping 
him in the Styx. 

achromatic. Colourless. From G. axpuyfiaros. 
See chrome. 





acid. F. acide or L. acidus, sharp, sour; cf. 
acies, edge, acus, needle. 

ack emma. Mil. slang for a.m., letters easily- 
confused on the telephone being perverted 
in the interests of clearness, e.g. pip for P, 
tock for T, etc. 

Not so much of your ac, ac, ac, and your O pip 
Emma. Wot's the blooming message? 

(Impatient Coastguard, in Punch). 

acknowledge. Artificial spelling for a-know- 
ledge. This is app. due to confusion be- 
tween the ME. verbs knowlechen and 
aknowen, AS. oncndwan, to perceive. See 
know, knowledge. 

acme. G. d/c/xi^, point. Usu. printed in G. 
letters up to i8 cent. 

acne [med.']. ? From G. a)(\'r}, small particle, 
e.g. froth, chaff, down on fruit. 

acolyte. MedL. acolitus for G. d/<dAou^os, 
following. For facet, sense cf. myrmidon, 

aconite. Monkshood. L. aconitmn, G. aKovirov. 
Origin unknown (see Pliny, Hist. Nat. 
27. 10). 

acorn. Mod. spelling is due to the word being 
regarded as oak (AS. dc) corn, but app. it 
is related to neither of these words. AS. 
cecern, Ger. ecker, Goth, akran, are sup- 
posed to be related to AS. cscer, field (see 
acre), and to have meant orig. wild fruit in 
general, then mast of forest trees, the 
meaning of the E. word becoming limited 
later to the most important kind of mast 
for feeding swine. Cf. OF. aigrun, collect, 
name for fruit and vegetables, from Teut. 

acotyledon [bot.~\. Without seed-lobes. See 
cotyledon and a-. 

acoustic. F. acoustique, G. aKot'crTiKo?, from 
aKovf.iv, to hear. 

acquaint. From Norm, form of OF. acointier, 
to make known, from acoint. Late L. accog- 
nitiis. See quaint. 

acquiesce. L. acquiescere, incept, formation 
from quies, quiet. 

acquire. L. acquirere, from quaerere, to seek. 
Acquisition is L. acquisitio-n-, from ac- 

acquit. F. acqiiitter, VL. *adquitare, from 
*quitus, for quietus. Orig. to discharge a 
debt, obligation, etc. See quit. 

acre. Earlier aker, AS. cscer, field, without 
ref . to dimension. Com. Teut. ; cf . Du. akker, 
Ger. acker, ON. akr, Goth, akrs; cogn. with 
L. ager, field, G. aypos. Mod. spelling is 
due to MedL. acra, OF. acre, but the more 
correct aker survives in some surnames, e.g. 

Hardaker, Whittaker. As a measure of land 
it at first meant as much as a yoke of oxen 
could plough in a day, but was afterwards 
fixed by statute. God's acre, churchyard, is 
a mod. adaptation, due to Longfellow, of 
Ger. Gottesacker. 

I was jeered at [in 1880J as the apostle of "Three 
acres and a cow" (J. CoUings). 

acrid. From L. acer, acr-, sharp, sour. Irreg. 
formation due to analogy with acid. 

acrimony. L. acrimonia, from acer (v.s.). 

acroamatic. Of oral teaching, esoteric, esp. in 
ref. to Aristotle's intimate lectures. G. 
aKpoa/xaTLKO?, from aKp6a/xa, from aKpoucrOai, 
to hear. 

acrobat. F. acrobate, G. aKpofSaros, tip-toe 
walking, from dfcpos, topmost (as in Acro- 
polis), and -(3aro<;, from /5atvetv, to go. 

acropolis. G., from aKpos, highest, ttoXis, city. 

across. For on cross, or suggested by F. en 
croix, rendered in crosse by Caxton. 

acrostic. Also earlier acrostich, F. acrostiche 
(cf. distich), from G. a.Kpo'i, extreme, and 
(TTLxos, a row, line of verse. 

act. F. acte and L. actus, from agere, act-, to 
do. Verb is much later than noun. Theat. 
sense is in L. ; legislat. sense appears in E. 
from 16 cent. In some senses partly super- 
seded by later action. 

actinia. Sea-anemone. Coined by Linnaeus 
from G. d/<T6s, o-ktiv-, ray. Cf. actinic (phot.). 

action. F., L. actio-n-, from agere, act-, to do. 
Leg. sense is earliest (c. 1300). Cf. active, 
F. actif, L. activus, and activist (neol.), app. 
from F. 

acton [hist.'\. Orig. quilted garment worn 
under armour; later, leather coat with 
plating. OF. auqueton {hoquefon), Sp. 
alcoton, Arab, al-qiitun, the cotton, in allu- 
sion to the padding. Revived by Scott (Lay, 
iii. 6). 

actor. Orig. doer. L., from agere, act-, to do. 
In current sense from 16 cent. 

actual. Late L. actualis, pertaining to acts. 
Mod. use of actuality in the sense of realism, 
contact with the contemporary, is due to F. 
actualite, from actuel, which does not mean 
actual, real, but now existing, up to date. 

actuary. L. actuarius, recorder of items, 
proceedings, etc. Current sense is 19 cent. 

actuate. From MedL. actuare, from actus, act. 

acuity. FromMedl^. acuitas ,iroTn acns, needle. 

aculeate. From L. aculeatus, furnished with a 
sting, from aculeus, dim. of acus, needle. 

acumen. L., sharpness, from acuere, to 



acute. L. acutus, p.p. of acuere, to sharpen. 

See acid, and cf. acacia. 
acushla [Ir.]. Darling. Short for a chuisla 

mo chroidhe, O pulse of my heart. 
ad-. L. ad, to; cogn. with E. at (q.v.). Usu. 
assimilated to following consonant {achieve, 
acquaint, affect, aggrandize, announce, etc.). 
Often restored from earlier a- {adventure, 
adjourn, etc.), and sometimes wrongly sub- 
stituted {advance, admiral). 
adage. F., L. adagium, from ad and root of 

aio, I say. 
adagio \_mus.']. Slowly. It. ad agio, at ease. 

See agio, ease. 
adamant. OF., L. adamas, adamant-, G. 
tt8tt/xas, invincible, from d-, neg., Sa/xdeiv, to 
tame (q.v.) . In earliest uses applied to very 
hard metals and stones, and later spec, to 
the loadstone or magnet, and the diamond. 
In the first of these meanings medieval 
scholars connected it with ad-am are, to 
attract (cf. F. aimant, magnet). Its popular 
form has given diamond (q.v.). 
Adam's apple. Allusion to the forbidden fruit 
supposed to have stuck in Adam's throat. 
In most Europ. langs. 
adapt. F., L. adaptare, from aptus, fit. 
add. L. addere, to put to, from ad and dare, to 
give. Hence addenda, things to be added. 
adder. AS. w^ire, snake. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. 
adder {edir\\ernadder),Ger. natter {var . otter) , 
ON. nathr, Goth, nadrs; cogn. with Olr. na- 
thair, Welsh nadyr, and perh. with L. natrix, 
water-snake. Now limited to the common 
viper. The initial n- was lost in ME., a 
nadder being understood as an adder. Cf. 
apron, auger, and, for the converse, newt. 
Nedder is still in dial. use. 

neddyr or eddyr: serpens {Prompt. Parv.). 

addict. Orig. adj., L. addictus, adjudged, 
made over, p.p. of addicere, from dicere, to 
say, tell. 

The number of drug addicts in the United States 
is estimated to be in excess of 1,000,000 

{Daily Herald, June 25, 1919). 

additament. L. additamentum, from addere, 
addit-, to add (q.v.). Cf. addition, F., L. 

addle. AS. ddela, putrid mud, filth; cogn. 
with Dan. aile, urine of cattle. Now only in 
compds. addle-egg, addle-pate, etc. For 
later addled cf. newfangled. 

address. Orig. to make straight. F. adresser, 
from dresser. See dress and cf. senses of 
direct. With address, skill, cf. adroit (q.v.). 

adjust 14 

Golf sense is a survival. To address, accost, 
is for earlier reflex, to address oneself to. 

adduce. L. adducere, to bring to. 

-ade. F. suffix in loan-words representing 
Prov. Sp. Port, -ada, It. -ata, L. -ata, which 
gave F. -ee. In 16-17 cent, often changed 
into pseudo-Sp. form, e.g. ambuscado, pali- 
sado, and the surviving bastinado. 

ademption [leg.]. L. ademptio-n-, from adi- 
niere, adempt-, to take to oneself, take 

adenoid lmedr\. From G. uSt^V, acorn, fig. 
gland (q.v.). See -oid. 

adept. L. adeptus, p.p. of adipisci, to attain. 
Orig. used by medieval alchemists of those 
who had "attained" the great secret. 

adequate. From L. adaequare, to make equal 

ad eundem (sc. gradum) [univ.]. Admission of 
graduate " to the same (degree) " at another 

adhere. L. adhaerere, to stick to. 

ad hoc. L., for this (specific purpose). 

adiantum [bot.']. Fern. From G. a-, neg., 
StatVetv, to wet. 

adieu. F., OF. a Dieu. Orig. said to the party 
left, as farewell was to the party setting 

adipose. From L. adeps, adip-, fat, unex- 
plained alteration of G. aXeKJjap, unguent. 
He never spoke of it as "fat," 
But adipose deposit (Gilbert). 

adit. Approach to mine. L. aditus, from 
adire, to go to, 

adjacent. From pres. part, of L. adjacere, to 
lie by. 

adjective. F. adjectif, L. adjeciivus, from ad- 
icere, adject-, to add, from jacere, to throw. 

adjourn. To put off, orig. fix a day for a 
person. F. ajourner, VL. *ad-diurnare, 
from diurmis, adj. from dies, day; or 
possibly formed in OF. from a and jam 
{jour), L. diurnus. To adjourn sine die is, 
strictly speaking, a bull. 

adjourner: to cite, summon, warne to appeare; to 
serve a processe of appearance on (Cotg.). 

adjudicate. From L. adjudicare, from judex, 
judic-, judge, from jus, law, dicere, to say. 

adjunct. From L. adjungere, adjunct-, to 
join to. 

adjure. From L. adjurare, to swear to. 

adjust. Two F. verbs are included here, viz. 
OF. ajoster {ajouter), to add, put together, 
VL. *adjuxtare, or formed in OF. from d 
and the prep, joste (L. juxta); and ajuster, 
formed from A and juste, or representing 





the above verb refashioned under the in- 
fluence oi juste, just, exact. 

aijouster: to adde, adjoyne, set, or put unto; also, 
to increase, augment, eeke; also, as adjuster, 
a.ijiister: to adjust, place justly, set aptly, couch 
evenly, joyne handsomely, match fitly, dispose 
orderly, severall things together (Cotg.). 

adjutant. From pres. part, of L. adjutare, 
frequent, of adjiivare, to help. Prob not 
straight from L., but a remodelled form of 
Sp. ayndante. Cf. Gar. adjutant (17 cent.), 
a Sp. loan-word from the Thirty Years 
War. The adjutant-bird, a gigantic Indian 
crane, is so named from his stiff military 
gait, Cf. marabout. 

ad lib. Short for L. ad libitum, from libere, to 

adminicle. Auxiliarj^, corroboration. L. 
adminiculum, prop, from dim. of mamts, 

administer. Orig. with province, estate, etc., 
as object. Hence to furnish, supply, e.g. 
castor oil or a thrashing. See minister. 

admiral. Artificial spelling of amiral, F. 
Oldest sense in F. & E. is emir, Saracen 
chief. Arab, amir, commander, is common- 
ly followed by al, as in amtr-al-bahr, com- 
mander of the sea, and many other compds., 
from which a clipped noun amiral resulted. 
Mod. maritime sense is due to the office of 
amir-al-bahr or amtr-al-md, created by the 
Arabs in Spain and Sicily. Explained by a 
16 cent, etymologist, with ref. to Columbus, 
as L. admirans mare, admiring the sea ! 
From 16 cent, also applied to the admiral's 
ship or flag-ghip, the admiral himself being 
called the general. 

Keepe the admiraltie, 
That wee be masters of the narrow see 

(Libel of English Policie, 1432). 
admire. From L. admirari, to wonder at, from 
mirus, wonderful. Cf. marvel, miracle. 
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of 
the saints, .and when I saw her I wondered with 
great admiration [Rev. xvii. 6). 

admission. L. admissio-n-, from admittere, 
admiss- (v.i.). 

admit. ME. amit, OF. ametre [admettre), re- 
modelled on L. admittere, to send to. 

admonish. ME. amonest, OF. amonester {ad- 
nionester), VL. *admonestare, an unex- 
plained derivative of admonere, from 
monere, to advise. It has been assimilated 
to the large class of verbs in -ish. Cf. 
astonish, distinguish, etc. 

ado. Orig. infin. at do, the prep, at being used 
in ON. with infin. like E. to. This usage 

long survived in northern E. dial. Cf. a 

great to do and F. affaire [a /aire), avoir 

affaire a. 
-ado. See -ade. 
adobe. Unburnt brick dried in the sun. US., 

from Mexico, often made into 'dobe. From 

Sp. adobar, to plaster. Cf. F. adouber, to 

put in order, arrange. ? Same origin as dub 
q.v.); ? or Arab, al-tub, the brick. 
adolescent. From pres. part, of L. adolescere, 

to grow up, from archaic L. olere, to grow 

old. Cf. adult, from p.p. 
Adonis. G. name from Phoenician adon, lord. 

Cf. Bibl. name Adoni-Bezek [Judges, i. 5). 
adopt. F. adopter, or L. adoptare, to choose 

for oneself. Cf. option. 
adore. L. adorare, to pray to. Replaced ME. 

aoure, OF. aorer. 
adorn. L. adornare. Replaced ME. aorne, 

OF. aorner. 
adown [archaic]. For of down, AS. of dune, 

lit. off hill. See down^. 
adrift. Prob. for on drift. See a-. 
adroit. F., orig. adv., a droit, rightly. Cf. E. to 

rights. Droit ish. dircctus. See dress. 
adscititious, ascititious. Supplemental, un- 
sanctioned. Coined from L. adscit-, from 

adsciscere, to acknowledge, from scire, to 

adscript, ascript. Chiefly in pedantic imit. of 

L. adscriptus glebae, enrolled to the soil, 

used of serfs. 

Practically he [the working-man] is as firmly as- 
cript to his trade as the medieval serf was to the 
soil [Forlnightly, Aug. 1919). 

adsum. L., I am here. 

adulation. From L. adulari, to flatter, ? orig. 
to wag the tail, and ult. cogn. with Ger. 
wedeln, to v.^ag the tail (see wheedle). 

Adullamite [Jiist.']. Nickname given (1866) to 
group of M.P.s who seceded from Liberal 
party. Made current by a speech in which 
John Bright likened them to the discon- 
tented who rallied round David in the Cave 
of Adullam (i Sam. xxii.), but recorded as 
pol. nickname for 1834. Cf. cave. 

adult. See adolescent. 

adulterate. From L. adulterare, to commit 
adultery, corrupt, from alter, other (ad 
alterum convertere). 

adumbrate. From L. adumbrare , to fore- 
shadow, from umbra, shadow. Almost obs. 
in 18 cent., but now overworked. 

adust. L. adustus, p.p. of adurere, to burn, 
scorch. Parched, sunburnt; hence, gloomy 
in temperament. 





advance. Bad spelling for earlier avance, F. 
avaiicer, to put forward, VL. *abantiare, 
from ab ante, whence F. avant, before. 

advantage. F. avantage, VL. *abantaticum or 
formed in OF. from avant with suffix -age, 
L. -aticum. See advance, vantage. 

advent. 1.. adventits, from advenire, to come 
to, arrive. Cf. F. avent. 

adventitious. From L. adventicius, coming 
from abroad (v.s.). 

adventure. For earlier aventiire, aunter; re- 
spelt on L. adventura, from advenire, advent-, 
to happen. See venture. 

adverb. F. adverbe, L. adverbhmi, "cujus sig- 
nificatio verbis adjicitur" (Priscian), trans- 
lating .G. iTripprjjjLa. 

adverse. From L. advertere, advers-, to tiirn 
against. Hence adversary, in ME. esp. the 

advert. Earlier avert, OF. avertir, VL. *-ad- 
vertire, for advertere, to turn to. See ad- 

advertise. F. averiiss-, lengthened stem of 
avertir, to warn, from L. advertere, to turn 
to (v.s.). The ad- is a restoration, and the 
survival of the -ise form (cf. advert, convert, 
revert, etc.) is prob. due to noun advertise- 
ment, F. avertissement (cf. aggrandize). 
Mod. sense, developed from that of public 
announcement, is unknown in F. 

Joachym king of Juda despraised the admon- 
estementis, advertisemeiitis, and the doctrines of 
God {NED. 1475). 

My griefs cry louder than advertisement 

(Much Ado, V. i). 

advice, advise. Earlier avice, F. avis, counsel, 
opinion, warning. It. avviso, Sp. aviso, 
point to VL. *advisns, from ad and videre, 
vis-, to see, but in OF. the two elements 
occur apart, as in the colloquial Ce m'est 
avis for Ce m'est a vis {ad visum). The 
differentiated spelling (cf. prophesy, prac- 
tise) is artificial. The oldest meaning of the 
noun is opinion, of the verb to look at, or, 
reflex., to consider, F. s'aviser. 

advocate. First as noun. ME. avocat, F., L. 
ridvocatus, calledin. Asleg. title now usu. Sc. 

advowson. Right of presentation to a bene- 
fice. Earlier avoiieson, OF. avoeson, L. ad- 
vocatio-n-, from advocare, to call to, summon. 

adytum. Sanctum. L., G. a^vTov, from a-, 
neg., Suetv, to enter. 

adze. Often spelt addis, addice as late as 17 
cent. AS. adesa, of unknown origin. 

aedile \Jhist.']. L. aediiis, commissioner of 
work, from aedes, building, cogn. with G. 

aWuv, to burn (with suggestion of hearth 
as nucleus of home). Cf. edify. 

aegis. L., G. aiyts, shield of Zeus or Pallas. 
From G. ai^, aly-, goat, orig. applied to 
goat-skin shield-belt of Zeus. 

aegrotat [?mu'.]. L., he is sick, aeg-ef . Qi.exit, 
affidavit, etc. 

Aeolian, (i) Mode of music; from Aeolis or 
Aeolia, Greek colony in Asia Minor. Cf. 
Doric. (2) Natural harp; from L. Aeolus, 
god of the winds [Aen. i. 52). 

aeon. L., G. amv, age, cogn. with L. aevum. 
See age. 

aerate. From L. aer, air, after F. adrer. 

aerial. From L. aer, air, after ethereal. An 
"aerial ship," London to Paris, was adver- 
tised in 1835, but burst during inflation. 

aero-. From G. arjp, aep-, air. Aerodrome 
(neol.) is after earlier hippodrome (q.v.), 
velodrome. Aerolite is for aerolith, from G. 
At^os, stone. Aeronaut, F. aeronaute, from 
vavTrjs, sailor, pilot, aerostat, F. aerostat, 
from o-raro's, supported, both date from 
1783 (cf. Montgolfier). Aeroplane (neol.) is. 
F. aeroplane. Aerobatics, "stunts," is after 
acrobatics. Aerobusisxaod. (Feb., 1919). 

aeronantica: the pretended art of saihng in a 
vessel thro' the air or atmosphere 

(Chambers' Cyclopaedia, 1733). 
The aeropark (may I coin the word?) had many a 
lively time during the retreat 

(Corbett-Smith, Marne and after). 

aery, eyry. F. aire, "an airie, or nest of 
haukes" (Cotg.), dubiously connected with 
L. ager, field, which app. took the sense of 
home, place of origin, whence Prov. agre, 
nest. See debonair. Spelling eyry is app. 
due to Spelman's attempt to connect the 
word with ME. ey, egg. The spec, asso- 
ciation of the word with the eagle suggests 
that it may rather be connected with the 
Teut. name for the bird (see erne), which 
has cognates in Celt. (Corn. Bret, er, Welsh 
eryr) . 

Aesculapian, Esculapian. Of Aesculapius, G. 
'AcrKX-»/7rto9,_god of medicine. Cf. galenical. 

aesthete. G. alaOrjTr]^, from alaOicrOai, to 
perceive. First recorded by NED. for 18S1 
(aesthetic craze), but aesthetic dates from 
1798, having been introduced by Baum- 
garten into German philosophy (c. 1750) 
with the sense of criticism of taste. The 
woi-d suffered (c. 1880) a temporary de- 
preciation from which it has now recovered. 

I am a broken-hearted troubadour. 
Whose mind's aesthetic and whose tastes are pure 

(Gilbert, Patience). 





aestival, estival. Of summer. L. aestivalis, 
from aestas, summer. Cf. aestivate, opposite 
of hibernate. 

aetiology, etiology. Study of causation. L. 
aetiologia, from G. ama, cause. 

afar. AS. feor, far, compd. with of and on. 
Both of fer (cf. F. rfe /ojot) and onfer (cf. F. 
a?^ /om) became in 14 cent, a fer, whence 
afar. Thus from afar, afar off are some- 
times pleon. 

afeard [dial.]. Very common in Shaks., but 
now considered vulgar, having been sup- 
planted by afraid (q.v.), with which it is 
quite unconnected. It is the p.p. of obs. 
afear, to terrify (see fear). 

Fie, my lord, fie ! a soldier and afear'd ! 

(Macb. V. i). 

affable. F., "easily spoken to by, willingly 
giving eare to, others" (Cotg.), L. affabilis, 
easy to be spoken to, from adfari, to ad- 

affair. F. affaire, OF. afaire, for a f aire. Cf. 
ado (q.v.), to do. 

affect. F. affecter, L. affectare, to aim at, fre- 
quent, of afficere, to apply (oneself) to, 
from ad and facere, to do. Hence affection, 
orig. (13 cent.) any mental state, the more 
mod. affectation preserving better the etym. 
sense. Affect, to influence, impress, etc., is 
rather directly from L. afficere, affect-. 

affiance. OF. afiance, from afier {affier), VL. 
*affidMre, iromfidus, faithful. Cf. affidavit. 
Or OF. afiance may be a compd. of OF. 
fiance, VL. *fidantia. The oldest meaning 
was trust; then, pledging of troth; and 
finally the word was made into a verb. 

affiche. F., from afficher, to affix, from ficher, 
to fix, ult. from L. figere. 

affidavit. Lit. "he has pledged his faith," 
from VL. *affidare, for which see affiance. 
Rogue Riderhood {Our Mutual Friend) 
makes it A If red David, and it appears also 
in the vulgarism to take one's davy. In leg. 
lang. the deponent swears it and the judge 
takes it. 

affiliate. From L. affiliare, to adopt as son, 
[ affinity. F. affinite, L. affinitas, from affinis, 
bordering on, irom. finis, end, boundary. 

affirm. F. affirmer, L. affirmare, to make firm, 

afflatus. L., from afflare, to inspire, from ad 
^nd flare , flat- , to blow. 

afflict. From L. affligere, afflict-, from fligere, 
to strike. 

affluence. F., L. affliientia, from affluere, to 
flow towards. 

afflux. MedL. affluxus (v.s.). Cf. influx. 

afford. Earlier aforth, AS. ge-forthian, from 
forth, forward. Orig. to "further," pro- 
mote; then, supply, furnish. For prefix cf. 
aware; for consonant change cf. burden, 
burthen, murder, murther. 

afforest. MedL. afforestare, from ad and 
foresta. See forest. 

affray. First as verb, to frighten, OF. 
esfreier (effrayer), VL. *exfridare, from. 
OtiCr. fridu (friede), peace; thus a "breach 
of the peace." The noun is now aphetized 
to fray, and of the verb only the p.p. 
afraid {affrayed) survives, its success in 
supplanting the unrelated afeard being due 
to its regular use in the A V. 

affright. Bad spelling of afright, from p.p. of 
AS. dfyrhtan, to terrify. See fright. Cf. 

affront. F. affronter, VL. *affrontare, to 
strike on the forehead, hence to insult, 
from frons, front-, forehead. In ModF. it 
means also confront, as affront does in 

That he, as 'twere by accident, 
May there affront Ophelia [Haml iii. i). 

afloat. AS. on flote. See float. So also afield, 
afire, afoot, etc. See a-. 

afoot. Fox on foot. See a-. The game's afoot, 
i.e. on the move, is after i Hen. IV. i. 3. 

afore. AS. on for an (see fore and a-) or cet 
foran. Now dial., but once literary 
equivalent of before. Cf . pinafore, aforesaid. 
Hence aforethought, in malice aforethought, 
transl. of malice prepense. 

As I wrote afore in few words (Eph. iii. 3). 

afraid. For affrayed, p.p. of affray (q.v.). 

afreet, afrit. Evil demon of Mohammedan 
mythology. Arah.' if rit. First in E. version 
of Beckford's Vathek (1786). 

afresh. From, fresh, after anew (q.v.). 

Afrikander [SAfr.]. For Du. Afrikaner in- 
fluenced by Du. Englander . 

aft. AS. cBftan (adv.), behind (cf. abaft). 
After, AS. cefter (adv. & prep.), was orig. 
compar. of a prep. cogn. with Goth, af, off, 
not of aft, though the words are related. 

aftermath. After (the first) mowing. AS. 
m^th, mowing, from mdwan, to mow. 
NED. has no AS. or ME. record for the 
compd. It was also called lattermath. Cf. 
Ger. grummet, iorgriin mahd, green mowing, 



also called nachheu, after hay, and spdthen, 
late hay. Cogn. with mead^. Now usu. fig. 

aftermost. AS. csftemest, triple superl., -te-, 
-me-, -est, from prep, cogn, with Goth, af, 
off. But this seems to have died out, and 
aftermost was perh. refashioned from ajtev 
on foremost, etc. See -most. 

afterward. AS. ceftaniveard, which became 
aftward (naut.), current form being due to 
after. See -ward. 

aga. Turk, aghd, master. Orig. mil. title. 

again. AS. ongegen, ongean, mod. g- being due 
to ON. influence; cf. Ger. entgegen. Against 
is for earlier agains, with spurious -t (cf. 
amongst, betwixt) . It is a genitive formation 
in -es from again, which it has replaced as 
prep. Older use of again as prep, survives 
in agen, agin {agin the government) , southern 
forms now considered vulgar. See also 

agamous \biol.'\. Asexual, cryptogamous. 
From L., G. aya/xos, from d-, neg., ya/x.09, 

agapanthus. African lily. Coined from G. 
ayaTrr), love, avOo<i, flower. 

agape. Love-feast of early Christians. G. 
aydirrj, brotherly love. Hence agapen^one, 
abode (G. fj.ovrj, stopping place) of free love, 
founded (1845) near Taunton by H. J. 
Prince and imitated in more recent times. 

agaric. Fungus. L., G. ayapiKov. Said to be 
from Agaria in Sarmatia. 

agate^. Stone. F., L. achates, G. dxaT7;s. In 
OF. we find also acate and in E. achate. 
Said to have been named from river 
Achates in Sicily. 

Acatc est ceste apelee 

Por un eve [eau] u el est truvee 

[Lapidaire de Marbod, 12 cent.). 

agate^ [north, dial.]. On the go. From gate^, 

agave. Plant. G. 'Ayau?/, myth, name, fem. of 
dyaws, illustrious. 

age. F. age, OF. aage, cage, earlier edage, VL. 
*aetaticnm, from aetas, aetat-, for aevitas, 
from aevum, age, cogn. with G. aiwv. A 
good example of the expulsion of a native 
word [eld, q.v.) by one of F. origin. 

-age. F., L. -aticiis, -aticum; cf. It. -aggio. 

agenda. Things to be done. L., neut. pi. of 
gerundive of agere, to do. 

agent. From pres. part, of Iv. agere, to do, act. 

agglomerate. From L. agglomerare, from 
glomus, glomer-, bunch, mass. 

agglutinate. L. agglutinare, to glue together, 
from gluten, ghitin-, glue. Applied to langs. 

agley 22 

which stand midway between monosyllabic 
(e.g. Chinese) and inflexional (Aryan 
family). Cf. such tape- worm monstrosities 
of mod. chemistry as trinitrobenzeneazo- 
chloronitrodipheny I hydrazine. 

Such words as un-tru-th-ful-ly preserve an agglu- 
tinative ctiaracter (Whitney). 

aggrandize. From F. agrandir. It. aggrandire, 
from L. grandis. For -tze cf. advertise. 

aggravate. From L. aggravare, to make 
heavy, gravis. Cf. aggrieve. 

aggregate. From L. aggregare, to form into a 
flock, grex, greg-. Cf. egregious, gregarious. 

aggress. From L. aggredi, aggress-, to ad- 
vance towards, from gradus, step. 

aggrieve. See grief. 

aghast. Earlier agast, p.p. of agasten, to 
frighten, from AS. g^stan, to terrify. Mod. 
spelling is due to association with ghost 
(q.v.). See also ghastly. 

"Now, dere suster myn, what may it be 
That me agasteth in my dreme? " quod she. 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 11 70). 

agile. F., L. agilis, from agere, to act. 

agio [financ.']. Percentage charged on certain 
kinds of exchange. It. agio, ease, con- 
venience. Hence agiotage (from F.), specu- 
lation, stock-jobbing. See ease. 

agist. Orig. to admit cattle to pasture for a 
fixed period. Hence also agistment. OF. 
agister, from a and giste (gtte), resting- 
place, from archaic F. gesir, to lie, L. jacere. 
Cf. ci-git, seen on old tombstones. See also 
gist, joist. 

agitate. From L. agitare, frequent, of agere, 
to do, in sense of drive. The earliest agi- 
tators were the delegates of the private 
soldiers in the Parliamentary army (1647 

aglet, aiglet [archaic]. Orig. tag of a lace or 
" point " ; then, ornamental tag or cord, esp. 
on uniform. In this sense now replaced by 
its F. original aiguillette (OF. agiiilette), 
dim. of aiguille (OF. aguille), needle, VL. 
*acucula (for acicula), dim. of actis, needle. 
aglet: a little plate of any metal, a tag of a point 


agley, agly [Sc.]. Askew. From ME. glien, to 
squint. Only in to gang [go) agley, after 
to glee: limare (Cath. Angl.). 

The best laid schemes o' mice and men 
Gang aft agley (Burns). 

The meetings of the plotters were orgies of talk, 

and, naturally, their best-laid plans went all agley 

(Referee, .^ug. 12, 1917). 





agnail [dial.]. Orig. corn on the foot; later, 
painful swelling of any kind. Now used in 
dial, of loose skin or soreness at root of 
finger-nails. This meaning, like the cor- 
rupted forms hang-nail and anger-nail, is 
due to mistaken association with the 
finger-wrti/. The metal nail and the human 
nail are etym. ident., but in agnail the 
former is referred to. It is AS. angncpgl, 
corn, where the first element means com- 
pressed, painful (cogn. with L. angustus 
and Ger. eng, narrow) and the second is AS. 
ncegl, nail. Cf. F. clou, nail, also used of a 
clou: a nayle, also, a corne (in a foot, or toe) (Cotg.). 

agnate. Kin. F. agnat, L. agnatus, from 
agnasc7. {ad gnasci), to be born to. 

agnomen. L., from ad and {g)nomen, name. 
Added to cognomen as result of some ex- 
ploit, etc., e.g. Publius (praenomen) Cor- 
nelius (nomen) Scipio (cognomen) Afri- 
canus (agnomen). 

agnostic. Coined (1869) from G. ayvwo-ros, 
unknowing, unknown, unknowable, by 
Huxley, to whom it was suggested by 
^c^s, xvii. 23 (dyvwo-TO) Oew). From a-, neg., 
yiyvw(TK€LV , to know. 

Agnus Dei. L., Lamb of God. 

ago. Farlier also agone, p.p. of AS. dgdn, to 

pass (of time) . 

O he's drunk, sir Tobv, an hour agone 

[Twelfth Night, v. i). 

agog. Earlier also on gog. OF. en gogues, of 
unknown origin. Cf. goguenard, playful. 

estre en ses gogues: to be frolicke, lustie, lively, 
wanton, gamesome, all-a-hoit, in a pleasant 
humour; in a veine of mirth, or in a metric mood 


agony. Oldest in Bibl. sense (Wye. Lttke, 
xxii. 43). Prob. adopted from L. agonia 
(Vulg.), G. ayiovLa, from dywv, assembly for 
the public games, from dyeiv, to lead. F. 
agonie means throes of death. First NED. 
record of agony column is 1880. 

agouti. Small rodent of guinea-pig tribe 
(SAmer. & Wind.). F., Sp. aguti, from 
native name. 

agra, agrad [/y.]. Darling. Voc. of Ir. grddh, 

agraffe [archaicl. Clasp. F. agrafe, also OF. 
agrappe, from OHG. krapfo {krapfen), 
hook, via VL. *grappa. Cf. grape. 

agrail \neol.']. Portmanteau-word for agri- 
cultural railway. 

A little while ago the Minister of Reconstruction 
invented "agrails" [Observer, Jan. iq, 1919). 

agrarian. From L. agrarius, from ager, agr-, 

field. Hence spec, form of crime in Ireland, 

pol. party in Germany. 
agree. F. agreer, VL. *adgratare, ivovn. grains, 

pleasing. Etym. sense survives best in 

agriculture. F., L. agri cultura, from ager, 

field, and colere, cult-, to cultivate. See 

culture. Cf. agronomy . 
agrimony. Plant. L. agrimonia, corrupted 

(? by association with ager, field) from G. 

apye/jnovq. Some of the ME. forms are due 

to F. aigremoine. Perverted forms are 

found in other Europ. langs., e.g. Ger. 

ackermennig, Norw. Dan. agermaane. 
aground. For on ground; cf. afloat, ashore. 

See a-. 
ague. OF. ague [aigue), sharp, L. acuta, in 

fievre aigue. In E. applied first to the 

burning or feverish stage of disease, then 

to the shivering stage, and finally to a spec. 

malarial fever. 
ah. Natural ejaculation. Cf. F. ah, MHG. a, 

ON. cB, also E. ay, ey, ha. 
ahead. Orig. naut. Cf. abeam, astern. 
ahem. Imit. of calling attention by clearing 

the throat. Cf. to hem and ha. 
ahoy. ? From hoy, vessel. But cf. OF. aoi, 

interj. which ends each stanza of the 

Chanson de Roland. 
Ahriman. Spirit of evil in OPers. mythology. 

F., L., G. 'Apei/Acii'ios, Pers. Ahirman, Zend 

anra-mainyu, spirit that beats down. 

Dark Ahriman, whom Irak still 

Holds origin of woe and ill {Talisman, ch. iii). 

ahungered. See an-hungered. 

ai. Brazilian sloth. Native name, from cry. 

aid. F. aider, L. adjutare, frequent, of ad- 

jiivare, adjut-, to help. Cf. adjutant. 
aide-de-camp. F. In E. from 17 cent, 
aigrette. Orig. lesser white heron, or egret 

(q.v.), then its crest, and later applied to 

various similar tufts, 
aiguillette. See aglet. 
ail. AS. eglan, to afflict, cogn. with Goth. 

agljan, and tilt, with awe. Orig. trans, (cf. 

What ails you.^), and in early ME. impers. 

What ailed thee, o thou sea, that thou fieddest? 

(Ps. cxiv. 5). 

aileron [aeron.]. End of wing. F., from aile, 
wing, L. ala, for axilla. Orig. term of 

aim. Earlier eyme. App. due to two OF. 
verbs, esmer, L. aestimare, aesmer, L. ad- 
aestimare. The oldest meaning is to esteem ; 
then, to calculate with a view to action. 





while the sense of directing a missile or 
blow does not appear till 16 cent. 
Or the sone of man, for thovi eymest hym 

(Wye. Ps. cxliii. 3). 
air. F., L. aer, G. drip, fro^n aeiv, to blow. 
Subsidiary sense of manner, taken from 
F., may have been developed from orig. 
senge in allusion to the "atmosphere" of a 
person or enviionment (cf. sense-develop- 
ment of L. animus, spiritits); but some re- 
gard it rather as belonging to a separate 
word (see debonair). For mus, sense, from 
It. aere (now replaced by aria), cf. Ger. 
iveise, manner, tune, and mus. sense of mode, 
mood. In airs and graces there is prob. a 
secondary mus. allusion, a grace being an 
embellishment added to a tune. The nu- 
merous neologisms in air- (aircraft, airman, 
airmanship, airworthy, etc.) are modelled 
on the naut. vocabulary. Air-raid, is of 
about the same date as baby-killer. Air- 
drome occurred in the published abstract 
of the peace terms (Ma^,', 1919). 
aere: the aire. Also, an aspect, countenance, 
cheere, a look or appearance in the face of man or 
woman. Also, a tune or aire of a song or ditty 

As soon as our men got their air-legs (if there is 
such a thing), the reports they brought back were 
invaluable (Corbett-Smith, Marne and after). 

airedale. Terrier from valley of the Aire, 
Bradford district of Yorks. Name regis- 
tered by Kennel Club (1886), for earlier 
Bingley (where first bred), or broken-haired 

airt [5c.]. Direction, point of the compass. 
Gael, aird, Jr. ard, point, common in place- 
names. A late introduction in literary E.. 
due to Burns: 

Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, 
I dearly like the west. 

aisle. Orig. elc, OF. {aile), wing, T. ala, for 
axilla. Prop, a lateral division of a church, 
usually separated from the nave b}?^ rows 
of pillars. The curious spelling aisle, which 
Johns, attributes to Addison, is partly due 
to ModF. aile, but also to confusion with 
E. isle, ME. He, island. This seems in- 
credible, but is certified by the fact that 
insula was its usual rendering in MedL., 
while island, or rather its older and more 
correct form, actually occurs in the same 
sense. The word has also been confused 
with alley'^. 

Orate pro animo Roberti Oxburgh...qui istud ele 
fieri fecit {NED. c. 1370). 
In the portch in the south yland of the church 

(ib. 1590). 

ait. Small island, esp. in Thames. Now often 
spelt eyet 01 eyot. App. AS. iggath, of ob- 
scure formation, related to AS. leg, island. 
The ME. form is eit, cbH, but the NED. has 
no record between 1205 and 1649. Cf. 
Anglesey, Sheppey, and Eig (Hebrides). 

aitch-bone. For nache- or nage-, the n- being 
lost as in adder (q.v.). ME. nache, nage, 
buttock, OF. nache, still used by F. butchers, 
VL. *natlca for natis. Nachebone occurs in 
Craven Gloss. (1828). The existing form is 
perh. due to a fancied resemblance of the 
bone to the letter H. Among other per- 
versions in dial, use are edge-bone, ice-bone, 
etc. But some of these are rather connected 
with Du. ijsbeen, hip-bone, with which cf. 
EG. Isben, Ger. eisbein (from EG.), the first 
element of which may be G. iVxt'ov, hip- 

ajar. Formerly on char, on the turn. See 
charwoman, chare. Cf. synon. Du. op een 
kier, from keeren, to turn. Confused in 
quots. 3, 4, withyayi (q-v.). 

The dure on char it stude (Gavin Douglas, c. 1513). 

"On the what? " exclaimed the little judge. 
" Partly open, my lord," said Serjeant Snubbin. 
"She said on the ;«;-," said the little judge with a 
cunning look [Pickwick). 

Thou hast set my father and him at jares 

(Lady Willoughby, 1595). 
My temper was so thoroughly ajar 

(H. Martineau). 

akimbo. ME. on kenebowe. For can bow, the 
bow, or handle, of a can, or vessel. Cf. 
synon. L. ansatus, from ansa, handle, and 
F. faire le pot a deux anses, to stand with 
arms akimbo, lit. to play the pot with two 
handles. The same very natural metaphor 
is found in Du. Ger. Sp. and prob. other 

ansatus homo ; one that in bragging manner strow- 
teth up and down with his armes a-canne-bow 

(Thomas, 1644). 
jarra: a pot with a great belly and two handles 

andar en jarras: to set one's arms a-kimbo 


akin. For of kin; cf. next of kin. Cf. anew. 

Akkadian. See Accadian. 

al-. In some words, chiefly of Sp. origin, 
represents Arab. def. art. 

alabaster. OF. alabastre (albdtre), L. ala- 
baster, G. dXdfSacTTpos. Said to come from 
Alabastron (Egypt). 

alack. Prob. arbitrary alteration of alas, re- 
corded two centuries earlier, by association 
with lack, in older sense of failure, shame. 





Chiefly in alack-the-day or alack-a-day, 

whence lack-a-day and lackadaisical. 
alacrity. From L. alacritas, from alacer, brisk. 

Cf. allegro. 
alamode. Esp. in alamode silk, beef. F. a la 

mode, in the fashion. 
alanna [/r.]. Voc. of Ir. leanbh, child. 
alar. L. alaris, from a/a, wing. 
alarm. F. alarme, OF. a I'arme, It. a//' arm^', 

a call "to (the) arms." With rolled -y- it has 

given alarum. With aphet. larum cf. Ger. 

/arm, "an alarm, alarum" (Ludw.). Cf. 


It was nothing but a false larum, given of purpose 
to see how every one would be found in a readinesse 

And so to bed, to be up by times by the helpe of 
a larum watch (Pepys, July 14, 1665). 

alarum. See alarm. 

alas. OF. a las, he las [helas] or lasse, the adj. 
agreeing with the speaker. The first ele- 
ment is an inter]., while las, weary, is L. 
lassus. Cf. It. ahi lasso or lassa. 

alate. L. alatus, from ala, wing. 

alb. Eccl. vestment. AS. albe, early loan 
from L. alba (sc. vestis). Cf. F. aube, alb, 
also foimd in ME. 

albacore, albicore. Fish. Port, albacor, Arab. 
al-bukr, the young camel, from the size of 
the fish. In Hakl. 

Albanian. Aryan lang. of Albania, allied to 
Greek, but containing much Slav, and L. 

albatross. Corrupted from obs. alcatras (16 
cent.) , frigate-bird, under influence of albus, 
the name being extended from the frigate- 
bird, which is black, to a larger and white 
sea-bird (cf. penguin). Recorded in present 
form in 17 cent. Alcatras (Hawkins' Voy- 
age, 1564) is Sp. Port, alcatraz, sea-fowl, 
pelican, orig. Port, alcatruz, bucket of a 
water-wheel, Arab. al-qddUs, borrowed 
from G. Ka8os (L. cadus), jar. App. first 
applied to the pelican, from its storage 
capacity. Cf. Arab, saqqd, pelican, lit. 

alcatraces: a kind of foule like a seamew that 
feedeth on fish (Percy vail). 

albeit. For all be it, a survival of the ME. use 
of all, in sense of although, with a sub- 

albert (chain). Named after Prince Albert, 
Consort of Queen Victoria. Cf. victoria, and 
hundreds of words created in the same 

albicore. See albacore. 

Albigenses [hist.]. Southern F. protestants, 
orig. oi Albi (Tarn), persecuted (13 cent.) 
at instigation of Innocent III. 

albino. Sp. or Port., from L. albus, white. 
Orig. applied in Port, to "white negroes." 

Albion. G. name for Great Britain; cf. L. 
^/6iow (Pliny), Gael. /I /fcfl, Scotland. Perh. 
"white land." 

album. "A book in which foreigners have 
long been accustomed to insert the auto- 
graphs of celebrated people" (Johns.). 
Neut. of L. albus, white, blank. Still in 
italics in Ingoldsby. 

albumen. L., from albus, white. 

alburnum. Sap-wood, L., from albus, white. 

alcade, alcalde, alcayde. Magistrate. Sp., 
from Arab, al-qddl, the judge (see cadi). 
Alcayde, prison governor, is, strictly 
speaking, a different word, Arab, qd'id, 
leader (see caid), but the titles have been 
confused by E. writers. 
alcalde: a sheriff e, or cunstable (Percy vail). 

alcahest. See alkahest. 

alcaic. Metre employed, e.g. by Horace, in 
imitation of Greek poet 'AX/catos (fl. 
Mytilene, c. 600 B.C.). Cf. Sapphic. 

alcazar. Palace, fortress. Sp., Arab, al-qagr, 
from L. castrum. 

alchemy. OF. alchimie, MedL. alchimia, 
Arab, al-kimid, G. -^-qiieia, ^tt/xeta, trans- 
mutation of metals (3 cent.) . This has been 
connected with G. Xrjixta, Egypt (in Plu- 
tarch), and with G. ;(i;;u.eia, pouring (x^eLV, 
to pour), whence the archaic spellings 
alcumy (Shaks.), alchymy, chymist, etc. The 
medieval forms, due to folk-etym., are 
numerous. It seems clear that the word 
came from Alexandria via the Arabs into 

alcohol. Arab, al-koh'l, the fine metallic 
powder used to darken the eyelids (see 
kohl). Later applied to fine chemical 
powders and then to subtle essences and 
quintessences. Current sense occurs first 
in alcool of wine. 

It will be a consolation to Americans to know 
that there is one place where they may enjoy an 
alcoholiday (P. M. Murphy, June, 1919). 

alcoran. F., Arab, al-qordn, the reading. Now 

usu. koran. 
alcove. F. alcove, Sp. alcova, alcoba, Arab, al- 

qobbah, the vault. 

alcoba: a closet, a close roome for a bed (Percy vail) . 
alder. AS. air, with intrusive -d-, as in elder 

(tree). Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. els, Ger. erle 





(OHG. elira), ON. olr, Goth. *alisa (whence 
Sp. aliso) ; cogn. with L. alnus. Earlier and 
dial, forms of alder appear in place- and 
surnames, e.g. Alresford, Allerton, Ollerton, 
Oldershaw, Ollerenshaw , Lightowlers, etc. 

He advises that you plant willows or owlers about 
it [the fishpond] (Compleat Angler, ch. xx.). 

alderman. AS. ealdormann. First element, 
though early confused with the compar. of 
eald, old, orig. meant patriarch, prince, 
formed from eald with the noun suffix -or. 
It is used in AS. to translate any title of 
high rank, but had also the spec, mean- 
ing now represented by earl (q.v.) which 
tended to displace it under the Dan. 

aldine [typ.']. From Aldus Manuthis, Vene- 
tian printer (ti5i5). Cf. elzevir. 

ale. AS. ealu; cf. ON. ol. See also bridal. 

aleatory. Hazardous. L. aleatorius, from alea, 
die (dice). 

alectryon. Cock. G. dAeKTpvcoj/, youth changed 
into cock. 

alegar [dial.]. Vinegar from ale. From a/e, by 
analogy with vinegar (q.v.). 

Alemannic. HG. tribe and dial, of Upper 
Rhine, now represented chiefly by Ger. 
Swiss. OHG. alaman, prob. "all man," 
whence F. allemand. 

alembic. F. alambic, Sp. alamhique , Arab, al- 
anhlq, the still, G. ajx^i^, d/xl^iK-, beaker. 
Aphet. form limbeck is obs. 
Cucurbites and alambikes eek (Chauc. G. 794). 
alamhique: a limbecke, a stiilitorie (Percy vail). 

alerion, allerion [her.]. Small spread eagle 
without beak or claws. F. alerion, formed, 
with I., suffix -io, -ion-, from MHG. adelar 
{adler), eagle, orig. compd. adel-ar, noble 
eagle. Cf. MedL. alario. 

alert. OF. a I'erte [alerte), It. all' erta for alia 
erta, to the height, L. erecta. Thus on the 
alert is pleon. Cf. alarm. 

erta: a craggie place, an upright ascent, a high 
watch-tower (Flor.). 

A I'erte et sur ses gardes (La Font. Fab. viii. 22). 
Alexandrian, Alexandrine. Of the school of G. 

learning at Alexandria (b.c. 323-A.D. 640). 
alexandrine [metr.]. Line of twelve syllables. 

Prob. from its use in a 13 cent. F. poem on 

Alexandre le Grand. 

A needless alexandrine ends the song 
That like a wounded snake drags its slow length 
along (Pope, Essay on Criticism, 359). 

alfalfa. Kind of clover. Sp., from Arab. 
fachfacha, lucerne. 

alfresco. It., in the fresh (air). See fresco. 
algarobba. Sp., Arab, al-kharrikbah, the 

carob tree. 
algebra. It., Arab, al-jebr, the reunion of 

broken parts. In early use also in the sense 

of bone-setting. 

algebra; the arte of figurative numbers or arith- 
metick. Also the art of bone-setting (Flor.). 

-algia. From G. aXyos, pain. 

algid. Cold. L. algidus, from algere, to be cold 

Algonkin. Group of NAmer. langs. F. algon- 
quin, from native name. 

algorism [archaic]. Arab., or decimal, system 
of notation; hence, arithmetic. OF. al- 
gorisme, MedL. algorisnms , Arab. al-Kho- 
wdrazml, i.e. the man of Khwdrazm, (Khiva) , 
famous Arab mathematician (fi. 9 cent.) 
through whose works the Arab, numerals 
became known in Europe. ModF. al- 
gorithme, refashioned on logarithme, also 
occurs in E. There was a ME. augrime, 
corresponding to OF. var. augorime. 

His astrelabie, longynge for his art, 
His augrym stones, layen faire apart 

(Chauc. A. 3209). 

alguazil. Sp. police officer. Sp. alguazil 
[alguacil), Arab, al-wazlr, the vizier (q.v.). 

alguazil: shiriffe, bailiff e, chief e executioner 

( Percy vail) . 
The School Board and their alguazils 

[Daily Tel. 1880). 

algum [Bibl.]. Kind of tree (2 Chron. ii. 8). 

Incorr. almug (i Kings, x. 11). Heb. algiim. 
Alhambra. Short for Arab, al-medlnat ul- 

hamrd, the red city, palace. 
alias. L., otherwise, from alius, other. 
alibi. L., for ali-ubi, otherwhere. 
alien. OF., L. alienus, of another country 

(see deport^) . Sense of insanity in alienation 

is found in L. 

Doth awey alyen goddis (Wye. Gen. xxxv. 2). 

alight^. Verb. AS. dlVitan, to spring down, 
orig. to lighten, from lihtan, to alight. 

alight^. Adj. Orig. p.p. of obs. verb alight, 
to set on fire, AS. onliehtan. Owing to in- 
fluence of ablaze, afire, etc., it is used only 

align [mil.]. F. aligner, from ligne, line^ (q.v.). 

alike. ME. yliche, usu. for AS. gellc (cf. Ger. 
gleich, OHG. gelth) with prefix altered as in 
aware. But AS. also had the less common 
anltc, onlTc and cogn. ON. dlikr, which 
would give the same result. See like. 

aliment. F., L. alimentiim, from alcre, to 
nourish. Cf. alimony, allowance for keep. 





aliquot. L., from alius and qiiot, how many. 
See quota. 

alive. ME. on live, AS. ow life, dat. of /?/, life. 

alkahest \alch.']. Universal solvent. Prob. 
sham Arab, invented by Paracelsus. 

alkali [cheni.'\. F. alcali, Arab, al-qallg, the 
calcined ashes (of certain plants), from 
qualay, to roast. Occurs in Chauc. (G. 810). 

alkanet. Plant and dye. Sp. alcaneta, dim. of 
alcana, Arab, al-hennd. See henna. 

all. AS. all, eall. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. al, 
Ger. all, ON. allr, Goth. alls. All in all 
(i Cor. XV. 28) is Vulg. omnia in omnibus. 
All to brake [Judges, ix. 53) would be more 
correctly all to-brake, i.e. quite shattered, 
to being an intens. particle, cogn. with Ger. 
zer (as in zerbrechen) , prefixed to numerous 
verbs in AS. & ME. All-fired (US.) is euph. 
for hell-fired. 
AI is to-brosten thilke regioun (Chauc. A. 2757). 

Allah. Arab, alldh, for al-ildh, the god; cf. 
Heb. eldah [Matt, xxvii. 46). 

allay. AS. dlecgan, to put down, abate, from 
lecgan, to lay, e.g. to allay a tumult. But 
early confused with allay, a ME. form of 
alloy (q.v.), from OF. aleiier, and also with 
a ME. form of OF. alegier (alleger), to 
lighten, e.g. hunger or thirst, L. alleviare. 
Hence the gen. meaning, to moderate, 

When flowing cups run swiftly round 

With no allaying Thames (Lovelace, To Althea). 

allege. Represents in sense F. alleguer, 
learned formation from L. allegare, "to 
allege or bring forth, to name" (Coop.), 
but in form OF. alegier, var. of eslegier, 
to acquit, make free, etc. This was 
latinized as adlegiare, as though from ad 
legem, and gradually assumed the meaning 
of F. alleguer, though the process is not 
quite made out. OF. eslegier represents 
VL. *ex-ledig-are, from Ger. ledig, free. 
See allegiance and liege. Alleguer would 
have given E. alleague. 

allegiance. Corrupt, of ME. legaunce, OF. 
ligeance, from lige, whence E. liege (q.v.). 
This was latinized as ligantia, as though 
from ligare, to bind. Mod. form is due to 
confusion with another (obs.) leg. term, 
allegeance (from allege). 

Ugence: liegemanship, allegiance, faith, lovaltv 


allegory. L. allegoria, G. aXX-qyopta, from 
(lAA-o?, other, ayop(.ve.Lv , to speak, from 
ayopa, place of assembly. 

allegro. It., irreg. from L. alacer, "cherefull, 
quicke of sprite or witte" (Coop.). 

alleluia. L., G. aXXqXovia, LXX. translitera- 
tion of Heb. halleia-ydh, praise ye Jah, i.e. 

alleviate. From L. alleviare, from levis, light. 
Cf. aggravate. Replaced (17 cent.) ME. 
allege, F. alleger. Cf. abbreviate, abridge. 

allerion. See alerion. 

alley^ Way, walk. F. allee, p.p. fern, of alter, 
to go. 

alley-. Marble (18 cent.). Prob. short for 
alabaster, of which such are sometimes 
made. Cf. OF. cassidoine, chalcedony, 
similarly used, and marble itself. 

alliaceous. Of garlic. L. allium. 

alligator. Sp. el lagarto, the lizard, L. lacertus. 
Earlier forms lagarto, alagarto, etc. Alli- 
gator (also avocado) pear is corrupted from 
Aztec ahuacatl, via a Sp. form alvacata. 

A fish called by the Spaniards lagarto, and by the 
Indians cayman, which is indeed a crocadile 

(Hakl. X. 216). 

alliteration. Coined from L. ad and lit{t)era, 

alliteration : a figure in rhetorick, repeating and 
playing on the same letter (Blount). 

Apt alliteration's artful aid 

(Churchill, Prophecy of Famine, 76). 

allocate. From VL. allocare, from locus, place. 

allocution. L. allocutio-n-, from alloqui, to 
address, from loqui, locut-, to speak. 

allodial [hist.]. Of lands held in absolute 
ownership. MedL. allodialis, from allodium 
(in Salic Law and Domesday Book), OHG. 
alldd, all possession. Hence also F. alien. 
OHG. od is cogn. with AS. ead, wealth, 
bliss, etc., which is the first element in so 
many AS. names. Thus our Edgar, AS. 
Eadgar, corresponds to F. Oger, OHG 
Odgar, now represented by the surname 
Odgers. Itis uncertain whether Ger. A'/e/no^, 
jewel, contains the same element. Cf. udal. 

allopathy. Ger. allopathie, coined by Hahne- 
mann (11843) to express the opposite of 
homoeopathy (q.v.). From G. aAAo?, other, 
Trd6o<;, feeling. 

allot. OF. aloter. See lot. 

A vineyard and an allotment for olives and herbs 

{NED.c. 1745). 
The small greengrocer is up against the allot- 
menteer {Ev. News, June 8, 1918). 

allotropy [biol.]. Variation of physical pro- 
perties without change of substance. From 
G. aAA.09, other, rpoTros, manner. 





allow. F, allouer, representing both L. allau- 
dare and VL. allocare. Cf. F. louer, to 
praise, L. laudare; and louer, to let, L. 
locare. From allaiidare comes the notion of 
permission based on approval, from allo- 
care that of "allocated" provision. The 
US. use of the word in the sense of 
granting, stating an opinion, still survives 
in E. dial. 

alloy. F. aloi, from aloyer, L. alligare, to bind. 
In OF. also alei (whence obs. E. allay), from 
aleiier. The same word as allier, to unite 
(cf. F. plier, plover, both from L. plicare). 
It has been suggested that the meaning of 
the word has been affected by some popular 
connection with a loi, OF. lei, thus, a 
mixture according to legal standard. See 

For if that they were put to swiche assayes, 
The gold of hem hath now so badde alayes 
With bras, that thogh the coyne be fair at eye 
It wolde rather breste a-two than plye 

(Chauc. E. 1166). 

allspice. So called because supposed to com- 
bine the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg, and 

allude. L. alhidere, from ludus, play. Cf. to 
play on (a word). 

allure. See lure. 

alluvial. From L. alluvms, washed against, 
from lucre, to wash. See deluge. 

ally^. To unite. F. allier, L. alligare, from 
ligare, to bind (see alloy). The noun is 
from the verb, the latter being recorded 
for 13 cent. 

ally^. Marble. See alley ^. 

alma. Egyptian dancing-girl (Byron). Arab. 
almah, learned. Cf. F. almde. 

almagest [archaic]. Orig. astrol. treatise by 
Ptolemy (fl. 2 cent.). OF .almageste, hvah. al- 
majiste, the greatest, borrowed from G. 
/xcyLaTT], greatest. See Scott, Lay, vi. 17. 

His Ahnageste and bookes grete and smale 

(Chauc. A. 3208). 

Alma Mater. L., gracious mother, title of 
bountiful goddess (Ceres, Cybele), from 
alere, to nourish. 

almanac. From 13 cent, in MedL. and Rom. 
langs. First in Roger Bacon. App. from 
Sp. Arab, al-mandkh, but this is not an 
Arab. word. Eusebius (4 cent.) has G. 
ttA/txei/iKittJca, calendars, perhaps from G. 
fx-qvialos, monthly, but there is a great gap 
between this and the medieval forms. 
Probabilities would point to ult. connection 
with Aryan root of moon or month, but the 

word,in spite of very numerousconjectures, 
remains a puzzle. 

In expositione tabularum, quae almanac vocantur 
(Roger Bacon, 1267). 

almandine. Kind of garnet. Earlier alaban- 
dine, L. alabaridina, from Alabanda, city of 
Caria. A poet, word (Beddoes, Tennyson, 
Browning) but app. never in general use. 
almandine: a certaine stone like a ruble (Cotg.). 

almighty. AS. eallmihtig, applied to God (9 
cent.) as rendering of L. omnipotens. See 
all, might. 

almoign, almoin [hist.l. Alms. OF. almosne 
(aumone). See alms. Now only in archaic 
frank almoin, perpetual tenure by free gift 
of charity. 

Frank almoine {libera eleemozyna) in French {frank 
ausmone) signifieth in our common law, a tenure 
or title of lands (Cowel). 

almond. OF. alamande {amande), from L. 
amygdala, G. a-ixvyhaXr,. The forms are diffi- 
cult to explain; but L. amandula (Pliny) 
is perh. altered on mandere, to chew. The 
at- is prob. due to confusion with nume- 
rous Arab, words in the Rom. langs. This is 
lost in It. mandola and Ger. niandel. 

An alemaunde tre {Vulg. amygdalus) schal floure 
(Wye. Eccles. xii. 5). 

almoner. See alms. 

Almoravides. Arab, dynasty. See marabout. 

almost. AS. eallm(§st, m^st call, most (nearly) 
all (cf. US. most all). 

alms. AS. celmesse, L. eleemosyna, G. iXerjixo- 
(Tvvr), from I'Aeo?, compassion . Early Church 
word with numerous early compds. Al- 
moner is later, through OF. almosnier [au- 
monier). To account for the forms of the 
word (OF. almosne, Ger. almosen) contact 
with L. alimonia, from alere, to support, 
feed, has been suggested. So. almous, 
awmous, is not a corrupt., but a separate 
introduction from ON. almusa. Alms, 
though sing. {Acts, iii. 3), has sometimes 
been wrongly regarded as a pi. 

For alms are but the vehicles of prayer 

(Dryden, Hind and Panther, iii. 106). 

" I thank you for your awmous," said Ochiltree 

{Antiquary, ch. xx.) 

almug [Bibl.]. Corrupt, (i Kings, x.) of 

algum (q.v.). 
alnager [histi]. Official measurer of cloth, 

abolished temj>. Will. III. OF. aulnageour, 

from aulnage (aunage), measurement, from 

au{l)ne, ell (q.v.). 
Alnaschar. As in Alnaschar dreams, oastles 

in the air. From character, the " barber's 





fifth brother," in the Arabian Nights, lit. 

"the lawyer," who has visions like those 

of the milkmaid in the fable. 
aloe. AS. aliiwe, L., G. aXoiq. Early med. 

word. Hence lignaloes (Chauc), lignum 

aloes, aromatic wood, coined like rosewood. 
aloft. ON. d lopt{i), in the air, on high, cogn. 

with AS. lyft, air (cf . Ger. lit-ft) . Naut. sense 

is later, but is combined with the original 

meaning b}^ Dibdin. 

There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft, 
To keep watch for the life of poor Jack. 

alone. Orig. all one, quite solitary (cf. Ger. 
allein). Hence all alone is pleon. By 
aphesis lone, whence lonely. Alonely occurs 
up to c. 1600. 

[Athelstan] regned first al on in Engelond 

(Trev. ii. 109). 

along. AS. andlang (cf. Ger. entlang), first 
element cogn. with G. avri, against (cf. 
answer). But in dial, along of, meaning on 
account of, owing to, it represents AS. 

And when I lay in dungeon dark, 

Of Naworth Castle, long months three. 

Till ransom'd for a thousand mark. 
Dark Musgrave it was long of thee 

(Scott, Lay, v. 29). 

aloof. Adapted from Du. te loef, to windward. 
Orig. naut., but no longer used by sailors. 
See luff. 

The Dolphin lay a loofe off and durst not come 
nere (Hakl. vii. 37). 

A coward, voide of valours proofe. 
That for deaths feare hath fied, or fought a-loofe 

(Sylv. i. 7). 

aloud. From loud, after earlier ahigh, alow, 
etc. See a-. 

Alp. L. Alpes, prob. Celt. Cf. Gael, alp, Ir. 
ealp, hill. In Switzerland used of a moun- 
tain pasture, as also in MHG. Hence 
alpenstock (Ger.). 

alpaca. Peruv. llama, having long, fine, 
woolly hair. Sp. alpaca, or alpaco, from 
el, the, and paco, native name of animal, 
al- for el- being due to association with 
numerous words in al- from Arab. Cf. 

alphabet. L. alphahetum. G. aXc^a /J-^ra, A B, 
Heb. dleph, ox, and beth, house, from Phoe- 
nician symbols. First found in 16 cent., 
though alpha and beta both occur in ME. 
Cf. abecedarian. 

Alphonsine tables \_astron.']. Compiled (1252) 
by Alphonso the Wise, king of Castile. 

already. Orig. adj., all ready, quite prepared. 

Alsatia. Latinization of F. Alsace, Ger. 
Elsass, seat of strangers, cogn. with else and 
sit. Cant name for Whitefriars (Lond.), 
sanctuary for law-breakers. See Fortunes 
of Nigel, ch. xvi. Perh. from Alsace being 
regarded as a kind of No Man's Land. 

All that neutral ground of character, which stood 
between vice and virtue; or which in fact was in- 
different to neither, where neither properly was 
called in question; that happy breathing-place from 
the burthen of a perpetual moral questioning — the 
sanctuary and quiet Alsatia of hunted casuistry — 
is broken up and disfranchised (Lamb, On the 
artificial Comedy of the last century). 

alsike. Kind of clover. From Alsike near 

Alsirat. Razor-like bridge over hell to 

Mohammedan paradise. Arab, al-sirdt, 

from L. strata, street. 

Though on al-Sirat's arch I stood 

Which totters o'er the fiery flood {Giaour). 

also. For all so, AS. eall-swd. See as. 

Altaic. Name of group of agglutinative langs., 
Ugro-Finnish, between Altai Mountains 
(Central Asia) and Arctic Ocean. 

altar. L. altare. ME. has usually awter, OF. 
auter (aiitel). An early Church word in 
most Europ. langs., but AS. usu. has 
weofod, for wig-beod, idol-table. Mod. spell- 
ing was fixed by rel. disputes of 16 cent., 
the Protestants preferring Lord's table. 

altazimuth [astron.]. Instrument for deter- 
mining altitude and azimuth. A port- 
manteau-word . 

alter. F. alterer, MedL. alterare, from alter, 
other. The F. word now always implies 

alterer: to alter, change, vary, turne from what it 
was; also, to adulterate, falsifie, sophisticate 


altercation. From L. altercari, to dispute, 
speak to each other (v.i.). 

alternate. From L. alternare, to take turns, 
from alternus, from alter, other. 

althaea. Mallow. L., G. aXOaia, cogn. with 
aXOaiveiv , to heal. 

althing [hist.l. Icelandic parliament, abolish- 
ed 1800. All thing, general assembly. Cf. 
storthing and see thirig. 

although. All though. Orig. more emphatic 
than though. Cf. albeit. 

altitude. From L. altitudo, from altiis, high. 

alto. It. alto, L. altus. High (of male voices). 

altogether. Three words in AS. See together. 
As equivalent for in puris naturalibus it 
dates from du Maurier's Trilby (1894). 




altruism. F. altruisme, coined by Auguste 
Comte {Philosophie positiviste, i. 614) from 
It. altrui, to express the opposite of 
egoism. It. altrui and F. autrui are VL. 
*alterui, from alter, other, modelled on cui ; 
cf. F. lui, from L. *illui. First used by 
Lewes (1853). See comtism. 
alum. OF. alum (alun), L. alumen. 
aluminium. Earlier aluminum. Discovered 
and named (c. 1812) by Davy, from alum. 
alumnus [univ.]. L., nurseling, from alere. 
alveolar. From L. alveolus, socket of tooth, 
dim. oialveus, channel, cogn. with G. avX6<;, 
flute, longitudinal cavity. 
alway, always. From all and way. Must once 
have referred to space, but in earliest re- 
cords to time alone. Alway, now poet., was 
the ace, and ahvays, ME. alles weis, the 
gen. Cf. once (q.v.). 
am. See be. 

amadavat. See avadavat. 
Amadis. Fantastic hero. From medieval Sp. 

and Port, romance of Amadis of Gaul. 
amadou. German tinder. F., Prov. amadou, 

lit. lover, from quick kindling. 
amain [archaic]. From main^ (q-v.) by 

analogy with other words in a-. 
amalgam. F. amalgame, MedL. amalgama (13 
cent.), of obscure origin. The most prob- 
able conjecture, supported by the OF. var. 
algame, connects it, via Arab., with G. 
ya/xos, marriage. The "marriage" of the 
metals is often referred to in alchemistic 
jargon, as in quot. 2, from Goethe, no doubt 
suggested by his study of Paracelsus. 
algame: mixtion of gold, and quick-silver (Cotg.). 
Da ward ein roter Leu (i.e. a red metal), ein klihner 

Im lauen Bad der Lilie (i.e. a white metal) vermahlt 

(Faust, i. 1043). 

amanuensis. L. (Suetonius), from a manu (sc. 
servus), with ending -ensis, as in atriensis, 
steward, from atrium, hall. 

amanuensis: a clarke or secretary alway attendyng; 
a scribe (Coop.). 

amaranth. F. amarante, L., G. afjidpavTos, 
everlasting, from d-, neg., jxapaiveiv, to 
wither. Final -h is due to influence of G. 
av6o<;, flower, as in polyanthus. 
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed [Lycidas, 149). 

amaryllis. Flower. Named by Linnaeus 
from G. 'AiJ.apvX.XLs, name of typical coun- 
try-maiden. In latter sense used by Milton 

amateur. F., L. amator-em, from amare, to 


love. Orig. one who has an interest in, or 
a taste for, anything. This is still the usual 
meaning of F. amateur. In the sense of non- 
professional ModF. uses rather dilettante 
(q.v.). L. amare is prob. from a baby- 
syllable am (see aunt). 
amati. Violin by Amati family (Cremona, 

16-17 cents.). Cf. stradivarius. 
amaurosis [med.]. Disease of eye. G., from 

dfjLavpos, dark. 
amaze. Earlier amase. AS. amasod, con- 
founded. Oldest sense, to put out of one's 
wits, stun, etc. Maze (q.v.) is of about the 
same date. Origin obscure; cf. Norw. dial. 
niasast, to lose one's senses. 
Amazon. L., G. 'Ap-a^wv, explained by the 
Greeks as from d-, neg., and pa(6<s, breast, 
the Amazons being fabled to cut off the 
right breast for convenience in archer^-. 
This is prob. folk-etym. (cf. butter and 
squirrel). The river Amazon was named by 
Sp. travellers from female warriors en- 
countered there. 
ambassador. F. ambassadeur. But E. has 
many earlier forms due to those found in 
other Rom. langs. and in MedL. Embassa- 
dor is the usual US. form; cf. embassy. L. 
ambactus, vassal, retainer, of a Gallic chief 
(Caes. De Bello Gallico, vi. 15), is said by 
Festus to be of Gaulish origin, "Ambactus 
apud Ennium lingua Gallica servus appel- 
latur." The existence of Goth, andbahti, 
office, service, AS. ambiht, idem, OHG. 
ambahti (Ger. amt), all very common words, 
has suggested Teut. origin; but it is gener- 
ally believed that these are very early loans 
from Celt., the origin being amb-, round 
about, and the root ag-, to go, cogn. with 
L. amb- and agere (see ambiguous). 
amber. F. ambre, Arab, anbar, ambergris, a 
word brought home by Crusaders. E. 
amber is now replaced in this sense by 
ambergris, F. ambre gris, and is used only 
of fossil resin, F. ambre jaune. This has no 
connection at all with ambergris, but the 
two substances were confused, both being 
found by the seashore. 
ambergris. See amber. The spellings amber- 
grease (Macaulay), ambergreece are due to 
folk-etym. For association with amber cf. 
Norw. Dan. hvalrav, ambergris, lit. whale- 
ambi-, amb-. L. ambi-, about, cogn. with G. 

dp.(f)i, on both sides, 
ambidexter. Late L., from ambi (v.s.) and 
dexter. See dexterous. 





ambient. From pres. part, of L. ambire, to go 

about (v.s.). 
ambiguous. From L. ambiguus, from am- 

bigere, from amb- and agere, lit. to drive 

both ways. Cf. desultory, prevaricate. 
ambit. L. ambitus, going roimd (v.i.). 
ambition. F. ambition, L. ambitio-n-, lit. 

going about (for votes), from ambire, from 

amb- and ire, it-, to go. 

ambire: to goe about; to sue or stand for an office 

Agrippa and Bernyce camen with moche ambicioun 
[G. yuerd ttoW^s (pavTaalas] (Wye. Acts, xxv. 23). 

amble. F. ambler, L. ambulare, to walk. 

ambo [A/s^!.]. Reading-desk in early Christian 
churches. L., G. ajx/3(ov, from dva/^atVeiv, to 
go up. 

Amboyna wood. From Amboyna, one of the 

ambrosia. L., G. afxfipocria, food of the im- 
mortals, from afx/SpoTO's, immortal, from 
a-, neg., ^poro's (for p.^poT6<;), cogn. with L. 
mortuus. Hence ambrosial, divine, often 
with reference to the fragrance associated 
with the gods. 

ambry, aumbry [diaLI. Storehouse, cupboard. 
Earlier armary, ahnery, OF. armarie, al- 
marie, L. armariurn, "where bookes are 
layd or other stuffe of household " (Coop.), 
orig. place for arms and tools. The -/- of 
OF. alniarie is due to dissini., but there has 
also been confusion with almonry. Cf. also 
Ger. dial, aimer. ModF. armoire, cupboard, 
is the same word with change of suffix. 

almoire: an ambrie; cup-boord; box. Look 
armoire (Cotg.). 

The Eleemosinary, or Almonry, now corruptly 
the Ambry, for that the alms of the abbey were 
there distributed to the poor (Stow). 

ambs-ace, ames-ace [archaic]. OF. ambes-as 
(L. ambos asses), two aces, lowest throw at 
dice. See ace. Still in gen. use in Munster 
in ivithin an aim's-ace of. 

ambulance. F. ambulance , earlier hopital am- 
bulant, from L. ambulare, to travel. Intro- 
duced into E. during Crimean War (1854 


ambury. See anbury. 

ambuscade. F. embuscade. It. imboscata or Sp. 
emboscada, p.p. fern, oiimboscare, emboscar, 
to "enbush" (see bosky). The form am- 
buscado {Rom. &■ Jul. i. 4), common in 17 
cent., is a specimen of the pseudo-Sp. 
words then popular. Cf. camerado, cami- 
sado, etc. See ambush. 

ambush. OF. embusche (embUche), from em- 

buscher, to hide in the woods, now replaced, 
under the influence of embuscade, by em- 

embuscher: to belay, to lay in ambuscadoe for; 
to waylay (Cotg.). 

ame damnee. F., familiar spirit; orig. soul 
damned by compact with controlling 

Ameer. Of Afghanistan. See emir. 

ameliorate. From F. ameliorer, OF. ameillorer, 
from a and meilleur, L. melior-em, better. 

amen. L., G. d/Avyv, Heb. d-men, certainty, 
truth, used as expression of consent, etc. 
In AS. transl. by sdthlice, soothly, or swd 
hit sy, so let it be. Cf. sobeit and F. ainsi 

amenable. Orig. liable to be brought before 
jurisdiction. AF., from F. amener, VL. 
*ad-minare, from minari, to threaten, 
whence mener, amener, to lead. The tran- 
sition in sense of the VL. word was prob. 
from cattle-driving. 

amend. F. amender, VL. *amendare ioremen- 
dare, from mendum, fault. Hence aphet. 
mend, which has supplanted amend in most 
senses. Amends, as in make amends, is F. 
amende, from the verb. The earliest mean- 
ing in both langs. is pecuniary reparation, 
fine. The prevalence of the pi. form in E. 
is curious, but it is usu. treated as a sing. 

amende: a penalty, fine, mulct, amerciament; an 
amends made by an offendor to the law violated, or 
party wronged (Cotg.). 

amenity. From L. anioenitas , from amoenus, 
pleasant. Orig. of places, as still in loss of 
amenity (as result of industrial operations). 

amerce [archaic]. Earlier amercy, AF. amer- 
cier, to fine. Formed from merci, mercy, 
grace. The phrase estre a merci, to be at 
mercy, i.e. at the discretion of the tribunal, 
was corrupted to estre amercie, and thus a 
verb was evolved which, at first, in accord- 
ance with its origin, was used only in the 
passive. For a similar case of a verb formed 
from an adv. phrase see abandon. 

Frans hom ne seit amerciez pour petit forfet 

(Magna Charta). 

American. In 16 cent. American Indian; 
current sense from end of 18 cent. Ameri- 
canism (of speech) is recorded for 1794. 
The continent is named from Amerigo 
Vespucci, 15 cent, navigator. 

Another Italian, Americus Vesputius, carried the 
name away from them both [Columbus, Cabot] 

ames-ace. See ambs-ace. 





amethyst. Restored spelling of ME. amstist, 
OF. ametiste {amethyste) , L., G. dfxiOvaTo<; , 
from a-, neg., jx^dva-KeLv, to intoxicate, be- 
cause supposed to act as a charm against 
intoxication . 

D'Inde nus vient iceste piere, 
Et est a entallier legiere. 
Ki I'a sur sei n'eniverra, 
Ne ja vins ne I'estordira 

(Lapidaire de Marhod, 12 cent.). 

Amex [neol.]. Members of American £,rpe- 
dition in France (19 17). Cf. Anzac. 

amiable. Represents fusion of OF. amable, L. 
amabilis, from aniare, to love, and mniable, 
L. amicabilis, from cogn. amicus, friend. 
The former has become in ModF. aimable, 
under influence of aimer. Not orig. differ- 
entiated from native lovely. 

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts 

[Ps. Ixxiv. i). 

amianthus [min.]. For amiantus, L., G. 
d/AtavTos, undefiled, from a-, neg., fj.aiaiv€iv, 
to defile, because, being incombustible, it 
can be purified by fire. 

amicable. Late L. amicabilis, from amicus, 
friend, from amare, to love. 

amice [archaic]. Two different words have 
become confused here, both in form and 
meaning. In the sense of a square of white 
linen worn by the celebrant priest, amice, 
earlier amit, is OF. amit, L. amictus, from 
amicere, to cast round, from ambi- and 
jacere. The amice gray, a furred cape worn 
by religious orders, and variously de- 
scribed, is F. aumusse, with many me- 
dieval cognates (MedL. almucia) in the 
Rom. langs. Thence it appears to have 
passed into Du. [almutse) and Ger. [almuz), 
now reduced by aphesis to muts and miitze, 
a cap. From Du. comes Sc. mutch. The 
earlier history of the word is unknown, 
though the forms suggest Arab, origin. 
The confusion between the two appears in 
their earliest records, e.g. in Wyclif, who 
uses amice to translate both amictus and 
capitium, the latter corresponding rather 
to F. aumusse. 

The torch's glaring ray 

Show'd, in its red and flashing light, 

His wither'd cheek and amice white 

[Lord of the Isles, ii. 23). 
A palmer's amice wrapt him round. 
With a wrought Spanish baldric bound 

(Lay, ii. 19). 

amid. AS. on middan (dat.), whence ME. a- 
midde. This became a-middes, with gen. -s 
added to many adv. expressions. The -t is 

excrescent. Cf. hist, of against, amongst. 

Hence also aphet. 'mid, 'midst. See mid. 
amir. See emir. 
amiss. From miss''- (q.v.). To take amiss was 

orig. to misunderstand, "mis take" (v.i.). 

Cf . sense-development of misunderstanding . 

This dreem takun a mys turneth upsedoun the 

chirche (Wye). 

amity. F. amitie, VL. *amicitas, -tat-, for 
amicitia, from amicus, friend, from amare, 
to love. 

ammonia. Mod. coinage (1782) from sal 
ammoniac, F. ammoniac, L., G. aixfxwvtaKOv, 
from Ammonia, region in Libya near shrine 
of Jupiter Ammon, where the salt is said to 
have been first obtained from camel's dung. 
Cf. ammonite. 

Arsenyk, sal armonyak, and brymstoon 

(Chauc. G. 79«). 

ammonite [geol.]. ModL. ammonites (18 cent.), 
for fossil called in MedL. cornu Ammonis, 
from its resemblance to the horns of Jupiter 
Amman. "A/x/acoj/ is G. form of Egypt, deity 
Amun. See ammonia. 

The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn 

[Ode on Nativity, xxii.). 

ammunition. Colloq. F. I'amunition (16-17 
cent.), for la munition (see munition), by 
wrong separation of def. art. Formerly 
applied to all mil. stores, e.g. ammunition 
boots (bread, etc.). 

Les soldats disent "pain d'amonition"; mais les 
officiers disent "pain de munition" (Menage). 

amnesia. G. afxvyja-ia, forgetfulness (v.i.). 

Cf. aphasia. 
amnesty. L., G. d/xv>yo-Tta, oblivion, from 

d-, neg., jxvacrOai, to remember. Cf. mne- 
amnion [anat.]. Membrane enclosing fetus. 

G. afjLVLov, caul, dim. of d/Avos, lamb. 
amoeba. Microscopic animalcule perpetually 

changing. G. a.ixoL(3r], change. 
amok. See amuck. 
among, amongst. AS. on gemang, the latter a 

noun, mingling, crowd, from gemengan, to 

mingle (q.v.). For spurious -s-t cf. again, 

against, amid, amidst. 
amontillado. Sp., sherry having flavour of 

Montilla, dry sherry from hill district so 

amoral [weo/.]. Coined on amorphous, etc. to 

express absence of moral sense. 
amorous. F. amoureux. Late L. amorosus, 

from amor, love, which is prob. from baby 

lang. (see aunt). 





amorphous. From G. dfjLopcjio<;, shapeless, 
from a-, neg., fjiopcji^, shape. 

amortize. F. amortir, amortiss-, from a and 
niort, death. For form cf. advertise and 
MedL. amortizare. In ME. to aUenate in 
mortmain. Sense of extinguishing a debt 
is quite mod. {NED. 1882) and is imitated 
from F. amortir une dette. 

amount. First as verb. OF. amow^e^r, to mount 
up, from aniont, up hill, L. ad monteni. 
Earher used also in sense of mount. 

So up he rose, and thence amounted streight 

{Faerie Queene, i. ix. 54). 

amour. F., L. amor-em. A common ME. 
word for love, later accented dmour (cf. 
enamour) . Now with suggestion of intrigue 
and treated as a F. word. 
The amoors of Lotharius Learoyd 

(Private Ortheris). 

ampere. Unit of electricity. Adopted by 
Paris Electric Congress (1881) from name 
of F. electrician (11836). Cf. ohm, volt. 

ampersand [archaic]. The sign &, formerly 
is:', ligature of et. This ended the "criss- 
cross row" of the hornbook, which was 
repeated aloud by children — "A per se A, 
B per se B, ... and per se and." Common 
in dial, with numerous vars. 
The pen commandeth only twenty-six letters, it 
can only range between A and Z; these are its 
limits — I had forgotten and-pussy-and (Southey). 
Tommy knew all about the work. Knew every 
letter in it from A to Emperzan (Pett Ridge). 

amphi-. G. d/x<^t, on both sides, cogn. with 
L. ambi-. Hence, amphibia, L., G. d/A<^i;Sta, 
neut. pi., from j3lo<;, life; amphibology, F. 
amphibologie, Late L., from G. afxcfufSoXLa, 
ambiguity, from ^dXAeiv, to cast; amphi- 
brach, metr. foot, e.g. dmdtd, L., from G. 
jSpaxvs, short (on both sides) ; amphictyonic, 
orig. council of Greek States, G. d/i,<^tKn'ov€S, 
those dwelling around. 

amphigouri, amphigory. Rigmarole. F. am- 
phigouri (18 cent.). Origin ob.scure. 
? Coined from G. afx<f>L and ywpos, circle (cf. 
roundabout , circumlocution) . 

amphimacer. Metr. foot, e.g. cdrltds. L., 
from G. /xaK/Dos, long (on both sides) ; cf . 

amphisbaena. Fabled two-headed serpent. G. 
afx(f)icrl3aLva, from d/x(f)L<;, both ways, /Satveiv, 
to go. 

amphitryon. Host, entertainer. From 
Moliere's Amphitryon, adapted from 

Le veritable Amphitryon est 1' Amphitryon ou Ton 
dine (iii. 5). 

amphora. L., two-handled vessel, from G. 
dfjicfiL, on both sides, ^epetv, to bear. In L. 
also ampora. 

ample. F., L. ampins, from prefix amb-, ambi-, 
about, and -plus as in duplus, double. 

ampulla. Globular vessel. "L., diva., ol amphora 

amputate. From L. aniputare, from amb-, 
about, and putare, to lop, prune. Thus, 
metaphor from gardening. 

amuck, amok. Malay amoq, rushing in a state 
of frenzy to the commission of indiscrimi- 
nate murder. First Europ. form (c. 1500) is 
Port, amoiico, amuco, used of a frenzied 
Malay. Now only in to run amuck. Some- 
times erron. understood as a muck, 
amoucos: a sort of rash people in India (Vieyra). 
Frontless and satire-proof, he scours the streets, 
And runs an Indian muck at all he meets 

(Dryden, Hind and Panther, iii. 1187). 
Thy cliffs, dear Dover, harbour and hotel. 

Thy custom-house, with all its delicate duties, 
Thy waiters running mucks at every bell 

{Don Juan, x. 69). 
The German submarines have been running amok 
among Norwegian trading-vessels 

{Daily Chron. Oct. 26, 1916). 

amulet. F. amulette, L. amuletum, ? for amo- 
litum, from amoliri, to avert; used to 
translate G. ^vXaKT-qpiov , from <^vXa^, 
(fivXaK-, guard (see phylactery). 

amuse. F. amuser (see muse). Not in Shaks. 
Orig. to make to muse, occupy the atten- 
tion, and even trick, delude. So also 
amusement, distraction, orig. rather loss of 
time. The sense-development has been 
curious, and more of the orig. meaning is 
found in bemuse. 

amuser: to amuse; to make to muse, or think of, 
wonder, or gaze at; to put into a dumpe; to stay, 
hold, or delay from going forward by discourse, 
questions, or any other amusements (Cotg.). 
This... if well heeded, might save us a great deal of 
useless amusement and dispute (Locke). 
Le moindre amusement [delay] peut vous etre fatal 

{Tartufe, v. 6). 

amygdaloid [^eo/.]. Igneous rock. Lit. almond- 
shaped. See almond. A mygd- in med. terms 
refers to the tonsils, pop. called " almonds." 

amyl- [chem.}. From G. d.p.vXov, starch. 

an^. Adj. Orig. ident. with one (q.v.), x\S. dn. 
Cf. double use of F. itn, Ger. ein. / n was re- 
duced early to a before a consonant. In Sc. 
ane has survived both as numeral and art. 

an^. Archaic conj. In an it please you, etc. 
See and. 

an-. As G. prefix for ana- (q.v.) or lor d- neg. 
before vowel. 

45 ana 

ana. Collection of sayings, gossip, etc. con- 
nected with any person, or (sometimes) 
place. Orig. neut. pi. of L. adj. ending 
-anus, as in Virgiliana, things relating to 

Boswell's Life of Johnson... is the ana of all anas 


ana-, an-. G. avd, of rather vague meaning, 
upon, up, back, again; cogn. with on. 

anabaptist. Fiom G. dvd, over again, /SairTL- 
t,£Lv, to baptise. Orig. Ger. sect of early 
1 6 cent. 

anabasis. Expedition. From Xenophon's 
Anabasis (of Cyrus). G. dvdySao-ts, going up, 
from j8atv€iv, to go. 

anachronism. F. anachronisme, L., G. dva- 
Xpovicr/xos, from dvd, backwards, ;(pdvos, 

anacoluthon [gram.]. Failure in grammatical 
sequence. From G. dvuKoXovOos, not fol- 
lowing, inconsequent, from dv-, neg., dKo- 
\gv6o<;, following. Cf. acolyte. 

anaconda. Orig. large serpent found in 
Ceylon, anacandaia (Ray). Now used 
vaguely of any boa or python. Not now 
known in Singhalese, but perh. orig. mis- 
application of Singhalese henakandayd, 
whip snake, lit. lightning-stem. It has 
been suggested that the mistake may have 
been due to a confusion of labels in the 
Leyden Museum, Ray's source for the 
word . 

anacreontic. Lyric poetry suggesting metre 
or style of 'Ava/cpeW (fl. 6 cent. B.C.). 

anadem [poet.']. Wreath. L., G. dvdhrjfjia, 
fillet, from Seeti/, to bind. 

anadromous. Fish ascending river to spawn 
(e.g. salmon). From G. Spapieiv, to run. 

anadyomene. Epithet of Venus. G., diving 
up, from dvahv^a-Oai, to rise from the sea. 

anaemia. G. dvatfxia, from dv-, neg., at/xa, 

anaesthetic. First employed (1848) in mod. 
sense by Sir J. Y. Simpson, who introduced 
use of chloroform. See aesthetic. 

anaglyph [arch.]. Low relief ornament. G. 
di/ayAvi^r/, from yXvcfieLV, to hollow out. 

anagogic. G. dvaywyiKos, mystical, from dvd- 
yciv, to lead up, elevate. 

anagram. F. anagramnie , from G. dvaypafx- 
/xart^civ, to transpose letters, from ypdixfj.a, 
letter. A famous example is Honor est a 
Nilo, Horatio Nelson. 

Anak. Giant. IJsu.sonofAnak (Josh. xiv.i^). 

analects. Literary gleanings. G. dvdXtKTa, 
neut. pL, from Ae'yetv, to gather. 



analogy. L., G. dvaXoyta, from dvd, up to, 
A.dyo?, ratio. Orig. math., but used in 
wider sense by Plato. 

analysis. G. dvdXva-LS, from Xveiv, to loose. 

ananas. Pine-apple. Guarani (Brazil) andnd. 
Early transported to Africa (Purch.). 

anapaest. Metr. ' foot, e.g. remanent. G. 
dvdTraKTTos , struck back, reversed, because 
representing a reversed dactyl, from dvd, 
back, iraUiv, to strike. 

anarchy. F. anarchie, MedL., G. dvap)(ia, 
from dv-, neg., dp^ds, chief (see arch-). 
Anarchist in mod. sense is one of the by- 
products of the French Revolution. 

Ce nom d'anarchistes que depuis deux ans on affecte 
de donner aux brigands (Laharpe, 1797). 

anarthrous [anat.]. Jointless (see arthritis). 
In G. of nouns used without art. 

anastatic [typ.]. From G. dvacrTaTos, stand- 
ing up. See static. 

anastomosis. Intercommunication. G., from 
dvao-To/xdctv, to furnish with a mouth, o-rd/xa. 

anathema. L., G. dvdOe/xa, var. of dvdOrjfxa, 
an offering, from dvd, up, riOevaL, to set. 
Orig. an accursed thing, later applied to 
persons and to the Divine curse. 

anatomy. F. anatomic, L., G. dvaro/xia, from 
dvd, up, tIixvuv, to cut (see atom). Vivi- 
section was once called live {quick) anatomy. 
The meaning skeleton is common in 16-17 
cent, and in mod. dial., aphet. atomy being 
often used in this sense. 

anbury, ambury [vet. & bot.]. Spongy wart. 
Prob. for angberry (see agnail), confused 
with dial, amper, swelling, L. ampulla. 

moro: a mulberie tree; also a wart in a horse called 
an anburie (Flor.). 

ancestor. OF. ancestre (ancetre), L. antecessor, 
fore-goer. ME. had also ancessour, from 
OF. ace, L. antecessor-em ; hence mod. 
ending -or. Cf. forbear"^. 

For gentillesse nys but renommee 

Of thyne auncestres, for hire heigh bountee 

(Chauc. D. 1159). 

anchor. AS. ancor, very early loan from L. 
ancora, G. dyKvpa, from dy/co?, bend. App. 
the only L. naut. word adopted by the 
Teut. langs. (cf. Ger. anker, ON. akkeri). 
The spelling anchor is after corrupt L. form 
anchora. The anchor ivatch is set while the 
ship lies at anchor. 

anchorite, anchoret. Earlier also anachorete, 
F. anachorete , L., G. dvaxoyp'']T-r]<;, from dvd, 
back, xwp€€iv, to withdraw. Form has been 
influenced by the older anchor, anker, fem. 





anchoress, representing the same word 
borrowed by AS., and surviving up to 
c. 1600. Cf. the 13th cent. Ancren Riwle, 
or Rule of Nuns, in which the name is 
pseudo-etym. explained as a metaphor, the 
nuns being "anchors" of Holy Church. 
Shaks. uses anchor {Haml. iii. 2). 
anachorete: the hermet called an ankrosse, or 
anchorite (Cotg.). 

anchovy. 'Earlier anchove.Sp.anchova. Forms 
of theword are found in all the Rom. langs., 
and F. anchois, app. a pL, is rather older 
than our word. Origin unknown. 

anchylosis [med.']. Stiffness of joints. G., 
from dyKt'Xo?, crooked, cogn. with angW^'^. 

ancient. F. ancien, VL. *antianns, from ante; 
cf. It. anziano, Sp. anciano. Often incorr. 
used formerly, e.g. by Shaks., for ensign in 
both senses ( I Hen. IV, iw. 2.; iHen.IV.ii. 4). 

ancillary. Subordinate, from L. ancilla, hand- 
maid, dim. of archaic L. anca. 
Others are engaged in war-work or munitions work 
or on contracts ancillary thereto 

(Lord Chief Justice, Nov. 15, 1916). 

and. AS. and, end. Aryan; cf. Du. en, Ger. 
und, ON. endr, Goth, and, Sanskrit dtha; 
cogn. with L. ante, G. avri, against, juxta- 
posed, and with end. See also answer. It 
was used not only as a simple copulative, 
but also to introduce a condition, in which 
sense it was often reduced to an and 
strengthened with a redundant if. This 
survives in the archaic an it please you, 
where older editions of Shaks. have and. 

But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart 

(Matt. xxiv. 48). 

andante {mus.']. It., pres. part, of andare, to 
go, ? from L. ad and nare, to swim (cf. 
arrive). ? Or from L. ambitare (see ambit). 

andiron. ME. aundire, etc., OF. andier, now 
landier, for I'andier. Ending is assimilated 
by folk-et}TTi. to br andiron, a word of 
somewhat similar meaning. A further dial, 
corrupt, is handiron. See also gridiron. 
MedL. forms are numerous, andena, an- 
derius, under us, etc. ?From a Gaulish 
*andera, young cow (cf. Welsh anner, 
heifer). Cf. synon. fire-dog, F. chenet, Ger. 
feuerbock, lit. fire-goat. 

Andrea Ferrara [hist.]. Sc. broad-sword. 
Andrea dei Ferrari, i.e. Andrew of the 
armourers, was a famous 16 cent, sword- 
smith of Belluno, but it seems unlikely that 
any great number of his costly blades could 
have got to Scotland. According to some 

Sc. authorities the native blades were made 
by Andrew Ferrars or Ferrier (?of Ar- 
broath), who again, according to a popular 
legend, may have been the Italian in exile. 
See Cornh. Mag. Aug. 1865. 

Andrew. Patron saint of Scotland ; hence St 
Andrew's cross on the national flag, sup- 
posed to be the shape of the cross (X) used 
at his martyrdom. Merry Andrew, quack's 
attendant, is from the common use of 
Andrew as name for a serving-man (cf. 
abigail, zany , j ack -pudding) . See also dandy. 

androgynous [anat.]. Hermaphrodite. From 
G. avSpdyuvos, from av-qp, av^p-, man, yvvr] 

Andromeda [astron.]. G. maiden rescued 
from sea-monster by Perseus. Also used of 
a genus of shrubs. 

anecdote. F., MedL., G. avUZora, neut. pi., 
things unpublished, from av-, neg., ck8i- 
Somi, to give out. It thus corrtteponds 
exactly to F. inedit. Orig. private or secret 
details. Anecdotage, for garrulous old age, 
with a play on dotage, is a coinage attribut- 
ed to John Wilkes. 

Those who pretend to write anecdotes, or secret 
history {Gulliver). 

anele [archaic]. To give extreme unction 

{Haml. i. 5). ME. anelien, from ele, oil, L. 

anemone. L., G. dvc/AcovT/, wind-flower, lit. 

daughter of the wind, dve/x,os. 
anent. AS. on efen, on a level, with excrescent 

-/. Orig. side by side with, as still in dial. ; 

cf. foment, opposite, now esp. Ir. So also 

Ger. neben, near, beside, is for older eneben. 

In ME. anentis, anenst is the usu. form (cf. 

against). The word is very common in Sc. 

law, its use by ModE. writers being an 


I cam to Jerusalem, for to se Petre, and dwellide 
anentis him [Vulg. apud eum] fifteene dayes 

(Wye. Gal. i. 18). 

aneroid. F. anero'ide, coined from G. d-, neg., 

vr]p6<i, damp, 
aneurism [med.]. Morbid dilatation of artery. 

From G. avevpvvetv, from cvpyvav, to open, 
anew. Earlier of new; cf. F. de nouveau. 

Ther kan no man in humblesse hym acquite 
As wommen kan, ne kan been half so trewe 
As wommen been, but it be falle of newe 

(Chauc. E. 936). 

anfractuosity. F. anfractuosite, from L. 
anfractuosus, winding, roundabout, from 
anfractus, a breaking round, bending, from 
ambi- and frangere, fract-, to break. 





angel. AS. engel, L., G. ayycXos, messenger, 
used by LXX. to translate Heb. mal'dk, 
messenger (of Jehovah). Orig. sense in 
angel of death. Adopted by all the converted 
nations. ModE. form is due to influence of 
L. and of OF. angle, angele [ange) . The coin 
called an angel (15 cent.) was anew issue of 
the noble, stamped with St Michael and the 
Dragon. This was the coin always presented 
to patients touched for the " King's evil." 

Like those of angels, short and far between 

(Blair, Grave). 
Angel visits, few and far between 

(Campbell, Pleasures of Hope, ii. 386). 

angelica. Herb. MedL. herba angelica, so 
named from reputed, med. qualities (16 

angelus. From init. word of devotional 
exercise repeated at the ringing of the 
angelus bell — Angelus domini nuntiavit 
Mariae... Mod. currency is due to Long- 
fellow (Evangeline). 

anger. ON. angr, cogn. with L. angere (see 
anguish). Orig. rather in passive sense of 
pain, affliction, etc. ? Influenced in later 
sense by OF. engres, vehement, passionate, 
L. ingressus. 

To suffren al that God sente syknesses and angres 
(Piers Plowm. C. xxii. 291). 

angina [med.]. L. angina, quinsy, from angere 
(v.s.), cogn. with G. dyxovrj. Usu. mis- 
pronounced angina. See anguish, quinsy. 

angio-. From G. dyyeioi/, dim. of ayyos, vessel, 

angle^. Verb. From obs. angle, fish-hook, 
AS. angel, dim. of AS. anga, onga, prickle, 
goad, ult. cogn. with L. uncus, and also 
with angle-. So also the hist. Angles took 
their name from Angul, ON. Ongull, a 
hook-shaped district in Holstein. 

The fishers also shall mourn, and aU they that cast 
angle [Vulg. hamus] into the brooks shall lament 

(Is. xix. 8). 

angle^. Noun. F., L. angulus, corner; cf. G. 

ayKos, bend. See angle'^. 
Anglian [ling.]. Used to include Mercian and 

Northumbrian (see angle'^). East Anglian 

includes Norfolk and Suffolk. 
Anglican. From 17 cent.; but MedL. form — 

Anglicana ecclesia — occurs in Magna Charta 

and earlier. App. modelled on Gallicanus. 

Becket couples the words in a letter to the 

Pope (1169). 
Anglo-French [ling.]. French as spoken in 

England c. 1 100-1400, chiefly from the 

Norman dial, of OF. 

anglomania. First used in US. (18 cent.). Cf. 
later anglophobia, modelled on hydrophobia. 

Anglo-Saxon. Sometimes understood as re- 
ferring to mixture of Angles and Saxons, 
but orig. used to distinguish the English 
Saxons from the continental Saxons (cf. 
Anglo-French). It was applied esp. to the 
people of Wessex and the other -sex 
counties. The word fell out of use after 
the Conquest and does not reappear till 
c. 1600, when Camden, in his antiquarian 
and philological writings, adopted Anglo- 
Saxonicus or English Saxon as a name for 
the old English lang., which, like the 
race, had during the Middle Ages been 
known as Saxon only. Anglo-Saxon is now 
often replaced, e.g. in the NED., by Old 
English, which serves to mystify the lay- 
man. At the same time Anglo-Saxon is a 
misnomer, as it strictly applies to only one 
of the three invading tribes. 

angola. See Angora. 

Angora. Mod. name of Ancyra, in Asia 
Minor, famous for breed of goats, and cats, 
with long silky hair. Hence a material, 
often corrupted to angola. 

angostura, angustura. A bark, used for 
making bitters, from a town on the 
Orinoco formerly so named. Now Ciudad 

angry. See anger. 

anguine [biol.]. Of the snake, L. anguis, 

anguish. OF. anguisse (angoisse), L. angustia, 
compression, from angustus, narrow; cogn. 
with anger, anxious, quinsy, and possibly 
with pang. Cf. Ger. bange, anxious, from 
OHG. ango (enge), narrow, with prefix be-. 

anharmonic. Not harmonic. G. av-, neg. 

an-hungered [Bibl.]. For earlier a-hungered, 
with a- for earlier of- (cf. anew) with intens. 
force. Cf. Ger. abgehungert, starving, where 
the prefix is cogn. with E. of. See athirst. 

anhydrous. G. a.vvhpo<;, from av-, neg., vSw/j, 

anigh. Mod. sham antique, modelled on afar. 
A favourite word with William Morris. 

Mister Close expressed a wish that he could only get 
anigh to me; 

And Mister Martin Tupper sent the following reply 
to me (Gilbert, Gentle Pieman). 

anile. L. anilis, imbecile, from anus, old 

aniline. Coined by Fritzsche (1841) from anil, 
indigo. F., Sp. anil, Arab. Pers. annil for 
al-ml, the indigo, orig. meaning (Sanskrit) 





dark blue, as in the Nilgherries, or Blue 
Hills. Cf. nylghau. 

animadvert. L. aniniadvertere , for anhnuni 
advertere, to turn the mind to, take cogni- 
zance of. For sense-development cf. twit. 

animal. L., for animale, neut. of animalis, 
having breath of life, anima. Not in A V. 
(see beast). Animal spirits orig. (16 cent.) 
meant nerve force considered as centred in 
the brain ; contrasted with vital and natural 
spirits. The earliest record -in NED. for 
mod. sense is 181 3 {Pride and Prejudice). 

The braine for the animall spirite, the heart for the 
vitall, and the hver for the naturall {NED. 1594). 

animalcule. L. dim. animalculum. A pi. 
animalculae is often used by the ignorant. 

animate. From L. animare, to give breath to 
(see animal). Cf. G. a.vefjio<i, wind. 

animosity. F. animosite, Late L. animositas, 
from animus, spirit. Not orig. hostile feeling. 
Cf. animus (19 cent.) for similar sense-deve- 

anise. F. anis, L., G. aviaov. There is also 
an- obs. anet, L., G. avrjdov, dial, form of 
above. Aniseed is ior anise seed. F. anisette, 
liqueur, is a dim. of anis. 

That tithen mente, anese [var. anete] and comyn 

(Wye. Matt, xxiii. 23). 

anker [archaic]. Cask. In most Teut. langs., 
earliest in Du. Older is MedL. anceria, 
ancheria, a small vat. Origin obscure; 
? OHG. hant-kar, hand tub. 

ankle. AS. ancleow. The first element is 
perh. related to angle''-, while the ending 
suggests claw; cf. Du. enclaauw, OHG. 
anchldo, ON. okkla. But this will not 
explain ME. ankyl, mod. ankle, which 
appears to represent a Fris. or Scand. 
form; cf. Du. enkel, Dan., Sw. ankel, also 
Ger. enkel, used in some dials, for the more 
usual knochel (see knuckle). 

ankylosis. See anchylosis. 

anlace [hist.]. Kind of dagger. Metath. of 
OF. alenas, from alene, awl (cf. cutlass). 
This suggests that it was not a blade, but 
a kind of stiletto, used as a dagger of 
mercy (quot. 2). See awl. 

Genus cultelli, quod vulgariter anelacius dicitur 

(Matthew Paris). 

Un alenas en sa main 

Cherche des armeures I'estre [joint] 

Pour lui ocire et afiner (Due. 1308), 

An anlaas, and a gipser al of silk 

Heeng at his girdel, whit as morne milk 

(Chauc. A. 357). 

His harp in silken scarf was slung, 

And by his side an anlace hung [Rokeby, v. 15). 

anna. Sixteenth part of a rupee. Hind. 

annals. F. annates, L. annates (sc. libri), year- 
books, from annus, year. 

annates [hist.]. First fruits, payment to 
Rome of first year's income by newly 
appointed ecclesiastics. F. annate, MedL. 
annata (whence also F. annee). Transferred 
to the Crown at Reformation and later 
used to establish the fund called Queen 
Anne's Bounty. 

anneal. AS. on-(slan, to set on fire, bake 
(tiles, etc.), whence ME. anele. Perh. in- 
fluenced by OF. neeler {nieller). It. niellare, 
VL. *nigellare, to blacken. 
Up on the walles of anelid [var. bakun] tyil 

(Wye. Is. xvi. 7). , 

annelid [zool.]. ModL. annelida (Lamarck), 
from F. annele, ringed, from OF. annel 
{anneau), L. annellus, dim. of annulus. 

annex. Orig. to attach. F. annexer, from L. 
annexus, from ad, to, nectere, nex-, to bind. 
Cf. F. annexe, supplementary building. 

annihilate. From Late L. annihilare, to reduce 
to nothing, nihil. Ci.F.aneantir. Seenihilist. 

anniversary. L. anniversarius (adj.), return- 
ing yearly, from annus, year, vertere, vers-, 
to turn. 

Anno Domini. L., in the year of the Lord. 

annotate. Elaborated from earlier annate (16 
cent.), F. annoter, L. annotare. Occurs first 
in Johns, as gloss to comment. See note. 

announce. F. annoncer, L. annuntiare, from 
ad and nuntius, messenger. Hence an- 
nunciation, earliest in ref. to Virgin Mary. 

annoy. OF. enoier, VL. *in-odiare, from the 
phrase in odio, in hatred; cf. It. annoiare, 
Sp. enojar. The E. word occurs first as a 
noun, and its earlier sense was much 
stronger than at present. Ennui is formed 
from ModF. ennuyer, from tonic stem of 

We licence our said cosyn [the Earl of Cumberland] 
to anoye the Kinge of Spayne and his subjects, and 
to burne, kill, and slaye, as just and needefuU cause 
shall require (Queen Elizabeth). 

annual. Earlier annuel, ¥., Late L. annualis, 

for annalis, from annus, year. 
annuity. F. annuitd, MedL. annuitas, from 

L. annuus. An old word in both langs. 
annul. F. annuler, L. annullare, to reduce to 

naught, nullum; see null and cf. annihilate. 
annular. L. annularis, from annulus, ring, 
annunciation. See announce. 
anode [electr.]. Positive pole. G. avoSo?, way 

up, from 680s, way. Cf. cathode. 




anodyne. L., G. dvM8vvo<;, painless, from dv-, 
neg., 68vv7], pain. 

anoint. Orig. p.p. of OF. enoindre, Lat. 
inungere, from in and iingere, unci-, to 
anoint. The Lord's Anointed is used by 
Coverd. (1535) where Wye. has the Crist 
of the Lotd. Has replaced in rel. sense 
native smear. 

MIn heafod thfi mid ele ne smyredest; theos 
smyrede^mid sealfe mine fet {Luke, vii. 46). 

anomalous. Earlier also anomal. L., G. 
dvw/AaAos, from dv-, neg., ofiaXos, even, 
from 6/xos, same. Cf. homologous. 

anon. AS. on an, into one, on dne, in one. 
Older sense, at once, forthwith, etc., but 
now used rather like presently, which has 
also changed its meaning; cf. Ger. auf 
einmal, pidgin one time. Dial, anan, 
meaning something Hke "Wliat do you 
want?" is the same, originating from 
the stock reply of the summoned servant, 
common in Shaks., and corresponding to 
the modem waiter's "Coming, Sir." This 
may account for change of sense. 
He that heareth the word and anon [G. eidvs, Vulg. 
continuo] with joy receiveth it (Matl. xiii. 20). 
He shall presently [G. dpri, Vulg. mode] give me 
more than twelve legions of angels {Matt. xxvi. 53). 

anonymous. From G. dvwvv/xos, from dv-, 
neg., ovofjia, name. 

another. For another. In ME. oiten a nother. 

anserine [neol.]. L. anserinus, belonging to 
the goose, f. anser, cogn. with G. xw- See 

answer. AS. andswarian, to swear back, from 
noun andswaru. Cf. L. respondere, to 
pledge in return. Orig. sense survives in to 
answer an accusation, to answer for, he 
answerable, etc. First element, surviving 
only in this word and partly in along, is 
cogn. with Ger. ant- (as in antwort), ent-, L. 
ante, G. dvri, etc. See and. 

If it were so, it was a grievous fault; 

And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it 

{Jul. Cues. iii. 2). 
ant. AS. ^mette, whence ME. amet, ampt 

(cf. Ampthill, Beds.), emet. Archaic emmet 

is still in dial. use. Orig. cutter off; cf. 

ON. meita, to cut, Ger. meissel, chisel. Cf. 

Ger. ameise, ant, in Luther emmeis, whence 

prob. emsig, diligent. A more wide-spread 

Teut. name for the insect survives in 

pismire (q.v.). 

Goe to the emmote 6 sluggard 

{Douay Bible, Prov. vi. 6). 
ant-. For anti-, before vowel. 


antagonist. L. antagonista, G. avTaywiarrj^, 

from dvTi, against, uywi/t^co-^ai, to struggle! 

Cf. agony. 
Antar. Hero of romance. From Antar ibn 

Shadddd, Eastern poet and warrior. Cf. 

Amadis, Bayard, etc. 
Antarctic. See Arctic. 
ante-. L. ante, before, cogn. with G. dvri, Ger. 

ant-, ent-, AS. and-, and ult. with end. 
antecedent. From pres. part, of L. antecedere, 

to go before. Cf. ancestor. 
antediluvian. Coined (17 cent.), ? by Sir T. 

Browne, from L. ante and diluvium, flood. 

See deluge. 
antelope. OF. antelop, found in MedL. as 

antalopus and 4 cent. G. as dv$6\oi(/, 

dvOoXoTT-. Orig. sense and lang. unknown. 

ModF. antilope is borrowed back from E. 

(Buffon). In ME. & OF. the antelope was 

a fabulous and formidable beast, like the 

unicorn, griffin, etc. Mod. sense dates from 

17 cent. 

The antelope and wolf both fierce and fell 

{Faerie Queene, i. vi. 26). 

antennae [biol.]. PI. of L. antenna-, yard of a 
sail, used by Theodorus Gaza (15 cent.) to 
translate G. Kcpaiai, "horns" of insects, 
also ends of sail-yards, both being called 
cornua in L. F. antenne still has both 

anterior. L. compar. from prep, ante, be- 

anthelion [astron.]. Late G., neut. of dvOriXios, 
from dvTi, opposite, ^'Aio?, sun. Cf. aphelion, 

anthem. AS. antefn, L., G. avrifjuova, neut. 
pi., from dvTi, against, (^wvrj, sound. An 
early Church word, doublet of antiphon. 
The AS. form shows a VL. change of 
accent, antiphona, whence also F. antienne, 
"an antem, or supplication" (Cotg.). For 
the E. ending cf. stem (naut), from AS. 
stefn. For Johnson's etym. (v. i.) cf. ache. 

anthem: G. dvdvfivos, a hymn sung in alternate 
parts and should therefore be written anihymn 


anther [bot.]. F. anthere, G. dvOrjpd, feni. of 
dv0rjp6<;, flowery (v. i.). 

anthology. L., G. dvOoXoyia, from dv6o<:, 
flower, Ae'yctv, to gather. 

Anthony, St. Patron saint of swineherds. 
Hence archaic Anthony (see Tantonv), for 
the smallest pig in a litter. St Anthony's fire 
is an old name for erysipelas, for the cure 
of which the saint was invoked. 

anthracite. From anthrax (q.v.). 



anthrax. Malignant pustule. L., G. avOpa^, 
coal, whence anthracite. Cf. carbuncle (q.v.). 

"Antrax" is a postume....It is callyd also "car- 
bunculus," for it brennyth as a cole (NED. 1398). 

anthropo-. From G. av^pwTros, man. Hence 
anthropology, orig. study of man in widest 
sense; anthropophagi, cannibals, L., G. dv- 
Op(i)Tro<fidyoL, from f^ayeiv, to eat. 

And of the cannibals that each other eat, 
The Anthropophagi [Oth. i. 3). 

anti-, ant-. G. dvrt, against, cogn. with L. 
ante, before. Hence a large and increasing 
number of compds. to indicate people who 
are "agin" something, e.g. anti-conscrip- 
tionist (igi6). 

antic. It. antico, antique, L. antiquus, used 
ior grotesque (q.v.), this kind of work being 
ascribed to the ancients. In 16 cent, it was 
both noun and adj., of things and of 
persons; but its earliest recorded use 
(Foxe) is in the mod. sense of grotesque 

grottesca; a kinde of rugged unpolished painters 
worke, anticke worke (Flor.). 

All bar'd with golden bendes, which were entayled 
With curious antickes, and full fayre aumayled 

(Faerie Queene, 11. iii. 27). 
And there the antic [Death] sits, 
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp 

(Rich. II. iii. 2). 

Antichrist. Mysterious opponent of Christ 
whose advent was expected by the Middle 
Ages. Applied by early reformers to the 
Papal authority. 

This false heresie and tyrantrie of Antichrist 


anticipate. From L. anticipare, to take be- 
fore, from capere, to take. Intelligent 
anticipation, for unfounded statement, is 
due to Lord Curzon. 

antidote. F., L., G. avTihoTov, given against, 
from 8tSoi/at, to give. 

Anti-Jacobin {hist.}. Opposed to the Jacobins 
(q.v.), esp. as name of an anti-democratic 
paper started in 1797. 

antimacassar. Coined (c. 1850) as name of 
defence against the macassar oil with which 
people anointed their heads. 

antimony. MedL. antimonia, first used by 
Constantinus Africanus of Salerno (11 
cent.). Prob. a latinized form of some 
Arab, name, but origin very doubtful. 
Popularly understood as F. anti-moine, 
monk's bane, and explained by a ridiculous 
story concerning a 15 cent, chemist. 

anus 56 

antinomian [theol.]. Opposed to law, G. vd/xos. 
Esp. name of a Ger. sect (1535) which 
maintained that the moral law was not 
binding upon Christians. 

Antinous. Handsome man. Page of Emperor 
Hadrian. Cf. Adonis. 

antipathy. L., G. avrnrdOeLa, from TrdOos, 

antiphon. See anthem. 

antiphrasis. Late L., G. dvTt</)pacns, contra- 
diction. See phrase. 

antipodes. L., G. dvTtVoSes (pi.), from ttous, 
TToS-, foot. Orig. the people on the other 
side of the earth. Prob. from OF., which 
has it rather earlier. Formerly pronounced 
to rime with codes and with a sing, antipod 
(cf. decapod). 

Yonde in Ethiopia ben the Antipodes, men that 
have theyr fete ayenst our fete (NED. 1398). 

antipyrin [neol.]. From antipyretic, from G. 
TTupcTos, fever, from irvp, fire. 

antique. F., L. antiquus. Now has F. pro- 
nunc, but formerly that of antic (q.v.), 
as still sometimes in verse. Antiquary 
in mod. sense is first recorded as offic. 
title conferred on John Leland by Henry 

There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the an- 
tique ploughs and the harrows (Evangeline, i. i. 74). 

antirrhinum [bat.]. Snapdragon. From G. 
dvTi, against (counterfeiting), pts, piv-, 
nose. Cf . rhinoceros. The flower has, owing 
to its shape, a large number of dial, names 
in all langs. In Ger. it is usually lowenmaul, 
lion's mouth. 

antiseptic. From 18 cent. From G. ar]TrTtK6<;, 
putrefying, from a-rjimv, to rot. 

antithesis. L., G. di/ri^co-ts, from rtOevai, to 
place. Cf. contrast. 

antitoxin. Serum used against diphtheria. 
From G. to^lkov, poison. See intoxicate. 

antler. ME. aimtelere, OF. antoillier {andouil- 
ler), VL. * ante-ocular is (sc. ramus), branch 
before the eye. Cf. Ger. augensprossen, 
antlers, lit. eye-sprouts. Orig. the lowest 
forward directed branch of a stag's horn, 
now called brow-antler. The absence of the 
word from the other Rom. langs. makes 
this, otherwise convincing, etym. rather 

antonomasia [rhet.]. Substitution of epithet. 
G., from dvTi, instead, 6vop.a, name. 

antonym. Opposite of synonym (q.v.). 

anus [anat.]. L., lit. ring; cf. synon. G. 
haK-rvXios, lit. finger-ring. 





anvil. Earlier anvild, AS. anfilte, from an, on, 
and an obscure second element prob. 
meaning to hammer, which appears also 
in felt; cf. L. incus, incud-, anvil, from in 
and cudere, to strike. Cogn. with anvil are 
OHG. anafalz, ODu. aenvilte. ModGer. has 
amboss, from OHG. bozan, cogn. with beat, 
Du. has aanbeld, with which cf. Norw. Dan. 
ambolt (from LG.). In these the second 
element is cogn. with E. bolt and ult. with 
the -filte, -falz of the words above. 

anxious. From L. anxius, from angere, to 
compress, choke. See anguish, quinsy. 

any. AS. iznig, from an, one; cf. Du. eenig, 
from een, Ger. einig, from ein. 

anythingarian. Coined (early i8 cent.) on 
model of trinitarian, unitarian. Cf. slang 
F. jemenfoutiste. 

Anzac [hist.]. Acrostic word coined during 
the Gallipoli campaign (1915) to denote 
collectively the Australasians — Australian 
New Zealand Army Corps. Cf. Dora, Waac, 
Zarp, etc. 

aorist [gram.]. G. doptaTos, indefinite, from 
d-, neg., opL^eLv, to define. See horizon. 

aorta [anat]. Great artery. G. aopT-q, lit. 
what is hung up, from dctpeij/, to raise 

Ap. Patronymic prefix in Welsh names, e.g. 
Ap Rhys {Price), Ap Evan (Bevan), etc. 
Earlier map, cogn. with Gael. mac. 

apace. Orig. at a walk (F. au pas), but in 
early use associated with speed. 

And forth she walketh esily a pas (Chauc. F. 388). 

apache. Parisian desperado (late 19 cent.). 
From name of Red Ind. tribe. Cf. mohock. 

apanage, appanage. Now used fig. of a per- 
quisite, special possession, adjunct, etc., 
but orig. provision (territory, office, etc.) 
made for younger sons of royalty. F., from 
OF. apaner, MedL. appanare , to provide 
with bread, L. panis. 

apart. F. a part, aside, L. ad partetn. 

apartment. F. appartement, It. appartamento , 
orig. division, separation, from appartare, 
from a parte, apart. MedL. appartimentum 
is directly from L. partiri, to divide, share. 
When first introduced, it meant, like F. 
appartement, a suite of rooms. 

apathy. F. apathie, L., G. aTrd^eia, from d-, 
neg., Tra.6o<;, feeling. 

ape. AS. apa. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. aap, Ger. 
ajfe, ON. ape. Prob. adopted in pre- 
historic times from some non-Aryan lang. 
With verb to ape cf. F. singer, Ger. 

apeak [naut.]. Earlier (16 cent.) a pike, F. 
a pic. perpendicularly. Used of "anchor 
when the cable has been sufficiently hove 
in to bring the ship over it" (Smyth). Also 
oars apeak, held vertically, yards apeak, as 
sign of mourning. Cf. peak^. 

He's going, the land-crabs will have him; his 
anchor's apeak [Roderick Random). 

apepsy [med.]. Lack of digestive power. 
From G. d-, neg., and -pepsy (see dyspepsy). 

apergu. F., p.p. of apercevoir, to perceive 

aperient. From pres. part, of L. aperire, to 

aperture. L. apertura, from aperire, apert-, 
to open. 

apex. L., summit. 

aphaeresis [ling.]. L., G. d<^atp€o-t9, from dTro, 
off, alpieLv, to take. See aphesis. 

aphasia [med.]. Coined by Trousseau (1864) 
for earlier aphemia, alalia, from G. d-, neg., 
cf)dvaL, to speak. 

aphelion [astron.]. Coined by Kepler (16 
cent.), after apogee, from G. dTro, off, rjXios, 
sun. Cf. perihelion. 

aphesis [ling.]. G. d</)co-is, letting go, from dTro, 
off, leVat, to send. Suggested (1880) by the 
late Sir James Murray instead of the older 
aphaeresis (q.v.), for the loss of init. un- 
accented vowel so common in E., e.g. 
prentice, gipsy, peal, etc. Hence aphetic. 
It may conveniently be used also, as in this 
Diet., of the loss of a whole init. syllable, 
e.g. drawing-room, tawdry, etc. 

aphetic. See aphesis. 

aphis. Plant-louse. ModL., coined by Lin- 
naeus. ? Back-formation from pi. aphides, 
suggested by G. d</)et8r/s, unsparing. 

aphorism. F. aphorisme, MedL., G. a<j)opLCTfx6<;, 
a distinction, definition, from acfiopi^eLv , 
from dTTo, from, opos, boundary (see aorist). 
Cf. definition, irom finis. Orig. the Aphor- 
isms of Hippocrates, then extended to other 
statements of principles. 

Aphrodite. Goddess of love, Venus. Trad, 
from G. d<^pds, foam, but prob. ident. with 
Ashtaroth, Astarte of the Phoenicians, 
Assyr. Ishtar. Hence aphrodisiac. 

apiary. L. apiarium, from apis, bee. Cf. 

Apician. From Apicius, famous Roman 
epicure, temp. Tiberius. 

apiece. The prefix is the indef. art. 

aplomb. F. adv. phrase a plomb, perpen- 
dicular, from plomb, lead, plummet, L. 


apo-, aph-, ap- 



apo-, aph-, ap-. G. diro, off, from, cogn. with 

E. ofif). 
Apocalypse. L., G. d7roKa.Xv\j/t<s, from KaXvTrretv, 

to cover. Cf. revelation, from velare, to veil. 

Apocalypse is the older word, revelation 

being used by Wye. (v. i.) to explain it. 

He hath techinge, he hath apocalips, or revela- 
cioun, he hath tiinge (Wye. i Cor. xiv. 26). 

apocope [ling.]. Loss of final syllable. L., G. 
d-n-OKOTT-q, from ciTroKOTrTctv, to cut off. 

Apocrypha. L., neut. pi. (sc. scripta), from 
G. aTTOKpvffiO's, hidden away, from KpvTTTtLv, 
to hide. Excluded from Bible at Reforma- 

The other followynge, which are called apocripha 
(because they were wont to be reade, not openly 
and in common, but as it were in secrete and aparte) 
are neyther founde in the Hebrue nor in the Chalde 
[Great Bible, 1539)- 

apod [biol.]. Footless. G. d-Kov^, aTroS-, from 

d-, neg., TTovs, ttoS-, foot. Cf. apteryx. 
apodosis [gram.']. G., from aTroStSovat, to give 

back. Cf. protasis. 
apogee [astron.]. F. apogee, L., G. diroyaiov, 

from yrj, earth. Dates from Ptolemy the 

Alexandrian astronomer (2 cent.). Cf. the 

imitated aphelion. 
apolaustic. G. dTroXavo-riKOS, from aTroAavetj', 

to enjoy. 
apollinaris. Vulg. "polly." Advertised in E. 

c. 1870. Yrom. A pollinaris-brnnnen{s,-px\.ng) 

near Remagen, on the Rhine. 
Apollo. Handsome man. L., G. 'ATrdXAtov, the 

Apollyon. The destroyer. G. aTroXXv'wv, pres. 

part., from ctTrd, from, \vf.iv, to loose. Used 

by Wye. (see Abaddon). 
apologue. F., "a pretty and significant fable, 

or tale, wherein bruit beasts, or dumbe 

things, are fained to speak" (Cotg.). L., G. 

dTToXoyos, from Xdyos, speech. 
apology. F. apologie, L., G. diroXoyia, a 

speaking away. Orig. formal defence or 

pleading, as in Plato's Apology for Socrates, 

and in apologetics. 

Waistcoats edged with a narrow cord, which serves 
as an apology for lace {NED. 1752). 

apophthegm. G. aTro^^ey/xa, a terse saying, 
from (fiOeyyecrOai, to utter. Prob. through 

Jamais homme noble ne hait le bon vin, c'est un 
apophtegme monacal (Rabelais). 

apoplexy. F. apoplexie, MedL., G. aTroTrXi^^ta, 
disablement, from TrXr/cro-etv, to strike. Cf. 
the vulgar "stroke." 

aposiopesis [rhet.]. G. from G. dTrocnwirdeLv, 
to become silent. 

Tantane vos generis tenuit fiducia vestri? 

Jam caelum terramque meo sine numine, Venti, 

Miscere, et tantas audetis toUere moles? 

Quos egc.sed motos praestat componere fluctus 

{A en. i. 131). 
He was in the act of stooping low to deposit the 
pantaloons in the grave which he had been digging 
for them, when Tom Ingoldsby came close behind 

him, and with the fiat side of the spade . The 

shock was effectual; never again was Lieutenant 

Seaforth known to act the part of a somnambulist 

(Spectre of Tappington), 

apostate. F. apostat, L., G. dTroo-rdrT;?, one 
who stands away, from laTaa-Qai, to stand. 

apostille. Marginal note. F., from verb 
apostiller, from OF. posiille, postil (q.v.). 

apostle. AS. apostol, L., G. dTrdo-roXos, 
messenger, from oreXXctv, to send (cf. 
emissary). Influenced by OF. apostle 
(apotre). In AS. & ME. used for messenger 
as well as in spec, sense. Apostle spoons, 
i.e. a set of twelve spoons of which the 
handles had figures of the apostles, were a 
usu. gift of sponsors. 

apostrophe. L., G. dTroaTpo(f)y], from arpecjieLv, 
to turn. Orig. a turning aside of the 
orator's speech to address some individual, 
present or absent; hence to apostrophize. 
In the sense of sign of omission (') it comes 
later via F. 

apostropher: to cut off (by an apostrophe) the last 
vowell of a word (Cotg.). 

apothecary. F. apothicaire. VL. apothecariiis , 
from G. dTvodrjKT], store-house, from nOevai, 
to put. Orig. keeper of a shop for what we 
should now call "colonial produce." Then 
esp. druggist. The London Apothecaries' 
Company was not separated from the 
Grocers' till 161 7. Aphet. potiicary (cf. 
prentice) was once usual and survives as a 
surname. Cf. F. boutique, Sp. bodega, both 
via L. from G. diro9y]Ki^. 

Ful redy hadde he [the Doctour of Physik] his 
To sende him drogges and his letuaries 

(Chauc. A. 424), 

Item to Goldring the potecary for marmalad and 
other things xs [Rutland Papers, 1551). 

apotheosis. L., G. dTro^ewcris, from d-jroOeovv, 
to make a god, Oeo^. 

appal. OF. apalir, to make pale, also to be- 
come pale, the former the earlier sense. 
This suits the ME. meanings of appal, but 
the F. verb should have given appale, a 
word actually in use in 16 cent. The later 
meanings are, trans, to quell, frighten. 





intrans. to fade, become weak or tasteless, 
go flat, whence aphet. pall'. The pronunc. 
of the word is unexplained. 

/ appale ones colour: je appalls. This sicknesse hath 
appaled hym very sore: ceste maladie la appaly tres 
fort (Palsg.). 

/ appalle, as driiike doth or wyne, whan it lescth his 
colour or ale whan it hath stande longe: je appalys. 
2'his wyne is appaled all redy, and it is nat yet an 
hour syth it was drawe>i out of the vessel: ce vin est 
desja appaly, encore nest il pas ung heure quon la 
tire du vaisseau {ib.). 

appanage. See apanage. 

apparatus. L., from apparare, to make ready, 
from par are, par at-, to prepare. See pare. 

apparel. First as verb. T. appareiller, VL. 
* ad-par iculare, with cognates in all Rom. 
langs. Orig. to put like things together, 
L. par, equal. Cf. F. pareil, like, VL. 
*pariculus. In OF. & ME. to equip in any 
way. In ModF. to prepare to set sail. 
With the limitation of meaning in F. & E. 
cf. extension of eqiiiper, equip in the same 
langs. See also dress. Aphet. forms were 
common in ME. and parrel survives as 
naut. term. 

For his pore paraille and pylgrymes weedes 

{Piers Plowm. B. xi. .28). 

He sayde unto his contree moste he sayle. 
For ther he wolde hire weddyng apparaylle 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 2472). 

apparent. OF. aparant, pres. part, of aparoir, 
L. apparere, to appear. Orig. plain, mani- 
fest, as still in heir apparent. Cf. apparition. 

It is apparent foul play {King John, iv. 2). 

appease. F. apaiser, from OF. a pais [a paix), 
at peace. For a somewhat similar forma- 
tion see atone. ME. also had apay, OF. 
apaier, VL. *adpacare (see pay'^). 

appellation. See appeal. 

append. F. appendre, L. appendere, to hang 
to, whence also appendix and appendicitis 
(late 19 cent.), inflammation of the vermi- 
form appendix. 

apperception. F. aperception, from apercevoir. 
See perceive. 

appertain. From F. appartenir. See appur- 

appetite. F. appetit, L. appetitus, from 
appetere, to seek after, assail, from ad and 
peter e, to seek. 

applaud. L. applaudere , to clap. See explode. 

apple. AS. cBppel. North Europ. for L. 
malum, G. ixrjXov. Com. Teut., with cog- 
nates also in some Celt, and Slav, langs.; 
cf. Du. appel, Ger. appel, ON. epli, Goth. 
*aplus; also Ir. aball, OSlav. ahluko, etc. 
Ult. origin unknown. In early use a general 
term for all kinds of fruits other than 
berries, including even nuts. In fact apple 
and berry (q.v.) are the only AS. fruit- 
names, the rest being of L. or exotic origin. 
Hence the common use of apple, as of F. 
pomme, in describing foreign fruits, e.g. 
pine apple (cf. melon, pomegranate). The 
apple of Sodom, a mythical fruit described 
by Josephus, is in Trevisa (1398). The 
apple oj discord, inscribed "to the fairest," 
was thrown by Eris among the gods and 

Apollyon. G., pres. part, of airoXXvixL, I destroy. See abaddon, abolish 

(q.v.) is usu. the same verb, though it may 
also represent the simple OF. paroir. 

assomar: to peere up, to appeere, to looke up; 
apparere, caput erigere (Percy vail). 

How bloodily the sun begins to peer 
Above yon husky hill (i Hen. IV. v. i). 

paroir: to appeare, or be seene; to peepe out, as the 
day in a morning, or the sun over a mountain 


to Dring, or come, mto contact. Appliance, 

instrument, is first in Shaks. 
appoggiatura [mus.]. It., from appoggiare, to 

support, VL. *appodiare, from podium 

elevation. See appui, peiv. 
appoint. F. appointer, from a point, duly, 

fitly, etc. (see point). Earlier sense, to 

settle, regulate, as in OF. A later ME. 

meaning, to fit out, equip, survives only 


apo-, aph-, ap- 



apo-, aph-, ap-. G. airo, off, from, cogn. with 

Apocalypse. L.,G. d7ro/caAv(//'is, from KaXvTTTCiv, 

to cover. Cf. revelation, from velare, to veil. 

Apocalypse is the older word, revelation 

being used by Wye. (v. i.) to explain it. 

He hath techinge, he hath apocalips, or revela- 
cioun, he hath tunge (Wye. i Cor. xiv. 26). 

apocope [ling.]. Loss of final syllable. L., G. 
airoKOTT-q, from dTro/coTrrctv, to cut off. 

Apocrypha. L., neut. pi. (so. scripta), from 
G. aTroKpvcfyo?, hidden away, from Kpvimiv, 
to hide. Excluded from Bible at Reforma- 

The other followynge, which are called apocripha 
(because they were wont to be reade, not openly 
and in common, but as it were in secrete and aparte) 
are neyther founde in the Hebrue nor in the Chalde 
(Great Bible, 1539). 

apod [biol.^. Footless. G. aTrous, ciTroS-, from 

a-, neg., ttows, ttoS-, foot. Cf. apteryx. 
apodosis Ingram.']. G., from aTroSiSovai, to give 

back. Cf. protasis. 
apogee [astron.'\. F. apogee, L., G. airoyaiov, 

from yrj, earth. Dates from Ptolemy the 

Alexandrian astronomer (2 cent.). Cf. the 

imitated aphelion. 
apolaustic. G. aTroXavcrTiKos, from airoXavuv , 

to enjoy. 
apolHnaris. Vulg. "polly." Advertised in E. 

c. 1870. From Apollinaris-brunnen {spring) 

near Remagen, on the Rhine. 
Apollo. Handsome man. L., G. 'ATroAXwv, the 

Annllvnn Thp dpj;trnv(=>r H- n-rrnWiJiiw nrfts 

aposiopesis [rhet.]. G. from G. ciTrocrtcDTrdetv, 
to become silent. 

Tantane vos generis tenuit fiducia vestri? 

Jam caelum terramque meo sine numine, Venti, 

Miscere, et tantas audetis tollere moles? 

Quos ego...sed motos praestat componere fluctus 

{Aen. i. 131). 
He was in the act of stooping low to deposit the 
pantaloons in the grave which he had been digging 
for them, when Tom Ingoldsby came close behind 

him, and with the fiat side of the spade . The 

shock was effectual; never again was Lieutenant 

Seaforth known to act the part of a somnambuhst 

(Spectre of Tappington), 

apostate. F. apostat, L., G. dTroo-TaTr;?, one 
who stands away, from taTacrOai, to stand. 

apostille. Marginal note. F., from verb 
apostiller, from OF. postille, postil (q.v.). 

apostle. AS. apostol, L., G. aTroo-ToXos, 
messenger, from o-rcAAeiv, to send (cf. 
emissary). Influenced by OF. apostle 
{apotre). In AS. & ME. used for messenger 
as well as in spec, sense. Apostle spoons, 
i.e. a set of twelve spoons of which the 
handles had figures of the apostles, were a 
usu. gift of sponsors. 

apostrophe. L., G. a7ro(rTpo(f>rj, from a-Tpecfxiv, 
to turn. Orig. a turning aside of the 
orator's speech to address some individual, 
present or absent; hence to apostrophize. 
In the sense of sign of omission (') it comes 
later via F. 

apostropher: to cut off (by an apostrophe) the last 
vowell of a word (Cotg.). 

apothecary. F. apothicaire. VL. apothecarius, 
from G. aTroOrjKr], store-house, from TtOevai, 

apophthegm. G. d7ro(^^€y/i.a, a terse saying, 
from (jiOiyyecrOai, to utter. Prob. through 

Jamais homme noble ne hait le bon vin, c'est un 
apophtegme monacal (Rabelais). 

apoplexy. F. apoplexie, MedL., G. airoTrXri^ia, 
disablement, from TTX-qacrtiv, to strike. Cf. 
the vulgar "stroke." 

(jiiit^i iiiiiigb xs \i\uii,anu ruyers, 1551;. 

apotheosis. L., G. dTro^ewo-ts, from dTro^cow, 
to make a god, Oeos. 

appal. OF. apalir, to make pale, also to be- 
come pale, the former the earlier sense. 
This suits the ME. meanings of appal, but 
the F. verb should have given appale, a 
word actually in use in 16 cent. The later 
meanings are, trans, to quell, frighten, 





intrans. to fade, become weak or tasteless, 
go flat, whence aphet. paW^. The pronunc. 
of the word is unexplained. 

/ appale ones colour: je appalis. This sicknesse hath 
appaled hym very sore: ceste maladie la appaly tres 
fort (Palsg.). 

/ appalle, as drinke doth or wyne, whan it leseth his 
colour or ale whan it hath stande longe: je appalys. 
This wyne is appaled all redy, and it is nat yet an 
hour syth it was drawen out of the vessel: ce vin est 
desja appaly, encore nest il pas ung heure quon la 
tire du vaisseau (ib.). 

appanage. See apanage. 

apparatus. L., from apparare, to make ready, 
from parare, parat-, to prepare. See pare. 

apparel. First as verb. F. appareiller, VL. 
* ad-par iculare, with cognates in all Rom. 
langs. Orig. to put Hke things together, 
L. par, equal. Cf. F. pareil, like, VL. 
*pariculus. In OF. & ME. to equip in any- 
way. In ModF. to prepare to set sail. 
With the limitation of meaning in F. & E. 
cf. extension of eqitiper, equip in the same 
langs. See also dress. Aphet. forms were 
common in ME. and parrel survives as 
naut. term. 

For his pore paraille and pylgrymes weedes 

(Piers Plowm. B. xi. ^28). 

He sayde unto his conti-ee moste he sayle. 
For ther he wolde hire weddyng apparaylle 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 2472). 

apparent. OF. aparant, pres. part, of aparoir, 
L. apparere, to appear. Orig. plain, mani- 
fest, as still in heir apparent. Cf. apparition. 

It is apparent foul play [King John, iv. 2). 

apparitor [hist.}. Public servant of magistrate. 
L., one who appears. 

appeal. F. appeler, L. appellare or adpellare, 
? from pellere, to drive. The E. form repre- 
sents the OF. tonic stem, now appell-. Peal 
is an aphet. form. 

appear. OF. apareir, aparoir, L. apparere. 
The F. verb has now been replaced by 
apparaitre, VL. *ad-parescere, exc. in some 
leg. phrases, e.g. il appert, which shows the 
tonic stem as in the E. word. The aphet. 
dial.' pear occurs in 17 cent, poetry and peer^ 
(q.v.) is usu. the same verb, though it may 
also represent the simple OF. paroir. 

assomar: to peere up, to appeere, to looke up; 
apparere, caput erigere (Percy vail). 

How bloodily the sun begins to peer 
Above yon husky hill (i Hen. IV. v. i). 

paroir: to appeare, or be seene; to peepe out, as the 
day in a morning, or the sun over a mountain 


appease. F. apaiser, from OF. a pais (a paix), 
at peace. For a somewhat similar forma- 
tion see atone. ME. also had apay, OF. 
apaier, VL. *adpacare (see pay^). 

appellation. See appeal. 

append. F. appendre, L. appendere, to hang 
to, whence also appendix and appendicitis 
(late 19 cent.), inflammation of the vermi- 
form appendix. 

apperception. F. aperception, from apercevoir. 
See perceive. 

appertain. From F. appartenir. See appur- 

appetite. F. appetit, L. appetitus, from 
appetere, to seek after, assail, from ad and 
petere, to seek. 

applaud. L. applaudere, to clap. See explode. 

apple. AS. cBppel. North Europ. for L. 
malum, G. ixrjXov. Com. Teut., with cog- 
nates also in some Celt, and Slav, langs. ; 
cf. Du. appel, Ger. appel, ON. epli, Goth. 
*aplus; also Ir. ahall, OSlav. abluko, etc. 
Ult. origin unknown. In early use a general 
term for all kinds of fruits other than 
berries, including even nuts. In fact apple 
and berry (q.v.) are the only AS. fruit- 
names, the rest being of L. or exotic origin. 
Hence the common use of apple, as of F. 
ponime, in describing foreign fruits, e.g. 
pine apple (cf. melon, pomegranate). The 
apple of Sodom, a mythical fruit described 
by Josephus, is in Trevisa (1398). The 
apple of discord, inscribed "to the fairest," 
was thrown by Eris among the gods and 
goddesses and contended for by Juno, 
Venus and Minerva. The apple of the eye, 
i.e. pupil, occurs in AS. The apple-john, a 
kind of apple said to be in perfection when 
shrivelled, is ripe about St John's day (cf. 
jenneting). Apple-pie bed and apple-pie 
order are recorded only from 19 cent, and 
explanations of them are purely conj ectural. 
I find no early example of to upset the 

applique. F. (v. i.). 

apply. OF. aplier (replaced by appliquer), L. 
applicare, lit. to bend to. Oldest meaning, 
to bring, or come, into contact. Appliance, 
instrument, is first in Shaks. 

appoggiatura [mus.]. It., from appoggiare, to 
support, VL. *appodiare, from podium 
elevation. See appui, pew. 

appoint. F. appointer, from a point, duly, 
fitly, etc. (see point). Earlier sense, to 
settle, regulate, as in OF. A later ME. 
meaning, to fit out, equip, survives only 





in p.p., e.g. well appointed. Cf. embon- 

a poind: aptly, fitly, conveniently, to purpose, in 
good time, in due season (Cotg.). 

apposite. L. appositus, from apponere, 
apposit-, to put against. 

apposition. In sense of 'Speech day' (St 
Paul's School) is a var. of opposition, in 
medieval sense of public disputation. 

To Paul's school, it being Apposition-day there. 
I heard some of their speeches... but I think not so 
good as ours were in our time 

(Pepys, Feb. 4, 1663). 

appraise. F. apprecier, Late L. appretiare, from 
pretium, price. Replaced ME. praise, OF. 
preisier, Late L. pretiare, which developed 
the same double sense as esteem, value. L. 
pretiare gave OF. preisier, while pretiat 
gave OF. prise, whence a new F. infin. 
priser, to value. See prize^. 

appreciate. From Late L. appretiare (v.s.). 

apprehend. L. apprehendere, to take hold of. 
The sense of fearing is ellipt. for the earlier 
one of understanding or anticipating any 

Oh ! let my lady apprehend no fear 

(Trail. & Cress, iii. 2). 

apprentice. OF. aprentif [apprenti), formed 
on apprendre, to learn (v.i.), with suffix 
from L. -Ivus. The -5 may represent the 
OF. nom. (cf. Fitz) or an orig. pi. (see 
bodice). It may even have been affected 
by the OF. fem. aprentisse. The usu. ME. 
form was the aphet. prentice, prentis, as 
still in prentice-hand. 

apprise. F. appris, p.p. of apprendre, to 
learn, teach, L. apprehendere. The verb is 
formed from the p.p. fem. This is a com- 
mon process in E. (cf. comprise, value, issue, 

approach. F. approcher. Late L. appropiare, 
from ad and propius, nearer. 
At ille: Ne appropies, inquit, hue [Vulg. Ex. iii. 5). 

approbation. From L. approbare, to assent 
to. See approve. 

appropriate. From Late L. appropriare, from 
proprius, own. See proper. 

approve. F. approuver, L. approbare, from 
probus, honest, genuine. In some senses, 
esp. in the adj. approved, it represents 
rather F. iprouver, to test, VL. *ex-probare. 
Approver, now meaning one who turns 
King's evidence, esp. in Ireland, was orig. 
one who offers to prove another guilty, 
hence informer. The older form is more 

usu. prover, provour, and the a- may be 
artificial (cf. accomplice). 

esprouve: proved, tried; approved, experimented 


approximate. From Late L. approximare, 
from proximus, nearest. 

appui. In point d'appui (mil.), lit. fulcrum, 
point of support, from F. appuyer, VL. 
*appodiare, from podium, support, etc. See 
appoggiatura, pew. 

appurtenance. AF. apurienance. Now used as 
noun from appertain, pertain, F. appartenir , 
compd. of OF. partenir, from L. pertinere. 
But there was also an OF. portenir, from 
VL. *protinere, of which the Norm, form 
purtenir is responsible for the spelling of 
our word. 

apricot. F. abricot. Port, albricoque, Arab. 
al-burqiiq, where al is def. art., and biirquq 
is late G. irpatKOKiov, from L. praecoquum 
(sc. malum or pomum), for praecox, early 
ripe, "precocious." The obs. apricock 
represents the Port, or Sp. form, while the 
spelling apr- is perhaps due to fancied 
connection with L. apricus, sunny. Thus 
Minsh. derives the word from in aprico 
coctus, ripened in a sunny place. Ger. 
apricose, from Du., was orig. pi. (cf. E. 

The other kindes are soner ripe, wherefore they be 
called abrecox or aprecox (Lyte's Dodoens, 1578). 

abricot: the abricot, or apricock, plum (Cotg.). 

April. L. apr His (sc. mensis), ? a compar. 
formation from ab, April being the second 
month. Has supplanted earlier avril, averil, 
etc., from F. Both forms were orig. 
accented on second -/liable. Replaced AS. 
Eastermonath. With ^prilfool cf. Sc. April 
gowk (cuckoo), F. poisson d' avril, Ger. 
Aprilsnarr. The origin of the custom is 
unknown. It is not old in England (17 

Whan that Aprille [var. Averylle], with his shoures 

The droghte of March hath perced to the roote 

(Chauc. A. i). 

apron. ME. naperon, F. napperon, from 
nappe, cloth, L. mappa, whence napery, 
napkin (q.v.), F. napperon is now table- 
centre, apron being rendered by tablier. 
For loss of n-, a naperon becoming an apron, 
cf. adder, auger, etc. Apron-string was orig. 
leg., meaning tenure in right of one's wife, 
hence tied to apron-strings, under wife's 

65 apropos 

control. Somewhat similar is F. use of 
quenouille, distaff. See also spindle. 

She made him to be dight 
In womans weedes, that is to manhood shame. 
And put before his lap a napron white 

(Faerie Queene, v. v. 20). 

tenir de la quenouille: to hold of, or do homage to, 
the smocke; his wife to be his master (Cotg.). 

apropos. Lit. to the purpose, F. a propos. 
See purpose. 

apse. Earlier apsis, L., G. di//ts or di//t's, felloe 
of a wheel (from aTrreiv, to fit), hence, 
wheel, vault, orbit. Earliest use is astron. 

apt. L. aptus, p.p. of archaic apere, to fasten. 

apteryx. New Zealand bird with rudimentary 
wings. From G. d-, neg., irrepvi, wing. 
Earlier is apterous, wingless, as zool. term. 

aqua fortis. Nitric acid. L., strong water. 
Cf. F. eau-forte, etching. Aqua regia, royal 
water, was named by the alchemists from 
its power of dissolving gold, the royal 
metal. Aqua vitae, alchemists' name for 
alcohol, was later used for brandy, etc. 
(cf. ivhisky and F. eau-de-vie). 

aquamarine. Gem. L. aqua marina, sea 
water, from its colour. Earlier agniarine, 
F. aigue marine, "sea-water-greenecoloiir " 

aquarelle. F., It. acquerello, water colour, 
from acqua, water. 

Aquarius. L. water-bearer, from aqua, water. 
Cf. aquarium, introduced c. 1850, with 
meaning not found in L. ; also aquatic, F. 
aquatique, L. aquaticus. 

aquatint. F. aquatinte. It. acqua tinta, L. aqua 
tincfa, from tingere, tinct-, to stain. Cf. 

aqua Tofana [hist.] Poison. It. acqua 
Tofana, from name of notorious poisoner 
(17 cent.). 

aqueduct. L. aquae ductus, conduit of water, 
or perh. from obs. F. aqueduct {aqueduc). 

aquiline. L. aquilinus, of the eagle, aquila. 
See eagle. 

Arab. F. Arabe,!.., G.''Apa\j/,'Apa(S-. Owing 
to the great conquests of the Arabs in the 
East and in S. Europe, and to the medieval 
pre-eminence of the race in learning and 
science, Arabic is by far the greatest 
Semitic contributor to the Europ. langs. 
The Arabian Nights was translated from 
the Mille et une nuits of the F. Orientalist 
Galland (11715). City Arab, now street 
arab, is recorded 1848 (v. i.). 

City Arabs... are like tribes of lawless freebooters 
(Lord Shaftesbury) 



arabesque. F., It. arabesco. Earlier also 
rebesk, aphet. It. rabesco. The representa- 
tion of living forms being forbidden by the 
Mohammedan religion, Moorish architec- 
ture uses interlacements and scroll-work as 

arabesque: rehesk-worke ; a smaU, and curious 
flourishing (Cotg.). 

arabis. Plant. MedL., prob. from growing on 

stony or sandy soil suggesting Arabia. 
arable. L. arabilis, from arare, to plough. See 

arachnid [zool.']. From G. apd^vrj, spider. Cf. 

F. araignee. 
Aramaic [ling.]. Branch of Semitic langs. 

which includes Syriac and Chaldee. From 

Aram, Heb. iiame for Syria. Lang, of Jews 

after Captivity. 
araucaria [bot.]. From Arauco, province of 


The grass-plat, from whose centre rose one of the 
finest araucarias (its other name by the way is 
"monkey-puzzler"), that it has ever been my lot 
to see (Kipling, Actions and Reactions). 

arbalest, arblast [hist.]. Cross-bow. OF. 
arbaleste [arbalete), Late L. arcu-ballista, 
bow-sling, from L. arcus, bow, G. jSaXXcLv, 
to throw. Early spellings very varied and 
influenced by folk-etym., e.g. allblast, ala- 
blast, arowblast. Hence surnames A llblaster, 

Petrone nor harquebuss shall ever put down Sir 
Arbalest [Cloister & Hearth, ch. xxiv.). 

arbiter. L., judge, orig. to-comer (cf. umpire). 
Replaced ME. arbitrour, from OF. Current 
sense of arbitrary is evolved from the full 
powers assigned to the arbiter. 

arblast. See arbalest. 

arboreous. From L. arboreus, from arbor, tree. 
Cf. arboretum, L., collection of trees. 

arbor vitae. L., tree of Ufe. 

arbour. Earliest form erber, AF. {h)erber, OF. 
herbier, L. herbarium. Orig. herb-garden, 
orchard, etc. Mod. spelling has been in- 
fluenced by L. arbor, tree. Sense of shaded 
walk, bowered retreat, is the latest of all, 
and here there has been confusion with 
harbour, once a common spelling for arbour. 

And in a litel herber that I have. 

That benched was on turves fressh y-grave, 

1 bad men sholde me my couche make 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 203). 

erhare: herbarium, viridarium {Prompt. Parv.). 

arborata: an arbour or bowre, of boughs or trees 






arbutus. L., "a tree growing in Italy, having 

thicke leaves like a bay" (Coop.). Origin 

arc. F., L., arats, bow. 
arcade. F., It. areata, "an arch of a bridge, 

a bending" (Flor.), from arcare, to bend, 

from L. arcus, bow. 
Arcadian. From G. 'Ap/ca8ia, mountainous 

region in the Peloponnesus, regarded as 

ideally rural. Cf. solecism, vandal, etc. 

Arcades umbo, poets or musicians both 

(Virg. Eel. vii. 4). 

Each pull'd different ways with many an oath, 
Arcades umbo, id est — blackguards both 

{Don Juan, iv. 93). 

arcana. L., secrets, lit. things enclosed in 
chests. See ark. 

arch^. Noun. F., VL. * area, 'ior arcus, bow. 
The native and older word for arch is bow^ 
(q.v.). Hence the church of St Mary-le- 
Bow, or de .Areubus, where the Court of 
Arches, or eccl. court of appeal for the 
province of Canterbury, was orig. held. 
With to arch one's eyebrows, cf. supercilious. 

arch^. Adj. Orig. the prefix arch-, as in 
archbishop, used as a noun or adj. to mean 
principal. G. apx*^"' from apxo^, chief, from 
apx^iv, to begin; cf. F. arch-, archi-. It. Sp. 
arce-, Du. aarts-, Ger. erz-. From constant 
association with such words as rogue, thief, 
knave, etc., arch acquired the meaning of 
roguish, mischievous (cf. arrant), a meaning 
now softened down to pleasantlv saucy. 
The oldest of the arch- words is archbishop. 
The prefix replaced AS. heah-, high, in 
heah-biscop, heah-engel, etc. 

The most arch deed of piteous massacre 

{Rich. III. iv. 3). 
Arch was her look and she had pleasant ways 


archaeology. G. ap)(a.LoXoyLa, from dp^atos, 
old. Cf. archaic. 

archetype. See arch-. 

archer. F., VL. *arcarius, from areus, bow, 
used for Sagittarius, fiom sagitta, arrow. 

archi-. See areh^. 

Archibald, Archie [hist.]. "It was at once 
noticed at Brooklands that in the vicinity 
of, or over, water or damp ground, there 
were disturbances in the air causing bumps 
or drops to these early pioneers. Some of 
these 'remous' were found to be perman- 
ent, one over the Wey river, and another 
at the corner of the aerodrome next to the 
sewage-farm. Youth being fond of giving 
proper names to inanimate objects, the 

bump near the sewage-farm was called by 
them Archibald. As subsequently, when 
war broke out, the effect of having shell 
bursting near an aeroplane was to produce 
a 'remous' reminding the Brookland 
trained pilots of their old friend Archibald, 
they called being shelled 'being archied' 
for short. Any flying-man who trained at 
Brooklands before the war will confirm the 
above statement" (Col. C. H. Joubert de 
la Ferte, I.M.S. ret.). 

archil, orchil. Plant, dye. OF. orchil, It. 
orcello. Of unknown origin. 

archimandrite. Abbot in Eastern Church. 
Late G. dp;(t/>iav8ptT>/s, from fxavhpa, en- 
closure, monastery. 

Archimedean. From Archimedes, mathema- 
tician and physicist of Syracuse (fl. 3 cent. 
B.C.). See eureka. 

archipelago. Orig. Aegean sea. It. arcipelago, 
from G. apx*-" (see arch^) and TreAayo?, sea. 
Not a G. compound, but formed in It. 
(first record 1268) to render MedL. Egeo- 
pelagus, Aegean Sea. Hence any other sea 
studded with numerous small islands. 

architect. F. arehitecte, L., G. dpxi-T€KTwv, 
chief builder or craftsman. See arch-. 
Orig. E. sense was master-builder. 

architrave [arch.]. F., lit. chief beam, from 
G. a.p)(i-, arch^, and OF. trave, L. trabs, 
trab-, beam. "A mungril compound" 
(Evelyn) used as a name for the epistyle. 

archives. F., from MedL. archivum, G. 
ap)(€lov, public office, from ap^rj, govern- 
ment (see arch-). Formerly used in sing, 
in F. & E., as still in Ger. 

archivolt [arch.]. It. archivolto, arcovolto, first 
element from L. arcus, bow (hence not as in 
architrave). For second element see vauli^. 

archon [hist.]. Athenian chief magistrate. 
G. ap^wv, pres. part, of ap^civ, to rule. 

-archy. From G. apxeiv, to begin, rule. See 

Arctic. F. arctique, L., G. dp/crtKos, from 
apKTO's, bear, constellation of the Great 
Bear. Cf. Antarctic, opposite Arctic (see 

Arcturus [astron.]. L., G. 'ApKToSpos, from 
apKTo<i, bear, ovpo%, guardian, from its 
situation at the tail of the Bear. ME. also 
artoiir, ardour, etc. 

Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? 
or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? 

{Job, xxxviii. 32). 

-ard. F., Ger. -hart, hard, strong, used as 
intens. suffix, becoming depreciatory in F. 





& E. Cf. similar use of F. -aud, Ger. -wald, 

ardent. From pres. part, of L. ardere, to 

burn; cogn. with arid. 
Arditi [neol.]. It. picked troops. Vl.oi ardito, 

bold, hardy (q-v.). 
arduous. From L. arduus, steep, difficult, 
are^. Verb. See be. 
are^. Measure. See area. 
area. L., vacant piece of level ground in 

town. Arch, sense, with vulgar pronunc. 

"airy," dates from 17 cent. Hence also F. 

are, unit of extent in metric system. 
areca. Port., from Tamil adaikdy, meaning 

closely clustered nut. 
arefaction. From L. arefacere, to make dry. 

See arid. 
arena. L., sand, prop, harena. Cf. F. arene, 

sand, also "a place to just in, strowed 

with graven " (Cotg.). 
Areopagite [hist.]. Member of the Areopagus, 

court that held its sittings on Mars' Hill, 

G. apetos Trayos, from "Apr]';, Mars. I.ate L. 

areopagus (Vulg.). 

Dionyse Ariopagite, or greet man of comun scole 

(Wye. A els, xvii. 34). 

arete [Alp.]. Sharp ridge. F., L. ari-ta, 
beard of corn-ear, also fishbone. From OF. 
areste comes techn. arris, sharp edge. 

areste: the small bone of a fish; also, the eyle, 
awne, or beard of an eare of corne; also, the edge, 
or outstanding ridge of a stone, or stone-wall 


argali. Asiatic wild sheep. Mongol. 

argand. Lamp. F., name of inventor (c. 1782). 

argent. F., L. argentum, silver; cf. G. apyupos, 
cogn. with dpyos, white. 

argillaceous. From L. argilla, clay; cf. G. 
apyiAos, white clay (v.s.). 

argol [chem.]. Cream of Tartar. In Chauc. 
AF. argoil, of unknown origin. 

argon [chem.]. Inert component of the atmo- 
sphere, discovered and named (1894), by 
Rayleigh and Ramsay, from G, dpyos, 
idle, from d-, neg., Ipyov, work. 

Argonaut. Sailor, G. vavxT^s, of the Argo, G. 
'Apyo), the ship of Jason, from dpyos, swift, 
orig. shining. Also applied to a kind of 
nautilus. Martial connects it punningly 
with preceding word. 

At vos tarn placidas vagi per undas 

Tuta luditis otium carina. 

Non nautas piito vos, sed Argonautas 

(Epigrams, iii. 67). 

argosy [hist.]. Earlier ragusye (1577), It. 
ragusea (sc. nave), ship of Ragusa, in 

Dalmatia. Chapman spells it argosea. The 
town also is called in 16 cent. E. Arragouse, 
Aragosa, etc. Used several times by Shaks. 
(Merch. of Ven.), but now only poet. Cf. 
ship of Tarshish. 

argot. Slang. F., from 17 cent. Origin un- 

argue. F. arguer, VL. argutare (Propertius), 
frequent, of arguere, to prove, chide, etc., 
? orig. to make white and plain (see argent). 
Oldest sense, to bring evidence of, prove, 
as still in formal speech. 

Argus, Argus-eyed. Argus had a hundred eyes 
and was appointed by Juno to watch lo, of 
whom she was jealous. After his death his 
eyes were transferred to the peacock's tail. 

And full of Argus eyes their tayles dispredden wide 
[Faerie Queene, i. iv. 17). 

argute. Crafty. L. argutus, p.p. of arguere, to 

aria [mtis.]. It., air (q.v.). 

Arian [theol.]. Adherent of the heresy of 
Arius (Alexandria, 4 cent.), who denied 
that Christ was consubstantial with God. 
See Athanasian. 

arid. L. aridus, from arere, to be dry. 

ariel. Gazelle. Arab, aryil, var. of ayyil, 

aright. Prob. for on right (see a-). 

arise. AS. drtsan, intens. of rise, by which it 
is now almost supplanted. 

Aristarchus. Great critic. Aristarchus of 
Alexandria (fB.c. 157), critic of Homer. 

aristocracy. F. aristocratic, OF. also aristo- 
cracie, from G. apta-Tos, best. 

Aristotelian. Of Aristotle, G. 'Apto-ToreATjs 
(fl. 4 cent. B.C.). 

arithmetic. A restored form, borrowed from 
L. arithmetica, G. apiOfJirjTLKrj (sc. rej^vr/, 
art), from a.piOp.6%, number. OF. had aris- 
metique [s for 6), whence ME. arsmetrik, 
understood as L. ars metrica. AS. used 
tcelcrcuft, tell-craft, in this sense. 

For in the lond ther was no crafty man 

That geometric or ars-metrik kan (Chauc. A. 1898). 

ark. AS. earc, chest, Noah's ark, etc. An 
early pre-Christian loan in Teut. langs. 
from L. area, chest or coffer, cogn. with 
arcere, to keep off; cf. Du. ark, Ger. arche, 
ON. ork, Goth. arka. Still used in the north 
(hence name A rkwright) . In sense of Noah 's 
ark the F. form arche often occurs in ME. 
Luther has Noahs hasten, chest. The early 
and wide extension in the Teut. langs. of 
ark, box, chest, suggests that wooden 






receptacles, other than "dug-outs," were 

unknown to the early Teutons. 

Fac tibi arcam de lignis laevigatis 

(Vulg. Gen. vi. 14). 

Make to thee an ark [var. schip] of planed trees 

(Wye. ib.). 
arche: a cofer, chest; hutch, binne; also, an arke; 
whence V arche de Noe (Cotg.). 

arm^. Limb. AS. earm. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. 
Ger. arm, ON. armr, Goth, arms; cogn. 
with G. ctp/xos, joint, Sanskrit irmd, fore- 
quarter, and ult. with art. 

arm^. Weapon. F. arme, L. arnia, neut. pi. 
taken as fem. sing. ; cogn. with arni^. Orig. 
applied to whole of warlike equipment, in- 
cluding device on shield, armorial bearings, 
as in King-at-Arms, herald. 

armada. Sp., p.p. fem., L. armata, whence 
also army (q.v.). Incorr. armado is earlier 
(Com. of Errors, iii. 2). 

armadillo. Sp., dim. of armado, L. armatus, 
man in armour. 

Armageddon. In common use since beginning 
of the Great War. G. "Ap MayeScov [Rev. 
xvi. 16), app. mount of Megiddo, alluding 
to Judges, V. 19. 

That plain of Esdraelon or Megiddo, which has been 
red with the blood of battles all through history 

(Daily Ckron. Nov. 29, 1917). 
Our cavalry, traversing the field of Armageddon, 
had occupied Nazareth 

(Sir E. Allenby, Sep. 22, 1918). 

armament. L. armamentum, from armare, to 

arm. Of late esp. in bloated armaments 

Armenian. Lang, intermediate between the 

Aryan tongues of Asia and Europe. The 

survival of the race, in spite of periodical 

massacre, is remarkable. 
Armida. Dangerous enchantress. From 

armiger. Esquire. L., arm-bearing. 
armillary. Shaped like a bracelet, L. armilla. 
Arminian [theol.]. From Arminius, latiniza- 

tion of Harmensen, Du. theologian (fi. 16 

cent.) who opposed Calvin's doctrine of 

armistice. F., ModL. armistitium, coined on 

solstice (q.v.). Cf. Ger. waffenstillstand. 
armorial. From archaic armory, heraldry, F. 

armoirie, from armoier, to blazon, It. 

armeggiare. See armoury. 
Armorican. Of Brittany. From 'L. Armoricus 

(Caesar), Gaulish, prob. "by the sea." See 

armour. Earlier armure, F., L. armatura. A 

word which would now have become anti- 

quarian but for the introduction of the 
"iron-clad" warship. In this sense ar- 
moured is recorded for 1862. See iron-clad, 
monitor. More mod. are armoured train 
(Egyptian war) and armoured car. Our 
soldiers at the front all now wear steel 
helmets, and in to-day's paper [Daily Chron. 
Nov. 9, 1916) is an article on the " Triumph 
of Armour." 

armoury. F. armurerie , but gen. treated and 
felt as derived from E. armour. Earlier 
spellings also show confusion with the 
related armory (see armorial) and amhrv 

army. Earliest sense, armed expedition, then, 
naval force. F. armee, p.p. fem. of armer 
(cf. armada). The native word was here (as 
in Hereford, harbour, etc.; cf. Ger. heer). 
This was superseded by host^ (q-v.), and it 
is probable that armee orig. qualified this 
word, which it has now supplanted. 

In the Grete See 
At many a noble armee had he be (Chauc. A. 59). 

arnica. ModL. (F. & E., 18 cent.). Origin 

aroint [archaic']. In Shaks. (Macb. i. 3, Lear, 
iii. 4) and hence in Scott and the Brown- 
ings. Exact meaning and origin unknown. 
? Connected with dial, rointree, rowan-tree, 
mountain-ash, efhcacy of which against 
witches is often referred to in early folk- 

aroma. Restored spelling of ME. aromat, spice. 
F. aroniaie, L. neut. pi. aromata, from G. 
apoifxa, seasoning, spice. 

aroon [/r.]. Darling. Voc. of Ir. rziw, secret, 
secret treasure. For voc. prefix cf. asthofe. 
The Ir. word is cogn. with rune; cf. ON. 
eyraruna, darling. 

around. Perh. for F. en rond. Not in Shaks. 
or ^F. 

arouse. Formed from rouse^ (qv.) by analogy 
with rise, arise; wake, awake. 

arpeggio [mus.'\. It., from arpeggiare, to play 
the harp, arpa. 

And little sweet arpeggios, 
Like harps borne on the air 

(Corney Grain, Polka and Choir-boy). 

arquebus [hist.]. Also harquebuss. F. arque- 
buse. It. archibuso. This from MHG. 
hakenbiihse or LG. hakkebusse, from Ger 
haken, hook, bitchse, gun, lit. box; cf. Du. 
haakbus. So called because orig. rested on 
a hook when fired. Cf. later F. arquebuse a 
croc, when the meaning was forgotten. The 
alteration of the first syllable was due to 





influence of It. arco, bow, and arblasi (q.v.), 
which the arquebus replaced, while It. 
buso, hole, alludes to the barrel. The early 
vars. are very numerous and include the 
obs. hackbut (q.v.). 
arquebuse: an harquebuse, caleever, or hand-gun 

arquebuse a croc: an harquebuse a-crock (somewhat 
bigger than a musket) (ib.). 

arrack. Also rack^. Forms in most Europ. 
langs., borrowed from various Ind. ver- 
naculars. Arab, araq, sweat, juice, as in 
araq at-tamr, (fermented) juice of the 

arrah. Ir. expletive. In Farquhar (1705) who 
was of Ir. extraction. 

arraign. For earlier arayne, with intrusive 
-g-, AF. arainer, OF. araisnier, VL. *adra- 
tionare, orig. to address. ModF. arraisonner 
is from the OF. tonic stem. 

arrange. F. arranger, from a and rang (see 
rank^). Orig. to draw up in line of battle, 
gen. sense first appearing c. 1800. Not in 
Shaks. or A V. See range. 
There he araynged his men in the stretes 

(Berners' Froissart). 

arrant. Var. of errant (q.v.). By constant 
association with thief, and later, with rog ue, 
vagabond, etc., it lost its orig. meaning and 
came to be regarded as an intens. epithet 
(cf. arch^). 

Right so bitwixe a titleless tiraunt 
And an outlawe, or a theef erraunt. 
The same I seye, ther is no difference 

(Chauc. H. 223). 

arras. From Arras (Pas-de-Calais), place of 
manufacture. App. not known in F. in 
this sense. Cf. cambric, lawn, etc. Arras 
takes its name from the Atrebates. 

array. OF. areer, areier (whence F. arroi), 
VL. *ad-red-are, the root syllable being 
Teut. and cogn. with Goth, garaids, 
ready, prepared, E. ready, Ger. rat, supply, 
counsel; cf. It. arredare, Sp. arrear. With 
Goth, garaidian, to make ready, cf. Sc. 
graith, to make ready, from ON., whence 
also F. greer, to rig (a ship), agres, rigging. 
Oldest sense of array is usu. to marshal an 
army. See also raiment, curry '^. ME. had 
also the opposite deray, disray, now re- 
placed by disarray. 

arrears. From adv. arrear, F. arriere, L. ad 
retro. Mod. sense (17 cent.) is evolved from 
the phrase in arrear, F. en arriere, behind- 
hand. ME. used arrearage, F. arrdrage. 
arrierage: an arrerage; the rest, or the remainder 
of a paiment; that which was unpaid, or behind 


arrect. L. arrectus, upright, from arrigere, 

from ad and regere. 
arrest. OF. arester (arreter), VL. *ad-restare, 

to come to a halt. Orig. in trans., but had 

become trans, before adoption in E. See 

arride [archaic]. L. arridere, to smile upon, 
arriere-ban [hist.]. F., perversion of OHG. 

hari-ban, army summons. See ban^, harry. 
arris. See arete. 
arrive. F. arriver, VL. *adripare, from ripa, 

shore. Earliest meaning naut. Cf. accost 

and F. aborder. Oldest sense in E. is trans., 

to bring ashore, then, to land. 

Iluec arrivet sainement la nacele [vessel] 

[Vie de Saint-Alexis, 11 cent.). 
Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.... 
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes 

[Luke, viii. 22-26). 

arrogate. From L, arrogare, to call to, claim, 
from ad and rogare, to ask. Hence arrogant, 
from pres. part. 

arrow. AS. arwe, a rare word, cogn. with L. 
arcus, bow. More usual AS. words were 
fld and strSl. Cogn. with arrow are ON. or, 
Goth, arhwazna. The broad arrow, "His 
Majesty's mark" (1661), is thought by 
some to have been orig. an anchor, used 
earlier (1609) on timber reserved for the 
Navy, but the use of the broad arrow as a 
distinguishing, though not royal, mark, 
goes back to the 16 cent, and prob. much 
further. Arrow-root (Wind.) is supposed to 
be so named from the use made of the 
tubers to absorb poison from wounds, 
especially those caused by poisoned arrows. 
But according to some it is from the 
native name ara. 

arroyo [t/S.]. Water-course, gully. Sy.arroyo, 
MedL. arrogium, cogn. with L. arrugia, 
canal (Pliny). 

'Arry. The NED. quotes 'Arry on 'Orseback, 
from Punch (1874). 

arse. AS. ears. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. aars, 
Ger. arsch, ON. ars; cogn. with G. oppo^, 
rump, where pp is for pa. 

arsenal. Orig. (16 cent.) dock, wharf. Forms 
with numerous vars. in most Europ. langs. 
Immediate source is It. arsenate, earlier 
arzend (Dante). Early It. var. is darsena 
(cf. Sp. darsena. Port, tercena, F. darsine, 
dock). First found at Venice, the arsenal 
of which is explained by Coryat (i6ii) as 
quasi ars navalis ! The two groups of forms 
represent Arab, affinda'h, for al-finda'h, 
the work-shop, or the same preceded by 



ddr, a house. For Arab, dar-sinah see 
Borrow's Bible in Spain, ch. Ivi. For Arab, 
origin cf. magazine, 
arsenate : a storehouse for munitions (Flor.). 
arcenal: an arcenall; an armorie; a storehouse of 
armour, artillerie, shipping, or ships (Cotg.). 
atarafana: a docke for ships (Percy vail). 

taracena, tarezena, or terecena: a store-house for 
shipping, or an arsenal (Vieyra). 

arsenic. F., L., G. apcreviKov (dppcviKov) , 
yellow orpiment, lit. male. For the fanciful 
name cf. the etym. suggested for amal- 
gam. But the G. word is folk-etym. for 
Arab, az-zirnikh, Pers. zarmkh, orpiment, 
from zar, gold. 

arsis [nietr.']. G. apacs, raising, from atpeiv. 
Orig. of raising and beating time with the 

arson [leg.]. OF., VL. *arsio-n-, burning, 
from ardere, ars-. Law F. ; cf. larceny, 
barratry, etc. 

art. F., L. ars, art-, from a root meaning to 
fit together which appears also in arm"^' ^ 
and in artus, joint. In Bachelor of Arts, etc. 
orig. of the trivium, or three arts of medieval 
study, viz. grammar, logic, and rhetoric, 
and the quadrivitim, arithmetic, geometry, 
music, and astronomy. Hence artful once 
meant learned, cultured, and later, dexter- 
ous. For its degeneration cf. artificial, 
crafty, cunning. So also artless was ignor- 
ant, clumsy. The black art is translated 
from nigromancy, perversion of necromancy 
(q.v.). The same misunderstanding has 
passed into most Europ. langs. and has led 
to the parallel adoption of white in white 
magic, etc. Art and part is prop, a Sc. leg. 
expression, the contriving and sharing in 
an act, hence accessory and principal, 
perh. orig. short for artifex et particeps. 

artery. L., G. dpTrjpia, perh. from alpeiv, to 
raise. Earlier arter, OF. artaire (artere), 
used in the sense of windpipe. 

artesian. F. art^sien, of Artois, where such a 
well was first bored (i8 cent.). Artois is L. 
adj. Atrebatensis (see arras). 

arthritis [m.ed.}. From G. apOpov, joint, cogn. 
with L. artus. 

artichoke. A word with, in all langs., an 
extraordinary number of early vars. due 
to folk-etym. Cf. F. artichaut, It. carcioffo, 
Du. artisjok, Ger. artischoke. Our form, 
like the Ger., represents North It. articiocco, 
influenced by ciocco, stump, for arcicioffo, 
from Sp. alcarchove, Sp. Arab, alkharsdfa, 
Arab, al-kharshuf, where al is def. art. and 

arum 76 

the second part is the name of the plant, 

the cardoon. First used of the plant with 

edible flower, and later of the Jerusalem 

artichoke (v.i.), a species of sunflower with 

edible roots. The spelling is sometimes 

influenced by F. chou, cabbage (see quot. 

2). Jerusalem artichoke is supposed to be 

a corrupt, of It. girasole, turning to the sun, 

a name of the sunflower (cf. heliotrope). A 

further play of the popular imagination 

has resulted in Palestine soup, made of 


alcarhofa: an artochock (Percy vail). 

In time of memory things have bene brought in 

that were not here before, as... the artichowe in time 

of Henry the eight (Hakl. 1599). 

Error being hke the Jerusalem- Artichoake; plant it 

where you wiU, it overrunnes the ground and 

choakes the heart {NED. 1641). 

article. F., L. articulus, dim. of artus, joint. 

Earliest E. sense is rel. {articles of belief). 

As gram, term a direct translation of cogn. 

G. apOpov, joint. 
articulate. From L. articulare, to joint (v.s.). 

Articulate speech is intelligibly divided into 

words and syllables. 
artifice. L. artificium, making by art. For 

degeneration of meaning cf. artful, craft, 


Their canoas were as artificially made as any that 
ever we had seene (Purch.). 

artillery. F. artillerie, from artiller, to equip, 
usu. connected with L. ars, art-, via VL. 
*articulare ; cf . It. artiglieria, Sp. artillaria. 
But OF. has also atillier, to equip, VL. 
*apticitlare, from aptus, fit, and in MedL. 
we find a group of words in atil- belonging 
to the same meaning. It seems therefore 
possible that the art- forms are altered by 
folk-etym. from the at- forms. Formerly 
used of warlike equipment of all kinds. 

All maner of artelere, as drumes, flutes, trumpetes, 
gones, mores pykes, halbardes 

(Diary of Henry Machyn, 1550-63). 
Jonathan gave his artillery [Wye. aarmis, Coverd. 
wappens] unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, 
carry them to the city (i Sam. xx. 40). 

artisan. F., It. artigiano (cf. partisan^). 
Earlier sense in E. & F. also artist. Ult. 
form doubtful. ? VL. *artensianus. 

artist, artiste. The latter was introduced (19 
cent.) in consequence of the gradual re- 
striction of artist, F. artiste. It. artista, to 

arum. L., G. apov. In dial, often aaron. 

jarrus: wake-robin, starch-wort, rampe, aaron, 
calves-foot, cuckoe pint (Cotg.). 





Aryan [ling.]. From Sanskrit drya, noble. 
Hence also G. 'Apcta, Eastern Persia, and 
Pers. Iran, Persia. Introduced by Max 
Miiller, as generic name for inflected langs. 
(see Caucasian, Japhetic). Divided into 
West Aryan, i.e. most Europ. langs. (exc. 
Basque, Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish) 
and East Aryan, i.e. Persian, Sanskrit, 
and the Hindi vernaculars related to the 
latter. Armenian is regarded as inter- 
mediate between the two. Some use Aryan 
of the Asiatic group only. 

as. AS. ealswd, alswd, i.e. all so, also, of 
which as is a worn-down form, the fuller 
also surviving in more emphatic position; 
cf. Ger. als, also. Our as... as was orig. 
alswa...swa, or alswa...alswa, and for some 
time the first term remained fuller than the 
Also salt as ani se {NED. c. 1325). 

asafoetida, assafoetida. Hybrid MedL. (14 
cent.), from asa, Pers. azd, mastic, L. 
feiida, stinking. 

asbestos. L., G. ao-ySeo-ro?, unquenchable, 
from a-, neg., afSevvvvaL, to quench. 

ascend. L. ascendere, to climb up, from ad 
and scandere. In the ascendant is from 
astrology, the ascendant being the degree 
of the zodiac rising above the eastern 
horizon at a particular moment, esp. at 
the birth, of a child (cf. jovial, mercurial, 
horoscope, etc.) . In the sense of superiority, 
control (over) now usu. replaced by ascend- 
ancy (18 cent.). The earliest word of the 
group is ascension in rel. sense. 

Myn ascendent was Taur and Mars therinne 

(Chauc. D. 613). 

ascertain. Earlier acertaine, to assure or 

certify, OF. acertener, from a and certain. 

Later spelt assertaine, prob. by analogy 

with synon. assure. Mod. sense has been 

evolved from the reflex, use, to ascertain 

oneself of something. 
ciscetic. G. aaK-qTiKos, from aa-Krjrrjs, monk, 

hermit, from dcTKe'eiv, to exercise, practise. 

Ascetes, c'est-a-dire exercitants (Bossuet). 
ascidium [zool.]. Mollusc with leathery casing. 

G. do-KiSiov, dim. of acrKos, wine-skin. 
ascititious. See adscititious. 
asclepiad [metr.]. From 'Ao-zcXT^TridSr^s, G. 

poet of uncertain identity. 
ascribe. Restored spelling of earlier ascrive, 

OF. ascriv-, stem of ascrire, L. ascribere, 

from ad and scribere, to write. 

Lest... to my name the victorie be ascrived 

(Wye. 2 Sam. xii. 28). 

ascript. See adscript. 

aseptic. Not septic (q.v.). Prefix is G. a-, neg. 

Asgard [myth.]. Norse Olympus. ON. ds- 
garthr, home (garth) of the gods. 

ash^. Tree. AS. (ssc. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. 
esch, Ger. esche, ON. askr. Older and dial, 
forms survive in place-names and surnames, 
e.g. Aske, Asquith, Ascham, etc. 

cish^. From fire. AS. asce. Com. Teut.; cf. 
Du. asch, Ger. asche, ON. aska, Goth, azgo; 
ult. cogn. with arid. Ash Wednesday, from 
penitents sprinkling ashes on their heads, 
is recorded for 13 cent. Cf. Ger. aschermitt- 
woch, F. jour (mercredi) des cendres. 

ashamed. Prefix may be a-, ge-, or of-, all 
three forms occurring early. Cf. athirst, 

ashlar. Masonry constructed of flat squared 
stone, as opposed to rubble work. F. 
aisselier, boarding (cf. aisseau, wooden tile), 
from OF. aissele, plank, L. axilla, dim. of 
axis, whence F. ais, plank, board. Meaning 
has app. been transferred from woodwork 
to stonework. 

Ashmolean Museum. At Oxford. Presented 
(1677) by Elias Ashmole. 

ashore. For on shore. See aboard. Usual 
Elizabethan word is aland, shore (q.v.) not 
being a native word. 

aside. Orig. on side (cf. abed, etc.), as still in 
to put on one side. 

asinine. L. asininus, from asinus, ass. 

as in praesenti. Latin rudiments. Opening 
words of mnemonic lines on conjugations 
in Lilley's Lat. Gram. (16 cent.). 

We will sing to you the mystic numbers of as in 
praesenti under the arches of the Pons Asinorum 

(Thackeray) . 

ask. AS. dscian or dcsian. WGer. ; cf. Du. 
eischen, Ger. heischen (OHG. eiscon). Mod. 
form should have become ash, esh (cf. ash^), 
forms found in ME. Ask is northern, while 
ax, from dcsian (v.s.) was literary E. till 
circa 1600, and is still in gen. dial, use in 
south and midlands. 
Axe, and it shalbe geven you (Tynd. Matt. vii. 7). 

askance. For a sconce. OF. d esconse, from 
an OF. p.p., hidden. Cf. F. regarder 
quelqu'un a la derobee, from ddrober, to 
steal, hide, and E. to steal a glance. 
Askew has a similar sense-history. 

But let a soldier, that hath spent his bloud, 
Is lam'd, diseas'd, or any way distrest, 
Appeale for succour, then you looke a sconce 
As if you knew him not (Larum for London, 1602). 





askari. Arab., soldier, from 'askara, to 
gather together. 

A small warlike class, from whom their askaris, or 
soldiers, were selected 

(D. Lloyd George, Jan. 5, 1917). 

askew. See skew. 

aslant. Very much older than slant, which is 
evolved from it. Earliest form o-slant, on- 
slent, on-slont (c. 1300), while slant, noun 
and verb, is not recorded till 16 cent. 
There is, however, a ME. verb slenten, app. 
of Scand. origin; cf. archaic Dan. slente, 
Sw. slinta, to glide, slip obliquely. 
Towards the evening we had a slent of a northerly 
wind (Raleigh). 

asleep. Earlier on sleep; cf. abed, aside, etc. 
For David, after he had served his own generation 
by the wiU of God, fell on sleep {Acts, xiii. 36). 

aslope. Much older than slope, adj., noun, 
and verb (16 cent.), which is evolved from 
it (cf. aslant). Prob. p.p. dslopen of AS. 
dslupan, to slip away (cf. adj. awake from 
p.p. awacen). This is cogn. with slip. 

Asmodeus. Evil spirit of Pers. legend corre- 
sponding to Aeshmd Dacvd of Iranian 

Daemonium nomine Asmodaeus occiderat eos, mox 
ut ingressi fuissent ad eam [Viilg. Tobit, iii. 8). 

asp, aspic. OF. aspe and ModF. aspic, L., 
G. acnrLs, aa-iriS-. The form aspic {Ant. (sy 
Cleop. V. 2) is app. a F. alteration of Prov. 
aspit, from aspid-em. 
aspide. an aspike or aspe (Flor. 1611). 

asparagus. L., G. do-Trapayos for acrcfydpayo? . 
Earliest forms were aphet. and sperage was 
usual in 16-17 cents. Cf. F. asperge, Ger. 
spar gel. The perverted sparrow-grass was 
the polite form till 19 cent. 
asperge: the herb sparage or sparagus (Cotg.). 
Brought home with me from Fenchurch St. a 
hundred of sparrowgrass, cost i8rf. 

(Pepys, Apr. 21, 1667). 
Sparrow-grass is so general that asparagus has an 
air of stiffness and pedantry 

(Walker, Pronouncing Diet. 1791). 

Aspasia. Gifted and influential woman. 

Famous hetaira, mistress of Pericles. Cf. 

aspect. F., L. aspectus, from aspicere, to 

look at, from ad and specere. Earliest use 

is astron. (Chauc). 
aspen. Orig. an adj. (cf. linden), which has 

replaced the noun asp, though both asp 

and aps are still in dial. use. AS. cBspe and 

ceps. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. esp, Ger. espe, ON. 

osp. The form aspen may be the gen., so 

common in the compd. aspen-leaf; cf. 
Ger. zittern wie ein espenblatt. For associa- 
tion with trembling cf. F. tremble, Ger. 
zitterpappel, lit. tremble-poplar. It is 
curious to note that one could once " quake 
like an aspen-leaf" with rage. 

This Somonour in his styropes hye stood. 
Upon this frere his herte was so wood [furious] 
That lyk an aspen leef he quook for ire 

(Chauc. D. 1665). 

asperity. Remodelled on L. OF. asprete 

{dprete), from L. asper, rough, from ab and 

spernere, to repel, etc. 
aspersion. Earlier used in its lit. sense of 

sprinkling, from L. aspergere, from spargere, 

spars-, to scatter. Now, bespattering, 

slandering, etc., usu. with cast. 

By the aspersion of the bloud of Jesus Christ (Foxe). 
asphalt. Mod. corrected form from F. 

asphalte. In ME. aspaltoun, aspalt (cf. It. 

aspalto) was used of "mineral pitch." G. 

acr4>aXTo?, but not a G. word. Rendered 

bitumen in Vulg. and slime in A V. 

It [the Dead Sea] castethe out of the watre a thing 
that men clepen aspalt (Maundeville). 

asphodel. F. asphodele, L., G. dcr<^o8eXos. 

Popular, and earlier, form was affodil, 

whence daffodil (q.v.). 
asphyxia. G. aa(f>v^La, from a-, neg., (T(f>v^L<;, 


asphyxia: a cessation of the pulse throughout the 

whole body; which is the highest degree of swooning 

and next to death (Phillips). 

aspic^. Serpent. See asp. 

aspic-. Or aspic jelly. F. (neol.). Littre 
suggests from aspic, asp, in allusion to the 
saying froid comme iin aspic. 

aspidistra. Plant. Coined 1822, app. from G. 
do-TTt's, do-TTtS-, shield, ? and dcrrpov, star. 
Though a common word I find it in no 
mod. diet. 

aspire. L. aspirare, to breathe towards, from 
ad and spirare. Hence aspirate, breathed 

aspirin. Drug. Ger., fancy trade-name. 

asquint. Very much older (1230) than squint 
(16 cent.), which is evolved from it (cf. 
aslant, aslope). Origin obscure. It has been 
connected with Du. schuin, oblique, 
schuinte, obliquity, but these, of late ap- 
pearance in Du. and of unknown origin, 
may be from E. The narrow window 
popularly called a leper's squint (hagio- 
scope) is properly squinch, related to OF. 
escoinson (ecoinson), from L. ex and cu- 
neum, corner, explained by Cotg. as "a 





scunch; the back part of the jaumbe of 
a window." This suggests that asquint may 
belong to a Norman word of similar origin 
(L. ex and ctineum). Cf. obs. askoyne, 
sidelong, askance. 

ass. AS. assa and esol. With the latter cf. 
Du. ezel, Ger. esel, ON. asni, Goth, asilus. 
Cogn. forms in Celt, and Slav, langs All 
from L. asiniis, prob. of Semit. origin. The 
Asses' Bridge or Pons Asinoruni (Euclid i. 
5) is mentioned in 18 cent., but bridge of 
asses in gen. sense of crux is in Urquhart's 
Rabelais, ii. 26. 

assafoetida. See asafoetida. 

assagai, assegai. Became familiar in con- 
nection with the Zulu wars (19 cent.), but 
is found in Purch. in ref. to Guinea. From 
Africa, whither it was taken by the Portu- 
guese (cf. kraal, sjambok). Ult. Arab, az- 
zaghdyah, az for al, the, and the Berber 
name of the weapon. Hence, through Sp., 
F. zagaie, formerly azagaie, archegaie. The 
latter is found in ME. and I'archegaie be- 
came by folk-etym. lancegay. 

azagaya: a kind of a small Moorish spear (Vieyra). 
And in his hand a launcegay, 

A long swerd by his side (Chauc. B. 1942). 
They of Granade... fought ferseley with their bowes 
and archegayes (Berners' Froissart). 

assail. Earlier asale, OF. asalir {assaillir), 
late VL. adsalire (Salic Law), to jump at, 
for L. assilire. 

assart [hist.]. Cleared forest land. AF., OF. 
essart, from L. ex-sarire, ex-sart-, to root 
out, whence MedL. assartare. 

assassin. F., It. assassino, Arab. hashshdsMn, 
eaters of hashish, an intoxicant made from 
hemp. For the pi. form cf. Bedouin (q.v.), 
cherubi^n. The orig. assassins were the 
emissaries of the Old Man of the Mountains, 
a famous sheikh at the time of the Crusades, 
who intoxicated themselves before attempt- 
ing murder. 

Hos tam Saraceni quam Christiani "Assisinos" 
appellant (Roger of Wendover, c. 1237). 

assault. Earlier assaitt, F., VL. *ad-saltus; 
cf. assail. Mod. spelling is latinized (cf. 
fault). In assault and battery (Law F.) the 
second word is added to distinguish a real 
from a technical assault. 

If one lifts up his cane, or his fist, in a threatning 
manner at another; or strikes at him, but misses 
him; this is an assault (Blackstone). 

assay. Var. of essay (q.v.) which has survived 

in spec, sense of "trying" metals. 
assegai. See assagai. 

assemble. F. assembler, L. adsimulare (from 

simul, together), in its later sense of simul 

cogere. Cf. dissemble. 
assent. OF. assenter, L. assentare, frequent. 

of assentire {ad and sentire, to feel), whence 

ModF. assentir. 
assert. From L. asserere, assert-, from serere, 

to join; orig. to maintain a right, as in self 

assess. OF. assesser, VL. *assessare, frequent. 

of assidere, to sit by {ad sedere). Cf. F. 

asseoir un impot. Aphet. 5^55, cess, was 

once common and the latter (q.v.) is still 

used in Sc. law. See also assize, excise. 

asseoir: to set, settle, place, plant; also, to cesse, 
or tax (Cotg.). 

assets. Late AF. assets (Littleton, 15 cent.), 
F. assez, enough, L. ad satis. Orig. in to 
have assets. The artificial sing, asset is 
quite mod. (1884 in NED.). 

asseverate. For earlier assever, L. asseverare, 
to affirm solemnlj^, from sever us. 

assiduous. From L. assidtms, from assidere, 
to sit down to {ad and sedere, to sit). 

assiento [hist.]. Contract with Spain for sup- 
plying slaves to Sp. colonies in America. 
Sp. asiento, as assent (q.v.). 

assign. F. assigner, L. assignare, to allot b}^ 
sign, signnm. An assignat, paper money of 
first French Republic, was secured {as- 
signe) on confiscated Church property. 

assimilate. From L. assimilare, to make like, 
similis. In phonology assimilation is the 
tendency of a sound to imitate its neigh- 
bour, e.g. F. chercher, OF. cercher (cf. 
search), VL. *circare. For a good E. 
example see snickersnee. 

assist. F. assister, L. assistere, to stand by. 
In the sense of to be present etym. meaning 
survives. Though now regarded as a F. 
idiom, this was once current E. 

assize. Fern. p.p. of F. asseoir, VL. *ad-sedere 
for assidere. Found in 12 cent, both of the 
'■ sitting," or session, of a court, and of the 
enactments passed. With the latter sense 
cf. AS. gesetnes, law, and Ger. gesetz. Size 
(q.v.) in all its senses is aphet. for assize. 

associate. From L. associare, from socius, 
companion. Association football follows 
the rules of the National Football Associa- 

assoil [archaic]. OF. asoile, pres. subj. of 
asoldre {absoudre), L. absolvere, as in que 
Dieiis asoile, whom may God absolve, in 
speaking of the dead, whence ME. whom 
{whose soul) God asoile, a stock phrase in 





Past. Let. Now only poet. ; but Sc. 
assoilzie, where ^ is a printer's substitution 
for an obsolete symbol representing F. 
/ mouillee (cf. tulzie, Dalziel, Mackenzie, 
etc.), is still in leg. use. 

L'abbes Adans de Saint Urbain, que Diex asoille, 
donna grant foison de biaus juiaus a moy 


/ absolve, or assoyle from synnc, or irespas: je assouls 


And the holy man he assoil'd us, and sadly we 

sail'd away (Tennyson, Voyage of Maeldune). 

assonance. Rudimentary rime consisting in 
agreement of tonic vowel. From L. ad and 
sonare, to sound. 
Up and down the City Road, 
In eind out the Eagle. 
That's the way the money goes. 
Pop goes the weasel ! 

assort. OF. asorter (replaced by assortir), 

from a and sorte. See sort. 
assuage. OF. asouagier, VL. *adsuaviare, 

from suavis, sweet; cf. Prov. asuaviar. For 

the -g- cf. abridge. ModF. has rejected it 

for adoucir (from dulcis). 

addoucir: to sweeten; smooth; asswage (Cotg.). 
assume. L. assumere, to take to oneself, from 

ad and sumere. Hence assumption, earliest 

(13 cent.) in lit. sense, "taking up" of the 

Virgin Mary, 
assure. F. assurer, to make sure, from F. silr, 

OF. seur, L. securus. 
aster. L., G. daryp, a star. 

aster: a star; also the herb star- wort, spare- wort, 
or cod- wort (Phillips). 

asterisk. L., G. aareptaKos, dim. of aaTrjp, 

Wher ever ye seen asterichos... there wijte ye of 
Ebrue added, that in Latine bokis is not had 

(Wye. Prol. 2 Chron.). 

astern. See stern^; cf. ahead, afloat, etc. 

asthma. G. acrOfxa, from a^civ, to breathe 

asthore [Ir.]. Darling. Voc. of Ir. stor, 
treasure (store), from E. Cf. aroon. 

astigmatism [med.]. From G. a-, neg., crrLy/xa, 
o-Tty/xaT-, point, spot. 

astir. Not in E. diets, before 1864. Adopted 
from Sc asteer, for on stir. Cf. aside, etc. 

astonish, astony, astound. OF. estoner 
(e'tonner), VL. *extonare, to thunder-strike, 
became ME. astone, astoun, later astound 
(for spurious -d cf. sound^, " gownd," etc.). 
From p.p. astoned was formed a new verb 
astony (cf. levy, parry, etc.), replaced after 
1500 by astonish, a form influenced by 
verbs in -ish (cf. extiijguish). Stun (q.v.) 

is the same word, and Ger. staunen, er- 
staunen are borrowed from a Swiss-F. form 
of estoner. The meaning of astonish has 
weakened from that of stunning to that of 
surprising, but astound has kept more of 
orig. sense. F. etonner has weakened in the 
same way. 

Si grant cop li dona que tot I'a estoune 

(Renaiit de Montauban). 

I astonysshe with a stroke upon the head: jestourdis 


Sir Edwarde...strake hym such a stroke on the 

helme with his swerde, that he was astonyed 

(Berners' Froissart). 

Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry 

astound. See astonish. 
Astraea. Goddess of justice in Golden Age, 

who left earth because of its wickedness 

and became the constellation Virgo. Cf. 

Astrcsa Redux, poem by which Dryden 

celebrated return of Stuarts. 
astragal [arch.]. Moulding. L., G. do-rpayaAos, 

knuckle-bone, in pi. dice, 
astrakhan. Wool of very young lambs from 

Astrakhan on the Volga, 
astral. Of a star, L. astrum, as in astral 

spirit, astral lamp. Astral body, as used in 

spiritualistic _ jargon, appears to be later 

than the first vol. of the NED. 
astray. Found earlier as on stray, but this is 

perh. for astray by analogy with other E. 

phrases in on, a-. See stray. 
astriction. From L. astringere, from ad and 

stringere, strict-, to tighten. 
astride. Prefix is perh. from F. a; cf. apace 

and F. a califourchon, astride, 
astringent. See astriction. 
astrolabe. OF. astrelabe, MedL., G. aa-rpo- 

\dj3ov, from dcrrpov, star, and Xa/x^dveiv, to 

take. Used in desperation by Swinburne. 

Love alone, with yearning 

Heart for astrolabe, 
Takes the star's height, burning 

O'er the babe 

(Swinburne, Poems & Ballads, 3rd series). 

astrology. F. astrologie, L., G. do-TpoXoyia, 
telling of the stars, from da-Trjp, star. Orig. 
equivalent to astronomy, G. do-rpovofiia, 
arrangement of the stars, but gradually 
limited by 17 cent, to the supposed in- 
fluence, etc. of the stars. 

Assembled with astronomy 

Is eke that ilke astrology, 

The which in judgements accompteth 

Theffect what every sterre amounteth (Gower). 

astronomy. See astrology. 

astute. L. astutus, from astus, craft. 





asunder. AS. on sundran. See sunder and a-. 
asylum. L., G. acrvXov, neut. of aavkos, in- 
violable, from crvXr], right of seizure. 
as5rmptote [math.]. G. dcrvyu-TTTcoTos, from d-, 

neg., crvv, together, tttcoto?, apt to fall, 

from TTLTTTeLv, to fall, 
asyndeton [rhel.]. Omission of conjunctions, 

e.g. veni, vidi, vici. From G. d-, neg., 

(TwSeiv, to bind together. 
at. AS. est. Com. Teut., but not now used in 

Du. & Ger.; cf. OSax. at, OHG. az, ON. 

Goth, at; cogn. with 1.. ad. 
atabal [hist.]. Sp., Arab, at-tabl, for al-tabl, 

the drum. Cf. tabor. 
ataghan. See yataghan. 
ataman. See hetnian. 
ataunt [naut.]. With all sails set. Orig. of 

drinking as much as possible. F. aiitant, as 

much, in boire d'autant, a autant. 
atavism. F. atavisme, coined from L. ataviis, 

from avus, grandfather, with first element 

cogn. with Goth, atta, father (see Attila). 

atavus: my great grandfathers grandfather 


ataxy. G. dra^ta, from d-, neg., rdfts, order; 
cf. dis-order. Chiefly in locomotor ataxy, 
loss of control over movements. 
"They call ut Locomotus attacks us," he sez, 
"bekaze," sez he, "it attacks us like a locomotive" 
(Private Mulvaney). 

atelier. F., workshop, OF. astelier, from 
astele, small plank, ? dim. of L. hasta, spear. 

Athanasian. From Athanasius, a G. name, 
meaning "immortal" (cf. ambrosia, tansy), 
archbishop of Alexandria (temp, Constan- 
tine, 4 cent.), to whom has been attributed 
the compilation of the A thanasian creed. 

atheism. F. atheisme, coined (i6 cent.) from 
G. d^fos, from d-, neg., 0(.6%, god. 

atheling [/risi!.]. Sonof noble family. AS., from 
csthel, noble, and patronymic suffix -ing; cf. 
Du. Ger. adel, nobility, ON. athal. Perh. ult. 
cogn. with Goth, atta, father (see Attila). 

athenaeum. G. 'A^Tjvaiov. Orig. temple of 
Athene (Minerva) in ancient Athens. 

athirst. AS, ofthyrst{ed), p.p. of ofthyrstan, 
where the prefix is intens. Cf. an-hungered. 
Afyngered [a hungered] and athurst 

{Piers Plowm. B. x. 59). 

athlete. L., G. a6X7]Tr}<;, from d^Aos, contest. 

athwart. Formed from thwart^ (q-v.) like 
across from cross. Esp. in athwart hawse 
(naut.), across the stem of another ship 
[see hawse), fig. of incommoding, provoking. 
You lie, lubber ! d — n your bones ! what business 
have you to come always athwart my hause? 

[Peregrine Pickle, Ch. i). 

Atkins. See Thomas, Tommy. 

Atlantic. L., G. 'ArXavTiKO?, from "ArXas, 
"ArAavT-. Orig. applied to that part of the 
sea near Mount Atlas in Libya (v.i.) on 
the west coast of Africa. Hence Atlantis, 
mythical island in ocean (Plato). 

Atlas. Orig. one of the older G. gods, supposed 
to uphold the pillars of the world; later. 
Mount x\tlas, regarded as supporting the 
firmament. The application to a map-book 
is said to be due to Mercator (q.v.) who 
used a figure of Atlas supporting the globe 
as a frontispiece (16 cent.). 

Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight: 
And, weakUng, Warwick takes his gift again 

(3 Hen. VI. V. i). 

atmosphere. L., G. dT/i.05, vapour, atftaipa, 
sphere. First used (1638) in connection 
with the moon, now believed to have no 
atmosphere. With mod. fig. senses cf. 
those of air. 

atoll. Coral island with lagoon. Maldive 
atollon, atol, the Maldive islands being of 
such formation. Prob. of Malayalam origin. 
The word in its present form was popular- 
ized by Darwin (1842). 

Every atollon is separated from others, and con- 
taynes in itselfe a great multitude of small isles 


atom. F. atome, L., G. a.TOjxo<;, indivisible, 
from a.-, neg., Te/xvetv, to cut. Cf. in-divid- 
ual. The mod. atomic theory (chem.) is due 
to Dal ton (1805). 

atome: a moate in the simne; a thing so small, that 
it cannot be divided (Cotg.). 

atomy [dial.]. With mixed meaning from 
atom and anatomy (q.v.), the latter becom- 
ing coUoq. atomy. 

Thou atomy [i.e. skeleton], thou (2 Hen. IJ'. v. 4). 
I suppose you have come here to laugh at us, you 
spiteful little atomy (Water-Babies). 

atone. Orig. to reconcile, from adv. phrase 
at one, and preserving old pronunc. of 
the latter word, as in only, alone. In ME. 
one, onement were used in sense of atone, 
atonement. Atonement is in the AV., but 
not atone. Cf., for the formation, OF. 
aduner, aiiner, to unite, reconcile. 

After this was God at one [Vulg. repropitiatus] 
with the londe (Coverd. 2 Sam. xxi. 14). 

atonic. Unstressed. From G. a-, neg. and 

to7iic (q.v.). 
atrabilious. From L. aira, black, bilis, bile, 

used orig. to translate G. fitXayxoXia. See 






atrip [naut.]. Used of the anchor when it has 
just left the ground. Also of the sails, 
when ready for trimming. From trip (q.v.), 
in the sense of start. Cf. apeak. 

atrocious. From L. atrox, atroc-, cogn. with 
ater, dark, treacherous. 

atrophy. F. atrophie, L., G. drpoe^ta, from d-, 
neg., rpi^uv, to nourish. 

atropine. Poison. From atropa, botanical 
name of the night-shade, G. "ArpoTros, 
inflexible, one of the Fates, from d-, neg., 
rpeVeiv, to turn. 

attach. F. attacher; cf. It. attaccare , Sp. atacar. 
Ident. with attack (q.v.). Orig. to fasten to, 
tack on. The root syllable is of doubtful 
origin. ? Cf. tag^. 

attack. F. attaquer, It. attaccare. Not in 
Shaks. Borrowed by F. (i6 cent.) to the 
indignation of Henri Estienne (v.i.). It. 
meaning is to join, F. & E. sense developing 
from attaccare hattaglia, "to joyne battell" 

Ce mot " attaquer " participe du frangois " attacher ' ' 
et de I'italien "attacar."...Les courtisans trouvent 
plus beau "attaquer" que "attacher" 

(Estienne, Nouveau fraufois italianise). 

attain. F. atteindre, atteign-, L. attingere, 
from ad and tangere, to touch. See 
attainder, attaint. All of these may be 
rather from OF. ataindre, VL. *attangere. 

attainder. F. atteindre (v.s.), used as noun. 
Law F. Cf. misnomer, rejoinder, remainder , 
etc. See attain, attaint. 

attaint. Orig. p.p. and so used in E. Then it 
became verb and noun, to condemn by 
attainder (q.v.), conviction by attainder. In 
sense of touching, infecting, etc., it has 
been supplanted by the aphet. form taint 
(q.v.). For the form {*attinctus for attactus) 
and grammatical development, cf. paint 
(q.v.). In ME. attain, attaint are used in- 
differently in various senses. 

Atteint they were by the lawe, 

And demed for to hong and drawe (Gower). 

attar. Earlier is the popular form otto (of 

roses). Pers. atar-gul, essence of roses, from 

Arab, 'itr, perfume, 
attempt. OF. attempter, latinized form of 

attenter, L. attemptare , to try. 
attend. F. attendre, to wait, in OF. also in E. 

senses, L. attendere, lit. to stretch towards. 

Cf. attention. For development of current 

sense cf. to wait on. 
attenuate. From L. attenuare, to make thin, 


attest. F. attester, from L. attestari, to bear 
witness, testis, to. 

Attic, attic. Of Attica, Athens; hence, ele- 
gant, refined, etc. The architectural attic, 
orig. a small decorative order placed above 
a greater (usu. Attic) order, is the same 
word. An attic is upright, a garret is in a 
sloping roof. 

Atticolepore tincti sales: sharpe andwittie sentences 
full of pleasauntnesse (Coop.). 
Shall I, I say, suppress my Attic salt? 

(Byron, Hints from Horace). 

Attila. King of the Huns (t453), as type of 
devastating invader. The name (cf. OHG. 
Etzel) appears to have been given to him 
by the Goths and is dim. of Goth, atta, 
father; cf. Russ. title "little father." This 
atta, found in other Aryan langs., is of the 
type of daddy. 

A rapid succession of Alarics and Attilas passed 
over the defenceless empire [of India] (Macaulay). 

attire. Orig. to equip in any way. For mod. 

restriction cf. apparel. F. attirer, from iirer, 

to draw, etc. See tire^. 
attitude. F., It. attitudine, L. aptitudo, 

aptitudin-, from aptus, fit. Orig. (17 cent.) 

a techn. term of art. Hence to strike an 

attitude, like a statue, etc. Found also as 

aptitude (v.i.). 

The several statues that we see with the same air, 

posture, and aptitudes (Addison). 

attorney. From p.p. of OF. atorner, to 
appoint, constitute, from a and tourner, to 
turn. Orig. one duly appointed to act for 
another, as still in power of attorney. The 
title, often used contemptuously (petti- 
fogger), was abolished in 1873 and ab- 
sorbed in solicitor. It survives in attorney 
general, orig. an attorney with complete 
powers, as opposed to the obs. attorney 
special, but now only applied to the first 
■ law-officer of the crown. 

Des attournez sount acuns generals, acuns especials 

(Britton, 1292). 
Orl. Then, in mine own person, I die. 
Ros. No, faith, die by attorney 

(.4s you like it, iv. i). 
Johnson observed, that "he did not care to speak 
ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the 
gentleman was an attorney" (Boswell). 

attract. From L. attrahere, from ad, to, 
trahere, tract-, to draw. 

attribute. The noun is the older. It is used 
in two senses in Portia's speech {Merch. of 
Ven. iv. i). F. attribut, L. attributum, from 
attribuere, from ad, to, tribuere, to pay 

89 attrition 

attrition. From L. atterere, from terere, trit-, 
to rub. In theol. sense an imperfect 
sorrow not amounting to contrition. 

aubade. Morning music. F., Pro v. albada, 
from alba, dawn. Cf. serenade. 

auberge. Inn. F., from Prov., ult. ident. 
with harbour (q.v.). 

aubergine. Fruit. F., Catalan alberginera, 
Arab, al-bddindjdn; cf. Sp. berengena, 

auburn. OF. anborne, L. alburnus, whitish. 
ME. vars. abriine, abroune point to con- 
fusion with brown (v.i.), and this has 
affected the meaning of the word, formerly 
flaxen, now bright brown. 

alburno: that whitish colour of womens haire which 
we call an albume or abiirne colour (Torr.). 
The word probably is merely A bron, i.e. brown 

auction. L. auctio-n-, from augere, auct-, to 
increase. Cf. F. vente aux encheres, from 
encherir, to make dearer, and Ger. ver- 
steigerung, lit. raising. In a Dutch auction 
goods are put up at a prohibitive price 
which is gradually lowered, app. from the 
practice of Dutch fishermen. With the 
north-country sale by roup, i.e. cry, cf. the, 
chiefly Irish, sale by cant, L. cantus. 
audio : open sale, or port sale, of private goods 

enchere: a bidding, or out-bidding; the making or 
offering, the raising or enhanncing, of a price; any 
portsale, outrope, or bargaining, wherein he that 
bids most for a thing is to carry it (Cotg.). 

audacious. From L. audax, aiidac-, from 
audere, to dare, from *audus, for avidus, 

audience. F., L. audientia, from audire, to 

audit. L. auditus, a hearing, hence examina- 
tion of accounts. A udit ale, specially strong 
brew at certain Oxf. and Camb. colleges, 
was orig. for the refreshment of college 
tenants who appeared on audit day. 

Augean. Usu. with stable, from the cleansing 
of the stables of Angeas, king of Elis, one 
of the labours of Hercules. 

auger. ME. nauger, AS. nafugdr, from nafu, 
nave of a wheel, gar, borer, spear, with n- 
lost as in adder, apron (q.v.), as also in Du. 
avegaar, for older navegaar. 

noger: that instrument of iron that we use to bore 
holes in the stone with {Miners Diet. 1747). 
aught. AS. dwiht, from a, ever, wiht, thing, 
creature, "whit," "wight," thus, e'er a 
whit. Hence ME. oht, oght, later ought, 
usual E. form up to c. 15.50. Cf. naught. 



AS. ndwiht, ne'er a whit, and Ger. nicht, 
not, OHG. neowiht, for ni eo wiht. 

augment. F., L. augmentare, from augere, to 
increase. See eke. 

Augsburg, Confession of [hist.]. See Augustan. 

augur. L., prob. from avis, bird (cf. auspices). 
The older form was auger and the second 
element is prob. from L. gerere, to manage, 
etc. Hence inaugurate, to take omens be- 
fore action. 
inaugtcrare: to gesse or divine by byrdes (Coop.). 

August, august. Month (in Republican Rome 
sextilis) named after Emperor Augustus. 
Replaced native weod-monath, weed month. 
In ME. also aust, OF. aoust (aout). The 
name is L. augustus, venerable, from 
augur (q.v.), or perhaps from augere, to 
increase. Hence Augustan, period of per- 
fection in literature regarded as due to 
royal patronage. The Augustan Confession 
was drawn up (1530) by Luther and 
Melanchthon at Augsburg {Augusti burgus). 
The Augustine, or Austin, Friars took their 
name from St Augustine, bishop of Hippo 
(fl. 4 cent.). 

Un Auguste aisement peut faire des Virgilos 


auk. Sw. alka or Dan. alke, ON. dlka; cogn. 
with G. dXKV(j)v, halcyon. Hence great auk's 
egg, rare curiosity. 

auld lang syne. Sc, old long since. Popular- 
ized by Burns' song. Cf. auld Reekie, 

aulic [hist.]. Imperial Ger. council; later, 
Austrian war council. L. aulicus, from G. 
avXrj, court. 

aunt. OF. ante, L. amita, dim. of a lost baby- 
word of the papa type (cf. Ger. amme, 
nurse, and see nun, pope). Mod. F. tante, 
found from 13 cent., is due to infantile 
reduplication aniante (cf. papa, etc.). 
Naunt, for mine aunt, was once common 
(cf. nuncle) and is still used in dial. Aunt 
Sally, first recorded for 1861 {NED.), has 
become at F. fairs dne sale. An elaboration 
of the same sport was known c. 1900 as 

aura. L., G. avpa, breath, breeze. 

aureate. L. aureatus, from aurtnn, gold. 

aurelia. Formerly used for chrysalis (q.v.). 
It., lit. golden, from L. aurum. 

aureole. Now used for halo and wrongly 
connected by some writers with aura, air, 
emanation. Prop, the golden disc sur- 
rounding holy personages in early pictures. 
Cf. earlier aureola (sc. corona), the celestial 





golden crown of martyrs, virgins, and 

auricula. Plant, "bear's ear," from shape of 
leaves. L., dim. of awm, ear. Ci. auricular, 
earliest in auricular confession (16 cent.). 

auriferous. From L. aurum, gold. 

aurochs. Extinct wild ox (urus in Caesar). 
Also wrongly applied to an extant bison 
(Lithuania). Ger. auerochs, OHG. Urohso, 
whence L. Urus; ci. AS. Hr, Sanskrit usrd, 
bull. For second element see ox. 

Aurora Borealis. Named by Gassendi (162 1). 
For aurora see east, for borealis see boreal. 

auscultation. From L. auscultare, to listen, 
where aus- is for aur- {auris, ear). 

ausgleich [hist.]. Austro-Hungarian compro- 
mise. Ger., compromise, "levelling out." 
See like. 

A serious factor for discussion is the question of the 
ausgleich {Sunday Times, June 17, 1917). 

auspice. F,, L. auspicium, from auspex, 
auspic-, from avis, bird, -specere, to behold. 
Cf. L. haruspex, one who inspects entrails. 

Aussey [war slang]. Australian soldier. 

austere. F. austere, L., G. avo-Trjpos, making 
the tongue rough, or dry, from aveii/, to dry. 
Formerly in lit. sense, of fruits, wines, 
etc. In ME. often austern, the parasite -n 
bemg partly due to popular connection 
with stern^. 

I dredde thee, for thou art an austeme [var. a stem] 
man (Wye. Luke, xix. 21). 

Austin friar. See August. 

Austral, Australia, Australasian. L. australis, 
from Auster, the south wind. Orig. used 
of the southern hemisphere generally, 
Polynesia, etc. called collectively terra 

authentic. F. authentique, L., G. av^cvriKos, 
from av$evTT]<;, one who does things for 
himself, from auros, self, and -evrr/s, cogn. 
withL. sons, sont-, guilty, orig. pres. part., 
" being," the one it was. 

author. ME. autor, autour, F. auteur, L. 
auctor-em, lit. increaser, promoter, from 
augere, auct-, to increase. Mod. spelling 
seems to be accidental, and it is not known 
at what date it altered the pronunc. It 
appears also in authority, authorize. The 
first Bible transl. with title authorized is 
the Bishops' Bible (1540). 

Dressed in a little brief authority 

{Meas. for Meas. ii. 2). 
auto-. G. avTO-, from auros, self. 
autochthon. Aborigine. Usu. pi., from G. 

avToxOove'i, of the land, x^^^> X^^^'' itself. 

autocrat. G. avTOKpart]?, ruling by oneself. 

Extinct as pol. type exc. in new republics, 
auto-da-fe. Port., act of the faith. Judicial 

sentence of the Inquisition, esp. public 

burning of heretics. 

For once we'll be gay; 
A grand Auto-da-fe 
Is much better fun than a ball or a play 

(Ingoldsby) . 

autograph. F. autographe, G. avToypa^os, 

from ypa^civ, to write. 
Autolycus. "A snapper-up of unconsidered 

trifles" {Winter's Tale, iv. 3). 

A few items which the Autolycus of social history 
will find acceptable 

{Times Lit. Supp. May 8, 1919). 

automaton. Earlier automate, from F. (Rabe- 
lais), G. avTO/xarov, self-mo\dng. 

automate: anything that goes by a vice, or peise, 
yet seemes to move of itselfe (Cotg.). 

Automedon. Skilled driver. Name of chario- 
teer of Achilles. Cf. Jehu. 

automobile [neol.]. F., from mobile (q.v.). 
Cf. later autobus, autocar, etc. 

autonomy. G. avroyo/xLa, self rule, from voynos, 

autopsy. G. avTo^ia, lit. seeing for oneself, 
its earliest sense also in E. See optic. 

autumn. F. automne, L. au{c)tumnus, perh. 
cogn. with augere, auct-, to increase. Has 
replaced, in sense of season, native harvest 

auxiliary. From L. auxilium, help, from 
augere, aux-, to increase. 

avadavat. Indian bird. Prop, amadavat. 
From Ahmadabad (Gujerat), i.e. city of 

avail. App. from obs. vail, from tonic stem 
of F. valoir, L. valere, to be worth, by 
analogy with other verbs of double form 
{mount, amount, wake, awake, etc.). There 
is no corresponding OF. verb recorded, but 
Godef. has the noun avail, advantage, 
increase, which seems to indicate that 
such a verb may have existed. 

To hym not vailith his preching. 
All helpe he other with his teching 

{Romauni of Rose, 5763). 

avalanche. F., altered, by association with 
F. avaler, to descend (a val), from earlier 
lavanche, Prov. lavanca; cf. Piedmont 
lavanca (whence by metath. It. valanga). 
With changed sufhx from Late L. labina, 
landslide (from labi, to glide), whence 
Swiss F. (Engadine) lavina, Ger. lawine. 

93 avarice 

avarice. F., L. avaritia, from avarns, greedy, 
from avere, to desire; of. avidity. Beyond 
the dreams of avarice is app. due to Dr 
Johnson, in ref. to the potentiaUties of 
Barclay and Perkins' brewery. 

avast. NED. suggests a worn down form of 
Du. houd vast, hold fast. More prob. seems 
Port, abasta; cf. It. basta, from bastare, to 
suffice, of unknown origin. 

abasta: v. imp.: enough, or it is enough (Vieyra). 

avatar. Sanskrit avatarana, descent, Ut., 
down-passing (of a Hindu deity). 

avaunt. F. avant, VL. ab-ante. Orig. on- 
ward (ct. move on). 

ave. L. imper., from avere, to fare well. Short 
for Ave Maria, Ave Mary. Cf. paternoster. 

Ave Maria gratia plena; Dominus tecum; benedicta 
tu in muheribus {Vulg. Luke, i. 28). 

avenge. OF. avengier, from vengier (venger), 
L. vindicare (cf. manger from manducare). 
See vindicate. The avenger of blonde 
(Coverd. Joshua, xx. 5) is for earlier blood 
wreker (Wye). 

avens. Plant. OF. avence; cf. MedL. avencia. 
Origin unknown. 

aventurine. Glass, quartz. F., It. avventurir.o , 
"la pierre artificielle etant produite par 
de la limaille jetee a I'aventure sur du 
verre en fusion " {Diet. Gen.). 

avenue. Orig. an approach. From p.p. fem, 
of OF. avenir (now advenir), L. advenire. 
Cf. alley^. Spec, application to a way 
bordered, and shadowed, by trees seems 
to be due to Evelyn. 

aver. F. averer (cf. It. avverare), VL. *ad- 
verare, from verus, true. F. sense is to 
recognize as true. 

average. First appears in E. c. 1500; cf. F. 
avarie (12 cent.), Sp. averia, It. avaria, 
Du. haverij, Ger. haverei, etc. It has passed 
through the meanings of customs impost, 
extraordinary expenses, damage at sea (usu. 
sense of F. avarie), equitable distribution of 
resulting loss, to the modern math, sense, 
which is peculiar to E. The E. form may 
be corrupted from a plur. avarais, used by 
the same author (Rich. Arnold) in whom we 
first find average. This would be facilitated 
by the numerous naut. words in -age, e.g. 
pilotage, primage, tonnage, etc., and by 
possible association with archaic Sc. aver- 
age, arrage, a feudal due, also of unknown 
origin. The word is naut. and from the 
Mediterranean, which makes Arab, origin 
possible, but its etym. is still unsolved. 



though " few words have received more 
etymological investigation" {NED.). The 
ModG. form ajiapia suggests possible con- 
nection with ftdpt?, ship, aLJ3ap6<;, unloading. 
But this, and also Arab, 'awdr, damaged 
ware, may be from It. or Sp. 
Avernus. Bottomless pit. Lago Averno in 
Campania, L. Avernus, taken, from its 
poisonous exhalations, as mouth of Hades 
{Aen. vi. 126). Trad, from G. d-, neg., 
opvis, bird, because birds fi>'ing over the 
lake were supposed to die from poison. 

FaciUs descensus Averno; 
Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis 

(Aen. vi. 126). 

averroism. Doctrine of mortality of soul. 
From Averroes (Ibn Roshd), Arab, philo- 
sopher of Cordova (J1225). 

averruncator. Gardening tool. From L. 
averruncare , to ward off, through mistaken 
connection with L. eruncare, to weed out. 
App. this confusion existed in L. 

avert. L. avertere, ab from, and vertere, to 
turn. Cf. averse, turned away, aversion. 

Avesta. See Zend. 

aviary. L. aviarium, from avis, bird. 

aviator, aviation. F. aviateur, aviation, from 
L. avis, bird. 

avidity. From T. aviditas. See avarice. 

aviso. Despatch boat. Sp., lit. intelligence, 

avizandum, at [Sc. leg.]. For private con- 
sideration. From MedL. avizare, to advise. 

avocado. Pear. See alligator. 

avocation. L. avocatio-n-, from avocare, from 
ad and vocare, to call. Cf. advowson. 

avocet, avoset. Bird. F. avocette, It. avosetta. 
Origin unknown. Derivation from avis is 
unliKcly, as this hardly appears in the 
Rom. langs., being displaced by VL. 
avicellus, aucellus (F. oiseait). 

avoid. OF. esvuider, to empty out, with 
change of prefix, as in award. See void. 
Orig. to empty out, eject, get rid of, or 
intrans. to withdraw. Cf. sense-develop- 
ment of evacuate. Mod. sense corresponds 
to F. eviter, with which it may have been 
confused. ME. voiden may be an aphet. 
form or from the simple vuidier {vider). 
Cf. ModF. vider les lieux, to "clear out." 

He shal lyve with thee and avoide thee out [Vulg. 
evacuabit te, AV. make thee bare] 

(Wye. Ecclesiasticus, xiii. 6). 

Hence, quoth the Lord, hence, hence, accursed race, 
Out of my garden: quicke, avoyd the place [du 
Bart, vuidez-moi ce verger] 

(Sylv. The Deceipt). 





avoirdupois. Mod. corrupt, of AF. averdepeis, 
averdepois, OF. aveir [avoir) de pois, goods 
sold by weight, as distinguished from those 
sold by measure or number. The infin. 
aveir [avoir), goods, property, survives in 
Sc. avers, farm beasts. Pois is L. pensum 
[pendere, to weigh), whence OF. peis. 
ModF. poids is due to mistaken association 
with pondus. In ME. and later ver^' often 
haber- (see haberdasher). 

avouch. Now usu. vouch. OF. avochier, L. 
advocare. This became regularly avoer, 
avouer, whence E. avow, OF. avochier being 
a learned form due to the common use of 
advocare in leg. L. Orig. to summon, appeal 
to, as an authority or warrant. 

avow. See avouch. 

avulsion. From L. avellere, to tear away, from 
ab and vellere, vuls-, to tear. 

avuncular. Of an uncle (q.v.). 

await. ONF. awaitier, OF. agaitier, to lie in 
wait for. See wait. Orig. sense as below. 

I awayte, I lie in wayte of a person to marke what he 
dothe or sayeth; je aguayte (Palsg.). 

awake, awaken. Two separate verbs are 
mixed up, viz. AS. dwcecnan, earlier on- 
(strong), whence past awoke, and dwacian 
(weak), whence awaked. The predicative 
adj. awake is for the p.p. awaken (cf. ago). 
Both verbs were orig. intrans., the trans, 
sense being expressed by ME. awecchen, 
AS. dweccan (cf. fall, fell; Ger. wachen, 

He was slapende..., and hi avvehton hine 

(AS. Gosp. Mark, iv. 38). 

award. ONF. eswarder, or noun esward, for 
OF. esgarder, esgard [egard), with prefix 
changed as in avoid. The noun is prob. the 
older word. Orig. a decision after examina- 
tion. Agard is equally common in AF. 
See guard, ward. 

esgard: respect, heed, regard, observation; advise- 
ment, consideration, reckoning, account; also, a 
report made, or account given, of (Cotg.). 

aware. ME. iware, AS. gewcsr; cf. Ger. gewahr, 
aware. Also reduced to ware (see beware). 

away. AS. onweg, dweg, on the way. Also, as 
prefix, sometimes reduced to weg (see way- 
ward) ; cf . similar use of Ger. weg, for earlier 
enwec, in wee, in wegwerfen, to throw away, 
etc. To give away in slang sense in US. 

awe. ME. had both eye, AS. ege, fear, and aw, 
ON. agi, the latter of which has prevailed. 
Com. Teut. ; cf. Goth, agis, OHG. egiso. 
Current sense is due to Bibl. use of the 

word. The slang meaning of awful, awfully 
(19 cent.) has numerous parallels in E. and 
other langs., e.g. a devilish pretty girl, or, 
conversely, a. jolly miserable day. 
awkward. Orig. adv. , formed with sufhx -ward 
from obs. awk, back-handed, "froward," 
etc., ON. afug, turned the wrong way (cf. 
Sw. afwug), a derivative of af, away, off. 
Cogn. forms are found in OHG. & MHG. 
a. froward. See also quot. from Palsg. s.v. 

auke, or angry: contrarius, bilosus, perversus 

(Prompt. Parv.). 
auke, or wronge: sinister (ib.). 

awkwarde, frowarde: pervers (Palsg.). 

awl. AS. (sl. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. aal, Ger. 

ahle (OHG. dla), ON. air; ? cogn. with L. 

aculeus, needle. From a lengthened form, 

OHG. alansa (with suffix as in sense, 

scythe), comes F. alene, awl (see anlace). 
awn. Beard (of barley, etc.). ON. ogn. Com. 

Teut. ; cf. AS. egenu, husk, Ger. ahne (OHG. 

agana), Goth, ahana; cogn. with L. actis, 

needle, G. a.Kavo<i, thistle. 
awning. First occurs in Capt. John Smith. 

Origin unknown. 

Wee did hang an awning (which is an old saile) to... 
trees to shadow us from the sunne 

(Capt. John Smith, 1624). 

awry. Earlier on wry. See wry. 

Owthir all evin, or on WTy (Barbour). 

axe. AS. cbx. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. aaks, Ger. 
a.xt (OHG. acchus), ON. ox, Goth, aqizi; 
cogn. with G. a^ivq and perh. with L. 
ascia (? for *acscia). Citrtle-axe, pickaxe 
(q.v.) are unrelated. The expression axe to 
grind is from US. politics (cf. wire-pulling) 
and originated in an experience of child- 
hood related by Franklin. A stranger per- 
suaded him to play truant in order to help 
grind an axe and then left him in the lurch. 
For another phrase due to Franklin see 

axil [pot.]. Angle. L. axilla, armpit, whence 
also axillary (med.). 

axiom. F. axiome, L., G. d^tw/xa, iroma^tovv, 
to think fit, require. 

axis. L., axle, pivot, from agere, to move. 

axle. First in compd. axle-tree, ON. oxul-tre, 
which in ME. superseded the native ax-tree, 
from AS. csxe; cf. Ger. achse (OHG. ahsa); 
cogn. with L. axis. Axle is not found alone 
till 17 cent. 

axolotl. Mexican lizard. Aztec, lit. water- 





ay, aye. Ever. ON. ei. Com. Teut. ; cf. AS. 
a, Ger. je (OHG. eo, io), Goth, aiw; cogn. 
with L. aevum, G. atcov. AS. a gave ME. 00, 
which survived some time in the combined 
for ay and 00, equivalent to mod. for ever 
and ay. See also ever. 

ayah. Port, aia, nurse, fern, of aio, tutor; cf. 
Sp. ayo, It. aio. It came to us from India; 
cf. padre, tank, etc. ? Of Goth, origin, and 
cogn. with Ger. hegen, to cherish. 

aye. Yes. In dial, and H. of C. Origin un- 
certain. Although first recorded for 16 
cent., always as /, it must, from its exten- 
sive dial, use, be much older in colloq. 
speech. It may be the pronoun /; cf. ME. 
nic, no, lit. not I. A.nother theory is that 
it is ay, ever (v.s.), used as an intens. 
affirmation, and this theory is supported 
by its opposite nay (q.v.). 
Nothing but No and I, and I and No (Drayton). 

aye-aye. Lemur (Madagascar). Prob. from 
cry. The word came through F. 

azalea. Named by Linnaeus. Fem. of G. 
d^aA.eos, dry. 

azarole. Neapolitan medlar. F. azerole, Sp. 
azarolla, Arab, az-zu'rur, where az is for al, 
def. art. Cf. assagai. 

azedarac. F. azedarac, lilas de Chine, Sp., 
Arab., Pers. dzad dirakht, free tree. 

cizimuth \_astron.']. Arc from zenith to horizon. 
F. aznnut (cf. It. azzimutto) , Arab, as-stimut, 
for al-sumut, pi. of samt, way, whence 
zenith (q.v.). 

azote. Old name for nitrogen. F., coined by 
Lavoisier from G. d-, neg., ^wr;, life. 

Azrael. Angel of Death. Made invisible at 
entreaty of Mohammed. Heb., help of 

Aztec. People and native lang. of Mexico. 
? From native name, "heron," of an in- 
dividual clan. 

azure. Orig. the precious stone lapis lazuli, 
later, blue in heraldry. F. aziir {Chanson de 
Roland) ; cf. It. azziirro, Sp. azul (OSp. 
azur), from Arab, lazward, Pers. lajward, 
a place in Turkestan whence the stone was 
procured. The /- is supposed to have been 
lost in the Rom. langs. through being taken 
as the def. art. Cf. ounce^. But it may be 
noted that Arab, for blue is azraq (e.g. 
Bahr-al-azraq, the Blue Nile), which may 
have affected the word. 

B. Not to know a B from a hull's foot is 

recorded c. 1400. 
baa. Imit. Recorded for 16 cent., but of 

course a most ancient word. Cf. bow-wow. 

He spake to them in the cattels language, which 
was never changed at the confusion of Babel, which 
was "moath" for oxen and kine and "baa" for 
sheepe ; which language the people understood very 
well without any interpreter (Purch.). 

Baal. Phoenician god. Heb. ba'al, lord. Cf. 

baas [SAfr.']. Boss. Du., uncle. See boss"^. 
babacoote. Lemur. Malagasy habakoto. 
babble. Imit. of infantile speech; cf. F. 

babiller, to chatter, L. balbus, stammerer. 

Of similar origin are papa, mamma, babe, 

baby, pap, etc. 
babe, baby. From 14 cent., earlier baban (see 

babble). Babe only is used in AV . With 

baby-farmer (19 cent.) cf. baby-killer (20 

babel. From Tower of Babel, app. understood 

[Gen. xi. 9) as confusion (babble), but prob. 

Assyr. bdb-ili, gate of the gods. Cf. Bab-el- 

Mandeb, lit. gate of the devil, commonly 

called b}' early sailors 'the Bab.' 

Therfor was called the name of it Babel, for ther 
was confoundid the lippe of all the erthe (Wye). 
C'est veritablement la tour de Babylone, 
Car chacun y babille, et tout du long de I'aune 

(Tartufe, i. 1). 

babiana. Flower. Du. babianer, from babian, 
because fed on by the baboon (q.v.). 

babiroussa. Hog-deer. Malay bdbi, hog, riisa, 

baboo, babu. Hind. bdbH, Sanskrit vapra, 
father. Title corresponding to our Mr or 
Esquire. In Anglo-Ind. has become slightly 
disparaging. Cf. Mossoo, Mynheer, etc. 

baboon. F. babouin (also babion) ; cf. It. 
babbuino, Sp. babuino, with several MedL. 
forms (13 cent.). Referred by some to F. 
baboue, grimace, imit. of gibbering (see 
babble). There is also MedL. papio-n-, 
wild dog, whence Du. baviaan, Ger. pavian, 
baboon, the baboon having a dog-like 
snout, but the source of this papio is 
unknown. It is prob. only the F. word 
latinized. The oldest recorded meaning of 
OF. babiiin is homuncio, manikin, grotesque 
figure, a sense found also earliest in ME. 
The most likely starting-point is the 
natural base bab- (see babble). It. babbuino, 
besides meaning baboon, occurs in the 
sense both of babbler and stammerer. 

babouche. Turk, slipper. F., Arab. bdbUsh, 





Pers. pa, foot, push, covering. For forma- 
tion cf. pyjamas. For interchange of p-, h- 
cf. pacha, bashaw. See also pump^. 

baby. See babe. 

Babylon. G. Ba/5uXwr, for Babel (q.v.). 

baccalaureat. See bachelor. 

baccarat. F., also baccara, card-game at 

which the ten is called baccara. Origin 

.unknown. There is a small French town 

called Baccarat (Meurthe-et-Moselle) not far 

from Lunevdlle. ? Cf. origin of boston. 

bacchanal. L. bacchanalis, from Bacchus, G. 


bacharach [archaic]. Wine. From name of 
town on Rhine. 

bachelor. OF. bacheler {bachelier), MedL. bac- 
calaris, and later, as academic term, 
baccalaureus, as though from bacca, berry, 
lauriis, laurel; hence baccalaureat. Cf. It. 
baccalare, Sp. bachiller. Oldest F. sense 
[Chanson de Roland) appears to be young 
man aspiring to knighthood, squire. Hence, 
junior member, of a gild or univ., as still 
in Bachelor of Arts, etc., orig. one who 
qualified to begin liis university course, 
which is still the meaning of F. bachelier. 
From the "junior" idea is evolved that of 
young unmarried man. All these meanings 
occur in Chauc. Few words have pro- 
voked more etym. speculation, but the 
origin is still unknowTi. Ger. hagestolz, 
bachelor, OHG. hagustalt, means lit. hedge- 
holder (cf. AS. hagosteald, ON. haukstaldr), 
in contrast to the holder of the homestead. 
The younger son held a small enclosure 
while the elder inherited the estate. 
Already in OHG. the word also means 
celibate, as does the corresponding AS. 
hagosteald. This has been thought to point 
vaguely to bacca, berry, as a possible 
etymon of the F. word. Attempts have 
also been made to connect it with L. 
baculum, or its dim. bacillus, the staff being 
regarded as symbolical of the grade 
attained in a gild or univ., or as used, 
instead of lance or sword, by the young 
man practising warlike exercises. 

Yong, fressh, and strong, in armes desirous 
As any bacheler of al his hous (Chauc. F. 23). 

At Orliens in studie a book he say 
Of magyk natureel, which his felawe. 
That was that tyme a bacheler of lawe, — 
Al were he ther to leme another craft, — 
Hadde prively upon his desk y-laft (ib. F. 1124). 

And trewely it sit wel to be so 

That bacheleris have often pejTie and wo 

(ih. E. 1277). 

bacillus. Late L., dim. of baculus, var. of 
baculum, rod; cf. bacterion. 

back. AS. bcsc; cf. Du. ON. bak. Not found in 
Ger,, which has riicken, ridge, in general 
sense of back (but see bacon). Adv. back is 
for aback (q.v.), earlier on back; cf. Ger. 
zuriick, from riicken (v.s.). From the noun 
comes the verb back, to support. To back 
out is orig. to leave a room backwards, 
hence to retire from an enterprise not too 
abruptly. Backstair; in the sense of under- 
hand, clandestine, occurs in 17 cent. 
(Vanbrugh). Backsword, orig. sword with 
one edge only, like a na\'y cutlass, is also 
used of single-stick. With backwoods cf. 
hinterland. The verb to backbite is common 
in ME. With backslide, in rel. sense (16 
cent.), cf. relapse. To put {get) one's back up 
suggests the angry cat. With to back a bill 
cf. endorse. See also backward. 

He that bakbitith his brother bakbitith the lawe 

(Wye. James, iv. 11). 
Willum's sweetheart. ..has strictly enjoined him not 
to get his head broke at back-swording 

{Tom Brown's Schooldays). 

back-formation Uing.}. A process the reverse 
of the usual, the formation of a word from 
a longer word which would appear to be 
derived from it. See beggar, cadge^, chamfer, 
former, fur, grovel, maffick, peddle, etc. 

backgammon. Also (18 cent.) backgame. ME. 
gamen (see gammon^). So called because 
the pieces are sometiines forced to go back. 
Cf. its Du. name, from verkeeren, to turn 
back, and archaic F. revertier. Formerly 
called tables, and in F. tric-trac. Urquhart 
renders Rabelais' toutes tables by " the long 
tables or verkeering." 
verkeer spel: game of tables, so called (Hexham). 

backsheesh, baksheesh. Pers. bakhshish, pre- 
sent, from bakhshldan, to give, also found 
in Arab., Turk, and Urdu. 

Bac^heese (as they say in the Arabicke tongue) that 
is gratis freely (Purch.). 

backward, backwards. For abackward (see 
back). In to ring the bells backward, i.e. 
upwards, beginning with the bass bell, as 
alarm. Backwardation, opposite of cow^aw^o, 
is a Stock Exchange coinage (c. 1850). 

/ rynge aukewarde, as men do whan houses be afyre, 
or whan ennemyes be coming; je sonne a bransle 

The bells are rung backward, the drums they are 
beat (Bonnie Dundee). 

bacon. OF. (now replaced by lard, qv.), 
MedL. baco-n-, OHG. bahho, buttock, ham; 



cogn. with back. Of verj'^ early introduc- 
tion, as Welsh bacwn (from E.) is recorded 
for 13 cent. In to save one's bacon, a 
vulgarism recorded for 17 cent., bacon is 
used for body, liide, etc. 

Sorgt ihr nur fur cure eigne haul: do but sav^e your 
own bacon (Ludw.). 

Baconian. In ref. both to Roger (f 1294) and 
Francis (I1626). 

bacterium. G. (iaKr-qpiov, dim. of fSaKrpov, 
staff. From shape. Cf. bacillus. 

baculine. In baciiline (forcible) argument. 
From L. baculum, staff. 

bad. ME. badde. Formerly compared badder, 
baddest (as late as Defoe). Origin uncertain. 
? AS. bisddel, hermaphrodite, used con- 
temptuously, with -/ lost as in muche from 
micel (cf. adj. use of bastard); ? or AS. 
geb^d{e)d, forced, oppressed (cf. hist, of 
caitiff). It is curious that Pars, bad has the 
same sense (see badmash). 

Baddeley cake. Cut in Drury Lane green- 
room on Twelfth Night. Bequest of 
Baddeley, 18 cent, actor. 

badge. ME. bage, bagge; cf. MedL. bagia, from 
the E. word. Origin unknown. OF. bage 
is later and prob. from E. 

badger. A 16 cent, name for the animal pre- 
viously called brock (Celt.), bawson (OF.), 
or gray. Origin much disputed. NED. 
accepts derivation from badge, referring to 
the white mark on the badger's head. But 
there is no record of badge, mark on an 
animal, and it seems a very unlikely word 
to be used in this sense. Earlier etymolo- 
gists, comparing F. blaireau, badger, which 
they took to be a dim. of OF. blaier, corn- 
dealer {ble, corn), regarded badger as a 
nickname taken from archaic badger ( ? from 
bag), a middleman, esp. in the corn and 
flour trade, often regarded as a furtive and 
nocturnal individual. The fact that the 
animal does not store com is no argument 
against this etym. ; cf. rustic superstitions 
with regard to various animals, e.g. the 
shrew, toad, slow-worm, etc., or the in- 
appropriate name honeysuckle (q.v.). But 
F. blaireau is perh. rather from LG. bldf, 
blaze^ (qv.). Cf. dial, blairie, the bald- 
headed coot, and the origin of baivson (v.s.), 
from Celt, bal, white mark on the forehead 
(see bald), which is ult. cogn. with bldr (v.s.) 
and with G. c^aXapos, "starred" (of a 
horse). Verb to badger is from the sport 
of badger baiting. 
blaireau: a badger, gray, boason, brocke (Cotg.). 

bag 102 

badinage. F., from badiner, to jest, badin, 
playful, earlier, foolish, Prov. badin, prob. 
orig. gaper. See bay^. 

badinage (French): foolery, buffonry, waggishness 


badmash, budmash [Anglo- 1 nd.]. Rascal. 
Urdu, from Pers. bad, evil, Arab, ma'dsh, 
means of livelihood. 

badminton. Drink and game. From Duke 
of Beaufort's seat (Glouc). 

baffle. Cf. archaic F. beffler, to ridicule, and 
F. bafouer, to hold up to public contempt, 
both of uncertain origin, but generally 
referred to a radical baf, a natural sound 
of the pooh, bah type. Cf. It. beffare, with 
same meaning, and Ger. ganz baff machen, 
to flabbergast. But the earliest records 
(16 cent.) are Sc. and refer to the igno- 
minious punishment of a perjured knight. 
This was Sc. bauchle, of unknown origin, 
and may be a separate word. 

He by the heels him hung upon a tree 
And bafful'd so, that all which passed by 
The picture of his punishment might see 

[Faerie Queene, vi. vii. 27). 

baffoiier: to hoodwinke; also, to deceive; also, to 
besmeare; also, to baffle, abuse, revile, disgrace, 
handle basely in termes, give reproachfull words of, 
or unto (Cotg.). 

beffler: to deceive, mocke, or gull, with faire words, 
etc. [ib.]. 

baffy [golf]. From Sc. baff, blow; cf. OF. 
baffe and see buffet^. 

bag. ME. bagge, ON. baggi. Cf. archaic F. 
bagues, baggage. Earlier hist, obscure; 
? cogn. with pack. The earliest NED. 
record for bags, trousers, is from the 
blameless Smiles. The whole bag of tricks, 
referred by the NED. to the fable of the 
Fox and the Cat, would seem to come 
rather .from the conjuror's outfit. With to 
let the cat out of the bag, i.e. show the true 
character of the article for sale, cf. F. 
acheter chat en poche (our pig in a poke). 
To give the bag, a mod. variation on to give 
the sack, was orig. used in opposite sense, 
viz. of a servant decamping without notice. 
With bagman, commercial tra\-cller, cf. 
carpet-bagger. Bag and baggage was orig. 
used of an honourable evacuation or re- 
treat; cf. F. vie et bagues sauves, and see 
quot. s.v. colour. It now implies headlong 
expulsion, esp. with reference to Glad- 
stone's famous speech (v.i.) on the 
Bulgarian atrocities, in which he hardly 






anticipated the policy of Ferdinand the 

bagues sauves: with bag and baggage, safe and 
sound, scotfree (Cotg.). 

The Turks... one and all, bag and baggage, shall, I 
hope, clear out from the province they have 
desolated and profaned (1876). 

bagatelle. Orig. (17 cent.) a trifle. The game 
is 19 cent. F., It. bagattella. Prob. from L. 
haca, berry, derivatives of which occur 
in Rom. langs. in sense of valueless object. 
Cf. trifle (q.v.) and obs. nifle, prob. F. nefle, 
medlar. Cf. also the prob. cogn. F. 
haguenaude (v.i.). 

bagatelle: a toy, nifle, trifle, thing of small value 

baguenandes: bladder nuts, S. Anthonies nuts, 
wild pistachios; also, the cods, or fruit of bastard 
sene; also (the fruit of red night-shade, or alka- 
kengie) red winter cherries; (all of which being of 
little, or no value, cause this word to signifie) also, 
trifles, nifles, toyes, paltry trash (ib.). 

baggage. F. bagage, from bague (see bag). 
Now usu. replaced, exc. in US., by luggage. 
Applied also disparagingly to, usu. young, 
women. Cf. naughty pack, nice piece of 
goods, etc. ; also F. garnenient, in same sense, 
Perh. influenced by F. bagasse, quean (OF. 
baiasse), glossed baggage by Cotg. This 
from It. bagascia, glossed baggage by Flor., 
of unknown origin. 

bagnio. It. bagno, bath, L. balneum; later, 
brothel (cf. stezv). In sense of convict 
prison, introduced after abolition of the 
galleys, from bagnio, oriental prison, said 
to be due to the conversion of an old 
Roman bath at Constantinople into a 

bagpipe. Now chiefly Sc, but once a favourite 
rural E. instrument. 

A baggepipe wel koude he [the miUer] blowe and 

And therwithal he broghte us out of toune 

(Chauc. A. 565). 

bah. Cf. F. bah.' See bav^'^. 

bahadur. Hind., bahddtir, hero, champion, 
title of honour orig. conferred by great 
Mogul and introduced into India by 
Chinghiz Khan; cf. Bobs Bahadur, the late 
Lord Roberts. Forms are found also in 
•Russ. (Bogatyr), Pol., Hung., Manchu, etc. 
Origin uncertain. Sanskrit bhaga-dara, 
happiness possessing, and Zend bagha- 
pufhra, son of God, have been suggested. 

baignoire. Lowest tier box at theatre. F., 
orig. dressing-box at bath. See bagnio. 

bail. Oldest sense, friendly custody (Law L. 

balliuni), OF. bail (now = lease), bailie, 
from bailler, to give (still dial. F.), L. 
bajulare, to bear, from bajulus, porter. 
This is the accepted etym., though the 
sense-development is not easy to establish. 
With I'll go bail cf. I'll be bound. ME. bail, 
also bailly, enclosure, is OF. bail, baile, 
stockade, etc., perh. evolved from the idea 
of authority contained in bailler, to have 
in power, control, etc., but possibly rather 
connected with L. baculum, staff. The Old 
Bailey {Vettis Ballium, Due.) was the bal- 
lium of the City wall between Lud Gate 
and New Gate. The cricket bails were orig. 
a cross-piece about two feet long resting 
on two stumps. This is dial. F. bail, cross- 
bar on two stakes, prob. L. baculum. Cf. 
also the bail, or separating-bar, in a stable, 
and Austral, bail, framework for securing 
head of a cow while milking. Hence to 
bail up (a cow), and prob. the bushrangers' 
summons. The relative shares of bajulus 
and baculum in this group of words are 
hard to establish. In view of the extra- 
ordinary sense-development of the E. staff, 
it seems likely that etymologists have 
hardly given baculum its due. 

baiF. To scoop up water. See bale^. 

bailie, bailiff. OF. bailif {bailli), VL. *baju- 
livus, orig. official in charge of castle (see 
bail^). In OF. the/ was lost before -s, hence 
ME. bailie and the Sc. form. The E. word 
has gradually descended in meaning, exc. 
in some spec, titles, while Sc. bailie, 
orig. equivalent to sheriff, has retained 
more of the earlier sense. For bailiivick see 

bairn. Sc. form introduced into E. literature 
c. 1700; cf. obs. or dial. E. bern, barn, AS. 
beam. Com. Teut. ; cf. obs. Du. baren, 
OHG. ON. Goth, barn; cogn. with bear^. 

bait. First as verb. ON. beita, to cause to 
bite, causal of bita, to bite; cf. Ger. heizen, 
to etch, lit. to make bite. Hence bear 
baiting, etc., to bait (i.e. feed) horses. Cf. 
bait for fish, and see abet. Cf. also OF. 
beter {un ours), from Teut. 

baize. Earlier bayes, pi. of bay*, from its orig. 
colour; for pi. cf. chintz. Du. baai has 
same sense. 
baye: the cloth called bayes (Cotg.). 

bake. AS.bacan. Cova..Teut.; ci.Dxx.bakken, 
Ger. backen, ON. baka; ? cogn. with L. 
focus, hearth. Past tense was orig. boc, and 
strong p.p. baken is usual in A V. With 
baker legs, knock-knees, cf. housemaid' s ' 




1 06 

knee, painter's colic, clergyman' s throat, etc. 
Baker's dozen, i.e. thirteen, is due to extra 
loaf being supplied, according to law, by 
medieval bakers to retail hucksters. With 
half-baked, imbecile, of. synon. dial, sam- 
sodden, AS. sdmsoden, half boiled (see sand- 
blind) . 

Shc.boke therf looves (Wye. i Sam. xxviii. 24). 
As regrateresces...xiii darrees de payn pur xii 

{Lib. Albus). 

baksheesh. See backsheesh. 

Balaam. Disappointing prophet {Numb, xxii- 
xxiv.). In journalism, stock paragraphs 
kept for filling up when news is short; app. 
first so used by Blackwood's Magazine. 

balance. F., VL. *bilancia for bilanx, bilanc-, 
from bis, twice, lanx, platter. Confused, in 
some fig. senses, with ballast. The balance 
of power is recorded for 1701 {Lond. Gaz.), 
for earlier ballance of Europe (1653). 

The centre and characteristic of the old order was 
that unstable thing which we used to call the 
"balance of power" 

(President Wilson, Dec. 28, 1918). 

balas [archaic]. Ruby. F. balais (cf. It. 
balascio, Sp. balaj), MedL. balascius, Arab. 
balaksh, from Pers. Badakhshdn, district 
near Samarcand. 

balbriggan (hose). From Balbriggan, Co. 

balcony. Earlier balcone. It., from balco, 
scaffold, OHG. balcho, balk, beam. Vulgar 
balcony was usual up to 18 cent., exc. once 
in Swift, whose pronunc. made Samuel 
Rogers "sick." Swift's was prob. Ir. (cf. 
pollis for police). 

The maids to the doors and the balconies ran 

At Edmonton his loving wife 

From the balcony spied 
Her tender husband, wondering much 

To see how he did ride {John Gilpin). 

bald. Earlier balled, from Welsh bdl, white 
streak on the brow (see badger), whence 
Ball, name of a horse in Tusser, of a sheep 
in the Prompt. Parv., of a dog in Privy 
purse expenses of Henry VIII , in each 
case named from having a blaze- (q.v.), a 
word which has the same double meaning, 
e.g. Hexham explains Du. blesse as "a bald 
forehead, a white star in the forehead of 
a hors." Cf. similar use of bald by horse- 
dealers, and tavern-sign of Baldfaced Stag; 
also baldicoot. There has prob. been associa- 
tion also with ball^; cf. bald as a billiard- 
ball. Togo for a thing baldheaded (US.) may 
be a perversion of Du. balddadig, audacious. 

altered, under influence of bald, bold (as 
though bold-doing), from baldadig, of which 
first element is cogn. with bale^ (q-v.); cf. 
baloorig, stubborn, balsturig, perverse. 

His heed was balled that shoon as any glas 

(Chauc. A. 198). 
bald-daedigh: audax, temerarius, praeceps (Kil.). 

baldachin, baldaquin [archaic]. Rich stuff, 
usu. baiidekin in ME. ; later, a canopy, orig. 
hung with this material. F. baldaquin. It. 
baldacchino, MedL. baldakiniis, from Bal- 
dacco. It. name of Baghdad, place of origin. 

balderdash. Orig. (16 cent.) poor mixed 
drink, hence jumbled nonsense. MedL. bal- 
ductiim, strained milk, was similarly used. 
Origin of both words unknown (cf. flap- 
doodle, slumgullion) . ? Connected with 
Dan. pladder, slush, weak tipple, foolish 
talk, which is imit. of splashing sound. 

balderdash: of drink, mixta potio; of other things, 
farrago {Lift.). 

baldric. ME. also baudrik, baudry, the latter 
from OF. form baudrei. Cf. late OHG. 
balderich. As the baldric was very orna- 
mental, the word may represent the OHG. 
name Baldarth or AS. Bealdric, bold rich, 
whence F. surname Baudry and our 
Badrick, Baldry, etc. For similar cases see 
goblet, nickel, tankard, etc. 

ha.\Q^[p>oet.]. Harm. AS. feea/o, woe, calamity. 
Com. Teut. ; cf. OSax. balu, OHG. balo, ON. 
bol, also Goth, halws, adj. A poet, word 
in AS. & ME., often contrasted alliteratively 
with boot, profit, and bliss. Obs. by 1600, 
but revived by mod. romantics. Hence 
baleful. Balefire, often understood as be- 
longing to the same word and hence 
wrongly used, is AS. b^lfyr, from b^l, 
blaze, funeral pile, ON. bdl. Its erron. use 
as beacon fire is due to Scott. 
Her face resigned to bliss or bale {Christabel). 
Sweet Teviot ! on thy silver tide 
Tne glaring bale-fires blaze no more {Lay, iv. i). 
The bale-fires of murderous licence and savage 
anarchy (Motley). 

bale^. Of goods. AF. var. of F. balle, balP, 

bale^. Verb. From archaic bail, bucket, F. 
bailie. MedL. aquae baiula points to orig. 
sense of water-bearer (see bail^) and sense- 
development as in scullion (q.v.). 

baleen. Whalebone. Orig. whale. F. baleine, 
L. balaena. 

balefire [poet.]. See bale'^. 

baleful. See bale'^. 





balk, baulk. AS. halca, ridge. Com. Teut. ; 
cf. Du. balk, Ger. balken, ON. hjdlki, all 
meaning beam, also ON. bdlkr, hedge, 
boundary. The baulk at billiards is one of 
the latest developments of the ground- 
meaning of boundary. Hence verb to balk, 
intrans. to dodge,, avoid, trans, to hinder, 
i.e. interpose a balk; cf. thwart. Or it may 
be a ploughing metaphor, to go off the 
line (see delirium). 

Balkanize [nonce-word] . To convert into a set 
of hostile units. 

This treaty tends to Balkanize — if we may coin the 
word — three fourths of Europe 

{Obs. May ii, 1919)- 

ball^ Sphere. ME. bal, ON. bollr, cogn. with 
Ger. ball, whence F. balle. Senses may have 
been affected by It. palla (see pallmalT), 
which is from Teut. The three (golden) 
balls are supposed to have been taken from 
the palle in the coat-of-arms of the Medici 
family, the early pawnbrokers having been 
of It. origin. 

It would enable me to bear my share of the Vauxhall 
bill without a disagreeable reference to the three 
blue balls (Hickey's Memoirs, i. 334). 

balP. Dance. F. bal, from OF. baler, to 
dance, Late L. ballare, ? from G. ^aXXt^etv, 
to dance. Cf. ballad, ballet. 

ballad. F. ballade, Prov. balada, orig. a 
dancing-song (see balP). F. ballade is a 
poem of fixed form, usu. three stanzas and 
envoi with refrain line. In E. it has various 
meanings and is earlier found as ballat, 
ballet, etc. In the High St of Amersham, 
Bucks, is a notice, dated 1 821, to the effect 
that the constable has orders to apprehend 
all ballad-singers. 

I occasioned much mirth by a ballet I brought with 
me, made from the seamen at sea to their ladies in 
town [Lord Dorset's "To all you ladies now on 
land"] (Pepys). 

ballast. Second element is last, burden 
(whence F. lest, ballast), found in all Teut. 
langs. (see lasi^) ; first element is doubtful, 
perhaps bare, as oldest form appears to be 
barlast (OSw. & ODan.). Another possi- 
bility is that it is a LG. bal, worthless, 
which appears in Du. balsturig, cross, 
perverse. Some earlier E. forms show 
confusion with balance. Ballast in road- 
making (19 cent.) is the same word, from 
the stones, sand, etc. used as ship's ballast. 

Sohd and sober natures have more of the ballast 
then of the saile (Bacon). 

ballerina. It., dancing girl. Cf. ballet. 

ballet. F., It. balletto, dim. of ballo, ball, 

dance. See balP, ballad. 
ballista [hist.']. Catapult. L., from G. (SdWeLv, 

to cast. _ 
ballium [hist.]. Latinized form of bailey. See 

ballon d'essai. F., small balloon sent up to 

determine direction of wind before ascent 

was made. 
balloon. F. ballon. It. ballone, "a great ball, 

a foot-ball" (Flor.), augment, of balla, ball, 

from Teut. Earlier meaning, football. In 

current sense in ref. to Montgolfier's 

aerostat (1783). 
ballot. It. ballotta, dim. of balla, ball (cf. 

blackball). Earliest references are to 


balloUare: to choose, to cast or draw lots with 

bullets, as they use in Venice (Flor.). 

Ballplatz [hist.]. Austrian Foreign Office. 

From address. Cf. Quai d'Orsay, etc. 
bally [slang]. From c. 1885 as euph. for bloody. 

Cf. blooming, blinking, blighter. Perh. from 

music-hall tag Ballyhooly truth, suggested 

as Ir. for whole bloody truth. 
ballyrag, bullyrag. First in US. biilrag (1758) 

with sense of haze^. ? Cf. bulldoze. Perh. 

both orig. from bull-baiting. Hence mod. 

schoolboy rag. 
balm. ME. also baume, F. baume, L. balsa- 
mum. Orig. an aromatic vegetable juice, 
balm-cricket. Cicada. Mistransl. of Ger. 

baumgrille, tree cricket, 
balmoral. In various trade-names. Sc. 

residence (Aberdeen) of Queen Victoria. 
balmy [slang]. For earlier barmy (q.v.). 

We don't care a damn for Will-i-am, 
Because we know he's balmy (T. Atkins) 

balsam. It. balsamo, L. balsamum, G. ySaX- 
a-a/xov, Heb. baalschamen, king of oils. See 
Baal. Balsam is found in AS., but was 
replaced, till c. 1600, by bahn. 

baltimore. Black and orange starhng (US.). 
Colours cf Lord Baltifuore, proprietor of 
Mar^dand ( 1 7 cent. ) . 

baluster, banister. F. balustre. It. balaustro, 
from balaustra, flower of wild pomegranate, 
L. balaustium, G. /SaXava-nov. Orig. the 
bulging colonets of a balustrade. From 
shape. Banister, formerly regarded as a 
vulgarism, appears in 17 cent. With 
corrupt, cf. name Bannister, from balestier, 
crossbow man. 

balustrcs: ballisters; Httle, round, and short pillars, 
ranked on the outside of cloisters, terraces, galleries 
etc. (Cotg.). 



bam. Humbug. Goes with bamboozle. 

bambino. It., baby, esp. Infant Jesus. Cf. 
G. ySa/x^atVetv, to stammer. See babble. 

bamboo. Earlier bambus, pi. bambuses. In 
most Europ. langs., earliest in Du. {bum- 
boes). Malay. As earliest form is mamfcn, it 
may be for Malay samambu, Malacca cane. 

bamboozle. One of the numerous slang words 
appearing c. 1700. Also in shortened form 
bam. Perh. connected with the onomat. 
bab- {babble, baby, baboon, etc.). Florio 
uses embambuinize to render Montaigne's 
embabuiner, to make a fool (lit. baboon) of ; 
cf. also Catalan embabiecar , to deceive. 

Certain words invented by some pretty fellows, 
such as banter, bamboozle (Swift). 

Bampton lectures. At St Mary's, Oxford, 
founded by Canon Bampton (11751). 

ban^. To proclaim, etc. Verb is older in E. 
AS. bannan, to summon by proclaination ; 
later, to curse, excommunicate. Com. 
Teut. ; cf. obs. Du. bannen, OHG. bannan, 
ON. banna. Senses of noun have been 
partly influenced by F. ban (MedL. 
bannum) of same origin. Cf. banish. The 
proclamation sense survives in banns of 
marriage. See arriere-ban, banal. 

ban^. Governor of certain districts in 
Hungary, Croatia, etc. Pers. ban, lord. 
Hence banat, province. 

Banagher. To bang. See beat. 

banal. F., commonplace, orig. for public use 
of all under the same ban, or feudal juris- 
diction. See ban^. 

baiinal: common; which anyone may, and every 
one (residing within that hberty, or precinct) must, 
use, and pay for the use of (Cotg.). 

banana. Sp. or Port., prob. from native name 
(Guinea); but "the coincidence of this 
name with the Arab, bandn, fingers or toes, 
and banana, a single finger or toe, can 
hardly be accidental" (Yule). But, accord- 
ing to Piatt, banana is a Carib word early 
transferred to Africa (cf. yaws, cayman, 
papaiv) . 

Banbury. In Oxf. Famous, since 16 cent., 
for puritans, cheeses, and cakes. NED. 
does not recognize the Banbury chair, 
familiar to children. 

band^. Ligature, AS. has only bend (q.v.), 
but band is found in most Teut. langs. It 
belongs to the verb to bind. Earliest sense, 
bond, fetter, etc. In sense of flat strip, 
ribbon, etc., it is F. bande, ult. the same 
word. Hence bandbox, orig. (17 cent.) 
made for bands or ruffs. See also bandog. 

bandy no 

band^. Company. F. bande. It. banda. Prob. 
cogn. with banner (q.v.) and going back 
to Goth, bandwa, sign, flag. Cf. MedL. 
bandum, banner. It has also been popularly 
connected with band^ (cf. banded together), 
and possibly also with ban^. The common 
E. meaning, as in regimental band {band 
of musicians, 17 cent.), is unknown in 
F., exc. in archaic grand'bande, chamber 
orchestra of Louis XIV. The Band of Hope 
dates from c. 1847. Perh. the popular 
association with band^ (v.s.) suggested to 
Dickens the Infant Bonds of Joy as the 
name of one of Mrs Pardiggle's beneficent 

bandanna. Earlier bandanno. Hind., prob. 
through Port. Orig. of a kind of dyeing 
in which the spotted effect was produced 
by tying the material in various ways. 

bandar log. Nation of monkeys in Kipling's 
Jungle Book. Fig. any collection of irre- 
sponsible chatterers and poseurs. Hind. 
bandar, monkey (cf. wanderoo) , log, people. 

When our boys get back and begin to ask the 
Bandar Log what they did in the Great War 

(Ian Hay, Carrying on, ch. xiii), 

banderole. F., from archaic bandiere, banner. 
It. bandiera. 

bandicoot. Large Indian rat; Austral, mar- 
supial of similar appearance. Telugu pandi 
kokku, pig rat. 

bandit. Earlier banditto. It. bandito, p.p. of 
bandire, to banish (q.v.). Cf. outlaw. 

A Roman sworder and banditto slave 

(2 Hen. I'/, iv. i). 

bandog. For band-dog {band^). Cf. leash- 
hound, and F. limier, from lien, bond. So 
also F. les limiers de la police corresponding 
to our bandogs of the law. 

bande dog: molosus [Cath. Angl.). 

bandoleer [niil.]. F. bandoiiliere, Sp. bando- 
lera or It. bandoliera, from banda, band, 

bandouilleres: a musketiers bandoleers; or charges, 
like little boxes, hanging at a belt about his neck 


bandoline. For the hair. F., hybrid coinage 
irom bandeau, band of hair, and L. linere, 
to anoint. 

bandy^ Verb. From F. bander "to bandie, 
at tennis" (Cotg.), hence to throw (jests, 
reproaches, etc.) to and fro. Of Teut. 
origin and cogn. with bend. Sense-develop- 
ment of the F. word, orig. to bend a bow, 





is not quite clear. For final -y, cf. levy, 

Had she affections and warm youthful blood, 
She'd be as swift in motion as a ball; 
My words would bandy her to my sweet love, 
And his to me (Rom. & Jul. ii. 5). 

bandy'-. Hockey; orig. the curved stick with 
which it is played. Prob. from bend, but 
influenced by bandy''-. See hockey. 
a bandy: hama, clava falcata (Lift.). 

bandy^. Or bandy-legged. Common sense 
suggests bendy, perh. associated also with 
bandy^. Bandy-legged, "valgus, varus" 
(Litt.), is rather earlier than first NED. 

bane. Orig. killer, murderer. AS. bana. 
Com.Teut. ; cf. OSax.OHG. bano,0'N.bani; 
cogn. with Goth, banja, wound, and ult. 
with G. cf>6vo?, murder. Hence also obs. 
bane, to poison {Merch. of Ven. iv. i). Cf. 

bang^. To thump, etc. ON. banga, to beat; 
cf. Du. bangen. In some senses imit. With 
bang up, smart, cf. slap tip. Bang-tail, a 
horse's tail cut horizontally, is perh. from 
the same word, suggesting abruptness; cf. 
bang goes saxpence. Also bang, a horizontal 
fringe across the forehead, orig. US. For 

■ to bang Banagher see beat. 

bang'^. Drug. See bhang. 

bangle. From Hind, bangrt, orig. coloured 
glass bracelet or anklet. 

banian, banyan. Port., Arab, banyan, Gu- 
jarati vdniyo, Sanskrit vanij, merchant. 
Man of trading caste (see bimya). Orig. pi. 
(cf. Bedouin). This caste abstains from 
animal food, hence naut. banyan day. The 
banian tree, a gigantic fig tree, obtained its 
E. name from its being an object of 
veneration to the banians, who built their 
temples under it (v.i.). App. the name 
was first given to one at Gombroon, on the 
Persian Gulf. 

The govenour is a Bannyan, one of those kind of 
people that observe the law of Pythagoras 

(Purch. 1609). 

The Banian tree is a little beyond the great tanck 
[of Sura t].... This is of an exceedinge bredth, much 
honoured by the Banians (Peter Mundy, 1629). 
He has been ill — and so he banyanned upon lobster 
salad and chocolate cream, washed down by deluges 
of champagne (Lady Lyttelton, 1839). 

banish. F. bannir, banniss-, to proclaim as an 
outlaw, from ban'' (q.v.). Cf. Ger. verban- 
■ nen. 
banister. See baluster. 

banjo. Negro corrupt, of archaic bandore, L. 
pandura, G. iravhovpa. 

pandura: an instrument called a bandore like a 
lute; a rebeck; a violin (Litt.). 
"What is this, mamma? — It is not a guitar, is it? " 
"No, my dear, it is called a banjore; it is an African 
instrument, of which the negroes are particularly 
fond" (Miss Edgeworth, Belinda). 

bank^. Of earth. Earliest sense, raised shelf 
or ridge. ME. banke; cf. ON. bakki; cogn. 
with bank^ and bench. Hence naut. banker, 
boat fishing on Newfoundland bank; cf. 
coaster and 16 cent, roader. To bank, of an 
aeroplane, is borrowed from the motor 

There is a rich fisheing very neere this land [New- 
foundland] called the Banke, where there doe 
yearely fish at least 400 French shipps 

(R. Hayman to Charles I, 1628). 
Practically the whole of the French bankers are 
laid up in St Malo (Obs. Feb. 10, 1918). 

bank-. Bench, etc. F. banc, OHG. banc, ult. 
ident. with bank'-; cf. Du. bank. In ME. 
means bench, as still in some techn. applica- 
tions. Hence double-ba'nked, used of galleys 
with two tiers of oars, involving two tiers 
of rowing benches. The financ. bank is 
F. banqiie, It. banca, from OHG., orig. 
money-changers' bench or table. Most of 
our early financ. words are It. (cf. bank- 
rupt). Bank-holidays were established by 
Sir John Lubbock's Act (1871) in order to 
legalize the closing of banks on certain 
fixed days. They were not intended as 
public saturnalia. 
Christ overthrew the exchangers bankes 

(NED. 1567). 

bankrupt. Earlier (16 cent.) bankrout, F. 
banqueroiite. It. banca. rotta, broken bank. 
Now remodelled on L. rupta. See bank^. 

banksia. Austral, shrub. From Sir Joseph 
Banks (fiSao), botanist, companion of 
Captain Cook. Cf. dahlia, fuchsia, etc. 

banlieue. F., outskirts (of a town). Orig. 
league {liene) radius under town authority. 
vSee ban'^. 

banner. OF. banere (banniere) ; cf. It. 
bandiera, Sp. bandera, from MedL. ban- 
nurn, banduni, flag. See band'^. In the 
Rom. langs. there has been confusion with 
ban'^ (q.v.), and the ult. origin of both 
groups of words is obscure. The analogy of 
F. drapeau, from drap, cloth, suggests that 
L. pannus, cloth, may be involved. 

banneret. OF. baneret, adj., "bannered," 
with -et from L. -atus. Orig. knight whose 
vassals fought under his own banner. The 





order was allowed to die out after the 

institution of baronets (161 1). 
bannock [Sc. S' North]. Loaf of home-made 

bread. Gael, bannach, prob. a loan-word, 

from L. panis] cf. AS. banniic. 
banns. See ban^. 
banquet. F., dim. of banc, bench, table (see 

bank^) ; cf. It. banchetto, dim. of banco, 

table. For sense-development cf. board, 

table. Earlier E. sense is a kind of dessert 

{Esther, v, vii). 
banquette [mil.]. Ledge inside rampart or 

trench. F., It. banchetta, dim. of banca, 

bench, shelf. See bank^. 
banshee [Ir.]. Ir. bean sidhe, woman of the 

fairies; cf. Gael, bean, woman, sith, fairy. 

The fatal Ben-shie's boding scream 

{Lady of Lake, iii. 7). 

bant. See banting. 

bantam. Place in Java, but the bird was 
orig. Jap. (cf. guinea-pig). Latest use in 
sense of small, miniature, is in bantam 
battalion (1915), composed of very short 

banter. One of the words assailed by Swift in 
the Taller (see bamboozle, with which it was 
earlier synon.). Origin unknown. Itoccirs 
in Pepys (Dec. 24, 1667) earlier than NED. 

He that first brought the word... "banter" in use, 
put together, as he thought fit, those ideas he made 
it stand for (Locke). 

banting. Name of a London cabinet-maker 
who published (1864) his method of reduc- 
ing obesity. With back-formation bant cf. 

bantling. Prob. corrupted (16 cent.) from 
archaic Ger. bdnkling, from bank, bench. 
See bastard, with which bantling was 
formerly synon. 

Bantu [ling.]. Group of SAfr. langs., esp. 
Zulu. Native name for "people." 

banxring. Squirrel-like animal (Java). Native 

banyan. See banian. 

banzai. Jap. war-cry, lit. ten thousand years; 
cf. Chin, wan, myriad, sui, year. 

baobab. Tree. African, but long naturalized 
in India. Prob. native name (EAfr.). 

baptize. F. baptiser, L., G. (3aiTTL^€Lv, to 
immerse, from jSairreLv, to dip. Christen is 
much older. The baptist sect was orig., and 
by opponents up to 19 cent., called ana- 
baptist (q.v.). The currency of baptism of 
fire (suggested by Luke, iii. 16) is perh. due 
to F. bapietne de feu used by Napoleon III 

in a despatch to the Empress early in the 
war of 1870. 

bar. F. barre; cf. barra in other Rom. langs. 
and in MedL. Origin unknown. Ground- 
sense, barrier, as in Temple Bar, harbour 
bar. A barrister practises "at the bar," 
orig. the rail marking off the judge's seat, 
after being called "to the bar," the rail 
separating the benchers from the body of 
the hall in the Inns of Court. As a King's 
Counsel he is called "within the bar." In 
the tavern sense bar is 16 cent. Barman (19 
cent.) is more recent than barmaid (1732). 
To bar, cold-shoulder, is univ. slang. 

baragouin. Jargon. F., from Bret, bara, 
bread, gwin, wine, often heard, but not 
understood, by Frenchmen among Bretons. 

baralipton. See barbara. 

barb^. Of arrow. F. barbe, L. barba, beard, 
hook, in various senses. Hence barbed wire, 
"that invention of the devil" (Sir Ian 

barbele: bearded; also, full of snags, snips, jags, 
notches; whence, Flesche barbeUe, a bearded, or 
barbed arrow (Cotg.). 

barb^. Horse (archaic), pigeon. F. barbe, 
from Barbary. 

barbara [logic]. The words barbara, baralipton, 
bocardo, celarent were used by medieval 
logicians as mnemonics, the vowels stand- 
ing for various forms of syllogism. Hence 
barbara and baralipton in ref. to scholastic 

Ce n'est pas "barbara et baralipton" qui forment le 
raisonnement (Pascal). 

barbaresque. F., It. barbaresco, orig. of 
Barbary, also barbarous, primitive. 

barbarian, barbaric, barbarous. All three have 
been used indifferently in the past, though 
now differentiated. Earlier is ME. barbar^ 
F. barbare, L., G. l3apfiapo<s, with ref. to 
unintelligible speech {bar-bar) ; cf . Hottentot. 
Hence barbarism, orig. the mixing of 
foreign words with Greek or Latin. 
I schal be to him, to whom I schal speke, a barbar 
(Wye. I Cor. xiv. 11). 

Barbary. In ME. heathenism, etc.; now, N. 
Africa. Hence barbary ape, the only ape 
found wild in Europe (Gibraltar). See 

barbecue. Sp. barbacoa. from lang. of Hayti. 
Orig. frame-work on posts to sleep on, or to 
smoke meat on. Hence, an animal roasted 
whole, jollification, drying floor for coffee. 
His couch or barbecu of sticks (Dampier). 
The barbecu'd sucking-pig's crisp'd to a turn 






barbed [archaic']. Of a horse, equipped and 
caparisoned. Mistake for barded, from F. 
barde, horse-armour, also rough saddle, Sp. 
Port, albarda, packsaddle, Arab, al barda'at. 
k bardit ciirser stout and bald (Gavin Douglas). 
His glittering arms he will condemn to rust, 
His barbed steeds to stables (Rich. II, iii. 3). 

barbel. OF. barbel (barbean), VL. *barbellus, 
dim. of barbus, from its beard. 

barber. ME. barbour, OF. barbeor, VL. 
*barbator-em. Mod. form partly due to 
suffix substitution (cf. turner for tumour), 
partly to ModF. barbier. It. barbiere. The 
barber was formerly also dentist and 
surgeon, hence Company of Barber-Surgeons 
(1461-1745). Hence the small metal bowls, 
orig. for blood-letting, which are still the 
barber's sign in some countries, while the 
barber's pole is said to represent the 

My name is Salvation Yeo, born in Clovelly Street, 
in the year 1526, where my father exercised the 
mystery of a barber surgeon ( Westward Ho !) . 

barberry. OF. barberis, with -5 lost as in 
cherry; cf. It. berberi, Sp. berberis, MedL. 
barbaris. Origin unknown. The -berry is 

berberi: sunt fructus cuiusdam arboris, anglice 
berberynes (Voc. 15 cent.). 

barbette [mil.']. Gvm platform for firing over 
parapet or ship's turret. F., dim. of barbe, 
but sense-development not clear. 

barbican [Jiist.']. Outer defence. F. barbacane 
(12 cent.); cf. It. barbacane, Sp. barbacana. 
A word that has given rise to very numer- 
ous conjectures, the most reasonable being 
Arab.-Pers. bdb-khdnah, gate-house (see 
Babel), the regular name in the East for a 
towered gateway, which is about the 
meaning of barbican. This leaves the -r- 
unaccounted for, unless we assume associ- 
ation with bar. There seems to be little 
doubt that the word comes from the 
Crusades (Joinville). For its survival as 
the name of a London street cf. Old Bailey 
(see bail'^). 

Egyptian rulers, from the Pharaohs to Napoleon 
and Mehemet Ali, have tried to seize it [Palestine] 
as the outer barbican of Africa 

[Daily Chron. Dec. 11, 1917). 

barcarolle. F., Venet. barcarola, It. barcaruola, 
boatman's song, from barca. See bark^. 

bard^. Gael. Ir. bard, whence G. ^apSos, L. 
bardus (in Lucan). Orig. of Celt, bards 
only, and, in Lowland Sc, of a vagabond 
minstrel. Though first recorded by NED. 

c. 1450, it was a surname by 1297; cf. Sc. 


The Schireffe.-.sal punish sorners, over-lyars, 

maister-full beggars, fuilles, bairdes, vagaboundes 

bard-. See barbed. 

bare. AS. b^sr. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. baar, Ger. 
bar, ON. berr. Orig. uncovered, then un- 
equipped, e.g. bareback, without addition 
of any kind, as in bare majority {subsistence). 
Barefaced (first in Shaks.) has degenerated 
from orig. sense of undisguised, without 
barege. Fabric, from Bareges (Hautes-Py- 

baresark. See berserk. 

bargain. OF. bargagne; cf. It. bargagno, Port. 
barganha. The corresponding verb, OF. 
bargagner (barguigner), found also in the 
other Rom. langs., is Late L. barcaniare, to 
haggle (temp. Charles the Bald). Many 
forms and derivatives are found in MedL., 
but the origin is unknown. OHG. borganjan 
to lend, borrow, pledge, has been suggested, 
but the -a- of the Rom. forms is against 
this. If the word was orig. OF. and 
borrowed by the other Rom. langs., it may 
be simply gagner, to gain (q.v.), with 
pejorative prefix bar-, or even represent a 
mixture of gagner and the synon. barater, 
to barter. With to strike a bargain cf. 
swap, tope^. 

barguis.ner: to chaffer; to bargaine; or (more 
properly) to wrangle, dodge, haggle, brabble, in the 
making of a bargaine (Cotg.). 
barge. F., Late L. barga, var. of barca, bark'. 
Bargee is used by Pepys. Like most ship- 
names, has had a variety of senses. NED. 
does not recognize slang to barge, rush 
barilla. Plant. Sp. barrilla, "saltwort" 

baritone. See barytone. 
barium \chem.']. Isolated and named by Davy 

(1808), from G. fSapv?, heavy. 
bark^. Of a tree. ON. borkr, prob. cogn. with 

birch. Native word is rind. 
bark-, barque. Vessel. F. barque. It. barca. 
Late L. barca, ship of burden, of doubtful 
origin. ? From G. /3apt9, boat, from Egypt. 
Cf. the earlier barge. The spelling barque is 
now limited to a spec. rig. 
bark''. Verb. AS. beorcan, orig. strong, with 
p.p. borcen; cf. ON. berkja, ?from barki, 
Avindpipe. Hence barker, pistol, fire-arm. 
Chien qui abbaye [aboie] ne mord pas: the dog that 
barkes much, bites little; a great prater, a weake 
performer (Cotg.). 





barley. Orig. adj., as still in barleycorn. AS. 
bcBrlic, from here, barley; cf. ON. barr, corn, 
barley, Goth, barizeins, of barley; ult. cogn. 
with L. far, corn. John Barleycorn, as 
emblem of malt liquor, occurs in the title 
of a ballad in the Pepys collection. Cf. the 
old song of the harleyniow, where mow 
means heap, stack. Barley-water dates from 
14 cent. With barleycorn as unit of measure 
cf. grain as unit of weight. 

Hitt was ordeyned [by the Statute of Winchester] 
that iii barley-comes take out of the middes of the 
ere makith a inch {Coventry Leet Book, 1474). 

barm. Yeast, froth. AS. beorma, with LG. 
and Scand. cognates; cf. Ger. dial, hdrme; 
ult. cogn. with 'L.fermenium. Hence barniy, 
now often spelt balmy. 

Hope puts that hast into your heid, 
Quhilk boyles your barmy brain 

(Montgomerie, c. 1600). 
Why did I join the R.N.A.S.? 
Why didn't I join the army? 
Why did I come to Salonika? 
{Chorus) I must have been well barmy (Anon.). 

Barmecide banquet. Allusion to a tale in 
the Arabian Nights of a prince who offered 
an imaginary feast to a beggar. The 
Barmecides were a family ruling in Baghdad 
just before Haroun-al-Raschid. Cf. Al- 
naschar dreams. 

barn. ME. hern, AS. herecBrn, barley-place, of 
which contracted forms also occur in AS. 
Cf . relation of L. horreum, barn, to hordeum, 
barley. Barnstormer, strolling actor, is late 
19 cent. 

Barnaby. Feast of St Barnabas (June 11), 
considered the longest day under the Old 

Barnaby bright. 
Longest day and shortest night. 

barnacle^. For horses. ME. hernacle, earlier 
bernak, AF. bernac, glossed camus, a bit, 
snaffle. Cf. also OF. hernicles, Saracen in- 
strument of torture (Joinville). Origin un- 
known. In sense of spectacles (16 cent.) 
barnacles seems to be a playful extension of 
the same word, due to the way in which 
barnacles are fitted to a horse's nose. There 
may also have been association with F. 
besides, spectacles, formerly bericles. This 
is rendered barnacles in Motteux' transl. 
of Rabelais {Pantagruel, v. 27). 

A scourge to an hors, and a bemacle to an asse 

(Wye. Prov. xxvi. 3). 

barnacle^. Kind of wild goose; shell-fish. 
ME. bernekke, hernake, OF. bernaque, MedL. 
bernaca, etc. The connection of the two is 

due to a very ancient and wide-spread 
superstition that the goose was hatched 
from shell-fish adhering to trees over the 
water. Of the numerous conjectures that 
the word has provoked the most reasonable 
is that which derives it from Gael, bairneach, 
limpet, from barenn, rock. But the weak 
point in this theory is that, although the 
goose is supposed to spring from the shell- 
fish, the former is recorded some centuries 
earlier. Also the Gael, word may be bor- 
rowed from E. Cf. also Sp. bernache. Port. 
bernaca. The following quot. shows the 
muddled character of the superstition. 

So, slow Bootes underneath him sees 
In th'ycie lies, those goslings hatcht of trees, 
Whose fruitfull leaves falling into the water. 
Are turn'd (they say) to living fowles soone after. 
So, rotten sides of broken shipps doo change 
To barnacles; O transformation strange! 
'Twas first a greene tree, then a gallant hull, 
Lately a mushrum, now a flying gull (Sylv. i. 6). 

barnacles. Spectacles. See barnacle^. 

barney [slang']. Lark, spree; earlier (c. i860), 
humbug. ? From name Barney (for Barna- 
by) ; cf . abstr. sense of paddy. 

Barnum. US. proprietor of the greatest show 
on earth (fiSgi). 

His attendant officers, gigantic men selected on the 
Barnum principle 
(S. L. Hughes, M.P., on Kaiser's entry into Jerusalem). 

barometer. From G. ^apos, weight. Due to 
Boyle (17 cent.). 

baron. F., Late L. baro-n-, used in Salic Law 
as equivalent to homo; cf. double meaning 
of AS. mann, man, warrior, hero, and sense- 
development of knight, vassal, etc. Origin 
unknown, but prob. Teut. According to 
some it is L. baro, simpleton, whence It. 
barone, rogue, which seems unlikely. The 
baron of beef, or double sirloin, is a witticism 
due to the old story of knighting the loin. 
Baronet is used for sirloin by Fielding (v. i.). 
The title baronet occurs in 14 cent., but its 
exact meaning is doubtful, though it seems 
to have been used for banneret (q.v.). The 
present order dates from 161 1 and was 
established to raise money for the settle- 
ment of Ulster. Orig. obtainable for /looo, 
but it is understood that the current price 
is much higher. 

The sight of the roast beef struck him dumb, 
permitting him only to say grace, and to declare 
he must pay his respects to the "baronet," for so 
he called the sirloin {Tom Jones, iv. 10). 

baroque. Orig. irregularly shaped pearl. F., 
Port, harrocco or Sp. harrueco. Origin un- 





barouche. Earlier (1805) birntsche, Gar. dial. 
barutsche, birutsche, It. baroccio, for biroccio, 
from L. birotus, two-wheeled, from bis and 
rota. Cf. F. brouette, wheel-barrow, earlier 
beroiiette, dim. of OF. beroue, L. birota. 

barque. See bark^. 

barquentine. Differs from a barque in having 
only the fore-mast square-rigged. Sp. 
bergantin, brigantine, confused with barque 
(see bark^, brig). 

barracan. See barragan. 

barrack. F. baraque, It. baracca or Sp. barraca; 
? cogn. with bar. Orig. booth, hut, which 
is still the meaning of F. baraque. Hence 
baryacoon, slave pen (Sp.). 

barracking. On the cricket field. Said to come 
from a native Austral. (NSW.) word borak 
meaning derision. It bears a curious re- 
semblance to bar r akin', gibberish, formerly 
used in East End of London. This is F. 
baragouin (q.v.). 

barracoon. See barrack. 

barracuda, barracoota. Large Wind, sea- 
perch. Origin unknown. ? From Sp. bar- 
rigudo, big-bellied. 

barracoutha: the name of a fish peculiar to some 
parts of America (Phillips). 

barragan. Orig. coarse camlet. Earlier bar- 
racan. OF. baracan, baragant {bouracan), 
Arab, barrakdn, camlet, from Pers. barak, 
garment of camel's hair. Cf. Du. barkan, 
Ger. barchent. 

barrage {hist.]. Adopted in the Great War for 
curtain fire, intended to isolate the ob- 
jective. F., barrier, weir, from barrer, to 

Keep up a steady potato barrage from the end of 
March until May {Daily Chron., Feb. 2, 1918). 
Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig passed into London 
through a creeping barrage of cheers 

{ib. Dec. 20, 1918). 

barratry [leg.]. Formerly traffic in church 
office, simony; now esp. marine fraud. OF. 
baraterie, from barate, fraud, strife; cf. It. 
barattare, to barter (q.v.), Sp. baratar, to 
sell cheap, Olt. baratta, strife. All app. 
from ON. baratta, strife, if this is a genuine 
ON. word, in which case it may have been 
taken to the South by the Vikings. It. 
barataria occurs in marine laws of Amalfi 
(11 cent.). 

barrel. F. baril, with forms in all Rom. langs. 
? Connected with bar; cf. F. au-dessus (au- 
dessous) de la barre, of mne regarded as 
superior (inferior) according as it is drawn 
from the upper (lower) part of the cask. 

the latter being strengthened by an in- 
ternal bar or stanchion. The barrel organ 
(18 cent.) is so called because the keys are 
struck by pins on a revolving barrel or 
cylinder. For gen. sense of cylinder, as in 
gun-barrel, cf. tunnel. 

barren. Orig. of female. Archaic F. brehaigne, 
OF. brehaing, baraing, etc. Origin obscure. 
Perh. from OHG. ham, mutilated, preceded 
by the pejorative particle bar-. Cf. Ger. 
hamniel, castrated ram. See maim. 

barret {hist.']. Cap. F. barrette. See biretta. 

barricade. F., It. barricata or Sp. barricada, 
from barrica, barrel, used in extempore 
barriers. Incorr. barricade is found earlier; 
cf. ambuscado, armado, bastinado. Hist, 
esp. in ref. to Parisian emeutes. 
barriquade: a barricado; a defence of barrels, timber , 
pales, earth, or stones, heaped up, or closed to- 
gether; and serving to stop up a street, or passage, 
and to keep off shot, etc. (Cotg.). 

barrico [naut.]. See breaker. 

barrier. F. barriere, from barre, bar. 

barring-out. Recorded for 1728 (Swift). 
Revolts, republics, revolutions, most 
No graver than a schoolboys' "bcirring-out" 

(Tennyson, Princess). 

barrister. Earlier barrester, barraster. Mod. 
formation from bar, app. modelled on 
chorister, sophister. Cf. ME. legistre (from 
lex) and its MedL. form legista. The name 
originated with the bar of the Inns of 
Court, but is now associated with the bar 
of a tribunal. See bar. 

barrow^. Funeral mound. Orig. hill, moun- 
tain. AS. beorg. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. Ger. 
berg, ON. berg, bjarg, Goth, bairgahei, 
mountain chain. Prob. also Aryan; cf. 
Armen. berj, Olr. brig, etc. 

barrow^. Vehicle. AS. bearive. Orig. stretcher, 
bier (q.v.), hand-barrow; cogn. with bear^. 
Later meaning may have been affected by 
F. dial, barou, app. related to brouette, 
wheel-barrow (see barouche). 
They brought out the syckc.and layed them upon 
beddes and barowes (Coverd. Acts, v. 15). 

bart. Abbrev. of baronet. 

barter [archaic]. F. barater, to deceive, in 
OF. to exchange, haggle, from barat (see 
barratry) ; cf. It. barattare, Sp. baratar. For 
connection between trading and cheating 
cf. Ger. tauschen, to exchange, tduschen, to 

baratar: to seU cheape, to deceive (Percy vail). 
barater: to cheat, cousen, beguyle, deceive, he, cog, 
foist, in bargaining; also, to trucke, scourse, barter, 
exchange (Cotg.). 





bartizan [poet.]. Sc. (i6 cent.), of uncertain 

meaning, but app. corrupt, of bratticing, 

timber-work. Currency is due to Scott. See 


bretasynge: propugnaculum (Cath. Angl.). 
barton [dial.]. Enclosure in various senses. 

AS. beretun. See barley and town. 
barytas [niin.]. From barium (q.v.). 
barytone, baritone. F. baryton or It. baritono, 

from G. j3apv<;, heavy, tovos, tone. 
basalt. L. basaltes, said by Pliny to be an 

Afr. word. Not connected with salt. 
basan, bazan. Kind of sheep-skin leather. 

Corruptly basil, bazil. F. basane, Prov. 

bazana, Sp. badana, Arab, bitdnah, inside, 

bascinet. See basinet. 
bascule [niech.]. F., see-saw, for earlier bacule, 

from OF. baculer, from battre, to beat, cul, 


The practice of flying through the Tower Bridge 
between the high-level foot-ways and the bascules 
must cease {Daily Chron. June 27, 1919). 

base^. Noun. F., L., G. Iiacn<;, step, also 
pedestal, from ySatVctF, to step. 

base^. Adj. F. bas, VL. bassus, stumpy, 
common in classical L. as cognomen. For 
sense-development cf. low. Baseborn may 
be for earlier low-born, but, as there is no 
other example of adv. use of base, it is 
perh. connected with OF. fils de bast, 
whence ME. a bast ibore, baseborn (see 
bastard) . 

baseball. Now chiefly US., so-called from the 
bases, or bounds, which mark the circuit, 
but these bases were taken over from 
Prisoners' base (15 cent.), which is for bars, 
the -r- being lost as in bass^ (q-v.). 
hace pley: barri {Prompt. Parv.). 
bace playe: jeu aux banes (Palsg.). 
barres: the play at bace; or, prison bars (Cotg.). 

baseborn. See base"^. 

basement. Connected by NED. with base^, 
by Skeat with base^. Cf. F. soubassement, 
with very similar meaning. But Cotg. has, 
marked as archaic, soubastement, app. from 
bastir (bdtir), which suits the sense better. 
soubastement: a foundation, or ground- work; a low 
building within the ground for the support of roomes 
above-ground (Cotg.). 

bash [colloq.]. Chiefly northern. Origin un- 
known. ? Cf. Sw. basa, Dan. baske, to beat, 
? or mixture of such words as bang and 
smash. Cf. also archaic and dial. pash. 

bashaw. Earlier E. form of pasha (q.v.). 

bashful. From abash (q.v.). Formerly also 

daunted, e.g. Clarendon speaks of a "bash- 
ful army." Cf. ME. bashment, discomfiture, 
bashi-bazouk. Turk, irregular soldier. Turk. 
bdshi-bozuk, one whose head is turned. 
App. became familiar at time of Crimean 
War. Cf. pasha, bimbashi. 

This form of Bashi-bazookism is actually called 
"nationahzation" in the jargon of the Southern 
Bolsheviks {Daily Chron. July 2, 1919). 

basil^. Plant. OF. basile, L., G. fiacnXiKov, 
royal (sovereign remedy). ModF. basilic 
means both the plant and thebasilisk (q.v.). 
In the OF. names for both the same con- 
fusion appears, no doubt as a result of 
some belief in the plant as an antidote 
against the bite of the reptile. 

basil^. See basan. 

Basilian. Of St Basil, bishop of Caesarea, as 
in Basilian liturgy. 

basilica. L., G. (iaariXLKiq (sc. oIkio), royal 
dwelling. Later, hall of justice, then the 
same used as a place of worship. In Rome 
applied spec, to the seven churches estab- 
lished by Constantine. 

basilisk. Fabulous monster, cockatrice, whose 
breath and glance were fatal. Hence 
basilisk glance. G. jSacnXto-KO'i, little king, 
because of a mark depicted on its head 
resembling a crown. Cf. L. regulus, lit. 
little king. 

Ther [in India] ben the basylicocks which have the 
sight so venymous that they sle all men 

(Caxton, Mirror of World), 

The viper and the flying basiliscus [Vulg. regulus 
volans] {Douay Bible, Is. xxx. 6). 

basin. OF. bacin (bassin), VL. bacchinon 
(Gregory of Tours), for baccinum, from 
bacca, vessel for water (Isidore). Hence 
also It. bacino, Sp. bacin, Ger. becken. Ult. 
origin unknown. Perh. a Gaulish word and 
cogn. with F. bac, trough, ferryboat. 

basinet, bascinet, basnet. Basin-shaped hel- 
met. OF. bacinet, dim. of bacin, basin. Cf. 
synon. Ger. kesselhut, lit. kettle hat. Mod. 
bowler belongs to the same class of ideas. 
Obs. 1600— 1800, but revived by Scott. 

And a brasun basynet on his heed 

(Wye. I Sam. xvii. 5). 

bassinet: a little bowle, a small bason; also, the 
scull, sleight helmet, or head piece, wome, in old 
time, by the French men of armes (Cotg.). 

basis. L. See base^. 

bask. ON. bathask, whence Modlcel. bathast, 

to bathe oneself, reflex, of batha, to bathe. 

For formation cf. busk^. See bath. 

Seynge his brother baskynge in his bloud (Lydgate). 





Baskerville. Famous Birmingham printer 
(•j-1775). Cf. aldine, elzevir. 

basket. At one time thought to be Celt., but 
Gael, hascaid, Ir. basgaod, Welsh basged are 
from E. A supposed Gaulish word bascaiida 
is used by Juvenal and Martial, the latter 
of whom expressly describes it as British. 
The NED.'s objection that bascauda is 
described as a tub or brazen vessel, and 
so could not be a basket, is not serious, as 
the change of meaning could easily be 
paralleled. Cf. canister, now a metal 
receptacle, from L. canistrum, a wicker 
basket. Moreover bascauda gave OF. bas- 
choe, a basket. In OF. we also find basche, 
basse, used in the same sense. It would 
appear that basket, found in AF. c. 1200, 
though not recorded in continental OF., 
must have been a dim. formation belonging 
to the same group. This leaves the real 
origin of bascauda unsolved. It may be 
cogn. with L. fascia. 
Barbara de pictis veni bascauda Britannis, 
Sed me jam mavuJt dicere Roma suam (Martial). 
bachoue: a kind of flat-sided basket, of wicker, close 
woven, and pitched in the inside; used in times of 
vintage (Cotg.). 

basnet. See basinet. 

bason [Bibl.]. Archaic form of basin. 

Basque. Race and non-Arjmn lang. of western 

Pyrenees. Late L. Vasco, Vasconia. Its 

only contribution to E. is perh. jingo. 
basque. Of a dress. F., earlier also baste. 

Origin unknown. Prob. not connected with 

the national name Basque, although from 

this we have basquine, "a Spanish vardin- 

gale" (Cotg.). 
bas-relief. F., It. bassorilievo. See base'^ and 

bass^. Fish. Earlier barse (still in dial.), AS. 

beers; cf. Du. baars, Ger. barsch, kaulbars, 

perch; cogn. with bristle. 
bass^. Fibre. See bast. Hence bass-broom, 

bass^ \_miis.'\. Formerly base, now remodelled 

on It. basso, base^. 
basset^. Short-legged dog. OF., dim. of bas, 


basset: a terrier, or earthing beagle (Cotg.). 

basset^ [archaic]. Card -game. F. bassette. It. 
bassetta, supposed to be in some way con- 
nected with basso, low. 

bassinet (te). Cradle. First in Thackeray. 
Supposed to be a dim. of F. bassin, basin ; 
but this seems unlikely, and F. bassinet is 
not used in same sense. Perh. corrupted 

from F. bercelonnette, double dim. of 
berceau, cradle. 

bassoon. F. basson, augment, of basse, bass^. 

bast. Inner bark of lime. AS. bcest. Com. 
Teut. ; cf. Du. Ger. ON. bast. See bass^. 

bastard. OF. bastard {bdtard) with corre- 
sponding forms in most Europ. langs. In 
OF. also fils de bast, son of a pack-saddle, 
with pejorative ending -art, Ger. -hart. Cf. 
synon. OF. coitrart, from coite, quilt, Ger. 
bankert, earlier bankart, from bank, bench, 
LG. mantelkind, mantle child, ON. hrisimgr, 
from hris, brushwood. See bantling and 
baf^. Not always a term of reproach, 
e.g. the Conqueror is often referred to 
as William the Bastard. Cf. surname 

A bastard, or he that is i-gete of a worthy fader 
and i-bore of an unworthy moder (Trev. ii. 269). 

I begat the whoreson in bast; 

It was done all in haste [Nature, c. 1475)- 

banckaerd: spurius, nothus, iUegitimus, non in lecto 
geniah, sed quovis scamno fortuito a matre con- 
ceptus (Kil.). 

basted To sew. OF. bastir, OHG. bastjan, 
bestan, to sew with bast (q.v.). Or, the E. 
word being app. earlier recorded than the 
F., the verb may be of native formation 
from bast. See also bastille, 
baastynge of cloth: subsutura [Prompt. Part.). 
I baste a garment with threde: je bastys (Palsg.). 

baste-. Cooking. OF. basser, to soak, the 
mod. form being from the p.p. The OF. 
word is of unknown origin. 
to bast the rost: basser (du Guez). 
The fat pygge is baast (Barclay). 

baste^. To beat. Jocular application of feas/e^. 
Both occur first as p.p. Cf. Ger. schmieren, 
to drub, lit. to anoint, and F. frotter. See 
also smite. 

froier: to rub; to chafe; to fret, or grate against; 
also, to bathe; also, to cudgell, thwack, baste or 
knocke soundly (Cotg.). 

bastille. F., from Prov. bastida, from bastire, 
to build. Now only of the historic building 
in Paris, but in common ME. use {bastel, 
etc.), of a fort. The popular form occurs as 
late as Butler. The derivation of bdtir, OF. 
bastir, MedL. bastire, is doubtful, but some 
authorities derive it from OHG. bastjan, to 
sew with bast, hence construct, a very 
possible sense-development. See baste^. 

Conveys him to enchanted castle. 

There shuts him fast in wooden bastile [Hudibras) , 





bastinado. Sp. bastonada, beating, from haston, 
cudgel (see baton). For ending see ambus- 
cade, armada. The limitation of meaning to 
beating the soles of the feet is comparatively 
mod. See drub. 

bastion. F., It. bastione, from bastia, fort 
(whence Bastia in Corsica), from bastire, to 
build. See bastille. 

bat^. Cudgel, etc. AS. batt, club, ? from Celt. 
Some senses perh. from F. batte, which is 
usu. connected with battre, to beat. The 
cricket bat is recorded for 1706. To carry 
(bring out) one's bat goes back to the less 
luxurious days when the man "out" left 
the bat for the next comer. Bat, lump, clod, 
is supposed to be the same word, hence 
brickbat. Also bat, pace, as in at a great bat, 
from dial, sense of stroke. Batfowling 
{Temp. ii. i) means dazing birds with a 
light at night and then knocking them down 
with a bat. 

With tiym came a grete cumpanye, with swerdis 
and battis (Wye. Matt. xxvi. 47). 

bat^. Animal. In ME. usu. bakke. Origin 
obscure, but app. Scand. Cf. Dan. aften- 
bakke, evening bat, Sw. dial. vattbatta,n\%h.t 
bat. The AS. term was hreremus, frum 
hreran, to shake; cf. Gev . fledermaus and E. 
dial, flittermouse (Tennyson). 

Moldewarpis and baekes [var. rere-myis] 

(Wye. Is. ii. 20). 

bat^ [mil.]. Packsaddle. F. bat, OF. bast, 
MedL. bastum. Relation to G. ^ao-ra^etv, 
to bear, is unlikely. Now only in mil. use; 
cf. bathorse, batman, the latter used by 
Washington (1757). 

batata. Sweet potato. Sp. and Port., prob. 
from Hayti. Applied later to another plant 
in the form potato (q.v.). 

Batavian. Occ. used of the Dutch. L. Batavia 
and Batavi, inhabitants of island of Betawe 
between the Rhine and the Waal. Second 
element is cogn. with ait (q.v.) and appears 
also in Scandinavia. 

batch. Orig. a "baking" of bread. ME. 
bache, from bake (cf. match and make). For 
sense-development cf . F. fournie, oven-ful, 
used of the "batches" in which victims 
were sent to the guillotine during the Reign 
of Terror. Mod. whole boiling is a similar 
batche of hredde: foumee de pain (Palsg.). 

bate^. Aphet. for abate (q.v.). Esp. in bated 
breath, to bate a jot. Hence bating, except, 

bate^. Strife. Aphet. for debate. Now only in 
archaic makebate. 

bath^. For washing. AS. bceth. Com. Teut. ; 
cf. Du. Ger. bad, ON. bath. With bath- 
bathe cf . grass-graze. The Order of the Bath, 
established temp. Hen. IV and revived 
temp. George I, takes its name from the 
purification of the new knight. The town 
of Bath was orig. est bathum, at the baths 
(cf. Ger. Baden), and Horace Walpole still 
called it "the Bath." Hence to^o to Bath, 
lunatics being supposed to benefit from the 
waters. Also Bath bun, chair, brick (made 
at Bridgwater), stone, Oliver (from the 
name of a Bath doctor), chap, etc. 

At all times of the tide [at Margate] the machines 
or bathing waggons can drive a proper depth into 
the sea (J. Ames, c. 1740). 

bath^. Liquid measure [Is. v. 10). Heb. 
Bathonian [geol.]. From ModL. Bathonia, 

bathos. G. (Sd9o<;, depth. In literary sense 

introduced by Pope. 

M)' heart is in the grave with her; 

The family went abroad (Alexander Smith). 

bating. See bate^. 

batiste. F., cambric. Said to be from name 

of first manufacturer at Cambrai (13 

batman. See bat^. 
baton. Earlier batoon. F. baton, OF. baston, 

of doubtful origin. See also batten. Very 

general as symbol of authority; hence the 

baton of a Marshal. The baton of the chef 

d'orchestre is of recent F. introduction, 
batrachian. From G. (Sdrpaxo^, frog, 
batta [tnil.]. Extra allowance for officers 

serving in India. Earlier, maintenance. 

Indo-Port., orig. from Canarese bhatta, rice. 

Cf. hist, of salary. See paddy. 
battalion. F. bataillon, It. battaglione, dim. of 

battaglia. See battle. Earlier one of the 

main divisions of an army. 

battaglime: a battalion, a great squadron, the 
maine battle (Flor.). 

battels [Oxf.]. College-bill, esp. for provisions 
from buttery. Prob. connected with obs. 
battle, to grow fat, which is app. a var. of 
batten'^ (q-v-). Latinized as batilli,.batellae 
(16 cent.). Quot. i is a century older than 
NED. record. 

In battel apud Ripon vidz in vino ijd. ob. 

{Mefn. 0/ Fountains Abbey, 1447)- 
One of the most infallible marks by which our 
English grasiers know their battle and feeding 
grounds (Purch. xvi. 89). 





batten^. Strip of wood. Var. of baton (q.v.). 

Hence naut. to batten down esp. hatches, 
batten^. To feed gluttonously, now usu. fig. 

Orig. to thrive, grow fat (see battels). ON. 

batna, to improve, grow "better," cogn. 

with AS. batian, to feed, thrive. Cf. Du, 

baat, profit, and, for sense, Norw. Dan. 

gjode, to fatten cattle, lit. to made good. 

My cradle was a corslet, and for milke 
I battened was with blood {Trag. of Tiberius, 1609). 
une fille Men advenue: weU proved, well growne, 
weUcome on, well prospered; weU batned, or batled 


batter. F. battre, VL. *battere, for battuere, to 
beat, of Celt, origin. Also influenced by 
the verb to bat, from bat^. Noun batter, now 
only culinary, represents F. batture (cf. 
fritter ivora friture) . Oldest sense of battery, 
F. batterie, is the act of beating, as in 
assault and battery ; hence, preparations for 
"battering" a fortress, arrangement of 
artillery, etc. The battering-ram translates 
L. aries and the head of the instrument was 
sometimes shaped like that of the animal. 

batowr of flowre or mel with watyr: mola 

(Prompt. Parv.). 
aries, bellica machina, muris urbium evertetidis apta: 
a great peece of timber shodde with brasse, in facion 
like a rammes head (Coop.). 

battle. F. bataille, VL. battiialia, neut. pi. of 
battualis, from battuere, to beat. Oldest L. 
sense is " exercitationes militum vel gladia- 
torum." In ME. and up to 17 cent, the 
meaning of warlike array, army division, 
was common. A pitched battle was orig. one 
taking place by mutual arrangement on 
selected ground. A battle royal, in which 
several combatants engage, is from cock- 
fighting, but perh. orig. meant battle with 
kings in command (see royal). It is charac- 
teristic of the revolution in nav. nomen- 
clature that the NED. has not battle-ship 
(for older line-of-battle ship) or battle-cruiser 
under battle. 

battledore. Orig. a washing beetle. App. 
Prov. batador or Sp. batidor, influenced by 
dial, battle, to beat linen (see beetle^). Cf. 
synon. F. battoir. 

batyldere, or waschynge belyl: feritoriura 

(Prompt. Parv.). 
batador: a washing beetle (Minsh.). 

battlement. OF. batillement, app. irreg. formed 
from OF. bataillier, to furnish a wall with 
movable defences, or else for bastillement, 
from bastiller, to fortify. See bastille. Cf. 

battology. Needless repetition. From G. 

/3aTToA.oyos, stammerer, from personal 
name Barros (Herod, iv. 155). 

battue. Fern. p.p. of F. battre, to beat (the 

batty. As batta (q.v.). 

bauble. Earlier also bable. OF. baubel, toy, 
kindred with babble, baby. Cf. F. babiole, 
from It. babbola. A fool's bauble parodied 
the sceptre. 
Take away that bauble (Oliver Cromwell). 

baudekin, bawdkin [archaic']. Rich fabric. 
Obs. exc. in romance. OF. baudequin. See 

baulk. See balk. 

bawbee [5c.]. Halfpenny. Prob. from the 
Laird of Sillebawby , 16 cent, mint-master. 
Another coin was called an Atchison, from 
a mint-master who is coupled with the 
above in Treasury records. Similarly bodle, 
boddle is referred to a mint-master Bothwell, 
but for this there is no evidence. 

bawd. Aphet. for ribaud. See ribald, 
bagos: a man-baud, a ribauld (Cotg.). 
ribaud: leno (Holyoak). 
bawdry or ribaldry: obscenitas (Litt.). 

bawl. Orig. of animals. MedL. baulare, to 
bark. Prob. imit. Cf. bellow, Ger. bellen, to 
bark, Icel. baula, to low. 

bawn [hist.]. Enclosure (Ir.). Ir. bddhun, 
from ba, cows, dun, fortress. 

bay^. Tree. Short for bay-tree (cf. myrtle), 
from archaic bay, berry, F. baie, L. baca. 
Hence bay -rum. 

bay^ [geog.]. F. baie. Late L. baia (Isidore) ; 
cf. Span. Port, bahia. Of unknown origin, 
but associated in F. & E. with bay^. Spec, 
application to Bay of Biscay, and the name 
Bayonne, supposed to mean good harbour, 
would seem to indicate Basque origin. 

bay^ [arch.]. F. baie, from buyer, to gape, VL. 
batare, from ba, natural sound of astonish- 
ment. See bay^ and abeyance. Hence bay- 
window, not orig. same shape as bow- 
window; also naut. sick-bay. 

bay*. Colour. F. bai, L. badius, used by 
Varro of the colour of a horse. 
equus badius: of bay colour, bayarde (Coop.). 

bay^. Of hounds. Earlier abay, OF. abayer 
[aboyer), to bark, VL. *ad-batare [seebay^). 
Hence to stand at bay, i.e. facing the 
hounds, F. etre aux abois. 
abbayer: to barke, or bay at (Cotg.). 
to keep one at a bay: morari, sistere, tenere (Litt.). 

bayadere. Hindu dancing-girl. F., Port. 
bailadeira, from bailar, to dance. See balP. 





bayard [poet.]. Bay steed, esp. the steed that 

carried the four sons of Aymon. See bay*. 

Formerly as type of blind recklessness. 
Bayard. Hero "sans peur et sans reproche." 

Famous F. soldier (1476-1524). 
bayonet. F. ba'ionnette, orig. a dagger, trad., 

since Tabourot des Accords (1614), derived 

from Bayonne, though proof is lacking. 

Popularly also bagonet, bagnet. In E. from 

17 cent. Cf. origin oi pistol. 
bayou [L/'5.]. Creek. F. boyau, gut. See 


Have you nowhere encountered mj' Gabriel's boat 
on the bayous? {Evangeline). 

bay-salt. From Bay of Biscaj^ on the coast 
of which are extensive salt-marshes. Quot. 
I appears to settle this origin, which NED. 
regards as conjectural only. Similarly we 
find LG. die bale applied to Bourgneuf in 
Brittany in connection with the 15 cent, 

La nief [ship] appelez le Gaynpayn se fist charger 
de seel en la Bay [of Biscay] 

{John of Gaunt' s Reg. 1372-76). 
bav-salt, from Baionnc in France: sal Gallicus (Litt.). 

bazaar. Earlier bazarro. Pers. bazar, market. 
Prob. via Turk, and It. For mod. use, due 
to Anglo-Indians, cf. gymkhana. 

bazan. See basan. 

bazil. See basil. 

bdellium. Tree and gum-resin. 1^. {Vulg.), G. 
/SSeXXiov, used to render Heb. b'dolakh, of 
unknown Eastern origin. See Gen. ii. 12. 

be. This verb contains three stems, viz. be-, 
cogn. with L. fii-, G. (^v- (cf. Ger. du bist), 
es-, cogn. with L. esse (cf. G. eo-rt), and wes- 
(cf. OHG. wesan and Ger. gewesen). Am, 
cogn. with Sanskrit asmi, is the solitary 
survival in E. of a -mi verb; cf. G. ei/xc 
(*eo-/xi), L. sum., Ger. bin. Art, is are from 
the es- stem (cf. was, were), so also are. 
Was, were are from the wes- stem (cf. 
lose, lorn). The existing paradigm of the 
verb is an accidental conglomeration from 
the different Old English dials. The pres. 
pi. sind, sindon (cf. L. sunt, Ger. sind) 
has entirely disappeared. Be-all, usu. with 
end-all, is after Macb. i. 5. 

be-. Weakened form of AS. bi, by (e.g. in 
beside, beyond). As verb prefix often in- 
tens. See by. 

beach. Of late appearance (16 cent.), though 
prob. old in dial. As AS. bece, brook, has 
become -beach in many place-names {Wis- 
bech, Waterbeach, Holbeach, etc.), this may 
be the same word, with transference of 

meaning from the brook to the pebbly 
shore. Hence beach-comber, long crested 
wave (Pacific), fig. long-shore wastrel 
(ib.). • 

beacon. AS. beacn, sign, portent. Also esp. 
fire-signal, AS. beacn-fyr; cf. obs. Du. 
boken, OHG. bauhhan, Ger. bake, from LG. ; 
cogn. with beck"^, beckon. 

bead. Orig. prayer. AS. gebed (see bid). 
Hence bead-roll, beadsman. Later applied 
to the device used in telling one's beads, 
i.e. counting one's prayers. The rosary is 
regularly called pair of beads in ME. From 
the bead, or small metal knob forming 
front-sight of a rifle, comes to draw a head 
on (US.). 

Of smal coral aboute hire arm she bar 
A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene 

(Chauc. A. 158). 

The Beadsman, after thousand aves told. 

For aye unsought-for slept among his ashes cold 

{Eve of Saint Agnes). 

beadle. OF. bedel {bedeau), OHG. bidal 
messenger of justice, gradually replaced 
ME. bidet, budel, from cogn. AS. bydel, from 
AS. beodan, to proclaim (cf. Ger. bieten, to 
bid). The latter survives in surnames 
Biddle, Buddie. Archaic bedell is still in use 
at universities. The parish beadle is re- 
corded from 16 cent. Hence beadledom for 
Bumbledom (q.v.). 

beagle. ME. begle (15 cent.). Spelt also 
begele. Certainly F., and, the beagle being 
noted for its loud musical bark, perh. from 
begueule, gaping throat, used in OF. of a 
noisy person. See bay^, gule'^. 

beak. F. bee, L. beccus (Suetonius), of Celt, 
origin. In sense of magistrate (16 cent.) 
from thieves' slang. Quite mod. in sense of 
assistant master. 

beaker. ME. biker, ON. bikarr; cf. Sc. bicker. 
In most Europ. langs. Cf. Du. beker, Ger. 
becher, It. bicchiere, MedL. bicariuni . ? From 
G. (3iKo?, earthen drinking bcjwl. See 

beam. AS. beam, tree (as in hornbeam, white- 
beam). WGer. ; cf. Du. boom, Ger. baum; 
cogn. with ON. bathmr, Goth, bagms. To 
kick [strike) the beam, i.e. to prove the 
lighter, is from the beam of a balance. The 
beams of a ship are transverse, the timbers 
being vertical; hence abeam, abreast, on 
one's beam-ends, almost capsized. Also used 
of the extreme breadth of a ship. Fig. 
senses from naut. metaphor, e.g. to be over- 
engined for one's beam. A beam of light is 





the same word, AS. beam being used to 
render columna in ref. to the Bibl. pillar of 
fire. See also bootn'^. 
bean. AS. bean. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. boon, 
Ger. bohne, ON. baun. Full of beans is used 
of a well-fed horse needing exercise. To 
give beans seems to be quite mod. Bean- 
feast {NED. 1882), vulgarly beano, is perh. 
to be explained from quot. below. 

Mr Day was the possessor of a small estate in 
Essex, at no great distance from Fairlop Oak. To 
this venerable tree he used, on the first Friday in 
July, annually to repair; thither it was his custom 
to invite a party of his neighbours to accompany 
him, and, under the shade of its branches and 

leaves, to dine on beans and bacon For several 

years before the death of the benevolent, although 
humorous, founder of this public bean-feast, the 
pump and block makers of Wapping went annually 
to the fair in a... vehicle drawn by six post-horses, 
the whole adorned with ribands, flags, and streamers 
{Time's Telescope for 1820, p. 247). 

bear^. Animal. AS. bera. WGer.; ci.Du. beer, 
Ger. bar; cogn. with ON. bjorn. As a Stock 
Exchange term it seems to be due to the 
proverb about selling the bear's skin before 
killing the bear. At the time of the South 
Sea Bubble a bear was called a bear-skin 
jobber. The contrasted bull appears later 
and was prob. suggested by bear, perh. with 
a vague idea of "tossing up" contrasted 
with "pulling down." A bear-garden was 
orig. a place for bear-baiting and other 
rough sports. Bear-leader (18 cent.) is a 
travelling tutor in charge of a " cub " whom 
he has to "lick into shape." 

A stock-jobber who had some losing bargains of 
bearskins (Mist's Journal, Mar. 28, 1719). 

bear^. Verb. AS. beran. Aryan; cf. OSax. 
beran, Ger. gebdren, to bring forth, ON. 
bera, Goth, bairan, L. ferre, G. cftepeiv, 
Sanskrit bhar-. For two main groups of 
senses cf. relationship of cogn. 'L. ferre and 
fertilis. The past bore is not found in the 
A V. [bare) and the mod. distinction be- 
tween born and borne is artificial. Intrans. 
senses, e.g. to bear to the left, are orig. naut. 
(cf. to take bearings). Mechanical bearings 
are so called because intended to bear the 
friction. Bearer, in Anglo-Ind. sense of 
palanquin-bearer, head-servant, as in Mrs 
Sherwood's famous Little Henry and his 
Bearer, has perh. been influenced by synon. 
Bengali behdrd (cf. grasscutter) . 

bearbine. Convolvulus. From obs. bear, 
barley, round stalks of which it winds. See 
barley, bind, bine. 

beard. AS. beard. Com. Teut. : cf. Du. baard. 

Ger. bart, ON. barthr (only in names) ; ult. 
cogn. with L. barba (cf. red — ruber, word — 
verbum). Hence verb to beard, a good 
example of our instinct for ellipt. expres- 

a sa barbe: to his teeth, in his presence, before his 
face; also, mauger his beard, in despight of him 


beast. OF. beste (bete), VL. *besia for bestia 
In its orig. sense displaced AS. deor (see 
deer) to be later displaced itself by animal 
exc. in spec, connections, e.g. beast-market 
man and beast. 

It is sowun a beestly [Viilg. animale] body, it schal 
ryse a spiritual body (Wye. i Cor. xv. 44). 

beat. AS. beatan; cf. OHG. bdzan (whence 
Ger. amboss, anvdl), ON. bauta. Var. of p.p. 
still in dead-beat. Beating the bounds con- 
sists in striking certain points in parish 
boundaries with rods. In to beat a retreat, 
to beat up recruits, etc., there is a suggestion 
of the drum, with influence of the unrelated 
F. battre. To beat about the bush is altered in 
form and meaning from earlier to beat the 
bush, in order to start the game. Both 
in E. and US. there are many phrases 
of the type to beat creation [cock-fighting, 
etc.). Cf. Ir. to bang Banagher, a village in 
King's Co. See also hoof. 

'Ate of the 'art and 'ate of the 'and, 
'Ate by water and 'ate by land, 
'Oo do we 'ate to beat the band? 
England ! 

[Hymn of Hate, trad. T. Atkins). 

beatitude. L. beatitudo, state of blessedness, 

from beatus, p.p. of beare, to bless. Esp. in 

ref. to Sermon on the Mount. Beatific vision 

is ult. Plato's fxaKapia o\l,'i<; (Phaedrus). 
Beatrice. Inspiring mistress. From Dante's 

Beatrice. Cf. Dulcinea, Egeria. 
beau, belle. Mod. introductions (17 cent.). 

ME. had the masc. form pronounced as in 

beauty (q.v.). 
beau ideal. F. beau ideal, where ideal is the 

adj., the phrase being often misunderstood, 

and hence misused, in E. 
beaujolais. Burgundy wine. District in the 

beaune. Burgundy wine. From place of 

origin (Cote-d'Or). 
beauty. F. beaitte, VL. *bellitas, bellitat-, from 

belliis, beautiful, which is represented, to 

the exclusion oipulcher, in all Rom. langs. 

Beauty-spot is 17 cent., beauty-sleep, i.e. 

sleep before midnight, is 19 cent. 

Fine by degrees and beautifully less 

(Prior, Henry and Emma). 





beaver^ Animal. AS. beofor. Aryan ; cf. Du. 
bevev, Ger. biber, ON. bjdrr, L. fiber, San- 
skrit babhru-, brown; also OF. bievre, Olt. 
bevero, OSp. befre, Late L. beber (Priscian), 
all from Teut. Hence beaver (hat) and to 
cock one's beaver, i.e. assume a swaggering 

Upon his heed a Flaundrish bevere hat 

(Chauc. A. 272). 

beaver^ [hist.]. Lower part of vizor. F. 
baviere, bib, from baver, to slobber. 

Then saw you not his face? — 

O yes, my lord, he wore his beaver up [Haml. i. 2). 
baviere: a bib; baviere d'nn armet: the beaver of a 
helmet (Cotg.). 

beaverteen. Fabric. From beaver'^, after vel- 

. veteen. 

because. Earlier by cause. 

beccafico. Bird. It., lit. "peck-fig." 

bechamel. Sauce. Named after Marquis de 
Bechamel, ly cent, epicure, steward to 
Louis XIV. 

beche-de-mer. Sea-slug, also called trepang. 
F. beche, grub, caterpillar, of obscure origin ; 
not ident. with beche, spade, VL. *biseca, 

beck^ [north, dial.]. Stream. ON. bckkr. 
Com. Teut.; cf. OSax. beki, Du. beek (as in 
Zonnebeek), Ger. bach. Hence are derived 
Norman place-names in -bee, e.g. Caudebec, 
i.e. cold beck. 

beck^;^ Gesture. Esp. in beck and call. From 
obs. verb beck used in ME. for beckon (q.v.). 
Nods and becks and wreathed smiles {Allegro). 

becket [naut.]. Loop of rope to secure object. 
Origin unknown. 

beckon. AS. btcnan, from beacn, sign, beacon 
(q.v.). Now usu. of summoning gesture, 
but orig. wider sense in Luke, i. 22. 

become. Coinpd. of come, prefix orig. ident. 
with by. For gen. sense cf. synon. F. 
devenir, from venir, to come. For sense of 
suiting, cf. comely, convenient, F. avenant, 
Ger. beqiiem, convenient (from bekommen). 

Becquerel rays. Discovered by Becquerel, F. 
physicist (jiSgi). 

bed. AS. bedd. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. bed, Ger. 
belt, Norw. dial, bed, Goth. badi. Perh. orig. 
lair of animal and cogn. with L. fodere, to 
dig. Garden sense, found in AS., is differen- 
tiated in Ger. by spelling beet. In the 
twinkling of a bed-post is for earlier bed- 
staff, an implement of indefinite function, 
but app. regarded as a readily extemporized 
weapon in nocturnal alarms and excursions. 
Bedstead is lit. bed place (see stead). Bed- 

ridden is for earlier bedrid, AS. bedrida, lit. 

bed-rider. Cf. ME. bedlawer (lier). It has 

app. been altered on hag-ridden. Bedrock is 

US. mining term. 

paraliticus: bedrida (Foe). 

bedrede man or woman: decmnbens (Prompt. Part.). 

bedlawere: supra in bedrede (ib.). 

In her hand she grasped the bed-staff, a weapon of 
mickle might {Ingoldsby). 

bedad [Anglo-Ir.]. For "by Gad." 
bedeguar. Formerly plant; now, moss-like 

excrescence on rose-bush. F. bedegar, Pers. 

bdd-dwar, wind-brought. 
bedell [imiv.]. See beadle. 
Bedford level. Part of fen country, drained 

(1634) by Earl of Bedford. 
bedight. See dight. 
bedizen. For earlier dizen, lit. to put flax on 

a distaff (q.v.). 

/ dysyn a dy staff e, I put the flaxe upon it to spynne: 
je charge la quenouille (Palsg.). 

Bedlam. ME. Bethleem, etc., hospital of St 
Mary of Bethlehem, founded 1247, received 
under protection of City of London (1346), 
and, on dissolution of monasteries, con- 
verted into state lunatic asylum (1547). 
For contr. cf. maudlin. 

God be his guide. 
As he guided the three kings into Bedlam 

[Calisto & Melibaea, c. 1530). 

bedlington. Terrier, from Bedlington, North- 

Bedouin. F., Arab, baddwln (pi.), desert 
dwellers, from badw, desert. For pi. form 
cf. assassin. Both are Crusade words. 

Li Beduyn ne croient point en Mahommet, ain^ ois 
(but) croient ert la loy Haali, qui fu oncles Mahom- 
met; et aussi y croient li Vieil de la Montaigne, cil 
qui nourrissent les Assacis (Joinville). 

bedridden. See bed. 

bee. AS. beo. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. bij, Ger. 
biene, in which the n was orig. inflexional 
(cf. birne, pear), ON. by. Bee, social 
gathering for mutual he'.p [husking bee, 
quilting bee, spelling bee, etc.), supposed to 
be suggested by the busy and social 
character of the insect, is US. (1769), as is 
also bee-line, shortest route, taken by bee 
returning to hive; cf. as the crow flies. With 
bee in one's bonnet, earlier (16 cent.) in one's 
head, cf. use of Ger. grille, grasshopper. 

Dcr mensch hat wuiiderliche grillen in scinem kopff: 
he is a whimsical fellow; he has strange tits, spurts 
or starts of fancy; he has his head full of caprichios, 
caprices, figaries, freaks, whimsies, maggets or 
conumdrums (Ludw.). 






beech. AS. bece. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. beuk, 
Ger. buche, ON. bok; cogn. with L. fagus 
and prob. with G. cftayeiv, to eat, from 
mast Primitive form, AS. bdc, survives in 
some place-names in Buck-. See also book, 

beef. OF. beuf [boeiif), L. bos, bov-, ox; cf. G. 
l3ov<i. Still used in Sc. of the live beast. 
Hence beef-eater, servant, over-fed menial, 
and esp. yeoman of the guard. Tower 
warder. Cf. AS. hldfa>ta, loaf-eater, servant. 
The old popular explanation from buffet, 
side-board, is nonsense. The first NED. 
record in yeoman of guard sense is 1671, 
so that the explanation below is almost 

If eny person of this citie, beyiig no bocher, do 
kyll eny beiff es, mottons, veilles, porkettes, or lambes 
within this citie... {Coventry Leet Book, 1525). 
C'est ainsi qu'on appelle par derision les Yeomen 
of the Guard dans la cour d'Angleterre, qui sont des 
gardes a pen pres comme les cent Suisses en France. 
Et on leur donne ce nom-la, parce qu'a la cour ils 
ne vivent que de boeuf : par opposition a ces colleges 
d'Angleterre, oil les ecoliers ne mangent que du 
mouton (Miege, French Diet. 1688). 
"Who's he, father?" — "He's a beefeater." — "Is 
that why Lord Rhondda shut him up in the 
Tower?" {Punch, Feb. 6, 1918). 

Beelzebub. Orig. god of Ekron. L., G., Heb. 

ba'al-z'bub, fly-lord (2 Kings, i. 2). Mod. 

meaning comes from NT. use {Matt. xii. 24) 

in sense of prince of devUs, AS. aldormann- 

beer. AS. beor. WGer. ; cf. Du. Ger. bier; 

? cogn. with barley. Scand. has forms of 

ale (q.v.), which was the more usual word 

up to 16 cent., beer being then applied esp. 

to hopped malt liquor. It is not in Chauc. 

or Piers Plowm. 

To suckle fools and chronicle small beer {0th. ii. i). 
beeregar {dial.]. From beer, after vinegar; cf. 

beestings [dial.']. First milk of cow after 

calving. From s^mon. AS. beost. Cf. Ger. 

biestmilch, and archaic F. biton, OF. bet, 

from OHG. beost. Various forms in dial. 


A beslings-puddin' an' Adam's wine 

(Tennyson, Northern Cobbler). 

beet. AS. bete, L. beta. Adopted in many 
Europ. langs. Cf. F. betterave, Ger. beete. 

beetled Mallet. AS. bletl, beater; cf. MHG. 
bozel, cudgel, LG. betel, mallet. Hence 
beetle-brained, beetle-head (cf. blockhead), 
blind, deaf as a beetle (cf. deaf as a post), but 
in such phrases there is usu. association 
with beetle^. 

beetle^. Insect. AS. bitel, -proh. "hiter." The 
black-beetle (cockroach) is not a beetle. 
Blind as a beetle (cf. blind as a bat) is due to 
the insect's apparently aimless flight in the 
dark (but see beetle^). Beetle-broived, orig. 
with bushy eye-brows, seems to be due to 
the tufted antennae of certain species. 
Early observation of such physical details, 
as seen in popular names of animals and 
plants, was very minute and accurate; cf. 
F. sourcils de hanneton (cockchafer's eye- 
brows), used of a kind of fringe. Hence 
beetle, to overhang, of which mod. use dates 
from its employment as nonce-word in 
Shaks. (v.i.). William Finch (1607, in 
Purch.) describes an African fish with 
beetle brows, so that the phrase was not used 
only of human beings, 
mordiculus: bitela {Voc). 
Bitelbrowed and baberliped 

{Piers Plowm. B. v 190). 
The dreadful summit of the cliff 
That beetles o'er his base into the sea {Haml. i. 4). 

before. AS. beforan, from bi, by, foran, in 
front. With AS. fore, foran cf. Ger. vor, 
vorn. With beforehand, earlier also before 
the hand, cf. ready to hand, and L. prae 
manu or nianibus, used with same meaning 
in ME. ; also Ger. vor der hand in somewhat 
different sense. See behindhand. 

beg-^, beggar. The verb is evolved from the 
noun (cf. cadge), OF. begard, MedL. begardus, 
member of mendicant order founded (early 
13 cent.) in Netherlands, in imitation of the 
earlier beguines (see biggin), who were of 
theruleoi Lambert le Begue (Liege, 12 cent.). 
Begging the qxiestion translates L. petitio 
principii. The beggar on horseback is 16 

beghardi: haeretici exorti primum in Alemania, qui 
vulgariter Begehardi quoad viros, et Beginae quoad 
feminas nominantur (Due). 
As for her person, It beggared all description 

{Ant. & Cleop. ii. 2). 

beg-. Title. Osmanli beg, now bey (q.v.). 

begad. For by God. Cf. bedad. 

beget. AS. begitan, from get (q.v.). 

beggar. See beg^. 

Beghard. See beg^. 

begin. AS. beginnan, of which the simplex is 
not found in any Teut. lang. Cf. Du. Ger. 
beginnen, Goth, duginnan. The aphet. gin, 
once common but now only poet., may also 
represent the commoner AS. onginnan. 
Scand. forms are from LG. 

begone. For 6^ gone (imper.). Ci. beware a,nd. 
see woebegone. 





begonia. From Wind. Named by Plumier, 
F. botanist (17 cent.), after Michel Begon, 
contemporary governor of Saint-Domingo. 
Cf. dahlia, fuchsia, magnolia, etc. 

Beguine. Member of still existing lay sister- 
hood. See beg^. 

begum. Princess. Urdu begam, Pers., Turk. 
bigtm, fem. of beg"^, bey. 

behalf. Orig. prep, or adv., by (the) side, a 
common AS. and ME. meaning of half. Cf. 
Ger. oberhalb, above, meinethalben, as far as 
I am concerned, etc. Mod. use represents 
a mixture of on his halve, on his side, and 
bihalve him, beside him. 

The Jewis seyde that Crist was not on Goddis halfe 


behave. App. formed in ME. as intens. from 
have. Cf. Ger. sich behaben, F. se porter. 
Behaviour, earlier behavour, owes its ending 
to obs. havour, haviour, corrupt, of F. avoir, 
used in very similar sense. 

behemoth. Heb. b'hemoth, pi. of b'hem.dh, 
beast, but prob. adapted from Egypt, p- 
ehe-mau, water-ox, i.e. hippopotamus. Cf. 

Lo ! bemoth that I made with thee 

(Wye. Job, xl. 15). 

behest. AS. beh'^s, vow, promise, from be- 
hdtan, to promise, with excrescent -t. Mod. 
sense due to early confusion with simple 
hest, command. In ME. esp. in land of 

Bi feith he dwelte in the loond of biheest 

(Wye. Heb. xi. 9). 

behind. AS. behindan. Cf. before, and see 
hind. Behindhand is formed (16 cent.) by 
analogy with beforehand (q.v.). Both seem 
to have been orig. used in ref . to payments. 

behold. AS. behealdan, to hold in view. 
Current E. sense is not found in other Teut. 
langs. Sense of obligation in beholden, 
though arising naturally from the etym., 
is confined to p.p. See hold^. 

behove, behoof. AS. behofian, to need, require, 
from behof, advantage; cf. Du. behoef, Ger. 
behiif, behoof, MHG. beheben, to receive, 
maintain. Ult. from heave, but sense-de- 
velopment is obscure. 

beige. F. dial, form of bis, yellowish grey, 
dingy; cf. It. bigio. Origin unknown. 

bekko-ware. Jap., tortoise-shell. 

beknown [dial.']. Now usu. in neg. unbeknown. 
From obs. beknow; cf. Ger. bekennen, to 

belabour. From labour with intens. prefix. 

For sense cf. Ger. bearbeiten, to belabour, 
from arbeiten, to work, 
belay. Compd. of lay^. Obs. exc. in naut. 
sense of making fast a rope, which is prob. 
borrowed from cogn. Du. beleggen. With 
belay, stop it, stow it, cf. avast. 

een touw aan een' paal beleggen : to fasten a rope to 
a pile (Sev/el). 

belch. AS. bealcan; cf. Du. balken, to bawl. 

belcher [archaic]. Blue and white spotted 
handkerchief, "bird's eye wipe." From 
Jim Belcher, pugilist (fiSii). The name 
is Picard form of bel-sire, beau-sire. See 

beldam. Grandmother; later, great grand- 
mother; hence, hag. Both senses are in 
Shaks. From F. belle and dame ; cf . grandam. 
In ME. we find also belsire, belfader. 

Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down 
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth 
Our grandam earth, having this distemperature, 
In passion shook (i Hen. IV, iii. i). 

beleaguer. Du. belegeren, from leger, camp, 
leaguer (q.v.). A 16 cent, word from the 
Flemish wars, which superseded E. belay. 
Spelling perh. influenced by league^. Cf. 
Ger. belagern, to besiege, and see laager, 

It was by King Stephen belaied once or twise with 
sieges (Holland's Camden, 1610). 

belemnite. Fossil. From G. [iiX(.ixvov, dart. 
Cf. ammonite. 

belfry. OF. berfrei, belfrei {beffroi), OHG. 
bergfrid, guard peace. Hence MedL. bel- 
frediis. Orig. tower used by besiegers. The 
-/-, due to dissim. (cf. pilgrim), has pre- 
vailed in E. by popular association with 
bell. For other warlike implements con- 
taining the element berg cf. hauberk, scab- 
bard. Corrupted forms, usu. in orig. warlike 
sense, are found in other langs., e.g. obs. 
Du. belfort. It. battifredo. Some, however, 
take the first element to be berg, mountain, 
and orig. sense to have been hill-fort. 

Belgravian. Of fashionable district round 
Belgrave Square, named from Belgrave 
(Leic), seat of ground-landlord. 

Hearts just as true and fair 
May beat in Belgrave Square 
As in the purer air 

Of Seven Dials (Gilbert). 

Belial. Heb.&7z,not,ya'a/, use. Esp. in50«5o/ 
Belial, the name being identified by Milt, 
with one of the fallen angels. 

belie. AS. beleogan, to deceive (see lie-). 
Current sense from 17 cent. The same 
transition is seen in F. ddnientir. 





believe. ME. heleven, from obs. leven, AS. 
geliefan. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. gelooven, Ger. 
glauben (OHG. gilonhan), Goth, galauhjan; 
cogn. with Ger. erlauben, to allow, lohen, 
to praise, and ult. with E. love, ground- 
sense being approval. Artificial spelling, 
for beleeve, is due to relieve. 

belike [archaic]. For by like, according to 
appearance. See like. 

belittle. Orig. US., coined by Jefferson. Cf. 
F. rapetisser. 

belli. Noun. AS. belle. A LG. word; cf. Du. 
bel. Perh. cogn. with bellow. The naut. 
bells are struck every half-hour of the 
watch. By bell, book and candle (c. 1300) is 
from a form of excommunication which 
concluded with "Doe to the book, quench 
the candle, ring the bell." To bear, carry 
away, the bell, i.e. to be winner, refers to 
earlier use of silver bell as prize, e.g. the 
Chester Cup was in 1609 a bell. To bell the 
cat alludes to the fable of the rats and the 

La dif&culte fut d'attacher le grelot 

(La Fontaine, Fables, ii. 2). 

bell-. Verb. See bellow. 

belladonna. It., lit. fair lady; cf. synon. F. 

belle-dame, "great nightshade; or, a kind 

of dwale, or sleeping nightshade" (Cotg.). 

Prob. from its use for dilating the pupil of 

the eye. 
bellarmine [hist.]. Drinking-jug designed by 

Netherland Protestants as caricature of 

Cardinal Bellarmine ( 1 7 cent.) . Cf . Toby jug, 

demijohn, goblet. 
belle. See beau. 

belletrist [neol.]. Ger., coined from F. belles- 
bellicose. L. bellicosus, from belliim, war. 
belligerent. Earlier belligerant (Johns.), from 

pres. part, of L. belligerare, from bellitm, 

war, gerere, to wage. See duel. 
Bellona. L., from belliim, war. Goddess of 

war; hence, formidable lady. Cf. virago. 
bellow. ME. belwen, AS. bylgan; cogn. with 

bell^, still used of cry of stag ; cf . Ger. bellen, 

to bark. 

The wild buck bells from ferny brake (Marm. iv. 15). 
bellows. Earlier also bellow (cf. gallows), ME. 

bely, AS. bylig, lit. belly, the full AS. name 

being bl^st-belg, from bldwan, to blow. 

Mod. form is northern, ON. belgr. Cf. Ger. 

balg, skin, blasebalg, bellows. Fig. lungs, 

as in bellows to mend, broken-winded. 

The develes bely, with which he bloweth in man 
the fir of flesshly concupiscence (Chauc. L 353). 

belly. AS. bylig. See bellows. Cf. AS. belgan, 
Ger. belgen, to swell, be angry, ON. bolgenn, 
swollen, angry; ult. cogn. with bulge. Belly- 
timber, food, was formerly in serious use. 

Rumble thy bellyful. Spit, fire ! spout, rain ! 

(Lear, iii. 2). 

belong. ME., for earlier long, app. to "go 
along with." See quot. s. v. derring do. Cf. 
Ger. belang, importance. 

beloved. From obs. verb belove; cf. Ger. 

below. For by low; cf. beneath. A rare word 
till 16 cent., the usual ME. being alow, 
corresponding to ahigh, now replaced by 
on high. 

belt. AS. bell; cf. OHG. balz. Both from L. 
balteus. To hit below the belt is from the 
prize-ring. From the distinctive belt of the 
earl or knight we have belted earl. 

Belt [geog.]. In Great {Little) Belt. Norw.Dan. 
bcslt, cogn. with Baltic; cf. poet. Ger. Belt, 
"the east-sea, the baltick sea" (Ludw.). 

Beltane [Sc.]. Old May-Day, celebrated by 
bonfires. Gael, bealltuinn, bright fire, first 
element cogn. with AS. b^l, as in bale-fire 
(see bale^). 

At Beltane game, 
Thou ledst the dance with Malcolm Graeme 

(Lady of Lake, ii. 15). 

beluga. Great sturgeon, white whale. Russ., 
from bel, white; cf. Belgrade, Bielgorod. 
white city. 

belvedere. F. belvedere. It. belvedere, " a place 
of a faire prospect" (Flor.), from L. bellits, 
beautiful, videre, to see. The Apollo Belve- 
dere stands in the belvedere of the Vatican. 

hema [eccl.]. Chancel, tribune. G. fSrj fxa, step, 
from fSaiveiv, to go. 

bemean. To lower oneself (see mean^). A 
vulgarism confusing demean and mean-. 

bemuse. Compd. of muse^. Cf. amuse. 

ben^ [Sc.]. Coupled with butt, the inner and 
outer rooms of a Scotch hut. ME. binne, 
AS. binnan, bi innan, within (cf. Du. Ger. 
binnen), and ME. but, AS. butan, bi utan, 
Now butt an' ben the change-house fills (Burns). 

ben^ [£eog.]. Gael, beann, peak, as in Ben 

bench. AS. bene; cf. Ger. bank and see bank^. 
Hence bencher, senior member of Inn of 
Court, earlier also judge, alderman, etc. 
The use of the word (from 13 cent.) for 
judges and bishops points to Spartan 
customs. App. only the Lord Chancellor 
had a soft seat, the woolsack. 





bend. AS. bendan, for *bandjan, earliest sense, 
to bind, constrain, by tension, the idea of 
curvature first appearing in connection with 
bending a bow (cf. F. bander un arc), while 
orig. sense survives in naut. to bend a rope 
(sail). Orig. p.p. bended now only with 
knee. With fig. senses, e.g. bent on, cf. 
intent and Ger. gespannt. Hence nouns 
bend and bent, the latter by analogy with 
extend, extent. AS. bend, bond, survives 
only in naut. lang., e.g. carrick bend, other 
senses of bend being from the verb, though 
the her. sense is also represented by cogn. 
OF. bende [bande], OHG. binda. See bind. 

bene. Prayer. AS. b'^ri, ben; cogn. with ON. 
bon, whence boon. Obs. exc. in allusive 
bootless bene (Wordsworth, Bolton Abbey). 

beneath. AS. bineothan, from bi, by, neothan, 
below. See nether. 

benedicite. Oldest sense, grace before meat, 
as still in F. Imper. of L. benedicere, to 
bless, from bene, well, dicere, to say. 

Benedick, benedict. Married man. Character 
in Shaks. 

How dost thou, Benedick, the mairied man? 

{Much Ado, V. 4), 

Benedictine. Monk of order of St Beneiict, 
founded 529. Also liqueur made by the 
monks. Cf. chartreuse. 

Benedictus. Canticle. From init. word of L. 
version {Luke, i. 68), p.p. of L. benedicere, 
to bless. 

benefactor. L., well-doer; cf. AS. wel-doend. 

benefice. Orig. good deed, L. beneficiimi, 
hence grant to church, ecclesiastical living. 
Cf. F. benefice, profit, perquisite. 

benefit. Partial re-construction of ME. AF. 
benfet (F. bienfait), L. benef actum, well 
done. Benefit of clergy, orig. exemption of 
clergy from secular jurisdiction, was gradu- 
ally extended to all "clerks," i.e. those 
who could read. See neck-verse. The first 
theat. benefit was granted to Mrs Barry, 
Jan. 16, 1687. 

benevolent. OF., from L. bene and pres. part, 
of velle, to wish. Benevolence, in hist, sense 
of "war-loan," occurs in 1473. 

Bengali {ling.]. One of the Aryan vernaculars 
of India. 

benighted. From archaic verb benight, to 
cover with darkness. Cf. beloved. 

benign. Through OF. from L. benignus, for 
*bene-genus {gignere, to beget) ; cf. generous. 
Benignant, not in Johns., though used by 
Boswell, is modelled on malignant. 

benison [archaic']. OF. bene'ison, L. benedic- 

tio-n-. Revived by Scott, Southey, etc. Cf. 

Benjamin. Beloved youngest son. Gew.xlii. 4. 
h&n] [archaic]. Kind of over-coat. Prob. 

a playful variation on the earlier Joseph 

(q.v.). See also benzoin. 
bennet, herb bennet. OF. herbe beneite, L. 

herba benedicta, from supposed qualities, 
bent^. Grass. AS. beonot-, only recorded in 

place-names, e.g. Bentley, and surviving as 

dial, bennet. Cf. Ger. binse, rush, OHG. 

binuz. Also, in ME. and mod. poetry, grassy 

expanse, etc., and esp. battle-field. 

On by holt and headland, 

Over heath and bent (Kingsley). 

bent^. Inclination, etc. See bend. In sense of 

extreme limit of tension only now in one 


They fool me to the top of my bent [Haml. iii. 2). 
Benthamism. "Greatest happiness of the 

greatest number." Jeremy Bentham, 

ben trovato. It., well found, invented (even 

if not true). 

Se non e vero, 6 molto ben trovato 

(Giordano Bruno, 1585). 

Such is the local legend related by a truthful Italian 
resident, Signor Ben Trovato 

(Westm. Gaz. May 21, 1919). 

benumb. Orig. p.p. benumen of beniman, to 
deprive, compd. of niman, to take. Numb 
(q.v.) is evolved from it with excrescent -b. 
Cf. F. perclus, lit. shut off. 
henombe of ones lymbes: perclus (Palsg.). 

benzoin. Resinous gum; cf. F. benjoin, Sp. 
benjui. It. benzoi, from Arab, lubdn jdwt, 
frankincense of Java, the lu- prob. being 
taKcn for def. art. (cf. azure). Hence a 
group of chem. words, benzoic, benzine, 
benzoline, etc. It was popularly called 

benjoin: the aromaticall gumme, called benjamin, 
or benzoin (Cotg.). 

bequeath. AS. becwethan, from cwethan, to 
say (see quoth). "An ancient word the 
retention of which is due to the traditional 
language of wills" {NED.). Hence bequest, 
of obscure formation, app. influenced by 
request, behest. 

Berber. Race and langs. of N.Afr. Var. of 
Bavbar (see Barbary) introduced by mod. 

bereave. AS. bereafian, from reafian, to rob, 
whence reave, reive (q.v.). 

beret. Basque cap. See barret, biretta. 

143 bergamask 

bergamask, bergomask [archaic]. It. berga- 
masca, rustic dance of Bergamo (Venice). 
According to Nares the people of Bergamo 
were renowned for their clownishness (see 
zany). Cf. Boeotian. 

bergamot^. Tree and essence. Perh. from 
Bergamo (Venice), but by some identified 
with bergamot^. 

bergamot^. Pear. F. bergamotte, It. berga- 
motta, corrupted from Turk, beg-armudi, 
prince's pear (see beg'^, bey). Cf. Ger. 

bergschrund [geol.]. Ger., mountain cleft. 

beriberi. Disease. Redupl. of Singhalese beri, 
weakness. Recorded in F. for 1752. 

Berkeleian. Bishop Berkeley (ti753) denied 
objective existence of material world. 

berlin, berline. Carriage. Introduced by an 
officer of the Elector of Brandenburg 
(c. 1670). Cf. landau. 

berm [/oy/.] Ledge. F. &erwe, of Teut. origin; 
cf. Du. berm. Cogn. with brim. 

Bernardine. Monk. From St Bernard, abbot 
of Clairvaux (12 cent.). See Cistercian. 

berretta. See biretta. 

berry. AS. berie. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. bes, 
bezie, Ger. beere, ON. ber, Goth. basi. This 
and apple are the only native fruit-names. 

bersagliere. Italian sharpshooter. Cf. OF. 
berser, to shoot with the bow, bersail, target. 
Of unknown origin. 

berserker. Icel. berserkr, bear sark, bearskin. 
Cf. ON. idfhethinn, lit. wolf-doublet, in 
siinilar sense. Corruptly baresark, as though 
"bare shirt." Introduced, and wrongly ex- 
plained, by Scott [Pirate, Note B). With 
to go berserk cf. to run amok. 

I will go baresark to-morrow to the war 

{ Kingsley, Hercward) . 

berth. Oldest sense (16 cent.), convenient 
sea-room, whence all later meanings are 
evolved, a good example of our love of 
naut. metaphor. Prob. from bear^, in naut. 
sense of direction, and hence ult. ident. 
with birth, the spellings occurring indiffer- 
ently. To give a wide (formerly good) berth 
retains the oldest meaning. 

bertha, berthe. Kind of lace collar. F., from 
the trad, modesty of Queen Berthe, mother 
of Charlemagne. 

Bertha. Nickname, die dicke Bertha, of long- 
range gun, esp. that used to bombard Paris 
(191 8). From Bertha Krupp, of Essen. 

Bertillon. System of criminal anthropometry. 
Name of F. anthropologist (19 cent.). 

beryl. F. bdryl, L. beryllus, G. fSijpvXXo';, of 



Eastern origin. Cf. Pers. and Arab, ballur, 
crystal, which is the medieval meaning of 
beryl, whence OF. ber ides [besides), spec- 
tacles, Ger. brille. 

Beril est en Inde trovee 

[Lapidaire de Marbode, 12 cent.). 

besant, bezant [hist.]. F. besant, gold coin of 
Byzantium, current in Europe from 9 cent. 
Cf . ducat, florin, etc. 

Lord, thi besaunt hath wunne ten besauntis 

(Wye. Luke, xix. 16). 

beseech. ME. compd. of sechen, southern 
form of seek (q.v.). Orig. the dir. obj. was 
the thing sought. The form biseke is also 
common in ME. 
But we biseken mercy and socoiir (Chauc. A. gi8). 

beseem. From seem (q.v.). Cf. seemly. 
beset. AS. besettan, from set (q.v.). Oldest 

sense, to set round, encompass; cf. Ger. 

besetzen. Besetting sin [Heb. xii. i) is for 

Vulg. circumstans peccatum. 
beshrew. ME. compd. of earlier shrew, to 

curse, formed from noun shrew (q.v.). 

And first I shrewe myself, bothe blood and bones. 

If thou bigyle me any offer than ones 

(Chauc, B. 4617). 

beside, besides. AS. bi sidan, dat. of side, side. 
The two forms are used indifferently in 
ME., the -5 being due to the tendency to 
regard adverbs as genitives. Also means 
in ME. outside, hence beside oneself, with 
which cf. F. hors de soi, Ger. aiisser sich. 

besiege. With altered prefix from ME. asege, 
F. assie'ger, VL. *ad-sediare [sedere), to sit 
down before. Or formed directly from siege. 
Cf. beleaguer, beset, which may have brought 
about change of prefix. 

besom. AS. besema. Earliest sense, rod, 
birch; cf. Du. bezem, Ger. besen, broom; 
? ult. cogn. with L. ferula, broom-plant, 
rod. NED. regards Sc. besom, in impudent 
besom, old besom, etc. as a separate word, 
but it may be noted that Ger. besen is also 
applied to women. Cf. old faggot, also Sc. 
auld birkie, perh. from birk, birch. 

To set up to be sae muckle better than ither folk, 
the auld besom (Old Mortality). 

bespeak. AS. besprecan, from sprecan (see 
speak). Earlier senses various and loosely 
connected. Current sense from about 16 
cent. Bespoke is now used only in trade, e.g. 
bespoke bootmaker, for bespoke-boot maker. 

besprent {j)oet.]. Besprinkled. From obs. 
bespreng, AS. besprengan, from sprengan, 
to sprinkle, causal of springan, to spring; 
cf. Du. Ger. besprengen. 



Bess. See brown. Quot. below suggests that 
the name for the musket was allusive to 
some early sense. 

She's none of these coy dames, she's as good as 
Brown Bessie {Misogonus, ii. 4, c. 1550). 

bessemer, steel, iron. Process invented (1856) 

by Sir H. Bessemer (fiSgS). 
best. AS. het[e)st. See better. Com. Teut.; 

cf. Du. Ger. best, ON. bazt, Goth, hatist. 

Best man is Sc. and quite recent in E. 

Verb to best (19 cent.) is almost synon. 

with much earlier to worst. So also, to do 

one's best was earlier equivalent to to do 

one's worst (v.i.). 

And if he list to bryng them yn thus he shuld have 
good thanke, and if not then to kepe them and do 
his best (Coventry Leet Book, 1509). 

bestead^ [archaic]. To help. App. 16 cent, 
compd. for earlier stead, to prop, support. 
See stead, stay''-. 

How little you bested. 

Or lill the fixed mind with all your toys ! 

(Penseroso, 3). 

bestead^, bested. Now only with ill, sore, 
hard. ME. bistad, situated, compd. oi stad, 
placed, p.p. of ON. stethja, to place, cogn. 
with bestead}. Cf. beset, bestow. 

bestad, or withholdyne in wele or woo: detentus 

{Prompt. Parv.). 

bestial. L. bestialis (see beast). In Sc. sense 
of cattle it is from OF. {betail) . Cf . bestiary, 
medieval work on animals. 

bestow. ME. compd. of stow (q.v.). Etym. 
to put in a place, as in well {ill) bestowed. 

bestride. AS. bestridan, to sit a horse. See 

bet. App. aphet. form (16 cent.) oiabet (q.v.), 
though the syntactical construction pre- 
sents difficulty. Ithasperh. been influenced 
by Ger. wetten, "to bet with one for some- 
thing" (Ludw.), for which see wed. 

betake. ME. compd. of take (q.v.). Earlier, 
to hand over, commit. Now only reflex. 

bete noire. Pet aversion. P., orig. wild boar 
or wolf, as distinguished from bete fauve, 
stag, hart, roebuck. 

betel. Plant. Port. (16 cent.), Tamil veitilei. 

tambu: the bastard pepper plant called bettle, or 
betre, sometimes (but improperly) taken for the 
Indian leafe (Cotg.). 

Bethel. Heb. beth-el, house of God {Gen. 
xxviii. 17). Hence nonconformist chapel 
(19 cent.). Cf. hethesda, house of mercy 
{John, V. 2), similarly used, esp. in Wales. 

bethink. AS. bethencan, to call to mind, from 

think (q.v.) 

Betty Martin 146 

Now usu. reflex. Cf. Du. Ger. 

'Tis well bethought {Pericles, v. i). 

betide. ME. betiden, from tiden, to happen. 
See tide, tidings. Now only in 3rd pers. 
sing, of pres. subjunct. in whate'er betide, 
woe betide. 

Er ich wedde such a wif wo me bytyde 

{Piers Plowtn. C. iv. 157). 

betimes. ME. also betime, by time. The -s is 
the adv. genitive. Cf. besides. 

betoken. ME. bitacnien; cf. AS. getdcnian, 
from tdcn, token (q.v.). Cf. Du. beteekenen, 
Ger. bezeichnen. 

beton. Kind of concrete. F. beton, from OF. 
beter, to congeal (the mer betee of OF. 
romance renders L. mare concretum), unless 
this is a back-formation from OF. beton and 
the latter from L. bitumen. 

betony. Plant. F. betoine, L. betonica, for 
vetonnica, said by Pliny to have been dis- 
covered by a Spanish tribe called Vettones. 
Betonica is found in AS. 

betray. ME. betraien, compd. (perh. suggested 
by bewray) of traien, OF. trair {trahir), 
from L. trader e {trans dare), to hand over. 
ME. had also betrais, bytrassh, etc. from F. 
forms in -iss- (cf. abash, flourish, etc.). 
betroth. ME. bitreuthien, from treuthe, truth. 
Later form influenced by troth (q.v.). Cf. 
the relation of F.fiancer to fides, faith, and 
of engaged to gage, pledge. 
better. AS. betera, compar. of a lost *bat- 
stem (see batten-). Com. Teut.; cf. Du. 
beter, Ger. besser, ON. betri, Goth, batiza. 
The adv. was earlier bet (cf. archaic Ger. 
bass) . Better half is first recorded in Sidney ; 
cf . F. chere moiti^, L. animae dimidium meae 
(Hor.). The phrase we had better, etc. was 
earlier MS (dat.) were (subjunct.) better, then 
we were better, mod. form being due to we 
had liefer, rather. No better than one should 
be is app. quite mod. With the verb cf. 
Ger. bessern, verbessern. To better oneself 
(17 cent.) is called by Mary Wollstonecraft 
a "significant vulgar phrase." Betterment, 
improvement of property, is US. and has 
replaced early melioration (Pepys). Better- 
most is 18 cent, formation on uppermost, 

He knew the tavemes well in all the toun 

And e\erich hostiler and tappestere 

Bet than a lazar or a beggestere (Chauc. A. 240). 

Betty Martin. In my eye and Betty Martin. 
The origin of the phrase is unknown and 





the identity of the lady is as vague as that 
of Tommy in like hell and Tommy. 
That's my eye, Betty Martin: an answer to any one 
that attempts to impose or humbug (Grose). 

between, betwixt. ME. hitwenen, AS. he- 
tweonum, from prep, be, by, and dat. plur. 
of tweon, twain, orig. distrib. numeral of 
two (q.v.). In AS. this numeral qualifies 
the noun now governed by between, e.g. be 
s^m^W(2om«m, by seas twain., 
with excrescent -t (as in against, etc.), from 
ME. betwix, AS. betweox, etc., earlier in dat. 
form [betweoxn, King Alfred), from an un- 
recorded *twisc, twofold, of which the Ger. 
cogn. appears in prep, zwischen, between, 
orig. a dat. pi. Betwixt and between, 
middling, is not recorded till 19 cent. 

Beulah [Bibl.]. Happy land (/5. Ixii. 4). 
Our toilsome but happy progress to the Beulah of 
victory and peace {Obs. Jan. 19, 1919). 

beurre. Pear. F., lit. "buttered." In Little- 
ton (1677). 

beuree: the name of a very tender, and delicate 
peare (Cotg.). 

bevel. OF. *bevel [biveau), buveau in Cotg., 
prob. related to L. bis and to bias, bezel, all 
three words being unsolved. Cf. OF. bever, 
to diverge. 
bever [dial.]. Orig. drink; now, luncheon. 
OF. beivre [boire), to drink, L. bibere. Cf. 
beverage. OF. bevrage [breuvage), from beivre, 
L. bibere; or VL. *biberaticum; cf. It. 
bevy. In late ME. a company of roes, larks, 
quails, or ladies. One of the numerous 
fantastic terms of venery. AF. bevee, of 
unknown origin. It. beva, "a beavie" is in 
Flor., but here beavie is prob. a misprint 
for beaver (= bever) copied by later diets. 
beware. Prop, a compd., be ware, e.g. we 
cannot say he bewared. See ware-. Survival 
of compd. is prob. due to frequent imper. 
use (cf . begone) . It has partly absorbed the 
verb ware, AS. warian, to guard against, 
which sur\dves in the hunting phrase ware 
wire! if this is not aphet. for bezvare. 

They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra 

{Ads, xiv. 6). 

bewilder. Lit. "to lose in pathless ways" 
(Johns.). A 17 cent, word, orig. as p.p. 
{bewildered) , from obs. ivildern, wilderness 
(see wild). Cf. belated, benighted, etc. 

bewitch. ME. compd. of wicchen, AS. wiccian, 
to enchant. See witch. Cf. beshrew. 

bewray [archaic]. ME. bewreien, to divulge, 
orig. to accuse, compd. of wreien, AS. 
wregan, to accuse; cf. Ger. vilgen, to accuse. 
Later sense influenced by betray. Used by 
Tynd. {Matt. xxvi. 73) where Wye. has 
makith thee open (var. knowen) for Viilg. 
manifestum te facit. 

Ne dorst he nat to hire his wo biwreye 

(Chauc. F. 954). 

bey. Mod. pronunc. of Turk, beg, prince. 

Formerly also by, beg. Cf. begum. With 

beylik, principalit}', cf. pashalik. 
beyond. AS. begeondan, bi geondan, from AS. 

geondan, beyond. See yonder, and cf. Ger. 

jenseits, on yonder side. 
bezant. See besant. 
bezantler [ven.]. Second branch of deer's 

horn. From antler (q.v.) and bes-, bis-, as 

in F. bisa'ieul, great grandfather. 

Above the "burr" came the brow-antlier now the 
brow-point; next the bezantlier, now the bay 

(Richard Jefferles). 

bezel. OF. bisel {biseau, bdseau). Cf. bevel, 
bias, both of which approach bezel in sense. 

biseau: a bezle, bezeling, or scuing; such a slope- 
nesse, or slope forme, as in the point of an yron leaver, 
chizle, etc. (Cotg.). 

bezesteen. Eastern market-place. Turk. 
bazistdn, from Pers. 

bezique. F. besique, also besy. Called a neol. 
by_ Diet. Gen., but basseque is in Oudin 
(1660). Cf. It. bazzica, card game, ? from 
Arab, bazz, to win booty. 

bezoar [archaic]. Bezoar-stone, intestinal cal- 
culus found in some animals and credited 
with medicinal powers. Cf. F. bezoard. 
Port, beziiar, OF. bezahard. From Arab. 
bdzahr or bddizahr, Pers. pdd-zahr, counter- 

bezonian [archaic]. Earlier also besonio. It. 
bisogno, "need, want; also, a fresh needy 
souldier" (Flor.). Cf. OF. bisogne. Origin 
of F. besoin, besogne, from Merovingian L. 
soniiim, sonia, is unknown. 

bisongne: a filthie knave, or cloune; a raskall, 
bisonian, base humored scoundrell (Cotg.). 

Great men oft die bv vile bezonians 

(2 Hen. VI, iv. i). 

bhang, bang. Narcotic from hemp. Port. 

bangue. Hind, bhang, Sanskrit banghu, 

bheesty [Anglo-Ind.]. Water-bearer. Urdu 

bh'isti, Pers. bihishtl, from bihisht, paradise. 

"Prob. of jocular origin" {NED.). 





bi-. L. prefix bi- for earlier dui-, cogn. with 
G. 81- from hvo, two. Cf. bin-, from bini, 
two at a time; also bis- for OL. diiis. 

bias. F. biais, slant, etc., of unknown origin. 
Cf. bevel, bezel. Fig. senses are due to the 
early use of the word in connection with 
the game of bowls. 

'Twill make me think the world is full of rubs, 
And that my fortune runs against the bias 

{Rich. II, in. 4). 

bib. ME. bibben, to tipple, L. bibere. Hence 
wine-bibber {Luke, vii. 34) for Vulg. bibens 
vinnm. With child's bib cf. F. biberon, 

bibelot. Trinket. F., earlier beubelei, etc., 
prob. from infantile redupl. bel-bel. Cf. E. 

Bible. F., Late L. biblia (f.), orig. neut. pi., 
G. TO. ^i/SXia, the books, y3i/3AiW being dim. 
of /3i/SAos inner bark of the papyrus. In 
most Europ. langs. Cf. book, code, library. 
More gen. sense survives in bibliography, 
bibliophile, etc. Bibliomaniac is first re- 
corded in Scott {Antiquary) who applies it 
to Don Quixote. Chesterfield uses biblio- 
nianie, from F. 

biblio-. See Bible. 

bibulous. From L. bibulus (see bib). 

bicameral [pal.]. App. coined by Bentham 
(18 cent.). See bi- and chamber. 

bice. Pigment. Earlier blewe bis, F. bleu bis, 
dull blue. F. bis, dingy. It. bigio, are 
thought to be from the second syllable of 
L. bombyceus, of cotton (see bombasine) . 

biceps [anat.]. L., lit. two-headed, from bis 
and caput. Cf. L. anceps, doubtful, from 
ambo and caput. 

bicker^. Sc. form of beaker (q.v.). 

bicker^. To quarrel. In ME. as noun and 
verb, skirmish, hence wrangle. Origin ob- 
scure. Senses correspond pretty well with 
those of F. piquer. Cf. OHG. bicken, to 
hack, stab, etc. From a base bic, pic, found 
in both Teut. and Rom. (cf. peck'^, pick^). 

bicycle. F., from bi- and G. kvkXo<5, wheel. 
Superseded velocipede (q.v.). 

Bj'sicles and trysicles which we saw in the Champs 
Elysees {Daily News, Sep. 7, 1868). 

bid. Confusion of two Com. Teut. verbs, viz. 
AS. beodan, to announce, command, offer, 
etc. (cf. Du. bieden, Ger. bieten, ON. bjotha, 
Goth, biiidan; cogn. with bode), and AS. 
biddan, to request (cf. Du. bidden, Ger. 
bitten, ON. bithja, Goth, bidjan; cogn. with 
head) . With the first cf . to bid at an auction. 

bid good day (defiance) . The more gen. sense, 
to command {ci. forbid), combines both. To 
bid fair was earlier to bid fair for, i.e. to 
offer with reasonable probability. Bidding 
prayer, now understood as exhorting to 
prayer, meant orig. praying of prayers. Cf. 
earlier bidding beads, in same sense. 

bide. AS. bldan, to remain. Com. Teut.; cf. 
Du. beiden, Ger. dial, beiten, ON. bttha, 
Goth, beidan. In most senses used indiffer- 
ently with abide, of which it is often an 
aphet. form. In AS. also trans., to await, 
now only in to bide one's time. 

hield [north, dial. 1. Shelter. ? Ident. with obs. 
bield, courage, assurance, AS. beldo, from 
bold, ? or connected with build. 

He [the fox] tore off for a bield 300 yards away 

{j\Ianch. Guard. Mar. 13, 1918). 

biennial. From L. biennium, two years, from 
bi- and annus, year. 

bier. AS. b'^r, bier, litter, from bear^. Com. 
Teut.; cf. Du. baar, Ger. bahre, ON. barar 
(pi.). Mod. spelling is due to F. biere, of 
Teut. origin. Cf. barrow^. Not orig. limited 
to funeral bier. For poet, sense of tomb 
cf. hearse. 

Drop upon Fox's grave a tear, 

'Twill trickle to his rival's bier {Marmion, Introd.). 

biestings. See beestings. 

biff [slang]. To shove, etc. ? Thinned form of 
buff^ (q.v.), buffet. Cf. bilge. 

biffin. Apple (Norf.). ? For beefing, from its 
deep red colour; cf. golding, sweeting. The 
old etymologists explained it from F. beau 
fin, which is at least as likely. 

bifurcate. From bi- and L. furca, fork. 

big. Northern ME. (end of 13 cent.), but 
recorded as name, Bicga, in 11 cent. This 
is prob. cogn. with earlier Bucga, and with 
Norw. dial, bugge, great man, bugga, rich, 
important, whence E. dial, buggy, proud, 
and pleon. big bug. 

cheval de trompelte: one thats not afraid of shadowes, 
one whom no big, nor bug words can terrifie 


bigamy. F. bigamie, MedL. bigamia, from 

G. ya/xos, marriage. 
bigaroon. Cherry. F^diVlierbigarreau (F.), from 

bigarre, variegated, of unknown origin. 

bigarreaus: a kinde of cherries, which bee halfe 
white, halfe red (Cotg.). 

biggin^ [archaic]. Cap. F. be'guin, head-dress 
of be'guine nuns. See beg^, Beguine. 
bygqen for a childes heed: beguyne (Palsg.). 





biggin-. Kind of coffee-pot. From inventor's 
name (c. 1800). 

"Mr Baptist — tea pot!" "Mr Baptist — dust-pan!" 
"Mr Baptist — flour-dredger!" "Mr Baptist — 
coffee-biggin" {Little Dorr it, ch. xxv.). 

bigging {north, dial.]. Building. From ME. 
biggen, to build, ON. byggja. Cf. place-name 

bight [naut.]. Loop of rope, or of coast. AS. 
byhi, from bUgan, to bow, bend. Cf. Ger. 
bucht, bay, from LG. See bow~. 

bignonia. Flower. Named by Tournefort 
(c. 1700) after the abbe Bignon, librarian to 
Louis XIV. Cf. begonia, wistaria, etc. 

bigot. In OF. a term of abuse applied to the 
Normans (Wace). Origin much disputed. 
Personally I see no improbability in the 
old theory (derided by NED.) that it arose 
from a Teut. oath "by God." Cf. OF. 
goddam, an Englishman. On the common 
formation of nicknames from oaths see my 
Surnames (pp. 180-2). The Norman Bigod, 
who came over with the Conqueror and 
became Earl of Norfolk, may have had a 
nickname of the same type as Par doe, 
Par dew, Purdy, etc., which represent F. 
par {pour) Dieu. 

bijou. F., Bret, bizou, ring with stone; cf. 
Corn, bisou, finger-ring, Bret, bez, finger, 
Welsh bys, finger. 

bike. Slang perversion of bicycle. 

bilander [w^m/.]. Coasting vessel. Du.bijland- 
er, by lander, whence also F. belandre. 

bilberry. Adapted from dial, form of Dan. 
bollebcer, prob. ball-berry, from shape. Also 
called blaeberry, whortleberry . 

bilbo [A7's/.]. Sword. From Bz76aci, Spain. Cf. 
Toledo. See Merry Wives, iii. 5. 

bilbo blade: from Spain where the best 
blades are made (Blount). 

bilboes [naut.]. Shackles. Earlier bilbowes. 
Prob. a sailor's perversion, associated with 
bilbo, of OSc. boyes, fetters, later bowes, 
OF. boie, buie, fetter, L. boia, whence also 
MHG.'fcoze, Du. boei, fetter (see buoy). The 
story about bilboes brought from Bilbao by 
the Armada is disproved by chronology, 
the word occurring in 1557 (Hakl. ii. 


bile. F., L. bilis. One of the four "humours," 
earlier called choler. Hence bilious. 

bilge. Lowest part of hull, hence, foulness 
that collects there. "Belly" of cask. 
Alteration of bulge (q.v.). Hence bilge- 
keel, bilge-water, and to bilge, stave in 

(ship's bottom). Cf. F. bouge, bilge, of ship 
or cask. 

bridge, or buldge: is the breadth of the floor, whereon 
the ship rests, when she is aground 

[Sea-Did. 1708). 
A considerable volume [of water] had filled the 
bilge and orlop [Daily Chron. June 23, 1919). 

bilious. See bile. 

bilk. Thinned form of balk (q.v.), with which 

it orig. interchanged as a term at cribbage. 

Cf. mister, demnition, etc., and surname 

Binks, for Banks, 
hill^ [hist.]. Weapon. AS. ft i/, sword. WGer. ; 

cf. OSax. bil, OHG. bill (Ger. bille, hoe). 

Perh. cogn. with bill'-. Obs. exc. in bill-hook 

and hist, brown-bill. 
bilF. Of a bird. AS. bile. Perh. cogn. with 

bill^. Billing and cooing was earlier simply 


Like two silver doves that sit a-billing 

[Venus & Adonis, 366). 

bill^. Document, orig. sealed. AF. bille, Late 
L. billa, bulla, seal (see bulP, bulletin), L. 
bulla, "a bosse; a bullion; great heade of 
a nayle in doores or gates; sometimes 
studdes in girdels or like things" (Coop.), 
orig. bubble. It came to be used in AF. & 
ME. of any document, e.g. bill of fare 
{lading, health, etc.). In the sense of poster 
it is as old as 15 cent. 

And the pope darlaye hath graunted in his byll 
That every brother may do what he w>-ll 

[Cocke Lorelles Bote). 

affiche: a siquis; a bill setup, or pasted, or fastened, 
on a post, doore, gate, etc. (Cotg.). 

billet^. Note. ME. billette, OF. billete (cf. F. 

billet, billet doux), dim. of bill^. In mil. 

sense (17 cent.) from written order issued 

by officer who quarters troops. Hence 

every bullet has its billet, saying attributed 

by Wesley to William III. 
billet^. Block of wood. OF. billete (cf. F. 

billot), dim. of bille, log, MedL. billa. Orig. 

obscure, perh. Celt. (cf. Ir. bile, tree, mast). 
billiards. F. bille, the ball, billard, the cue, 

are from It. biglia, bigliavdo, of unknown 

origin. E. in 16 cent. 

For iij yardes, iij quarters of greyn clothe to cover 
the billeyarde borde, xliijs. [Rutland MSS. 1603). 

Billingsgate. Fishmarket near Billing's gate, 
one of the old gates of London, app. named 
after some AS. Billing. Famous for rhetoric 
from 17 cent. 

billion. Coined (with trillion, quadrillion, etc.) 
in F. (16 cent.) to express second (third, 
fourth, etc.) power of million, but in ModF. 





billion is a thousand millions only, trillion 
a thousand billions, and so on. Hence 
billionaire , playful imit. of millionaire. 
billon. Inferior alloy or coin. Has often been 
confused with bullion (q.v.). F., orig. lump, 
ingot, from bille, log. Cf. or {argent) en bille 
{en barre). See billet-. 

Si je montrais une masse de plomb et que je disse: 
"Ce billon d'or m'a ete doiine..." (Ceilvin). 

billow. Earlier fee/tozf. From 16 cent. Cf. ON. 

bylga, from belgja, to swell (see bellows). Cf. 

swell, surge, the sense in which billow is used 

by Raleigh, 
billy. Name William in various fig. senses, 

e.g. fellow, brother (Sc), bushman's tea- 
can (Austral.), male goat (cf. nanny goat). 

With silly Billy cf. silly Johnny. Cf. bobby, 

dandy, jack, jemmy, etc. 
billyboy. Barge (east coast) . Perh. connected 

with buoy. In Ger. a somewhat similar 

craft is called bojer, from boje, buoy. 
billycock. Hat. Earlier (1721) bully-cocked, 

i.e. worn in aggressive manner, 
biltong [SAfr.}. Strip of dried beef. Du. bil, 

buttock, long, tongue, being cut from the 

buttock and looking like a smoked tongue. 

Cut from the eland it is called thigh- 
bimetallism. F. bimetallique was coined (1869) 

by Cernuschi, addressing Society of Political 

Economy at Paris. 
bimbashee. Colonel (in Egypt, army). Turk. 

bing-bdshl, thousand captain. Cf. pasha, 

bashi-bazouk . 
bin. AS. binn, manger, prob. Celt. Cf. F. 

benne, hamper, cart, Gaulish benna, cart. 
binary. L. binarius, from bini, two at a time, 

from bis, twice, OL. duis, from duo, two. 
bind. AS. bindan. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. Ger. 

binden, ON. binda, Goth, bindan. Cogn. 

with band^, bend (q.v.). For fig. senses cf. 

oblige. Old p.p. survives in bounden dtUy. 

With I'll be bound (leg.) cf. I'll go bail and 

archaic I'll be sworn. With bound up with 

{in) {Gen. xliv. 30) cf. wrapt up in. 
bine. Flexible shoot, orig. of hops. Dial. 

form of bind. Hence woodbine, earlier 

woodbind, AS. wudu-binde. Also trade-name 

for a famous cigarette. 
bing [techn. 6- dial.]. Heap. ON. bingr, heap. 
bingo [slang]. Brandy. App. coined from b 

(cf. B. and S., brandy and soda) and stingo 

binnacle [naut.]. Earlier bittacle, bitakle (1485), 

which survived to 18 cent., mod. form perh. 

due to bin. From OF. abitacle {habitacle) or 

Port, bitacola (cf. Sp. bitdcora. It. abitacolo), 
L. habitaciilum, a small shelter. 
bitacola: the bittacle, a frame of timber in the 
steerage, where the compass is placed on board a 
ship (Vieyra, 1794). 

binocular. From L. bini, two together, oculus, 

binomial. Of two terms, esp, with theorem 
(Newton). Cf. F. binome, from G. vofx-os, 

bio-. G. (3lo-, from yStos, life. For biogenesis 
see abiogenesis. Cf. biography, biology. 
Biograph, bioscope were early names for 

biped. L. bipes, biped-, from bi- and pes, foot. 

biplane. See bi-, aeroplane, 

Bipontine [bibl.]. Editions of classics printed 
(18 cent.) at ZweibrUcken (latinized Bipon- 
tium) in Bavaria. Cf. aldine, transpontine. 

birch. AS. birce, whence birch, and beorc, 
ON. bjork, whence northern birk (cf. 
Birkenhead). Aryan; cf. Du. berk, Ger. 
birke, Sanskrit bhUrja-. Prob. cogn. with 
bark^. Birch-rod is represented in ME. by 
yerde of byrke. With archaic birchen cf. 

bird. AS. bridd, young bird, chick, used in 
ME. also for young of other animals. Only 
found in E., usu. Teut. word being fowl 
(q.v.). Connection with breed, brood is 
doubtful. From being applied to small 
birds it gradually spread to the whole tribe, 
but fowl is still usual in A V. With bird's 
eye {view) cf. synon. F. a vol d'oiseau. 
Birdseye {tobacco) is named from the section 
of the cut leaf-ribs. 
Eddris and eddris briddis (Wye. Matt, xxiii. 33), 

bireme [liist.]. Double-banked galley. L. 
biremis, from bi- and renins, oar. 

biretta. It. berretta or Sp. birreta. Late L. 
birretum, from birrus, byrrhus, red, G. 
TTvppos, flame coloured. Cf. F. beret. 

birth. App. ON. byrth, replacing AS. gebyrd, 
from beran, to bear, with which cf. Ger. 
geburt, from gebdren. Birthright is used by 
Coverd. {Gen. xxv. 31) where Wye. has the, 
ryghtis of thi fyrst getyng (begetting) . See 
also berth. 

bis-. See bi-. 

biscuit. Restored spelling of Tudor bisket, OF. 
bescuit {biscuit), L. bis coctus {panis), twice 
baked, of which Ger. zwieback is a transla- 
tion. Hence also biscuit pottery, though 
app. this is only baked once. 
bysquyt hrede: biscoctus [Prompt. Parv.). 

bisect. From bi- and L. secare, sect-, to cut. 





bishop. AS. hiscop, L., G. e7rt'cr/<07ros, over- 
seer, from cTTi, on, cr/co7rds, watcher (cf. 
scope). Early loan ha all Teut. langs. (cf. 
Ger. bischojf), and at first vaguely used of 
various church officers. Bishopric is a 
hybrid, from AS. rice, power, realm (cf. 
Ger. reich, and see rich). The bishop at 
chess seems to have been due orig. to an 
accidental mitre-like appearance. It was 
formerly alfin, Arab. al-fU, the elephant. 
In 16 cent, also archer. In F. it is fou, perh. 
also due to the head-dress. The 18 cent. 
bowl of bishop was perh. named from purple 
colour; cf. Du. bisschop, Norw. Dan. bisp, 
used in same sense. The bishops' Bible is 
the version of 1568, published under the 
direction of Archbishop Parker. A bishop 
in partibus, i.e. not in possession of his 
diocese, was orig. one expelled from the 
Holy Land by the Saracens, his see being 
in partibus infidelium. To bishop a horse's 
teeth in order to conceal its age is prob. 
from the name of a horse-dealer (c. 1700). 
See also burke. 

bisk. F. bisque, crayfish soup, of unknown 

Bismillah. Arab, bismi-'lldh, in the name of 

bismuth. Ger. wismut (1530), latinized as 
bisemutum. For initial b- cf. bison. Origin 
unknown. Our earliest loans from Mod. Ger. 
are mostly metallurgical {cobalt, nickel, etc.). 

bison. ME. bisont, F. bison, L. bison, bisont- 
(Martial), from OHG. wisunt, the aurochs; 
cf. AS. wesend, ON. visiindr; prob. of Balto- 
Slav. origin. The Teut. forms became obs. 
with the animal and the word was re- 
introduced from L. and applied to the 
American bison. 

bison: the bison; a kind of hulch-backt, rough- 
maned, broad-faced, and great-ey'd, vvild-oxe, that 
will not be taken as long as hee can stand, nor 
tamed after hee is taken (Cotg.). 

bisque. At tennis. F., earlier biscaye, which 
suggests some connection with the province 
of Biscay, the inhabitants of which are the 
great experts at a form of tennis called 
la pelote. 

biscaye: a vantage at tennis (Cotg.). 
bisque: a fault, at tennis [ib.]. 

bissextile. Leap-year. L. bissextilis [annus), 
the year containing the bissextus, twice 
sixth, the day intercalated every four years 
in the Julian calendar after the sixth day 
before the Calends of March. 

bistoury. Surgeon's scalpel. F. bistouri, OF. 

bistorie, dagger (cf. surg. use of lance). As 
it is described as crooked and double-edged, 
the first element is prob. L. 6/5. Cf. OF. 
bisagiie, double-edged mattock, F. bis- 
tourner, to make crooked. 

bistre. Yellowish brown pigment. F., of 
unknown origin. 

bitV Morsel. AS. bita, morsel, from bttan, to 
bite (cf. F. morceau, mordre). With US. 
sense of small coin cf. our threepenny-bit. 

bit-. Of horse. AS. bite, bite, cutting (cf. F. 
mors, mordre). Also in mech. applications. 

bitch^ Animal. AS. bicce; cf. ON. bikkja. 
Origin unknown. 

bitch- [slang]. To bungle. Thinned form of 
botch- (q.v.). Cf. bilk, bilge. 

bite. AS. bttan. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. bijten, 
Ger. beissen, ON. bita, Goth, beitan. Orig. 
past tense bote (cf . wrote) ; ult. cogn. with 
L. findere, to cleave. Bitten (infected) with 
(a mania, etc.) is a mad dog metaphor. 
George III, being told that Wolfe was 
mad, expressed a wish that he might bite 
some of his other generals. Hardbitten, 
tough in fight, inured to bites, app. comes 
from dog-fighting. Its earliest use refers to 
animals. The phrase the biter bit is from 
17 cent, use of biter for sharper. 
A biter is one who thinks you a fool, because you 
do not think him a knave (Steele). 

hitt \naut.']. Usu. pi. Two posts on ship's 
deck for fastening cables, etc. Forms are 
found in most Europ. langs. Prob., ON. 
biti, cross-beam (in house or ship). Hence 
naut. bitter, "the turne of a cable about 
the bits " (Capt. John Smith), and bitter end, 
which has acquired fig. sense by association 
with adj. bitter. 

The bitter end is that end of the cable within boord 
at thebitt (Purch.). 

When a chain or rope is paid out to the bitter-end, 
no more remains to be let go (Smyth). 

bitter. AS. biter. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. Ger. 
bitter, ON. bitr, Goth, baitrs; cogn. with 
bite (cf. mordant). For bitter end see bitt. 

bittern. With excrescent -n, from ME. bitour, 
earlier bototir, F. butor. For older form 
cf. dial, butterbump (Tennyson, Northern 
Farmer, Old Style). Earliest is MedL. 
butorius, bitorius. Early L. diets, give butio, 
a bittour, but the L. word is perh. only a 
var. of buteo, buzzard. OF. bustor looks 
like confusion with bustard. Everything 
suggests that the bird was named from its 
very remarkable cry. 
As a bitore bombleth in the myre (Chauc. D. 972). 





bitumen. L., oiig. mineral pitch from Pales- 
tine. Cf. asplialte. An Osco-Umbrian word. 

bivalve. F., from bi-, and valve (q.v.). 

bivouac. F., Swiss-Ger. biwacht, by watch, 
patrol, its earlier meaning in F. & E. 
Introduced into F. by Swiss mercenaries 
during Thirty Years War. Johns, describes 
it as "not in use." 

biz [slang]. Late ig cent, for business (see 

bizarre. F., Sp. bizarro, brave, its earlier F. 
meaning. Formerly also bigearre and in- 
fluenced in sense by F. bigarre, motley, 
variegated (see bigaroon). Perh. from 
Basque bizar, beard, the valiant man being 
"bearded like the pard." 

blab. In ME.alternateswith/fl&. Imit.;cf.Ger. 
plappern and see babble. John le Blabbere 
{Pat. R. 13 cent.) is earlier than diet, records. 

Blabbe, or labe, or bewryere of counselle 

(Prompt. Pa) v.). 

black. AS. blcec, black, ink, already confused 
in AS. with bide, white, bright (see bleach, 
bleak). The two words are prob. related, 
the common meaning being lack of colour. 
Usual Teut. for black is swart (q.v.). To 
black-ball is recorded for 18 cent, (see ballot), 
and has been adopted, with other "high- 
life" words, in F. {blackboiiler) . Blackbird 
is naut. slang for a kidnapped negro or 
Polynesian. Black books, for recording 
offenders' names, are mentioned in 16 cent. 
The Black Country includes parts of Staf- 
fordshire and Warwickshire. Theblack guard 
(16 cent.) consisted of the lowest menials 
of a large household, who took charge of 
pots and pans on journeys, also hangers-on 
of an army. The black guard of the king's 
kitchen is mentioned in 1535. Black hole, 
lock-up, dates from the notoriety of the 
Black Hole of Calcutta (1756). Blackleg, 
swindler (18 cent.) is perh. a description of 
the rook. Black sheep, wastrel, is also 18 
cent. {NED.), but the nursery rime "Bal 
Ba! black sheep" suggests much greater 
antiquity. Blackmail, orig. tribute paid by 
farmers to freebooters (Sc. & North), is Sc. 
mail, still used of rent (see niaiP). It was 
perh. called black because often paid in 
black cattle, rents paid in silver being called 
white mail. The Black Watch orig. raised 
(early 18 cent.) for service in the Highlands, 
wore a dark uniform, to distinguish them 
from the red-coats of the old army. Cf. 
the black friars, or Dominicans (13 cent.), 
whence Blackfriars in London. Black and 

blue was in ME. blak and bla {bio), blue 
(q.v.) being substituted as cogn. bio became 
obs. Blackamoor is a dial, form of black 
Moor. Archaic Black-a-vised, swarthy, con- 
tains F. vis, face, as in vis-d-vis. 

You need not care a pin, if you ha't in white and 
black {Misogonub, iii. 2, c. 1550). 

The boldest of them will never steal a hoof from 
anyone that pays black-mail to Vich Ian Vohr 

( Waverley) . 

bladder. AS. blceddre. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. 
blaar (earlier blader, Flem. bladder), Ger. 
blatter, ON. bldthra; cogn. with blow^. 

blade. AS. bleed, blade (of oar). Com. Teut.; 
cf. Du. blad, Ger. blatt, leaf {schulterblatt , 
shoulder-blade), ON. blath. The usual plant 
word in AS. & ME. was leaf (q.v.), and it 
seems likely that blade, applied to corn, 
grass, etc., is partly due to MedL. bladum, 
corn, OF. bled {ble), of unknown origin, but 
possibly cogn. with above. As applied to 
persons, jovial blade, roistering blade, etc. it 
is usu. connected with sword-blade, a ME. 
sense of the word, though the development 
of meaning is not made out. The first 
record, a very good blade {Rom. &• Jul. ii. 4), 
has an approximate F. parallel in une bonne 
epee {lame), a noted swordsman, but the 
usu. half contemptuous use of blade suggests 
Du. blcet, foolish talker, braggart. For 
double sense of blade cf. foil'-, with which 
it is ult. cogn. 

blaeberry, bleaberry [im/.]. Bilberry. See bil- 
berry, blue. 

blague. Humbug. F., prob. ident. with 
blague, tobacco pouch, Ger. balg, skin. See 
belly, bellows. 

blain. AS. blegen; cf. Norw. Dan. blegn, Du. 
blein, LG. bleien; ? cogn. with blow'^ (cf. 
blister). Now rare exc. in chilblain. 

blame. F. bldmer, OF. blasmer, Late L. 
blasphemare, used in Vulg. for G. pXa<T(f>rj- 
fxiiv. See blaspheme. 

blanch. F. blanchir, to whiten, or perh. from 
corresponding adj. blanch, in common ME. 
use. Blanched almonds are mentioned in 
the Prompt. Parv. See blank. 

blancmange. ME. blancmangere , a kind of 

galantine of meat, F. blanc manger. See 


For blankmanger, that made he with the beste 

(Chauc. A. 387). 

blandish. F. bland ir, blandiss-, from L. 
blandiri, from blandus, bland, smooth. 
Hence blandishments, much commoner than 
the verb, and slang blandiloquence (Blount) . 




1 60 

blank. F. blanc, white, OHG. blanch (cf. AS. 
blanca, ON. blakkr, steed) ; prob. cogn. with 
bleak. Adopted by all Rom. langs. Sense 
of colourless passes into that of empty in 
to look blank, blank look-out, blank cartridge. 
App. Cuthbert Bede introduced the euph. 
use of the word (cf. dash). Blank verse was 
introduced from It. by the Earl of Surrey 
(ti547). The It. name is versi sciolti (free). 

Here's a pretty blank, I don't think ! I wouldn't 
give a blank for such a blank blank. I'm blank if he 
don't look as though he'd swaUered a blank codfish, 
and had bust out into blank barnacles 

{Verdant Green, ii. 4), 

To talk about a blank cheque is blank nonsense 

(D. Lloyd George, Nov. 191 8). 

blanket. OF. blanqiiete, from blanc, white. 
Orig. a white woollen material; cf. ME. 
whitel, AS. hwltel, in similar sense. Wet 
blanket is fig. from extinguishing a fire (cf. 
throw cold water on). To toss in a blanket is 
in Shaks. (2 Hen. IV, ii. 4). Wrong side of 
the blanket is in Smollett [Humphrey 
Clinker). Blanketeer (hist.) was the name 
given to the operatives who assembled 
(18 1 7) in St Peter's Fields, Manchester, 
provided with blankets in order to march 
to London and demand redress of their 
grievances. The attack upon them by the 
military gave rise to the portmanteau word 
Peterloo (St Peter' s Fields x Waterloo), a. very 
early example of this formation and a 
curious parallel to Bakerloo. 

blare. Cf. Du. blaren, MHG. bleren, blerren, 
Ger. pldrren, all of imit. origin. In ME. to 
bellow, weep, etc. Now only of a trumpet. 

The worthies also of Moab bleared for very sorow 

(Coverd. Is. xv. 4). 

blarney. From a stone at Blarney Castle, near 

Cork, the kissing of which, a gymnastic 

operation, confers magic powers of cajolery. 

For local origin cf. bunkum. 
blase. F. &/asey, to wear out (17 cent.). Origin 

blason. See blazon. 
blaspheme. F. blasphemer. Church L. blas- 

pheniare, G. ^Xao-ffirjixeLv, to speak evil, from 

(f>r]fjii, I say, with doubtful first element, 
blast. AS. bt^st, strong gust of wind; cf. 

OHG. W^st (Ger. blasen, to blow), ON. 

blostr. See blaze^. Fig. wind-born plague 

or infection, hence curse, etc. 
blastoderm [biol.]. Superficial layer of embryo 

in early condition. From G. ySAacrTo's, germ, 

sprout, Sip/xa, skin. 

They christened him [AureUan McGoggin] the 

" Blastoderm," — he said he came from a family of 
that name somewhere in the prehistoric ages 


blatant. Coined by Spenser, in ref . to calumny. 
He may have had dial, blate, to bellow, or 
L. blaterare, to babble, in his mind. 

A monster which the blatant beast men call 

[Faerie Queene, v. xii. 37). 

blatherskite. Orig. US. See blether, blether- 

The attempt of the Censorship to burke the Sinn 
Fein Assembly's Declaration of Independence has 
given a gratuitous advertisement to that bit of 
sublimated blatherskite 

[Sunday Times, Jan. 26, 1919}. 

blay. See bleak'^. 

blaze^. Of fire. AS. blase, blcsse, torch, fire; 
cf. MHG. bias, torch; prob. cogn. with 
blaze^ (q-v.), with orig. sense of shining. In 
go to blazes, etc., it is euph. for hell. Blazer 
was orig. applied at Cambridge (1850-60) 
to the bright scarlet of St John's College. 
Blazing indiscretion was first used by Lord 
Morley in ref. to the great Marquis of 
Salisbury who generally called a spade a 

blaze-. Wliite mark on horse's face. First 
recorded in 17 cent., hence prob. from Du. 
bles (see blesbok). Cf. synon. ON. blesi, Ger.. 
bldsse, from blass, pale (prob. cogn. with 
blaze^) . Later applied to white marks made 
on trees to indicate track, which, being US., 
may be an independent introduction from 

blaze^. To proclaim, as with a trumpet [Mark, 
i. 45). ON. bldsa, to blow. Com. Teut., 
though the verb does not appear in AS., 
which has, however, the corresponding 
noun blast; cf. Du. blazen, Ger. blasen, Goth. 
-blesan ; cogn. with 'L. flare. Later confused 
with blazon (q.v.) as in quot. below. 

High was Redmond's youthful name 

Blazed in the roU of martial fame [Rokeby, iv. 16). 

blazon. F. blason, heraldry, orig. shield. 
Later senses are due to decoration of shield. 
As the "blazing" appearance of arms and 
armour is constantly emphasized in OF. 
poetry, it is not impossible that blazon is 
connected with blaze^ (cf. brand). The use 
of blazon for proclamation (cf. to blazon 
forth) is due to mistaken association with 
blaze^. It arises partly from the sense of 
description contained in the her. blazon. 

But this eternal blazon must not be 
To ears of flesh and blood [Haml. i. 5). 

bleaberry. See blaeberry. 





bleach. AS. hl^can, from bide, pale (see 
bleak^) ; cf . Ger. bleichen, ON. bleikja. In 
obs. bleach, to blacken, we have the con- 
fusion indicated s.v. black, 
noircir: to blacke, blacken; bleach, darken (Cotg.). 

bleak^. Adj. Formerly, and still in dial., pale. 
Parallel form (ON. bleikr) of ME. bleche, 
pale (AS. bide, bl^c); cf. Du. bleak, colour- 
less, Ger. bleich, pale, and see bleach, 
bleke 0/ colour: pallidus, subalbus {Prompt. Part.). 

bleak". Fish. ON. bleikja, from its colour (see 
bleak^); cf. F. able, dim. of L. albus. Its 
true E. name is blay, AS. blcsge, with which 
cf. Ger. bleihe. 
able: a blay, or bleak, fish (Cotg.). 

bleared, blear-eyed. From ME. bleren, to 
have inflamed eyes, also to dim the eyes, 
hoodwink. Cf. LG. blarr-oged, bleer-oged, 
whence also various Scand. forms. This 
may be ident. with Prov. blay, OF. bier, 
glossed glaucus, applied esp. to the eyes, 
and app. of Teut. origin. 
Lya was with blerid eyen (Wye. Gen. xxix. 17). 

For thow yt seme gold and schynyth rychely, 
Alle ys but sotelte off the fend to blere yowre ye 

(Metham, Amoryus & Cleopes, 198 5). 

bleat. AS. blatan. WGer. ; cf. Du. blaten, 
MHG. blazen. Imit. 

bleb. Small blister or bubble. Imit. of 
action of forming bubble with lips ; cf . blob, 
blubber, bubble. 

blee [poet.]. Hue. AS. bleo, with LG. cognates, 
used poet, in ME., esp. in bright of blee, and 
revived by mod. poets. 

bleed. AS. bledan, from blood. 

blemish. F. blemir, blemiss-, to turn pale, 
OF. blesmir, to wound, of obscure origin. 
ON. bldmi, livid bluish colour, with in- 
fluence of F. blesser, to wound, has been 

blench. To flinch, earlier to swerve, and orig. 
trans., to deceive, elude. AS. blencan, to 
deceive, make to blink (cf. drench, drink). 
ME. had a northern form blenk. Sense- 
development has been influenced by obs. 
blanch, to turn pale. 

And before his eye, thus, I will hang my net 
To blench his sight {Nature, c. 1475). 

That Uttle foot-page he blenched with fear 


blend. ME. blenden, ON. blanda, to mix (pres. 
blend-) ; cf. AS. blandan, to mix, gebland, 
mixture. Perh. ident. with obs. blend, to 
make blind, confuse, with which cf. Ger. 
blenden (v.i.). 

blende [min.]. Ger. blende, from blenden, to 
blind, deceive, because a deceptive mineral 
(cf. cobalt, nickel). Hence hornblende, so 
called from its horny appearance, pitch- 

blenheim orange, spaniel. From Duke of 
Marlborough's seat (Oxf.). Cf. ribstone, 

blenny. Fish. L. blendius (Pliny), from G. 
/3A.€Vvos, mucus, descriptive of its scales. 

blesbok. Antelope. SAfrDu., blaze buck. See 

bless. AS. bletsian, blcedsian, to consecrate 
(with the blood of sacrifice). Sense-develop- 
ment is due to the choice of this word to 
render L. benedicere, while some later 
meanings, "to make happy," are due to 
mistaken association with bliss (q.v.). In 
fact bless may sometimes represent AS. 
blithsian, to gladden. A penny to bless one- 
self with alludes to the cross on some old 
coins. In I'm blessed if.... Well I'm blessed, 
a blessed idiot, we have mod. euphemisms 
for another word (cf. F. sacre). Single 
blessedness is an ironic application of what 
Shaks. says of the holiness of celibate life. 
It may be noted that AS. bletsian, in its 
etym. sense, would explain F. blesser, to 
wound, which has no Rom. cognates. 

Earthlier happy is the rose distill'd. 

Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, 

Grows, lives, and dies in single Wessedness 

{Mids. Night's Dream, i. i). 

blether, blather [Sc.]. ON. blathra, to talk 
stupidly, from blathr, nonsense, ? orig. 
windbag (see bladder). Hence US. blether- 
skate, blatherskite, orig. Sc. It occurs in the 
song Maggie Lauder, a favourite camp- 
ditty during Amer. War of Independence. 

Jog on your gate, ye bletherskate 

(Sempill, Maggie Lauder, c. 1650). 

bletted \techn.']. Of medlar in condition for 
eating. From F. blet, over-ripe, as in poire 
blette; of Teut. origin. 

blight. From 17 cent. only. Origin obscure. 
Cotg. app. regarded it as a kind of growth. 
Perh. related to obs. blichening, blight, from 
obs. blikne, to turn pale (see bleak^). This 
word is used to render L. rubigo, blight, in 
the ME. version of Palladius (c. 1420). 
brulure: blight, brancorne; (an hearbe) (Cotg.). 

blighter. Recent (late ig cent.) euph. for an 
uglier word. Cf. blooming, blinking. Perh. 
suggested by blithering. 

I've strafed one of the blighters this time 

(Destroyer of the CufQey Zeppelin, Sep. 2, 1916). 


1 63 




blighty. Came into use in the Great War. 
Urdu bilati (adj.), Arab, wildyatl, from 
wildyat, government, esp. England, from 
wali, governor. Belait is used in this sense 
by Kipling c. 1887. Cf. vilayet. With 
hlighty wound cf. synon. Ger. heimatschuss, 
lit. home-shot. 

Nor do the Sahibs use the belaitee panee [soda 
water] when they are thirsty 

(KipUng, Smith Administration). 

The adj. bildyati or wildyatl is applied specifically 
to a variety of exotic articles {Hobson-J obson) . 

blimp [neol.]. Aeroplane converted into 
dirigible balloon. One of the weird coinages 
of the airman. Quot. below refers to R. 34, 
which crossed the Atlantic in July, 191 9. 

I'd worked hard on the bally blimp 

(Mr Stowaway Ballantine). 

blimy [slang]. For Gawblimy, God blind me; 
cf. swop me bob, for so help tne God. 

blind. AS. blind. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. Ger. 
blind, ON. blindr, Goth, blinds. Oldest 
sense of noun blind is mil., for F. blinde, 
obstruction, Ger. blende, from blenden, to 
make blind. Fig. sense of blind alley (occu- 
pation) is mod. Blindfold is for blindfeld, 
p.p. of ME. blind-fellen, to strike {fell) 
blind, mod. spelling being due to associa- 
tion with fold. Blind-man's-buff, formerly 
blindman-buff, -buffet (c. 1600), is from obs. 
buff, OF. bufe, a blow (see buffet^), the 
blind-folded person being buffeted by the 
other players (see quot. from Wye. below). 
Also called earlier hoodman blind (see hood). 
The blind-worm (see slow-worm) is so named 
from its minute eyes; cf. Ger. blindschleiche. 

And thei blynfelden hym, and smyten his face 

(Wye. Luke, xxii. 64). 

blyndfyld: excecatus {Prompt. Parv). 

blink. ME. usu. blenk, AS. blencan, to deceive 
(dazzle), mod. form perh. due to Du. 
blinken; cf. Ger. blinken, to shine; cogn. 
with blank, in sense of bright, dazzling (cf. 
ON. blakra, to blink). Something of etym. 
sense survives in ice-blink, orig. brightness 
on the horizon due to reflection from ice. 
This is prob. Du. ijsblink or Dan. isblink. 
Sense of failing to see, esp. to blink (shut 
one's eyes to) the fact was orig. sporting, of 
dogs missing their birds. Blinking (slang) 
is quite recent. It is prob. for blanking, 
euph. for bleeding, with vowel thinned as 
in bilk. See also blench. 

bliss. AS. bltths, from blithe. Sense-develop- 
ment already in AS. shows association with 

bless (q.v.), the two words being even con- 
fused in spelling. 

Two blessis ben — blesse of the soule and blisse of 
thebodi (Wye). 

blister. ME. blester, OF. blestre, ON. bldstr 
(dat. bl^stri), swelling, from bldsa, to blow. 
Cf. Ger. blase, blister, from blasen, to blow. 
See blaze^. 

blithe. AS. blithe. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. blijde, 
blij, OHG. bim, ON. bllthr, Goth, bleiths. 
Cf. bliss. 

blithering. Usu. with idiot. Thinned form of 
blather, blether, with vowel perh. suggested 
by drivelling. 

blizzard. Came into gen. use in US. & E. in 
the hard winter of 1 880-1. Earlier (US. 
1834) in sense of hard blow. Probabilities 
point to its being an E. dial, word ult. 
cogn. with blaze^. 

bloat. Earliest as adj., soft, flabby, as in the 
bloat (old editions blowt) king {Haml. iii. 4). 
ON. blaiitr, soft, whence Sw. blot, as in blot- 
fisc, soaked fish. Bloater was earlier (16 
cent.) bloat herring, formerly (17 cent.) 
opposed to dried, though also used for 
smoked, as the process was altered. For 
sense-development ct. kipper. Also puffed 
up, inflated, as in bloated armaments (Dis- 
raeli), bloated aristocrat, capitalist, or any- 
thing else that the speaker disapproves 
of. With cogn. Ger. blode, feeble, bashful, 
cf. Sc. blate and fig. use of soft in E. 

fumer: to bloat, besmoake, hang, or drie in the 
smoake (Cotg.). 

blob. Orig. a bubble; cf. bteb. In mod. cricket 
slang, a "duck's egg." 

bloc {J)ol.]. F., block (v.i.). 

block. F. bloc, OHG. block {block), with cogn. 
forms in Du. Sw. Dan. Hence verb, to stop, 
as at cricket and in Parliament (cf . stumb- 
ling-block). In the block-system a line is 
divided into a number of blocks, or sections. 
Chip of the old block occurs 17 cent. 
Blockade (17 cent.) is archaic Ger. blocquada, 
formed by analogy with mil. words of It. 
origin at time of Thirty Years War. Its 
earlier E. sense was blockhouse, palisade 
(Fi-yer's E. Ind. 6- Pers. i. 80), so that it 
has changed its meaning in the same way 
as F. blocus. Blockade-running first occurs 
at time of Amer. Civil War, when English 
vessels attempted to trade profitably with 
Southern ports. Blockhouse, a detached 
fort, later applied in US. to house of 
squared logs, or blocks (cf. log-hut), is prob. 
Ger. or Du.; cf. F. blocus, orig. blockhouse, 




1 66 

now blockade, from Ger. blockhaus, which 
occurs on Franco-German frontier in 1 4 cent. 

bloke. 19 cent, thieves' slang. Shelta. 

blond. F., MedL. blundus. Prob., like most 
colours, of Teut. origin, and perh. orig. 
applied esp. to the yellow-haired Germans. 
Origin unknown; but cf. AS. blanden-feax , 
blonden-feax, grizzled hair (cf. Fairfax), 
lit. of mixed ("blended") colour. Colour 
words, being purely subjective, are of 
most elusive and changeable meaning (see 
auburn, black). 

blood. AS. blod. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. bloed, 
Ger. blut, ON. Goth, bloth. With verb to 
blood (hounds, troops) cf. hist, of F. acharner, 
from L. ad carnem (see flesh) . Blue blood is 
translated from Sp. sangre azul, of race not 
contaminated by Moorish or Jewish mix- 
ture, with blue veins showing clearly on 
white skin. With blood, applied to persons, 
cf . Ger. ein junges blut. Blood and thunder 
was orig. an oath. The bloodhound {1 /\ cent.) 
was supposed to scent the blood of the 
fugitive. Blood-money is used by Coverd. 
{Matt, xxvii. 6). Bloodshot was earlier 
blood-shotten, shot, i.e. suffused, with blood. 
The bloody hand as armorial devic- of 
baronets is derived from O'Neill, Earl of 
Ulster. The vulgar bloody was orig. adv., 
occurring esp. in the phrase bloody drunk 
(common c. 1700). It is merely an intens. 
of the same type as awfully, thundering , 
etc., and may have been suggested by the 
use as intens. prefixes of Du. bloed, Ger. 
blut; e.g. Ger. blutarm, miserably poor, 
might be rendered bloody poor in Shavian 
E. ; cf. blutdieb, "anarch thief" (Ludw.). 
Quot. I is much earlier than first NED. 
record and quot. 2 shows that the word 
was not orig. offensive. 

A man cruelly eloquent and bluddily learned 

(Marston, Faun, i. 2., 1606). 

It was bloody hot walking to-day 

(Swift to .Stella, May 28, 171 1). 

The Bismarck theory of blood and iron has the 
great merit of being simple and concise. The 
German theory of warfare fits it as a bludgeon fits 
the hand of a footpad (R. Blatchford, Dec. 16, 1909). 

bloodwite [hist.]. AS. blodwUe, blood penalty. 

See twit. 
bloom^. Flower. ON. blom, whence ME. 

(northern) blome, the southern word being 

blossom (q.v.), both now superseded, exc. 

in spec, senses, hy flower. Com. Teut.; cf. 

Du. bloem, Ger. blume, Goth, bloma; cogn. 

with blow"^ and ult. with L. flos, florere. 

bloom^ [techn.]. Mass of hammered iron. AS. 
bloma. NED. finds a gap in the history of 
the word from AS. to 16 cent., but the 
surname Bloomer (v.i.), i.e. worker in a 
bloom-smithy, is well attested in ME. 

bloomer. Costume (US. c. 1850). " After M>'5 
Bloomer (11894), 3-^ American lady who 
introduced the costume" {NED.). "She 
did not invent it, was not the first to wear 
it, and protested against its being called 
by her name" (Thornton). 

blooming. Euph. for bloody (see blood). Cf. 
bleeding, blinking. 

blossom. AS. blostm; cf. Du. bloesem, ON. 
bldmstr; cogn. with bloom^. Both now re- 
placed, exc. in spec, senses, hy flower. 

We generally call those flowers blossoms, which are 
not much regarded in themselves, but as a token of 
some following production (Johns.). 

blot^. Blemish, etc. InME. alsojb/o^. Earliest 
sense (14 cent.), blemish. Perh. ident. with 
plot (q.v.) ; cf. Ger. fleck, piece of ground, 
blot, and various senses of spot. There is 
also an OF. blote, clod of earth. Hence 
blottesque, coined on grotesque, picturesque , 
etc. Blotting-paper (15 19) is rather a mis- 
nomer, its object being to prevent blots. 

blot" [archaic']. Exposed piece at backgam- 
mon. App. Dan. blot or Du. bloot, bare (cf. 
Ger. bloss), but the identity has not been 
established. ? Or same as blot^ in sense of 
"weak spot." 

I find them [a committee of enquiry] wise and 
reserved, and instructed to hit all our blots 

(Pepys, Oct. 3, 1666). 

blotch. Earliest sense (17 cent.) boil, pustule. 
OF. bloche (also blost, blostre), clod of earth, 
also tumour, OHG. bluster, cogn. with blow^ 
(cf . blister) . Partly due also to earlier botch^. 
MedL. plustula suggests mixture of this 
word with pustule. 

blouse. 19 cent, from F. (18 cent.), workman's 
or peasant's smock, of unknown origin. 
Application to lady's garment is recent. 

blow^. Of wind. AS. bldwan; ci. Ger. bldhen, 
to inflate; ult. cogn. with blaze^ and with 
'L. flare. To blow hot and cold is an allusion 
to the fable of the traveller who mystified 
his host by blowing on his fingers to warm 
them and on his broth to cool it. With to 
blow upon (a secret) cf. similar use of F. 
eventer, from vent, wind. See also gaff^. 
Blowfly is connected with erron. notion of 
the insect's methods. Colloq. blow it is 
prob. euph. for blast. 





1 68 

blow-. Of flowers. AS. blowan. WGer. ; cf. 
Du. bloeien, Ger. bliihen; cogn. with bloom^, 

blow^. Noun. 15 cent, (north). EarUest form 
blaw. Cf. Ger. blduen, to beat (OHG. 
bliuwan), Du. bloiiwcn, but the E. word 
only occurs as a noun, while the Du. & Ger. 
are verbs only. The date is also against 
connection. It is perh. a peculiar applica- 
tion of blow^. Cf. F. sonfflet, bellows, box 
on the ear, from souffler, to blow, and OF. 
buffet (related to puff), with same two 
meanings; also ON. pustv, box on the ear, 
cogn. with LG. puster, pair of bellows. 

blowzy. From obs. blouze, beggar's trull, usu. 
described as red-faced, " a ruddy, fat-faced 
wench" (Johns.), hence perh. cogn. with 
Du. bios, blush. See blush. 

Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom sure 

(Tit. Andron. iv. 2). 

blubber. Orig. bubble. Of imit. formation. 
Blubber-lipped was earlier blabber [blobber] 
lipped, also babber-lipped, all expressing the 
idea of protruding. See bleb, blob. Bubble 
is used in Sc. for blubber, to weep. 

hlober upon water: bouteillis (Palsg.). 

blucher. Boot. 'i>ia.vaedaiiiev Marshal Bliicher. 
Cf. Wellington. Non-privileged cabs, ad- 
mitted to stations after others have been 
hired, were also called bluchers, in allusion 
to the Prussian arrival at Waterloo. Cf. 
F. (argot) grouchy, late arrival. 

bludgeon. From 18 cent. Perh. OF. bougeon, 
boujon (OF. boljon), dim. of OF. bolge, 
bouge, club. This is explained by Cotg. 
as a bolt with a heavy head and is still 
used in dial, for rung of a ladder, bar of a 
chair, etc. Mod. form may be due to 
association with blood. 

blue^ Adj. ME. blew, F. bleu, Ger. blau. This 
replaced cogn. ME. bio (see blaeberry), from 
ON. bid, which survived for a time in sense 
of livid {black and blue). True blue, due to 
old association of the colour with constancy, 
was later used of the Scottish Whigs (17 
cent.) and of strong Tories (19 cent.), the 
application being in both cases from adop- 
tion of a party colour. Blue was also the 
garb of recipients of charity, hence bluecoat 
(school), Sc. bluegown. University blues are 
19 cent. The blues, depression, is for blue 
devils, appearing to the despondent. The 
Blues (Horse-guards) were so-called (1690) 
when separated from William Ill's Dutch 
guard. Till all's blue was orig. used of effect 

of drink on the sight. By all that's blue may 
be adapted from F. parbleu (euph. for par 
Dieu). Bluebeard, wife-killer with secret 
chamber for the bodies, is F. Barbe bleue 
(Perrault). His original has been sought in 
the medieval monster GUles de Retz (| 1 440) . 
Bluebottle was applied to the cornflower 
much earlier than to the fly. As a con- 
temptuous term for a constable it is used 
by Shaks. (2 Hen. IV. v. 4). Blue books 
(from cover) are mentioned in 1715. Blue 
John, kind of fluor-spar (Derbysh.), may be 
from F. bleu jaune, blue yellow. Bluenose, 
US. nickname for Nova Scotian, alludes to 
cold climate. The blue ribbon was adopted 
as badge of temperance c. 1878. Earlier it 
was used vaguely of any high distinction; 
cf. F. cordon bleu. Blue-stocking is said to 
have been applied (c. 1750) to intellectual 
gatherings at houses of Mrs Montague and 
other ladies, some of the gentlemen fre- 
quenting these assernblies having adopted 
plain blue worsted stockings instead of the 
fashionable silk. It has been adopted in F. 
{bas bleu) and Ger. {blaustrumpf ) . Accord- 
ing to some authorities the name goes back 
to the Venetian society delta calza (16 cent.). 
The blue-water school has been applied since 
c. 1905 to those who pin their faith on the 
naval offensive as the surest defensive. 
With once in a blue moon cf. at the Greek 
calends, F. la semaine des quatre jeudis, Du. 
blaauw maandag. 

Yf they say the mone is blewe, 
We must beleve that it is true 

{Rede me and be not wrothe, 1528). 

blue^ [slang]. Verb, to cause to disappear. 
Cf. synon. F. faire passer au bleu, ? orig. 
to send into the sky. Ger. schwdrzen, to 
smuggle, lit. blacken, may also be com- 

bluffs. Of a countenance or ship. Corresponds 
to obs. Du. blaf, with same meaning. For 
vowel change cf. US. slug, to strike, from 
Du. slagen. US. bluff, steep cliff, etc. is 
the same word. 

hluff, or bluff-headed: when a ship has a small rake 
forward on, and so that she is built with her stem 
too streight up [Sea-Diet. 1708). 

bluff^. Verb. Orig. US., ? from Du. verbluffen, 
"to baffle, to put out of countenance" 
(Sewel). Cf. E. dial, bluff, to blindfold, 
hoodwink, which may be cogn. with the 
Du. word. 

blunder. ME. 6/oM«frgw, to confuse, to flounder ; 
cf. Norw. Sw. dial, blundra. Of doubtful 

1 69 




origin; ? cogn. with AS. blandan, ME. 
hlonden, to mix, blend, and with blind. 
With blunder-head, for earUer dunder-head, 
cf. blunderbuss. 

Who has blondred these thynges on *his facyon^ Qui 
a perturbe ces choses en ceste sorte? (Palsg.). 

blunderbuss. Perversion of Du. donderbus, 
thunder-box. See bush"^ and cf. Ger. buchse, 
gun. The early corruptions are numerous. 

blunt. From c. 1200. Earliest sense, dull, esp. 
of sight. Origin unknown. ? Cogn. with 

blur. 16 cent., synon. with blot. Origin un- 

blurt. 16 cent., usu. with out. Prob. imit. 
Cf. Sc. blirt, gust, sudden weeping. 

blush. AS. blyscan, to shine, dblysian, to 
blush, from blyse, torch, fire; cf. Du. blozen, 
LG. bliisken, Norw. Dan. blusse, to blush. 
Oldest sense in ME. is to shine forth, cast 
a glance; hence at the first blush. In quot. 
below it is app. confused with fiush. 

A young actress in the first blush of success 

(S. Wejnnan) . 

bluster. 16 cent. Prob. imit., with suggestion 
of blow, blast. Gavin Douglas uses pres. 
part, blasterand in same sense. Holthausen 
gives LG. blvLstern, to blow. Blustering is, 
since Spenser, stock epithet of Boreas. 

Cease rude Boreas, blust'ring railer 

(G. A. Stevens, ti784). 

bo, boh. Natural exclamation intended to 
surprise or frighten. Hence Bo to a goose 
(16 cent.). Bo-peep, nursery' game with 
children, is still older. See peep^. 

Mark how he playeth bo-peep with the scriptures 


boa. L. (Pliny). Connected by Pliny and 
other early etymologists, with varied ex- 
planations, with L. bos, ox, but perh. rather 
from bo! exclamation of terror (v.s.). Hence 
boa constrictor , named by Linnaeus, and 
often erron. applied to much larger ser- 
pents. Fur boa is in Dickens (1836). 

boanerges. Vociferous preacher. G. /Soav- 
epye's {Mark, iii. 17), Heb. b'ney regesh, sons 
of thunder. With first syllable cf. Ben in 
Jewish names, e.g. Benjamin, son of the 
right hand. 

boar. AS. bar. WGer.; cf. Du. beer, OHG. ber 
(ModGer. dial, bar), which also mean bear. 

board. AS. bord, board, plank, table, side of 
a ship. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. boord, Ger. 
bort, ON. borth, Goth, baurd. Orig. com- 
bining two related words, one meaning 

edge. Many E. senses are due to F. bord 
(from Teut.). The meaning is easily traced 
from board, plank, table, via board (and 
lodging) to a mod. board (table) of guardians 
or a school board. In sense of edge, border, 
it is usu. F. bord. So also the verb to board 
(naut.), orig. to range up alongside, is F. 
aborder. Board on board was formerly used 
for yard-arm to yard-arm, i.e. in close 
combat. To go by the board is to fall over- 
board. To sweep the board is from card- 
playing (cf. above-board). Bound ifi boards 
dates from the time when book-covers were 
of wood. 

hoarder that gothe to horde: commensal (Palsg.). 
John Kynge, blowen over the borde into the see 

{Voyage of the Barbara, 1540). 

boast. ME. bost, clamour, ostentation, AF. 
bost. Origin unknown, but form suggests 
F. (cf. coast, roast, toast). Perh. via an un- 
recorded OF. *boster from a Teut. root 
meaning swelling. 

Men that boosen her bristis [puff out their breasts] 
{Lantern of Light, c. 1410). 

boat. AS. bat, whence ON. bdtr and Du. Ger. 
boot. App. E. is the home of the word (Ger. 
boot is from Du.), which has also passed into 
the Rom. langs. (OF. bat, F. bateau, etc.). 
Boatswain is late AS. bdtswegen, the second 
element being ON. (see swain). It is spelt 
boson in 1600 {Cecil MSS.). 

Have ye pain? So Ukewise pain have we; 
For in one boat we both imbarked be 

(Hudson, /m^jV/j, 1584). 

bob. The NED. recognizes provisionall}^ nine 
nouns and four verbs, which may be of 
various origins. The oldest meaning of the 
noun seems to be a pendent cluster, hence 
perh. bob-wig, bob-tail, that of the verb is to 
mock and strike, the first from OF. bober, 
to mock (cf. Sp. bobo, fool). The idea of 
jerky motion is present in bell-ringifig, e.g. 
treble bob major, etc. ; also in cherry -bob. In 
dry-bob, wet-bob (Eton) we have perh. the 
name Bob, with a vague punning allusion 
to obs. dry-bob, a blow which does not draw 
blood; cf. light-bob, light infantry soldier. 
Bob, a shilling (19 cent, slang) is perh. from 
Robert (cf. joey^). With naut. bobstay, which 
holds down the bowsprit, cf. the bob of a 
pendulum. For bobtail see also tag. Bob- 
sleigh is US. (19 cent.). 

Bobadil [archaic]. Braggart. Character in 
Jonson, Every Man in his Humour. From 
Boabdil, last Moorish king of Granada, Sp. 
corrupt, of Abvi, Abd'illdh, father of the 





servant of Allah. Cf. abigail, Bombastes, 

bobbery [Ariglo-Ind.]. Hind, hap re, O father ! 

Cf. my aunt! For change of cry into noun 

cf. F. vacarme, uproar, bobbery, Du, 

wacharme, lit. woe poor (fellow). 
bobbin. F. bobine, of unknown origin, but 

prob. connected with some sense of bob. 

With bobbinet, cotton net, orig. imitating 

pillow lace, cf. stockinet. 
bobbish [slang]. Usu. -with, pretty . App. from 

bob, to bounce, etc. 
bobby [slang']. iJofcey^Pi?^/ was Home Secretary 

when Metropolitan Police Act was passed 

(1828). Ci. peeler. 
bobolink. NAmer. singing bird. From its 

cry, app. first (18 cent.) understood as Bob 

o' Lincoln. Cf. whippoorwill, katydid. But 

very possibly adapted from a native name 

related to word below. 

Grene birds, as big as sparrowes, like the catalinkins 
of West India (Purch.). 

bocardo. See barbara. Also name of prison 
at Oxford (suppressed 1771), prob. given 
as result of some logician's wdtticism. 

Boche, Bosche [neol.]. F., for A lleboche, argotic 
perversion of Allemand, German, in use 
long before the War. Perh. suggested by 
tete de boche, from boche, bowP, of Prov. 
origin; cf. It. boccia, bowl, and our bullet- 
headed, I have heard Germans called tetes 
de boche c. 1890, and Alboche is in Villatte's 
Parisismen (1890). But Swiss F. has also 

bock. F., glass of beer. Ger. hock, for earlier 
amhock, beer from Eimbeck, Hanover. 

bocking. Fabric. From Bocking, Essex. Cf. 

boddle. See hodle. 

bode. Usu. with well. ill. AS. hodian, to 
announce, from hoda, messenger. Com. 
Teut.; cf. Du. bode, Ger. bote, messenger, 
ON. bothi; cogn. with hid, to offer. Hence 

bodega. Wine-shop. Sp., L. apotheca, G. 
aTToO-qK-T] (see apothecary) ; cf . F. boutique, 

bodge. Var. of hotch^ (q-v.). 

bodice. For {pair of) bodies; cf. pence for 
pennies. For sense cf. corset (q.v.). 

A pair of bodice of the cumbrous form in vogue at 
the beginning of the last century 

(Ainsworth, Jack Sheppard, eh. i). 

bodkin. Formerly a piercing instrument. ME. 
boidekin, boitequin. Origin unknown. The 
ME. form suggests an AF. *boitequin, little 

box, and sense-development as in tweezers 
(q.v.), but this is only my conjecture. To 
ride bodkin is unexplained; ? cf. dial, pin, 
middle horse of a team of three harnessed 
tandem fashion. 

They... provoked themselves with knyves and 
botkens (Coverd. i Kings, xviii 28). 
He's too big to travel bodkin between you and me 

{Vanity Fair). 

bodle, boddle [Sc.]. Halfpenny. See bawbee. 

I do not value your favour at a boddle's purchase 
{Kidnapped, Ch. iii.). 

Bodleian library. At Oxford. Restored and 
enriched (1597) by Sir Thomas Bodley. 

body. AS. bodig; cf. OHG. botah, whence Ger. 
hottich, brewing-tub. Fig. uses as those of 
L. corpus and F. corps. In ME. also human 
being (cf. OF. cors), as still in somebody, 
biisibody, a nice body, etc. Body-snatcher is 
early 19 cent, (see burke). To keep body and 
soul together is for earlier life and soul. 

By my trowthe they ar as good menys bodys as 
eny leve (Paston Let. ii. 387). 

Boehmenist [theol.]. Followeroi Jacob Boehme 
or Behm (i.e. Bohemian), Ger. mystic 

Boeotian. Dull clown. From reputation of 
Boeotia, in ancient Greece. Cf. Arcadian, 

boer. Du., peasant, farmer. Cf. boor, hond^, 
and Ger. hauer. 

bog. Ir. Gael, bogach, from bog, soft. In 
Shaks. {Hen. V. iii. 7). With hogtrotter, 
applied to Irish since 17 cent., cf. moss- 
trooper. For bog-hean see buck^. 

bogey. See bogie, bogy. 

boggart [dial.]. Goblin, bugbear. Origin 
obscure. See boggle, bogie, bogle, bug'^. 

boggle. Orig. to start with fright, as though 
at sight of a spectre. See bogle. Now con- 
fused with bungle. 
You boggle shrewdlv, every feather starts you 

(AirsWeU,\. 3,)- 
A thing their superstition boggles at 

(Browning, Ring and Book, vi. 282). 
It takes up about eighty thousand lines, 
A thing imagination boggles at: 
And might, odds-bobs, sir ! in judicious hands 
Extend from here to Mesopotamy 

(Calverley, Cock and Bull). 

bogie. Truck (19 cent.). Origin unknown. 

App. northern dial. ? Cf. buggy. For 

obscuritj^ of so recent a techn. word cf. 

culvert, lorry, sponson, trolley, etc. 
bogle [archaic]. Spectre. Sc. (c. 1500). Prob. 

Celt. Cf. Welsh bwgwl, terror. See bug^, 

also boggart, boggle, bogy. 




bogus. US. slang. Orig. (1827) apparatus for 
counterfeit coining. Origin unknown. Cali- 
bogus, "rum and spruce beer, American 
beverage" (Grose), suggests a parallel to 
balderdash. ? Connected with F. bagasse, 
sugar-cane refuse, Sp. bagazo. 

bogy, bogey. App. related to bogle (q.v.) and 
bitg^ (q.v.). Earliest (19 cent.) as nickname 
for Satan. Hence prob. bogey, the " colonel," 
at golf. Perh. ult. cogn. with Puck. 

bohea. Tea. Chin. Wu-i, hills north of 
Fuhkien, the dial, of which substitutes b for 


Bohemian. Adaptation of F. Boheme, Bohe- 
mien, a gipsy, a name given under a 
misapprehension {ci. gipsy), the tribe having 
reached Western Europe (15 cent.) through 
Bohemia (OHG. Beheim, home of the Boii) . 
This is the usual explanation, but the name 
is perh. rather due to some vague associa- 
tion with the Bohemian heretics. Mod. 
application is esp. due to Henri Murger's 
Scenes de la Vie de Boheme (1845). 

boil^. Swelling. Orig. bile (see quot. s.v. 
hound), as still in dial. AS. byl; ci. Ger. 
beule, Goth, uf-bauljan, to blow up. For 
converse sound-change see rile. 

boiF. Verb. OF. boillir (bouillir), L. bullire, 
to boil, bubble, from bulla, bubble (see 
bulP). The whole boiling is a metaphor of 
the same type as batch. 

boisterous. Lengthened from ME. boistous, 
orig. rough, coarse, in gen. sense, AF. 
busious, rough (of a road), which can hardly 
be the same as F. boiteux, limping. It 
agrees better in sense with robustious, which 
is however recorded much later. It may 
be ult. of the same origin as boast (q.v.). 
Cf. hist, of rude. 
Roboam was buystuouse [Vulg. rudis] 

(Wye. 2 Chron. xlii. 7). 
There Nemproth [Nimrod] the bostuous [Higd. 
robustiis] oppressor of men began to reigne in the 
cite of Babilon 

(15 cent, transl. of Higden's Polychronicon). 

bolas [SAmer.]. Missile lasso loaded with 
balls to entangle legs of animals. PI. of Sp. 
bola, ball. Cf. lasso. 

bold. AS. bald. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. boud, 
OHG. bald, ON. ballr, Goth, balths, in 
compds. To make bold with (cf. make free 
with) is in Shaks. {Merry Wives, ii. 2). 

bolei. Of a tree. ON. bolr; cf. Ger. bohle, 
plank, and see bulwark. 

bole^. Earthy clay. MedL. bolus, G. /3wAos, 
clod. Hence bole armeniac or A rmenian bole 
{boole armonyak in Chauc). 


bolection [arch.]. Raised moulding. Orig. 
form (? bol-, bal-, bel-) and origin unknown. 

bolero. Dance. Sp. Cf. cachucha, fandango. 
Also short jacket. 

boletus. Fungus. L., G. /3o)XiTr]<s, mushroom. 

bolide. Meteor. F., L. bolis, bolid-, G. /3o\6s, 
missile, from ySaAAciv, to throw. 

boll^ Rounded pod. Var. of bowP- (q.v.). 
The barley was in the ear, and the flax was boiled 

(Ex. ix. 31). 
That pest of the cotton plant, the boll weevil 

(Daily Chron. March 30, 1917). 

boIF [Sc.]. Measure. ? ON. bolli, bowP. 

BoUandists. Writers continuing Acta Sancto- 
rum of John Bolland, Flemish Jesuit (17 

bollard. Strong post for securing hawser. Cf. 
Norw. puller, Dan. pullerf, LG. poller, Du. 
polder, ? all from OF. poltre (poutre), beam. 
Late L. pulletrum, from pullus, foal, young 

bolo. Mil. slang for Bolshevist (NRuss. cam- 
paign, 191 8), perh. partly suggested by 

boloism [neol.]. Pacifist propaganda financed 
from Germany. From Bolo Pasha, engaged 
in similar roguery in France (Sep. 191 7) 
and shot (Apr. 17, 191 8). 

Look out for boloism in all its shapes and forms. 
It is the latest and most formidable weapon in 
Germany's armoury 

(D. Lloyd George, Oct. 23, 1917). 

Bologna. In Italy. L. Bononia. Hence 
Bologna sausage. See polony. 

Bolshevik, Bolshevist [-ffz<5s.]. Majority social- 
ist, wrongly rendered maximalist. Dates 
from Russ. Socialist Conference of 1903; 
cf. Russ. bolshinstvo, majority, from bolshe, 
greater. Now (beginning of 1918) adopted 
as gen. term for pol. upheavalist. Cf. men- 

What we might call the Bolshewhig party — that 
strange combination led by Lord Lansdowne and 
Mr Ramsay Macdonald (Morn. Post, Aug. 14, 1918). 

Those swine whom we call Bolsheviks are mere 
bloodthirsty cutthroats who murder for the love 
of it. Their regime has destroyed more peasants 
and poor people in one year then did the Czars in 
a hundred (Col. John Ward, the navvy M.P., 
Nov. 29, 1918). 

bolster. AS. bolster. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. 
bolster, Ger. polster, ON. bolstr; from a Teut. 
root meaning to swell. With to bolster up 
(16 cent.) cf. fig. senses of to pad. 

bolt^. Noun. AS. bolt, arrow with heavy 
head. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. bout, Ger. bolzen, 
ON. bolte. Hence bird-bolt, kind of arrow. 





bolt upright (cf. straight as a dart), thunder- 
bolt, and verb to bolt (cf. to dart). A bolt 
from the blue was app. adapted by Carlyle 
from Ger. ein blitz aus blauem himmel. A 
fool's bolt is soon shot dates from early 
13 cent. The door-&o// is the same word, 
orig. a bar with a knobbed end, and we 
still speak of "shooting" it. Ger. bolzen 
also has the double sense. A bolt (roll) of 
canvas is named from its shape. 

Long as a mast and uprighte as a bolt 

(Chauc. A. 3264). 

holt^,hoult [archaic]. To sift (flour, etc.). OF. 
buleter {bluter), app. for *bureter, cogn. with 
It. burattare, from buratto, sieve, fine-cloth, 
perh. dim. of bura, for which see bureau. 

I ne kaa nat bulte it to the bren (Chauc. B. 4430). 

boltel, bowtell [arch.]. Round moulding, shaft 
of clustered pillar. Prob. of OF. origin and 
ult. related to L. bulla, bubble, boss, etc. 
embouti: raised, imbossed, or boultled (Cotg.). 

boltered [archaic]. In blood-boliered, some- 
times used as echo of Shaks. Midi. dial. 
baiter, to clot, tangle, etc. Prob. from ON. 
Cf. Dan. baltre, boltre, to wallow. 

Blood-bolter'd Bcinquo smiles upon me 

(Macb. iv. i). 

bolus. L., G. /5coAo?, clod. See bole-. 

bomb. F. bonibe, Sp. bomba, from L. bombus, 
humming, G. fi6ix(3o<;, of imit. origin (cf. 
boom^). Verb to bomb became obs. (!) in 
18 cent., last NED. quot. being from Nelson 

I saw a trial of those devilish murdering mischief- 
doing engines call'd bombs, shot out of the morter- 
piece on Blackheath (Evelyn, Mar. 16, 1686). 

bombard. Earliest as noun, a deep-toned wind 
instrument (Gower), an early cannon 
(Lydgate). F. bombarde, in same two 
senses, augment, of bombe (v.s.). In Shaks. 
{Temp. ii. 2) also used of a drinking vessel, 
prob. from its shape. Hence bombardier, 
now artillerj^ corporal. Bombardon, a wind 
instrument, is of recent introduction, It. 

bombasine [archaic]. F. bombasin. Late L. 
bombasijinm, for bombycinum, from bombyx, 
bombyc-, silkworm, G. ^ofx/Sv^. Synon. F. 
basin is due to bombasin being understood 
as bon basin, and Ger. baumseide, lit. tree- 
silk, is also folk-etym. 

bombast. Earlier bombace, OF., Late L. 
bombax, bombac-, for bombyx (v.s.), cotton 
wool, padding, or fig., boasting, tall talk. 

Cf. fustian, padding, etc. In quot. below 
we should now use pad. Bombastes Furioso 
is a mock epic (1815) by W. B. Rhodes. 

He is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as 
the best of you (Greene, Groatsworth of Wit). 

Bombay duck. Fish. See bummalo. Cf. Welsh 

bombilation, bombination. Variations on L. 
bombizatio, buzzing. See bomb. 

bona-fide. L., in good faith, i.e. g.enuine, esp. 
as applied to thirsty Sunday wayfarers. 

bonanza. Successful mine, lucky enterprise 
(US.). Sp. bonanza, fair weather, pros- 
perity, from L. bonus, good. 

bona-roba. "A showy wanton" (Johns.). It. 
buonaroba, " as we say good stuffe, that is 
a good wholesome plum-cheeked wench" 

bonbon. F. baby lang., with the usual redupl. 
Cf. E. goody. 

bond^. Shackle, restraint, etc. Var. of band^ 
(from bind), with w^hich it is used in- 
differently in many senses, though always 
bond as leg. term, e.g. in Shylock's bond. 
The Afrikander Bond (SAfr.) is from cogn. 
Du. bond; cf. Ger. bund, confederation, 

bond^ [archaic]. Serf. Hence bondage, bond- 
man, bondwoman, bond and free. Orig. a 
farmer, late AS. bonda, ON. bondi, for bu- 
andi, pres. part, of biA.a, to dwell, till; cogn. 
with Ger. baiier, peasant, and Du. boer (q.v,). 
Change of meaning is due partly to humble 
position (cf. churl, villain), and partly to 
mistaken association with bond}. Orig. 
sense survives in Norw. Dan. Sw. bonde, 
small freeholder, husbandman, etc. 

bone. AS. ban. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. been, 
Ger. ON. bein, these usu. meaning leg. 
Differs from other important body-words 
in having no cognates outside Teut. A bone 
of contention was orig. fought for by two 
dogs; cf. to have a bone to pick with. To 
make no bones about was earlier (15 cent.) 
to find no bones in, i.e. to swallow without 
difficulty. The verb to bone (thieves' slang, 
19 cent.) is perh. from the dog making off 
with a bone. Bone-lace was orig. made with 
bone bobbins. 

bonfire. For bone-fire, ME. & Sc. bane-fire, 
perh. originating in some heathen rite. 
"For the annual midsummer banefire or 
bonfire, old bones were regularly collected 
and stored up, down to c. 1800 " [NED.). 
It is the usual rendering of rogus and pyra 





in L. diets, of 16-17 cents. Cf. synon. F. 
feu d'os. 

baiie-fyre: ignis ossium (Cath. Angl.). 

feu de behourdis : a bone-fire (Cotg.) . 

bone-fire: een been-vier, dat is, als men victorie 
brandt (Hexham). 

bonhomie. F., good-fellowship. Cf. Jacques 
Bonhomme, trad, nickname of F. peasant. 
Boniface. Name of innkeeper in Farquhar's 
Beaux' Stratagem [ijoj). Ci. abigail. Much 
earlier is Bonifazio in a similar role in 
Ariosto's La Scolastica. 
bonito. Fish, kind of tunny. Sp. Port, bonito. 
Cf. F. bonite and MedLat. bonitum. May 
be Sp. bonito, fine, but the fact that it is 
commonly coupled with albacore (q.v.) 
suggests Arab, origin. 
bonne. Nurse-maid, servant. F., good. 
bonne bouche. Misused in E. for dainty 
morsel. In F. pleasant taste in the mouth, 
e.g. garder pour la bonne bouche, rester sur 
la bonne bouche, etc. 
bonnet. F., for chapeau de bonnet, ? some 
unknown material, MedL. bonetum. But 
earlier is Late L. abonnis, cap (7 cent.). 
Superseded in 17 cent., exc. in Sc, by cap 
in gen. sense, and surviving only in ref. to 
woman's head-gear. Sc. bonnet laird is one 
who wears a bonnet like the peasants; cf. 
bonnet-piece, gold coin on which James V 
is represented wearing a bonnet. In sense 
of accomplice, etc. (thieves' slang 19 cent.) 
there is perh. a reminiscence of F. deux 
tites dans un bonnet, hand and glove. Naut. 
bonnet, orig. topsail, is in Piers Plowm. 
Un chapel ot de bonet en sa teste {CharoideNimes). 
bonny. App. formed, with E. suffix -y, from 
F. bon, by analogy with jolly, pretty, etc. 
Cf. Sp. bonito, pretty. 
bonnyclabber. Clotted milk. Ir. bainne, milk, 

clabair, thick. In general US. use. 
bonspiel [Sc.]. Curling match between two 
clubs or districts. Du. spel, game, with 
doubtful first element, perh. bond, cove- 
nant, society, thus a collective encounter, 
club match. 
bontebok [SAfr.]. Antelope. Du. bont, pied. 

Cf. blesbok, springbok, etc. 
bonus. For bonum, something good. Stock 

Exchange Latin. 
bonze. Buddhist priest. F., Port, bonzo, Jap. 

bomi, Chin, fan seng, religious one. 
booby. From Sp. bobo, fool, ? from an imit. 
bob (cf. baby, babble, etc.), ? or L. balbus, 
stammerer (which comes to the same thing) . 

For application to a stupid bird cf. dodo, 
dotterel, loon, etc., also noddy (q.v.), used 
of a sea-bird in Purch. With booby trap cf. 
synon. F. attrape-nigaud, from nigaud, "a 
fop, nidget, ideot" (Cotg.). prob. familiar 
form of Nicodeme (see noddy) . 
boodle [US.]. Usu. with whole, as in whole kit 
and boodle (Stephen Crane), or in sense of 
funds (US.). ?Du. boedel, estates, effects, 
cogn. with booth and AS. bofl, house. Cf. 
book. AS. boc, beech-tree, whence bocstcef, 
beech staff, letter, character; cf. synon. Du. 
boekstaf, Ger. buchstabe, ON. bokstafr. It is 
supposed that runes were scratched on 
beech bark. Cf. Sanskrit bimrja-, birch, 
bark for writing, and Late L. fraxineae 
tabellae (Venantius Fortunatus), iromfraxi- 
nus, ash. Cf. also Bible, code, library, paper. 
The suitability of beech-bark for inscrip- 
tions is still observed by the tripper. So 
also Ger. buch, Du. boek, etc. Book-muslin 
is folded in book-form when sold in the 
piece. With good books cf. black books (see 
black). With to take a leaf out of one's book, 
i.e. to adopt his teaching, cf. to turn over a 
new leaf. To bring to book was orig. to 
demand proofs ("chapter and verse") for 
statement. Bookworm, lover of books (Ben 
Jonson), is from the maggot which destroys 
books. The railway booking office was taken 
over (with guard, coach, etc.) from the old 
stage-coach days when intending passen- 
gers' names were taken doAvn. 
hookworm: blatta (Litt.). 
Booke callicos and callicos made up in rowles 

(Purch. 1613). 
There ought to be some means of bringing to book 
a soldier, in the receipt of money from the State, 
who speaks of a friendly power as Lord Roberts 
spoke of Germany [Nation, Oct. 26, 19 12). 

boom^ Sound. ME. bommen, to hum. Imit., 
cf. Ger. bummen, Du. bommen, and see 
bomb. Earliest used of bee, wasp, etc. For 
business sense (US.), opposite of slump, cf. 
to make things hum, but it may have orig. 
been a naut. metaphor, connected with 
boorn^; cf. a ship comes booming, " she comes 
with all the sail she can make" (Sea Did. 
1708) and the parallel case of vogue (q.v.). 

boom^ [naut.]. Du. boom, beam, tree, cogn. 
with beam (q.v.). 

boomerang. Modification of some Austral, 
native name. Wo-mur-rang is given in 1 79S 
in a short vocabulary of Port Jackson 
words. For its vague hist. cf. kangaroo. 





Often used fig. of a weapon which recoils 
on its user. 

This weapon [aerial bombing of civilian population] 
will not only fail, but prove a terrible boomerang 
to the enemy (Gen. Smuts, Oct. 4, 1917). 

boon^. Favour. ON. bon, petition, prayei to 
God; of. AS. ben, whence (bootless) bene 
(q.v.). Mod. sense comes from to grant 
(have) one's boon, and has perh. been in- 
fluenced by boon^. 

boon-. Adj. F.bon. Nowusu. with companion. 
With boonfellow (Meredith) cf. surname 

A cette epoque, etre de "bonne compagnie," c'etait 
semontrer avant tout d'une gaite franche, spiritueUe 
et amusante, d'oii est reste le mot de "bon com- 
pagnon" (Sainte-Beuve). 

boor. Orig. husbandman. Cf. AS. gebur (see 
neighbour). But as the word is very rare 
before c. 1500, and is esp. applied, as also 
adj. boorish, to the Dutch and Germans, it 
is prob. LG. btir or Du. boer, cogn. with 
above; cf. Ger. bauer, peasant. All these 
words mean dweller, tiller (see bond^) . For 
degeneration cf. churl, villain. See also 
Germany hath her boores, like our yeomen (Fuller). 

boost. Hoist (US.). Origin unknown. 

booti. For foot. ME. bote, F. botte; cf. Sp. 
Port, boia, MedL. botta. Of obscure origin; 
cogn. with Ger. dial. boss. Orig. of riding 
boots only. The boot of a coach (so F. 
botte) was orig. named from its shape. Boot 
and saddle is a perversion of F. boute-selle, 
put saddle. It is difficult to account for 
sly-boots, clumsy boots, etc., but, as the 
earliest of the type is smooth-boots (c. 1600), 
the orig. allusion may have been to steal- 
boute-selle: to horse (Cotg.). 

The word "boot-legger" [provider of alcohol in a 
"dry" countryj hails from the prairie, where they 
conceal bottles between the knee-boot and the leg 
(Daily Mail, Dec. 2, 1919). 

boot". Profit. Now only in to boot (cf. into 
the bargain), bootless, and as verb. AS. bot, 
profit, advantage (cf. ON. bot), cogn. with 
better. Cf . Ger. busse, repentance, expiation, 
and batten'^. 

Bootes [astron.']. G. (SowTr]<;, waggoner, lit. ox- 
driver, from (3ov<;, ox. 

booth. ODan. both, ON. bitth, from biia, to 
dwell; cf. Ger. bude; cogn. with Olr. both, 
AS. botl. 

booty. F. butin, influenced by boot^. Cf. Du. 
buit (see freebooter) , Ger. beute, ON. byti, 

exchange. The F. word is prob. of Teut. 
origin, and it is suggested that the origin 
is a LG. buten, to share (q.v.), for *bi-iitian, 
from ut, out. To play booty, act as con- 
federate with a view to spoil, is 16 cent. 

butiner: to prey, get booty, make spoyle of, to 
bootehale, to live, or gaine, by pillage (Cotg.). 

booze [slang']. Du. buizen, to drink to excess; 
cf. LG. busen, Ger. bausen; see quajf. A 
ME. bouse is recorded c. 1300, but the word 
as we have it is prob. a new introduction 
(16 cent.). In the old play Health and 
Wealth (c. 1560) a drunken Fleming is 
called Hanijkin Bowse. 

And in his hand [Gluttony] did bear a bouzing can, 

Of which he supt so oft, that on his seat 

His dronken corse he scarse upholden can 

{Faerie Queene, i. iv. 22). 

buysen: to drink great drafts, or to quaf (Hexham). 
bo-peep. See bo, peep, and cf. Du. kiekeboe 

speelen, "to play at boo-peep" (Sewel), 

also piepbeu. 
bora. Severe north wind in Adriatic. It. dial. 

bora,ior borea, north wind (see boreal). Cf. 

Texan norther. 

To day [on the Isonzo] the icy bora has blown 
itself out [Daily Chron. Feb. 2, 1917). 

boracic. See borax. 

borage. F. bourrache; cf. Sp. borraja. It. 
borragine, etc., MedL. borrago, ? Arab, abu, 
father, araq, sweat (see arrack), from med. 

borax. ME. OF. boras (6oya;ir), with many vars. 
and MedL. forms, Arab, btiraq, Pers. bUrah. 

border. F. bordure, from border, to edge, from 
bord, edge, orig. of a ship (see board), or 
from Late L. bordatura; cf. It. bordatura, 
Sp. bordadura. For ending cf. batter, fritter, 
and, for a converse case, failure. The 
Border, in hist, sense (16 cent.), is of Sc. 
origin, the earlier term, both in E. & Sc, 
being march. 

bore^. Verb. AS. borian, to pierce. Com. 
Teut.; cf. Du. boren, Ger. bohren, ON. bora; 
cogn. with l^.forare. The sense of wearying 
(c. 1750) may have started by a punning 
allusion to boring the ears, in token of 
servitude. Cf. Ger. drillen, to drill, bore, 
plague (see drilp). F. raser, to bore, lit. 
shave, and scie, a bore, lit. saw, may also 
be compared. 

That old chiu:], I am sure, would have bored you 

through nose (Misogonus, ii. i, c. 1550). 

His master shall bore his ear through with an aul 

{Ex. xxi. 6). 
This is enough for an understanding eare without 
farther boring it {NED. 1622). 





bore^. Tidal wave. ON. bdra, wave, whence 
also F. barre, tidal wave in river. But there 
is a gap between ME. bare, wave, and the 
first record of bore (c. 1600). See eagre for 
another possible origin. 

Such a boore (as the seamen terme it) and violent 
encounter of two tydes coming in (Purch. xvi. 391). 

boreal. L. borealis, from Boreas, north wind, 
G. /3opeas. 

borecole. Du. boerenkool, peasant's cabbage. 
See boor, cole, kale. 

boreen [Ir.]. Narrow lane. Ir., from bothar, 
road, with dim. -eew; cf. colleen, squireen, Qtc. 

born. See bear'^. The connection has almost 
ceased to be felt. 

borough. AS. burg, burh, castle, manor-house, 
with meaning gradually extended as in 
town or F. ville. Cogn. with AS. beorgan, to 
protect. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. Ger. burg, 
ON. borg, Goth, baurgs; also Late L. burgus, 
earliest Teut. loan-word in L., whence 
forms in Rom. langs. Burrow (q.v.) is the 
same word, and bury {Canterbury, etc.) is 
from the AS. dat. byrig. Cf. Sc. burgh 
(Edinburgh, etc.). Hence borough English, 
system of tenure by which, in sorre 
countries, youngest son inherits all lands-—" 
and tenements, partial transl. of AF. tenure 
en burgh engloys. Borough-monger was 
coined (18 cent.) to describe one who traded 
in parliamentary representation; cf. hist. 
pocket-borough, rotten borough, constituency 
without voters before Reform Bill of 1832. 

borrel [archaic]. Rude, unlettered. Revived 
by Scott, imitated by Willam Morris. Ident. 
with ME. buret, rough clothing, also used 
of the laity. See bureau and cf. fig. use of 

Religioim hath take up al the corn 

Of tredyng, and we borel men been shrympes 

(Chauc. B. 3144). 

borrow. AS. borgian, from borg, borh, pledge. 
Cf. Du. borg, pledge, Ger. borgen, to borrow, 
late ON. borga, to stand security. Ult. 
cogn. with borough, with ground-sense of 
security. In AS. and the other Teut. langs. 
the orig. sense is rather to lend than to 

Borstal system. Established (1902) for deal- 
ing with "juvenile adult" offenders at 
Borstal (Kent). 

borzoi [Russ.]. Hound. Orig. adj., swift; 
cf. synon. Serbo-Croat, brzo, Czech brzy. 

bosch. Du. for bush, whence SAfr. boschbok, 
bush-buck, boschman, Bushman, boschvark, 
bush hog. Also used as trade equivalent 

for margarine, from its place of manu- 
facture, 'sHertogenbosch (Bois-Ie-Duc) . 

Bosche. See Boche. 

bosh. Turk., empty, worthless. Popularized 
by Morier's Ayesha (1834). 

bosky. For ME. busky, from busk, northern 
form of bush'^, refashioned (16 cent.) under 
It. influence {bosco, boscoso, etc.). With 
boskage (Tennyson) cf. OF. boscage. Also 
bosket, F. bosquet, It. boschetto (see bouquet). 
Bosky, intoxicated (Bailey, 1730), may be 
perverted from Sp. boquiseco, dry mouthed, 
but adjs. expressive of drunkenness seem to 
be created spontaneously (cf. squiffy, etc.). 

bosom. AS. bosm. WGer. ; cf. Du. boezem, 
Ger. busen. Wife of one's bosom is a Hebra- 
ism adopted by AV. [Deut. xiii. 6; cf. 
xxviii. 56). So also other fig. senses {bosom 
friend, bosom of the Church) are mostly 
Bibl., with spec. ref. to Luke, xvi. 22. 

boss^. Protuberance (cf. emboss). F. bosse, 
hump, with cognates in Rom. langs., but 
of unknown origin. Boss-eyed may be an 
imit. of obs. boss-backed, hump backed, 
and have given rise to boss-shot, boss, to 
miss, etc. 

boss-eyed: a person with one eye, or rather with one 
eye injured (Hotten). 

boss-. Master. US., from Du. baas, orig. 
uncle; cf. Ger. base, aunt, cousin. 
Our baase, for so a Dutch captaine is called 

{John Davi>, 1598, in Purch.). 

boston. Card game (F.) . From siege of Boston 
(1775-6) during Amer. War of Independ- 
ence, the technicalities of the game corre- 
sponding to siege terms. Cf. obs. portobello 
an outdoor game (late 18 cent.). 

Boswell. Admiring biographer. From Bos- 
well's Life oj Dr Johnson (1791). 

bot, bott [dial.}. Usu. pi., parasitic worm 
attacking horses and cattle. ? Cf. ME. 
bude, AS. budda, weevil, malt-worm. Hence, 
according to Hotten, botiy, conceited, orig 
from stable slang, troubled with the botts. 

botany. Formed, by analogy with astronomy , 
astronomic, from botanic, F. botanique, 
MedL., G. l3oTavLK6<;, from fioTavr], plant. 
Botany Bay was named by Capt. Cook (18 
cent.) from vegetation. 

botargo. Kind of caviare, made from roe of 
mullet or tunny. Obs. It. botargo (bottarga), 
Arab, butarkhah, Coptic butarakhon, from 
Coptic bu, the, and G. TapL^iov, pickle. Cf. 
F. boutarque (Rabelais). 

botargo: a kinde of salt meate made of fish used in 
Italy in Lent (Flor.). 





botch^ [archaic]. Protuberance, ulcer, etc. 
NF. boche, var. of bosse (see boss^). Partly 
replaced by blotch. 
botch-. Verb. ME. bocchen, to patch; later 
also bodge. ? F. boucher, to stop up; cf. Gef. 
strumpfe siopfen, to darn stockings. F. 
boucher is of doubtful origin. 

both. ME. bathe, ON. bathar (m.), bdthir (f.), 
bdthi (n.). First element as in AS. begen 
(m.), bd (f. & n.), with which cf. Goth, bai, 
ba. Second represents def . art. ; cf . Ger. bei- 
de, both the. The AS. simplex survived up 
to 14 cent, as beyn, ba or bo (cf. twain, two). 
Ult. cogn. with L. am-bo, both. 

bother. Earlier also bodder. First in Anglo- 
Ir. writers (Sheridan, Swaft, etc.). The 
verb is older and corresponds in meaning 
to Ir. bodhairim, I deafen (cf. Sc. deave, to 
deafen, bewilder, bother). This would not 
give bother phonetically, Ir. -dh- being 
mute, but might have been corrupted by 
E. speakers. Cf. bothy, cateran. 

bothy. Hut. Gael, bothag, dim. of both, hut, 
from ON. buth, booth. But Gael, -th- is 
silent. Cf. bother. 

bo-tree. The pipal, allied to the banian. 
Corrupt., through Singhalese, of PaU bodhi- 
taru, perfect-knowledge tree, under which 
Gautama, founder of Buddhism, medi- 

bottine. F., dim. of botte, boot. 

bottle^. For liquids. F. bouteille. Late L. 
butticula, dim. of buttis, cask (see butt^) ; cf . 
It. bottiglia, Sp. botella. See also butler. 
Bottle-holder, backer, is from pugilism. 

bottled Bundle (of hay, etc.). OF. botel, dim. 
of botte, truss, MHG. bote, bundle. Hence 
to look for a needle in a bottle of hay. 

bottom. AS. botni. WGer. ; cf. Du. bodem, 
Ger. boden; ult. cogn. with L. fundus. 
Becomes adj. in bottommost (neoL), bottom 
dollar [VS.). See also bottomry. Bottomless 
pit {Rev. ix. i) is in Tynd. 

bottomry. Marine contract or speculation. 
From bottom, in the sense of ship (orig. part 
lying below the wales), after cogn. Du. 
bodmerij, whence also F. bomerie. 

bodemery: usury, or gain of shipping (Hexham), 
bottomrj' (Sewel). 

botty [colloq.]. See bot. 

botulism [neol.]. Ger. botulismus, discovered 

and named (1896) by Ermengem. From L. 

botulus, sausage, being caused, in Germany, 

by eating same. See newspapers Apr. 24, 

boucherize [neol.]. To treat timber with pro- 

tective impregnation. From A. Boucherie, 

F. chemist. Cf. ky anise. 
boudoir. F., lit. sulking-room, from bonder, 

to sulk, "pout," after dortoir, parloir. 

Bonder is from the same root (idea of 

swollen) as ptidding, pout. Cf. Prov. pot, 

bouffe. In opera bouffe. F. bouffe. It. buffa, 

joke. Cf. buffoon. 
bougainvillaea. Plant. From Bougainville, 

French navigator (jiSii). 
bough. AS. bdg, boh, shoulder, arm; bough. 

Com. Teut. and ident. with bow"^ (q-v.), but 

tree sense is peculiar to E. 
bougie. Wax candle; fig. catheter, etc. F., 

from Bougie (Algeria), Arab. Bijiyah, where 

bouillabaisse. Fish soup in Provence. F. (cf. 

Mod. Prov. bouiabaisso) , said to be for 

botiille-abaisse, lit. abbess' bowels. Such a 

fantastic name is not without parallels, e.g. 

pet de nonne, a kind of light pastry. 
bouillon. F., soup, from bouillir, to boil, 
boulder. For boulder -stone, ME. bulderston, 

Sw. dial, bullersten, noise stone (in stream), 

as opposed to Mapper sten, rattle stone, 

pebble, from Sw. bullra, to roar. Cf. Dan. 

buldre, to roar, and cogn. Ger. poltern (see 

poltergeist) . 
boule. See buhl. 
boulevard. F., orig. rampart, "bulwark" 

(q.v.), disused ramparts being turned into 

promenades. For final dental cf . F. gerfaut, 

OF. gerfauc, gerfalcon. 
boult. See boW^. 
boun [poet.]. See bound^. 
bounce. ME. bunsen, to thump. Imit. ; cf. 

Du. bonsen, to beat or strike. US. to get 

the bounce is, like so many Americanisms, 

of Du. origin. 

bons : a shog, bounce, thump ; den bons krygen : to be 
casheered (Sewel). 

A certain man named Adam, whom the cherubim 
bounced from the orchard (O. Henry). 

bounds Boundary. AF. bounde, OF. bodne 
(now borne), MedL. bodina, prob. of Celt, 
origin. For excrescent -d cf. bound^. See 

bound^. To leap. F. bondir, orig. to re-echo, 
VL. *bombitire, for bombitare, to hum 
(whence OF. bonder). See bomb. 

bound^. Adj. Usu. with for, or in homeward 
bound, etc. Earlier boun, . ready, with 
excrescent -d, ON. buinn, p.p. of bua, to 
get ready (see busk^). In bound to it is 
not to be distinguished from the p.p. of 

1 85 




bind. Scott revived bonn as infin. (Marm. 
iv. 22). 

She was bown to goon the wey forth right 

(Chauc. F. 1503) 

bound*. As in bound to go, etc. See bind, 

bounden. See bind. 

bounder. Camb. slang c. 18S3. Frombound^; 
cf fig. senses of bounce. 

bounteous. ME.bountevous, from OF. bontif, 
benevolent, with suffix -ous. See bounty. 
Altered on beauteous, etc.; cf. righteous. 

bounty. F. bonte, L. bonitas, bonitat-, good- 
ness. Queen A nne's Bounty was established 
(1704), from the confiscated first-fruits, for 
the augmentation of poor livings (see 
annates). Lady Bountiful is a character in 
Farquhar's Beaux' Stratagem (1707). 

For she hirself is honour and the roote 
Of bountee (Chauc. B. 1655). 

bouquet. F., orig. little wood; cf. F. bosquet, 
grove, It. boschetto. See bush^. For sense 
cf. Ger. Strauss, nosegay, orig. bush. 

bourbon [f/5.]. WTiisky. From Bourbon 
county (Kentucky), named from F. Bourbon 
(Allier) which gave its name to a line nf 
kings of France. 

bourdon. Bass stop in organ. F., see burden^. 

bourg. F., see borough. 

Ye think the rustic cackle of your bourg 
The murmur of the world! {Geraint & Enid). 

bourgeois. F., from bourg, the ending -ois 
representing L. -ensis. Cf. burgess. Bour- 
geois type, between long primer and brevier, 
is said to be from name of a F. printer. 
Others take it to be from the idea of 
middle, medium, contained in the word 
bourgeois. From time of F. Revolution, 
bourgeois has undergone the same eclipse 
as our middle class, being contemptuously 
applied by "intellectuals" to those who 
pay their way and look after their children. 
As I write (Dec. 1917) Russ. "citizens" 
are very busy massacring the bourgeoisie. 
The true sense of this ancient word sur- 
vives in Rodin's Bourgeois de Calais. See 
also burgee. 

bourgeon. See burgeon. 

bourignonism. Form of mysticism. From 
Antoinette Bourignon, Flemish mystic (17 

bourn^. Stream. Common in place-names. 
Orig. ident. with burn^ (q-v.), of which it is 
a southern form. 

bourn-. Boundary. F. borne (see bound^). 

Adopted in 17 cent., common in Shaks., 
and revived by 18—19 cent, romantic poets 
in imit. of the famous passage below. 

The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn 
No traveller returns {Haml. iii. i). 

Bourse. F., Stock Exchange, esp. at Paris. 
See pxirse. 

bouse\ bowse. See booze. 

bouse^, bowse [naut.]. To hoist. ? Back- 
formation from bowsesynge (see seize). In 
to bouse one's jib, get "tight," there is a 
play on bouse^. 

boustrophedon. Written alternately from 
left to right and right to left, like course 
of a plough. G., ox-turning. See bulimy, 

bout. For earlier bought, bend, turn (see 
bight), from LG. bucht, Du. bogt, or Norw. 
Dan. bugt; cogn. with bow'^. Influenced in 
meaning by obs. bout for about (q.v.), as in 
'bout ship! and perb. also by F. bout, end, 
piece. Cf. turn, round (in a fight, etc.). 

boutade. Outburst. F., from bouter, to butt^. 

bouts-rimes. F., rimed ends. See butt^. 

bovate [fiist.']. An oxgang (q.v.). MedL. 
bovata, from L. bos, bov-, ox. Cf. carucate, 

bovine. L. bovinus, of the ox (v.s.). 

bovril. Coined from L. bos, bov-, ox, and 
? vril, magic power, the latter (Lytton's 
Coming Race) perh. suggested by L. vis, 
vires, or virilis. 

bow^. Anything bent. AS. boga, cogn. with 
bUgan, to bow, bend (see bow^). Com. Teut. ; 
cf. Du. boog, Ger. bogen, ON. bogi. Not 
connected with bow^. For main develop- 
ments from orig. sense cf. arc, arch^. The 
three oldest meanings (c. 1000) are archer's 
bow, arch {Beowulf), rainbow (.^Ifric, Gen. 
ix. 14). The bowstring as Turk, instrument 
of execution is recorded c. 1600. A bow- 
window is a spec, type of the earlier bay- 
window. Withbow, neck-tie, etc., cf. earlier 

bow-. Verb. AS. biigan, orig. strong in- 
trans. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. buigen, Ger. 
biegen, ON. bjuga, Goth, biugan. Trans, 
sense was represented by obs. bey, AS. 
btegan, to cause to bow (cf. Ger. beugen and 
see buxom). Noun bow, inclination of head, 
from verb, is of late appearance (17 cent.). 

bow^. Of ship. Borrowed (c. 1600) from LG. 
bug, Du. boeg, Dan. boug, bov, or Sw. bog, 
all meaning shoulder, and bow of ship. Not 
related to boiv^, but ult. ident. with bough 
(q.v.). See also bowline, bowsprit. 





Bow-bells. Bells of St Mary-le-Bow, or of the 
A relies (see arch^, bow^), used allusively as 
symbol of City and cockneydom. 

bowdlerize. Dr T. Bawdier published (1818) 
a text of Shakespeare which could "with 
propriety be read aloud in a family." Cf. 
Ger. ballhornisieren or verhallhornen, to 
spoil a book by "improvements," from 
Ballhorn, a Liibeck printer of the 16 cent. 

bowel. OF. boel, bouel {boy an), L. botellus, 
pudding (Martial), dim. of botulus, sausage; 
cf. It. budello, OSp. budel. See also pudding . 
With symbolical use, as in the bowelis of 
Jhesu Crist (Wye. Phil. i. 8), cf. fig. sense 
of F. entr allies, and of E. heart, liver, 

bower^. Retreat. AS. bur, dwelling. Com. 
Teut. ; cf . OSax. bur, Ger. bauer, bird-cage, 
ON. bur. In ME. esp. inner room, bed- 
chamber. Sense of leafy arbour, etc. is 
later. Cogn. with boor, neighbour, byre. 

bower- [naut.]. For bower anchor, suspended 
at bow^. 

bower". Knave at euchre (US.). Ger. bauer, 
peasant, also knave at cards, or perh. cogn. 
Du. boer. Cf. Bowery. 

At last he put down a right bower [knave of trumps], 
Which the same Nye had dealt unto me 

(Heathen Chinee). 

Bowery. Part of New York, orig. a homestead. 
Du. bowerij (see bower^). The New York 
Bowery was a farm bought (1631) by 
Governor Stuyvesant for 6400 guilders 

bowie. For bowie-knife (US.), popularized by 
Colonel James Bowie (11836). 

He smiled, — a bitter smile to see, — 
And drew the weapon of Bowie 

(Bret Harte, A Moral Vindicator). 

bowP. Basin. ME. bolle (see boll^), AS. bolle. 
Com. Teut. ; cf . Du. bol, Ger. bohle (from 
LG.), ON. bolli. Correct mod. form would 
be boll, but it has been affected by 

bowF. Ball. F. boule, L. bulla, bubble, round 
knob (see bulP). Hence verb to bowl (at 
cricket), derived from the time when the 
ball was really "trundled" under-hand as 
in game of bowls. Fig. to bowl out is prob. 
from cricket, to bowl over from skittles. 
Longbowls (naut.), engagement with dis- 
tant enemy, is from the orig. game of bowls, 
of which there were two varieties, called 
long and short. The sound (for boot) has 
been influenced by bowP-, the spelling of 
which has been assimilated to bowP. 

bowler. Hat. From bowl^; a curious mod. 
parallel to basinet. 

bowline. Found much earlier (14 cent.) than 
bow^, and prob. from OF. bouline, bueline 
(Wace, 12 cent.). Cf. It. Sp. Port, bolina. 
Of later appearance in Teut. langs., e.g. 
Dan. bovline, Du. boeglijn, in which it is 
felt as bow-line. But these may all be folk- 
etjmi. from the F. form, and it is quite 
possible that the first element is not bow, 
from which it differs in pronunciation. 
Kil. glosses boech-lijne by funis bolidis, 
which suggests possible connection with L. 
bolis, plummet, sounding line. 

bowse. See bouse-. 

bowsprit. App. bow^ and sprit (q.v.), AS. 
spreot, pole; but the late appearance of 
bow^ (q-v.) and the many earlier perver- 
sions of bowsprit suggest that the word may 
rather have been borrowed whole (14 cent.) 
from Du. boegspriet or LG. bogspret. 

Bow-street runner [hist.]. Police officer (18 
cent.), from principal metropolitan police 

bow-wow. Applied by Max Miiller (c. i860) 
to the theory that human speech originated 
in imitation of animal sounds. The earliest 
record for this word is 1576. It must of 
course be as old as articulate speech. See 

box^. Orig. the tree. AS. box, L. buxus, G. 
7n;|os (see pyx). Hence receptacle made 
esp. of box-wood, now used in an infinity 
of senses (cf. F. boite, Ger. biichse). Earliest, 
a small box for drugs, unguents, etc., be- 
longing to lang. of medicine; hence, possibly, 
the wrong box, a mistaken remedy, treat- 
ment, etc. A Christmas-box was an earthen- 
ware receptacle for the tips of servants, 
apprentices, etc., broken open for sharing 
after Christmas, but the oldest sense may 
belong rather to box^; cf. Sw. julklapp, 
Christmas-box, lit. Yule-knock (on the 
door). Hence Boxing-day. Box-cloth belongs 
to box-coat, a heavy driving-coat worn on 
the box of a vehicle, the coachman's seat 
being still a lid; but for this sense of box cf. 
Du. bok, Ger. bock, lit. goat, similarly used. 
To box the compass, i.e. to run through all 
the points in order, prob. refers to the box 
in which the compass is kept; cf. F. boussole, 
It. bossola, compass, lit. little box. 

box^. A blow. Prob. a playful application of 
the above, a present (cf. Ger. ohrfeige, lit. 
ear-fig). Or perh. G. ttv^ (cf. L. pugnus, 
fist), with clenched fist, as in ttv^ ayaOos, 





good at boxing, if the E. word originated 
among students or schoolboys. 

He that hath a-boughte his love ful dere, 
Or had in amies many a blody box 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 1387). 

boxer. Member of Chinese anti-foreign move- 
ment (c. I goo). Anglicized from Chin. 7- 
Ho-Chuan, lit. righteous-uniting-fist, orig. 
secret society at Shantung. 

boy. ME. boi, not found in AS., exc. perh. in 
personal name Bofa; cf. EFris. boi, young 
gentleman, Du. boef, knave, MHG. buobe, 
OHG. Buobo as personal name, whence Ger. 
biibe, Bav. bna, lad. Earlier hist, obscure, 
perh. a baby -word of the papa, mama class. 
As Anglo-Ind. word for servant, which has 
spread to other parts of the empire, e.g. 
Cape-boy, it has been influenced by Telugu 
boyi, Tamil bovi, a caste Vv-ho were usually 
palankeen bearers, whence Port, boy, boi in 
same sense. Cf. bearer, grass-cutter, 
boef, boeve: nebulo, tenebrio (Kil). 
boef: puer, adolescens {ib.). 

boyar, boyard. Russ. title of nobility, 
abolished by Peter the Great, but often 
erron. used by E. writers in speaking of 
landed proprietors, sqiiires. Russ. bojare, 
pi. of bojarin, grandee, of doubtful origin, 
?from boj, fight, title conferred on feudal 
barons. Cf. contr. barm, used (up to 191 7) 
by servants and peasants in addressing 

boyau \niil.]. Communication trench. F., 
gut, bowel (q.v.). 

boycott. From the treatment (1880) of Capt. 
Boycott, of Lough Mask House, Co. Mayo, 
by the Ir. Land League. Speedily adopted 
into most Europ. langs. 

Boyle. In Boyle's law (phys.), lectures, from 
Hon. R. Boyle (fiGgi). The first Boyle 
lecturer was Bentley, appointed by Evelyn 
as one of the trustees. In Boyle con- 
troversy (Epistles of Phalaris), from Hon. 
C. Boyle (fiysi)- 

Braban9onne. Belgian national song, lit. 
woman of Brabant. Cf. surname Brabazon. 

brabble [archaic']. Orig. to dispute captiously. 
Perh. VL. parabolare , whence F. parler, 
Welsh parablu, but in later use affected by 
brawl, babble. 

brace. F. brasse, L. brachia (pi.), two arms, 
fathom (cf . embrace) . Hence used of devices 
for fastening, tightening, etc. Some senses 
prob. from F. bras, L. brachinni (sing.), used 
of many mech. devices, e.g. bras de vergne 

(naut.) corresponds to brace of a yard. In 

sense of pair, orig. of hounds, the brace was 

the leash (cf. history of couple). 
bracelet. F., dim. of OF. bracel, L. brachiale, 

armlet, from brachium, arm. 
bracer [archaic]. Wrist guard, esp. for archers. 

OF. brasseure and F. brassard, derivatives 

of bras. 

Upon his arm he baar a gay bracer (Chauc. A. iii). 

brach [archaic]. Bitch hound (i Hen. IV, iii. 
i). Shortened from ME, & OF. brachet, dim. 
of OF. brae, hound (cf. It. bracco, Sp. braco), 
OHG. bracco (bracke), sleuth-hound. Cf. F. 
braconnier, poacher, orig. hound-keeper. 

brachiopod [biol.]. From G. /3/)a;)(tW, arm, 
TTous, TToS-, foot. 

brachycephalic [ethn.]. Short skulled. From 
G. /3paxy^, short, Kc^aA.?/, head. 

bracken. ME. braken, prob. ON.; cf. Sw. 
brdken, Dan. bregne, fern. See also brake^. 

bracket. Earlier bragget. Orig. support in 
building. Dim. of F. brague, "a kind of 
mortaise, or joyning of peeces together" 
(Cotg.). App. a fig. use of bragiie{s), 
breeches, L. braccae; cf. breeching of a gun, 
and Sp. bragueta, "cod-piece," support. Cf. 
also F. bracon, support. Typ. bracket is 
from resemblance to some double supports 
in carpentry. With verb to bracket, now 
used of artillery fire against hostile aircraft, 
cf. to straddle. The senses of bracket have 
been affected by association with L. 
brachium, arm (see brake*). 

brackish. From brack (Gavin Douglas), Du. 
brak, brakwater, with earlier var. wrack. 
Some connect it ult. with G. /Spaxos, swamp 
(only in pi.) ; cf. cogn. and synon. Welsh 
merd-dwfr , lit. marsh water. 
wrack, fland. i. brack: acidus et salsus (Kil.). 
wrack, brack: brack, or saltish (Hexham). 

bracteate. L. bracteatus, from bractea, thin 

brad. ME. brod, ON. broddr, spike; cf. AS. 

brord, point. Hence brad-awl. With AS. 

brord cf. dial, braird, to sprout (of corn). 
Bradbury [hist.]. Treasurer note bearing (from 

191 4) signature oi John Bradbury, secretary 

to the Treasury. 
Bradshaw. Manchester printer, published 

first railway time-table (1839) and monthly 

railway guide (1841). 
brae [dial.]. ON. bra, cogn. with AS. brSiv, 

brow^ . 
brag. Eai'liest as adj., valiant, boastful. Also 

used of the "bray" of the trumpet. Prob. 





from a root brag-, expressing explosive 
noise. Cf. similar use of crack. 

Whanne the voyce of the youre eeris 
braggith (Wye. Joshua, vi. 5). 

braggadocio. Orig. personification of vain- 
glory. Coined by Spenser from brag by 
analogy with other It. words in -occio. 
With braggart, F. braguard, cf. dastard, 
sluggard, etc. 

bragget [archaic &> dial.]. Drink made of ale 
and honey. Welsh bragod, from bragu, to 
malt, brew. Cf. L. bracis, a kind of grain 
(Pliny), from Celt., whence F. brasser, to 

brahma, brahmapootra. Fowl. Said to have 
been introduced (1846) from Lakhimpur 
on the river Brahmaputra. Cf. cochin china, 
bantam, etc. 

brahman, brahmin. Sanskrit brdhmana, from 
brahman, praise, worship. Brahmin repre- 
sents vernacular Ind. pronunc. Hence adj. 
brahminee , by analogy with Bengalee [ben- 
gall), etc. 

braid. First as verb. AS. bregdan, to move 
quickl)^, jerk, etc., hence, weave. See up- 
braid, broider. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. breien 
[earlier brei den), OHG. brettan, ON. bregtha. 

braidism. Hypnotism. Investigated (1842) 
by Dr James Braid. 

brail [naut.]. OF. braiel, usu. breech-girdle, L. 
bracale, but used also in naut. sense. See 

Les brails font lier al mast, 

Ke li venz par desuz ne past (Wace). 

braille. Writing, etc. for blind. Name of F. 
inventor (c. 1834). 

brain. AS. brcBgen, with cognates in LG., but 
not in HG. & Scand. Brain-fag, -storm, 
-wave are mod., the last from US. 

braise. F. braiser, from braise, hot charcoal 
(cf. embraser, to kindle), with cognates in 
Rom. & Teut. langs. Of obscure origin, 
but prob. Teut. See braze^, breeze^. 

brake^. Fern. Prob. shortened in south from 
northern bracken (q.v.). 

brake". Thicket, as in cane-brake. Associated 
already in ME. ^\'ith brake^, but orig. dis- 
tinct. Cf. LG. brake, as in busk unde brake, 
bush and brake, whence synon. OF. bracon. 
Earliest sense prob. stumps, broken 
branches; cogn. with break. 

brsike^. Instrument for beating, crushing (flax 
or hemp) . Cf . synon. Du. braak, Ger. breche ; 
cogn. with break. 

brake^. Retarding instrument (18 cent.). 
Perh. ident. with archaic brake, bridle. 

curb (cf. F. frein, bridle, brake), lever, 
pump-handle, etc., ? OF. brae, L. brachium, 
arm. The guard's brake is for brake-van; 
cf. US. brakesman, railway guard. It is 
uncertain whether a. four-horse brake [break) 
belongs here or to the use of such a vehicle 
for "breaking" horses. 

bramah press, lock. From Joseph Bratnah, 
mechanician (•[1814). 

bramble. ME. also bremble, brimble. AS. 
brcembel, earlier briSmel, from brom, broom. 
Cf. Du. braam, OHG. brdma, whence Ger. 
brombeere, blackberry. 

bran. F., with cognates in It., Sp., etc. 
Origin doubtful, prob. Celt.; cf. Welsh 
brann, Breton brenn. 

brancard. Horse-litter. F., litter, shaft, from 
branche, branch. 

branch. F. branche. Late L. branca, paw (cf. 
orig. meaning of bough), prob. of Teut. 
origin. Root and branch, in Petition for 
abolition of episcopal government (1640), 
is a reminiscence of Malachi, iv. i. 

branchiopod \biol.]. Gill-footed. From G. 
(ipay-^ia, gills, ttovs, ttoS-, foot. 

brand. AS. brand. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. Ger. 
brand, ON. brandr; cogn.withburn^. Earliest 
sense, burning, firebrand, also (poet.), 
sword (cf. brandish). Brand from the burning 
alludes to Zech. iii. 2. With brand-new, 
corruptly bran-new, fresh from the furnace, 
cf. earlier fre-new, Ger. funk elnagelneu, lit. 
spark nail new. The tradesman's brand is 
later than the branding of criminals with 
a hot iron, whence branded with infamy, etc. 

brandish. F. brandir, brandiss-, to flourish a 
sword, for which brand (q.v.) is the regular 
word in OF. epic. 

brandling [angling]. Worm. Dim. of brand, 
from marking. 

brandreth [dial.]. Gridiron, trivet, various 
frame-works suggesting same. ON. brand- 
reith, burning-carriage; cf. AS. brandrida, 
OHG. brandreita. See brand, ride. 

brandy. Short for brandewine , Du. brandewijn, 
burnt wine; cf. Ger. branntwein. It is 
curious that whisky, gin, rum are also all 
shortened forms. Brandy-pawnee, Anglo- 
Ind. for brandy and water, is from Hind. 
pant, water (see quot. s.v. blighty). 

branks [hist.]. Scold's bridle (Sc. 16 cent.). 
Orig. bridle for horse improvised from 
halter by means of two wooden "cheeks," 
corresponding to the branches of a bridle, 
branks representing Norm, form branqiies. 
Hence Sc. brank, to restrain, also, to 





prance, show off, with which cf. to bridle, 
for both senses. 

les branches de la bride: les deux pieces de fer, d'acier, 
que relie le mors {Did. Gen.). 

brankursine. Acanthus, bear's breech. MedL. 
branca ursina, bear's claw. See branch. 

bran-new. See brand. 

brant-goose, brent-goose. Cf. Sw. brandgas, 
Ger. brandgans, both sometimes used of the 
sheldrake. Prob. from brand, with ref. to 
marking. So also brant-fox, Ger. brandfuchs. 
Cf. obs. branded, brindled (see br indie). 

braqua [nonce-word]. "Government ale." 

It is derived from beer and aqua, the Latin name for 
water, and it is a good description 

[Daily Expr. June 9, 1919). 

brash. Fragments, esp. of ice. F. breche; cf. 
It. breccia. OiTeut. origin [break). Brash, 
sickness, vomiting, as in water-brash, is 
perh. the same word; cf. Ger. brechen, to 
vomit, lit. to break. 

brasier. See brazier. 

brass. AS. brces, with no known cognates. 
As it was orig. an alloy of copper and tin 
(now bronze), connection suggests itself 
with F. brasser, to brew, to stir molten 
metal (see brassage) . For slang sense (com) 
cf. tin. This week (Feb. 11-18, 191 7) we 
are invited to subscribe to the great War 
Loan by the legend "brass up" printed 
conspicuously on the Nottingham tram- 
cars. As emblem of endurance or effrontery 
[Is. xlviii. 4) brass is common from 16 cent, 
onward. With, brass farthing, which I have 
heard an Irish politician inevitably alter 
to brass sixpence, cf. red cent. The golfer's 
brassy is not in NED. (cf. divot). Brass-hat, 
staff-officer, dates from SAfr. War (1899). 

brassage. Mint-charge for coining. F. brasser, 
to brew, to stir molten metal ( ? cf . bullion) . 
F. brasser, MedL. braciare, is from Late L. 
bracis, corn from which malt is made, of 
Gaulish origin (see bragget). 

brassard. Orig. armour from shoulder to 
elbow, now, badge, armlet. F. (see bracer). 

brasserie. F., brewery, tavern. See brassage. 

brat. From c. 1500, usu. associated with 
beggar. Perh. ident. with dial, brat, cloak, 
pinafore, "skin" on porridge, etc., Olr. 
bratt, cloth. Cf. the somewhat similar use 
of Ger. balg and haul, both meaning skin, 

Irsche brybour baird, wyle beggar with thy brattis 


brattice [archaic]. Temporary defence, battle- 
ment, etc.; hence bratticing (see bartisan). 

still used of timber-work in mine, etc. F. 
breteche. The ME. & OF. forms, usu. glossed 
propiignaculum, are very numerous, also 
Rom. cognates and MedL. forms. Prob. a 
derivative of Ger. brett, board. The alter- 
native etym. from brittisca, British, would 
account better for the various forms, but 
lacks hist, explanation. 
bretex of a walle: propinnaculum (Prompt. Pare). 

I arme or decke, as a man doth a shyppe: je betresclie 


bravado. Sp. bravada, p.p. fem. of bravar, to 
brave (cf. armada), with ending altered as 
in bastinado, salvo''-, etc. 

brave. F., It. bravo, and in most Europ. 
langs. Origin unknown (? cf. Ir. breagh, Sc. 
braw, Cornish bray, brave, ? or L. barbartis, 
in sense of wild, indomitable). Earliest 
sense is intrepid, then fine in attire, etc. 
Red Indian brave is due to F. settlers in X. 

bravo^. "A man who murders for hire" 
(Johns.). It., brave. 

His bravoes of Alsatia and pages of Whitehall 

(Macaulay, Battle of Naseby). 

Their name for a cowardly assassin is "a brave 
man," and for a harlot "a courteous person" 

{Cloister & Hearth, ch. Ivi.). 

bravo-. It., fine, excellent, used as exclama- 
tion of approval. To a female singer or 
actress, brava. So also brava Italia! 

bravura. Brilliancy (esp. mus.). It., braverj^ 
spirit. See brave. 

brawP. Quarrel. F. brailler, to shout noisily, 
frequent, of braire, to bray. Cf. to brawl 
in church, brawling stream. The NED. 
thinks this impossible, but cf. maul (from 
mail), and possibly trawl (q.v.). Ger. 
prahlen and Du. brallen, to brag, shout, are 
comparatively mod. words, prob. of same 
imit. origin (cf. Welsh bragaldian, to jabber, 
prate) . 

brawP [archaic]. Dance. Formerly also 
brangle. F. branle, from branler, to shake, 
totter, for brandeler, frequent, of brandir 
(see brandish). 

bransle: a brawle or daunce, wherein many... move 
altogether (Cotg.). 

brawn. Orig. flesh, muscle, then esp. that of 
boar. OF. braon, fleshy part, esp. buttock, 
OHG. 6rato, ham; cf. Prov. bradon, brawn. 
For restriction of sense cf. bacon. 

bray^. Of an ass, but formerly of other 
animals and of human beings. F. braire (cf. 
Prov. braire, MedL. bragire), prob. imit. 
See brag. 





bray- [archaic]. To pulverize. OF. breier 

(broyer), OHG. brekan, to break (cf. F. 

noyer from L. necare) . Hence to bray a fool 

in a mortar (Prov. xxvii. 22). Cf. brake^. 

Fyve busshellis of brayid com 

(Wye. I Sam. x.w. 18). 

brazed To cover with, make like, brass. 
Formed from brass by analogy with grass, 
graze, AS. brasian not surviving in ME., 
though brazier, brass worker, is common. 
In its mod. sense, to harden, as in brazen 
impudence, brazen-faced, there may have 
been contamination with braze^, but cf. 
fig. uses of brass. 

braze-. To fire, solder. F. braser, to solder, 
ON. brasa, to harden in the fire; cf. Sw. 
brasa, to flame, Dan. brase, to roast (see 
braise). Influenced by braze^. 

brazen. AS. brcesen, from brcBS, brass. Hence 
to brazen [it out), used by Bishop Latimer. 
The brazen age, the third age in Graeco-L. 
myth., is the age of war. 

brazier^. Brass-worker. From brass; cf. 
glazier, grazier. 

brazier^. Pan for charcoal. F. brasier, from 
braise (q.v.). 

brazil. Dye-wood. Sp. Port, brasil; cf. It. 
brasile, F. bresil, MedL. brasilium. Origin 
unknown, but Olt. verzino suggests con- 
nection with Arab, wars, saffron. Some 
propose braise (q.v.) as etymon. With nam- 
ing of countrv (v.i.) cf. Madeira, Canary. 
Him nedeth nat his colour for to dyen 
With brasile, ne with greyn of Portyngale 

(Chauc. B. 4648). 
Hee [Capralis] named this land of store of that 
wood called brasil! (Purch.). 

breach. ME. breche, replacing (imder influence 
of cogn. F. breche) ME. britche, AS. bryce, 
breaking (cf. Ger. bruch). With breach of 
the peace cf. history oifray. More honoured 
in the breach than the observance is from 
Haml. i. 4. Used as verb by whalers of 
leap or breaking from water of whale (see 

Asher continued on the sea-shore and abode in his 
breaches [Vidg. portubus, Wye. havens] 

{Judges, V. 17). 
bread. AS. bread. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. brood, 
Ger. brot, ON. brauth. Earliest sense perh. 
fragment, crumb, the orig. Teut. word being 
loaf^ (q- V.) . Cf . Ger. brosam, crumb, brodeln, 
to crumble. To know on which side one's 
bread is buttered occurs in 16 cent. Bread- 
and-butter miss, modelled on earlier bread- 
and-butter rogue (politician), is prob. due 
to Byron (v.i.). With slang bread-basket 

(18 cent.) cf. potato-trap, naut. for mouth, 
and the later prize-ring variations, e.g. the 
meat-safe, pantry, etc. The bread-fruit is 
mentioned by Dampier. With bread-winner , 
person or implement, cf. the much earlier 
F. gagne-pain. 

The nursery still lisps out in aU they utter — 
Besides, they always smell of bread and butter 

{Beppo, xxxix.). 

breadth. Substituted (16 cent.) for earlier 
brede, AS. brtsdu (cf. Ger. breite, Sc. abrede, 
abroad), by analogy with length. See broad. 

break. AS. brecan. Com. Teut., though the 
verb is not found in ON.; cf. Du. breken, 
Ger. brechen, Goth, brikan; cogn. with L. 
frag- (frangere). Past brake archaic and 
poet. Broke, for broken, in stony-broke 
and in mil. sense (see cashier^, cast^). To 
break ground is naut., from weighing anchor, 
but is also in early use for commencing 
siege operations. To break the bank meant 
earlier (16 cent.) to become bankrupt. With 
break, break in, to tame, etc. cf. F. rompre. 
From this is developed to break one of a 
habit, etc. To break news (a secret, etc.) had 
orig. no sense of caution (cf. broach). To 
break a jest (joke) is modelled on earlier to 
break a lance. To break the ice is first used 
of arctic exploration (c. 1600). A break at 
billiards (or croquet) belongs to break in 
the archaic sense of taking a new direction. 
In the sense of run of luck it occurs in US. 
1827. For break, vehicle, see brake*'. With 
breakfast cf. F. dejeuner, from L. dis and 
jejunus, fasting. 

We brake ground out of the sound of Plimmouth 
on Thursday the 28 of August 

{Drake's last voyage, Hakl. x. 226). 
rompu aux affaires: practised, much exercised, 
fully beaten in, well acquainted with, the course 
of businesses (Cotg.). 
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? (Pope). 

breaker [naut.]. Small cask. Perversion of 
barrico (Purch.), from Sp. barrica, cask 
(see barrel, barricade). ?For corrupt, cf. 
grouper. In recent accounts (Feb. 1917) of 
U-boat brutalities beaker has sometimes 
occurred in this sense, a perversion due to 
ignorance (cf. broach, broiv^). 

bream^. Fish. F. breme, OF. bresme, OHG. 
brahsema [brassen); cf. Du. brasem. 

bream^ [naut.]. To clean a ship's bottom with 
burning furze, etc. From Du. brem, furze, 
broom [see bramble, broom). Cf. It. bruscare, 
to bream, from briisca, broom, heath. 
viij lode of brome.. .spent abought the bremyng of 
the ships sides {Nav. Accts. 1495-97). 





breast. AS. breost. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. borst, 
Ger. brusi, ON. brjost, Goth, briists. Orig. 
dual, with no cognates outside Teut. With 
to make a clean breast of cf. F. en avoir le 
cceiir net, Ger. sich das herz ausschiitten, and 
orig. meaning of expectorate (q.v.). 

breastsummer, bressummer [archaic]. Hori- 
zontal beam over large opening, lintel. 
From breast and dial, summer, beam, F. 
somniier (see snmpter). Cf. breastwork, para- 
pet (q.v.). 

breath. AS. bristh, breth, odour, exhalation 
(caused by heat or fire) ; cf . Ger. brodem, 
vapour. Orig. long vowel survives in 
breathe. In mod. sense has replaced (from 
c. 1300) AS. (sthfn, ME. ethem (cf. Ger. atem, 
odem), which points to the br- of breath, 
brodem, being a worn-down prefix. Wider 
sense survives in breath of air {wind). 

breccia. Composite rock, pudding stone. It., 
" gravel or rubbish of broken walls " (Flor.). 
See breach, brash. First occurs in breccia 

brede. Archaic form of braid, used by several 
mod. poets (Keats, Tennyson, etc.). 

breech. Now usu. breeches, double pi., breech 
being AS. brec, pi. of broc (as foot, feet). 
Com. Teut.; cf. Du. broek, Ger. bruch, ON. 
brok (whence name of Ragnar Lodbrog, 
hairy breeches). Prob. cogn. with L. 
braccae, breeches (see brogue). It is un- 
certain whether anatomical or sartorial 
sense is earlier, or whether the group of 
words is orig. Teut. or Celt. Hence archaic 
breech, to flog {Shrew, iii. i). To wear the 
breeches (16 cent.) has foreign parallels. 
With breech of a fire-arm cf. synon. F. cu- 
lasse, from cul, posterior. The Breeches BibTe 
(Geneva, 1560) was anticipated by Wye. 

They soweden to gidre leeves of a fige tree and 
maden hem brechis (Wye. Gen. iii. 7). 

breed. Orig. to conceive, give birth to, etc. 
AS. bredan; cf. Ger. briiten, to hatch, and 
see brood. The ground-idea is that of 
warmth; cf. Ger. briihen, to boil, make 
broth, which in dial, means also to hatch, 
as does also Du. broeijen. For archaic breed- 
bate, fomenter of quarrels, see bate^. 

The Judge: "What is meant by the word breed- 
bates? " Mr Thomas: " It is a good Shakespearean 
expression, my lord" (Pall Mall Gaz. Apr. 9, 1918). 

breeks [dial.]. Northern form of breeches. 

ON. brcekr, pi. of brok. 
breeze^ [archaic], Gadfly {Ant. &- Cleop. iii. 

10). AS. breosa. Perh. cogn. with synon. 

brimse (obs.), ON. brims, Ger. bremse, Swiss 

brdme, from a root meaning to hum. Cf. 
Sanskrit bhramara, bee. 

tahon [taon] : a brizze, brimsee, gadbee, dunflie, 
oxflie (Cotg.). 

breeze^. Wind. 'Earlier brize . Orig. N. or N.E. 
wind. F. brise; cf. Sp. hrisa. App. a sailors' 
alteration of F. bise, NE. wind, OHG. Msa. 
The "ordinary brise" in the Atlantic is 
described in the Hawkins voyage of 156.}. 
as either N.E. or N.W. 
brize for bize: the north-winde (Cotg.) 

breeze^. Small coke. F. braise, as in braise de 
boulanger, baker's breeze. See braise. 

brehon [hist.]. Ancient Irish judge. Ir. 
breathamh, from breth, judgment. 

brent-goose. See brant-goose. 

brer. In Brer Rabbit. Negro corrupt, of bro- 
ther, perh. due to Du. broer, usual pronunc 
of broeder. 

bressummer. See breastsummer. 

brethren. See brother. 

bretwalda [hist.]. AS. bretenwealda, Britain 
ruler (wielder), a title applied in the AS. 
Chronicle to Egbert, and retrospectively to 
seven other AS. rulers, who had real or 
nominal hegemony. Corresponds to rector 
Britanniae in a charter of Athelstan. 

breve [mus.]. For brief, though it is now the 
longest note. Also in other techn. senses, 
prob. sometimes representing It. breve. 
breve: a briefe in musicke (Flor.). 

brevet. Orig. a papal indulgence. F., dim. 
of bref, short (see brief). Brevet rank does 
not carry corresponding pay. 

breviary. L. breviarium, summary, from bre- 
vis, short. Hence brevier type, orig. used 
in breviaries (cf . long primer, pica) . 

brevier [typ.]. See breviary. 

brevity. AF. brevets {ci. F. brievete), 'L.brevitas, 
from brevis, short, brief. 

brew. AS. breowan. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. 
brouwen, Ger. brauen, ON. brugga. See 
brewster, broth, imbrue. 

brewis, browis, brose [dial.]. Broth, etc. OF. 
broez, pi. of broet (whence obs. browet) ; cf , use 
of broth, porridge as pi. in some dials. OF. 
broet is dim. of bro, broth (cf. It. brodo), OYiG. 
brod. Related to bread and brew, from the 
essential root of food preparation; cf. AS. 
brlwan, to prepare food. The adoption of 
the pi. form may have been partly due to 
association with cullis (see colander) . A thole 
brose is a mixture of whisky and honey. 
brewis: ossulae adipatae (Litt.). 
Maclaren pressed them to taste. . . " the wife's brose," 
reminding them the wife was out of Athole 

{Kidnapped, ch. x.w). 






brewster. Now only in Brewster Sessions or 
as surname. The fern, ending -ster is due 
to the fact that brewing was often a female 
calUng. Cf. baxter for baker. 

briar, brier. Earlier brere, AS. br^sr, brer, of 
unknown origin. For change of sound cf. 
friar (q.v.). But in briar (root) pipe, earlier 
bruyer (1868), we have F. bruyere, heather, 
Late L. brugaria, prob. Celt. 

Briarean. With a hundred hands. From Bri- 
areiis, giant of G. myth. 

bribe. Earliest sense (Chauc. A. 4417) app. 
to steal, extort, or, as noun, plunder, un- 
deserved alms. This is app. F. bribe, broken 
meat, fragment, OF. also brimbe, from OF. 
briber, brimber, to beg, of unknown origin. 
Cf. Sp. bribar, to be a vagabond. It. birbare, 
"to play the sly knave" (Flor.). 

bribe: a peece, lumpe, or cantill of bread, given 
unto a beggar (Cotg.). 

bric-a-brac. Things collected at hazard. F. a 
brie et a brae, de brie et de broc, by hook or 
crook; cf. OF. en bloc et en blic (Gringoire). 
In such formations {see-saw, zig-zag) only 
the fuller vowel as a rule needs explana- 
tion. Prob. the starting-point here is OF. 
broc, fork (see brooch). 

brick. F. brique in mod. sense is from E., but 
the E. word appears to be OF. brique, frag- 
ment, and this, in its turn, is AS. bryce, 
fragment, cogn. with break, or from some 
related Teut. word. Fig. sense (19 cent.) 
is perh. due to idea of firmness and 
steadfastness. The brickbat, "the typical 
ready missile, where stones are scarce" 
(NED.), was knowTi as such to Milton. See 

bricole. "Cushion" stroke at tennis or bil- 
liards. Earlier a military catapult. It. bric- 
cola, prob. of Teut. origin and cogn. with 
break. In 16-17 cents, often perverted to 

bricole: a bricke-wall, a side-stroake at tennis... 
also, a kind of engine wherewith, in old time, they 
beat downe walls (Cotg.). 

bridal. AS. bryd-eala, wedding-feast (ale). 
Mod. form influenced by espousal, nuptial, 

Church-ales, help-ales, and soul-ales, called also 
dirge-aJes, and heathenish rioting at bride-ales 

(Harrison, Description of England, 1577). 

bridal Wife. Earlier also betrothed (as still 
Ger. braut). AS. bryd. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. 
brnid, Ger. braut (OHG. briit, whence F. bru, 
daughter-in-law), ON. bruthr, Goth, bruths. 
Perh. from same root as brew, broth, bread, 

etc. (cf. hist, of lord, lady). Bridegroom was 
substituted for ME. bridegome, as gome, 
man (cogn. wdth L. homo), became obs. 
This is AS. bryd-guma. Com. Teut.; cf. 
Du. bruidegom, Ger. brdutigam, ON. briith- 
gmni, but Goth, briithfaths, bride-lord. 

bride^. Bonnet-string. F., bridle (q.v.). 

bridewell [hist.l. Prison. From Bridewell, i.e. 
St Bride's {Bridget's) Well, London, orig. a 
hospital, later a house of correction. 

A special constable was fined for disorderly conduct 
and assaulting the police at the bridewell [at Liver- 
pool] (Daily Expr. Aug. 5, 1919). 

bridge^. Across water. AS. brycg. Com. Teut. ; 
cf. Du. brug (as in Zeebrugge), Ger. briicke, 
ON. bryggja, landing-stage. It is prob. that 
the most primitive bridge was a wooden 
causeway over a swamp and that the orig. 
meaning is rather board, log (cf. Ger. 
prilgel, cudgel). With bridge of gold, to 
make enemy's retreat easy, cf. similar use 
of F. pont d'or. The bridge of the nose 
occurs in ME. Mil. bridge-head translates 
F. tete de pont. 

bridge^. Card-game of Russ. origin. For 
earlier (1886) "biritch, or Russian whist." 
Origin unknown. Its Russ. name is vint, 

Bridgetine. Member of order of St Bridget 
(14 cent.). 

Bridgewater prize. Instituted by Earl of 
Bridgewater (1825). Cf. Nobel. 

His essay... was highly spoken of, and narrowly 
escaped obtaining a Bridgewater prize {Ingoldsby}. 

bridle. AS. brldel, for earlier brigdel, from 
bregdan, to pull, turn (see braid). Cf. Ger. 
ziigel, bridle, from ziehen, to pull. WGer. ; 
cf. Du. breidel, OHG. brittel. Hence to 
bridle {up), toss the head, with which cf. 
similar use of Sc. brank (q.v.). F. bride is 
from Teut. 

How would she have bridled had she known that 
they only shared his meditations with a pair of 
breeches! [Ingoldsby). 

bridoon [mil.]. Snaffle. F. bridon, from bride, 
bridle (v.s.). 

brief. ME. bref, OF. brief {bref), L. brevis, 
short. As in chief, the mod. spelling re- 
presents the correct OF. form. Orig. mis- 
sive, esp. papal letter. Cf. Ger. brief, letter. 
As adj. it occurs a little later. A barrister's 
brief, i.e. summary of the case, appears in 
17 cent. Found in all Teut. langs., exc. 
AS., as a loan-word' from official L. 

brier. See briar. 



brig. Short for brigantine (q.v.), though the 
rigs are now distinct, the latter being what 
is called a hermaphrodite brig. 

brigade. F., It. brigata, "company, crew, 
rout of good fellows" (Flor.), from brigare, 
to fight, wrangle, from Late L. briga, strife, 
dubiously connected with the Teut. break 
group. Note that F. brigadier is not a 
general, but a cavalry corporal. Applica- 
tion of brigade to civil organizations {fire-, 
shoeblack-, Church lads) is 19 cent. 

brigand. F., It. brigante, from brigare (see 
brigade). Orig. light-armed soldier, but 
bandit sense appears almost as early. 

brigandine, brigantine [archaic]. Light coat 
of mail. F., from brigand (q.v.). Revived 
by Scott. 
Furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines 

{Jer. xlvi. 4). 

brigantine. F. brigantin. It. brigantino ; cf. 
MedL. brigantinus. Perh. orig. a skirmish- 
ing or pirate ship (cf. yacht). See the pre- 
ceding words and also brig, barquentine. 
It is a Mediterranean word, and has never 
been a recognized E. type of ship. 
bright. AS. beorht, also breht, bryht. Com. 
Teut., but lost in other langs.; cf. OSax. 
berht, OHG. beraht, ON. bjartr, Goth, baihrts. 
These survive in the Bert-, -bert of Teut. 
names. Ult. cogn. with L. flagrare. For 
fig. senses cf. dull. 
Bright's disease. Diagnosed (1827) by Dr R. 

Bright. Cf. Graves' disease. 
brigue. F., intrigue, orig. strife. See brigade. 
brill. Kind of turbot. EsLvlier prill, perl. ?Cf. 
Bret, brill, brezel, mackerel. Corn, brilli, 
mackerel, for brithelli (cf. Welsh brithyll), 
app. from a Celt, root, "spotted," whence 
also bret, birt, hurt, obs. names for turbot. 
brilliant. F. brillant, from briller, to shine. 
It. brillare, ?VL. *beryllare {see beryl). For 
brilliantine cf. bandoline, etc. 
brim. ME. brymme, edge of the sea. Cf. ON. 
barmr, brim, MHG. brem, whence Ger. ver- 
brdmen, to border with lace. Cf. berm. 
brimstone. ME. bern- {brin-, brim-) ston, burn 
stone. Cf. ON. brenni-steinn (Du. barn- 
steen, Ger. bernstein mean amber). Sur- 
vival of brim- form is perh. due to associa- 
tion with obs. brim, breme, fierce, fiery. 
brindle, brindled. Also brinded, for earlier 
brended, ?orig. marked as though by brand- 
ing or burning, or from ON. brandr, brand, 
in sense of staff (cf. ON. stafathr, striped). 
But the later brindle is due to association 
with burnel, common nickname and sur- 

Britain 202 

name in ME. This is OF. briinel, from briin, 

brown. Similarly Brindle (Lane.) was form ' 

erly burn-hill. 
brine. AS. bryne; cf. Du. brijn. Earlier hist. 

unknown. With a dip in the briny cf. Dick 

Swiveller's use of the mazy {rosy). 
bring. AS. bringan. Com. Teut., but app. 

lost early in ON.; cf. Du. brengen,. Ger. 

bringen, Goth, briggan. The NED. points 

out that, in sense, it is the causal of come, 

the opposite idea being expressed by take. 

Thus, to bring off a catch is to make it 

come off. 
brinjal [Anglo-Ind.]. Fruit of egg-plant. Port. 

bringella; cf. Sp. berengena, Arab, bdd- 

indjdn, from Pers. bddm-gdn. See aubergine, 

which is the same word, 
brinjarry [Anglo-Ind.]. Traveling merchant. 

Urdu banjdrd, ult. from Sanskrit vanij, 

trade. Cf. banian. 
brink. ME. brink, brenk; cf. Du. LG. brink, 

hill-side, Dan. brink, precipice; cogn. with 

ON. brekka, hill-side. Now usu. fig., on 

the brink, brink of the grave, but in its hist. 

parallel with brim. 
brio [mus.]. Vivacity. It., of doubtful origin, 

but prob. Celt.; ?cf. Ir. brigh, power. 
briony. See bryony. 

briquette. F., dim. of briqiie, brick (q.v.). 
brisk. F. brusque. It. brusco, rough, prob. 

from brusco, furze, which may be ult. 

cogn. with bristle. Cf. brusque, earlier brush, 

which appears almost as soon as brisk. For 

change of vowel in latter {i for F. or Celt, u) 

cf. ribbon, whisky. Brisk had earlier the 

current sense of brusque. 

brusque: briske, lively, quicke; also,...wilde, fierce, 
...harsh (Cotg.). 

brisket. EarUer bruskette, OF. bruschet, brischet 
{brechet). The meaning, and the fact that 
it is glossed pectusculum in ME. {Voc, 
Cath. Angl.), suggest an irregular dim. from 
Ger. brust, breast. 

bristle. Orig. of pigs only. ME. brustel (cf. 
Du. borstel), dim. of AS. byrst; cogn. with 
Ger. borste, ON. borst. Cf. also Ger. biirste, 

Bristol. AS. brycg-stow, bridge-place. Asso- 
ciated, like Bath, with several products and 
manufactures. Archaic Bristol fashion 
(naut.), shipshape, is an allusion to its 
early pre-eminence as seaport. 

brit. See britt. 

Britain. ME. Bretayne, OF. Bretaigiie {Bre- 
tagne), L. Brittania (for Britannia), G. Bptr- 
Tavia, origin of which is doubtful. Tlie 





F word replaced AS. Breten, Bretenland, 
Brettland, but was only in hist, or anti- 
quarian use till Tudor times. James I was 
proclaimed King of Great Britain. Little 
Britain was applied to Brittany in France, 
hence also to a street in London once in- 
habited by Breton immigrants. Brittany is 
also commonly used for Britain in 16-17 
cents. Britannia, as national personifica- 
tion, is first mentioned by Pepys in connec- 
tion with a medal. Britannia metal is early 
19 cent. British, AS. bryttisc, is purely 
geog. in ME., being first used of the race 
by Shaks. {Lear, iii. 4). British Schools were 
founded {1808) by the British and Foreign 
Bible Society. Breton is F. ace. of OF. Bret, 
Late L. Britto-n-. Britisher (US.) is prob. 
due to Ger. or Du. influence. 

britt [dial.]. West country (Dev. & Com.) 
name for spawn of herring, sprat, etc. Used 
also by Melville in Moby Dick of the spawn 
on which whales feed. ?A Corn, word, ult. 
cogn. with brill. 

brittle. ME. britel (also brotel, brutel), from 
AS. breotan, to break. Cf. obs. and S5mon. 
brickie, from break, or l.. frag His iromfran- 
gere (frag). To brittle (ven.), break up (a 
stag), is a frequent, form of breotan. 

britzka. Pol. bryczka, dim. of bryka, heavy 


Lord Bareacres' chariot, britzka, and fourgon 

{Vanity Fair, ch. Ixii.). 

brize. See breeze^. 

broach. Spit, and hence, various sharp or 
tapering objects. Cf. brooch, which is the 
same w^ord. F. broche, spit, cogn. with L. 
brocchus, projecting (of teeth), used by 
Varro, and prob. of Celt, origin; cf. It. 
brocca, Sp. broca. Hence to broach a cask, 
and, fig., a subject. Naut. to broach to perh. 
comes from the metaphor of the spit turning 
back. In quot. below broach is app. a 
mistake for breach (q.v.). See breaker. 

[The damaged submarine] shortly afterwards 
broached about 500 yards away 

(Amer. Official, Nov. 24, 1917). 

broad. AS. brad. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. breed, 
Ger. breil, ON. breithr, Goth, braiths. With 
the Norfolk Broads, i.e. broad waters, cf. 
narrows (of water). Broadcast was used 
orig. of seed scattered on the surface in- 
stead of in drills or furrows. Broad Church, 
by analogy with High and Low, was coined 
by Clough (c. 1850). Broadcloth w^as at first 
(15 cent.) two yards wide. A broadsheet, 
earlier broadside, was printed on one side 

only. Broadside of a ship is in Shaks. 
(2 Hen. IV, ii. 4) ; cf. synon. F. borde'e, from 
bord, side (of ship). Broadsword is found 
in AS. and then not till 16 cent. Archaic 
broadpiece (coin) was first applied, on the 
introduction of the guinea (1663), to the 
older Jacobus and Carolus, which were 
broader and thinner. Broadway was once 
a famihar compd., as still in New York, 
Hammersmith, etc. (cf. highway). 

They of the Barbara shotte ther brood syde of 
ordynaunce at the Spanysshe shyppe 

{Voyage of the Barbara, 1540). 

Brobdingnagian. Gigantic. From land of 
Brobdingnag {Gulliver's Travels, 1726). 
Coined by Swift. Cf. Lilliputian. 

brocade. Earlier also brocado, Sp. Port.; cf. 
It. broccato. Orig. p.p. of verb correspond- 
ing to F. brocher, to work with needle. See 
broach, brooch, brochure. 

brocard [archaic]. Gibe, orig. maxim. F., 
from Burchard, bishop of Worms (11 cent.), 
author of Regulae Ecclesiasticae. 

brocatelle. F., It. broccatello, dim. of broccato, 
brocade (q.v.). 

broccoli. It., pi. of broccolo, sprout, dim. of 

brocco, spike (see broach). First record in 

E veljm . 

broccoli: the stalkes, sproutes or tops of coleworts 


broch [antiq.]. Prehistoric building (N.E. 
Scotland). ON. borg, fort, borough (q.v.). 

broche. F., stitched (v.i.). 

brochure. F., from brocher, to stitch (sheets 
together). See broach, brooch. 

brock [dial.]. Badger (q.v.). AS. brocc, of Celt, 
origin; cf. Welsh broch, badger, broc, of 
mixed colour, Gael, broc, badger. Perh. 
cogn. with G. cf)opK6<;, grey (cf. its other 
names, baivson,gray) , or with L. brocchus (see 
broach), from its projecting jaw (cf. pike). 

brocket [ven.]. Stag in second year. F. bro- 
cart, "a two-yeare-old deere, which if he 
be a red deere, we call a brocket; if a fallow, 
a pricket" (Cotg.), from broche, spike (see 
broach). Cf. pricket. 

brodrick [mil. slang]. Peaked cap introduced 
into British Army by St John Brodrick, 
Secretary for War (1900-3). 
brogue. Ir. Gael, brog, shoe, ?from ON. brdk, 
breeches (q.v.), Olr. broc occurring in 
compds. for various nether garments. Cf., 
for vague meaning, F. chausses, breeches 
(ult. from L. calx, calc-, heel). App. brogue, 
Irish accent, is a playful allusion to national 





broider [archaic]. Lengthened from ME. broivd, 
F. broder, OF. brosder (Pro v. broidar), from 
a, prob. Celt., root which appears in MedL. 
brosdus, "opus phrygium acupictum." The 
-oi- is due to ME. broiden, AS. brogden, p.p. 
of bregdan (see braid), which was perh. also 
associated with the Prov. form (v.s.), and 
in early use there is confusion in sense be- 
tween the two words (v.i.). The word is 
thus of rather complicated origin. The 
surname Broster {broivdster) preserves an 
older form. 

Of goIdsmythr5'e, of browdynge, and of steel 

(Chaiic. A. 2498). 

/ broder, as a brouderer dothe a vestmente; je brode 


/ broyde heare, or a lace, or such lyke: je tortille. 
Brayde your heare up... (ib.). 

Not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly 
array (i Tim. ii. 9). 

broiP. Quarrel. From obs. broil, to mix up, 
F. brouiller; cf. It. imbroglio. The F. and 
It. forms suggest connection with F. breuil, 
thicket, jungle (whence the Broyle, Sussex), 
from Gaulish brogilos. 

broiF. Orig. to burn, char. F. br4ler. Earliest 
ME. form is brule. Prob. influenced by 
boiP; but E. is fond of oi {see foiP, recoil). 
F. brtller, OF. brusler, is of unknown origin 
( ? L. ustulare, from urere, ust-, to burn, 
X Ger. brennen). 

broke [techn.]. Short-stapled "broken" wool. 
Cf. noil. 

broker. AF. brokour, OF. brocheor. Supposed 
to have meant orig. a broacher, and seller, 
of wine (see broach). But mod. sense is 
prob. influenced by some other word of 
wider meaning. We find also AF. abrocour, 
corresponding to MedL. abbrocator , which 
may have been confused with MedL. abbo- 
cator, a broker, lit. one who brings buyer 
and seller mouth to mouth. Cf . It. abbocca- 
tore and F. aboucher, from bocca, bouche, 
mouth, VL. bucca. A plausible theory con- 
nects the word with Sp. alboroque, "a gra- 
tuity given to one that makes up a bargain 
between two, in the nature of brokeridge" 
(Stevens), recorded as early as 1020, and 
derived from Hebr. berdkah, present, or 
cogn. Arab, bardka. The medieval brokers 
were often Jews or Arabs. Cf. Prov. abro- 
catge, brokerage. Honest broker, in pol. 
sense, is Bismarck's ehrlicher mdkler (in 
Reichstag, Feb. 19, 1878). 

abboccatore: a broker, a daies-man; such as bring 
men to speake togither (Flor.). 

hr oWy [colloq.]. Perversion oi umbrella. I do 
not know the "phonetic" explanation. 

bromine [chem.]. For earlier brome, F., from 
G. fipwjxos, stink. 

bronchitis. ModL. (early 19 cent.), ult. from 
G. ftpoyxo'i, wind-pipe. See -itis and cf. 
other med. coinages in broncho-, bronchia-. 

bronco. Half-tamed horse (Mexico and Cali- 
fornia). Sp., rough, of unknown origin. 
Cf. mustang, lariat, quirt, etc. 

bronze. F., It. bronzo, from Brundusium 
(Brindisi). Pliny speaks of aes Brundusi- 
nitm. Cf. hist, of copper. 

brooch. Var. of broach (q.v.), in sense of pin, 
differentiation of spelling being quite mod. 

brood. AS. brdd, cogn. with breed (q.v.) ; cf. 
Du. broed, Ger. brut. With verb to brood 
{over) cf. fig. senses of Ger. briiten and F. 
couver (see covey). 

brook^. Noun. AS. feroc; cf. Du. fcroeA, marsh, 
Ger. bruch, marsh; prob. cogn. with break. 
In brooklime , kind of speedwell, the second 
element is not lime-, but AS. hleomoc, name 
of the plant. 

brook". Verb. AS. brUcan, to use. Com. 
Teut.; cf. Du. bruiken, Ger. brauchen, to 
use, Goth, brukjan; ult. cogn. with 'L. frui, 
fruct-, to enjoy. With mod. meaning, usu. 
neg., cf. to have no use for. Intermediate 
sense was to digest, etc. (cf. to stomach). 
Let us bruik the present hour {Sc. ballad). 

broom. AS. brom; cf. Du. braam, Ger. bram. 

See bramble. For application of plant to 

implement cf. brush. 
brose. See brewis. 
broth. AS. broth, cogn. with brew; cf. OHG, 

brod, ON. broth. Widely adopted in Rom. 

langs. (see brewis, imbrue). PHence broth 

of a boy (Ir.), "the essence of manhood, as 

broth is the essence of meat" (Joyce). 
brothel. ME. brothel, vile person of either sex, 

from AS. breofhan, to go to ruin (cf. synon. 

losel from lose). Mod. sense springs from a 

confusion (c. 1600) of brothel-house with 

obs. bordel, F. (cf. It. bordello), little house, 

of Teut. origin {board). 
brother. AS. brdthor. Aryan; cf. Du. broeder, 

Ger. bruder, ON. brothir, Goth, brothar, L. 

frater, G. (fipdrrjp, Sanskrit bhrdtr, Gael. 

Ir. brdthair. Brethren is a mixture of two 

pi. forms, brether and brothren. 
brougham. From Lord Brougham (c. 1850). 

Cf. spencer, sandwich, etc. 
brow^. Of eye or hill. AS. brit, eye-lash, -lid, 

-brow, unrelated, according to the best 

authorities, with brae (q.v.). In ON. brun, 





eyebrow, bra, eye-lid, and OHG. bru, later 
replaced by MHG. bra, hrdw-, we have 
similar pairs ; cf . Sanskrit bhrus, eye-brow. 
Poet, sense of forehead is 16 cent. In brow- 
beat (16 cent.) the brow is that of the 
threatener. This compd. appears also to 
have been associated in use with beetle- 
browed (q.v.). 

Into the same hue doe they [Turkish women] die 
their eye-breies [?eye-lids, or -lashes] and eye- 
browes (Sandys, 1615, in Purch.). 
brow2 [naut.]. Landing-plank for horses. Dan. 
or Sw. bru, bridge, ON. bru. Used in offic. 
account of Zeebrugge raid (Apr. 23, 1918). 
First NED. record is from Smyth (1867), 
but see below. The newspaper accounts of 
Zeebrugge sometimes substituted prow. 
A brow [MS. brew] or stage made at the stem of 
the ship (Phineas Pett, 1609). 

browis. See breivis. 

brown. AS. briin. Com. Teut.; ci. Du. bruin, 
Ger. braitn, ON. brunn. .A.lso adopted, like 
so many colour-words, by the Rom. langs. 
Its earliest meaning contained also the idea 
of brightness (see burnish), hence it is in 
OF. & ME. a common epithet of the sword. 
To shoot into the brown is to shoot where 
the birds are so thick that missing is diffi- 
cult. Brown Bess (18 cent.) for earlier 
brown musket, was the old regulation flint- 
lock with brown walnut stock ; it has been 
suggested that Bess is here for Ger. biichse 
(see arquebus, blunderbuss), but it is more 
prob. a personal name (see Bess). Brown 
George was used in 17 cent, of a coarse loaf 
(cf. F. gros-Guillaume in same sense), in 19 
cent, of a brown wig [Ingoldsby) and a 
brown jug {Tom Brown at Oxford). Brownie 
(Sc.) is a little brown elf or goblin. With 
brown study," gloomy meditations" (Johns.), 
we may perh. compare F. offusquer, to 
overshadow, create melancholy absorption, 
from L. fuscus, brown. 

doniier la muse a: to amuse, or put into dumpes; 
to drive into a brown study (Cotg.). 

browning. Revolver. From inventor (c. 1900) ; 

cf. derringer, bowie, etc. 
Brownist \hist.']. Adherent of Robert Browne 

(c. 1581), puritan theologian (Independent). 
browse. From obs. noun browse, young shoots 

on which cattle feed. OF. brouz, pi. of 

broust, from brouster (broiUer), to browse. 

App. from a Teut. root meaning to sprout, 

perh. cogn. with breast. 

vescae salicum frondes: brouse made for beastes of 

withie bowes (Coop.). 

frondator: a wood-lopper, a browser [ib.]. 

bruin. Du., brown, name of the bear in the 
Old Flemish poem Reineke Vos, Reynard 
the Fox. It appears first in Caxton's transl. 
See renard, chanticleer, monkey. 

bruise. Mixed form from AS. briesan (in to- 
brlesan, to break to pieces) and AF. bruser, 
OF. briiisier, var. of briser, to break, prob. 
from the AS. word ; ?of Celt, origin. Bruiser, 
pugilist, is used by Horace Walpole. 

bruit. Usu. with about, abroad. From bruit, 
rumour, F., orig. p.p. of bruire, to sound, 
etc., prob. of imit. origin (cf. bray^). 

Brummagem. For Brornwicham {Thersites, 
1537), corrupt., under influence of Brom- 
wich, of Brimidgeham, for Birming{e)ham. 
The orig. allusion is to counterfeit coin 
made there. 

Bromicham, particularly noted a few years ago, 
for the counterfeit groats made here {NED. 1691). 

brumous. F. brumeux, from brume, mist, L. 

brunette. F., "a nut-browne girl" (Cotg.), 
dim. of brune, brown (q.v.). 

Brunswick. LG. form of Ger. Braunschweig, 
adopted in F. & E. Hence Brunswick black 
(cf . Prussian blue) , Black Brunswicker (hussar) , 
House of Brunswick, Hanover having once 
consisted of the Electorate of Brunswick- 

brunt. Usu. with to bear. Orig. (c. 1325) a 
blow, whence stock phrase at the first brunt. 
?From ON. hrundr, sexual heat, as in brund- 
tlth, rutting time, cogn. with burn^; cf. Ger. 
brunst, ardour, etc. Regular occurrence of 
at the first brunt suggests a sense-develop- 
ment like that of blush, 
prima impetu: at the first brunt (Coop.). 

brush. Orig. loppings of trees, faggots, etc., 
OF. brousse, whence F. broussailles, thicket, 
brushwood, of Teut. origin; cf. Ger. biirste, 
a brush, borste, a bristle. The implement 
brush is ult. the same word (cf. broom). The 
fox's brush (cf. sjmon. Ger. rule, lit. rod) 
is recorded c. 1700. To brush by {against, 
etc.) is from the idea of frictional contact, 
but there is an archaic brush, to decamp, 
spec, from archaic F. brosser, used of a 
stag, etc. making off through the brush- 
wood. With brush, encounter, cf. F. se 
froiter a quelqu'un and somewhat similar 
use of rub. 
brushe to make brushes on: bruyere (Palsg.). 

For, that one of their drummers, and one Sergeant 

Had "brush'd with the dibs," and they never could 

catch 'em (Ingoldsby). 





brusque. F., see brisk. 

Brussels. Lace (Richardson) and sprouts (i8 
cejit.) are recorded earlier than carpets. 

brute. F., from L. brutus, dull, stupid. In 
earliest occurrences (15-16 cents.) always 
as adj. qualifying beast. 

brutus. Wig and style of hair-dressing (19 
cent.). Said to be from a style of hair- 
dressing affected by people of Republican 

bryology [bot.]. Study of mosses. From G 
/Spvov, mossy sea-weed. 

bryony. L., G. [ipvwvLa, from G. jSpvuv, to 
burst forth. 

Brythonic [ethn. &■ ling.] . From Welsh brython, 
Briton. Introduced by Rhys in contrast 
to Goidelic (q.v.). 

bub^ [slang]. Drink. For bib. 

bub- [slang]. Breast (of woman). For earlier 
biibby; of. Ger. dial, biibbi, teat. From baby 

bub^ [?7S.]. Boy, regarded as m. of siss, 
sister, but app. from Ger. bube, hoy (q.v.). 
The m. of siss is rather bud, which may 
stand for negro brudder. 

bubble. Earlier burble. Of imit. origin; cf. 
babble, blob, etc. Hence bubble, to cheac, to 
delude with bubbles, or unrealities. Its 
very common use in 18 cent, is perh. spec, 
due to the South Sea Bubble (1710-20). 
Bttbble and squeak, yesterday's vegetables, 
etc. fried up, is an allusion to the noise of 
frying. Bubble reputation is from As Yoti 
Like It, ii. 7. 

What mortals bubble call and squeak, 
When 'n:\idst the frying-pan in accents savage, 
The beef so surly quarrels with the cabbage 

[Peter Pindar). 

bubbly-jock [Sc.]. Turkey-cock. Imit., cf. 
gobbler. Jock is Sc. ior Jack (q.v.). 

bubonic. From Late L. bubo, G. /3ov(3wi', 
groin, swelling in groin. 

buccaneer. Orig. French hunter in San Do- 
mingo who prepared the flesh of wild oxen 
by means of a boucan (v.i.). Later, a free- 
booter, and finally, a pirate. Cf. F. bou- 
cane, smoke-dried. Boucan is a Tupi (Bra- 
zil) word taken to Hayti by early travellers. 
It is so explained (Purch. xvi. 519) by a 
Frenchman who was in Brazil 1557-8. 

boucan: a woodden-gridiron, whereon the cannibals 
broile pieces of men, and other flesh (Cotg.). 

buccinator [anat.]. Cheek-muscle. L., trum- 
peter, from buccina, trumpet. 

bucellas. White wine. Village near Lisbon. 

bucentaur. State-barge in which, on Ascen- 
sion Day, the Doge of Venice went to wed 

the Adriatic by dropping a ring into it. 
It. bucentoro, supposed to allude to the 
figure-head, ox-centaur. See bucephalus, 

bucephalus. Horse of Alexander the Great. 
G. (3ovK€(jiuXo<;, ox-headed, from /3ov<;, 
ox, KecfiaXt^, head. Cf. bayard, rosinante, 

buck^ Animal. AS. bucc, male deer, bucca, 
he-goat. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. bok, Ger. 
bock, ON. bokkr, all orig. he-goat; also 
adopted by Rom. & Celt, langs. Mod. 
application to a man (from c. 1700) has a 
curious parallel in ON. bokki, my good 
fellow, old buck (cf. US. old hoss). Hence 
prob. also to buck up. Buckbean is Du. 
bocksboon, goat's bean, also altered to bog- 
bean. Buckjump, i.e. to jump like a buck, is 
Austral. Buck-shot rule in Ireland (c. 1880) 
was popularly associated with W. E. For- 
ster, Secretary for Ireland. With buckthorn 
cf. It. spino cervino, from cervo, deer. 

buck^ [dial.]. Body of vehicle, as still in US. 
buckboard. AS. buc, trunk, belly (cf. Ger. 

buck^ [dial.]. To wash clothes, whence b^ick- 
basket [Merry Wives, iii. 5). Cf. Sw. byka, 
Ger. bauchen (MHG. biichen, whence F. 
buet). It. bucare; prob. cogn. with AS. bike, 
pitcher, still in dial. use. 

bucke to wasshe clothes in : cuvier (Palsg.). 

buckeen [Ir.]. Squireen of poorer class. 
From buck^, with dim. suffix; cf. colleen, 
squireen, etc. 

bucket. AF. boket, buquet, dim., from AS. 
buc, pitcher (see buck^), but prob. asso- 
ciated also with F. baquet, bucket. Bucket- 
shop in New York "is a low 'gin-mill' or 
'distillery,' where small quantities of spirit 
are dispensed in pitchers and pails. \Mien 
the shops dealing with one-share and five- 
share lots of stocks were opened, these dis- 
pensaries of smaller lots than could be got 
from regular dealers were at once named 
'bucket-shops'" [New York Evening Post. 
Oct. 1 881). With verb to bucket, in riding 
or rowing, cf. to pump. To kick the bucket is 
prob. from dial, bucket, beam, yoke (cf. 
to kick the beam), OF. buquet, balance, 
which survives in F. trebuchet. This is a 
separate word of obscure origin. 

Swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's bucket 

(2 Hen. IV, iii. 2). 

buckie [Sc.]. Whelk shell. App. from L. 
buccinum, whelk, lit. trumpet. 





buckle. F. boucle, which in OF. meant cheek, 
strap of helmet, boss of shield (see buckler), 
L. buccula, dim. of biicca, mouth. With to 
buckle to, set hard to work, cf. to gird up 
one's loins preparatory to active exertion, 
and see fettle. Buckle, to bend, is included 
here by the NED., but is surely rather con- 
nected with Du. buigen, to bend, or Ger. 
bucket, hump, cogn. with bow'*^. 

Reason doth buckle and bowe the mind unto the 

nature of things (Bacon). 

boghcl, beughcl: hemicyclus, semicirculus, curvatuia 

semicircularis (Kil.). 

My lady Batten and her daughter look something 

askew upon my wife because my wife do not buckle 

to them (Pepys, Aug. 25, 1661). 

to buckle to his business: seadopusaccingere(Litt.). 

das kleid sitzt puckelicht: this suit of clothes doth 
pucker (Ludw.). 

buckler. F. bouclier, VI-. *bucculariuni (sc. 
scutum), with a boss (see btickle). 

Trenchet ces hanstes et cez escus buclers 

{Roland, 1968). 

buckra. Master, white man, in negro patois 
of Surinam. From Calabar bakra, master. 

buckram. Orig. a fine cotton fabric, later 
applied to an inferior material used as 
stiffening. ME. bukeram, bougeren, etc., 
OF. boquerant {bougran) ; cf. MedL. boquer- 
annus and forms in most Europ. langs. 
Origin doubtful, perh. from Bokhara (cf. 
astrakhan, etc.). Some authorities regard 
it as a corrupt, of obs. barracan (see 
barragan). Men in buckram is after i Hen. 
IV, ii. 4. For form cf. grogram, for vagvie 
meaning camlet. 

He [Kerenski] wasted time in delivering an oration, 
and the Red Guards scattered his buckram army 

(J. Buchan). 

buckshee [mil. slang']. See bukshee. 

buckthorn. See buck''-. 

buckwheat. Du. boekweit, first element mean- 
ing beech, this wheat having grains shaped 
like those of beech-mast. Cf. Ger. buch- 
weizen and It. fagopiro, from fago, beech. 
It was introduced from Asia (15 cent.) 
whence its F. name sarrasin. 

bucolic. L., G. f^ovKoXiKoq, from /SovkoXos, 
herdsman, from /Sov-;, bull. 

bud. ME. bodde. Cf. Du. bot, Ger. bntten, in 
hagebuttcn, hips and haws, lit. hedge-buds. 
Origin unknown. F. bouton is from Teut. 

Buddhism. From Buddha, lit. the enlight- 
ened, awakened, p.p. of Sanskrit budh, to 
awake, perceive, applied to a series of 

heaven-sent teachers, and spec, to Gau- 
tama, also called Sakyamuni and Sid- 
dhartha (fi. 5 cent. B.C. in Northern In^ia). 

bude light. Invented (19 cent.) by Gurney, 
who lived at Bude (Cornwall). 

budge. A "low word" (Johns.). F. bouger, to 
stir, VL. *bullicare, from bullire, to boil. 
This etym., though rather speculative, is 
strongly supported by Prov. bolegar, to 

budgerigar. Austral, parakeet. Native (NSW.) 
betcherrygah, lit. good cockatoo, corrupted 
in US. to beauregarde. 

budgerow [Anglo-Ind.]. Barge. Hind, bdjrd. 

budget. OF. bougette, dim. of bouge (whence 
obs. E. budge, bouge), L. biilga, of Celt, 
orig.; cf. Olr. bolg, bag; cogn. with Ger. 
balg, skin (see also bulge). Orig. a bag, 
wallet, etc., as in budget of letters, news, etc. 
(v.i.). The Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
in making his statement, theoretically 
opens his budget. 

This bochet with othre lettres conteigned in the 
same (1512-13). 

bulga: a male or bouget of leather, a purse, a bagge 


budmash. See badmash. 

buff. Colour. Orig. buffalo, then, buffalo- 
hide (whence buff-coat) and its colour. F. 
buffte (see buffalo). In to strip to the buff it 
is used for human skin. The Buffs (E. Kent 
Reg.) and Ross-shire Buffs (2nd Seaforths) 
were named from facings (cf. the Blues), 
buffle: the buffe, buffie, bugle, or wild oxe (Cotg.). 

buff, blind man's. See blind. The fact that 
in some other langs. the game is named 
from an animal, e.g. Ger. blinde kuh (blind 
cow), Port, cabracega (blind goat), suggests 
some connection with buif (v.s.), which is 
supported by behold the buff, used (1647) 
to render It. ecco la cieca. On the other 
hand the game is also called blind man's 
buffet or blind and buffet. 

buffalo. Port bufalo, L., G. f3ov(3a\os, orig. 
kind of antelope, from /3oJ)s, ox, bull. 
Earlier also buffle, from F. Often wrongly 
applied to Amer. bison. According to a 
writer in Notes and Queries (Oct. 19 19), 
the Royal and Ancient Order of Buffaloes 
grew out of a convivial and friendly club 
started (18 cent.) at the Harp tavern by 
Drury Lane actors. The club-room was 
adorned with a pair of buffalo horns in 
honour of Nimrod, claimed as one of the 
founders of the society. 

buff-coat. See buff. 






buffer^. Fellow. In ME. stammerer (Wye. 
Is. xxxii. 4), in Sc. foolish fellow, in obs. 
slang, suborned witness. Prob. all belong 
to an imit. buff; cf. puff and see buffoon. 

buffer^. Of engine, etc. From verb to buff, 
imit. of muffled blow. Cf. synon. Ger. 
puffer and see buffet^. Hence buffer state, 
rendered in F. by dtat tampon (see tompion). 

buffet^. Blow. OF., dim. oibuffe; see buffer\ 
buffoon, and cf. Ger. puff en, to jostle, 

buffet^. Side-board. F., of unknown origin. 
Cf. It. buffetto. The 18 cent, spelling beaufet, 
beaufait is artificial and misleading. Perh. 
the same word as buffef^. OF. buff'et is 
used (13 cent.) in Boileau's Mestievs de 
Paris of a bench for displaying goods. For 
sense cf. shamble^, also orig. a low stool. 
Quot. below is from 12 cent. 

Duo bancha tomatilia, et una mensa dormiens, et 
unum buffeth 

(Hales' Domesday of St Paul's, p. 137). 

buffet^. Low stool, hassock. Now dial, or in 
ref. to Little Miss Mnffet, though tuffet is 
often substituted in mod. versions. OF. 
(v.s.), of unknown origin. 

bofet, Hi foted stole: tripes {Prompt. Parv.). 

buffo. Comic, etc. It. See buffoon. 

buffoon. F. bouffon. It. buff one, from buff a, 
jest, from buffave, to puff, prob. with allu- 
sion to cheeks puffed out in grimacing, 
etc.; cf. F. pouffer de rire. 

bug^. Spectre. Obs. exc. in bugbear, bugaboo. 
ME. bugge, Welsh bwg, ghost. See bogy. 

Thou shalt not nede to be afrayed for eny bugges 
by night (Coverd. Ps. xci. 5). 

Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all 

(3 Hen. VI, V. 2). 

The German element [in US.] is a bug-a-boo....The 
police can look after them all right 
(Sir H. W. Thornton, Amer. Manager of G.E.R.). 

bug^. Insect. Orig., as still in dial, and US., 
beetle, insect, in general. Irreg. corrupt, 
of AS. budda, beetle, whence perh. also 
boud, weevil. Cf. dial, shornbug for AS. 
scearnbudda, dung-beetle. 

blatta: a shorn-bug, the chafer, or beetle 

(Ainsworth, 1736). 

bug*. In colloq. big-bug. See big. 

bugaboo. Welsh bwci-bo, elaboration of 

bwg (see bug'^). Cf. OF. bugibu. 
bugbear. Formed (16 cent.) from bug''- (q.v.). 

Second element may be an imit. corrupt. 

of some other ending. We also find bull- 

bear, bullbeggar (? for -boggart) in same 
sense. Cf. Du. bultebak (Kil.). 

Maugre such bug-beare, bull-beare bellowings 


bugger. F. bougre, L. Bulgatus, Bulgarian. 
Orig. sect of heretics who came from Bul- 
garia in II cent. 

Ma dame, sachez ke jo maund verite loyal, e si nul 

[anyone] vous fet autre chose entendre, il est bugre 

(.A.rchbp Peckham to Queen Eleanor, 1283). 

buggy. Vehicle. Now US. and colonial. Ori- 
gin unknown, but prob. facetious. A Camb. 
undergrad. spells it bougde in 1767. 

bugle^. Plant. F., Uate L. bugula, whence 
also It. bugola. Perh. related to bugloss, 
with which it is confused by ME. writers. 
buglosa: bugle {Voc. c. 1265). 

bugle^. Buffalo or wild ox. OF., L. buculus, 
dim. of bos, ox. Hence mus. instrument, 
for btigle-horn. 

Oxen, shepe, and gootes, hert, roo, and bugle 

(Bible of 1551, Dent. xiv. 5). 

bugle^. Bead ornament. Perh. ident. with 
bugle^, from horny appearance. 

Beades, bracelets, chaines, or collers of bewgle 

(Hakl. viii. 99). 

bugle: kind of glass or black home (Holyoke, 1649). 

bugloss. Plant. F. buglosse, L. buglossa, from 

G. /3oi)yXojcrcro9, ox-tongued. See bugle^, 

Buhl. Also Boule, F. wood-carver (fl. temp. 

Louis XIV). 
build. Earlier bild, byld, AS. byldan. Not 

known outside E. 

He builded better than he knew: — 
The conscious stone to beauty grew 

(Emerson, Problem). 

bukshee [Anglo-Ind.]. Paymaster. Pers. 

bakhsM, from bakhshtdan, to give. Cf. 

bulb. L. bulb us, G. /SoA^os, onion, its earlier 

meaning in E. ; cogn. with L. bulla, bubble, 

bulbul. Eastern song-thrush. Pers. Arab., 

imit. of note. Cf. jug'^ (q-v.). 
Bulgarian. A Slav. lang. 
bulge. First as noun, hump, protuberance. 

Prob. ident. with obs. bulge, wallet, etc. 

(see budget, bilge), and ult. cogn. with belly, 

bulimy. Unnatural hunger. MedL., G. jSov- 

Xtfxui, from fSov<;, ox, Ai^o?, hunger, 
bulk. Earliest sense, cargo, whence to break 

bulk, begin unloading. Late ON. biilki, heap, 

cargo, or Dan. bulk, lump, clod. In late 





ME., by association with bouk, AS. buc, 
belly (cf. Ger. bauch), it came to mean 
trunk of body, etc., whence some of its 
mod. senses and derivatives. Cf. OF. 
boiiche, bundle, from Teut. 
bulkhead. First element is ME. bolk {Coventry 
Leet Book, 142 1), ON. balkr, beam, balk, 
whence Norw. balk, bolk. Line. dial, bulkar, 
beams, is in Skinner. Cf. Shaks. bulk, 
shop-front {Cor. ii. i). The oldest sense of 
bulkhead is naut. (in Capt. John Smith, 
who also calls it a bulk). In Pai. R. temp. 
Hen. Ill occur William le Balker and 
Gilbert le Bolker, both of Canterbury. 
That no man hold no swyne in hur bolkys 

[Coventry Leet Book, 1421). 
That no other man or bocher kep within the 
wallys of this cite noo swyne in sties, ne bulkes 

(ib. 1423). 

buU^. Animal. ME. bole; cf. Du. bol, Ger. 
dial, bulle, ON. boli. The corresponding 
word prob. existed in AS. as we have the 
dim. bulluc, whence bullock. ?Cogn. with 
bellow. For Stock Exchange use see bear. 
Fig. applications of bnll's eye are numerous 
in 18-19 cents, (cf. Dan. kodie, Sw. oxoga, 
both used of small round window). The 
earliest appears to be crown-piece (c. 1690), 
later shortened to bull. With bullfinch cf. 
F. bouvreuil, lit. little bull-herd. Bullfinch, 
stiff fence (hunting), is said to be cor- 
rupted from -fence, but is more likely due 
to some forgotten witticism. With bulldog 
cf. Ger. bullenbeisser, lit. bull-biter. John 
Bull as personification of England dates 
from Arbuthnot's satire (1712). 
Four half-bulls, wot you may call half-crowns 

{Bleak House, ch. xlvii.). 

bull-. Papal. Orig. seal attached to docu- 
ment, esp. leaden seal of Pope's edicts. 
L. bulla. See bilP and bulletin. 
The Pope sent a general sentence under his bulles 
of lede unto the archebisshop (Caxton). 

bulP. Irish. Earher, jest; not at first asso- 
ciated with Ireland. Cf. rare ME. bul, 
falsehood, and rare 16 cent, bull, bubble, 
both prob. from F. boule, bubble, L. bulla, 
whence also perh. Du. bol, "garruhtas, 
loquacitas" (Kil.). Mod. sense of incon- 
gruous statement is perh. partly due to 
cock and bull story. See quot. s.v. mute. 
a bull or incongruous speech; solaecismus (Litt.). 
Only on the terms of free choice can we have Irish 
compulsion [Daily News, Apr, 1918). >- [^ ■■■ :.\ 
"If the patients were deprived of tobacco," re- 
ported Dr Myles to the committee of the Ballinasloe 
Lunatic Asylum, "they would 'go mad'" 

[Pall Mall Gaz. May 17, 19 18). 

bullace. Wild plum. OF. beloce, with many 
Rom. cognates (mostly dial.), prob. of 
Gaulish origin. 
bellocier: a bullace-tree, or wilde plum tree (Cotg.). 

bulldose, bulldoze [C75.]. To intimidate, orig. 
negroes, by unmerciful flogging. Said to 
mean to give a "dose" strong enough for 
a "bull"; but cf. obs. Du. doesen, "pulsare 
cum impetu et fragore" (Kil.). 

The War Department is trying to bulldose the 
country into conscription 

(Speaker of Congress, Apr. 24, 1917). 

bullet. F. boulette, dim. of boule (see bowP). 
In ModF. balle = bullet, boulet = cannon- 
shot. E. bullet also had the latter meaning 
in 16-18 cents., as still in bullet-headed (cf. 

bulletin. Orig. from It. bnllettino, double dim. 
from L. bulla (see bulP), meaning warrant, 
etc., with seal; but usual mod. sense (from 
18 cent.) represents that of F. bulletin, 
popularized by Napoleonic wars. 

bullion. AF. bullion, boillon {Statutes of 
Realm, 1336), which would represent ex- 
actly F. bouillon, a boiling (of precious 
metal), but there is no evidence that the 
OF. word had this spec, sense, and the orig. 
meaning of the E. word is also uncertain. 
Cf. however brassage (q.v.) for similar 
sense-development. There has been con- 
fusion with billon (q.v.). Bullion lace is 
etym. the same word, F. bouillon, "fil d'or 
ou d'argent tourne en rond" (Littre), 
going back to L. bulla, bubble, etc. 

bouillons: puffes, in a garment (Cotg.). 

bullock. See bull^. 

bully. Oldest sense is brother, dear fellow, 
etc. Du. boel, lover, brother, etc., from 
MHG. buole {buhle), lover, OHG. Buolo, as 
personal name only. Prob. orig. brother. 
Earliest meaning still in Shaks. and in 
US. Later meanings have perh. been 
affected by bull^, or by Du. bulderen, LG. 
bullern, to bluster. Obs. bully-jack, bully- 
rock, bully-back, etc. have parallels in LG. 
buller-jaan, buller-brook, buller-bak, etc. 
For bullyrag see ballyrag. In bullyrook 
{Merry Wives, i. 3), later also -rock, -rake, 
the second element is of doubtful origin. 
See also billy -cock. The hockey bully -off is 
an imit. of the Eton football bully. 

buler: an amorist, a paramour, a lover, a wooer, 
a gallant, a spark (Ludw.). 

bully-beef. Orig. naut. For earlier bull-beef. 




bulrush. ME. also holrysch, app. from AS. 
hoi, hollow. Bid- is prob. bole'^, stem. But 
it may be intens., like horse- in horseradish, 
cow in cow-parsley, etc. 

holrysche or bulrysche: papirus 

{Prompt. Parv., Harl. MS.). 

bulwark. Orig. rampart {Deut. xx. 20); naut. 
sense only from c. 1800. From bole'^ (q-v.) 
and work. Cf. Du. bolwerk, Ger. bollwerk, 
whence F. boulevard. 

bol-werck, block-were: propugnaculum, a^ger, etc. 


bum. ME. bom, Du. dial, boem, for bodem, 
bottom. Cf. obs. biimmery (Pepys) for 
bottomry (q.v.). With bumbailiff {Twelfth 
Night, iii. 4) cf. F. pousse-cul. Bumboat, 
orig. (17 cent.) scavenger boat, is sailors' 

pousse-ciil: a bum-baily (Miege, 1688). 

Bumble, Bumbledom. From Bumble, the beadle 
{Oliver Twist). The name is AF. bonbel, 
good, beautiful. 

bumble-bee. Imit., cf. humble-bee. See bomb, 
boom^, etc. 

/ bomme, as a bombyll bee dothe or any fly e: je hruys 


bumble-puppy. Unscientific whist; orig. out- 
door game, nine holes. Obs. bumble, to 
bungle, blunder, and puppy, but reason 
for name unknown. 

bumbo. Weak cold punch. Cf. It. bombo, 
baby name for drink, and obs. E. bum. (v.i.). 
Prob. suggested partly by rumbo (q.v.). 
Smollett is earliest authority for both. 
bum, drinke: potus {Manip. Voc.). 

bummalo. Fish, "Bombay duck." From 
Mahratti bombtla. 

The sailors, by way of Joke, call them "Bombay 
ducks" (Cordiner, Voyage to India, 18 cent.). 

bummaree. Middleman in Bilhngsgate fish 
trade. ?F. bonne mare'e, good sea-fish, as 
salesman's cry. 

bummer [US.]. Loafer. Ger. bummler, 
stroller, etc., orig. from student slang. 

bump. Imit. of a dull blow and its result. 
Also influenced, when referring to form, by 
cogn. bomb (q.v.); cf. F. front bomb'e, 
bulging forehead. Hence bumper, full glass 
(cf. thumping, whopping, etc.), also in 
bumper crop {audience, etc.). 

bumpkin. Prob. dim. of Du. boom, tree, 
boom, etc., as in naut. bum/nn, a short 
boom. Cf. similar use of Ger. flegel, flail. 


The first quot. suggests that the word was 
orig. applied to a Dutchman. 
a bunkin, fellow: Batavus, strigo (Manip. Voc). 
ein ertzbauer, ein grober flegel: a clownish, boorish, 
or rusticall fellow; a churl, a clown, an arch-clown,' 
a hoydon, a meer boor, a country-bumkin, a home- 
spun, a plough- jogger, a kern, a lob, a lobcock 

bumptious. App. jocular coinage (c. 1800) 

from bump; cf. fig. use of bounce. 
bun^. Cake. ME. bunne, small round loaf. 
Origin unknown. Perh. simply a spec, use 
of F. bon; cf. history of scone (q.v.). 
bunne, whyt brede: placenta {Prompt. Parv.). 
bun^, bunny. Pet name for rabbit, squirrel, 
etc. Perh. F. bon, common as personal 
name in ME., whence surname Bunn. 
Celt, bun, stump, has also been suggested, 
bun being commonly used in Sc. for the 
hare's "scut." 
bunch. Orig. hump (on the back). Perh. sug- 
gested by obs. bulch, the same, and hunch. 
buncombe. See bunkum. 
bund [Anglo-Ind.]. Embankment. Hind. 
band, from Pers. Hence Bendemeer, lit. 
the Emir's dam. 
There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream 

{Lalla Rookh). 

A break in the river [Tigris] bund had been repaired 

{Daily CJiron. March 26, 1917). 

Bundesrat [hist.]. Federal council of Ger. 

empire. From bund, league (see bind), rat, 

council (see riddle). 

bundle. From bind; cf. Ger. biindel. With 

to bundle off cf. similar use of pack. 
bung. Obs. Du. bonghe, from F. bonde, of 
Ger. origin; cf. Ger. dial, punt, bunte, prob. 
L. puncta, and Ger. spund, L. expuncta 
(soe spontoon). Hence to bung up, and 
bung, publican. 
bungalow. Hind. adj. bangla, belonging to 

Bengal. For -u- cf. pundit. 
bungle. PCombined from boggle and obs. 

bumble (see bumble-puppy). 
bunion. Properly a corn on the ball of the 
great toe. Pit. bugnone, "a push, a bile, 
a blane, a botch" (Flor.), augment, of 
bugno ; cf . OF. bugne, swelling, of unknown 
origin, whence app. ME. bunny, watery 
swelling. But the sense suggests rather 
F. bouillon, "a lump or excresccncy of 
flesh that grows either upon or just by 
the frush {see frog^) . . .and. makes the horse 
halt" {Gent. Diet. 1705), which was in E. 
vet. use. The change of -/- to -n- is easily 
paralleled (see banister, mullion). For the 
etym. of the F. word see bullion. 





bunk. Sleeping-berth. Perh. Du. bank, bench. 
For vowel change cf. bulkhead. PHence to 
bunk, abscond (?by sea). 

bunker [Sc.]. Orig. seat. Then, eai'then out- 
door seat, hollow in sand-hills, receptacle 
for coal. Origin unknown. Norw. Dan. 
bunke means heap, cargo, earlier also hold 
of ship. 

Thev sat cosily niched into what you might call a 
bunker, a little sand-pit (Redgatuitlet, ch. x.). 

bunkum, buncombe. Buncombe is a county 
in N. Carolina, the member for which once 
insisted, towards the end of a wearisome 
debate in Congress, on "making a speech 
for Buncombe," i.e. showing his consti- 
tuents that he was doing something for 

All over America, every place likes to hear of its 
member of Congress and see their speeches; and 
if they don't, they send a piece to the paper, in- 
quirin' if their member's died a natural death, or 
was skivered with a bowie knife, for they hante 
seen his speeches lately, and his friends are anxious 
to know his fate. Our free and enlightened citizens 
don't approbate silent members. ...So every feller, 
in bounden duty, talks, and talks big too, and the 
smaller the state, the louder, bigger, and fiercer its 
members talk. Well, when a crittur talks for talk 
sake, jist to have a speech in the paper to send to 
home, and not for any other airthly puppus but 
electioneering, our folks call it "Bunkum" 

(Judge Haliburton). 

bunny. See bun"^. Hence bunny-hug, with 
which cf. turkey-trot. 

bunsen. Burner, etc. Invented (1855) by 
Prof. Bunsen, of Heidelberg. 

bunt. "Belly" of a sail, pouch of a net. 
PCorrupt. of Sw. bugt, bend, bulge, cogn. 
with bow'^. 

bunter [geol.]. Ger. bunter sandstein, varie- 
gated sandstone. 

bunting^ Bird. ME. bountyng. This was a 
female font-name in ME. [Bontyng the 
brewster, in the Coventry plays) and is one 
origin of the surname Bunting. App. this 
is for earlier Bonneton {Alice Bunetun, in 
the Hund. R., 1273), which is a double 
dim. of F. bon, as in the F. surname Bon- 
neton. It may be that this was a pet name 
for the bird (cf. robin), as also for a child 
in Baby bunting. In the old play Res- 
publica (1553) Avarice calls his plumply 
filled purses his buntings. 

bunting'-. Flag material. Perh. from obs. 
bunt, to sift. Cf. F. etamine, which means 
both "bunting" and cloth used for sifting 
or "bolting" flour, etc. 

itamine: buntine, the woollen stuff of which the 
ships colours are made (Lesc). 

bunyip [Austral.]. Native name for fabulous 
water-monster, hence impostor. 

buoy. Du. boei or OF. boie (now replaced by 
botiee), with forms in most Europ. langs., 
L. boia, chain, fetter (by which the buoy 
was secured), which some would connect 
with the tribal name Boii. See bilboes. 
But some regard the buoy word-group as 
belonging rather to the Teut. root of 
beacon, which is quite possible. 

boy of an ancre: boyee (Palsg.). 

bur, burr. ME. borre, burre; cf. Dan. borre, 
bur, Sw. kard-borre, burdock, the latter a 
compd. of bur (see dock''-). By some con- 
sidered Teut., by others connected with 
F. bourre, shaggy substance, bristles on 
plants, etc., L. burra, rough wool (see burl, 
burgeon). In the sense of north country 
accent it perhaps comes from the idea of 
a bur in the throat, a phrase occurring in 
Piers Plowm. Burr, rough edge, as in the 
dentist's burr-drill, and burr, whetstone, 
clinker, etc., may be the same word, from 
the idea of roughness. 

burberry. Overcoat. Maker's name (20 cent.). 
Cf. mackintosh. 

If she [Spring] is a virgin wise as well as beautiful, 
she will have a burberry over her arm 

{Sunday Times, Mar. 30, 19 19). 

burble. To confuse, also to babble, talk non- 
sense. Cf. obs. burble, to bubble (with 
parallels in Rom. langs.), and obs. Sc. 
barbulye, to muddle, F. barbouiller, "to 
jumble, confound, muddle" (Cotg.). All 
of imit. origin. Cf . Serb, brbljati, to chatter. 

burbot. Fish. F. barbote, bourbotte, from bar- 
boter, to flounder, from bourbe, mud; but 
the first form is perh. rather connected 
with barbe, beard, the burbot being a 
bearded fish (cf. barbel). 

burden^, burthen. AS. byrthen, from bear-; 
cf. OSax. burthinnia, OHG. burdln {biirde), 
ON. byrthr, Goth, baurthei. For usual mod. 
form cf. murder, which has prevailed, and 
furder, which has not. 

burden^. Of a song. F. bourdon; cf. It. bor- 
done, Sp. bordon. Prob. imit.; cf. Late L. 
burdo, drone bee. Fanciful attempts have 
been made to connect these words with 
F. bourdon. It. bordone, pilgrim's staff, perh. 
from Late L. burdo-n-, mule. 

bourdon: a drone, or dorre-bee; also, the humming, 
or buzzing of bees; also, the drone of a bag-pipe... ; 
also, a pilgrims staffe (Cotg.). 

burdock. See bur. 





bureau. F., office, the earliest sense (i8 cent.) 
in E. (cf. bureaucracy), earlier, desk, and 
orig. cloth covering desk (cf. sur le tapis). 
OF. burel, a coarse cloth, whence ME. 
borel, burel, homespun, is dim. of bure, 
supposed to be from G. Truppos, fiery, 
tawny. Cf. L. name Burrus for G. Yivpp6<i. 
L. burra, shaggy wool, has also been sug- 
gested (see burlesque). Bureaucracy is 
adapted from F. bureaucratie , coined by 
the economist Gournay (ti759)- 
bureau: a thicke and course cloath, of a browne 
russet, or darke mingled, colour; also, the table 
thats within a court of audit, or of audience (belike, 
because 'tis usually covered with a carpet of that 
cloath), also, the court it selfe (Cotg.). 

burette. Small graduated glass measure. F., 
cruet bottle, dim. of biiire, vessel, of doubt- 
ful origin. 

burgage [hist.]. Mode of tenure. MedL. bur- 
gagium, from borough (q.v.). 

burgee. Yacht flag, orig. owner's flag. 
Formed (like Chinee, marquee, etc.) from 
OF. burgeis (bourgeois), a name once ap- 
plied to the owner of a vessel. So also we 
find burgee's caution (1653) for F. caution 
bourgeoise, sound security. The word is 
much older than NED. records, bting 
found, with spec, sense of owner's flag, in 
an Amer. newspaper of 1750. Both uses 
of bourgeois are in Cotg. 
bourgeois: the proprietor or owner of a ship (Falc). 

burgeon [poet.]. Bud. F. bourgeon, of doubt- 
ful origin, perh. VL. *burrio-n-, from burra, 
rough wool. See bur. 

burgess. Norm, form of F. bourgeois, Late L. 
burgensis, from Late L. burgus (2 cent.). 
See borough. 

burgh. Var. of borough (q.v.), preserved in Sc. 

burgher. Du. burger, citizen (see borough). 
In Shaks. [Merch. of Ven. i. i), but now 
spec, applied to the Boers, also to descen- 
dants of Du. settlers in Ceylon. 

burglar. Cf. AL. burglntor (13 cent.), prob. 
altered, on L. latro, thief (whence OF. lere, 
laron), from burgator. Earliest (c. 1200) 
is AL. burgaria, burglary, which looks like 
an adj. formed from burg, dwelling (see 
borough), qualifying some word under- 
stood, e.g. felonia. 

burgomaster. From Du. burgemeester, bo- 
rough master; cf. Ger. biirgermeister, earlier 

burgonet [hist.]. Helmet, as worn by Iron- 
sides. F. bourguignotte, of Burgundy. Also 
adopted in It. and Sp. 
borghinctla: a burganet, a skull, a caske (Flor.). 

burgoo. Sailors' gruel, etc., loblolly, also 
burgle, burgee. ?Arab. burghul, wheat dried 
and boiled. Earlier than diet, records is 
burgo-M (1743), prob. an artificial spelling. 

burgrave [hist.]. Ger. burggraf, castle count. 
Cf. landgrave, margrave, and F. chdtelain. 

burgundy. Wine. The province is MedL. 
Burgundia (whence F. Bourgogne), from 
the Burgunds, a German tribe. Cf. cham- 

At the Rose on Sunday 

I'll treat you with Burgundy (Swift). 

burial. False sing, (after betrothal, espousal, 
etc.) from ME. buriels, AS. byrgels, tomb, 
formed, with suffix as in OSax. burgisli, 
from byrgen, cogn. with beorgan, to cover, 

Buridan, ass of. An ass equidistant between 
two bundles of hay as experiment in free 
will. From Buridan, 14 cent. F. philo- 

burin. Graver. F. ; cf. It. borino, Sp. buril. 
?From OHG. bora, borer. 

In vain had Whistler and Muirhead Bone taken 
the burin in hand (E. V. Lucas, Mr Ingleside). 

burke. To stifle. Burke (executed at Edin- 
burgh 1829) and Hare killed people in 
order to sell their bodies for dissection. 
The verb came into existence the same 
year. Cf. the less common to bishop, from 
one Bishop, who drowned a bo}^ at Bethnal 
Green (1836) with a similar object. 

I burk'd the papa, now I'll bishop the son 


burl [techn.]. To dress cloth, removing the 
"burls." OF. bourle, dim. of bourrc. See 
bur, burgeon. Sp. borla means both bur and 

burlap [archaic]. Coarse canvas. Compd. of 
lap (q.v.), clout, flap, etc. First element 
may be boor. Cf. wraprascal, a red cloak 

burlesque. F., It. burlesco, from burla, jest, 
mockery, perh. ult. from L. burra, flock of 
wool, and fig. nonsense (Ausonius). Cf. 
hist, of bombast, fustian, etc. But VL. 
*burrula should have given -o-, as in Sp. 
borla, tassel. 

burletta. Farce. It., dim. of burla (v.s.). 

burly. Orig. stately, massive, etc. Northern 
form of ME. borlich. Not found in AS. or 
ON., but cf. OHG. burlih, lofty, from 
burjan, to lift up. 

burn^. Stream. AS. burne, burna. Com. 
Teut.; cf. Du. born, Ger. born (poet.), 





brunnen, ON. brunnr, Goth, brunna; prob. 
cogn. with burn^ (cf. torrent). 

burn^. Verb. AS. bcernan (weak trans.), 
causal of biernan (strong intrans.). Com. 
Teut.; cf. OSax. OHG. ON. Goth, brinnan 
(intrans.), OSax. OHG. brennian [brennen], 
ON. brenna, Goth, brannjan (trans.). To 
burn one's boats, leave oneself no retreat, 
is an allusion to Cortez, or perh. to earlier 
adventurers. With burning shame [dis- 
grace, etc.) cf. flagrant. 

burnet. Plant. OF. biirnete, brunete, dim. of 
brun, brown. 

burnish. F. brunir, brimiss-, OF. also burnir, 
from brun, brown, also bright. See brown. 

burnous. Arab cloak. F., Arab, burnus. 
Cf. Sp. albornuz. Purch. has barnuche. 

burr. See bur. 

burro [t/S.]. Donkey. Sp., app. back-forma- 
tion from borrico, L. burricus, small shaggy 
horse, prob. cogn. with burvus, reddish- 
brown (see bureau and cf. Dan Burnel the 
ass in Chauc); cf. F. bourrique, donkey. 

burrow. Var. of borough (q.v.) with differen- 
tiated sense. 
Foxes han dichis, or borowis (Wye. Matt. viii. 20). 

bursar. MedL. bursarius, purse-bearer. See 
purse, for which burse is still used in certain 
techn. senses. 

burst. AS. berstan. In ME. bresten is com- 
mon. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. berstan, Ger. 
bersten, ON. bresta. Orig. strong with p.p. 
hursten, still in occ. use. 

burthen. See burden''-. 

buryi. Verb. AS. byrgan. See burial. 

bury^. In place-names. See borough. 

bus. For omnibus (q.v.). Mod. mil. slang for 

busby. Hussar fur head-dress (19 cent.), 
large bushy wig (18 cent.). Prob. from 
surname Busby. 

bush^. Thicket, etc. ME. bush, busk, ON. 
buskr; not found in AS.; cf. Du. bosch, 
Ger. busch, also Late L. boscus, F. bois. 
It. bosco. Earlier hist, uncertain, perh. 
orig. pasture-land, from G. (Soctkclv, to 
feed cattle. In the colonies bush is usu. 
from Du. bosch, as applied by early settlers 
from Holland. So also Bushman, SAfr. 
tribe. The first bushrangers (c. 1800) were 
escaped convicts. Bushwhacker (US.) is 
prob. corrupted from Du. boschivachter, 
forest watcher, woodman. Good wine needs 
no bush alludes to the ivy-bush once used 
as tavern-sign. 
il bon vin il ne faul point d'enseigne: good wine 

drawes customers without any help of an ivy- 
bush (Cotg.). 

bush^. Axle-box. Du. bus, box (q.v.). Cf. 
arquebus, blunderbuss, which have earlier 
forms in -bush. 

bushel. OF. boissel (boisseau), dim. of boiste 
[boite), VL. *buxida. See box, pyx. 
No man hghtneth a lanterne, and puttith it in 
hidlis, other undir a boyschel (Wye. Luke, xi. 33). 

business. See busy. 

busk\ bust. These are the same word, a busk 
being a support for the bust, the latter 
orig. meaning a torso, a body without a 
head. Origin uncertain, but the analogy 
of It. torso (q.v.), fusto, tronco, all used in 
same sense, "a bodie without a head" 
(Flor.), suggests identity with Prov. bust, 
tree-trunk, of unknown origin. The form 
busk, with differentiation of sense, is 
F. busc. It. busco. 

busto: a trunke, a bodie without a head, a trusse. 
Also a womans buske (Flor.). 

busq: a buske; or buste (Cotg.). 
busk^ [Sc. & north']. To prepare. ON. bHask, 
from bUa, to prepare, with reflex, pron. 
sik (cf. bask). Hence construction below 
is pleon. 

Busk thee, busk thee, my bonnie bride 

(Braes of Yarrow). 

buskin. Metath. of buck-skin (sc. shoes). The 
various continental words usu. mentioned 
as possible origins of buskin (c. 1500) are 
quite unconnected. Cf. mod. buckskins, 
breeches, or cowhide, whip. 

My lord paied to his cordwaner [i.e. shoemaker] 
for a payr bucskyns xviiid (NED. 1481-90). 

buss^. Vessel, esp. herring-buss. Cf. AS. 
butse, in butsecarl, sailor, OF. busse, Du. 
buis, OHG. bUzo, ON. biiza. Origin un- 
buysse: heering-buss or bark (Hexham). 

Out and away aboard a ship among the buscarles 
(Kingsley, Hereward). 

buss- [dial.]. Kiss. Replaces earlier bass, F. 
baiser, L. basiare. But may be quite a 
separate word; cf. Ger. dial, buss, Sp. buz, 
Gael, bus, orig. mouth (cf. L. osculum, little 
mouth, kiss). 
Thy knees bussing the stones (Cor. iii. 2). 

bust^ Of body. See busk'-. 

bust-. Vulgar for burst (cf. fust ior first), esp. 
in bust up (orig. US.). 

bustard. From 15 cent, in NED., but occurs 
as surname temp. John. OF. has bistarde, 
oustarde (outarde), both app. from L. avis 





tarda (Pliny), with cognates in other Rom. 
langs. Cf. ostrich. But the L. name is prob. 
folk-etym. for some other name, the bus- 
tard being really very swift. ? Ult. from G. 
wTt's, wTt'S-, bustard. 

bustle^. Tumult, etc. Prob. altered from obs. 
buskle, to make hurried preparations, fre- 
quent, of busk" (q.v.). 

bustle^. Article of dress. Late 18 cent. Prob. 
Ger. hiischel, bunch, pad, dim. of hausch, 
pad, bolster, etc. It occurs as bustler (US. 
1787) and is referred to the visit of a Ger. 
duchess to London in 1783. 

busy. ME. bisi, AS. bysig. Only known cogn. 
is Du. bezig. Origin unknown. ?From bee; 
cf . Ger. emsig, busy, prob. ant-like (see ant) . 
Mod. spelling, from 15 cent., seems to be 
due to AF. busoignes (F. besognes), re- 
garded by early etymologists as the origin 
of business, and representing it regularly in 
AF. texts. This AF. -«- for F. -e- is due 
to influence of labial b-. 

Lez assisez, plees, et juggementz hustengals, et 
autres busoignez de la dite citee 

(Liber Albus, p. 308). 

but. First as prep. AS. bUtan, bi Utan, out- 
side. Cf. Sc. butt the house (see ben''-) and E. 
nobody but me (Ger. ausser mir), all but. 
For formation cf. beyond, and see above. 

butcher. F. boucher, from bouc, goat. Cf. It. 
beccaio, butcher, from &ecco, goat. See buck''-. 

butler. Norm, form of OF. bouteillier , bottler. 
Cf. buckler, both words illustrating two 
Norm, features, viz. u for OF. 0, ou, and 
-er for -ier. 

butt^. Flat fish, as in halibut (q.v.), turbot. 
Cf. Sw. butta, LG. butte, Du. bot, "flounder" 
(Sewel). Origin unknown, perh. thick, 
stumpy; see butt^. 

butt2. Cask. F. botte; cf. It. botte, Sp. Port. 
bota. Also in Teut. langs., e.g. OHG. butin, 
AS. bytt, whence obs. bit, in same senses 
(cask, wineskin), MedL. buiis, buttis, bu- 
tina. Ult. from G. TrvTivq, wine-flask. See 
also bottle'^. 

butt*. Thick end. Cf. ON. bUtr, log, Du. bot, 
blunt, stump, whence F. pied-bot, club foot. 
Prob. not related to F. bout, end. 

butt*. Boundary, target. F. but, end, aim, 
parallel form to bout, end. Partly also from 
fem. form butte, mound, as in butte de 
Montmavtre, rifle butts. See abut. The 
NED. recognizes thirteen nouns butt, and, 
as in the case of many monosyllables (cf. 
bob), their classification and hist, are very 

W. E. D. 

butt^. Verb. F. houter, to thrust, push. Of 
Teut. origin; cf. OHG. bozan, to beat. To 
butt in is US. 

butt" [Sc.]. See ben'-, but. 

butte [geog.]. Small mesa (q.v.). F., mound. 
Cf. butf^. 

butter. AS. butere, an early L. loan-word, 
found in other Teut. langs. (cf. cheese), L. 
butyrum, G. (Sovrvpov, regarded as from 
/Sov-i, ox, cow, Tvp6<;, cheese, but prob. 
folk-etym. for some word borrowed from 
the Scythians or other nomad tribe. For 
another case of G. folk-etym. see squirrel. 
The native E. name was smeorii (smear). 
Buttercup is for older butterflower (cf. Ger. 
butterblume) and king-cup. 

butterbump. See bittern. , 

butterfly. AS. buterfleoge; cf. Du. botervlieg, 
Ger. dial, butterfliege, buttervogel, also 
milchdieb, molkendieb (usual Ger. is schmet- 
terling, from dial, schmetten, cream). These 
names prob. all go back to some forgotten 
piece of folk-lore, or they may refer simply 
to the colour of the commonest varieties. 

butterscotch. From 19 cent. Also buiterscot. 
?Of Scotch manufacture. 

buttery. ME. boterie, botelrie, OF. boterie, 
boteillerie. The first might be from butt^, 
but the second and MedL. botelleria point 
to bottle'-. For extension of meaning cf. 
larder, pantry. Cf. butler. 

buttock. App. dim. of butt^, though recorded 
much earlier. Cf. seniority of bullock to 
buW^. For sense-development cf. Sc. doup, 
end, podex, and E. dial, end, podex. 

button. F. bouton, orig. bud. Prob., like 
bout, end, from bouter, to thrust (see butt^). 
To buttonhole, keep in conversation, is 
altered from the earlier, and more logical, 

buttress. OF. bouterez, pi. of bouteret, a sup- 
port, from bouter, to thrust, prop, etc. Cf. 
F. arc-boutant, flying buttress, lit. propping 
arch. For pi. form cf. quince, truce, etc. 

butty [/oc.]. Middleman in coal-mining. 
Earlier sense, confederate, sharer. For 
booty (q.v.). 

botyfelowe: parsomner [r^a^parsonnier, i.e. partner] 


butyric. Of butter (q.v.). 

buxom. Orig. obedient; hence, cheerful, of 
cheerful aspect, etc. ME. buhsam, from 
AS. bUgan, to bow; cf. Du. buigzaam, Ger. 
biegsam. With application to physique cf. 

buxum: clemens, propicius, flexibilis, flexuosus, 
paciens, obidiens, pronus (Catli. Aiigl.). 






buy. ME. bien, also beg-, big-, bug-, AS. 
bycgan; cf. OSax. buggian, Goth, btigjan. 
Origin unknown. See abide. 

hnzz^. Sound. Imit. 

buzz- [archaic]. Wig. Short for busby 

buzzard. Inferior hawk; hence, dullard. OF. 
busard, from buse, L. bttteo (Pliny). 

by. Earliest as adv., as in to put by, stand by ! 
AS. bt (stressed), be (unstressed); cf. Du. 
bij, Ger. bei, Goth, bi; said to be cogn. 
with G. d/x,<^t, L. am-bi. With its force in 
by-product, byway, by-election, etc. cf. Ger. 
neben in nebenprodukt, etc. So also a bye 
(golf, tennis, etc.), as opposed to a full 
game. By-law, bye-law, now usu. under- 
stood^as subsidiary law, orig. meant town- 
ship-law, from ME. bi as in Derby, Whitby, 
etc., ON. byr. We also find byrlaw, where 
the first syllable represents the ON. gen. 
With by and by cf. Ger. nach und nach, 
gradually, but the changed meaning (cf. 
anon, presently) shows man's procrastina- 
ting nature. In by the by we have the noun 
by, bye, side-way, subsidiary matter, which 
has developed from the prep. By and large, 
now often fig., is naut., to the wind and 
off it. 
The end is not by and by [ciWws] [Luke, xxi. 9). 

bye. Noun. In various sporting senses. 
Subst. use of by (q.v.). 

bye-bye. Baby redupL; cf. lullaby, hushaby, 
bye baby bunting. Also playfully for good- 
bye (q.v.). 

by-law, bye-land. See by. 

byre. AS. byre, cattle-stall, cogn. with bower^ 
(q.v.). Not from ON. byr, in which the 
inflexional -r disappeared, giving ME. bi 
(see by) . Both words are however from the 
same root, and cogn. with boor. 

byrnie [poet.]. Revived by mod. poets from 
ME. brinie, coat of mail, ON. brynja; cf. 
OF. bronie, broigne, the stock name for 
armour in OF. epic, from Teut. ?Cogn. 
with brown. 

byssus. Fine fabric. L., G. /3i'o-o-os, Heb. bats 
(rendered "fine linen" in A V.), Arab, bt'tts, 
to be very white. 

byword. AS. bi-word, translating L. pro- 
verbium or G. irapa-fioXrj. Cf. gospel. 

Byzantine. Of Byzantium, Constantinople. 
Formerly used for besant (q.v.). As term 
of art, history, etc., it is mod. Of late 
(191 6) Byzantinism has also been used of 
tyrannical rule by moral degenerates, like 
some of the later emperors. 

C-. Some words of foreign origin not included 
here may be found under k-. 

C 3. Lowest physical grading for army pur- 
poses (Great War). 

You cannot maintain an A i empire on a C 3 
population (D. Lloyd George, Sep. 12, 1918). 

Caaba. Moslem "holy of holies" at Mecca, 

containing the "black stone." Arab. 

ka'abah, cubical house. 
cab^. Heb. dry measure (2 Kings, vi. 25). 

Heb. qah, hollowed out. 
cab"^. Short for cabriolet (q.v.). Not orig. 

limited to public vehicles. 

" You had better take Tom's cab " quoth the squire 


cab^ [school slang] . To crib. Short for cabbage"^ 

cabal. Earlier cabbala, MedE. (whence F. 
cabale. It. Sp. Port, cabala), Heb. qabbaldh, 
tradition. Mystical interpretation of OT., 
hence, mystery, secret intrigue, etc. Ap- 
plied by Pepys to the junto of the Privy 
Council (1665), i.e. some years before the 
nicknaming of the 1672 ministry (Clifford, 
Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, Lauder- 
dale), whose names happened to fit it. 
Cabala occurs 1521, cabal 1616, and "Ca- 
bala, Mysteries of State" was published in 


caballero. Sp., gentleman, knight. See cava- 
lier, chevalier. 

cabana. Cigar. Name of Sp. exporters. 

cabaret. Southern F., of unknown origin. 
L. caput arietis, ram's head (as sign), has 
been suggested, and has some sort of 
parallel in E. hogshead. 

cabbage^. Vegetable. F. caboche, head 
(chump), which also means cabbage in 
Channel Islands, It. capocchia, augment, 
of capo, head, L. caput. Cf. Du. kabuiskool, 
cabbage cole. Has almost replaced earlier 
cole, kale. 

cabbage'-. Shreds and remnants appropriated 
by tailor as perquisite; hence, to pilfer. 
Cf . OF. cabasser, to steal, from cabas, theft, 
lit. basket, Prov., ?from L. capax, capac-, 
holding. Cf. to bag. 

cabbala. See cabal. 

caber [Sc.]. For tossing. Gael, cabar, pole, 
rafter. Not Gael., but from VL. *capro-n-, 
rafter (see chevron), from capra, goat. Cf. 
crane, easel, etc., also Prov. cabrioun, 

cabin. F. cabane, Late L. capanna, hut, of 
doubtful origin (also Late L. canaba, canapa) . 
ModF. cabine (of ship) is borrowed back , 





from E. To cabin, confine, is an echo of 
Mach. iii. 4. 

Hoc [tugurium] rustic! "capanna" vocant (Isidore). 
Thi seetis of rowers... and thi litil cabans 

(Wye. Ezek. xxvii. 6). 

cabinet. Dim. of cabin. Orig. small hut, den, 
etc. Mod. pol. use (E. only) comes from 
cabanett councelles (Bacon, c. 1610), i.e. the 
inner group of the Privy Council meeting 
in a cabinet, private room. Cabinet edition 
{photograph, etc.) means of style and size 
fit for a cabinet, or room for display of 
valuable objects. Hence sense of elaborate 
case, and trade of cabinet-maker . 
We are never ready for war, and yet we never have 
a Cabinet that dare tell the people this truth 

(Lord Wolseley). 

cable. F. cable; cf. It. cappio, Sp. cable; also 
Du. Ger. kabel (from some Rom. lang.). 
Late L. capulum, caplum, halter, app. from 
capere, to seize. With hybrid cablegram cf. 
the still more barbarous marconigram. 

Charlie Chaplin. ..has cablegraphically contributed 
30,000 pounds sterling to the new war loan 
{Daily Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, Feb. 26, 1917). 

cabob. Meat on skewers. Arab, kabdb. 

caboched [her.]. Head (of deer, bull, etc.) 
cut off close behind the ears. From F. 
caboche, head (see cabbage^). 

cabochon. Precious stone cut without facets, 
F. (v.s.). 

caboodle [t/5.]. Usu. with whole. Some 
writers have whole kit and boodle in same 
sense. Prob. cow-boy word. }Vort. cabedal, 
"a stock, what a man is worth" (Vieyra), 
ident. with capital^, influenced by boodle 

caboose. Kitchen of small merchant ship. 
Du. kabuis, kombids, earlier cabitse, com- 
buse, LG. kabhuse, which suggests con- 
nection with cabin and house (?cf. cuddy); 
but the hist, is obscure. Falc. and Lesc. 
both describe it as a kind of cowl, so it 
may be cogn. with capote, capuchin, 
coboose: couverture des cheminees des cuisines 
dans les vaisseaux marchands (Lesc). 

cabotage [naut.]. Coasting trade. F., ?from 

Prov. cap or Sp. cabo, as going from cape 

to cape. 
cabriolet. F., from cabriole, capriole, leap as 

of a goat. It. capriola, from L. caper, goat. 

See cab". 

Cabriolets are about to be established in London 
as public conveyances at a fare one half the price 
of hackney-coaches {Times, Apr. 15, 1823). 

ca9ador [wi/.]. Port., lit. hunter, chaser. For 
mil. use cf. F. chasseur, Ger. jdger. 

ca' canny. To work slowly, so as to leave 
plenty for others to do. Recent applica- 
tion of Sc. ca' canny, drive gently (Gait), 
from Sc. ca, to drive cattle, with which 
cf. Norw. kaue, cry of summons to cattle. 
Ca' the yowes to the knowes (.Sc. song). 
Willing workers, free from the blight of ca' canny 
{Daily Chron. Dec. 23, 1916). 

cacao. Earlier and correct form of cocoa, still 
used in F. & G. Sp., orig. a wrong division 
of Mex. caca-uatl, cocoa-tree. 

cachalot. Sperm-whale. F., from dial, of 
Baj^onne (17 cent.), and now in most 
Europ. langs. Perh. "toothed," from Gasc. 
cachau, tooth, with many vars. in dials, 
of S. France. Another plausible conjecture 
is L. cacabus, pot, which has Rom. deri- 
vatives meaning pot, skull, etc. The two 
characteristics of the sperm-whale are its 
teeth and cranial reservoir. A third sug- 
gestion, supported by synon. Catalan cap- 
gros, connects it with Port, cachola, head, 

cache. Hiding-place for treasure, stores, etc. 
F., from cacher, to hide. ? VL. *coacticare, 
for cogere {co-agere), to force together. A 
19 cent, word from French Canadian trap- 
pers, but used once by Drake. 

cachet. F., stamp, "sign manual," from 
cacher, in obs. sense of pressing. See cache. 

cachexy [merf.]. Morbid condition. F.cachexte, 
G. Ka)(c$iu, from KttKos, bad, If 15, state, 
from ix^Lv, to have. Cf. malady. 

cachinnation. From L. cachinnare, to laugh, 
of imit. origin. 

cachou. For smokers. F. form of catechu 

cachucha. Dance. Sp. 

A court where it's thought in a lord or a duke a 
Disgrace to fall short in the brawls (their cachouca) 


cacique. Sp., "a prince of the Indians" 

(Percy vail), ? from Haytian word for chief, 
cack-handed [slang]. Left-handed, clumsy. 

? Connected with dial, cack, stercorare, L. 

cacare . 
cackle. Imit., cf. Du. kakelen, Ger. gackeln, 

F. caqueter. 

Cut the cackle and come to the 'osses (Anon.). 
cacoethes. Usu. with scribendi (Juvenal, Sat. 

vii. 52). G. KaKor']6y]<;, bad habit, itch, from 

KaKO'i, bad, rjOos, character. Cf. ethic. 
cacolet. Horse-litter for wounded. F. dial. 

word (Pyreneeb), first emploj^ed in Crimean 

war. Cf. ambulance. 
cacophony. G. KaKO(f>wria. Cf. euphony. 





cactus. L., G. KaKTOs. 

cad. Shortened from caddie, cadee, pop. forms 
oicadei^ (q.v.). Mod. sense of cai originated 
(19 cent.) at Eton and Oxf., as snob at 
Camb. Hence quot. 3 is a considerable 
anachronism. Earher meaning was that of 
humble person prepared to run errands, 
also bus-conductor. Caddie (golf) is from 

There is in Edinburgh a society or corporation of 
errand-boys, called "cawdies" {Humphrey Clinker). 

cad: an omnibus conductor (Hotten). 

These same day-boys were all "caddes," as we had 
discovered to call it {Lorna Doone). 

cadastral. Relating to survey and valuation 
of property for taxation. From F. ca- 
dastre, It. catast{r)o, orig. (12 cent.) a 
Venet. word, catastico, Late G. KaraaTLxov, 
list (see cata-, acrostic). 

cadaverous. From L. cadaver, corpse, cogn. 
with cadere, to fall; cf. synon. G. TTTWfxa, 
from TTiTTTeu', to fall. 

caddie. See cad. 

caddis, caddice. Larva of may -fly, etc., used 
esp. as bait in angling. Earliest as cadis- 
worm (17 cent.). Perh. from archaic or 
obs. caddis, caddice (15 cent.), a loose ma- 
terial, also worsted yam. OF. cadarce, 
Prov. cadarz (cf. It. catarzo, Sp. cadarzo), 
G. oLKaOapTos, uncleansed. 

caddy. Earlier catty (16 cent.), Malay kdtt, 
weight slightly over a pound. 

cade^ [loc.]. Cask for herrings. F., L. cadus, 
wine-jar, G. KaSos. See albatross. With 
•Shakspeare's etym. (2 Hen. VI, iv. 2) cf. 
quot. below. 

The rebel Jack Cade was the first that devised to 
put red herrings in cades, and from him they have 
their name! (Nashe). 

cade^ [dial.]. Or cade-lamb, pet, or weak, 
lamb, reared by hand. Occ. of other ani- 
mals. ? For *cadel-lamb ; cf . OF. cadeler, 
"to cocker, pamper, feedle, cherish, make 
much of" (Cotg.), this prob. from L. ca- 
tulus, puppy, kitten. 
It's ill bringing up a cade-lamb {Adam Bede). 

cadence. F., It. cadenza, from L. cadere, to 

fall. Mus. sense is in Chauc. Her. cadency 

is app. associated Mdth cadet^. 
cadets Younger son, junior officer. F., Gasc. 

capdet, youth of noble birth, dim. of cap, 

head. Earlier caddie, cadee. 

Commissions are dear. 

Yet I'll buy him one this year; 

For he shall serve no longer a cadie 

(Allan Ramsay). 

cadet^ [p>ol.]. Name of Russ. pol. party (now 
mostly massacred). An acrostic formation 
from konstitucionnaya demokrdtya (K.D.), 
constitutional democracy. Cf. Russ. eser, 
socialistic reformer (S.R.). 

cadge^, cadger. Verb (c. 1607) is back-forma- 
tion from noun (c. 1450). Cf. beg, beggar. 
Orig. pedlar, itinerant merchant, as still 
in Sc. and Ir. From F. cage, in sense of 
wicker basket carried on back of cadger 
or his pony. Immediate source prob. Du. 
(v.i.). See cage. 

A cadgear, with capill [nag] and with creils [fish- 
baskets] (Henryson). 

cagie: cavea, corbis dossuaria (Kil.). 

cagiaerd: qui caveam aut corbem portat {ib.). 

cadge-. Falconers' frame. See cage. 

cadi. Arab, qddl, judge. Cf. alcade, alcalde, 
and Nigerian alkali [Daily Chron. Nov. 7, 

Cadmean. From Cadmus, G. Ka8/tos, legend- 
ar^^ founder of Thebes and inventor of 
letters. With Cadmean victory, destructive 
to victor, cf. Pyrrhic victory. 

cadmium [chem.]. Metal. Ult. from Cadmus 
(v.s.). See calamine. 

cadre [mil.]. Detachment (orig. corps of 
officers) forming skeleton of regiment. F., 
lit. frame. It. quadro, L. quadrtts, four- 
sided. Cf. F. cadran, dial. 

caduceus. Wand of Hermes (Mercury). L., 
from Doric form of G. KrjpvKeiov, from 
KTJpv^, herald. 

caducity. F. caducite, from caduc, infirm, L. 
cadncus, from cadere, to fall. 

caecum [anat.]. Blind gut. Neut. of L. 
caecus, blind (sc. intestinum). Cf. rectum, 

caerulean. See cerulean. 

Caesar. Cognomen, ? meaning "hairy," of 
Caius Julius. Earliest L. word adopted in 
Teut. (see kaiser, czar). Hence Caesarean 
birth, by incision, due to fancied connection 
of name with caedere, caes-, to cut. With 
Caesarism cf. Czarism, Kaiserism. 

caesium [chem.]. Metal. L., neut. of caesius, 

caestus. See cestus. 

caesura [metr.]. L., from caedere, caes-, to cut. 

cafe. F., coffee (q.v.). 

caffeine. F. cafeine, alkaloid from coffee. 

Caffre. See Kaffir. 

cafila. Caravan, in earlier sense. Arab. 

The "caffolla" as they call them, which is the 
fleete of friggotts (Jourdain's Journ. 1611). 





caftan. Garment. Turk, qaftdn, also used in 

cage. F., L. cavea, hollow. In 16 cent, also 

cadge (q.v.). Hence also cadge, frame on 

which hawks were carried, if this is not a 


A pair of gerfalcons, in golden hoods, upon a 
golden cadge (Hewlett, Song of Renny). 

cahier. F., as quire (q.v.). 

caid, kaid. Arab, qa'ld, leader. 

caiman. See cayman. 

Cain, to raise. Orig. US., app. euph. for to 
raise the devil. 

caique. Boat. F., Turk. kaik. The F. form 
(B5^ron) has superseded earlier caik, etc. 

^a ira [hist.]. F., that will go. Refrain of Re- 
publican song (c. 1790). 

cairn. Gael, earn, heap of stones, as in Cairn- 
gorm, blue mountain, whence precious 

caisson. F., from caisse, case^ (qv.). 

caitiff [archaicl. ONF. caitif [chdiif, wretched), 
L. captivus, from capere, capt-, to take. 
Therfor lad caitif is my puple (Wye. Is. v. 13). 

cajole. F. cajoler, earlier sense of which was 
to chatter like a jay, from gajole, a scath- 
em dim. of geai, jay. In ModF. this has 
taken, by some vague association of form 
and sense, or perh. via the sense of talking 
over (cf. Ger. beschwatzen) , the meaning 
of F. enjoler, etym. to en-gaol. See gaol. 
In 17 cent, referred to as new, "a low 
word" (Johns.). 

engeoler: to attract, intice, allure, win, inveagle, 
besot, inthrall (by faire and deceitful Iwords) ; also 
to incage, or ingaole (Cotg.). 

cake. ON. kaka, whence Sw. kaka, Dan. kage; 
cogn. witli Du. koek, Ger. kuchen, cake, 
but app. not with L. coquere, whence ult. 
Ger. kUche, kitchen. Orig. a flat loaf, as 
in story of Alfred. Hence Land o' co,kes, 
Scotland (17 cent.), at first with bantering 
allusion to oat-cakes. To take the cake, win 
the prize, appears to be earUer than cake- 
walk, a grotesque nigger dance lately intro- 
duced from US. The former may be a 
jocular allusion to G. Trvpafjiovs, prize of 
victory, orig. cake of roasted wheat and 
honey awarded to person of greatest vigi- 
lance in night-watch. 

Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there 
shall be no more cakes and ale? 

(Twelfth Night, ii. 3). 

For rudeness to the Grand Old Man 
Lord Randolph takes the cake 

(Topical Song, c. 1882). 

calabash. F. calebasse, Sp. calabaza, Pers. 

kharbuz or kharbuza, melon, ? cogn. with 

L. (cu)curbita, gourd. 

calabaza: a gourd, a bottle of a gourd (Percy vail). 
calaboose. Prison, esp. at New Orleans, 

Negro F., from Sp. calabozo, dungeon. 

calabofo: a kind of prison, or place of execution, 
where condemned persons were cast downe head- 
long (Percy vail). 

caladium. Plant. Latinized (1750) from 
Malay kelddy. 

calamanco. Fabric, with checks on one side. 
Cf. F. calmande, Du. kalamink, Ger. kal- 
mank. Origin unknown. Yule quotes (1676) 
s.v. chintz, "painted calicuts which they 
call calmendar, i.e. done with a pencil," 
which suggests Ind. origin. 

Then the old man turn'd up, and a fresh bite of 

Tore out the whole seat of his striped caUmancoes 


calamander. Wood akin to ebony (India & 
Ceylon). Singhalese kalimadiriya, which 
is regarded by some as a corrupt, of Coro- 
mandel. ? Or from calmendar (v.s.), from 

calamary. Kind of cuttle-fish. L. calamarius, 
from calamus, reed, pen, perh. from pen- 
like internal shell. 

calamine. Ore of zinc. F., MedL. calamina 
(cf. Ger. kalmei), prob. corrupted by al- 
chemists from L. cadmea. See cadmium. 

calamint. Herb. F. calament, L., G. KaXa- 
fxivOr], from KttXo?, beautiful, fiivOr], mint. 

calamite. Fossil plant. ModL.calamites,iTOva. 
calamus, reed. 

calamity. F. calamity, L. calamitas. Derived 
by early etymologists from calamus, stem 
(v.i.), but now regarded as related to an 
archaic L. word which appears in in- 
columis, safe. 

The word "calamitas" was first derived from 
"calamus," when the corn could not get out of the 
stalke (Bacon). 

calash [archaic]. Vehicle, woman's hood sug- 
gesting hood of same. F. caleche, Ger. 
kalesch, Bohem. kolesa, lit. wheeled car- 
riage. Cf. Russ. kolesd, wheel. 

Mrs Bute Crawley. her clogs and calash 

(Vanity Fair, ch. xxxix.). 

calcareous. From L. calcarius, from calx, 

catc-, lime. 
calceolaria. From L. calceolus, little shoe, 

dim. of calceus, from calx, calc-, heel. Also 

called slipper-flower. 





calcine. MedL. calcinare, to reduce to lime, 
L. calx. 

And in amalgamj'ng and calcenyng 
Of quyk-silver, y-clept mercurie crude 

(Chauc. G. 771). 

calcium [chem.]. Named by Davy from L. 

calx, calc-, lime, 
calculate. Replaced earlier calcule [Piers 

Ploivm.), F. calcitler, Late L. calculare, from 

calcxdus, pebble, dim. of calx, calc-, lime, 

used in elementary calculation. 

The New Englander calculates, the Westerner 
reckons (Thornton). 

calculus [med. &> math.]. See calculate. 

caldron. See cauldron. 

Caledonia. L. (Tacitus), from Gael. Dun- 
Callden, fort of the Caledonians (cf. Dun- 
keld), from Gael, coille, wood. 

calefaction. Heating. L. calefactio-n- , from 
calere, to be hot, facere, to make. 

calendar. OF. calendier [calendrier) , L. calen- 
darium, account-book noting the calends, 
first days of the month, prob. from calare, 
to proclaim. In early use also for register, 
list, esp. of canonized saints. At the Greek 
calends, i.e. never, is L. ad calendas Graecas. 

calender^. To smooth cloth, etc. F. calandrer, 
from MedL. calendra, prob. from G. kvXiv- 
Spos, cvlinder, roller. Hence John Gilpin's 
"good friend the calender," for calenderer. 

calender-. Mendicant dervish [Arabian Nights), 
described by Mr Pecksniff as a "one-eyed 
almanack." Pers. qalandar, of unknown 

calends. See calendar. 

calenture [1F7m^.]. Fever. F., Sp. caleniura, 
fever, from calentar, to be hot, from L. 

calf. AS. cealf. Com. Teut.; ci.Du. half , Gev. 
kalb, ON. kdlfr, Goth, kalbo (f.). Fig. small 
island lying near larger, e.g. Calf of Man, 
also detached iceberg, both from ON. use. 
The calf of the leg, ON. kalfi, may be re- 
lated (cf. history of muscle). 
hie musculus: the calfe of the lege (Foe). 

Caliban. Prob. suggested to Shaks. by canni- 
bal or Carib, as Setebos from the Pata- 
gonian devil mentioned by Magellan. 
A beastly sort of baptist Caliban [Daniel Dcronda). 

calibre. Also caliver, musket (hist.), calliper, 
compasses, used for measuring calibres 
and projectiles. All three appear in E. in 
16 cent, and seem to have been at once 
differentiated in form and meaning. Cf. 
F. calibre. It. calibro, OSp. calibo. ? Arab. 

qdlib, mould for casting metal, which 
would suggest the OSp. form as earliest 
in Europe. This etym. dates from Menage. 
Cotg. has qualibre, suggesting L. qua libra, 
and Jal quotes, without ref., an earlier 
dqualibre, which, if genuine, disposes of the 
Arab, origin and points to MedL. *aequali- 
brare, for aequiUbrare, suiting both sound 
and sense. 

calibro: an instrument that gunners use to measure 
the height of any piece or bullet. Also the height 
or bore of any piece, from whence our word caliver 
is derived; being at first a piece different from 
others (Flor. 1611). 

Caliburn. See Excalibur. 

calico. Substituted (16 cent.) for calicut, 
from Calicut (India), whence shipped. Port, 
form of Arab. QalicHt. 

caligraphy. See calligraphy. 

calipash, calipee. Orig. upper and lower shell 
of turtle; now, gelatinous substance con- 
tiguous to each. As the words are Wind., 
calipash may be a negro corrupt, of cara- 
pace, orig. the upper shell, and calipee 
an arbitrary variation. But the odd form 
below (with which cf. Sp. galapago, turtle) 
is much earlier than diet, records of E. 
calipash and F. carapace, and may repre- 
sent a sailors' perversion of some native 

The upper part of them is covered with a great 
shell, which wee call a " galley patch " 

(Norwood's £e>-m!<^fls, in Purch. xix. 190). 

calipers. See calibre. 

caliph, calif. F. calife, Arab, khalifa, successor, 
orig. Abu-bekr, after death of Mahomet. 
Cf. the Sudan khalifa, who succeeded the 

calisthenics. See callisthenics. 

caliver. See calibre. 

calix, calyx. Distinct (but cogn.) words, 
though now usu. confused by writers on 
botany. For calix see chalice. Calyx is 
G. kolXv^, outer covering pod, from root 
of KaXvTTTeiv, to conceal (cf. apocalypse). 
The same confusion is found in other langs., 
e.g. Ger. kelch, Norw. kalk have both 

calk^. See caulk. 

calk- [neol.']. To trace in drawing. F. calqiter. 
It., L. calcare, to tread, from calx, heel. 

calkin. Turned edge of horse-shoes, to pre- 
vent slipping. OF. calcain, cauquain, 
chauchein, heel. Late L. calcaneum, from 
calx, heel. 

call. ME. callen (north.), ON. kalla, to cry 
loudly. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. kallen, to 


caller herrin' 



chatter, OHG. challon, to talk noisily. 
Calling, vocation, starts from i Cor. vii. 20. 
Call has replaced native clipian, cleopian 
(see yclept), e.g. clepe in Wye. is always 
call in Tynd. With to call out, challenge, 
cf. synon. F. provoquer . 

caller herrin'. App. two words are here 
confused, viz. earlier calver (cf. Sc. siller 
for silver), of dubious sense and origin, 
often applied to salmon, and ON. kaldr, 
cold, fresh, with exceptional retention of 
inflexional -r. 

callet [archaic or dial.]. Scolding drab, etc. 
{0th. iv. 2, and elsewhere in Shaks., also in 
Bums, Jolly Beggars). ? A gipsy word. 
It may be noted that there is a ME. female 
name Calote (for Nicolette). It was borne 
by the daughter of Langland, author of 
Piers Plowm. Some female names assume 
a bad sense, e.g. jilt. 

callidity. L. calliditas, from callidus, cunning. 

calligraphy. G. KaXXiypacjiLa, from KaA,Aos, 

callipers. See calibre. 

callipygian. Epithet of Venus. From G. 
KttA-Aos, beauty, Truyr/, buttock. 

callisthenics. From G. koiAAos, beauty, aCivo'i, 
strength. Cf. name Callisthenes. 

callous. F. calleux, L. callosus, thick-skinned, 
from callus, hardened skin. 

callow. AS. calu, calw-, bald. WGer. ; cf. Du. 
haal, Ger. hahl; early loan from L. calvus, 

calm. First as noun. F. calme. It. calma, 
VL. *calnia, G. Kav/xa, heat, from Kateiv, 
to bum. Supposed to have been applied 
orig. to the mid-day heat, general rest 
during that period ; cf . F. chomer, to knock 
off work, VL. *caumare. The phonetic 
change is unusual, but not unparalleled. 
There may also have been influence of 
L. calor, heat. 

Calmuck. See Kalmuck. 

calomel. F., earlier calomdas, coined from 
G. KuAds, beautiful, /xeAa?, black, " la 
poudre blanche qui constitue le calomel 
etant noire pendant la preparation de ce 
corps" {Diet. Gen.). 

caloric. F. calorique, coined (18 cent.) by 
Lavoisier, from L. calor, heat. Cf. F. calorie 
(current in E. in 19 17) for heat-producing 

Plain and humble folk... instead of the number of 

calories want to know the number of tablespoonfuls 

{Pall Mall Gaz. March 8, 1917)- 

calotte. Skull-cap. F., Prov. calota. It. 

callotta, G. KaXv-mpa, hood, veil (see apoca- 
lypse). Cf. caul. 

calotype. Name given (1841) by Fox Talbot 
to photographic process. From G. /caAd?, 

caloyer. Greek monk {Childe Har. ii. 49). 
F., It. caloiero (common in Purch.), Late G. 
KdXoy-qpo'i, beautiful in old age, from Ka.X6<s, 
beautiful, -yrjpo<;, aged. 

calpack. Eastern head-dress (Turkestan). 
Turki qdlpdk. Hence F. colback, kind of 

caltrop, caltrap, calthrop. Name of various 
spiky plants, and of a spiked ball put on 
ground to upset cavalry. AS. calcatrippe. 
thistle. Also ME. calketrappe, from F. 
chaussetrape , ONE. also cauketrape. Second 
element is tvap^ (q-v.), first is L. calx, heel, 
or calcare, to tread. 

calumet. Peace-pipe {Hiawatha). Dial. F., 
dim. of L. calamus, stem. "Calumet est 
un mot normand qui veut dire chalumeau 
(reed, pipe), et est proprement le tuyau 
d'une pipe" {NED. 1721). Taken to 
America by F. settlers. See shawm. 

calumny. F. calomnie, L. calumnia, false 
accusation. See challenge. 

Calvary. L. calvaria, skull, transl. of Gol- 
gotha (q.v.). 

A place that is clepid Golgatha, that is, the place 
of Calvarie (Wye. Matt, xxvii. 33). 

calvered ^archaic}. Used of salmon. . Exact 

meaning and origin unknown. 
Calvinism. Doctrine of Jean Cauvin or 

Chauvin (1509-64), latinized as Calvinus; 

esp. that of grace or predestination. See 


O Thou, who in the Heavens does dwell. 
Who, as it pleases best Thysel', 
Sends ane to heaven an' ten to hell, 
A' for Thy glory ! 

(Burns, Holy Willy's Prayer). 
The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling, 
For you, but not for me (T. Atkins). 

calx. L., lime. Formerly used for oxide. Cf. 

calycanthus. Shrub. From G. KaAi'^^, calyx, 

avOo<;, flower. 
calyx. See calix. 
cam [techn.]. Toothed rim of wheel, etc. V^ar. 

of comb. Cf. Ger. kammrad, cogged wheel. 
camaraderie. F., see comrade. 
camarilla. Clique, junto. Sp., dim. of ca- 

mara, chamber. Orig. inner group of the 

Cdmara de Castilla. 

The small, but powerful, pro-German camarilla [in 

Russia] {Daily Chrou. March 16, 1917). 





camber. To arch slightly, esp. naut. F. cam- 
brer, from L. camurus, bent. 
Lorries swaying perilously along the high-cam- 
bered tracks on the edge of greasy ditches 

{Daily Tel. Nov. 7, 191 8). 

cambist. Expert in theory of exchange. F. 
camblste, It. camhista, from cambio, change 

cambium [bot.]. Formerly used of "alimen- 
tar\' humours" of the body. Late L. cam- 
bium, change. 

Cambria. Same word as Cumbria, latinized 
from Cymry, Welshmen, older Combroges, 
"co-landers"; cf. L. Allobroges, "other- 
landers," from Gaulish. 

cambric. From Kamerijk, Flem. form of 
Cambrai (Nord). See batiste and cf. arras, 
kamerycks doeck: cambric (Hexham). 

camel. AS. camel (or ONF. camel), L. came- 
lus, G. Kdfj.r]Xo<;, Heb. gdmdl; cogn. with 
Arab, jamal. 

These are the ships of Arabia, their seas are the 
deserts (Purch.). 

camellia. Named (18 cent.) by Linnaeus after 
Kamel (latinized Camellus), Jesuit who de- 
scribed vegetation of Luzon. 

camelopard. L. camelopardus, from G. Ka/xTj- 
XoTrapBaXi?, camel pard, having legs and 
neck of camel, spots of pard. See leopard, 
by association with which it is commonly 
pronounced camel-leopard. 

camembert. Cheese. French village (Orne). 
Cf. Cheddar, gruyere. 

cameo. It. cammeo, with various forms in 
Rom. langs. Earliest are OF. camehu 
[camaieu], MedL. camahutus, also occur- 
ring in 13 cent. E. Origin unknown. 

camera. L., chamber. Hence camera obscura, 
invented (16 cent.) by Giambattista della 
Porta. Simply camera (phot.) since Da- 

camerlengo. It., chamberlain (q.v.). Car- 
dinal acting as Pope's chief adviser. 

Cameronian [hist.]. Follower of Richard 
Cameron, 17 cent. Covenanter. Also ist 
Batt. Scottish Rifles, orig. Cameronians 
who joined William III. 

camisado [hist.]. Sp. camisada, night raid 
made in shirts, so that attacking party 
should not mistake each other in darkness. 
From Sp. camisa (see chemise). 

camisard [hist.]. Protestant insurgent in Ce- 
vennes (late 17 cent.). From Prov. camisa, 
uniform of rebels (v.s.). 

camisole. F., Sp. camisola or It. camiciola. 
See chemise. 

camlet [archaic], F. camelot, chamelot, with 
forms in most Europ. langs. Popularly 
associated with camel, and perh. orjg. made 
from camel's hair, later from the hair of 
the Angora goat. There is also an Arab. 
khamlat, nap of cloth. The word, like so 
many names of supposed Oriental fabrics, 
is of obscure origin and varying sense. 

camomile. F. camomille, L. chamomilla, al- 
tered from G. x"-H-°'-^H'V^'^^> earth apple. 
See melon, chameleon. 

camorra. It. secret society. Origin obscure. 
App. from earlier meaning " Irish rugge or 
mantle, a mariners frocke" (Flor.) ; cf. car- 

The Camorists [? meaning CamariUists] at the War 
Office [Sunday Times, Jan. 20, 1918). 

camouflage. A word which was naturalized 
with amazing rapidity early in 191 7. Orig. 
from Parisian slang, which has camoiifle, 
candle, personal description, camonfler, to 
disguise, camouflet, chandelier, app. con- 
nected in some way with the older camou- 
flet (v.i.). Cf. It. camuffave, to disguise, 
? for capo muff are, to muffle the head. 

1 was in khaki by way of camouflage 

(G. B. Shaw in Daily Chron. March 5, 1917). 
The ermine is simply the little brown stoat in 
winter camouflage {ib. Jan. 7, 1918). 
At Hampstead 50 girls, camouflaged for the day 
as Welsh peasants, presented Mrs Lloyd George 
with 50 purses {ib. March 2, 191S). 

camouflet [mil.]. Asphyxiating mine. F., 
orig. of blowing smoke in one's face. Earlier 
moflet, app. from OF. mofler, to stuff; also 
(15 cent.) chant [chaud) mouflet, which may, 
however, be folk-etj^m. The verb mofler 
gave E. muffle (q.v.). 

camoufflet: a snuft, or cold pye, a smoaky paper 
held under the nose of a slug, or sleeper (Cotg.). 

camp. F., It. campo, L. campus, field, esp. 
as in Campus Martius, place for athletic 
contests, parade ground, etc. Cf. ME. 
champ, field, from F., and ME. camp, 
contest, AS. camp, early loan from L. 
campus. Cf. Ger. kampf, fight, from L., 
and mil. sense ol field. See also champion. 
The Field of the Cloth of Gold renders F. 
camp du Drap-d'Or. 

campagnol. Short-tailed field mouse. F., 
from campagne, country. 

campaign. F. campagne, It. campagna, L. 
Campania, from campus, field. Orig. open 
country; cf. archaic champaign {Lear, i. i), 
and F. Champagne. Mil. sense arises from 
contrast between armies in the field and 





in winter quarters. Cf. Ger. feldzug, cam- 

The next campaine is usually taken for the next 
summers expedition of an army, or its taking the 
field (Blount). 

campanile. Bell-tower. It., from Late L. cam- 
pana, bell. Cf. campanula, "the blue-bell- 
flower or flower called Canterbury bells" 
(Litt.) ; campanology , science of bells and 

campeachy wood. Logwood, from Cam- 
peachy. Central America. 

camphor. ME. caumfre, F. camphre, MedL. 
caniphora (cf. It. canfora, Sp. Port, alcan- 
for), Arab, kdfur, Malay kdpur, chalk. 
Spelt camphire in Song of Solomon (i. 14). 

campion. Flower. Origin unknown. As it 
has fantastic names in other langs., it may 
be from obs. var. of champion. Cf. Norw. 
kj(smpe, plantain, lit. champion, because 
children use the heads to play at "con- 

campo santo. It., holy field, cemetery. 

campshot. Facing of piles to protect the 
Thames aits against the current. Also 
-shed, -shoot, etc. Prob., like many words 
of the water-course vocabulary, of Du. 
origin. Second element is Du. schut, bar- 
rier, protection, first may be kamp, en- 

, closed land, field. 

camwood. From native WAfr. name kambi 
(Sierra Leone). 

can^. Verb. Pres. of AS. cunnan, to know, one 
of the preterito-present group. Com. Teut. ; 
cf. Du. kunnen, Ger. kennen, to know, 
konnen, to be able, ON. kunna, Goth. 
kunnan, and see ken. Past could, for ME. 
coude, is due to should, would. Past part. 
couth survives in uncouth (q.v.). See also 

can^. Noun. AS. canne. Com. Teut. and 
formerly applied to vessels of any material ; 
cf. Du. kan, Ger. kanne, ON. kanna. Ulterior 
hist, unknown, derivation from L. canna, 
reed, being unlikely in view of the early 
and wide existence of the word in Teut. 
langs. Sense of receptacle, "tin," is US. 

Canaanite. Jewish zealot fanaticalty opposed 
to Rome. Hence Simon the Canaanite 
[Matt. X. /^) ,Cananaean {RV .) , Zeloies {Luke, 
vi. 15). 

canaille. F., It. canaglia, collect, from L. 
canis, dog. 

canal. F., L. canalis. See the earlier channel, 

canard. F., lit. drake. Adopted in Ger. as 

zeitungsente, newspaper duck. Perh. from 
phrase donner un canard d moitii, to take 
in, lit. half give a duck, of obscure origin. 
Canard is supposed to come from OF. cane, 
skiff, Ger. kahn. 

vendeur de canards a moitie: a cousener, guller, 
cogger, foister, Iyer (Cotg.). 

Canarese [ling.']. Dra vidian lang. of Canara 
(S.W. India). Prop. Kannada, from kar, 
black, nddxi, country. 

Canary. F. Canarie, Sp. Canaria, L. insula 
Canaria, from dogs, canes, found there 
(Pliny). Hence wine, bird, dance. 

canaster. Tobacco. From basket in which 
imported. Sp. canastra (see canister). Cf. 
Ger. knaster. 

knaster-ioback oder canaster-toback der toback der in 
canastern oder korben aus Neu-Spanien kommt: 
Spanish tobacco (Ludw.). 

cancan. Dance. F., orig. univ. speech, then 
pedantic argument, tittle-tattle, etc. L. 
quanquam, although, usual beginning of 
univ. argument. 

De quoi les pedants firent de grands cancans 

(Sully, 1602). 

cancel. OF. canceller, L. cancellare, "to make 
in form of lattise; to cancell or crosse out 
a thing written" (Coop.). Quot. below, 
a stock AF. phrase, suggests that the ult. 
connection with chancellor was still felt. 
See chancel. 

II a restituz et susrenduz nos dites lettres en nostre 
chauncellerie a canceller 

(John of Gaunt' s Reg. 1372-76). 

cancer. L., crab, replacing in spec, sense 
earlier canker (q.v.). From eating aw-ay 
(cf. lupus). Cf. Tropic of Cancer. 

candelabrum. L., from candela, candle. 

candescent. From pres. part, of L. candescere, 
incept, of candere, to shine. 

candid. L. candidus, white, from candere, to 
shine. Hence candidate, because candi- 
dates for office wore the white toga. 

Save, save, oh ! save me from the candid friend 


candle. AS. candel, early Church word, L. 
candela. To hold a candle to meant orig. 
to help in subordinate capacity, but in 
connection with the devil (v.i.), alludes to 
the advantage of having friends every- 
where. The game is not worth the candle, 
i.e. the stakes are not high enough to pay 
for the lights. The above, and other fa- 
miUar "candle" phrases have parallels in 
other langs. Candlemas, feast of the puri- 
fication (Feb. 2), AS. candelmcssse , is said 





to be partly due to the pre-Christian 
Roman candle-processions in the feast of 
purification (Feb. 15). 

It is a comon proverbe, "A man must sumtyme set 
a candel before the Devyle" {Paslon Let. ii. 73)- 

candour. Orig. brightness, purity. L. candor. 
See candid. 

candy. From sugar-candy, F. sucre candi ; cf . 
It. zucchero candi, Sp. azucar cande, etc. 
Arab, qandi, candied, from qand, sugar, 
from Pers., ult. Sanskrit khanda, piece. 

candytuft. From Candy, obs. form of Candia, 
i.e. Crete. 

cane. F. canne, L. canna, G. Kavva, reed, 
perh. of Eastern origin; cf. Heb. qudneh, 
Arab, qdnah. 

cangue [China]. Wooden frame round neck. 
F., Port, cango; cf. Port, canga, yoke. It 
occurs first as verb, congoed, perh. corrupt, 
of cangado, p.p. of cangare, to yoke. For 
non-Chin, origin cf. joss, junk, mandarin. 

canicular. L. canicularis, of the dog-star, 
camcula, L. name of Sirius or Procyon. Cf. 
F. canicule, dog-days, period of great heat. 

canine. L. caninus, of the dog, canis. 

canister. L. canisirum, bread-basket, G. kuv- 
va-rpov, wicker basket, from Kavva, reed. 
See canaster, basket. Current sense of metal 
receptacle (from c. 1700) is partly due to 
association with can^. 

canker. AS. cancer or ONF. cancre, L. cancer, 
crab. Formerly also in sense of cancer 
(q.v.). F. form is chancre, whence 
E. shanker. 

canna. Flower. L., reed. 

cannel. Coal. Said to be for candle-coal, be- 
cause it burns without smoke like a candle. 

cannelure. Grooving. F., from canneler, to 
groove. See canal, channel'^. 

cannibal. Sp. canihal, for Caribal (Columbus), 
Carib, perh. partly by popular association 
with Sp. can, dog. But Columbus believed 
the Cannibals to be so-called as subjects 
of the Great Khan (of Tartary), whose 
territory he thought he had reached. Carib 
is prob. a native word for valiant. See 

Las llamaron los Canibales por los miichos 
Caribes, comedores de carne humana, que truvo 
en ellas 

(Herrera, Descripcion de las Iiidias Occidentales). 
A place called the Kennyballes, in the sayd lande 
of Brasyle {Voyage of the Barbara, 1540). 

cannon^. Gun. F. canon. It. cannone, aug- 
ment, of canna, tube, L. canna, reed (see 
cane). Cf. F. canon d'un fusil, barrel of a 
gun. Collect, sense is in Shaks. 

cannon^. At billiards. Perversion of earlier 
carom, carrom (still in US.), short for F. 
carambole, Sp' Port, carambola, the red 
ball. This may be Port, carambola, a golden 
yellow fruit from Malabar, Mahratti karan- 
bal. Those who have misspent their youth 
in billiard rooms will think of the parallel 

canny [Sc. & north.]. App. a fairly mod. 
formation (17 cent.) from can^ (q-v.). Cf. 
Sw. kunnig, knowing, cunning (in etym. 
sense). See ca' canny. Canny Scot{chman) 
is app. due to Scott [Antiq. xxxviii.). 

canoe. Orig. canoa, Sp., native Haytian word 
The boate of one tree called the canoa (Raleigh). 

canon^. Decree of the church, and hence, 
rule, principle, in various senses. AS. 
canon, L., G. kovi^v, rule. With canon type 
cf. primer, brevier, etc. To canonize, make 
eccl. enactment, has already in Wye. spec, 
sense of inscribing on calendar of saints. 
Canonicals are the regulation dress of a 
duly appointed priest. 

A cloak and cassock for my brother... I will have 
him in a canonical dress (Pepys, Sep. 27, 1666). 

canon^. Dignitary. AS. canonic. Church L. 
canonicus, regular priest (see canon^), was 
replaced in ME. by canotm, chanoiin, OF. 
chanonie (chanoine), L. canonicus. . 

caiion, canyon. Sp. caiaon, tube, etc., applied 
to deep river-gorges in NAmer. Thus ident. 
with cannon^. 

canoodle [slang]. A dial, word (Somerset) for 
donkey, "spoony." Perh. in current sense 
vaguely associated with cuddle. 

canopy. F. canapd, sofa, OF. conope, bed- 
curtain, MedL. canapeum, L. conopeum, G. 
Kwi'WTrerov, couch with mosquito curtains, 
from Kiovwif/, gnat, mosquito. E. has thus 
more of the orig. sense, the Rom. langs. 
taking that of the (curtained) couch. 

canorous. From L. canorus, from canere, to 
sing. Cf. sonorous. 

Canossa, go to [pol.]. Used by Bismarck of 
humiliating surrender. Castle near Reggio, 
where Emperor Henry IV made submission 
to Pope Gregory VII (1077). 

Mr Lloyd George approaching his Canossa 

{Westm. Gaz. Nov. 17, 1920). 

cant^ Corner, edge. ONF. cant {chant), Medl^. 
cantus (whence also It. canto, Du. kant, 
Ger. kante), perh. Late L. canthus, corner 
of the eye, G. Kav66<;. Now more common 
as verb, to tilt, set edge-ways. Cf. F. poser 
de chant, often wrongly spelt de champ. 





cant^. Slang, humbug. ONF. cant (chant), 
singing; hence, the whining speech of 
beggars; in 17-18 cents, esp. the secret 
jargon of the criminal and vagabond 
classes, "the canting crew." Mod. sense 
springs from hostile application of the term 
to phraseology of certain sects and groups. 
Canting arms (her.) are punning or allusive; 
cf. F. armes parlantes. 

Their languag — which they term peddelars Frenche 
or canting — began but within these xxx j'eeres 

(Harman's Caveat, 1567). 

Boleyn — or Bullen — had the canting arms of a 
black bull's head (C. M. Yonge). 

Cant is the Englishman's second nature 

(Kuno Meyer, late professor at Liverpool). 

Cantab. For Cantabrigian, MedL. Cantabri- 
giensis, from latinized form of Cambridge, 
orig. Grantabridge , later Gantabridge, Canta- 

The Oxonians and Cantabrigians... are the happiest 
Academians on earth (Howell, 1619). 

cantaliver. See cantilever. 

cantaloup. Melon. F., It. Cantaloupo, former 
estate of the Pope where it is said to have 
been introduced from Armenia. 

cantankerous. Prob. coined, on cankerous, 
rancorous, from ME. contekous, from ME. 
& AF. contak, conteke, strife, contekour, 
disputant. The first NED. examples are 
from Goldsmith and Sheridan, so it may- 
be of Ir. formation. Contek is altered from 
AF. contet (= contest). 

Mortel cuntet cumence a lever en la cite de Nicole 
[Lincoln] (Mayor of Lincoln, c. 1272). 

cantata. It., from cantare, to sing. 
cantatrice. F., It., L. cantatrix, cantatric-, 

fem. of cantator, singer, 
canteen. F. cantine. It. cantina, app. cogn. 

with cant^; cf. Du. winkel, shop, lit. corner. 

Also in F. and E. a case fitted with bottles, 

knives and forks, etc. 

The canteen of cutlery was restored to defendant 
{Ev. News, May 11, 191 7). 

canter. Short for Canterbury pace, gallop, 
pilgrims' pace on the Old Kent Road. A 
preliminary canter precedes the race itself. 

The Pegasus of Pope, like a Kentish post-horse, 
is always on the Canterbury (J. Dennis, 1729). 

canterbury. Music-stand, etc. From c. 1850. 

Cf. Pembroke. 
Canterbury bell. Fancifully associated with 

bells on pilgrims' horses. See canter. 
cantharides. L., pi. of cantharis, G. Kav6apti, 

blister-fly, Spanish fly. 

canticle. L. canticulum, dim. from cantus, 
song, from canere, to sing. 

cantilever [arch.]. Bracket. Has been asso- 
ciated with lever, but the form cantlapper 
(161 1), recorded in Appendix V to Phineas 
Pett's Atitobiography, 50 years earlier than 
NED. records, points to something quite 
different. First element is Sp. can, dog. 

can: in architecture, the end of timber or stone 
jutting out of a wall, on which in old buildings 
the beams us'd to rest, called cantilevers 

(Stevens, 1706). 

cantle. Piece, corner, etc. ONF. cantel [chan- 
teau), dim. of cant''^ (q-v.). 

canto. It., L. cantus. First in Spenser. 

canton. F., It. cantone, augment, of canto, 
corner. See canf^. It has many obs. or 
archaic meanings. For mil. sense (can- 
tonments) cf. quarters. 

canton: a corner, or crosse-way, in a street; also, 
a canton, or hundred; a precinct, or circuit of terri- 
tory, wherein there be divers good townes, and 
villages; (Thisword is proper to Helvetia, orSwitzer- 
land; which, at this day, consists of thirteen such 
cantons) (Cotg.). 

cantoris [eccl.]. L., of the singer, i.e. on the 
side of the precentor. Opposite is decani, 
of the dean. 

cantrip [Sc.]. Spell, trick. Orig. in to cast 
cantrips, tell fortunes. Earliest form can- 
trape (Allan Ramsay). Perh. connected 
with incantation. 

Cantuar. Signature of archbp of Canterbury. 
Cf. MedL. Cantuari, men of Kent, from AS. 

Canuck [US.]. French Canadian. App. from 
Canada by analogy with Chinook (q.v.). 

canvas. F. canevas (cf. It. canavaccio), from 
OF. caneve, hemp, L. cannabis, G. Kdvi'ajSi?. 
Prob. of Oriental origin (cf. Pers. kanab) 
and ult. cogn. with hemp (q.v.). Hence 
verb to canvas(s), perh. orig. to sift through 

canyon. See canon. 

canzonet. It. canzonetta, dim. of canzone, 
song, VL. cantio-n-; cf. F. chanson, chan- 

caoutchouc. F. (18 cent.), from native SAmer. 
word (Carib). 

cap. AS. ccBppe, hood. Late L. cappa, mantle, 
of obscure origin, but perh. shortened 
from capitulare, head-dress; cf. Late L. 
capa, cape, cope. Both words have a 
numerous progeny in the Europ. langs. 
Mod. sense of cap is evolved from that of 
woman's hood. The cap of liberty is the 
Phrygian cap given to Roman slaves on 
emancipation. Among fig. meanings is 





percussion cap, put like a cap on the nipple 
of the gun. To cap verses {anecdotes, etc.) 
is to fit one on another. To set one's cap at 
is orig. one of the many naut. metaphors 
which are no longer felt as such; cf. F. 
mettre le cap sur, to turn the ship's head 
towards. Here cap is Prov. for head, L. 

capable. F., Late L. capahilis, receptive, in 
early theol. use, from capere, to hold. 

capacious. For obs. capace, L. capax, capac-, 
from capere, to take. 

cap-a-pie. OF., head to foot. ModF. de pied 
en cap. Cap is Prov. or It. capo, L. caput, 
whence also F. chef. 

caparison. F. caparagon, Sp. caparazon, app. 
from Late L. capa (see cape^) ; cf . MedL. 
caparo, hood (see chaperon) . Or it may be 
ult. cogn. with carapace, having been orig. 
applied to armour of warhorse. 

cape^. Garment, orig. hood, " Spanish cloak." 
F., Sp. capa. Late L. capa. True F. form 
is chape, cope. See cap. 

cape^. Promontory. F. cap, Prov. or It. capo, 
head, L. caput. Cf. headland. From 17 
cent. spec, for Cape of Good Hope, usu. 
Cape de Bona Speranza in Hakl. and 
Purch. See also boy. 

capelin. Fish. F.,?from L. caput, head. 

caper^ Plant. F. cdpre. It. cappero, L. cap- 
peris, G. /caTTTrapt?. Spelt in OF. and ME. 
with final -s which has been taken for pi. 
sign and dropped. Cf. pea. 
The erbe caperis shal be scatered 

(Wye. Eccles. xii. 5). 

caper-. Gambol. App. short for capriole (see 
cabriolet). Cf. to play the giddy goat, 
capriola: a capriole or caper in dancing (Flor.). 

capercailzie. Cock of the woods. The -z- is 
late printer's substitute for obs. palatal 
better represented by -y- (cf. Dalziell, 
Mackenzie, etc.). Gael, capull-coille, horse 
(from L. caballus) of the woods. Cf. Cale- 

capias. Writ of arrest. L., thou mayst take. 
Cf. habeas corpus. 

capibara. See capybara. 

capillary. From L. capillaris, from capillus, 
hair, cogn. with caput, head. Capillary 
attraction dates from Laplace (fi827). 

capital'. Of a column. For capitel, L. capi- 
tellum, dim. of caput, head; cf. OF. chapitel 

capital^. Adj. L. capitalis, from caput, head, 
etym. sense surviving in capital punish- 
ment [offence). Later senses show the same 

tendency as ripping, awfully, etc. With 
capital, chief town, cf. synon. AS. heafod- 
stol, head stool, capital. 

capitaP. Money. Late L. capitate, stock, 
property, neut. of capitalis (v.s.). See 
cattle, chattel. Capitalist, as term of re- 
proach for the provident, is F. capitaliste, 
a Revolution coinage (see -ist). 

capitan [hist.']. Sp., captain (q.v.) ; esp. in 
capitan pasha, chief admiral of Turk, fleet. 

capitation. F., L. capitatio-n-. Cf. poll-tax, 
capitation: head-silver, pole-money (Cotg.). 

Capitol. L. capitolium, from caput. Orig. 
Temple of Jupiter on the Tarpeian Hill; 
later, the citadel. Trad, from a head which 
was discovered in digging the foundations. 

capitular. See chapter. 

capitulate. From MedL. capitulare (from caput, 
capit-, head), to draw up an agreement 
under "heads." Retains orig. sense in the 
hist, capitulations (1535) between Turkey 
and France. 

caplin. See capelin. 

capon. AS. capun, L. capo-n-. 

caponier [fort.l. Covered passage. F. capon- 
niere, Sp. caponera, "a coope wherein 
capons are put to feed" (Minsh.). For 
sense-development cf. sentinel. 

caporal. F., tobacco of quality superior to 
tabac du soldat {de cantine). See corporal. 

capot. Winning all tricks at piquet. From 
capot, hood, dim. of cape, in faire capot, 
though metaphor not clear. See domino. 

Vous allez faire pic, repic et capot tout ce qu'il 
y a de galant k Paris (Mol. Precieuses, 9). 

She would ridicule the pedantry of the terms — 
such as pique, repique, the capot 

(Lamb, Mrs Battle). 

capote. F., also capot (v.s.), dim. of cape (see 

caprice. F., It. capriccio (also formerly in 

E. use), from capro, goat, L. caper (cf. 

caper^). But It. capriccio is connected by 

some with L. caput, head; cf. synon. F. 

coup de fete. 
Capricorn. L. capricornus, horned goat (v.s.). 

Cf. G. atyo/cepws. 
capriole. Leap, etc. See caper^. 
capsicum. ModL., perh. from L. capsa, case, 

pod. Cf. capsule. 
capsize. Replaced (18 cent.) earlier overset. 

Orig. capacise (v.i.), an older form than 

NED. records. First element prob. means 

head; cf. Ger. koppseisen, from E., & F. 

chavirer, to capsize, prob. from caput and 





virer, to turn. But synon. F. capoter, Sp. 
capuzar, suggest some connection with 
cape, hood. 

to capacise: renverser ou chavirer quelque chose; 
c'est une expression vulgaire (Lesc). 

capstan. Prov. cahestan (whence F. cahestan), 
for cabestran (cf. Sp. cabestrante) , from 
cabestrare, L. capistrare , to fasten with a 
rope, L. capistrum, from capere, to take, 
seize. Sp. cabrestante is folk-etym., "stand- 
ing goat." So also E. capstern, as late as 
cabestan: the capstern or crab of a ship (Falc). 

capsule. F., L. capsula, dim. of capsa, chest, 

captain. F. capitaine, Late L. capitaneus, 
from caput, head. A learned word, perh. 
influenced by It. capitano, Sp. capitan. 
The true OF. word is chataigne, chevetain, 
whence E. chieftain. The captain of a ship 
orig. commanded the fighting men (see 
master). Also in poet, sense of great com- 
mander, as in Kipling's line The captains 
and the kings depart, the deletion of which 
from a press article, as "likely to convey 
information to the enemy,"' gained anony- 
mous immortality for one of the censor's 
staff. Led-captain, hired bully, is associated 
with F. capitan, braggart, ruffier, from 
Sp. (v.s.). 

caption [neol. from US.]. Title, of article, etc. 

captious. F. captieux, L. captiosus, from 
captio, sophistical argument, lit. taking 
hold, from capere, to seize. 

captive. L. captivus. See caitiff. With capti- 
vate cf. enthral. 

capture. F., L. captura, from capere, capt-, 
to take. Cf. caption, captor. 

Capua. Place of effeminate influences, from 
trad, effect on Hannibal's soldiers. 

How... skilfully Gainsborough painted, before at 
Bath he found his Ca.pua{Athenaeum, Oct. 29, 1887). 

capuchin. F., It. capuccino, from capuccio, 
hood, from capa (see cape^). Pointed hood 
adopted by Franciscans of new rule (1528). 

capybara. Largest extant rodent (SAmer.). 
Native Braz. name. Cf. cavy. Purch. has 
capivara (xvi. 288). 

car. ONF. carre, Late L. *carra for carrus, 
whence F. char. It. Sp. carro. Of Celt, 
origin (cf. Ir. carr, ult. cogn. with L. 
currus). First used by Caesar of the Celtic 
war-chariot. Application to public vehicles 
is US. 

Carabas, marquis of. From title invented for 

his master by Puss in Boots (Perrault, 

17 cent.). 
carabine. See carbine. The Carabineers are 

the 6th Dragoon Guards. 
caracal. Feline animal, the lynx of the 

ancients. F., Turk, qarah-qulaq, black-ear. 
caracole [equit.]. Half-turn. F., It. caracollo 

or Sp. Port, caracol, spiral shell, staircase, 

etc. Origin unknown. ? From Celt.; cf. 

Gael, car, turn, twist. 
caracul. Fur resembling astrakhan. From 

Kara-Kul, i.e. black lake (near Bokhara). 

And on his head he plac'd his sheep-skin cap, 
Black, glossy, curl'd, the fleece of Kara-Kul 

(M. Arnold, Sohrab & Ruslum). 

carafe. F., It. caraffa, Pers. qardbah, flagon 
(see carboy). Another etym. is from Arab. 
gharafa, to draw water; cf. Sp. Port, gar- 

carambole. See cannon^. 

caramel. F., It. Sp. caramelo, "marchpane, 
or such-like delicate confection" (Minsh.). 
? Ult. L. canna mellis (cf. sugar-stick). 

carapace. F. ;? cogn. with ca_^an'soM. But see 
also calipash. 

carat. F., It. carato, Arab, qirdt, G. Kepdriov, 
little horn, hence fruit of carob tree, small 
weight. In earlier use confused with obs. 
caract, mark, sign (character), 
carato: a waight or degree called a caract (Flor.). 

caravan. F. caravane, a word dating from 
the Crusades, Pers. kdrwdn, company of 
merchants or ships travelling together, 
"also of late corruptly used with us for 
a kind of waggon to carry passengers to 
and from London" (Blount, 1674). Hence 
caravanserai, from Pers. sardl,, mansion, 
inn. New sense in E. prob. arose in con- 
nection with the wanderings of gipsies. 

caravel [hist.']. See carvel. 

caraway, carraway. Cf. F. It. Sp. carvi (Sc. 
carvy), OSp. al-caravea, Arab, karawiyd, 
prob. from G. Kapov, whence L. canim, 
careuni (Pliny); cf. Du. karwij, Ger. karbe. 
The E. form has parallels in surnames 
like Ottoway, Hadaway, etc., where the 
final syllable is for -wy, AS. -wtg, as in 
Edwy, from Eadwig. 

carbine. Earlier (17 cent.) carabine, F. (16 
cent.), app. weapon of a carabin, light 
horseman, though the converse may be 
the case (cf. dragoon). Origin unknoA\Ti. 
OF. var. calabrin and MedL. calabrinus 
have suggested connection ^vith Calabria, 
carabin: a carbine, or curbeene; an arquebuzier... 
serving on horsebacke (Cotg.). 



carbolic. From carbon by analogy with 

carbon. Coined by Lavoisier (11794) from 

L. carbo-n-, whence F. charbon, charcoal, 
carbonado [archaic']. Sp. carbonada, "a car- 

bonardo on the coals" (Minsh.). Hence, 

to broil, and fig. to slash. See carbon. 

I'll so carbonado your shanks {Lear, ii. 2). 

Carbonari [hist.']. Secret society formed in 
Naples during Murat's rule (c. 1810). PI. of 
carbonaro, charcoal-burner (v.s.). Ci.gueux, 
beggars, name assumed by Du. republicans 
(16 cent.). 

carboy. Large wicker-covered vessel for 
chemicals. Pers. qardbah, flagon. See 

carbuncle. ME. & OF. usu. charbucle, but 
OXF. carbuncle, L. carbunculus, little coal. 
Forms in most Europ. langs., including 
Ger. karfunkel, popularly connected with 
funkeln, to sparkle. For double sense- 
development, found also in other langs., 
cf. anthrax. 

carbunculus: a little cole: a certaine botch comming 
of inflammation: a precious stone: a carbuncle 

■ (Coop.). 

carburet. Coined (18 cent.) from carbon, by 
analogy with sulphuret. 

carcajou. Canad. F. for wolverine. Amer. 
Ind. name. 

carcanet[antiq.]. Jewelled collar, fillet. Dim. 
of F. carcan, iron collar as pillory, Mero- 
vingian L. carcannum. ?Cf. OHG. cwerca, 
throat, ON. kverk, angle under chin. Obs. 
E. quarken, to choke, is cogn. 

carcase, carcass. ME. carcays, AF. carcois, 
OF. charquois, represented by MedL. car- 
cosium. This was replaced (16 cent.) by 
mod. form, F. carcasse, It. carcassa. Earlier 
sense was skeleton. It is possible that the 
first form is L. carchesimn, tall drinking 
vessel, G. Kapxya-Lov, whence It. carcasso, 
Sp. carcaj, quiver, OF. carquois, upper part 
of skeleton, now also, quiver; but the 
whole group of words is obscure. Others 
regard all these words as coming, via MedL. 
tarchesium, from Pers. tarkash, quiver, 
with dissim. like that of Ger. kartoffel (see 
truffle). In archaic sense of bomb always 
spelt carcass. 

carcel. Lamp. Name of F. inventor (19 

carcinology. Study of the crab, G. KapKivo?. 

cardi. Pasteboard. F. carte. It. carta, L. 
charta, G. x^-Rtit;, leaf of papyrus. Earliest 

careen 252 

in playing-card sense. Carte is still usual 
in Sc. See chart, with which card was once 
synon., as in to speak by the card, i.e. by the 
compass-card. As applied to a person, 
queer card, knowing card, it may be an 
extension of the metaph. good card, sure 
card, etc., or may be an anglicized form of 
Sc. caird, tinker (cf. artful beggar, etc.). On 
the cards refers to the possibihties of the 

I showed them tricks which they did not know to 
be on the cards (Smollett's Gil Bias). 

card^. For wool. F. carde, teasel, Prov. 
carda, VL. *carda, for carduus, thistle. 
Earliest as verb. 
To karde and to kembe {Piers Plowm. C. x. 80). 

cardamine. Plant. Mod. (Linnaeus), G. Kap- 
Sa/xivr], from Kap8a/xov, cress. 

cardamom. Spice. OF. cardemome, L., G. 
KapSafiw/jiov, from Kap8a/xov, cress, and 
a/jLoy/jLov , a spice-plant. 

cardiac. F. cardiaque, L., G. KapSia/co?, from 
KapSta, heart, cogn. with L. cor-d-. 

cardigan. Jacket. From seventh Earl of 
Cardigan (Balaclava). Cf. spencer, Welling- 
ton, etc. 

cardinal. L. cardinalis, essential, as in car- 
dinal points [virtues), from car do, cardin-, 
hinge; cf. G. Kaphav, to swing. Earliest 
as noun (12 cent.), from Late L. episcopus 
(or presbyter) cardinalis, orig. in charge of 
one of the cardinal (or parish) churches of 
Rome, and, since third Lateran Council 
(it 73), member of council electing the 
Pope. As name of colour from red hat 
and robe. 

cardio-. See cardiac. 

cardoon. Kind of artichoke. Y.,Vxov. cardon, 
VL. *cardo-n-, for carduus, thistle. Cf. F. 
chardon, thistle. 

care. AS. caru, noun, cearian, verb. Orig, 
sorrow; with secondary sense of close at- 
tention cf. to take pains. Com. Teut. ; cf. 
OSax. cara, OHG. chara, ON. kbr, Goth. 
kara. Only surviving outside E. in Ger. 
Karfreitag, Good Friday, with which cf. 
obs. Sc. Care-Sunday, 5th in Lent. See 
chary. Black care is Horace's atra cura. 
Post equitem sedet atra cura {Odes, iii. i. 40). 

careen. To turn a ship on one side for clean- 
ing, etc. F. carener, from carene, keel. It. 
(Genoese) carena, L. carina. Or perh. rather 
from Sp., the duties of the " carenero or 
calker" being described in detail in Hakl. 
(xi. 447). 

253 career 

career. F. carvieve, It. carrier a, from carro, 

chariot (see car). Orig. race, race-course; 

cf . in full career, to come careering down the 

street, etc. For later sense cf. ctirriculmn. 

caress. F. caresser, It. carezzare, from carezza, 

L. caritia, from carus, dear. 
caret [typ.]. Sign of omission (a). L., from 

carere, to be lacking. The symbol is the 

circumflex accent, commonly used as sign 

of omission. 
carfax [hist.]. Cross-roads, as still at Oxford 

and Exeter. ME. carrefoukes, car fox, pi. 

of OF. carrefourc (carrefour), VL. *quadri- 

furcus, four-forked. 
cargo. Sp. cargo or carga, from cargar, to 

load; cf. It. carrica, F. charge. See charge, 

cariatid. See caryatid. 
Carib [ling.]. Used of a large group of Wind. 

langs. See cannibal. 
caribou. NAmer. reindeer. Canad. F., from 

Micmac (Algonkin) kalehon, said to mean 

"shoveller," because the deer shovels away 

the snow with its hoofs to get at the moss 

on which it feeds. 
caricature. F., It. caricatura. The It. form 

was in common E. use 17-18 cents. Lit. 

an over-loading, from carricare, to load. 

See charge and cf. F. charge, caricature. 
carillon. F., chime, VL. *quadrilio-n-, peal 

of four. OF. had also carignon, VL. 

*quatrinio-n- ; cf . Prov. trinho, trilho, chime, 

from *trinio-n-. The references are mostly 

to Flanders, "where the carillons ripple 

from old spires" (Dowden). 
carin- [biol.]. From L. carina, keel. 
cariole. See carriole. 
carious [med.]. From L. caries, decay. 
cark. AF. kark, load, Norm, form of F. 

charge, load, burden. Thus, "load of care," 

with which it commonly occurs, e.g. cark- 

ing care, for which Spenser has careful cark. 
carl, carlin [dial.]. Man, old woman. ON. 

karl (m.), kerling (f.), whence Sw. Dan. 

karl, fellow, cogn. with churl (q.v.). 

The carlin claught her by the rump, 
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump 

{Tarn 0' Shanter). 

carline. Thistle. F., Sp. It. MedL. carlina, 
with a legendary ref. to Charlemagne. 

carling [natit.]. Longitudinal timber. Icel. 
kerling suggests identity with carlin (q.v.). 
But F. carlingue is app. for older escar- 
lingue (Jal), which suggests connection 
with Du. schaar, Ger. scher, as in schaar- 
stokken, scherstocke, carlings. The second 

carnival 254 

part may be OF. leigne, wood, L. lignum. 
Cf. It. Sp. carlinga. 
Carliol. Signature of bishop of Carlisle, 

MedL. Carliolum. 
Carlist [hist.]. Spanish legitimist, supporting 
claims of Don Carlos, second son of 
Charles IV of Spain, as opposed to reigning 
family, sprung from daughter of Ferdinand 
VII (ti833). 
Carlovingian, Carolingian [hist.]. F. kings 
descended from Charlemagne, MedL. Caro- 
lus Magnus. F. carlovingien is after mero- 
carmagnole. Revolutionary song and dance 
(Paris 1793), from a kind of jacket favoured 
by the Repubhcans. ? From Carmagnola 
in Piedmont. 

Carmelite. White friar. From monastery on 
Mount Carmel founded by Berthold (12 
cent.). Hence also fabric. 

carminative. Remedy for flatulency. From 
L. carminare, to card wool, hence fig. to 

carmine. F. carmin (12 cent.), MedL. car- 
minus, from Arab, qirmazl, from qirmiz, 
kermes (q.v.). Cf. Sp. carmin, carmesi, 
crimson (q.v.). Form has perh. been in- 
fluenced by association with minium (see 
miniature) . 

carnac [archaic]. Elephant-driver, mahout. 
F. comae. Port, corndca, Singhalese kHrawa- 
ndyaka, stud keeper. Has been assimilated 
to surname Carnac, a famous Anglo-Ind. 

carnage. F., It. carnaggio, "carnage, slaughter, 
murther; also all manner of flesh meate" 
(Flor.), from L. caro, cam-, flesh. Cf. 
archaic F. charnage, Church season at 
which flesh may be eaten. 

carnal. L. camalis, of the flesh, caro, cam-. 
Cf. F. charnel. 

carnation. Orig. flesh-colour. F., from L. 
caro, cam-, flesh, after It. camagione, "the 
hew or colour of ones skin and flesh" 
(Flor.) . The flower is also called incarnation 
and coronation by 16 cent, herbalists, but 
F. oeillet carnd, flesh-coloured pink, points 
to carnation as the original. For converse 
sense-development see pink^. Cf. corne- 

carnelian. See cornelian. 

carnival. F. camaval or It. carncvale, Shrove 
Tuesday. Cf. MedL. camelevarium, carnile- 
vamen, from L. carnem levare, to remove 
meat. Forms have been influenced by 
fanciful derivations from L. vale, farewell 

255 carnivorous 

(v.i.), or F. d val, down (with). In most 
Europ. langs. 

carnevale: shrove-tide, shroving time, when flesh 
is bidden farewell (Torr.). 

This feast is named the Carnival, which being 
Interpreted, implies "farewell to flesh" 

(Byron, Beppo, vi.). 

carnivorous. From L. carnivoriis , from caro, 
cam-, flesh, vorare, to devour. 

camy Idial.]. To wheedle. Origin unknown. 

carob. Locust bean. Usu. identified with 
the Prodigal's husks and John the Bap- 
tist's locusts. OF. carobe, carroube, It. 
carrubo, Sp. garrobo, Arab, kharrubah. 

carrobe: the carob, carob-beane, or carob beane cod, 
S.John's bread (Cotg.). 

caroche. Obs. form of carriage (q.v.), used 
by Thackeray. 

carol. In ME. a round dance (cf. ballad), 
OF. Carole, Prov. corola, L. corolla, gar- 
land. Carole is common in OF. of a ring 
of people, assembly, circle of pillars, etc. 
Some connect it rather ^vith chorus. 

carolle: a kinde of dance wherein many may dance 
together; also, a Carroll, or Christmas song (Cotg.). 

Caroline. Belonging to Charles, esp. Charle- 
magne (see Carlovingian) , and Charles I and 
II of England. 

Carolingian. See Carlovingian. 

carolus. Gold coin of Charles I, also of 
Charles VIII of France. Cf. jacobus, louis, 

carom. See cannon^. 

carotid. G. KapwrtScs (pi.), from Kapovv, to 
stupefy, because compression of the artery 
has this effect (Galen). 

carousal. From carouse (q.v.), but sometimes 
confused by hist, writers with archaic 
carousel, carrousel, festival with chariot- 
racing, tilting, etc., "a kind of superb, be- 
tailored running at the ring" (Carlyle), 
F., It. carosello, prob. from L. carrus, 
chariot (cf. career). 

carouse. From the phrase drink carouse, to 
drink bumpers, OF. carous, Ger. gar aus, 
quite out. We also find obs. garous, garaus, 
straight from Ger. All out was also used; 
cf. Ger. all aus. See also rouse^. 

Je ne suis de ces importuns hfrelofres, qui, par 
force, par oultraige, contraignent...lescompaignons 
trinquer, voyre carous et alluz, qui pis est 

(Patttagniel, iii. Prol.). 
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet 

(Haml. V. 2). 
carpi. Fish. F. carpe. Late L. carpa (cf. It. 



Sp. carpa), used (6 cent.) of a Danube fish, 
and hence prob. of Teut. or Slav, origin. 
Cf. Ger. karpfen, Russ. karpu, Serb, krap, 
carp2. Verb. ME. to speak, talk, later ME. 
to talk censoriously. App. ON. karpa, to 
chatter, brag, influenced in meaning by 
association with L. carpere, to pluck, pull 
to pieces. 

Thus conscience of Crist and of the croys carpede 
{Piers Plowm. C. xxii. 199). 

carpal [anat.]. Of the wrist, L. carpus, G. 


carpel [bot.]. Pistil cell. Dim. from G. Kapiro?, 
fruit. Cf. F. carpelle. 

carpenter. ONF. carpentier (charpentier) , L. 
carpentariiis , cart-wright, from carpentiim, 
chariot, of Celt, origin; cf. Gael, carbod, 
chariot, Olr. carpal, Welsh cerbyd (from 
Ir.); prob. cogn. with L. corbis, basket, 
ground-idea being vehicle of wicker. For 
Celt, origin cf. car. 

carpet. OF. carpite, a coarse shaggy ma- 
terial; cf. MedL. It. carpita, rough patch- 
work, etc., from VL. *carpire, for carpere, 
to pluck. Cf. F. charpie, lint for wounds, 
from OF. charpir, to pluck to pieces. 
For sense-development cf. rug. Carpets 
covered tables and beds before they were 
used for floors. Hence on the carpet, like 
F. sur le tapis, means on the table, before 
the council, etc. (see bureau). A carpet- 
knight was one knighted at court, kneeling 
on the carpet before the throne, instead 
of on the battlefield. A carpet-bagger was 
orig. a pol. adventurer from the northern 
US., who, after the war (1861-5), threw 
himself into southern politics to exploit 
the negro vote. The verb to carpet, to 
reprimand, was first used of servants made 
to "walk the carpet," i.e. summoned into 
the "parlour" for a wigging. 

This man [Paris] is alwaye descrived of Homere as 
a more pleasaunt carpet knight then stoute 
warriour, and more delighting in instrumentes and 
daliaunce then martial prowesse and chivalrie 

(Coop. Did. Hist. 1565). 

carpo- Ipot.']. From G. AcapTros, fruit. 

carrack [hist.']. Large ship, galleon. OF. 
caraque, It. caraca, Sp. Port, carraca, MedL. 
carraca, carrica, whence also Du. kraak 
and obs. E. crack. A Mediterranean word. 
? From Arab, qaraqlr, pi. of qiirqur (whence 
Port, coracora, kind of ship), from Late L. 
carricare (see charge, carry). Hence perh. 



also naut. carrick-bend, carrick-bitts; cf. 
karryk anker {Nav. Accts. 1495-97). 

And now hath Sathanas, seith he, a tayl, 
Brodder than of a carryk is the sayl 

(Chauc. D. 1687). 

Two greate carracores and two greate proas 

(Jourdain's Journ. 1613). 

carrageen. Edible sea-weed. From Carra- 
gheen, near Waterford. 

carraway. See caraway. 

carriage. ONF. cariage {charriage), from 
cavier (see carry). The sense of vehicle 
was evolved from the abstract idea of 
carrying (cf. conveyance), and has, since 
middle of 18 cent., partly absorbed caroch, 
16 cent. F. carroche (carrosse). It. carroccia, 
carrozza, from carro, car. F. voitiire, VL. 
vectura, shows the same transition from the 
abstract to the concrete. For fig. sense 
cf. bearing, deportment, 
carrucha: a carroch, a coche (Percy vail). 

David left his carriage [Vulg. vasa quae attulerat] 
in the hand of the keeper of the carriage 

(i Sam. xvii. 22). 

carrick bend [naut.]. See carrack. 

carriole. F., It. carriola, from carro, car. 
Common in Canada (also kind of sleigh) 
and US., where it is sometimes altered to 

A new brightly-painted carry-all drawn by a slothful 
gray horse (O. Henry). 

carrion. ONF. caronie, caroigne {charogne), 
VL. *caronia, from caro, flesh; cf. It. 
carogna, Sp. carona. Orig. (OF. & ME.) 
dead body. 

carronade [naid.]. Short heavy naval gun, 
introduced 1779. From Carron iron-works, 
near Falkirk. 

carrot. F. carrotte, L. carota, G. /capwrov, 
prob. from Kapa, head. 

carry. ONF. carter {charrier), from car {char), 
vehicle, car. For sense of winning, e.g. to 
carry a fortress {all before one), cf. similar 
use of F. emporter. Intrans. to carry on 
(naut.) seems to be evolved from to carry 
sail, F. charrier de la voile. For fig. sense 
cf. to go on. 

cart. ON. kartr, cogn. with AS. crcBt, chariot. 
? Orig. of wicker (see crate). Has prob. also 
absorbed ONF. carete {charrette), dim. oicar 
{char). To cart, defeat utterly, to be in the 
cart, done for, perh. go back to the cart in 
which criminals were taken to execution. 

carte^, quarte [fencing]. F. qiiarte (sc. 
parade), fern, of quart, fourth, L. quartus. 
Cf. tierce. 

carvel 258 

carte^. F., in carte blanche, blank charter, 
carte-de-visite, small photograph, orig. in- 
tended to be used as visiting card. See 

cartel. Challenge, written agreement. F., It. 
cartello, from carta (see card^). Sense of 
commercial trust, also kartel, is app. via 
Gar. kartell. 

Cartesian. Follower of Rend Descartes, F. 
mathematician and philosopher (1596- 
1650), latinized Cartesiiis. 

Carthusian. MedL. Cartusianus, monk of 
la Grande-Chartreuse (Isere). Order found- 
ed by St Bruno (1086). See charter-house. 

cartilage. F., L. cartilago. 

cartle. See kartel. 

cartography. See card^, chart. 

carton. F., card-board, card-board box (v.i.). 

cartoon. F. carton. It. cartone, augment, of 
carta, card. Punch sense is mod. 

cartouche. Ornament in scroll form, also 
figure in Egyptian hieroglyphics. F., It. 
cartoccio, from carta, card. Earlier also 
cartridge (v.i.). 

cartoche: as cartouche, also, a cartridge, or roll (in 
architecture) (Cotg.). 

cartridge. Corrupt, of cartouche, F., It. car- 
toccio, "a coffin of paper" (Flor.), from 
carta, card. Cartridge-paper was orig. the 
stiff, rough paper used for cartridges. 

cartouche: a cartouch, or full charge, for a pistoll, 
put up within a Httle paper, to be the readier for 

use (Cotg.). 

cartulary, chartulary. Late L. cartularium, 
from Late L. cartula, charter, dim. of L. 
carta, charta. 

caru'^ate [hist.]. Measure of land, prop, as 
much as could be ploughed with a team 
of eight in a year. MedL. carrucata, from 
Late L. carruca, plough, from camts, car. 
Cf. bovate, ox gang. 

caruncle. Fleshy excrescence. F. caroncule, 
L. caruncula, dim. from caro, flesh. 

carve. AS. ceorfan. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. 
kerven, Ger. kerben, to notch, ON. kyrfa; 
cogn. with G. ypdcj>€Lv, to write. Orig. 
strong, as in archaic p.p. carven. Replaced 
b}^ cut, exc. in spec, senses. 

carvel, caravel [hist.]. As I have shown else- 
where in an exhaustive note {Trans. Phil. 
Soc. Feb. 1910) these were orig. separate 
words. Carvel-built, i.e. with planks fitting 
edge to edge, as opposed to clinker-built. 
with overlapping planks, is of Du. origin. 
The reference is to the kind of nail used. 





Du. karviel Sp. cavilla, L. clavicula, con- 
trasted with clincher. Caravel, F. caravelle, 
It. caravella (cf. Sp. carabela), is from Late 
L. carabus, coracle, G. Kupa/Sos. The two 
words soon became hopelessly confused. 

caryatid [arch.]. Column in form of female 
figure. From L., G. KapuartSc?, pi. of 
Kapvans, priestess of Artemis at Caryae in 

cascabel [archaic]. Knob at rear of cannon. 
Sp., little round bell, child's rattle, from 
Late L. cascahus, bell. 

cascade. F., It. cascata, from cascare, to fall, 
VL. *casicare, from casus, fall, case^ 

cascara. Sp., rind, bark, from cascar, to 
break, VL. *quassicare, from quatere, 
quass-, to break. Cf. quash. 

case^. Orig. what happens or befalls. F. cas, 
L. casus, from cadere, cas-, to fall. In 
gram, sense a transl. of G. TTTMcns, from 
TriTrretv, to fall. Hence casual, casualty. 
A much overworked word. 

Case and instance are the commonest and the most 
dangerous of a number of parasitic growths which 
are the drj'-rot of syntax 

(Times Lit. Supp. May 8, 1919). 

case^. Receptacle. ONF. casse {chdsse), L. 
capsa, from caper e, to take, hold. Hence 
case-hardened, of iron hardened on the sur- 
face; but, as case was used in 16 cent, for 
skin or hide, perh. the epithet was orig. 
of the same type as hide-bound (cf. to case, 
i.e. skin, a hare, Mrs Glasse). 

Glosty the fox is fled, there lies his case 

[Look about you, 1600). 

Hide-bound officials and service people of the case 
hardened armour-plate type 

(Sunday Times, July 8, 1917). 

casein [chem.]. From L. caseus, cheese. 

casemate. F. ; cf . It. casamatta, Sp. casaniata. 
Orig. a cavity in the foss of a fortification, 
as is shown by the Ger. equivalents mord- 
grube, mordkeller, murder-ditch (-cellar). 
First element has been associated with It. 
casa, house, hut, and second with Sp. 
matar, to slay (cf. matador), hence Flor. 
has casamatta, " a casamat, or a slaughter- 
house." But the earliest authority for the 
word, Rabelais, has chasmate, both in the 
mil. sense and in that of chasm, abyss (v.i.). 
Hence Menage was perh. right in deriving 
the word from G. xao'A'a. X'^^f^"-'^-' which 
may very well have been introduced into 
mil. lang. by the learned engineers of the 
Renaissance, whose theories were chiefly 
based on Caesar, Thucydides, etc. The use 

of vuider, to empty, in quot. i , shows that 
the casemate was a cavity or pit. 

Les autres...escuroyent contremines, gabionnoyent 
deffenses, ordonnoyent plates formes, vuidoyent 
chasmates (Pantagruel, iii. Prol.). 
Bestes nommes neades, a la seule voix desquelles 
la terre fondoyt en chasmates et en abysme 

(ih. iv. 62). 

casement. Prob. aphet. for encasement; cf. 
OF. enchdssement, window frame. See 
chase'-, sash^. 

caseous. See casein. 

casern [archaic]. Barracks. Orig. used, like 
barracks, of small huts ? for four men each 
(cf. mess). F., Prov. cazerna, L. quaterna; 
cf. Prov. cazern, quire (q.v.). 

cash^. Money. F. caisse or It. cassa, L. 
capsa, receptacle (see case^). Orig. money- 
box. Financial terms are largely It. (cf. 
bankrupt). In ModF. caisse means count- 

cassa: a chest,... also, a merchant's cash, or counter 


cash^. Various small Eastern coins. Perh. 
ult. Tamil kdsu, some small coin or weight. 
Cf. Port, caixa, caxa. Spelling has been 
influenced by cash^. 

cashew. Nut. F., Port, acajou, which also 
means mahogany, Brazil, acaju. 

cashier^. Of bank. Adapted from F. caissier 
(see cash''-). 

cashier^ [mil .] . To dismiss. Archaic Du. Aas- 
seren, F. casser, to break, L. quassare, from 
quassus {quatere). Cf. roster, leaguer, fur- 
lough and other war-words from the Low 
Countries. Earlier also cass, from F. casser, 
of which the p.p. is still in mil. use, in cast 
stores [horses, etc.). 
casser: to casse, cassere, discharge (Cotg.). 
But the colonel said he must go, and he [the drum 
horse] was cast [i.e. cassed] in due form 

(Kipling, Rout of the White Hussars). 

cashmere. From Kashmir, in Western Hima- 
laj'as. Hence corrupt, kerseymere. With 
archaic cassimere cf. F. perversion casi- 
mir, assimilated to Pol. name. 

casino. It., from casa, house, L. casa, hut. 

cask. Sp. casco, pot, head, helmet, orig. 
potsherd, from cascare, to break up, VL. 
*quassicare (quatere). For sense-develop- 
ment cf. F. tete, L. testa, potsherd, vessel. 
With later sense of helmet cf. once com- 
mon use of pot, kettle-hat, etc. in same 
sense (see also bascinet). Casque, from F., 
is thus the same word as cask, from which 
it did not earlier differ in spelling. The 
Elizabethan sailors regularly use cask as 





collect, or pi. (cf. cannon and see quot. 
s.v. size). 

casco: a caske or barganet, the sheards of an 
earthen pot, a tile-sheard, a head, a head-peece 


casket. Corrupted from F. cassette (14 cent.), 
dim. of casse (see case^). For -k- cf. gasket, 
cassette: a small casket, chest, cabinet, or forcer 


casque. F., Sp. casco, replacing OF. heaunie 
(OHG. helm). See cask. 

Cassandra. Unheeded prophetess. Priam's 
daughter, who foretold destruction of Troy. 

cassation. F., annulment, as in cour de cassa- 
tion, from F. casser, to quash (q.v.). 

cassava. Plant. A Haytian word with forms 
also in F., Sp. Port. See also manioc. 

casserole. F., from casse, bowl, Sp. cazo, 
Arab, qasa, dish. Cf. cassolette. 

cassia. Kind of cinnamon {Ps. xlv. 8). G. 
Kaaia, from Heb. qdisa, to strip off bark. 

cassimere. See cashmere. 

cassock. F. casaque, It. casacca, "a frocke, 
a horse-mans cote, a long cote" (Flor.) ; 
cf. Sp. casaca. Prob. of Slav, origin, 
? Cossack (coat). Cf. dalmatic, cravat, and 
obs. esclavine, Slav mantle. Cossac'i is 
regularly cassak in Hakl. Eccl. sense is 
latest (17 cent.). 

cassolette. Pan or box for perfumes. F., see 

cassowary. Malay kasudrt, prob. via Du. or F. 

cast. ON. kasta, cogn. with L. gestare. In 
ME. this replaced AS. weorpan (see warp), 
and is now itself largely replaced by throw. 
Formerly used in mod. sense of warp, turn, 
as still in a cast in the eye. The oldest sense 
seems to have been to throw into a heap, 
give shape to (cf. Norw. kast, host, heap, 
pile). Hence metal casting, cast of mind 
{actors), casting a horoscope. From the 
last comes forecast. Obs. sense of deciding 
appears in casting vote. Castaway is oldest 
as theol. term, reprobate (i Cor. ix. 27), 
where Wye. has reprovable. So in 2 Cor. 
xiii. 5, Tynd., Coverd., Cranmer have cast- 
away where A V. has reprobate. Used 
allusively by Cowper (1799) as title of 
poem, and hence now associated with the 
sea. Some of the senses of the p.p. cast are 
from the obs. cass (see cashier-). Here 
belongs also partly cast in damages. 
They all v wher cast for to dee 

(Machyn's Diary, 1350-63). 

Castalian. Of the Muses. From G. Kao-raAta, 
spring on Mount Parnassus. 

Castanet. F. castagnette, Sp. castaneta, dim. 
of castana, chestnut (q.v.), L. castanea. 
From shape. 

castaway. See cast. 

caste. Sp. Port, casta, race, orig. fern, of 
casto, pure, chaste, L. castus. First from 
Sp., but in mod. sense from India via Port., 
the spelling being taken from F. Cf . padre, 
tank. Hence to lose caste. Caste is now 
(191 7-1 8) much used of any class claiming 
special privileges and immunities. Junkers, 
Bolshevists, trade-unionists, etc. 

castellan [archaicl. ONF. castellain. See 

castigate. From L. castigare. See chastise. 

castle. AS. castel, village, L. castellum, dim. 
of castrum, fort; ME. castel, castle, ONF. 
castel {chateau). Introduced twice, in differ- 
ent senses now amalgamated. With castle 
in the air (16 cent.) cf. the earlier castle in 
Spain, from F. chateau en Espagne, re- 
corded in 13 cent. {Rom. de la Rose). The 
chess castle replaced the rook^ in 17 cent. 

Go ye into the castel which is agens you 

(Wye. Luke, xix. 30). 

castor'. Beaver, beaver-hat. F.,L., G. Kao-rwp, 
an Eastern word. Castor-oil, now vege- 
table, was earlier applied to a drug ob- 
tained from the animal, L. castoreum, "oil 
made from the stones of the beaver" 
(Litt.). Cold-drawn castor oil is pressed out 
of the seeds without use of heat. 

castor^. As in pepper-castor, castor on chair- 
leg, ior eaxlier caster , irovacast, to throw, also, 
to turn. Hence castor-sugar (neol.), with 
which cf. Ger. streiizucker , lit. strew-sugar. 

Castor and Pollux. See Dioscuri. 

castrametation [fort.} . From L. castra, camp, 
metari, to measure. 

castrate. From L. castrare, perh. cogn. with 
castus, pure. 

casual. L. casualis, from casus, chance. 
Hence casual labourer {pauper, ward). 
Casualty in mil. sense is from earlier sense 
of mischance, accident. 

casuist. F. casuiste, Sp. casuista, theologian 
who resolves "cases of conscience" (MedL. 
casus conscientiae) , esp. (c. 1600) with ref. 
to the Jesuits. 

cat. ONF. cat {chat). Late L. cattus; cf. Late 
G. Karra. In most Europ. langs., but of 
obscure origin. Hence cat o' nine tails 
(17 cent.), the game of cat (i6 cent.), care 
killed the cat (?n spite of its nine lives). A 
catcall was orig. an instrument. Pepys 
bought one for theatre purposes. Catspaw 


263 . cata- 

refers to fable of fat, monkey and chestnuts. 
To see which way the cat jumps, i.e. to await 
events, appears to be mod. ; cf. to sit on the 
fence. The obs. vessel called a cat (hence 
perh. mod. catboat) is the same word, 
though the reason for the name is not 
known. With it rains cats and dogs cf. F. 
•// pleiit des hallebardes, Ger. es regnet heu- 
gabeln {bauernbuben) . 

My Lord Bruncker, which I make use of as a 
monkey do the cat's foot (Pepys, June 6, 1666). 

cata-. G. Kara, down, but with many sub- 
sidiary senses. Also cat-, cath-. 

catachresis [rhet.]. Improper use of term. 
G., from Karaxprjo-Oai, to misuse. 

cataclysm. F. cataclysme, G. KaTaKXvcrfjio^, 
from kXv^clv, to wash. 

catacombs. Mod. sense dates from explora- 
tion of subterranean Rome, but the name. 
Late L. Catacumhas (c. 400 a.d.), was orig. 
applied onl^^ to the cemetery of St Sebas- 
tian near the Appian way. It is prob. a 
proper name the origin of which is lost. 
It occurs in AS. (10 cent.) and has forms 
in most Europ. langs. 

catadromous. Of fish periodically descending 
river. Opposite of anadromous. From G. 
KardSpoiJio^, running down. Cf. hippo- 

catafalque. F., It. catafalco. See scaffold. 

Catalan [ling.]. Lang, of Catalonia, dial, of 
Provencal with Sp. afifinities. 

catalepsy. G. KaTa.X-q\^L<i, from Xaix^dveiv, to 

catalogue. F., Late L., G. KaraAoyos, from 
X(.yf.Lv, to choose. 

catalpa. Tree. Native NAmer. name (Caro- 

catalysis [chem.]. G. KaraAvo-ts, from Xvclv, 
to loose. 

catamaran. Navdgable raft. From Tamil 
kaita, tie, mar am, wood. 

catamount, catamountain. Leopard, panther, 
now more esp. puma. ME. cat of mountain 
was used to render L. pardns. 

And the beast which I sawe was lyke a catte off the 
mountayne (Tynd. Rev. xiii. 2). 

cataplasm. G. KaraTrAacrfia, poultice, from 
TrAacro-etj/, to plaster. 

catapult. L. catapitlta, G. KaTaTrcAxr/s, from 
TraAAetv, to hurl. Orig. warlike engine, 
current sense from c. 1870. 

cataract. F. cataracte, L. cataracta, G. Kara- 
pa.KTr]';, ? from p-qyvvvai, to break, ? or 
pdaaeiv, to dash. Oldest ME. sense is 
portcullis, whence the cataract obscuring 



the eye. It occurs of the floodgates of 
heaven earlier than in the waterfall sense, 
cataractae caeh apertae sunt {Vulg. Gen. vii. 11). 
coulisse: a portcullis; also a web in the eye (Cotg.). 

catarrh. F. catarrhe, L., G. Kardppovs, from 
KarappeLV, to flow down. 

catastrophe. G. KaTao-Tpocpi], from aTpecf)eLv, 
to turn. Orig. the fatal turning-point of a 

catawampous, catawamptious [t/^S.]. Humor- 
ous coinage, perh. suggested by catamount. 

Catawba. Grape and wine. River in S. Caro- 
lina, named from the Katahba Indians. 

catch. ONE. cachier, Picard form of chasser, 
VL. *captiare for *captare. See chase'^. Past 
caught, for catched, is app. due to obs. 
laiight, from ME. lacchen, native synonym 
of catch. This word perh. also accounts 
for the spec, sense which catch has acquired 
in E. A catchword was orig. the initial word 
of the following page placed to catch the 
reader's eye before turning over. Cf. the 
musical catch, in which each singer catches 
the line or melody from the preceding. 

Things in motion sooner catch the eye 

(Troil. & Cress, iii. 3). 

catchpole [hist.']. MedL. cacepollus, OF. chace- 
pole {chasse poiile, hunt hen). See catch, 
chase^, polecat. Orig. tax-gatherer, con- 
fiscating poultry if money was not forth- 
coming. Later, lower law ofi&cer. 

Saul sente catchpoUis [Vulg. lictores] for to take 
David (Wye. i Sam. xix. 20). 

catchup, catsup. Incorr. for ketchup (q.v.). 
cate [archaic]. Aphet. for ME. acate, ONE. 

acat [achat), from acheter, to buy, L. *ad- 

capitare, to add to one's capital. Orig. 

purchase, later, dainty, delicacy, etc. Cf. 


My super-dainty Kate, 

For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate, 

Take this of me (Shrew, ii. i). 

catechize. MedL. catechizare, G. KaT-q-^i^€Lv , 
from KttTT/xeiv, to resound, teach, etc. 
{Luke, i. 4), from Kara, down, ^x^"'- ^° 
sound. Catechumen [Piers Plowm.) is G. 
KarrjxovfJ.evo's (pres. part. pass.). 

catechu. Astringent from bark. Malay kdchii. 
Also in Canarese and Tamil. 

category. G. Kar-qyopia, accusation, asser- 
tion, from Kari^yopav, to speak against, 
from dyopd, place of assembly. Use of the 
word is chiefly due to Aristotle. Categorical 
imperative, moral law springing from pure 
reason, is from Kant. 

catenary [math.]. From L. catena, chain. 





cater. First as noun. ME. acatour, catour, 
buyer (see cate). For lengthened caterer cf. 
fruiterer, poulterer, upholsterer . Hence perh. 
archaic cater-cousin, intimate (cf. foster- 
brother, messmate, chum). 

A gentil Maunciple was ther of a temple, 
Of which achatours myghte take exemple... 
Algate he wayted so in his achaat 
That he was ay biforn and in good staat 

(Chauc. A. 567). 

cateran. Highland marauder. Orig. collect. 
Gael, ceathairne, peasantry. The -th-, long 
mute in Celt., should have disappeared, as 
in the doublet kern; but cf. bother, bothy. 

caterpillar. From OF. chatepelose , hairy cat, 
from L. pilosus, hairy. Cf. F. chenille, 
caterpillar, lit. little dog; also E. woolly 
bear, of a special kind (see also catkin). 
The ending has been assimilated to piller, 
one who "pills" the bark from trees, 
plunders. This connection appears in the 
frequent use of caterpillar for extortioner. 
catyrpyllar worme: chatte pelouse (Palsg.). 
Covetous persons, extorcioners, oppressours, catir- 
pillers, usurers (Latimer). 

caterwaul. Replaced (c. 1500) older cate^waw 
(Chauc), caterwrawle, etc. The second syl- 
lable is imit. of the voice of the amorous cat, 
the first element suggests Ger. & Du. kater, 
male cat, not otherwise recorded in E. It is 
perh. for *cata-, with -a- as in blackamoor, 
Greenaway , etc. 

catgut. From cat and gut, though made from 
intestines of sheep. Cf. synon. Du. katte- 
darm. Earliest ref. (16 cent.) is to fiddle- 
strings. Cf. catling. 

cathartic. Purgative. L., G. Ku^aprtKos, from 
Ka6ap6s, clean. 

Cathay [poet.]. Northern China. Med'L. Kitai 
(13 cent.) as name of inhabitants, from 
foreign dynasty, the Khitan. 

cathedral. Orig. adj., as in cathedral church. 
MedL. cathedralis, from G. KaOeSpa, seat, 
from Kara, down, e8-, sit. Cf. see^, and 
see chair. Cf. ex cathedra, authoritative 
pronouncement, as from seat of dignity. 

Catherine wheel. Spiked wheel used in legen- 
dary martyrdom of St Catherine of Alex- 
andria, whose name, AiKarcptVa, was al- 
tered on Ka6ap6<s, pure. 

catheter. G., from KaOievai, to send down. 

cathode [electr.]. G. Ka^oSo?, way down. Cf. 
anode . 

catholic. F. catholique, MedL. catholictis, G. 
KaOoXiKos, universal, from Kara and oAos, 
whole, as applied to the Church " through- 

out all the world." The E. word dates, in 
gen. and spec, sense, from 16 cent. At 
first applied to the whole Christian Church, 
it had been assumed by the Western 
Church after its separation from the East- 
ern (Orthodox). In E. it tended to become 
offensive after the Reformation, and was 
replaced by Roman Catholic in the nego- 
tiations for the Spanish Match (1618-24). 
Cf. catholicon, panacea. 
catkin. Used by Lyte (1578) in his transl. of 
Dodoens to render Du. katteken, lit. kitten. 
Cf. F. chaton, Ger. kdtzchen, both used in 
same sense, and synon. derivatives of 
cattus in most Rom. dialects. Earlier called 
aglet, tag. 

chattons: the catkins, cattails, aglet-like blowings, 
or bloomings, of nut-trees, etc. (Cotg.). 

catling. Fine cat-gut {Trail. & Cress, iii. 3). 
From cat. 

catonism. Austerity. From Cato the Censor, 
or Cato of Utica. 

catoptric. Of reflexion. G. KaTOTrrpt/co?, from 
Kara and OTT-, see. Cf. optics. 

catsup. See ketchup. For folk-etym. per- 
version cf. Welsh rarebit for rabbit. 

cattle. ONE. catel, L. capitate, stock, capital, 
from caput, capit-, head. In ME. esp. 
moveable property, beasts {chattels), as 
opposed to lands, etc. {goods). Cf. hist, of 
fee and pecuniary. See chattel. Used of 
farm-beasts from 13 cent., and of horses 
from 17 cent. 

With all my worldely cathel I the endowe 

(Sarum Manual, c. 1400). 

catty. Weight (EInd.). Ident. with caddy. 

caubeen [Ir.]. Hat. Ir. cdibin, dim. of cap. 
Cf. colleen, squireen. 

Caucasian. Formerly used (first by Blumen- 
bach, c. 1800) for Indo-European, white 
races, from supposed place of origin. 

Is our civilization a failure? 

Or is the Caucasian played out? {Heathen Chinee). 

caucus. US. (18 cent.). Private political 
meeting. Applied opprobriously (1878) by 
Beaconsfield to the Birmingham "Six 
Hundred," but used much earlier in E. (v.i.). 
Prob. an Algonkin word for counsellor, 
found in Capt. John Smith as Caw-cawaas- 
sough. Cf. pow-wow, Tammany. 

A selection... similar to that which our Transatlantic 
brethren would call a "caucus" 

(Lord Strangford, in H. of L., 1831). 

caudal, caudate. From L. cauda, tail. 


Caudine Forks 

cave m 


Caudine Forks. Pass near Capua where the 
Romans were defeated (321 b.c.) by the 
Samnites and were made to pass under the 
yoke. Hence fig. irretrievable disaster. 

caudle. ONF. caudel (chaudeau), from chaud, 
hot, L. calidus. 
chaudeau: a caudle; or warme broth (Cotg.). 

cauk. See cawk. 

caul. Orig. close-fitting cap or net. F. cale. 
cap, back-formation from calotte (q.v.). 
For naut. superstition connected with cmd 
cf. its Icel. name sigurcnfl, lit. victory 
cowl. With archaic born with a cmd (i.e. 
lucky) cf . F. ni coiffd. 

cauldron. ONF. caudron [chauderon), aug- 
ment, of chaudiere,'{i)daria, also cal{i)- 
darimn, from calidus, hot. Cf. It. calderone, 
Sp. calderon. The -/- has been restored by 
learned influence. See also chaldron, 
What shal comune the caudron to the pot? 

(Wye. Ecdcsiasticiis, xiii. 3). 

cauliflower. For earlier cole florie, with first 
element latinized (caulis, cabbage). Cf. 
F. chou-fleur, earlier chou-flori, Sp. coliflor, 
Ger. blumenkohl, etc. See cole. 

choux fleuris : the collyflory, or Cypres colewort 


caulk, calk. Late L. calicare, to stop up 
chinks with lime, L. calx. This replaced (c. 
1500) earher to lime. Cf. F. calfater, Port. 
calafetar, from cal, lime, afeitar, to arrange, 
L. affectare, forms of which exist in this 
sense in almost every naut. lang. The 
earhest caulkers (Noah and the mother of 
Moses) used bitumen, still employed for 
the same purpose in the East (see goufa) . 
In INIedL. bituniinatits is regularly used for 
caulked, and is rendered i-glewed by Tre- 
visa. Raleigh caulked his ships with 
"stone-pitch" from the pitch lake of Trini- 
dad and caulking v/ith lime is described 
in Hakl. (x. 202). 

Lyme it [the ark] with cleye and pitche within and 
without (Caxton, 1483). 

The shippe for to caulke and pyche (NED. c. 1500). 
In stead of pitch we made lime and did plaster 
the morter into the seames (Hakl.). 

cause. F., L. causa, which had the main 
senses found in F. & E. Causerie, causeuse, 
F., are from causer, in secondary sense of 

causeway. Folk-etym. for earlier causey (still 
in dial, use), ONF. cauciee {chaussee) , Late 
L. calciata [via], which some connect with 

L. calx, lime, others with calx, heel (cf. 

trodden way). 

The causey to Hell-gate {Par. L. x. 417). 

caustic. L., G. Kauo-rtKos, from KaUtv, to 

cautelous [archaic]. F. cauteleux, from L. 

cautela, caution (q.v.). 

The Jews, not undoubtedly resolved of the sciatica- 
side of Jacob, do cautelously in their diet refrain 
from the sinew of both (Sir T. Browne). 

cauterize. F. cauteriser. Late L. cauterizare, 
from cauterium, hot iron, G. Kavr-qpiov, 
from KaUiv, to bum. 

caution. F., L. catdio-n-, from cavere, caut-, 
to beware. Oldest sense, security, as still 
in catdion-money (univ.). The US. mean- 
ing of extraordinary person, circumstance, 
etc., perh. springs from such use as that 
exemplified below. Cf. example. 

The way I'll lick you will be a caution to the 
balance of your family (Thornton, 1834). 
Our appetite for dinner will be a caution to alli- 
gators {ib. 1862). 

cavalcade. F., Prov. cavalcada or It. caval- 
cata, from p.p. fem. of Late L. caballicare, to 
ride, from caballus, horse. Cf . F. chevauchee, 
mounted raid, the earliest sense of caval- 
cade in E. 
cavalier. Orig. horseman. F., It. cavaliere, 
from cavallo, horse, corresponding to F. 
chevalier. Earlier adopted as cavalero from 
OSp. cavallero [caballero). As applied to 
the partisans of Charles I it was orig. 
reproachful (like Roundhead). In both E. 
& F. it has also the sense of off-hand, 
discourteous, e.g. cavalier treatment [tone, 
cavally. Fish, "horse-mackerel." Synon. It. 

cavallo, lit. horse, 
cavalry. F. cavalerie. It. cavalleria. See cava- 
lier, chivalry, for the latter of which it is 
often used in 16 cent. 
cavatina [mus.]. It., dim. of cavata, prop, a 
detached air, from cavare, to hollow out, 
remove, from cavus, hollow, 
cave. F., L. cava, neut. pi. of L. cavus, 
hollow. In ModF. means cellar only. For 
current pol. sense see Adullamite. 
cave in. Chiefly US., also with trans, sense. 
Altered, on cave, from earlier E. dial, to 
calve in, with which cf. WFlem. in-kalven, 
to cave in, Du. af-kalven, to break away, 
uit-kalven, to fall apart, all "navvy" 
words. Perh. introduced into EAngl. by 
Du. drainage experts. So also we have 





dial, to colt in, in same sense, ground-idea 
being app. separation at birth. 
A dyche bank apon the same dyche, the which 
colted in [Coventry Leet Book, 145 1). 

The way they heav'd those fossils in their anger 

was a sin, 
Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head 

of Thompson in (Bret Harte). 

caveat [leg.']. L., let him beware, from cavere. 

Init. word of certain legal cautions. Cf. 

schoolboy cave (imper.) and proverb. 

caveat emptor, let the purchaser look out 

for himself. 
cavendish, (i) Tobacco. ? From name of ex- 
porter. (2) Treatise on whist (1862), from 

pen-name of author, H. Jones. 
cavern. F. caverne, L. caverna, from cavus, 

cavesson. Nose-band for a horse. F. cavegon, 

It. cavezzone, from cavezza, halter, prob. 

connected with L. capistrum, halter (see 

capstan) . 
cavey. See cavy. 
caviare. Earlier also cavialy (16 cent. F. 

cavial. It. caviale). F. caviar. It. caviaro. 

Turk, khdvydr is prob. from It. Though 

from Russia, it is app. not a Russ. vord, 

the native name being ikra. The earlier E. 

forms are numerous and varied. Hence 

caviare to the general, too subtle for the 

common herd {Haml. ii. 2). 

Of ickary or cavery a great quantitie is made upon 
the river of Volgha (Hakl. iii. 367). 

cavil. F. caviller, L. cavillari, to satirize, 
argue scofhngly. But dial, cavil, to squabble, 
suggests rather synon. Norw. dial, kjavla, 
to quarrel, ult. cogn. with AS. ceafl, jaw. 

cavity. F. cavite. Late L. cavitas, from cavus, 
hollow; cf. It. cavitd, Sp. cavidad. 

cavort [US.']. To prance. Prob. cowboy per- 
version of curvet (q.v.). 
The general sits his cavorting steed (O. Henry). 

cavy. Rodent of guinea-pig tribe. Cahiai, 
native name in F. Guiana. Cf. capybara. 

caw. Imit. Cf. Du. kaauw, jackdaw. 

cawk [geol:]. Loc. name for kind of spar. 
Northern form of chalk. 

caxon [archaic]. Wig. ? From surname 
Caxon; ? cf. busby. 

caxton. Book printed by Caxton (11492). 
Cf. elzevir. 

cay. See key^. 

cayenne. Pepper. Earlier cayan, kian, etc., 
as still pronounced, Tupi (Brazil) kyynha, 
mistakenly associated with the town of 
Cayenne (F. Guiana). Cf. guinea-pig. 

cayman, caiman. Sp. Port, caiman, of Carib 
origin, but described as a Congo word in 
1598. Many early exotic names of ani- 
mals, plants, etc. wandered from E. to W. 
and vice- versa, often perh. in connection 
with the slave-trade (cf. banana, papaw, 
yaws) . 

A fish called by the Spaniards "lagarto," and by 
the Indians "caiman," which is indeed a crocodile 


cease. ME. cessen, F. cesser, L. cessare, fre- 
quent, of cedere, cess-, to give way. 

cecity. L. caecitas, from caecus, blind. 

Cecropian. Of Cecrops, founder of Athens. 

cedar. F. cedre, L., G. Ke8po<;. Also AS. ceder, 
direct from L. 

cede. L. cedere, to yield. 

cedilla. Sp. cedilla. It. zedigUa, little z. 

cee-spring, C-spring [carriage-building] . From 
shape. Cf. S-dvain, T-square, Y-bracket, 

ceiling, cieling. From verb to ceil, prob. from 
F. del, canopy, L. caelum, heaven (cf . Ger. 
himmel, heaven, ceiling) ; but influenced 
by OF. cieller, L. caelare, to carve, and by 
seal'^ (q-v.) in its sense of complete enclo- 
sure. Syll-, seel- are the usual earlier spell- 

celadon [archaic]. Pale green. F., name of 
character in d'Urfe's Asiree (1610). Cf. 

celandine. Swallow-wort. Earlier celidony, 
OF. celidoine, L. chelidonia, from G. x^^'" 
hovLov, from x^AtStov, swallow. 

celarent [logic]. Mnemonic word. See bar- 
bar a. 

-cele [med.]. In varicocele, etc. G. kt/Xt/, 

celebrate. From L. celebrare, orig. to honour 
by assembling, from celeber, celebr-, popu- 
lous, renowned. Earliest (17 cent.) in ref. 
to Eucharist. 

celeriac. App. arbitrary formation from 
celery (q.v.). 

celerity. F. cileriti, L. celeritas, from celer, 

celery. F. cdleri. It. dial, sellari, pi. of sellaro 
(It. sedano), ult. from G. crcXivov. For pi. 
form cf. lettuce. 

celestial. OF. celestiel, from cSleste, L. cae- 
lestis, from caelum, heaven. Celestial Em- 
pire, for China, is due to the title T'ien-tsz, 
Son of heaven, formerly borne by the 

Celestine. Branch of Benedictines, estab- 
lished by Pope Celestine F (13 cent.). 





celibate. From L. caelihatus, celibacy, from 
caelebs, caelib-, unmarried. 

cell. ME. & OF. celle, L. cella, cogn. with 
celare, to hide. Earliest sense is monastic. 
Biol, sense from 17 cent. 

cellar. L. cellarium, set of cells. But salt- 
cellar is for earher saler, seller, F. saliere, 
salt-cellar, whence ME. saler, seler, so that 
salt- is pleon. 
saliere: a salt-seller (Cotg.). 

cello. For violoncello (q.v.). 

celluloid. Invented in US. and patented here 

• in 1 87 1. Orig. adj., cell-like, from F. 
cellule, L. cellula, which in F. (and conse- 
quently in many E. derivatives) has re- 
placed OF. celle, L. cella. 

Celt, Kelt. F. Celte, L. Celta, sing, of Celtae, 
G. KcXtoi (Herodotus), used by the Romans 
esp. of the Gauls, but app. not of the 
British. Mod. usage in ethnology and phi- 
lology began in F. (c. 1700). Hence Celto- 
maniac, philologist who finds Celt, traces 
everywhere. See also Brythonic, Goidelic. 

celt [antiq.]. Prehistoric implement. Prob. 
a ghost-word, occurring only in some MSS. 
of the Clementine text of the Vidg., where 
it may be a misprint for certe. Adopted 
(c. 1700) by archaeologists, perh. by a 
fanciful association with Celt. 
Stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel celte sculpantur 
in silice [Vulg. Job, xix. 24). 

cembalo. Mus. instrument. It., as cymbal 

cement. ME. cynient, F. ciment, L. caemen- 
tiim, for caedimentmn, from caedere, to cut, 
the earliest cement being made from small 
chippings of stone. 

cemetery. L., G. Koiix-qT-qpLov, dormitory, 
from Koifiav, to put to sleep. Adopted in 
this sense by early Christians and applied 
at first to the catacombs. Earlier cymetery 
came via F. cimetiere. 

cenacle. Literary coterie. F. cenacle, name 
of first Romantic group (c. 1820), L. cena- 
cnhtm, supper-room, esp. in ref. to Last 
Supper, from L. cena, supper. 

cenobite. See coenobite. 

cenotaph. Monument to person buried else- 
where. G. K€uoTd(f>Lov , from kcvos, empt\', 
Ta<^os, tomb. A household word from 1919. 

censer. For incenser; cf. F. encensoir. See 

censor. L., arbiter of morals, from censer e, to 
judge. NED. (1893) finds no example of 
verb to censor. Cf. censure, F., L. censura. 

census. L., from censere, to estimate. Earlier 
used also of a poll-tax. The offic. census 
dates from 1790 (US.), 1791 (France), 1801 
(Great Britain), 1813 (Ireland). 
cent. F., L. centum, hundred. Per cent, is 
from It. per cento (cf. F. pour cent), our 
financ. and bookkeeping terms being 
largely It. Adopted (1786) in US. for one- 
hundredth of dollar. Cf. F. centime, one- 
hundredth of franc (First RepubHc). A red 
cent may refer to colour of copper (cf. 
archaic F. rouge Hard and E. brass farthing), 
or red may be a substitution for a more 
emphatic adj. 
cental. Weight of 100 lbs. introduced into 
Liverpool corn-market 1859, and legahzed 
1879. From cent after quintal (q.v.). 
centaur. L., G. Kevravpos. Hence the plant 
centaury, G. Kcvravpeiov, med. qualities 
of which were fabled to have been dis- 
covered by Chiron the centaur. 
centenary. L. centenarius, numbering a hun- 
dred. Cf. centennial, formed after biennial, 
centesimal. From L. centesimus, hundredth. 
centigrade. Thermometer of Celsius (11744), 
with 100 degrees between freezing and 
boiling point. F., from L. centum, hun- 
dred, gradiis, degree. 
centipede. F. centipede, L. centipeda, from 

pes, ped-, foot. 
cento. Composition from scraps of other 
authors. L., patchwork; cf. G. Kevrputv, 
centre. F., L. centrum, G. Kevrpov, goad, 
stationary point of compasses, from kcv- 
T€Lv, to prick. Several of the math, senses 
appear in Chauc, who also uses centre 
for later centre of gravity (17 cent.). 
In F. politics the centre is composed of 
moderates, the left being radical and the 
right reactionary. This is an inheritance 
from the National Assembly of 1789 in 
which the nobles took the place of honour 
on the president's right, while the repre- 
sentatives of the Third Estate (the Com- 
mons) were on his left. In Ger. the centre 
is composed of the Catholics or Ultra- 
montanes. Centrifugal (L. fugere, to flee) 
and centripetal (L. petere, to seek) were 
coined by Newton. 
centuple. F., Late L. centuplus, for centuplex, 

from centum, hundred, plic-, fold. 
century. L. centuria, group of one hundred 
in various senses. Cf. centurion, explained 
by Tynd. as hunder-captain. Usual mean- 




ing, peculiar to E., is for earlier century of 

years (17 cent.). 
ceorl {hist.l. AS. original of churl (q.v.). Cf. 

cephalic. F. cephalique, L., G. K€</)aXiKds, 

from K€(fia\ri, head. Cf. cephalopod, cuttle- 
fish, etc., from ttovs, ttoS-, foot. 
ceramic. G. Kcpa/ji^iKos, from Kspafj-o^, potter's 

cerastes. Horned viper. L., G. Kepda-T-rjs, 

from K€/3a?, horn. Cf. biol. terms in cerato-. 
Cerberus. L., G. Kcp^epos, watch-dog of hell. 

Hence sop to Cerberus. 

Cui vates, horrere videns jam colla colubris, 
Melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus offam 
Obicit (Aen. vi. 419). 

cereal. L. cerealis, from Ceres, goddess of 

cerebral. From L. cerebrum, brain (with dim. 
cerebellum), cogn. with G. Kapa, head. U it- 
conscious cerebration was coined (1853) by 
W. B. Carpenter. 

cerecloth [Merch. of Ven. ii. 7), cerement 
{Haml. i. 4). From F. cirer, to wax, from 
L. cera, wax, G. Kr}p6<s; cf. obs. to cere, to 
wrap corpse in waxed cloth [Cymb. i. i). 

ceremony. Also ME. ceremoyne, OF. cere- 
moine {ceremonie) , L. caerimonia. With to 
stand on ceremony {Jul. Caes. ii. 2) cf. to 
insist, L. insistere, to stand on. 

ceriph, serif [typ.]. Fine horizontal hair-line 
at termination of (esp. capital) letter. ? Du. 
schreef, line, stroke. Many early printing 
terms are Du.; but sanserif (q.v.) is earlier. 

cerise. F., cherry (q.v.). 

cerium [chem.]. Named after the then (1801) 
recently discovered planet Ceres. 

cero-. From L. cera or G. K-qp6<s, wax. 

cert. CoUoq. shortening of certainty. App. 
mod. (not in NED.). 

certain. F., Late L. *certanus, from certus, 
orig. p.p. of cernere, to decide. Sense-deve- 
lopment follows that of L. certus. Indef. 
meaning, app. the opposite of the original, 
a certain man, a lady of a certain age, etc., 
springs from the idea of an ascertained 
fact the details of which are not necessarily 
accessible to all. 

A very old house, perhaps as old as it claimed to 
be, and perhaps older, which will sometimes happen 
with houses of an uncertain, as with ladies of a 
certain age (Barnaby Riidge, ch. i.). 

certes [archaic]. F., prob. L. certas, used as 

adv.; cf. OSp. cerias. 
certify. F. certifier, Late L. certificare, from 

certus and facere. Cf. certificate. 


certiorari [leg.]. Writ from higher to lower 
court. L., to be made more certain, occurs 
in writ. Cf. habeas corpus, caveat, etc. 

certitude. F., Late L. certitudo, from certus. 

cerulean, caerulean. From L. caeruleus, blue, 
blue-green, etc., prob. by dissim. for 
*caeluleus, from caelum, heaven, sky. 

ceruse. WTiite lead. F. ce'ruse, L. cerussa, 
perh. from G. KT/pos, wax. 

cervical. From L. cervix, cervic-, neck. 

cervine. L. cervinus, from cervus, hart. Cf. 
bovine, ovine, etc. 

Cesarevitch, -witch. Earlier Czarevitsch, Czar 0- 
wicz, etc., son of czar (q.v.), was replaced 
as official title by Cesarevitsch, modelled on 
restored spelling {Caesar). The ending is 
Russ. vitsch, Pol. wicz, common in patro- 
nymics. The race called the Cesarewitch 
(Newmarket, 1839) was named in honour 
of the Russ. prince, afterwards Alex- 
ander II, who was on a state visit to 

cespitose. From L. caespis, caespit-, turf. 

cess [Sc. & Ind.]. Rate, land-tax; also as 
verb. For sess, aphet. for assess (q.v.). In 
Ir. also of military exactions, hence perh. 
bad cess to you (? or for bad success). L. 
census, tax, etc., has app. had some in- 
fluence on this word (cf. excise), 
census: valued, cessed, taxed (Coop.). 

The English garrisons cessed and pillaged the 
farmers of Meath and Dublin (Froude). 

cessation. L. cessatio-71-. See cease. 

cesser [leg.]. Termination. F. cesser, to cease 
(q.v.). For use of infin. cf. misnomer, oyer 
et terminer, etc. 

cession. F., L. cessio-n-, from cedere, cess-, 
to jneld. 

cesspool. Earliest form cesperaUe (16 cent.) 
suggests perversion of obs. suspiral, F. 
soupirail, ventilator, air-shaft, from L. sus- 
pirium, breath. Further corrupt, to cess- 
pool {suspool, sesspool, cestpool) would be 
quite possible. It. cesso, privy, from L. 
secessus, has also been suggested, but it 
does not seem likely that an It. word 
would have been introduced to form a 
hybrid dial, compd. Skeat suggests recess, 
and quotes (1764) "two recesses or pools, 
as reservoirs of dung and water," but no 
other record is known of recess in this sense. 

Cestr. Signature of bishop of Chester. For 
MedL. Cestrensis. 

cestus. Girdle, esp. of Aphrodite. L., G. 
K€o-ros, lit. stitched. Perh. hence also the 

275 cesura 

gladiatorial caestus, cestus, glove, usu. re- 
garded as irreg. formation from caedere, to 

cesura. See caesura. 

cetacea. ModL. from L. cetus, whale, G. k'^tos. 

chablis. White wine from Chablis (Yonne). 

chabouk. See sjambok. 

Chadband. Sanctimonious humbug {Bleak 
House). Cf. Stiggins, Podsnap, etc. 

Chadbands all over the country have shrieked 
over the soldier's rum ration 

{Referee, June 24, 191/) • 

chafe. Earlier chaufe, F. chauffer, VL. *cale- 
fare for calefacere, to make hot, calidus. 
Cf. chafing-dish. For vowel cf. safe. Fig. 
senses via that of heat-producing friction. 

chafer. Insect. AS. ceafor;ci.'D-a. kever,GQX. 
kdfer. Prob. gnawer (cf. beetle and see jowl). 
The more usual cockchafer is comparatively 
mod. The prefix may suggest size, but 
may be for cack, stercus. Cf. synon. dung- 
beetle, and Ger. kotkdfer, mistkdfer, also obs. 

chaff. AS. ceaf; cf. Du., Ger. dial. kaf. In 
AS. Bible versions also for straw. With 
chaffinch cf. Late L. furfurio, chaffinch, 
from furfur, bran. The verb in its mod. 
slang sense is a combination of chafe, to 
irritate, and of the noun chaff in its fig. 
sense of nonsense, worthless matter (which 
will not catch birds). 

His reasons are two grains of wheat hid in two 
bushels of chafi {Merch. of Ven. i. i). 

chaffer. Now equivalent to barter, haggle, but 
orig. trade. First as noun, from AS. ceap, 

■ price, faru, journey, etc. ; cf. ON. kaupfor, 
commercial journey, and Ger. kauffahr- 
teischiff, merchant ship. Cheap fare occurs 
in ME. See also chapman, cheap, coper, 

To wite hou myche ech hadde wonne bi chaffaryng 
(Wye. Luke, xix. 15). 

chagrin. F., from Turk, saghrl, rump of a 
horse, whence shagreen (q.v.), a leather of 
granulated appearance, is prepared. For 
the metaphor cf. gooseflesh and F. chair de 
poiile. There are chronological difficulties 
in the hist, of the F. word, but the quot. 
below points clearly to association with 
the leather in E. 

Thoughts which... had made their skin run into a 
chagrin {NED. 1734). 

chain. F. chatne, L. catena. 
chair. F. chaire, L. cathedra, G. KaOe^pa, 
from Kara, down, eS-, sit. For F. chaise. 



which has superseded chaire, exc. in spec, 
senses (pulpit, professorial chair), see 
chaise. Replaced native stool as name for 
seat suggesting added ease and dignity, 
traces of which survive in some mod. 
senses (e.g. in chairman). 

chaise. F., chair (q.v.), taking the sense 
of vehicle via that of sedan chair, chaise 
a porteurs. Chair was used in same sense 
in 18 cent. See also chay, shay. F. chaise 
is due to an affected Parisian interchange 
of r-s (15-16 cents.) often satirized by F. 
Les musailles ont deroseilles (Marot). 

chalcedony. L. c{h)alcedonius {Rev. xxi. 19), 
G. ;i(aA.K7;8ojv. The ME. form was cassidoine, 
from OF. Vars. such as carchedonius occur 
in Pliny and Isidore. Hence place of origin 
may have been Chalcedon (Asia Minor) or 
Kapx^/Swi/ (Carthage). 

Calcedoine est piere jalne 
Entre iacint e beril meaine... 
De Sithie [Scythia] est enveiee 
E de culurs treis est trovee 

{Lapidaire de Marbod, 12 cent.). 

chalcography. Copper engraving. From G. 
;)i(a/\.K0S, copper. 

Chaldaic, Chaldean, Chaldee. From G. XaA.- 
Saios, of Chaldea, i.e. Babylonia. Esp. with 
ref. to magical and astrological studies. 
The lang. (Aramaic) was that of the Jews 
after the Captivity and is exemplified in 
the few reported sayings of Our Lord 
{ephphatha, talitha cumi, etc.). 

Like the Chaldean, he could watch the stars 

(Childe Harold, iii. 14). 

chaldron. Dry measure (32 bushels, or, if 
coal, 36, and, at Newcastle, 53 cwt.). This 
and Sc. chalder (32 to 64 bushels), earlier 
(1497) also chelder, are usu. referred to F. 
chaudron, cauldron (q.v.). But what a 
cauldron ! The Sc. forms, with correspon- 
ding MedL. celdra (in early Sc. statutes) 
and AF. chaldre de carbons (1416), also do 
not favour the "cauldron" etym. ? From 
Du. kelder, cellar. 

A chalder of coles for the merchauntes own house, 
meanyng so many coles as ye will spend yearlye 

[York Merch. Advent. 1562). 

chalet. Swiss-F. Origin obscure. ? A dim. 

of L. castellum; cf. Languedoc castrun, 

shepherd's hut. 
chalice. OF. {calice), L. calix, calic-, cogn. 

with G. KvXt|, cup. In eccl. sense appears 

earlier in AS. calic, and cal- forms are also 

found in ME. 




chalk. AS. cealc, Lat. calx, calc-, lime. F. has 
chaux, lime, and craie, L. creta, chalk, so 
also Gar. kalk, lime, kreide, chalk. The 
change of sense in E. is no doubt due to 
the chalk (carbonate of lime) which is such 
a conspicuous feature of the soutn of 
England. By a long chalk is from the 
use of chalk in scoring points in games. 

Lo, how they feignen chalk for chese (Gower). 

challenge. First as verb. OF. chalengier, 
chalongier, from OF. chalonge, L. calumnia, 
false accusation. Orig. to accuse, call to 
account, a trace of which survives in 
challenging a juryman (sentry). 

The King of Spain doth challenge me to be the 
quarreller, and the beginner of all these wars 

(Queen Elizabeth). 

challis. Fabric, first made at Norwich (c. 
1830). ? From surname Challis, which is 
derived from Calais. ? Or from the town 
itself, pronounced Ch- in patois. 

chalybeate. Irreg. {-eate for -ate) from L. 
chalybs, steel, G. xaXui/r. Cf. roseate. 

Cham [hist.]. Obs. form of Khan''- (q.v.), ap- 
plied esp. to the Khan of Tartary {Much 
Ado, U..1), and, by Smollett, to Dr Johnson. 

chamade [hist.]. Drum or trumpet signal for 
parley. F., Port, chamada, from chamar, 
to cry, L. clamare. 

fazer chamada: to beat a parley (Vieyra). 

chamber. F., L. camera, G. Ka/xapa, cogn. 
with L. camurus, arched (see camber). 
Chamberlain is one of several OF. forms of 
chambellan, the correct form being cham- 
brelenc, OHG. chamarling, from Ger. ham- 
mer (from L.), and Ger. suffix -ling (cf. 
camerlengo). For mod. dignity cf. con- 
stable, marshal, steward. The licensing of 
plays by the Lord Chamberlain of the House- 
hold is the last relic of the authority 
formerly wielded by that functionary over 
the "royal actors." 

chambertin. Wine. From an estate in Bur- 
gundy, near Dijon. 

chameleon. G. ;;(a/xatAea)v, from xa/jiai, on 
the earth, dwarf, AeW, lion. Cf. cater- 
pillar, hippopotamus, antlion, etc. Often 
fig., as fabled to live on air and able to 
change colour. 

The thin chameleon, fed with air, receives 
The colour of the thing to which he cleaves 

(Dry den). 

chamfer [techn.]. To groove. Back-forma- 
tion from chamfering, perversion of F. chan- 


frein, OF. chanfraint, p.p. of OF. chan- 
fraindre, from chant, edge (see cant^) and 
OF. fraindre, to break, L. frangere. For 
corrupt, cf. fingering, for back-formation 

cf. maffick. 

chanfrain: a chanfering; or, a channell, furrow, 
hollow gutter, or streake, in stone-worke, etc. 


chamfrain, chamfron [hist.]. Frontlet of 
barded horse. F. chanfrein, perh. from L. 
camus, muzzle, and frenum, bridle, but the 
many early forms, due to folk-etym., make 
the origin doubtful. 

His gallant war-house... with a chamfron, or plaited 
head-piece upon his head {Ivankoe, ch. ii.). 

chamois. F. ; cf . It. camoscio, camozza, Prov. 
camis, Ger. gemse (OHG. gamiza). It is 
uncertain which way the borrowing has 
taken place, but the earUest known form, 
Late L. camox (5 cent.), suggests con- 
nection with F. camtis, flat-nosed, cogn. 
with L. camurus (see camber), a natural 
description of the animal. But some regard 
it as a pre-Roman Alp. word. The old form 
chamoy, shammoy (Goldsmith) , due to taking 
-5 as sign of pi. (cf. cherry), survives in 
shammy-leather . 
chamomile. See camomile. 
champ. To chew. Earlier also cham. Prob. 

imit. and ident. -with jam. 
champac. Magnolia. Hind, from Sanskrit 

champagne. Wine from that province. Cf. 

champaign [archaic]. Open country. Ofteri 
spelt champian, champion by early writers. 
See campaign. 
champarty, champerty [leg.]. Contributing to 
legal expenses on condition of sharing 
spoil. For earlier champart, division of 
produce, from champ, field, part, share; 
of. MedL. campipars. 
champignon. Mushroom. F., VL. *cam- 
pinio-n-, from campus, field. Cf. origin of 
champion. F., Late L. campio-n-, fighter in 
the arena (see camp) ; cf . It. campione, Sp. 
campion. Borrowed also by the Teutons, 
e.g. ON. kempa, AS. cempa, whence sur- 
name Kemp; cf. Ger. kdmpfen, to fight. 
chance. F. (OF. cheance), from cheoir, to fall, 
VL. *cadere for cadere. Thus a doublet of 
cadence. The orig. F. sense, of the " fall " of 
the dice, is found in ME. So also the main 
chance belongs orig. to the game of hazard. 

279 chancel 

See main^'"^. For sense-development cf. 

Sevene is my chaunce, and thyn is cynk and treye 

(Chauc. C. 653). 

To set all on a maine chance (Holinshed). 
chancel. F. caticel, chancel, L. cancellus, for 
cancelli, lattice (see cancel) separating the 
choir from the nave; dim. of cancer, grat- 
ing, ? dissim. of career, prison (see incar- 
cerate). Hence chancellor, AF. chanceler, 
F. chancelier, orig. keeper of the barrier, 
but introduced as ofhc. title into E. by 
Edward the Confessor, 
chance-medley [leg.]. Orig. homicide inter- 
mediate between manslaughter and acci- 
dent. Lit. mixed chance. 
chancery. For chancellery, chancelry, office 
of chancellor (see chancel). Hence pugil. in 
chancery, i.e. not likely to get away with- 
out serious damage. 
chancre. Venereal ulcer. F., see cancer, 

chandelier. F., candle-stick, etc. (v.i.). 
chandler. F. chandelier, candle-stick, candle- 
maker, from chandelle, L. candela. In first 
sense, common in ME., now replaced by 
ModF. chandelier. Second sense has been 
extended {corn-chandler, ship-chandler) ; cf . 
change. F. changer. Late L. cambiare, for 
cambire, from cambium, exchange, of Celt, 
origin (cf . gombeen man) ; cf. It. cambiare, 
Sp. cambiar (see cambist). Hence change, 
meeting-place of merchants, often erron. 
'change, as though for the later exchange. 
To ring the changes was orig. of bells. In 
sense of swindling there is a punning allu- 
sion to change, money, i.e. the smaller coins 
for which a larger is changed. Changeling 
is from OF. changeon, with sufhx altered 
on suckling, mtrsling. 
channeP. Water-course. OF. chanel [chenal), 
L. canalis, whence canal (cf. kennel-). The 
Channelis first in Shaks. (2 Hen. VI, iv. i). 
channel- [naut.]. For chain-wale ; cf. gunwale, 
and see wale. 

porV-auhans: chaine-wales: pieces of wood nailed 
on both the outsides of a ship, to keep them from 
being worn, or galled by the shrowdes (Cotg.). 

I took my station in the fore-channels 

[Frank Mildmay, ch. xi.). 

chanson. F., song, VL. cantio-n- (v.i.). 
chant. F. chanter, L. cantare, frequent, of 

canere, to sing. Hence chantry (Chauc. A. 

512), endowment for good of founder's soul. 

With horse-chanter, fraudulent horse-dealer. 



cf. F. chantage, blackmail. Both are neo- 
logisms difficult of explanation. 

chantarelle, chanterelle. Cup-shaped fungus. 
F., dim. from L. cantharus, drinking-cup, 
G. KavOapo'S. 

chanticleer. OF. Chante-cler, sing-clear, name 

of the cock in the Roman de Renart (13 

cent.). Cf. bruin, renard. 

She hadde a cok, heet Chauntecleer 

(Chauc. B. 4039). 

chantry. See chant. 

chanty. Sailors' song. Earher shanty. ? F. 

imper. chantez (cf. revelly). A very early 

example occurs in the Complaynt of Scot- 

lande (1549)- 
chaos. G. x^os, abyss, empty space, etc.; cf. 

XOL<TK€iv, to yawn. Its earliest E. use is with 

ref. to Lttke, xvi. 26. Cf. cosmos. 
chapi. To crack. Related to chip, chop^. Cf. 

Du. LG. happen, to chop. 

The ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the 

earth (Jer. xiv. 4). 

chap-. Jaw, esp. lower. Now usu. chop, as in 
to lick one's chops, chops (jaws) of the 
Channel, chopf alien {Haml. v. i) for chap- 
fallen, orig. of the dead. Perh. altered, by 
association with chop^, from north, dial. 
chaft, of Scand. origin; cf. Sw. kdft, Dan. 
kieft, cogn. with Ger. kiefer, jaw. 

chap^. Fellow. Short ior chapman (q.v.). Cf. 
fig. use of customer, and Sc. callant, lad, 
Du. kalant, F. chaland, customer. So also 
chap-book, coined (19 cent.) on chapman, 
to denote type of book formerly sold by 
itinerant vendors. Dim. chappy was orig. 

chaparral. Thicket. Sp., from c/m^arm, ever- 
green oak, Basque zaparra. 

chap-book. See chap^. 

chape [hist.]. "Cap" of a scabbard. F., 
cape, cope, used in same sense. See cape'^. 
OF. used also the dim. chapel (chapeau, 
hat), e.g. chapiax a coutianx et a espees are 
mentioned in 13 cent, ordonnances for the 
sheath-makers, so perh. chape in this sense 
is rather a back-formation from the dim. 

chapel. F. chapelle. Orig. sanctuary where 
was deposited the cappella, or sacred cloak, 
of St Martin. In most Europ. langs. See 
cape^, cap, chaplain. Chapel of ease is 

16 cent. Application to place of worship 
outside the state reUgion, e.g. Roman 
Catholic [Nonconformist, and, in Scotland, 
Episcopal) chapel, begins in 17 cent. Sense 
of printers' workshop association is also 

17 cent. 

28 1 


Charles's Wain 


chaperon. F., hood, as in Le petit Chaperon 
rouge, from chape (see cape^). Mod. sense 
is due to chaperon being regarded as a pro- 
tection. Not orig. always a female. 

chaperon: an affected word, of very recent intro- 
duction... to denote a gentleman attending a lady 
in a publick assembly (Todd). 

chapiter [arch.}. F. chapitre, now replaced by 
chapitean. Etym. ident. with chapter (q.v.). 

chaplain. F. chapelain. The orig. cappellani 
were the custodians of St Martin's cloak. 
See chapel. 

chaplet. F. chapelet, dim. of OF. chapel 
(chapean), hat, hood, garland. See cap, 
cape''-. For later sense, string of beads, cf. 

chapman [archaic]. Dealer. AS. ceapman; 
cf. Du. koopman, Ger. kaufmann. Cf. 
chaffer, cheap, (horse) coper, etc. See also 

chapter. F. chapitre, L. capituliim, dim. of 
caput, head. Earlier also chapiter, chapitle. 
The chapter of a cathedral, order of knights, 
etc., was orig. the meeting at which a 
chapter was read, a practice instituted 
• (8 cent.) by Bishop Chrodegang of Metz. 
Hence chapter-house . Chapter of accic'ents 
is 18 cent. 

char^ chare. Turn of work, spell. Also chore 
(US.). AS. cierr, time, occasion, from 
cierran, to turn; ? cogn. with Ger. kehren, 
to turn. Hence charwoman (14 cent.). 

char 2. Verb. Also found as chark. Back- 
formation from charcoal (q.v.). 

char^. Fish. Perh. Gael, ceara, blood-red, 
from cear, blood. Cf. its Welsh name 
torgoch, red-belly. 

char-a-banc. F., car with bench. 

character. Restored from ME. caracter, F. 
caractere, L., G. \apaKTiqp, tool for stamp- 
ing, marking, from ^aparTUV, to cut 
grooves, engrave. Earlier ^also caract, OF. 
caracte, VL. *characta. Sense of fictitious 
personage (in play, novel), whence in [out 
of) character, is 18 cent. 

In all his dressings, caracts, titles, forms 

{Meas.for Meas. v. i). 

charade. F., Prov. charrada, of obscure 

origin, perh. from charrare, to prattle, cogn. 

with It. ciarlare, which may be of imit. 

origin. See charlatan. 
charcoal. Perh. from char, to turn (see char'^). 

Cf. " cole-turned wood " (Chapman's Ot^vs^^)'). 

? Or a mixed form from coal, which in ME. 

meant charcoal, and F. charbon. Mod. verb 

to char is a back-formation. 

chard. Of artichoke. Cf. F. carde, Sp. cardo, 
in same sense. Ult. from L. carduus, thistle. 
chare. See char'^. 

The maid that milks and does the meanest chares 
(Ant. & Cleop. iv. 15). 

charge. F. charger, to load, burden, VL. car- 
ricare, from carrus (see car). From the 
sense of load is evolved that of task, re- 
sponsibility, office, custody. In mil. sense 
the idea is that of using weight, but 
charger, horse, app. meant orig. one for 
carrying heavy loads, pack-horse, e.g. our 
chardger and horsse {York Merch. Advent. 
1579). The Bibl. charger, bearer {Matt. 
xiv. 8), is in Wye. disch, in Tynd. platter. 
Sense of price, outlay, etc., is evolved from 
that of burden. For association with fire- 
arms cf. load (q.v.). 

charge d'affaires. F., entrusted with busi- 

chariot. F., from char (see car). ModF. 
chariot means waggon. 

charity. F. charite, L. caritas, from cams, 
dear. Caritas in Vtilg. usu. renders G. 
dyaTrr], love (e.g. I Cor. xiii.), perh. in order 
to avoid sexual suggestion of amor. For 
spec, sense of almsgiving cf. sense-history 
of pity. Cold as charity may be partly due 
to Wyclif's rendering of Matt. xxiv. 12. 

charivari. Recorded 1615 (William Browne's 
Works, ii. 293, ed. Hazlitt). F., orig. mock 
music expressing popular disapproval. At 
one time also the title of a Parisian satirical 
paper; hence the sub-title of Punch. OF. 
also calivali, caribari. Origin unknown. 
The second element appears in hourvari, 

clicrivaris de poelles: the carting of an infamous 
person, graced with the harmony of tinging kettles, 
and frying-pan musicke (Cotg.). 

charlatan. F., It. ciarlatano, " a mountibanke, 
pratler, babler" (Flor.), app. altered, by 
association with ciarlare, to chatter, from 
ciaratano (Flor.), ior e?ir\\&r ceretano (Flor.), 
orig. vendor of papal indulgences from 
Cerreto (Spoletum). 

Charles's Wain. Also called Ursa Major or 
the Plough. AS. Carles-wc^gn (see tcain), 
the wain of Arcturus (q.v.) having first 
been understood as that of Arthur, and 
then transferred to Carl, i.e. Charlemagne, 
by the legendary association between the 
two heroes; cf. ME. Charlemaynes tcayne. 
Charles is Ger. Karl, latinized as Carohts, 
and ident. with churl (q.v.) ; cf . Ger. kerl, 





Charley [/»'s/.]- Watchman. Conjecturally ex- 
plained as due to reorganization of London 
watch temp. Charles I (cf. hobby), but 
chronology is against this, 
charlock. Wild mustard. AS. cerlic. 
charlotte, charlotte russe. F., from the female 

charm. F. charme, L. carmen, song, incanta- 
tion, for *cannien, from canere, to sing (cf. 
germ) . For sense-development cf . bewitch- 
ing, etc. Charmed life is from Macb. v. 8. 
Sechith to me a womman havynge a charmynge 
goost (Wye. I Kings, xxviii. 7)- 
charnel-house. Explanatory' for earlier charnel, 
burial place [Piers Plowm.), OF., Late L. 
carnale, from caro, cam-, flesh. F. has also 
charnier. Late L. carnarium, both for 
larder and cemetery. 
Charon. Ferryman. G. Xdpojv, ferryman of 

the Styx, 
charpie. Linen unravelled for dressing wounds. 
F., p.p. fern, of charpir, VL. *carpire, for 
carpere, to pluck, unravel. Cf. carpet. 
charpoy. Indian bedstead. Urdu chdrpdt, 
Pers. chahdrpdl, four-footed, ult. cogn. with 
charqui. Peru v. for dried beef, early cor- 
rupted to jerked beef. 
chart. F. charte, L. charta, paper, G. x^P"?^. 
Cf. F. carte, Ger. karte, map, and see card^. 
Latest sense in health-chart. 
charter. OF. chartre [charte), L. chartula, 
dim. of charta, paper. Hence Chartist, from 
the People's Charter (1838). Charter-party, 
now only used in connection with ships, 
is F. charte partie, divided document, half 
of which is retained by each party (cf. 
indenture). V^hth. chartered libertine [Hen. V, 
i. i) cf. colloq. use of F.fieffe, lit. enfeoffed, 
e.g. filon fieffe (MoL). 
Charterhouse. Carthusian monastery. Folk- 
etym. for F. chartreuse (see Carthusian and 
cf. Ger. Karthause). The famous public 
school and hospital was founded (161 1) on 
the site of a Carthusian monastery. 
Children not yet come to, and old men already 
past, helping of themselves, have in this hospital 
their souls and bodies provided for (Fuller). 

Chartist. See charter. 

chartreuse. IVIade by monks of Chartreuse. 
See Carthusian, Charterhouse. 

chartulary. See cartulary. 

charwoman. See char''-, chare. 

chary. Usu. with of. AS. cearig, from care. 
Orig. careful, i.e. sorrowful, but now only 
associated with secondary sense of care. 

Charybdis. See Scylla. 

chased Pursuit. F. chasse, from chasser, VL. 
*captiare for *captare, frequent, of capere, 
capt-, to take (see catch) ; cf . It. cacciare, 
Sp. cazar. A chase differed from a park in 
not being enclosed. 

chase^. To emboss, engrave. Aphet. for en- 
chase, F. enchdsser, to enshrine, from 
chasse, shrine, L. capsa (see case^). 

chase^. Hollow, groove, in various senses, 
esp. cavity of gun-barrel. Also frame in 
which type is locked. F. chasse in various 
senses, also in some cases from the masc. 
form chas. See case^, chase^. 

chaas: the space and length between beame and 
beame, wall and wall, in building (Cotg.). 

chasse d'un trehuchet: the shrine of a paire of gold 
weights; the hollow wherein the cock, tongue, or 
tryall playeth (ib.). 

chasm. G. -^afTix-a., cogn. with chaos (q.v.). 
chasse. Liqueur after coffee. For F. chasse- 

cafe, now usu. pousse-caf e. 
chasse-croise. Dance-step. F., see chase^, 

chasse-maree. Coasting- vessel. F., chase 

chassepot. Obs. F. rifle. Inventor's name. It 

means "pot hunter," in the sense of seeker 

after hospitality. 
chasseur. F., ht. hunter. Cf . jdger. 
chassis [neol.]. Of a motor-car, etc. F. chassis, 

from chasse. See case^, sash^. 
chaste. F., L. castus, pure. 
chastise. Irreg. from OF. chastier [chdtier), 

L. castigare, to make pure, castus. In ME. 

we find also chaste, chasty, in this sense. 

Chasten is later. All orig. to improve, 


Whom the Lorde loveth, him he chasteneth [Wye. 

chastisith] (Tynd. Heb. xii. 6). 

chasuble. F., dubiously connected with L. 
casula, little house (dim. of casa), which in 
Church L. also meant hooded vestment. 
ME. & OF. chasible, chesible, suggest a 
form *casipula (cf. nianipulus, from ma- 
nus) ; cf . It. casipola, hut. 

chat. Shortened from chatter (q.v.). Also ap- 
plied, owing to their cry, to various birds, 
e.g. stone-chat, whin-chat. 

chateau. F., OF. chastel, L. castellum (see 
castle). Hence Chdteau-Margaux, etc., 
clarets named from famous vine-growing 

chatelaine. F., lady of castle (see chateau). 
Hence, belt with keys, etc.; cf. secondary 
sense of housewife. 





chatoyant. F., pres. part, of chatoyer, from 
chat, cat, with ref. to changing colour of 
its eye. 

chattel. OF. chatel, Late L. capitale, pro- 
perty. See cattle, which is the Norman- 
Picard form of the same word. 
She is my goods, my chattels {Shrew, iii. 2). 

chatter. Irait.;ci. jabber, twitter, etc. Chatter- 
box (19 cent.), i.e. box full of chatter, is 
modelled on the much earlier saucebox 
(16 cent.). Cf. obs. prattle-box. 

chatty [Anglo-Ind.]. Porous water-pot. Hind. 

chauffeur. F., stoker, from chauffer, to heat 
(see chafe). F. nickname for early motorists. 

chaussee. F., see causeway. 

chauvin. F., jingo. From Nicolas Chauvin, 
a veteran of the Grande Armee, who was 
introduced into several popular F. plays of 
the early 19 cent. The name was esp. 
familiarized by the line " Je suis Fran9ais, 
je suis Chauvin," in Cogniard's vaudeville 
La Cocarde tricolore (1832). The name is 
ident. with Calvin, and is a dim. of chauve, 

chavender. See chevin. 

chaw. By-form of chew. Now dial. (cf. chaw- 
bacon) or US. (e.g. chawed up), but a re- 
cognized literary form in 16-17 cents. 
mascheur: a chawer, chewer (Cotg.). 
Some roll tobacco, to smell to and chaw 

(Pepys, June 7, 1665). 

chawbuck. Obs. form of chabouk. See sjam- 

chay, shay. Vulg. for chaise (q.v.). For back- 
formation cf. pea, cherry, Chinee, etc. 

"How shall we go?" "A chay," suggestecr Mr 
Joseph Tuggs. "Chaise,'' whispered Mr Cymon. 
"I should think one would be enough," said Mr 
Joseph (Dickens, The Tuggs' s at Ramsgate). 

cheap. Orig, noun, barter, as in Cheapside. 
AS. ceap. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. koop, Ger. 
kauf, ON. kaup, whence Dan. kjob, in 
Kjobnhavn (Copenhagen). See also chaffer, 
chapman. Prob. all from L. caupo, huck- 
ster, innkeeper. Mod. adj. sense (16 cent.) 
is short for good cheap, good business; cf. F. 
bon marchd, "good cheap" (Cotg.). As verb 
(cf. Ger. kaufen, Du. koopen, etc.) now obs., 
but traces of orig. sense still in cheapen, 
to bargain. See also coper, coopering. 

And he, gon out about the thridde hour, say other 
stondynge ydil in the chepyng (Wye. Malt. xx. 3). 

Which do give much offence to the people here 

at court to see how cheap the King makes himself 

(Pepys, Feb. 17, i>669). 

cheat. Aphet. for escheat (q.v.), regarded as 
confiscation. Falstaff puns on the double 
meaning. Sense has also been affected by 
cheat, thing (early thieves' slang), of un- 
known origin. 

chete for the lord: caducum, confiscarium, fisca 

(Prompt. Parv.). 

I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be 
exchequers to me {Merry Wives, i. 3). 

check. OF. eschec [echec), Pers. shah, king 
(in danger), adopted, through Arab., by 
most Europ. langs. with the game of chess 
(q.v.). Hence fig. to repulse, attack, put 
to the test, as in to check a statement {ac- 
count), or to pay by check (now cheque), i.e. 
in a manner easy to verify. Also of various 
controlling mechanisms. Much used, esp. 
in US., of receipts, counters in games, etc., 
hence to hand in one's checks, retire from 
the game, die (cf. to peg out). For check {er) 
pattern, etc., see chequer, exchequer. Check- 
mate is OF. eschec mat, Arab, shah mat, the 
king is dead. 

Ther-with Fortune seyde, "Chek heer!" 

And "Mate!" in the myd poynt of the chekkere. 

With a poune erraunt, alias ! 

(Chauc. Blanche the Duchess, 658). 

checker. See chequer. 

Cheddar. Cheese. From village in Somerset. 

chee-chee. Eurasian accent in speaking E. 
Hind, chhi-chhi, fie (lit. dirt), exclamation 
attributed to Eurasians, or perh. imit. of 
their mincing speech. 

cheek. AS. ceace, jaw; cf. Du. kaak, jaw, 
cheek, LG. kake, keke. With to have the 
cheek cf. to have the face {front). Already 
in ME. cheek is used in phrases of the type 
to one's beard {teeth). In earliest use also 
foi" jaw, as still in cheek by jowl. 

We will have owre wille maugre thi chekes 

{Piers Plowm. B. vi. 158). 

cheep. Imit. of cry of small birds, etc.; cf. 
Ger. piepen, F. pepier. Hence cheeper, 
young partridge (grouse). 

cheer. Orig. face. F. chere. Late L. cara 
(whence Prov. Sp. Port. cara). Identity 
with G. Kapa, head, is unlikely, in view of 
the absence of the word from It. Mod. 
senses develop from good cheer, F. bonne 
chere, as in be of good cheer (countenance, 
bearing), with good cheer (cordial manner); 
hence friendly treatment, resultant satis- 
faction and approval {three cheers). Cheery, 
"a ludicrous word" (Johns.), is much later 
than cheerful, 
chere: the face, visage, countenance, favor, look, 





aspect of a man; also, cheer, victuals, intertain- 

ment for the teeth (Cotg.). 

All fancy sick she is, and pale of cheer 

{Mids. Night's Dream, iii. 2). 

We gave them a cheer, as the seamen call it 

(Defoe, Capt. Singleton). 

cheesed Food. AS. ctese, L. caseiis. WGer.; 
cf. Du. kaas, Ger. kdse. Introduced into 
WGer. langs. with butter (q.v.), while the 
Rom. langs. preferred *formaticnm (F. 
fromage), expressing the shape. Caseus is 
prob. not orig. L., but borrowed from 
some nomadic tribe (cf. butter). Cheese- 
paring is in Shaks. (2 Hen. IV, iii. 2), but 
fig. sense of niggardly is 19 cent. 
rimheccarsela: to swaUowe a cudgeon, to believe 
that the moone is made of greene cheese (Flor.). 

cheese^ [Anglo-Ind.]. The correct thing. 
Urdu, Pers. chlz, thing. 

cheese it. Thieves' slang, of unknown origin. 

cheetah. Leopard trained for hunting. Hind. 
chtta, Sanskrit chitraka, speckled. See 
chintz, chit^. 

chef. Cook. For F. chef de cuisine. 

chego. Monkey. See jocko. 

cheiro-. From G. x"P' hand. More usu. chiro-. 

chela. Buddhist novice, such as Kiphng's 
Kim. Hind, chela, servant, disciple, San- 
skrit cheta. 

chemise. In its ME. usage, of various gar- 
ments, from AS. cemes. Late L. camisia 
(c. 400 A.D.) ; but in mod. use, as euph. 
for smock, shift, from F. Late L. camisia, 
first as soldiers' word, is prob. of Gaulish 
origin and ult. cogn. with Ger. hemd, shirt. 
Also found in Arab. {qamiQ), in Rum., and 
in Slav, langs. For vulg. shimmey cf. chay, 
cherry, etc. 

You may do what you please, 
You may sell my chemise, 

(Mrs P. was too well-bred to mention her smock) 


chemist. Earlier chymist, F. chimiste, ModL. 
alchimista. Orig. synon. with alchemist 
(see alchemy). 

chenille. F., lit. caterpillar, L. canicula, little 
dog, from canis. Cf. caterpillar. 

cheque. Earlier check, as still in US. Orig. 
counterfoil for checking purposes. Mod. 
spelling due to exchequer. 

chequer, checker. Aphet. ior exchequer (q.v.), 
in orig. sense of chess-board; cf. checkers, 
draughts. With chequered career, i.e. one 
of strong contrasts, cf. mod. mil. to chess- 
board (a road), i.e. excavate it in zigzag 
fashion to hold up pursuing force. Ex- 
chequer in mod. sense was once commonly 

spelt cheker, chequer, e.g. in Pepys. Hence 
also check, pattern. 

He [Hindenburg] "chess-boarded" the ordinary 
highways and blew up railway stations, water- 
towers and bridges (J. Buchan). 

cherimoya. Fruit. From Quichua lang. of 

Peru . 
cherish. F. cherir, cherlss-, from cher, dear, 

L. cams. Cf. flourish, nourish, etc. 
cheroot. Tamil shuruttu, roll (of tobacco). 

He who wants to purchase a segar in the East, 
must ask for a sharoot (NED. 1807). 

cherry. With AS. ciris, cyrs, found in 
compds. only, e.g. cirisbeam, cherry tree, 
cf. Du. kers, Ger. kirsche. The existing 
word was taken by ME. from ONF. cherise 
[cerise), corrupted from L. cerasum, G. 
Kepacriov, trad, brought (c. 100 B.C.) by 
Lucullus from Cerasus in Pontus; but it is 
possible that the place was named from 
the tree, G. Kipacro?, and that the latter is 
cogn. with G. Kcpa?, horn, from its smooth 
bark (cf. hornbeam). For loss of -s cf. chay, 
pea, sherry, etc. So also dial, merry, wild 
cherry, F. merise. 

By Jingo, I believe he wou'd make three bits of a 
cherry [troys morceaulx d'une cerise] 

(Motteux' Rabelais, v. 28). 

Chersonese. Peninsula, esp. that of Thrace. 
G. ')(€pa6vif}(T0<:, peninsula, from ')(ip(jo<i, dry, 
j/Tjo-os, island. 

chert. Kind of quartz. Perh. for sherd, shard. 
Cf. origin of brescia, slate. 

cherub. Back-formation from cherubim, che- 
rnbin, formerly used as sing., L. [Vulg.), 
G. (LXX.) ;)(€poi^;8t/x, Heb. k'rubim, pi. 
of k'rUb, origin and real meaning of 
which are unknown. The pi. being more 
familiar, the earliest form was AS. cheru- 
bin, -bim, in general ME. use for cherub, 
as still in A V. and uneducated speech. 
So also F. cherubin. It. cherubino, etc. Cf. 
assassin. Bedouin, and see seraph. Wye. 
has both cherub and cherubin, Shaks. has 
the latter several times and cherub only 

Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins 

(Merch. of Ven. v. i). 

Here lies the body of Martha Gwynn, 

Who was so very pure within. 

She burst the outer shell of sin 

And hatch'd herself a cherubin [Old Epitaph). 

chervil. Herb. AS. ccerfille, L., G. xo-ipf.- 
(f)vXXov, from cfivXXov, leaf, ? and x'^P^' ^^' 
joice. Cf. Du. kervel, Ger. kerbel, obs. E. 
cerfoil, F. cerfeuil. 


Cheshire cat 



Cheshire cat. Famed for grinning in 18 cent. 
(Peter Pindar), but reason unknown. US. 
has chessy [jessy) cat. 

chesnut. See chestnut. 

chess. OF. esches, pi. of eschec (echec). See 
check. In late ME. we find a new pi. 
chesses, and in 16-17 cents, chests. Chess- 
men is for ME. chess-mesne, where the 
second element is obs. meiny, retinue (see 
minage). The item tabeliers et nieisne, i.e. 
boards and "men," occurs in accts. of Earl 
of Derby's Expedition (1390-93). See also 

Whose deepest projects, and egregious gests, 
Are but dull morals of a game at chests (Donne). 

chess-trees [naut.]. Timber with eye through 
which passes clew of mainsail. Prob. from 
chase^l cf. F. chas, eye of needle. 

chest. AS. cest, L. cista, G. klo-tt); cf. Du. 
kist, Ger. kiste, ON. kista. Early pre- 
Christian loan (see ark). In AS. & ME. 
esp. in sense of coffin. For anat. sense cf. 
Ger. brustkasten, lit. breast-box, of which 
second element is unrelated. 
He [Joseph] dieth, and is chested {Gen. 1. heading). 

chesterfield. Overcoat, couch. From a 19 
cent. Earl 0/ Chesterfield. Cf. raglan, spen- 
cer, Wellington, etc. 

chestnut. For chesieine-nut, ME. chesteine, 
OF. chastaigne {chdtaigne) , L., G. /cao-ravea, 
either ? fromCa5toni5(Pontus) or Castanaea 
(Thessaly). But see remark on cherry. 
Armen. kaskeni, chestnut tree, may be the 
true origin. Earlier is AS. cisten-beani, 
chestnut tree (cf. Ger. kestenbaum, now 
usu. kastanienbawn) . In ME. chastein, 
chestein, etc. is also used of the tree. Chest- 
nuts out of the fire is from the fable of 
the cat and the monkey (cf. catspaw). In 
the sense of venerable tale (US.) perh. 
from a spec, oft-repeated story in which a 
chestnut-tree is particularly mentioned. 
"When suddenly from the thick boughs of a cork- 
tree" — "A chestnut, captain, a chestnut." "Bah! 
booby, I say a cork-tree." "A chestnut," reiterates 
Pablo; "I should know as well as you, having 
heard you tell the tale these twenty-seven times" 
(Hatton's Reminiscences of Toole, 1888, 
quoted by NED.). 

cheval-de-frise. See chevaux-de-frise. 

cheval-glass. F. cheval, horse. Cf. chevalet, 
easel (q.v.). 

chevalier. F., horseman, knight, VL. *ca- 
ballarius, from caballus, horse. Cf. Ger. 
ritter, knight, lit. rider. F. chevalier, knight, 
cavalier, horseman, etc. (from It.) are now 
differentiated. The ME. form was chevaler, 

chivaler, etc., the ModF. form being intro- 
duced later. Esp. the Chevalier de Saint- 
George, Old Pretender, and the Young 
Chevalier, Young Pretender. Chevalier of 
industry, sharper, is adapted from F. che- 
valier d'industrie. Cf. chivalry. 
chevaux-de-frise [fort.]. Lit. Frisian horses, 
device adopted by the Netherlanders to 
make up for their lack of cavalry' against 
the Spaniards. Cf. archaic Ger. spanische 
renter (reiter), in same sense. 
vriesse paerden {balken om den aanval der vyandelike 
ruyters te stuyien): chevaux de Frise (Sewel). 

chevelure. Head of hair. F., L. capillatura, 
from capillus, hair; cf. It. capillatura. 

chevin. Chub. F. chevin, chevanne; ci.ohs.lL. 
chavender. Prob. from L. caput, head. 
The chub or chavender (Izaak Walton). 

cheviot. Cloth from wool of Cheviot sheep. 

chevrette. Skin for gloves. F., kid, dim. of 
chevve, goat, L. capra. 

chevron. Stripe (^--) of non-commissioned 
officer. Also in her. {■^). Earliest sense, 
rafter. F., VL. *capro-n-, from caper, 
goat; cf. Sp. cabriol, L. capreolus, dim. of 
caper, in same sense. 

chevron: a kid; a chevron (of timber in building); 
a rafter or sparre (Cotg.). 

capreoli: cross pieces of timber to hold together 
larger beams and keep them together (Litt.). 

chevrotain, chevrotin. Small musk-deer (S.E. 
Asia). F., double dim. of chevre, she-goat, 
L. capra. 

chevy, chivy. To pursue. From hunting-cr\- 
chivy, from ballad of Chevy Chase, on battle 
of Otterburn (1388) between Douglas and 
Hotspur. For Cheviot Chase, a later version 
being called the Cheviot Hunting. 
With a hey, ho, chivy ! 
Hark forward ! hark forward ! tantivy 

(O'Keefe, Old Towler, c. 1785). 

chew. AS. ceowan; cf. Du. kauwen, Ger. 
kaiien. See chaw. 

Britain bit off far more than Napoleon ever tried 
to chew — and chewed it 
(F. W. Wile, Explaining the Britishers, Nov. 1918). 

chianti. Wine. From place of origin in Tus- 

chiaroscuro. It. chiaro, light, L. clarus, oscuro, 
dark, L. obscurus. Orig. both of black and 
white and light and shade. 

chiasmus. G. x^ao-M"?. crossing, lit. making 
shape of letter x- Order of words as in 
Frequentia sustentatur, alitur otic (Cic). 
I cannot dig, to beg I am ashamed (Luke, xvi. 3). 
Au sublime spectacle un spectateur sublime 






chiaus. See chouse. 

chibouk, chibouque. Long pipe. Turk. 
chibuk, stick, pipe-stem. 

chic. F., smartness. Cf. Ger. schick, in same 
sense, found early (14 cent.) in LG. From 
schicken, to send, in secondary sense of 
arrange appropriately, etc. 

chicanery. Pettifogging, qviibbling. F. chi- 
caner ie, from chicane. The latter word was 
applied in Languedoc to a form of golf, 
and golfers will readily understand how 
the sense of taking advantage of petty 
accidents may have been evolved. The F. 
word is from MedG. T^vKavt^etv, to play 
polo (q.v.), a game once known all over 
the Mohammedan world and in Christian 
Byzantium. This is from Pers. chaugdn, a 
crooked stick. The game has given rise to 
many metaphors in Pers. 

chicha. Fermented drink from maize. Native 
lang. of Hayti. 

chick^. Bird. Shortened from chicken (q.v.). 
Cf. oft for often. 

il ti'a enfant ne bremant: hee hath nor childe, nor 
chicke to care for (Cotg.). 

chick^ [Anglo-Ind.]. Cane blind. Hind, chik, 
perh. a Mongol word. 

Old Chinn could no more pass that chick without 

fiddling with it than 

(Kipling, Tomb of his Ancestors). 

chick^ \AngIo-Ind.]. Short for chickeen. See 

chickabiddy. From chick'^ and biddy, obs. 

child's name for bird ( ? birdy). 

Ay, biddy, come with me [Twelfth Night, iii. 4). 
chicken. AS. cicen; cf. Du. kieken, Ger. 

kiichlein, ON. kjitklingr; perh. ult. cogn. 

with cock. In chicken-pox app. in sense of 

small, inconsiderable. 

Perrette 1^-dessus saute aussi, transportee: 
Le lait tombe; adieu veau, vache, cochon, couv6e 
(La Fontaine, Fables, vii. 10). 

chicken-hazard. For chickeen, Anglo-Ind. 
form of sequin (q.v.), zecchin. 

Billiards, short whist, chicken-hazard, and punting 

{I ngoldsby) . 

chickery-pokery. Var. oi jiggery-pokery (q.v.). 
chick-pea. Earlier ciche pease, F. pois chicke 

(earlier ciche), L. cicer, pea. Also called 

chickling, earlier cichling. 
chickweed. For earlier chicken-weed , as still 

in Sc. 
chicory. 'EaxWer cicory , OF. cichoree {chicoree), 

L. cichoreum, from G. Ki^opa, endive, 

succory (q.v.). 

chide. AS. cidan, not known in other Teut. 
langs. Orig. intrans., to brawl, rail, with 
dat. of person (now disguised as ace). 
Construction with prep, with, against is 
The people did chide with Moses (Ex. xvii. 2). 

chief. ME. chefe, F. chef, L. caput, head. 
Correct OF. spelling is chief, which may 
have affected mod. form. In chief in oldest 
sense (feud.) represents L. in capite. With 
adj. use cf. native head as in head-master, 
or Ger. haupt in haitptmann, captain. 
Hence chieftain, ME. & OF. chevetain, re- 
modelled on chief. See captain. 

chiff-chaff. Bird. Imit. of note. 

chiffer-chaffer. Nonce-word, redupl. on chaffer 

Let the Labour party cease chiffer-chaffering over 
things it does not understand, like the disposal 
of Africa, or the state of Russia 

(Daily Chron. Sep. 27, 1918). 

chiffon. F., lit. rag, dim. of F. chiffe, perh. 
for OF. chipe, rag, ? from E. chip. Hence 
chiffonnier , orig. with drawers for putting 
away sewing materials, etc. ModF. sense 
is ragpicker. 

chignon. OF. eschignon, nape of the neck, 
from eschine (e'chine), backbone {see chine'^) , 
confused with F. chatnon, dim. of chaine, 
also used of the nape of the neck. 

chainon du col: the naupe, or (more properly) the 
chine-bone of the neck (Cotg.). 

chigoe. Wind, burrowing flea, jigger^ (q-v.). 
Prob. negro corrupt, of Sp. chico, small, 
whence also synon. F. chique. 

chilblain. From chill and blain (q.v.). 

child. AS. did (neut.); ? cf. Goth, kilthci, 
womb. In E. only; in other WGer. langs. 
represented by kind. AS. pi. was cild, ME. 
child and childre, the latter surviving in 
dial, childer, replaced in south by double 
pi. children, after brethren. Earliest sense 
esp. in connection with birth {childbed, 
with child). In ME. and later also spec, 
youth of gentle birth (cf. Childe Harold), 
also servant, page. In 16 cent. esp. girl. 
My child in Shaks. never refers to son, 
and mod. usage shows traces of this. With 
Childermas, Feast of the Holy Innocents 
(Dec. 28), cf. AS. cyldamcBsse (see mass'^). 

By the mouth of our fadir Davith, thi child 

(Wye. Acts, iv. 25). 
A very pretty barne; a boy or a child, I wonder? 
(Winter's Tale, iii. 3). 

chiliad. Thousand. L., G. x''^'^^- X"-^'*^^'' 
from -fQ-Xioi, thousand. 




chill. AS. cele, ciele, cold (noun), in gen. 
sense. Noun gave way in ME. to cold, 
and, in its mod. sense {take a chill, etc.), 
is from the adj. or verb derived from orig. 
noun. See also cold, cool. 

chilli. Capsicum pod, used in pickles, etc. 
Sp., Mex. chilli, native name. 

Chiltern Hundreds. Former crown manor 
(Oxford and Bucks), of which stewardship 
(a sinecure or fictitious office) is taken by 
M.P.'s as a way of resigning, an office 
under the crown being (since 1707) a dis- 
qualification for membership of Parlia- 
ment. See hundred. 

chimed Of bells. ME. & OF. chimbe, L. cym- 
halum, G. Kv/x/SaXov, from Kv^j3r], hollow of 
a vessel (cf. L. cymha). Cymbal (q.v.) was 
orig. sense of E. chime. 

Lovys him in chymys wele sownande 

(Hampole's Psalter, cl. 5). 

chimed chimb. Rim of a cask. In Johns. 
Cf. Du. kim, the same, Gar. kimme, edge, 
AS. cimbing, joining. Also incorr. chine. 

chimer, chimar [hist.]. Bishop's robe. OF. 
chamavve {simarre) ; cf. It. zimarra, Sp. 
zaniarra. Origin unknown. 

chimera, chimaera. Fabulous composite 
monster. L., G. xv^atpa, she-goat. 

chimney. F. cheminee, Late L. caminata, from 
caminus, furnace, oven, G. Ka/xivo's. Orig. 
fire-place, as in chimney corner, chimney 
piece, the latter orig. a picture. But earUest 
sense of Late L. caminata was room pro- 
vided with a stove^ (q.v.). 

The chimney 
Is south the chamber, and the chimney-piece 
Chaste Dian, bathing (Cymb. ii. 4). 

chimpanzee. Bantu (Angola) kampenzi. 

chin. AS. cin. WGer.; cf. Du. kin, Ger. 
kinn; cogn. with G. yevvs, lower jaw, L. 
gena, cheek. 

China. Sanskrit China, perh. from Ch'in or 
Ts'in dynasty (3 cent. B.C.). Chin in Marco 
Polo. Hence, porcelain from China, y>t^o- 
nounced cheyney well into 19 cent., with 
the consequence that Cheyne Walk, Chel- 
sea, was sometimes spelt China Walk ! 
With China orange cf. Ger. apfelsine, 
orange, ht. apple of China, the fruit having 
been introduced from China by the Portu- 
guese in 16 cent. The NED. quotes "a 
hundred pounds to a China orange on 
Eclipse" (1771). A Chinaman was, before 
the ig cent., a dealer in Chinese ware (cf. 
Indiaman). Chinese. OF. Chineis {Chinois), 


was formerly used as noun. For slang 
Chinee cf. Porttigee, marquee, burgee, etc. 

Sericana, where Chineses drive. 
With sails and wind, their cany waggons light 

(Par. Lost, iii. 438). 
She [a lady of rank who died, aetat. 104, in 1877] 
always spoke of her "chaney" and of the balc6ny, 
theayter, etc. (From a correspondent). 

chinch. Bug (US.). Sp. chinche, L. cimex, 

chinchilla. Small rodent (SAmer.). Sp., perh. 

from chinch (q.v.), from erron. belief that 

it smelt badly. Cf. OF. cincele, chincele. 

chin-chin [Anglo-Chin.]. Chin, ts'ing-ts'ing, 


The mandarin went off in high glee, saying "chin, 
chin" as he departed, which is the common saluta- 
tion (Mickey's Memoirs, i. 223). 

chinchona. See cinchona. 

chinei. Ravine (Hants and I. of Wight). 
AS. cinii, fissure. Cf. Du. keen, chapV A 
common ME. word now superseded by 
chink^ (q.v.). Cogn. with Ger. keim, bud 
(at its opening). 

In the chyne of a ston wal 

(Wye. Song of Solomon, ii. 14). 

chine2. Backbone, etc. F. echi^ie. OHG. scina 
[schiene), splinter, shinbone (cf. history of 
spine), whence also It, schiena, Sp. esquena. 
See shin. 

chine^. See chime^. 

Chinee, Chinese. See China. 

chinki. Fissure. Replaces (from 16 cent.) 
chine^, from which it is app. derived. For 
abnormal formation cf. Chink. 

chink^. Sound. Imit., cf. F. tinter, Ger. 
klingeln. Hence, money, earliest sense re- 
corded in NED. 

To buie it the cheaper, have chinkes in thy purse 

(Tusser, 1573)- 

Chink [Austral. 6- US.]. "Chinee." For 
formation cf. chink^. 

Chinook. "Pidgin" language of Columbia 
and Oregon ; also warm ocean wind. Name 
of native tribe on Columbia river with 
which Hudson Bay traders came in con- 

chintz. For chints, pi. of chint. Hind, chlnt. 
Earlier also ckite, Mahrati chit, from San- 
skrit chitra, variegated. Cf. cheetah, chit^, 
and, for pi. form, baize. So also Du. sits, 
earlier cAi^s, chitsen, "chints" (Sewel). 

Bought my wife a chint, that is, a painted Indian 

callico (Pepys, Sep. 5, 1663). 





chip. Prob. thinned form of chop^ (cf. drip, 
drop). Cf. kippen in various LG. dialects. 
To chip in may be a variation on to cut in 
(orig. at cards) or come from chip in slang 
sense of counter used in card-playing, 
whence chips, money; cf. Du. splint, splinter, 
spaan, chip, both used for money. Chip 
of the old block is used by Milton {Smectyni- 
ntius) . 

chipmuck, chipmunk. Squirrel (US.). The 
alternative name hackle (J. G. Wood) sug- 
gests an E. formation from chip and mink 

Chippendale. Name of cabinet-maker (ti779)- 
Cf. sheraton. 

chippy. Dr}^ as a chip; hence, suffering from 
after-effects of alcohol. 

chiro-. Latinized form of cheiro- (q.v.), 
adopted in F. Hence chirography, hand- 
writing; chiromancy, palmistry; chiropo- 
dist, from G. TTOv?, ttoS-, foot. 

chirp, chirrup. Imit. For obs. chirk, chirt 
(= cheep). With later chirrup cf. alarum. 
Earliest is AS. cearcian, whence ME. chark, 
to creak. To feel chirpy, chirrupy is 
coloured by cheer-up. 

[He] chirkith [var. chirtith] as a sparwe 

(Chauc. D. 1804). 

chirurgeon [archaic]. Restored spelling of 
OF. cirurgien (whence ME. sirurgien, sur- 
geon) corresponding to Sp. cirujano. Port. 
cirurgiao. From G. ;^€ipoi;/3yos, surgeon, 
from X'^^'P' hand, epyov, work. 

chisel. ONF. chisel (ciseau), VL. *cisellus, for 
*caesellus (whence It. cesello), from caedere, 
caes-, to cut. See scissors. With chiselled 
features cf. pencilled eyebrows. 

chiti. Brat. App. var. of kit {kitten) ; cf . dial. 
chit, kitten, Sc. cheet, puss. Cf. use of kid, 
cub, whelp, etc. But associated in sense 
with dial, chit, sprout. Cf. imp, scion, and 
Gar. sprossling. Wye. has chittes, var. 
whelpis {Is. xxxiv. 15) for Vulg. catuli. 
murelegus, catus, catulus: catte, idem est chytte 


chW.'^, chi\tY [Anglo-Ind.]. Document. Mahrati 
chittl, Sanskrit chitra, "black and white." 
See cheetah, chintz and cf. pie'^. 
At last I got his cheet for some [of his debt] 

(Purch. 1608). 

chit-chat. Redupl. on chat (q.v.). Cf. chitter 
for chatter, and tittle-tattle. 

chitin. Substance forming integuments of 
insects, etc. F. chitine, irreg. from G. xtroiv, 

chiton. Tunic. G. ^(itwv. 

chittagong. Breed of fowls, from Chittagong, 

chitterling. Mostly dial., with numerous vars. 
With secondary (slang) sense of shirt-frill 
cf . F. fraise, mesentery, ruff, and see tripe. 
Origin obscure; ? cf. Ger. kutteln, chitter- 
lings, Goth, qithus, belly, cogn. ^^dth LG. 
kiit, intestine, Du. kuit, fish-roe, from a 
Teut. root applied to soft parts of the 

andouille: a linke, or chitterling; a big hogges gut 

stuffed with small guts (Cotg.). 

fraise: a ruffe; also, a calves chaldern (ib.\. 
chitty. See chif^. 
chivalry. F. chevalerie, collect, from chevalier 

(q.v.). Doublet of cavalry, with which it 

was sometimes synon., though earliest 

E. sense is bravery, prowess, e.g. flower of 

chivalry (1297). 
chive. Herb. ONF. cive, L. cepa, onion. Cf. 

AS. clpe, onion, from L. 
chivy. See chevy. 
chlamys. G. ■)(}^afxv<;, cloak. 
chloral. Coined by Liebig from chlor{ine) 

chlorine. Named (18 10) by Davy from its 

colour. G. y\Mp6<;, yellowish green. 
chlorodyne. Artificial trade-name from chloro- 
form (q.v.) and anodyne (q.v.). 
chloroform. F. chloroforme, coined (1834) by 

Dumas. See chlorine. Used as anaesthetic 

by Simpson (1847). 

This new anaesthetic agent was used most success- 
fully last Monday {III. Lond. News, Dec. 4, 1847). 

chlorophyll. Green colouring matter of plants. 
G. x^oypos, green, ^vXkov, leaf. 

chlorosis. "Green sickness." Mod., from G. 
;^Xa)pos, green. 

chock, chuck. Block of wood, wedge (chiefly 
naut.). ONF. choque, chouque {soiiche, 
stump). Chockfitll, chokefull, though now 
to some extent associated with chock, is 
a much older word (c. 1400) and prob. 
comes from ME. choke, jaw-bone, "chops," 
ON. kjalki, jaw-bone (cf. Sc. chowk); thus 
"full to the chops," with which cf. F. re- 
gorger, to be chock-full, from gorge, throat. 

chocolate. F. chocolat, Sp. chocolate, Mex. 
chocolatl. Orig. (c. 1600) a drink made 
from cacao seeds, but, according to some, 
distinct from cacao (q.v.). 

To a coffee-house, to drink jocolatte, very good 

(Pepys, Nov. 24, 1664). 

choctaw. Name of Red Indian tribe used as 
fancy skating term. Cf. mohawk. 





choice. ME. & OF. chois (choix), from choisir, 
OHG. kiusjan (kiesen). See choose. As adj. 
choice replaced ME. chis (AS. cts, fas- 
tidious, perh. from ceosan, to choose) , partly 
under influence of F. adj. de choix (cf. adj. 
use of prize). Choice spirit is from Shaks. 
(i Hen. VI, V. 3; Jul. Caes. iii. i). 

choir, quire. ME. quer, OF. cuer {choeiir), L. 
chorus, G. xopo5. company of dancers or 
singers. Quire (still in PB.) was replaced 
c. 1700 by choir, an assimilation to F. & L. 

choke. Aphet. for achoke, AS. dceocian, prob. 
cogn. with cheek (cf. throat, throttle, L. 
jugulum, jugulare, F. gorge, egorger). To 
choke off is orig. of dogs. With choke-pear, 
also fig., cf. synon. F. poire d'angoisse 
(d'e'trangiiillon). A choke-bore diminishes 
towards the muzzle. 

chokee. See choky. 

chokidar [Anglo-Ind.]. Watchman. Urdu 
chaukldar, from Hind, chauki, watching 
(v.i.), Pers. -dar, possessing, master, as in 
sirdar, etc. 

choky, chokee [slang]. Prison, quod. Orig. 
Anglo-Ind., from chauki, station, watch- 
house, etc. Cf. chokidar. 

choler. ME. & OF. colve (colere), L., G. xoA-epa, 
bilious disorder, from x^^V' bile. Choler 
assumed the meaning of x^^V ^^^ became 
the name of one of the four "humours" 
{sanguis, cholera, melancholia, phlegma). 
Certes this dreem, which ye ban met to-nyght, 
Cometh of the greet superfluytee 
Of youre rede colera [var. colere colre, coloure] 

(Chauc. B. 4116). 

cholera. In ME. ident. with choler (q.v.), from 

16 cent, used of English cholera, and from 

c. 1800 of Asiatic cholera. 
choliambic \_metr.'\ . Variation on iambic metre. 

G. ^coAos, lame, and t'a/x/3o?. 
chondro-. From G. ^ovSpos, cartilage. 
choose. AS. ceosan. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. 

kiezen, Ger. kiesen, Goth, kiusan; also ON. 

kor, choice; cogn. with L. gustare, to taste. 

Usu. chuse till Johns. F. choisir is from 

Teut. (see choice). 
chop^. To cut. ME. also chap, corresponding 

to Du. happen (see chap^). Its parallelism 

in use with cut suggests influence of OF. 

coper {couper), which had a Picard var. 

choper. A mutton chop is "chopped" off. 

In some colloq. senses chop^ runs together 

with chop^. 

Mesire Robiers...chopa la coife de tier, et li fist 

grant plaie en la tieste 

{Le Roi Flore et la Belle Jehanne). 

chop^ [archaic]. To barter. AS. ceapian. See 
chap'^, cheap. Survives in to chop and change, 
orig. to barter and exchange, but now 
associated partly with chop^, and applied 
to sudden movements, esp. of wind. So 
also to chop logic, to "exchange" argu- 
ments, is perh. now understood in a 
"mincing," "hair-splitting" sense. 
to chappe: mercari, negociari {Cath. Angl.). 

changer: to exchange, interchange, trucke, scoorse, 
barter, chop with (Cotg.). 

Many... which choppe and chaunge [Vulg. adulte- 
rantes] with the worde of God (Tynd. 2 Cor. ii. 17) . 

chop^. Jaw, etc., e.g. chops of the Channel. 
See chap^. Once literary. 

The sommers sweet distilling drops 
Upon the meddowes thirsty-yawning chops 

(Sylv. Ark). 

chop*. As in first-chop. Hind, chhdp, seal, 
impression, stamp. Common in Purch. in 
sense of authorizing signature. Taken by 
Europ. traders from India to China. 

The Americans (whom the Chinese distinguish by 
the title of second chop Englishmen) have also a 
flag (Rickey's Memoirs, i. 202). 

The chop-mark of the friend or foe may count for 
years to come in conservative China 

{Pall Mall Gaz. March 15, 1917)- 

chop^ [WAfr.]. Food; to eat. ? Suggested by 

chop-sticks, ? or from obs. chop, to devour, 

from chop^. 
chopsticks. Sailors' rendering of Chin, k'wai- 

tsze, nimble ones, chop being "pidgin" for 

quick. In Dampier (17 cent.). 
choragus. Chorus leader. Master of musical 

Praxis (Oxf.). L., G. x^PVy^''' from xopos, 

chorus, ayetv, to lead. 
choral-e. In spec, sense of stately hymn sung 

in unison, adapted from Ger. choyal{gesang). 
chord. Restored spelling, on G. x^'P^*?- °f 

cord (q.v.), in spec, sense. So also (math.) 

chord of an arc, lit. string of a bow. In 

sense of combination of notes it is for obs. 

cord, aphet. for accord (q.v.). 

In psawtry of ten cordis 

(Hampole's Psalter, cxliii. ro). 

chore [US.]. See char^, chare. 

chorea [med.]. St Vitus' Dance, chorea Sancti 
Viti. G. xopeta, dance (see chorus). 

choriambus [nietr.] G., from x^P^'^o^- ^^" 
longing to dancing, tafxl3o<;, iambus. 

chorister. Altered on chorus (see choir) from 
ME. qiierister, AF. cueristre, cueriste, MedL. 
chorista. Cf. barrister. 

chorography. Intermediate between geo- 
graphy and topography. F. chorographie, 





L., G. x^poypa<fiLa, from x*^P^' l^^^^- ^^• 
ckorology, science of distribution of fauna 
and flora. 

chortle. Coined by Lewis Carroll {Through 
the Looking-Glass). Cf. galumph, jabber- 

chorus. L., G. xopo's, dance, etc. See choir. 
Earliest E. use is in drama (16 cent.). 

chouan [hist.]. Irregular fighter in West of 
France on behalf of Bourbons (c. 1793 
and 1832). F., screech owl (by folk-etym. 
chat huant), cry of which was used as 
signal, Late L. cavannus, prob. imit. of cry. 

chough. Bird of crow tribe, now esp. red- 
legged crow, Cornish chough. Cf. Du. kauw, 
Dan. kaa, OHG. chdha, etc.; also ME. co, 
coo, jackdaw. Prob. imit. of cry. Cf. also 
F. choucas, jack-daw, and see chouan. 
choquar: a chough; or, Cornish chough (Cotg.). 

chouse. Orig. swindler. Earlier (17 cent.) 
also chiaus, etc., Turk, chdush (cf. Pers. 
chdwush), messenger. Used several times 
by Ben Jonson with the implied meaning 
of swindler (cf. cozen). Gifford's story 
about an individual chiaus who did some 
swindling in London in 1609 dates from 
1756 only, and is not mentioned by 17 
cent, etymologists who recognized the 
etvm. of chouse. 

The governor [of Aden] sent a chouse of his owne, 
which was one of his chiefe men 

(Jourdain's /oMf;;. 1608). 
Chiaus'd by a scholar! (Shirley, c. 1659). 

chow [Austral.']. Chinaman; dog of Chinese 
breed. App. from "pidgin" word for food. 
See chow-chow. 

chow-chow [pidgin]. Mixed pickles or pre- 

A small jar of sacred and imperial chow-chow 

(Kipling, Bread upon the Waters), 

chowder [Canada 6- US.]. Stew, including 
fish or clams. F. chaudiere, cauldron (q.v.), 
introduced into Newfoundland, etc. by 
Breton fishermen. 

chowry [Anglo-Ind.]. Fly-whisk, prop, tail 
of Tibetan yak elaborately mounted. In 
17-18 cent. E. usu. called cow-tail. Hind. 

A confidential servant waved the great chowry, 
or cow-tail {Surgeon's Daughter, ch. xiv.). 

chrematistic. Concerning money. G. xPVH-°^' 

Tto-Tt/cds, from ^rma, money, lit. the 

chrestomathy. Choice of extracts. G. xPW''^' 

fidOeca, from XPV^'''^'^> useful, -fjcaOiLa, 


chrism, chrisom. Consecrated oil in various 
rites. ME. crisme, cvisum, creme, etc., AS. 
crisina, L.,G.xpio'i"-a. anointing, from XP'^''^'. 
to anoint. Hence OF. cresme {creme) ; see 
cream. Chrisom is for chrisom-cloth, -robe, 
etc., white robe of baptism, orig. perh. a 
head-cloth used to avoid the rubbing away 
of the chrism,. 

cresme: the crisome, or oyle wherewith a baptized 
child is annointed (Cotg.). 

Christ. L. Christus, G. Xpto-rds, anointed 
(v.s.), translating Messiah (q.v.). Hence 
christen, AS. crtstenian, and Christian, re- 
stored spelling for earlier cristen. Christen- 
dom orig. meant Christianity. In all these 
words ch- is a restored spelling. Christian 
science was established (1866) in US. by 
Mary B. Eddy. 

Et docuerunt turbam multam, ita ut cognomina- 
rentur primum Antiochae discipuli, Christiani 

{Vulg. Acts, xi. 26). 

Christadelphian. Sect founded (1847) in US. 
From G. Xpto-rds, Christ, d8€A.<^ds, brother. 

He appealed for the certificate [of exemption] 
granted to a Christadelphian to be cancelled. The 
latter had been fined for knocking a horse's eye 
out (Daily Chron. Jan. 23, 1918). 

christ-cross-row, criss- [archaic]. Child's horn- 
book (q.v.) with cross preceding alphabet. 

Infant-conning of the Christ-cross-row 

{Excursion, viii. 419). 

Christmas. AS. Crlstmcesse (see mass'^). The 
Christmas tree is a Ger. institution, popu- 
larized by its introduction into the royal 
household temp. Queen Victoria. The in- 
stitution is not old in Germany, being 
app. of local origin. See also box. 

tire-lire: a Christmas box; a box having a cleft on 
the lid, or on the side, for money to enter it; used 
in France by begging friers, and here by butlers, 
and prentices, etc. (Cotg.). 

Christy Minstrels. Original troupe of " negro " 
entertainers, organized (c. i860) by George 
Christy of New York. 

chromatic. G. xp^/^aTi/cds, from xpw/x.a, colour. 
Earliest, and most usu., in mus. sense. 

chrome. F., G. XP^/^"^. colour, cogn. with 
Xpws, skin. Orig. name given (1797) to 
metal chromium by its discoverer, Vau- 
quelin. With chromograph cf. oleograph. 

chronic. F. chronique, L., G. xpovtKds, from 
Xpdvos, time. Mod. slang sense is evolved 
from that of chronic complaint. 

chronicle. ME. also cronique, F. chronique. 
Late L., G. -xpoviKo., annals, from xpoi'os, 
time. For ending cf. participle, principle, 





svllahle. Cf. chronogram, chronology , chrono- 
chrys-, chryso-. From G. ')(pv<j6<;, gold. 
chrysalis. G. \pv(raX\i<;, from •)(jiv(j6<;, gold, 

owing to usual colour. Cf. Late L. aurelia 

in same sense. 
chrysanthemum. G. xpya-dvOefiov, lit. gold 

flower, avBefxov. 
chryselephantine. Of gold and ivory. See 

chrysolite. ME. & OF. crisolite, G. xpva-o- 

XiOo'i, from Xi6o<;, stone. 
chrysoprase. ME. & OF. crisopace, G. xpvao- 

TT/jao-os, from Trpda-ov, leek ; froin its colour. 

The tenth, crisopassus (Wye. Rev. xxi. 20). 

chub. Fish. Also, dial., block of wood, dolt. 
Origin obscure; ? cf. Norw. kubbe, log, 
kubben, stumpy. Hence chubby. 

raccourci: chubby, trust up, short and strong 


chubb. Lock. From Charles Chubb, lock- 
smith (11845). 

chubby. See chub. 

chuck^. Call to fowls. Imit. and partly sug- 
gested hy chick^. Cf. chuck, archaic term of 
endearment, for chick. 

chuck^. To throw. Earlier chock. F. choquer, 
of doubtful origin. Earliest E. sense is 
connected with chin. 

mantonniere: a chocke, or bob under the chinne 


chuck^ \_dial.'\. Lump of wood. See chock. 

chuckle. Orig. of noisy, now of somewhat 
suppressed, laughter. Cf. obs. checkle, also 
cackle, and chuck^. 

chuckle-head. From chuck^. Cf. block-head. 

chum. "A chamber-fellow, a term used in 
the universities" (Johns.). Clipped form 
of chamber -felloiv. It is recorded for 1684 
and explained thus c. 1690. This was the 
age of clipped words {mob, cit, bam, etc.) 
and the vowel change is like that of com- 
rade (q.v.), bungalow, pundit, etc. See 
Pickwick, ch. xlii. 

Come my Bro Richard from schole to [be] my 
chamber-fellow at the university (Evelyn, 1640). 

To my chum, Mr Hody of Wadham College 

{NED. 1684). 

Where he was of Wadham, being chamber-fellow 
of Humph. Hody (Hearne, 1706). 

chump. Log, thick end, vulg. head. Of mod. 

formation, perh. suggested by chunk, lump. 
chunk. Chiefly US. App. var. of chuck^. Cf. 

dial. junk. 

chupatty [hist.]. Hind, chapdtt, unleavened 
cake. Used as " fiery cross " in Ind. Mutiny 

chuprassy [Anglo-Ind.]. Attendant, hench- 
man. Hind, chaprdst, from chaprds, official 

church. AS. cirice, G. KvpiaKov (sc. Bwfia), 
from Kvpios, lord; cf. Du. kerk, Get. kirche, 
ON. kirkia. See also kirk. Not found in 
Rom. & Celt, langs., which have deriva- 
tives of ecclesia (see ecclesiastic), nor in 
Goth., though most Teut. Church-words 
came through that lang. The Church visible 
is the Church on earth, as contrasted with 
the invisible, mystical. Church. Church of 
England is used, in L. form, by Becket 
(see Anglican). Holy Church is AS., Mother 
Church is in Wye. Churchwarden is for 
older chtirchward (still a surname), AS. 
ciricweard. With poor as a church mouse 
cf. F. gueux comme un rat d'eglise, and with 
churchyard cough cf. F. toux qui sent le 
sapin (coffin wood). 

churl. AS. ceorl, man, used for husband 
{John, iv. 17), later, countryman, peasant, 
etc. WGer., cf. Du. kerel, Ger. kerl, fellow. 
Hence name Charles. See carl. For de- 
generation of sense cf. boor, villain. 

churn. AS. cyrin. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. karn, 
Ger. dial, kirn, ON. kirna. From a Teut. 
root meaning cream (cf. Ger. dial, kern, 
cream), prob. cogn. with corn^, kernel, from 
granular appearance assumed by churned 

chute. Fall, esp. of water. F., VL. *caduta, 
from *cadere, to fall (for cadere) . Confused 
with shoot, as in to shoot the rapids, partly 
due to adoption of chute from Canad. F. 
But cf. to shoot coals {rubbish), with some- 
what similar mental picture, and see also 
shoot^' 2. 

chutney. Hind, chatnl. 

chyle, chyme [physiol.l. G. x^^^^, x^p.o'i, 
juice, from x"»'. to pour. Differentiated 
by Galen. 

chymist. See chemist. 

ciborium. MedL., G. Ki^topiov, cup-shaped 
seed-vessel, cup. Eccl. sense, receptacle 
for Eucharist, due to fancied connectioii 
with L. cibus, food. 

cicada, cicala. Insect. L. c^cff^rt. With second 
form, from It., cf. F. cigale, from Prov. 

cicatrice. F., L. cicatrix, -trie-, scar. 

cicerone. It., lit. Cicero, L. Cicero-n-, a name 
prob. derived from cicer, small pease. Cf. 
Fabius, Lentulus. Piso. 





Cicestr. Signature of bishop of Chichester. 

Cf. Cesir. 
cicisbeo. Recognized gallant of married lady. 

It., of unknown origin. 

The widow's eye-glass turned from her cicisbeo's 

whiskers to the mantling ivy [Ingoldsby). 

Cid. Sp., hero, Arab, sayyid, lord, title given 
by the Arabs of Spain to the champion of 
Christianity, Ruy Diaz, Count of Bivar 
(11 cent.). 

Puisque Cid en leur langue est autant que seigneur, 
Je ne t'envierai pas ce beau titre d'honneur 

(Corneille) . 

-cide. Asin homicide, regicide. F.,!^. -cidiiim, 
of act, -cida, of agent, from caedere, to kill. 

cider. ME. sider, OF. sidre (cidre), MedL. 
sicera, G. aUipa, used in Vulg. and LXX. 
for Heb. shekdr, strong drink. 

He schal not drynke wyn and sydir [AS. traitsl. 
beor] (Wye. Luke, i. 15). 

ci-devant [hist.]. Nickname (French Revolu- 
tion) for former nobles. F. ci-devant, here- 
tofore, formerly, as in le citoyen Blanc, 

ci-devant marquis de Cf. sans-ciilotte. 

Ci is for ici, VL. ecce-hic; devant is VL. 

cieling. See ceiling. 

cierge. F., wax candle, L. cereus, waxen, 
from cera, wax. 

cigar. Earlier se^ay. Sp. c/^arro. ? Explained 
as from cigarra, cicada (q.v.), from shape 
resembling body of insect, or from puffing 
suggesting cicada's chirp. Cigarette is F. 
With one of those bits of white card in your mouth 
Which gentlemen smoke who have been in the 
South (Trevelyan, 1866). 

ciliary. From L. cilium, eyelash. 

cilice [archaic]. Hair-shirt. F., L. cilicium, 

G. kiXlklov, cloth made from Cilician goat's 

hair. Also AS. cilic {Matt. xi. 21). 
Cimmerian. From L., G. Ki/A/xeptoi, a people 

fabled to live in perpetual darkness 

{Odyssey, xi.). 
cinch [[/5.]. Sp. cincha, girth, from L. cin- 

gulum. A cow-boy word occurring in the 

fig. to get a cinch on. 
cinchona. Peruvian bark. Named (1742) by 

Linnaeus in honour of Countess of Chinchon 

(in Castile) who introduced it from Peru 

Cincinnatus. Great man in retirement. 

Roman general, called from the plough to 

Dictatorship when Rome was threatened 

by the Volscians. 
cincture. L. cinctura, from cingere, cinct-, to 


cinder. AS. sinder, dross, slag; cf. Ger. sinter, 
ON. sintr. Later associated with, and 
affected in sense by, F. cendre, L. cinis, 
ciner-, ash. 

Cinderella. Adapted from F. cendrillon, from 
cendre (v.s.) ; cf. Ger. Aschenbrodel, -puttel, 
etc. Hence Cinderella dance, over at mid- 

Artillery had been made the German military 
hobby; the German infantry in the mass was the 
Cinderella of the force (Westm. Gaz. Aug. 30, 1917). 

cinematograph. F. cinematographe , invented 
and named by MM. Lumiere, of Paris. 
Hence cin- for E. kin- {kinetics, etc.). From 
G. Kivrjfjia, motion, from klv€lv, to move. The 
shortened cinema is also F. (cinema). 

An exhibition of the " cinematographe ".. .yesterday 
afternoon {Daily News, Feb. 21, 1896). 

The Church and the Press combined do not possess 
nearly so much power {Cinema, July 3, 1919). 

cineraria. Genus of plants. ModL., from 
cinis, ciner-, ashes, from ashy down on 
leaves. Cf. cinerary urn, for ashes of the 

cinet. Mod. var. of sennit (q.v.). 

Cingalese, Singhalese, Sinhalese. Sanskrit 
sinhalds, people of Ceylon {Sinhalani). 

cinnabar. Red mercuric sulphide. OF. ci- 
nabre, L., G. Kivvd(3apt, of Oriental origin; 
cf. Pers. zanjifrah. 

cinnamon. F. cinnamome, L., G. KLwdfxiDfxov, 
Heb. qinndmon. 

cinquecentist. It. artist of 16 cent, {mil 
cinque cento). 

Cinque Ports. Orig. (12 cent.) Hastings, 
Sandwich, Dover, Romney, Hythe. F. 
cinq, L. qitinqiie, five (see quinary). Cf. 
cinquefoil (bot. & her.). 

cipher, cypher. Arab, cifr, nil, lit. empty, 
rendering Sanskrit stinya, empty. The 
word penetrated into Europe with the 
Arab, notation (cf. F. chiffre. It. cifra, Sp. 
Port, cifra, Du. cijfer, Ger. ziffer) and kept 
sense of nil till 16-17 cents, (still in Port.), 
orig. sense (surviving in mere cipher) being 
supplied by Sp. cero, a contracted form, 
whence zero. Sense of secret writing is 
found in F. & It. 

cipolin. Marble. F., It. cippolino, from cip- 
polo, onion, from its foliated formation. 
See chive. 

Circassian circle. Fancj' name for dance 
(19 cent.). Cf. Lancers, Caledonians. 

Circe. G. KtpK-r], myth, enchantress {Odyssey) 
whose cup changed those who drank into 





circle. AS. circul (astron.) and F. cercle (gen. 
sense), L. circuhis, dim. of circus (q.v.). 
Circular, in business sense, is short for 
circular letter; of. circulation of newspaper. 
Circulation of blood dates from 1628 {cir- 
culatio sanguinis, Harvey). Society sense, 
as in court, upper, circles, etc., starts from 
idea of circle surrounding principal per- 
sonage. Cf. F. cercle, club, and similar use 
of Ger. kreis, circle. 

circuit. F., L. circuitus, going round, from 
circum and ire, to go. 

circular, circulation. See circle. 

circum-. L., around, from circus, circle. In 
mod. spelling often replaces older circon-, 
from F. 

circumbendibus. A 1 7 cent, humorous forma- 

The periphrasis, which the moderns call the cir- 
cumbendibus (Pope). 

circumcise. F. circoncis, p.p. of circoncire, 
L. circumcidere ; or perh. back-formation 
from earlier circumcision. Wye. has cir- 

circumference. F. cir conference, L. circiim- 
ferentia, neut. pi. of circumferens, bearing 
round, transl. of G. Trcpt^epeta, periphery. 

circumflex. Lit. bent round. Orig. f ), now 
usually ("), because easier for type-founders 
to make. 

accent circonflex, ou contournS: the bowed accent 


circumjacent. Cf. adjacent. 

circumlocution. L. circumlocutio-n-, trans- 
lating G. periplirasis, talking round. Hence 
Circumlocution Office {Little Dorr it), skilled 
in the art of "How not to do it." 

circumscribe. L. circumscribere , to write 
(draw lines) round. 

circumspect. L. circumspectus , p.p. of cir- 
cumspicere, to look round. Orig. of things, 
and illogically applied to persons; cf. con- 
siderate, deliberate, outspoken, etc. 

circumstance. F. circonstance , L. circum- 
stantia, neut. pi. of circumstans, pres. part, 
of circumstare, to stand round. Hence 
accompaniment, ceremony. Circumstantial 
evidence is in Burton's Anatomy. 

Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war 

[0th. iii. 3). 

circumvallation[/o;'^.]. From 'L.circumvallare, 
to wall round, from vallum, rampart. See 

circumvent. From p.p. of L. circumvenire, to 
"get round." 

circumvolution. L. circumvolutio-n-, from 

volvere, volut-, to roll, 
circus. L., G. KLpKO<;, KpiKo<;, ring, circle. Orig. 

of the Roman Circus Maximus. F. cirque 

is used of natural amphitheatres, esp. in 

cirque. See circus. 
cirrhosis [merf.]. Disease of the liver. Named 

by Laennec, from G. Kippo';, tawny, 
cirrus. L., curl, fringe, applied to form of 

cloud. Hence scient. terms in cirri-, cirro-. 
cis-. L., on this side of. With cispontine cf. 

transpontine, with cismontane cf. ultra- 
cissoid. Curve. G. KLo-aouhrj^, ivy-like, from 

Ktcrcrds, ivy. 
cist [antiq.]. L. cista, box, G. KLo-Tiq (see 

chest). In sense of pre-historic coffin 

through Welsh; cf. kistvaen. 
Cistercian. F. Cistercien, order founded at 

Citeaux (L. Cisterciiim) near Dijon by 

Robert, abbot of Molesme. Cf. Carthusian. 
cistern. L. cisterna, from cista, chest. For 

suffix cf. cavern. 
cistus. Shrub. G. kio-to';, kl(t6o<;, whence L. 

cisthus ('Pliny). 
cit. "A pert low townsman; a pragmatical 

trader" (Johns.). A 17 cent, clipped form 

of citizen. Cf. mob. 
citadel. F. citadelle, It. citadella, dim. of 

cittade {cittd), city (q.v.). 
cite. F. citer, L. citare, frequent, of ciere, cit-, 

to set in motion, 
cither, cithern. F. cithare, L. cithara, G. 

KiOdpa. Cf. guitar and obs. gittern, with 

excrescent -n. Zither is the Ger. form, 
citizen. AF. citezein, etc., for OF. citeain 

{citoyen), altered on denizen (q.v.). See city. 

Citizen of the world (15 cent.) translates 

cosmopolitan (q. v.) . Republican sense dates 

from F. Revolution, hence American citizen 

in contrast with British subject. 
citole. OF., Prov. citola, dim. from L. cithara, 

cither (q.v.). 

And angels meeting us shall sing 
To their citherns and citoles 

(Rossetti, Blessed Damozel). 

citra-. L., on this side; cogn. with cis-. 

citric. From citron. 

citron. F., lemon (the citron is cedrat). It. 
citrone, from L. citrus, citron-tree. Cf. G. 
KLTpLov, citron-tree, prob. of Oriental origin 
and cogn. with cedar. Hence chem. terms 
in citr-, citra-. 

city. F. citi, L. civitas, civitat-, orig. citizen- 
ship, community, from civis, citizen; cf. 

307 cive 

It. cittd, Sp. cmdad. Civitas app. replaced 
iirhs as Rome lost its prestige. In medieval 
practice ident. with cathedral town, but 
now extended. With the City, i.e. that part 
of London within the old boundaries, cf. 
F. cite used of the orig. ville de Paris on 
the two islands. 

cive. See chive. 

civet. Cat. F. civette, It. zibetto, Arab. 

civic. L. civicus, of a citizen (v.i.), esp. in 
corona civica, won by saving a Roman 
citizen's life. 

civil. F., L. civilis, from civis, citizen, ult. 
cogn. with AS. htwan (pi.), household. 
Cf. L. belliim civile. For sense of polite cf. 
urbane. Civil Service was orig. the non- 
military service of the E. India Company. 
The Civil List, orig. of all administrative 
charges, is now limited to those repre- 
senting the royal expenditure and bounty. 

Our first task is to teach them that miHtarism does 
not pay and that civilism does 

(Shoe and Leather Gazette, Apr. 1918). 

civism. F. civisme (v.s.), a Revolution word. 

civvies [mil. slang]. Mufti. Perh. suggested 
by similar sense of F., Ger. civil. 

clachan [Sc.]. Highland village. Gael., vil- 
lage, burial place, app. from clach, stone. 
Orig. set of monastic cells. 

clack. Imit. Cf. F. claque, Du. klak. 

clad. AS. cldthod, p.p. of cldthian, to clothe, 
surviving in stereotyped uses, e.g. iron- 
clad, after poet, mailclad. 

claim. Tonic stem of OF. clamer, L. clamare, 
to shout. Leg. term claimant was long 
associated with the notorious Tichborne 
impostor (1873). The miner's claim is 
Austral. (19 cent.). 

clairvoyant. F., seeing clearly, adopted c. 
1850 in spec, sense. 

clam. Bivalve. Earlier clamshell, as worn 
by pilgrims, from archaic clam, bond, 
clutch, etc., AS. clamm, grasp, bond. Cf. 
dial, clem, to pinch, starve, and see clamp. 

Mustels, wilks, oisters, clamps, periwinkels 

(Capt. John Smith, 1624). 

clamant. Urgent. Pedantic for crying {need, 
etc.). Fiom pres. part, of L. clamare, to 

clamber. Ger. sich klammern, in similar 
sense, from klammer, hook, etc., points to 
clam; cf. F. s'accrocher and hist, of crawl^. 

clamjamphrie [Sc.]. Heterogeneous collec- 
tion, rabble. By Scott and Gait spelt clan-. 



as though a derisive parody of Clan 
Chattan, etc. 
clammy. Earliest claymy. Cf. dial, clam, 
cleam, to smear, daub, AS. cl(xman, from 
clam, mud, cloam. Prob. associated also 
in meaning -with clam (q.v.), with which 
it may be etym. ident. (clinging idea). Cf. 
■ Du. klam. 

klam, klamp: tenax, humidus, lentus, viscosus, 
ang. klammy (Kil.). 

clamour. F. clanieuv, L. clamor-em. See 

clamp^. Fastening. Du. klamp, cogn. with 

Ger. klammer and Ger. dial, klampfe. See 

clam, clammy. 
clamp- [dial.]. Heap, esp. rick (Ir.). Cf. Du. 

klamp, heap; not connected with clamp'^. 

? Cf. clump. 

Allowing for the usual storage [of potatoes] in 
clamps on the farms 
(Capt. Bathurst, M.P., in H. of C, June 5, 1917). 

clan. Gael, clann. Prob. from L. planta, in 

sense of stirps, stock; cf. Welsh plant, Olr. 

eland, the latter revived in Clan-na-Gael, a 

pol. society. 
clandestine. L. clandestinns, from clam, 

secretly, cogn. with celare, to hide, 
clang. L. clangere, to resound. Imit. ; cf. G. 

clank. Combined from earlier clink (q.v.) 
and clang. Or from Du. klank. In an^^ 
case imit. 

clap^. Imit. of sharp sound; cf. Du. Ger. 
klappen, ON. klappa; also AS. clceppettan, 
to throb. Later applied to quick action, 
e.g. to clap eyes on, clap into gaol, etc. 

That anxious exertion at the close of a speech which 
is called by the comedians a clap-trap 

(Davies, Life of Garrick, 1780). 

clap^. Gonorrhoea. Shortened from OF. 
clapoir, perh. from clapier, brothel. 

clapboard. Overlapping board used in build- 
ing. Partial transl. of Ger. klaphoh, LG. 
klapholt, Du. klaphout, clap wood; cf. Ger. 
klappen, to fit together. Now chiefly US. 

clapperclaw. App. from idea of combined 
noise and scratching, or clapper may have 
sense of hand (cf. smeller, peeper, etc.). 
From c. 1600 (see Merry Wives, ii. 3). 

claque. F., organized applause at theatre, 
from claquer, to clap, of imit. origin. 

clarence. Four-wheeled cab. From Duke of 
Clarence, afterwards William IV. NED. 
has no example after 1864, but an old 
cabby used the word in giving evidence in 





a London Police Court (1914). The Duke- 
dom of Clarence was created for Lionel, 
second son of Edward III, when he married 
the heiress of Clare (Suff.). Hence Claren- 
cieux King-of-Arms, an office still existing. 

clarendon [typ.]. Thick type. Named by 
19 cent, printer. 

claret. OF. vin claret (clairet), prop, applied 
to light-coloured red wine intermediate be- 
tween red and white. 
cleret, or claret, as wyne: semiclarus [Prompt. Parv.). 

clarify. F. clarifier, L. clarificare, to make 
clear (v.i.). 

clarion. F. clairon, OF. claron, or rather, the 

E. word being app. of earlier date, Late L. 
clario-n-, from clams, clear. Dim. clarionet, 
also clarinet, the latter from F. clarinette. 

clarity. Restored spelling of ME. clartee, 

F. clarte, L. claritas, -tat-, from clarus, clear. 
This [the enemy's fire] in no way interfered with 
the clarity of their reports 

(Sir D. Beatty, June 19, 1916). 

clary. Herb. Cf. MedL. sclarea, F. sclare'e. 
Earlier is AS. slarige. Origin unknown. 

clash. From c. 1500. Imit. ; cf. clack, splash, 
etc.; also Du. klessen, earlier kletsen. Fig. 
to clash with is from the noise of conflicting 

clasp. First as noun, earlier also c/a;/?5e. Prob. 
imit. of sound; cf. snap (of a bracelet), 
Ger. schnalle, clasp, buckle, from schnallen, 
to snap, crack. Has nearly replaced clip^, 
perh. partly from similarity of init. 

class. F. classe, L. classis, one of the six 
divisions of the Roman people, G. kX'^o-is, 
from KaA.€tv, to call, summon. "The evi- 
dence for the E. word begins with Blount " 
(NED.). Hence classic, L. classicus, as in 
scriptor classicus, opposed by Gellius to 
proletarius, but associated in F. with works 
read in univ. classes. 

classe: a ship, or navy, an order or distribution of 
people according to their several degrees. In schools 
(wherein this word is most used) a form or lecture 
restrained to a certain company of scholars 

Poetic fields encompass me around 
And still I seem to tread on classic ground 


clatter. Cf. AS. c/a/nm^, noise. Imit.;cf. Du. 
klateren, Ger. dial, klattern. 

Claude Lorraine glass. For viewing land- 
scape. From Claude of Lorraine, F. painter 

clause. F., L. clausa, used in MedL. for 
clausula, end of a period, from claudere, 
claus-, to close. 

claustral. Of the cloister (q.v.). Cf. claustro- 
niania (neol.), morbid fear of being shut in. 

clavate [biol.] . Club-shaped, from L. clava, club. 

clavecin [mus.]. F., harpsichord, MedL. clavi- 
cymbalum, key cymbal. 

clavi-. From L. clavis, key, and clava, club. 

clavichord [archaic]. Rudimentary piano. 
MedL. clavichordium, key string. Cor- 
ruptly clavichord. 

clavicle. L. clavicula, collar-bone, lit. little 
key, clavis, cogn. with claudere, to shut. 

clavier \nius.']. Key-board, piano. F., from 
L. clavis, key. Hence Ger. klavier, piano. 

claw. AS. clawu. Com. T&nt.; ci.Dn. klauw, 
Ger. klatie, ON. klo. 

clay. AS. cl^g; cf. Du. klei, Ger. klei (from 
LG.), Dan. klceg, Norw. dial, kli; cogn. with 
G. yXt'a, yXoia, glue, L. glus, and ult. with 
dial, cleg, gadfly, from sticking to object. 

How should he return to dust 
Who daily wets his clay? (Fielding). 

claymore. Gael, claidheamh, sword, mar, 
great (see glaive). An antiquarian word, 
earlier glaymore, familiarized by Scott. 
Ult. cogn. with L. clades, slaughter. 

clean. AS. cl^ne. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. Ger. 
klein, ON. klenn, all meaning small; but 
orig. Teut. sense, surviving in E., ap- 
pears also in Ger. kleinod, jewel. Largely 
replaced by clear, pure in the higher 
senses. Wye. still has clean where Tynd. 
uses pure. With adv. sense [clean crazy) 
cf. pure folly, etc., and similar use of Ger. 
rein, clean. As verb now usual for older 
cleanse, AS. cl<znsian, with which cf. Du. 
kleinzen, to strain, filter. 

The citee it silf was of cleene gold, lijk to cleene 
glcss (Wye. Rev. xxi. 18). 

clear. ME. clere, OF. cler [clair), L. clarus; 
cf. It. chiaro, Sp. claro. In the sense of 
free from encumbrance (from c. 1500) it 
occurs in several naut. metaphors (to steer 
clear of, stand clear, coast is clear, clear the 
decks, etc.). For clearstory see clerestory. 

cleat [chiefly naut.]. Wedge, block. AS. *cleat. 
WGer. ; cf. Du. kloot, Ger. kloss; cogn. 
with clod, clot. 

cleaved To split. AS. cleofan. Com. Teut.; 
cf. Du. klieven, Ger. klieben, ON. kljiifa; 
cogn. with L. glubere, to flay, G. yXv<f>eiv, 
to hollow out. Archaic past clave survives 
in AV. (cf. brake, sware), while new weak 
p.p. cleft (cleaved) exists side by side with 
orig. strong cloven (cleft stick, cloven hoof). 
Hence cleavage, now much used of pol. 
opinions, etc., a metaphor from geol. 





cleaved To adhere. AS. clifian. Com. Taut. ; 
cf. Du. kleven, Ger. klehen, ON. kltfa, to 
clamber. Weak forms much confused with 
those of strong cleave^. Both verbs are 
obsolescent, replaced by split, stick. With 
cleavers, goose-grass, cf. Ger. klebekraut. 

cleek [Sc.]. Orig. hook, from obs. verb cleek, 
to clutch, for past tense of which (claught) 
see quot. s.v. carl. ? Cogn. with clutch^, 
cleyke, staff: cambusca {Prompt. Parv.). 

clef [mus.']. F., L. clavis, key. 

cleft. ME. clift, from cleave'^. Cf. Du. Ger. 
kluft. See kloof. 

clem [dial.]. To endure privations, orig. 
to pinch with hunger. Cf. Du. Ger. klem- 
men, to pinch. See clani^. 

clematis. L., G. KXrjfjiaTLS, from KXrjfi-a, vine- 

clement. L. clemens, clement-, cogn. with 
-clinare, to lean. 

Clementine. Of Clement, esp. edition of Vitlg. 
due to Pope Clement V (1309-14). 

clench, clinch. AS. -clencan, in heclencan, to 
make to "cling." Cf. Du. klink, latch, 
rivet, Ger. klinke, latch. The two mod. 
forms are to some extent differentiated in 
use, e.g. to clench one's fist, teeth, to clinch 
the matter. See also clinch, clinker-built, 
and cling. 

clepsydra. Water-clock. G. KXeij/vSpa, from 
KXeirreiv, to steal, v8<op, water. 

clerestory [arch.]. App. clear story, but found 
much earlier than the simple story ^. 

clergy. Combines F. clerge, clergy. Church L. 
clericatus, from clericus (see clerk), and 
archaic F. clergie, clerkly knowledge, 
formed in F. from clerc. 

Gramaire is the fondement and the begynnyng 
of clergye (Caxton, Mirror of World). 

clerical. See clerk. Clericalism, in hostile 
sense, is a neol. Cf. militarism, sacer- 
dotalism, etc. 

clerk. AS. cleric, clerc, and F. clerc, L. clericus, 
G. KXr]piK6<i, from KXrjpo'i, allotment, heri- 
tage, used in 2 cent, of the sacerdotal 
order. Orig. clergyman, then one who 
could read and write, and (from c. 1500), 
official, account-keeper, etc. Usu. spelt 
dark in 15-18 cents., as still in surname. 
The imaginary Clerk of the Weather is imi- 
tated from the numerous official titles of 
the same type. 

For he was numbered with us, and had obtained 
part of this ministry [tov KXrjpov rrjs SiaKovias 
TaOrrji] (Acts, i. 17). 
clerc: a clarke; a sc holler, or learned person; hence, 

also, a churchman (who should be learned) ; also, 
a Clarke in an office; a lawyers clarke; and generally 
any penman (Cotg.). 

cleugh [dial.]. Sc. form of dough (q.v.), e.g. 
Clym o' the Cleugh, hero of famous ballad. 

cleve. Var. of cliff, common in place-names. 

clever. Recorded once (diver) c. 1220, then 
not till 16 cent., when it replaces earlier 
deliver. Orig. expert at seizing (cf. nimble, 
handy). Described by Sir T. Browne as 
EAngl. and as a dial, word by Ray (1674). 
Prob. EFris. clufer; cf. Dan. dial, klever; 
? cogn. with ME. diver, claw. But analogy 
of skill, discerning, Ger. gescheidt, clever, 
all containing idea of separation, suggests 
ult. connection with cleave'^. 

deliver, redy, quicke to do any thyng: agile, delivre 


clew, clue. AS. cliwen, cleowen, ball of thread. 
WGer. ; cf. Du. kluwen, Ger. knduel, the 
latter by dissim. from MHG. kliuwel, dim. 
of OHG. kliuwi; cogn. with L. glomus. 
Mod. sense, usu. clue, from legend of 
Theseus and the Cretan Labyrinth. Clew 
is usual in naut. lang. 

By a clewe of twyne, as he hath gon, 
The same way he may returne anon, 
Folwynge alway the threde, as he hath come 

(Chauc. Leg. of Good Women, 2016). 

cliche. Hackneyed phrase. Orig. stereotype. 
From p.p. of dicker, to "click," from sound 
made in process. 

He indulges in invective against the stale phrases 
and topical allusions which infest our journalism 
and our oratory.... But on the very next page our 
mentor himself indulges in " the unspeakable Turk,' ' 
"the mailed fist," "bloated armaments," and "the 
silver sea" [Sunday Times, Aug. 3, 1919). 

click. Imit., representing a thinner sound 
than clack. Cf. clink, clank, also F. cliquer, 
Du. klikken. A dicker in the boot trade, 
now a foreman cutter-out, was orig. a tout 
(cf. clique, claque), ? or for decker, from obs. 
cleek, to clutch. 

clicker: the shoe-maker's journeyman or servant, 
that cuts out all the work, and stands at or walks 
before the door, and saies, "What d'ye lack, sir? 
What d'ye buy, madam?" {Diet. Canting Crew). 

client. F., L. cliens, client-, earlier cluens, 
pres. part, of cluere, to listen to, G. kXvuv, 
to hear. Orig. a dependent, in F. a cus- 
tomer. Some regard cliens as earlier form 
and connect it with -clinare, to incline. 
Cf. dientde, L. dientela, common in 16—17 
cents., now readopted from F. AF. client 
occurs in 1306 {Year-books of Ed. I). 




cliff. AS. clif; cf. Du. klip, Ger. klippe (LG.), 
ON. klif. See also cleve. 

climacteric. Critical period, esp. 63rd year 
{grand climacteric), product of 9 and 7, 
the two critical numbers. From G. k\i- 
fxaKTrjp, rung of a ladder. See climax. 

climate. F. climat. Late L. clima, climat-, G. 
kA-i/ao., KXifj-ar-, slope (from the equator to 
the poles). Orig. sense of region, zone, sur- 
vives in poet, clime. 

climate: a portion of the earth contained between 
two circles parallel to the equator (PhiUips). 

climax. L., G. KXtfia^, ladder, and (rhet.) 
series of propositions rising in effective- 
ness; cf. anti-climax, bathos. Current 
sense, " due to popular ignorance " {NED.), 
is not recognized by Todd. 

climb. AS. climban. WGer. ; cf. Du. Ger. 
klimmen; cogn. with cleave'^ (cf. ON. klifa, 
ME. cliven, to climb, and see clamber). 
A strong verb in AS. but weak by 16 cent., 
poet, clonib being a Spenserian archaism 
imitated by mod. poets. 

clime. See climate. 

clinch. See clench. Clinch is esp. common in 
techn. applications (rivet, etc.), and has a 
northern form clink. Hence clincher-, 
clinker-built, of boats, orig. contrasted with 
carvel-built (see carvel). Fig. a clincher is 
an argument that rivets, hits the right nail 
on the head. 

cling. AS. clingan, of which clench, clinch is 
the causal. Orig. to adhere together in a 
stiff mass; cf. synon. Norw. klcsnge, ON. 
klengjask (reflex., cf. bask), to pick a 
quarrel, lit. to fasten (oneself) on. 

clinic. L., G. kAifikos, from kXiv-tj, a bed, 
from Kkiveiv, to make to lean. 

clink^. Sound. Imit. of a thinner sound than 
clang, clank. Cf. Du. klinken, Ger. klingen, 
Sw. klinga, Dan. klinge, etc. With intens. 
clinking cf. rattling. 

clink'^ [slang &> mil.]. Prison. Orig. prison at 
Southwark. Prob. related to clench, clinch; 
cf. Du. klink, door-latch, and " under lock 
and key." 
Then art thou clapped in the Flete or Clinke 

{NED. 1515) 

clinker. Orig. hard brick, hence, hard mass, 
slag, etc. Du. klinker, earlier klinkaerd, 
from klinken, to clink. First in Evelyn 
{cliyicar, klincart), in ref. to aqueduct at 

kUnckaerd: later excoctus et durus imprimis q.d. 
tinniens sive tinnulus, dum pulsatur (Kil.). 

clinker-built. See clinch, carvel. 


clinometer. Math, instrument. From G. kXiv-, 
sloping (see clinic). 

clipV To shear. Northern ME., ON. klippa, 
whence also Dan. klippe, Sw. klippa; cf! 
LG. klippen. Prob. imit. and representing 
a thinner sound than clap (cf. snip, snap). 

c\i^'- [archaic]. To embrace, clutch. AS. c/>'^- 
pan; cf. ON. klypa, to pinch, OFris. kleppa, 
to embrace. Hence noun clip in mech. 
senses, e.g. clip of cartridges, paper-clip. 

clipper. Fast sailing-ship, swift horse. In first 
sense from clip'^ { ? cf. cutter). In second from 
Ger. or Du. klepper, now, sorry nag, but in 
16 cent, swift trotter, from LG. kleppen, to 
resound, with ref. to the hoof-beat. 

clique. F., set of backers, from cliquer, to 
make a noise; cf. claque. The F. word 
occurs in sense of band, crew, in 14 cent. 

clitell- [zool.]. From L. clitellae, packsaddle. 

clitoris [anat.]. G. KXeiropis, from /cXeieiv, to 

cloaca. L., sewer, for clovaca, from cluere, to 

cloak. Earher cloke. ONF. cloque {cloche), 
from its "bell" shape (see clock). For fig. 
sense cf. palliate. 

Of double worstede was his semycope, 
That rounded as a belle (Chauc. A. 262). 

cloam [dial.]. Earthenware. AS. clam, mud, 
clay. Cf. clammy. 

clock. ONF. cloque {cloche). Late L. clocca; 
cf. AS. clucga, Du. klok, Ger. glocke, 
bell. Also Ir. clog, Gael, clag, Welsh 
clock. Orig. bell, in which sense its spread 
was due to the early Irish missionaries. 
This sense is not strongly evidenced in 
ME., which already had bell. Prob. of 
imit. origin, and found, as Church word, 
in Teut. & Celt, langs. from 8 cent. Not 
in Southern Rom. langs., which preserved 
L. campana. Hence prob. also clock of a 
stocking, from shape. It is called in F. coin, 
wedge, and in It. stajfa, stirrup, the latter 
being an object of very much the same 
shape as the conventional bells of heraldry. 

clod, clot. Now differentiated {clod of earth, 
clot of blood), but synon. up to 18 cent. 
AS. clod- (only in compds.). WGer.; cf. 
Du. kloot, Ger. klotz, clod, also in fig. sense 
of E. word. With clodhopper, rustic, cf. 
bog-trotter , Irishman, mosstrooper. 

His locks with clods of bloud and dust bedight 

(Fairfax's Tasso). 
Where ye clottes of the earth are golde 

(Coverd. Job, xxviii. 6). 

clodhopper: a ploughman (Diet. Cant. Crew). 





clog. First as noun (c. 1400), log of wood. 
Cf. Sc. yule-clog. Associated in later senses 
with dial, dag, to bedaub, make sticky. 
Origin unknown. For application to 
wooden shoe cf. use of Du. cognate of 
clump (q.v.). 

cloisonne. In compartments (of enamels). 
F., from cloison, partition, VL. *clausio-n-, 
from claudere, clans-, to close. 

cloister. OF. cloistre [cloitre], VL. *claustrium, 
from claudere, clans-, to close. L. claustrum 
gave AS. cluster and OF. clostre. Fig. sense 
{The Cloister and the Hearth) as in F. 
cloitre. F. has cloitre for cathedral close, 
but not in the sense of arcaded walk which 
has developed from it in E. (cf. piazza). 

Clootie [Sc.]. Satan. From dial, cloot, cloven 
hoof, from ON. kid, claw. 

O thou ! whatever title suit thee, 
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie. 

(Burns, Address to the Deil). 

close. Noun and adj. F. clos, p.p. of archaic 
clore, to close, L. claudere. Verb from clos-, 
stem of clore. Participial origin of the adj. 
is still apparent in close-fisted, opposite of 
open-handed. Secondary sense of "near" 
arises from that of having all intervals 
"closed"; cf. mil. to close up. The double 
sense appears in close quarters, now under- 
stood of proximity, but orig. " closed " 
space on ship-board where last stand could 
be made against boarders. 

closet. OF., dim. oi clos (v.s.). In Matt. vi. 6 
renders L. cubiculum, G. ra/Atetov. 

closure. F., L. clausura, from claudere, clans-, 
to close. Found in several archaic senses in 
E. Since 1882 esp. in H. of C, at first in 
competition with F. cloture, VL. *clausi- 

clot. See clod. 

cloth. AS. cldth. WGer.; cf. Du. kleed, Ger. 
kleid, garment. The AS. word is not ap- 
plied to the material, but to a " cloth " (cf. 
loin-cloth) to wrap round one {seeMark, xiv. 
51), and the pi. is used for " clothes." This 
is the only sense of the Du. & Ger. words. 
Earlier hist, obscure. From 17 cent, used 
as symbol of profession, esp. the Church. 
The double sense appears in clothier, in 
ME. a cloth -worker, now a tailor. 

cloture. See closure. 

cloud. AS. clM, rock, mass, cogn. with clod, 
and assuming (c. 13 cent.) sense of mass 
of cloud, cumulus. Under a cloud is re- 
corded c. 1500. Something of orig. sense 
survives in cloud of sail [canvas). 

clough [north.']. Ravine with river. AS. cldh 
(in place-names) ; cf. OHG. cldh, Sc. cleugh. 
Not related to Du. kloof. 

The valley of the Ancre is a steep and narrow clough 
(Manch. Guard. Nov. 15, 1916). 

clout. Piece, patch. AS. clut; cf. ON. klutr; 
cogn. with clod, clot. In sense of blow from 
c. 1400, though the metaphor is not clear 
(but cf. clump). With archaic clouted cream 
cf. clotted. 

I wasted them and so clouted [Vulg. confringere] 
them that they could not arise 

(Tynd. 2 Sam. xxii. 39). 

clove^. Of garlic, etc. AS. clufu, cogn. with 
cleave''-. Cf. Ger. knoblauch, by dissim. from 
MHG. klobelouch, corresponding to ME. 
clove-leek. See onion. 

clove-. Spice, flower. ME. clou (later in- 
fluenced by clove''), F. clou [de girofle), from 
shape of bud, L. clavus, nail. Cf. Ger. 
nelke, pink (little nail). South Ger. ndgele, 
clove spice. See gillyflower. 

Ther spryngen herbes grete and smale, 
The lycorys and cetewale. 

And many a clowe-gylofre (Chauc. B. 1950). 

clove^. Obs. weight (cheese, wool). F. clou, 
L. clavus, nail, MedL. clavus lanae (Due). 
Cf. clove^. 

clove-hitch [naut.]. From divided appear- 
ance. From cleave''-. 

cloven. See cleave''-. Satan prob. inherited 
the cloven hoof irom Pan. 

clover. AS. cldfre, cl(^fre; cf. Du. klaver, LG. 
klever, Sw. klofwer, Norw. Dan. Mover. 
(these from LG.). Prob. an old compd. of 
which first element appears in Ger. klee. 
Hence in clover, i.e. especially good pasture. 

clown. From 16 cent., also cloyn. App. re- 
lated to several Scand. dial, and LG. words 
meaning log, lump, and hence lout, boorish 
fellow. Cf. fig. use of clod, bumpkin. The 
pantomime clown represents a blend of 
the Shaks. rustic with one of the stock 
types of the It. comedy. 

cloy. For obs. accloy, from F. enclouer (from 
clou, nail), to prick a horse's hoof in 
shoeing, to spike a gun. Both F. senses are 
found in 16 cent. E. Mod. meaning is sup- 
posed to have developed from the gen. 
idea of clogging, stopping; but cf. Norw. 
klie, Dan. dial, kloge, to feel nausea, ON. 

[They] stopped and cloied the touch holes of three 
peeces of the artillerie (Holinshed,. 
Our generall would not suffer any man to carry 
much. ..away, because they should not cloy them- 
selves with burthens (Purch.). 





club. ON. klubba, for klumba, clump; cf. 
ON. klumbu-, klubbu-fotr, club-foot. With 
club-law cf. Ger. faustrecht, lit. fist-right. 
The club at cards translates Sp. basto or 
It. bastone, but we have adopted the F. 
pattern, trefle, treioil (cf. spade^). In sense 
of assembly, club appears first as verb, to 
collect in a bunch, etc. Cf. clump of trees, 
spectators, knot of lookers-on, etc. But 
the much older ON. hjukolfr, club house, 
of which the second element means club, 
cudgel (see golf), has given rise to the 
theory that a "club" was orig. called to- 
gether by a club-bearer. F. club, from E., 
is usu. pol. (dating from Revolution) or 
of sporting clubs also of E. origin (Jockey, 
Racing, Touring). Clubbable was coined 
by Dr Johnson. 

We went to Woods at the Pell-Mell (our old house 
for clubbing) (Pepys, July 26, 1660). 
faustrecht brauchen: to go to club-law with one 


cluck. Earlier clock. AS. cloccian. Imit., cf. 

Ger. glucken, F. glousser, OF. glosser, " to 

cluck, or clock, as a henne" (Cotg.). 
clue. See clew. 
clumber. Spaniel. From Clumber, Duke of 

Newcastle's estate (Notts). Cf. blenheim. 
clump. From end of 16 cent. Du. klomp or 

LG. klunip, esp. in sense of wooden clog; 

cf. AS. clympre, whence dial, dumper, 

lump, clod. See club. With clump on the 

head cf. clout. 

de boer droeg houfene klompen: the clown wore 

wooden clogs (Sewel). 

clumsy. Orig. benumbed or stiff with cold. 
Not in Shaks. or A V . Earlier clumsed, p.p. 
of ME. clumsen, to benumb, become numb. 
App. AS. *clumsian (cf. cleanse from 
clcsnsian), from a base clum,-, cogn. with 
clatn (q.v.), which appears in many Scand. 
& LG. words of similar meaning. 

Whan thow clomsest for colde or clyngest for 
drye {Piers Plowm. B. xiv. 50). 

clunch [arch.']. Kind of limestone. A dial, 
word, lump, lumpy, app. related to clump 
(cf. hump, hunch; lump, lunch). 

Cluniac, Clunist. Monk of order established 
at Cluny (Saone-et-Loire), which separated 
(11 cent.) from Benedictines. 

cluster. AS. clyster; prob. cogn. with clot, clew. 

clutch^ Grasp. ME. cloke, claw, later cloche, 
influenced by verb clutch, for earlier ditch, 
AS. clyccan, to clench, curve the fingers, 
cogn. with noun. Orig. sense survives in 
in one's clutches. 

clutch^. Of chickens, eggs, etc. Var. of dial. 

cletch, from obs. verb deck, ON. klekja, to 

clutter. Coagulation, confused mass, etc. 

Var. of clotter, from clot. In sense of noise, 

confusion, prob. associated with clatter. 

grumeau de sang: a clot, or clutter, of congealed 

blood (Cotg.). 

Clydesdale. Dray-horse from vale of Clyde. 

clypeo- [zool.']. From L. dypeus, shield. 

clyster. F. clystere, L., G. Kkvcrrrip, from 
k\v^(.iv, to wash out. 

CO-. Shortened form of L. com-, for cum, with. 

coacervation. Heap. From L. coacervare, 
from acervus, heap. 

coach. F. coche, Ger. kutsche (16 cent, kutsch- 
wagen), Hung, koszi, adj., from Koszi, 
place between Raab and Buda. Said to 
date from the reign of Matthias Corvinus 
(15 cent.). Montaigne, in his essay "Des 
Coches," gives an account of a battle in 
which the Hungarians with their coaches 
anticipated the tanks. Forms are found 
in most Europ. langs. Up to early 19 cent, 
also for hackney-coach, the predecessor of 
the cab. The railway coach is an inherit- 
ance from the sta,ge-coach (cf. driver, guard, 
booking-office). In univ. slang, a help to 
progress (at Oxf. since c. 1830). To drive 
a coach and six through an Act of Parlia- 
ment is recorded c. 1700, the coach and six 
being used also by Otway as a kind of 
contrast to the cat that is swung round. 
The earliest NED. record for slow-coach 
{Pickwick) is already fig. 

coadjutor. L., from adjuvare, adjut-, to help. 

coagulate. From L. coagulare, from agere, to 

coaita. Monkey. Tupi (Brazil). 

coal. AS. col. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. kool, Ger. 
kohle, ON. kol. In ME. both charcoal and 
earth-coal (see collier). To heap coals of fire 
is lit. from G. (v.i.). To call {haul) over the 
coals was earlier (16 cent.) to fetch over the 
coals, orig. with reference to treatment of 
heretics. There is no evidence for the 
statement, periodically repeated from 
Brewer, that it comes from medieval tor- 
ture of Jews. "Salt to Dysert (Dysart in 
Fife), or colles to Newcastle" is recorded 
(c. 1600) as rendering of G. yXavK cis 
'A^T^vas, owls to Athens. 
avOpoLKa^ TTvpbs (Twpevcreis eirl tiiv K€(f>a\riv avrov 

(Koni. xii. 20). 
This false chanoun — the foule feend hym fecche ! — 
Out of his bosom too'.c a bechen cole 

(Chauc. G. 1 159). 





coalesce. L. coalescere, to grow together, 
from incept, of alere, to nourish. Hence 
coalition, first used in pol. sense in 1715. 
Cf. coalitioneer , coined (Dec. 1918) on 
electioneer by H. H. Asquith. 

coalmouse, colemouse. Dark coloured bird. 
AS. colmdse from coal and second element 
as in titmouse (q.v.) ; cf. Ger. kohlmeise. 

coalport. China. From Coalport (Salop). 

coaming [naut.]. Erection round hatchway. 
Origin unknown. Cotg. and Capt. John 
Smith make it synon. wath carting. 

coarse. ME. cors, later course. Earliest of 
cloth. Metath. of AF. cros, as in crospais, 
ioT grampus (q.v.), F. gros {see gross'^). Cf. 
also Le Cros as E. surname (13 cent.). Lit. 
and fig. senses of coarse run exactly parallel 
to those of gross and of F. gros; cf. also 
Ger. grob for sense-development. 

coast. OF. coste (cote), L. costa, rib, side, 
whence It. Sp. costa, as in Costa Rica. In 
ref. to toboganning, and hence, letting 
cycle run down hill, it is the same word in 
F. sense of hill-side, toboggan track, taken 
from Canad. F. 

coste: a rib; also, a little, hill, or descent of land; 
also, a coast, or land by the sea-side (Cotg.). 

coat. F. cotte (now, petticoat, overall) ; cf . 
It. cotta, Prov. Sp. Port, cota, MedL. cotta. 
Prob. of Teut. origin; cf. OHG. chozzo 
(kotze), shaggy mantle. Coat of arms {mail) 
represent F. cotte d'armes, orig. coat with 
her. device worn over armour, and cotte 
de mailles (see mail^). To trail one's coat, 
i.e. invite anyone who wants trouble to 
tread on the tail of it, is a reminiscence of 
Donnybrook Fair. To turn coat (16 cent.) 
was orig. to put one's coat on inside out 
so as to hide badge. 

Mr Ginnell was again trailing his coat in the 
House of Commons yesterday 

[Daily Chron. Feb. 23, 191 7). 

coati. Animal of racoon tribe. Tupi (Brazil), 
from cua, cincture, tim, nose, from appear- 
ance of snout. 

coax. A "low word" (Johns.). First as noun 
(16 cent.) cokes, cox, etc., a fool; cf. verbs 
to Jool, to gull, etc. Of obscure origin; 
perh. connected with obs. princox, prin- 
cocks {Rom. (sf Jul. i. 5). Both prob. belong 
to cock'^. Or, it may be F. cocasse, ridicu- 
lous (cf. hoax from hocus), which occurs in 
E. in 1546. 

coquard: a proud gull, peart goose, quaint fop, 
saucy dolt, malapert co.xcomb, rash or forward 
cokes (Cotg.). 

cob^. Noun. The NED. recognizes eight 
nouns cob, with numerous sub-groups. 
Like other monosyllables common in dial., 
its hist, is inextricable. In some senses it 
may be ident. with cop, rounded top, AS. 
copp, summit (cf. Spion Kop). The idea 
of roundness appears in cob-loaf, and perh. 
in cob (horse), said to be orig. for horse 
with cobs, testicles. Cob, mixture of clay, 
straw, etc. for building, may go with cob, 
little round heap. Cob-nut is prob. from 
sense of cluster. 

He was one oth' cobbe-knights in the throng. 
When they were dubd in clusters 

(Brome, Damoiselle, i. i). 

cob^ [slangl. To beat, in various senses; in 
ME. to fight. Perh. imit. of blow. 

The rough discipline used by the crew, 
Who, before they let one of the set see the back of 

"Cobb'd" the whole party, — ay, "every man 

Jack of them " [Ingoldsby). 

cobalt. Ger. kobalt, earlier kobold, goblin. 
Named by miners because regarded as 
useless and harmful (cf. nickel, blende). 
Kobold is a spec, application of a common 
Ger. name, from OHG. Godbald, lit. God 
bold (cf. our Cobbold, Godbolt), conferred 
in the same way as Old Nick, Will o' the 
wisp, etc. {see goblin). Another Ger. name 
for goblin is Oppold, formed in the same 
way from OHG. name Otbald, ident. with 
the common AS. Eadbeald. Like other 
Ger. mining terms cobalt has passed into 
most Europ. langs. 

cobble^. Stone. Prob. from cob^; cf. synon. 
Norw. dial, koppul. 

cobble^. To mend clumsily. Prob. also from 
cob'^, ? doing up in rough lumps, etc. 
? Hence cobbler, US. drink (before 1919), 
as patching up the constitution. 

"This wonderful invention. Sir," said Mark, tender- 
ly patting the empty glass, "is called a cobbler" 
(Martin Chuzzlewit, ch. xvii). 

Cobdenism. Economic and pol. teaching of 
Richard Cobden (11865). See Manchester 

coble. Fishing boat. Welsh ceubal, ferry- 
boat, skiff, prob. meaning "hollow" {dug- 
out) ; cf . Bret, caubal. Hence prob. Late L. 
caupulus (Isidore), whence AS. (Northumb.) 
cuopel {Matt. viii. 23). 

cobra. Short for cobra de capello. Port., hood 
snake. L. colubra, snake. Capello is Port, 
equivalent of F. chapeau, Late L. cap- 
pellum (see cap). The word came to us via 


coburg loaf 



India. Native name is nag, snake (see 
Kipling, Jungle -Book), whence scient. naja 

coburg loaf. " Was introduced into this 
country soon after the marriage of the 
late Queen Victoria, when it was known, 
particularly in the provinces, as the ' Coro- 
nation loaf"' (F. C. Finch, of Bakers' Re- 
cord, in Daily Chron. Dec. 5, 1918). Cf. 
albert chain. 

cobweb. ME. coppeweb, from coppe, spider. 
Cf. dial, atfercop, spider, AS. dtorcoppe, 
from dtor, poison, second element perh. 
ident. with cob''-. Cf. Du. spinnekop, spider. 
kop, koppe: spider, or a cob (Hexham). 

coca. Shrub. Sp., Perviv. cuca. Hence 

coccagee. Apple. Ir. cac a' gheidh, dung of 
goose. From colour. 

Cocceian. Theol. views of John Cocceiiis {Koch 
or Koken), professor at Ley den (I1669). 
See Heart of Midlothian, ch. xii. 

coccus. Cochineal insect. G. kokkos, grain. 

coccyx, [anat.]. Bone ending spine. G. kokkv^, 
cuckoo, because supposed to resemble 
cuckoo's bill. 

cochin-china. Fowl. From place of origin. 
Cf. brahniapootra , bantam, orpington. 

cochineal. F. cochenille, Sp. cochinilla, from 
L. coccinus, scarlet, from coccum, scarlet 
grain, from G. k6kko<s, grain. Cf. F. 
coccinelle, lady-bird. The insect was at 
first taken to be a berry. See kermes and 
cf. dyed in grain. 

cochlea. Cavity of ear. L., snail, G. Ko;^Atas. 
From shape. 

cock^. Bird. AS. cocc; cf. F. coq. Late L. 
coccus. Prob. imit. of cry; cf. Ger. gockel- 
hahn, hahn representing true Teut. name 
of the bird (see hen). In mech. senses (of 
a gun, water-tap) from fancied resem- 
blance; cf. Ger. hahn in both senses. Cock 
of the walk alludes to pugnacious and auto- 
cratic character of the bird; hence also 
cocky or coxy. Cf. to cock one's hat and 
cocked hat. To knock into a cocked hat, 
change shape beyond recognition, is 19 
cent, slang. Cock-eyed is one of many ex- 
pressions evolved from the verb to cock, 
to tilt, etc. (see cockade). With to live like 
fighting cocks, treated very carefully in 
comparison with the domestic variety, cf. 
in clover. Cock and bull story was earlier 
represented by obs. cockalane, F. coq a 
I'dne, incoherent story muddling one ob- 
ject with another (OF. saillir du coq en 

I'asne, 14 cent.). Cockshy comes from the 
obs. Shrovetide amusement of throwing 
at tied cocks. In ride a cock-horse we have 
16 cent, cock-horse, toy horse, perh. with 
cock's head, as sometimes on roundabouts; 
but first syllable may be an attempt at the 
coachman's "click" (cf. baby Ger. hottpferd 
from hott, cry to horse). 

cockthrowing at Shrovetide: gallicidium 

(Robertson, 1681). 
"And what does the boj' mean," added Mr Willet, 
after he had stared at him for a httle time, in a 
species of stupefaction, "by cocking his hat to such 
an extent? Are you a-going to kill the wmtner, 
sir?" (Barnaby Rudge, ch. xii.). 

cock^. Of hay. ON. kokkr, lump, whence 
Norw. kok, heap. 

pockabondy [angling]. Fly. Welsh coch a 
bondu, red with black trunk. Cf. names 
Couch, Goiigh (red), and Roderick Dhn 

cockade. Earlier cocard, F. cocarde. Nature 
of connection with coq {cock^) uncertain. 
bonnet d la coquarde: a Spanish cap, or fashion of 
bonnet used by the most substantiall men of yore; 
(tearmed so, perhaps, because those that wore of 
them grew thereby the prouder, and presumed the 
most of themselves) ; also, any bonnet, or cap, 
worn proudly, or peartly on th' one side (Cotg.). 

cock-a-doodle-doo. Imit. Cf. F. cocorico, 
Ger. kikeriki, L. cucurire. 

cock-a-hoop. Earliest (Sir T. More, 1529) in 
to set the cock on the hoop, ? the spigot on 
the hoop of the cask, as a preliminary to 
vigorous drinking. But the existence of 
such tavern-signs as the Cock (Swan, 
Falcon, Crown, Bell, etc.) on the Hoop, 
from 15 cent., points to some earlier allu- 
sion. The meaning of the phrase has 
vaned according to fancied origins. 

5^ goguer: to be most frolick, lively, blithe, cranke, 
merry; to take his pleasure, sport at ease, make 
good cheere, set cocke-a-hoope, throw the house 
out at windowes (Cotg.). 

Cockaigne, Cockayne [archaic]. Imaginary 
land of ease and luxury. F. cocagne (OF. 
quoquaigne, 12 cent.); cf. It. cuccagna, 
"lubber-land" (Flor.), Sp. cucana. So also 
Ger. schlaraffenland, ? from MHG. sliir-affe, 
lazy ape. Usu. supposed to mean "cake 
land," MedL. Cocania being modelled on 
Alleniania, etc., from OHG. kuocho [kuchen). 
with which cf. Sc. cooky. This agrees with 
the earliest accounts (in E. c. 1300) which 
describe Cockaigne as a land where the 
roofs and walls are of cake. Often noAv 
applied to London by mistaken associa- 
tion with cockney (q.v.). 






cockaleekie. See cocky-leeky. 

cockalorum. From cock^. Perh. Du. and of 
same type as cock-a-doodle-doo . ? Or 
mock-Latin of the type common in 15 
kockeloeren: to crow like a cock, or a cockril 


cock-and-bull. See cock^. 

cock-and-pie [archaic]. Oath. Cock, euph. 
for God, pie^ (q-v.), the ordinal of the Cath. 
Church. Cokkesbones is in Chauc. 

cockatoo. Du. kakketoe, Malay kakatua; cf. 
F. cacatoes. Prob. imit. of cry. 

cockatrice. OF. cocatris, corrupted (on coq) 
from calcafris, Prov. calcatriz, It. calcatrice, 
Late L. *calcatrix, calcatric- {caucatrix in 
Due), from calcare, to tread {calx, heel), 
as transl. of G. l^v(.viuiiv (see ichneumon). 
The fabulous cockatrice is identified also in 
E. with the basilisk (q.v.) and sometimes 
with the crocodile. 

cockboat. Also (15 cent.) coghoat, and, from 
16 cent., cock {Lear, iv. 6). Boat towed 
behind ship. Often as emblem of smallest 
craft. The oldest form (1420) is cok or 
cokhote. ? Cf. OF. coque, vessel, ModF. hull, 
ident. with coque, shell of egg, walnut, etc. 

cockchafer. See chafer. 

cocker^. Spaniel. Trained to start wood-cock. 
cocker^. Verb. Also cock (only in Tusser) 
and cockle. Cf. Du. kokelen, "nutrire sive 
fovere culina" (Kil.), with a (possibly 
forced) association with kokene, kitchen; 
also OF. coqueliner, "to dandle, cocker, 
fedle, pamper, make a wanton of, a child " 
(Cotg.). Tusser appears to bring it into 
connection with cockney (q.v.). 
Some cockneies with cocking are verie fooles 

{Good Husbandry). 

Cocker, according to. Edward Cocker, pen- 
man and arithmetician (1631-75). Pepys 
employed him {Diary, Aug. 10, 1664). 

cockerel. Dim. of cock'^; cf. pickerel. 

cocket. Seal ( ? or certificate) of Custom 
House. Quot. below suggests that it was 
orig. of the "score and tally" description, 
in which case it would be a dim. of F. coche, 
"a. nock, notch, nick" (Cotg.). 
Item, payd to the klarke and to the kountroller 
for talying [i.e. cutting] owt of the kokett at Hull, 
xjs viiid. {Y'ork Merch. Advent. Accfs. 1467). 

cockled Weed. AS. coccel, perh. dim. from 
L. caecum (see cochineal). Commonly used 
in ME. for the tares of the Bible. 
His enmye came, and sew above dernel, or cokil 
[1388 taris] in the midil of whete 

(Wye. Matt. xiii. 25). 

cockle-. Shell. F. coquille, from VL. *coccy- 
lititn, L. conchylium, G. Koyxv^tov , from 
Koyxq, whence L. concha, VL. cocca, origin 
of F. coque, shell (of egg). For cockle-shell, 
emblem of pilgrim, see scallop. The cockles 
of the heart are explained (1669) as for the 
related cochlea (q.v.), winding cavity. Hot 
cockles, a game in which a blindfolded 
person has to guess who slaps him, occurs 
in Sidney's Arcadia. It is app. adapted 
from F. jeu de la main chaude, but cockles 
is unexplained. 

cockle^. Pucker. F. coquille, blister on bread, 
spec, use of coquille, shell (see cockle^). 
Perh. through Du. 

kohelen {kreukelen als dunne zyde stoffen) : to cockle 


cockloft. "The room over the garret" 
(Johns.). Perh. orig. where fowls were 
kept, but used as contemptuous term for 
poor dwelling (cf. naut. use of cockpit). 
Ger. hahnebalken, roost, Du. haanebalkefi, 
"the cockloft" (Sewel), suggest that it 
was orig. the roosting-place for fowls. Cf. 
orig. sense of roost. 

cockney. ME. cokenay. It is difficult to 
reconcile the different uses of the word. 
In Piers Plowm., and occ. up to c. 1600, 
it appears to mean something to eat (see 
collop), explained by NED. as "cock's 
egg." In the sense of milksop, later towns- 
man, and eventually (c. 1600) Londoner, 
it is from an Eastern form (OF. -ei) of 
F. acoquine, made into a coquin, a word 
of unknown origin. The Cockney School 
(Leigh Hunt, etc.) was christened by 
Lockhart (181 7). Associated with cocker^ 
and Cockaigne (q.v.). 

And when this jape is tald another day, 
I sal been halde a daf, a cokenay 

(Chauc. A. 4207). 
/ coker: je mignotte (Palsg.). 

/ bring up lyke a cocknay: je mignotte {ih.). 

delicias facere: to dally, to wanton, to play the 
cockney (Coop.). 

accoquini: made tame, inward, familiar; also, 
growne as lazie, sloathfull, idle, as a beggar (Cotg.). 

cockpit. Place for cock-fights. Hence cockpit 
of Europe (Belgium). Also (naut.), since 
c. 1700, midshipmen's quarters, used as 
hospital when in action. 

cockroach. Earlier cacarootch, etc. Sp. cuca- 
racha; cf. Port, caroucha, a chafer, or 
beetle, Creole F. coquerache. 

A certain Indian bugge called by the Spaniards a 
cacaroatch (Capt. John Smith). 





cocksure. Earlier in serious and dignified 
sense, and used objectively, which makes 
derivation from cock'^ doubtful. Can it be 
for God sure} See cock-and-pie and cf. the 
many strange oaths of the 15 cent, in 
■which cock is substituted for God. 

Whoso dwelleth under that secret thing, and help 
of the Lord, shall be cock-sure for evermore (Foxe). 

cocktail [t/5.]. ? Obs. Recorded c. 1800. 
Origin unknown. ? From inspiring effect; 
cf. to have one's tail up, feel confidence. 

Those recondite beverages, cock-tail, stone-fence, 
and sherry-cobbler (VV. Irving). 

cocky. See cock'^. 

cocky-leeky [5c.]. Cock boiled with leeks. 

coco-, cocoa-, coker-nut. Sp. coco, baby-word 
for ugly face, bogy-man; from marks at 
one end of shell. Erron. form cocoa dates 
from mistake in Johns. Coker is of old 
standing and is used in Port of London to 
avoid confusion with cocoa. 
Cokar nuts and berries (Capt. John Smith). 

coco: the word us'd to fright children, as we say 
the Bulbeggar (Stevens). 

cocoa. Incorr. (since 18 cent.) ior cacap (q.v.). 
Cocoa-nib is the cotyledon of the seed (see 
nib''-). Quot. below, allusive to the anti- 
national tone of newspapers financed by 
wealthy cocoa-merchants, may one day 
puzzle historians. 

Since I have thrown myself into the vigorous 
prosecution of the war, I have been drenched with 
cocoa slops (D. Lloyd George, May 9, igrS). 

cocoon. F. cocon, ModProv. coucoun, from 

coco, shell. See cockle^. 
cocotte. F., orig. hen, of baby formation from 

coq, cock, 
cocus. Jamaica ebony, used for flutes and 

police truncheons. App. from Ger. kokos, 

cod^. Bag, in various archaic senses, e.g. 

pease-cod. AS. codd; cf. ON. kodde, pillow, 

Du. kodde, bag. 

The coddis whiche the hoggis eeten 

(Wye. Luke, xv. 6). 

cod^. Fish. Perh. from cod' ; cf. Du. bolk, cod, 
prob. cogn. with biilge (see budget). Earliest 
record in NED. is AF. (1357), but codfish 
was in use as a surname earlier {Hund. R. 
1273). It is even possible that E. fishermen 
understood obs. Du. bolick asballoc, testicle, 
cod. The med. use of cod-liver oil is men- 
tioned in 1783 in Lond. Med. Journal, but 
it was not adopted in E. till 1846. The 
manufacture of the oil is alluded to as early 

as c. 1600 {Stiffkey Papers). Cod, fool, is 
short for earlier cods-head, in same sense, 
sometimes elaborated into cod's head and 
shoulders. Hence to cod, to deceive; cf. to 
gull (q.v.). 

coda [mus.]. It., lit. tail, L. cauda. 

coddle. To boil gently, etc. Prob. for caudle 
(q.v.). Hence, perh. by association with 
cuddle, mod. sense of pampering, etc. 

Will the cold brook. 
Candied with ice, caudle thy morning taste 
To cure thy o'er-night's surfeit? (Timon, iv. 3). 

code. F., L. codex, eaxYiev caudex,trQ:e-tv\ink , 
? from cudere, to strike (cf. truncus, trun- 
care) ; hence wooden tablet, book, manu- 
script. Cf. book, Bible, library. 

codex. See code. 

codger. "A miser, one who rakes together 
all he can" (Todd). Var. of cadger (q.v.). 
For sense-development cf. a ruw, beggar, 
etc. But cf. dial, codger, cobbler, for obs. 
cozier, from OF. couseur, sewer, from 
coudre, cous-, L. consuere, to sew together. 

codicil. L. codicillus (usu. in pi.), dim. of 

codling, codlin. Apple. The earlier forms 
quodling, quadling (16-17 cents.), querdling, 
qwerdelyng (15 cent.) correspond exactly 
with those of the surname Codlin. Hence 
the origin is cceur-de-lion, a fancy name for 
an esteemed apple. Cf. F. reine-claude , 
greengage, from the wife of Francis I, and 
the pear called bon-chretien, from St Francis 
of Paula. Quodling, Quadling are existing 
EAngl. surnames. John Querdling, Qwerde- 
lyng lived in Norwich in 15 cent, and 
Querdelyon is fairly common in 14 and 
13 cents., quer being the usual AF. form of 

co-education. Orig. US. (c. 1874). 

coefficient. L. coefficiens, pres. part, of co- 
efficere (see effect), was first used in math. 
sense by Vieta (11603). 

coehorn [hist.']. Mortar. From Coehorn, Du. 
mil. engineer (11704). The name means 

coeliac [anat.]. Abdominal. From G. kolXm, 

coenobite. Contrasted with anchorite. From 
G. kolvo/Slov, from Kotvos, common, /3tos, life. 

coerce. L. coercere, from co- and arcere, to re- 
strain. Pol. sense of coercion is esp. asso- 
ciated with Ireland {Coercion Acts of 1833 
and later). 

coeval. From L. coaevus, from co- and 
aevum, age. 





coffee. Adopted by most Europ. langs. 
(c. 1600) from Turk, kahveh, Arab, qahwah, 
app. first as name of drink. Early forms 
are very numerous. Coffee was soon fol- 
lowed by the coffee-house (cf. F. caf^. 
Coho, a blacke biterish drinke, made of a berry like 
a bay berry, brought from Mecca (Purch. 1607). 

He [a Greek student at Oxford, 1637] was the first 
I ever saw drink coffee, which custom came not 
into England till thirty years after (Evelyn). 

cauphe-house: a tavern or inn where they sell cauphe 


coffer. F. coffre, L. cophinus (see coffin). For 
ending cf. order. Among ME. meanings are 
strong-box, coffin, ark of bulrushes. 

coffin. OF. cofin, L. cophinus, G. /coe^tvos, 
basket. Mod. sense from c. 1500. In ME. 
and later, basket (Wye. Matt. xiv. 20), pie- 
crust, etc. 

Why, thou say'st true; it is a paltry cap, 
A custard-coffin, a bauble, a silken pie 

{Shrew, iv. 3). 

cog^ [hist.]. Vessel. It is uncertain whether 
the word is Teut. (OHG. coccho, Du. cogge, 
Icel. kuggi, etc.) or Rom. (OF. cogue, 
coque, ident. with coque, shell, hull, for 
which see cockle^). In E. it has become 
mixed up with cockboat (q.v.) and is used 
by Chauc. of a skiff. 
cogbote: scapha {Prompt. Parv.). 

cog2. On a wheel. ME. cogge, of Scand. 
origin; cf. Sw. kugge, Norw. kug. 

cog^. To cheat with dice (16 cent.). Orig. to 
control their fall, or substitute false dice. 
Hence cogged dice, now wrongly under- 
stood as loaded dice. ? From cog'^, with 
idea of mech. device. 

cogent. From pres. part, of L. cogere, to 
constrain, from co- and agere, to drive. 

cogitate. From L. cogitare, from co- and 
agitare, frequent, of agere. 

cognac. Orig. distilled from wine of Cognac 
(Charente) . 

cognate. L. cognatus, from co- and gnatiis, 
old form of natus, born. Words that are 
cognate have the cousinly, not the parental 
or filial, relation. 

cognition. L. cognitio-n-, from cognoscere, 
cognit-, to know, from co- and gnoscere. 

cognizance. Half-latinized from ME. coni- 
saunce, OF. conisance, var. of conoisance 
{connaissance) , from conoistre {connaitre), 
L. cognoscere (v.s.). Now chiefly leg., in 
to take cognizance of, etc., and in her., 
badge, mark, by which bearer is known. 
cognoistre d'une cause: to take notice of, deale in, 

or intermeddle with, a suit, or cause, depending in 
law (Cotg.). 

cognomen. L., co- and gnonien, old form of 
nomen. See agnomen. 

cognoscente. Connoisseur (art). Latinized 
from It. conoscente, from pres. part, of 
L. cognoscere. 

cognovit [teg.']. L. cognovit actionem, he has 
acknowledged the action. Orig. of with- 
drawing defence. 

You gave them a cognovit for the amount of your 
costs {Pickwtck, cli. xlvi.). 

cohabit. Late L. cohabitare, from habitare, to 
dwell, frequent, of habere. 

cohere. L. cohaerere, from haerere, haes-, to 
stick. Hence incoherent, not hanging to- 
gether. Cf. cohesion. 

cohorn. See coehorn. 

cohort. L. cohors, cohort-, from hortiis, garden, 
enclosure; cogn. with G. -xopro^, E. yard'^, 
garth, garden. See court. 

coif. F. coiffe. Late L. cofea, whence It. cuffia, 
Sp. cofia. Port, coifa, etc. Oldest F. sense 
is inner part of helmet. Late L. cofea is 
prob. OHG. chuppha (MHG. kupfe), from 
L. cuppa, cup, vessel (cf. bascinet). Orig. 
sense of coiffeur appears in coiffure, head- 

Trenchet la coife entresques a la earn 

{Roland, 3436). 

[He cleaves the coif (of the helmet) right to the 

coign. Archaic spelling of coin, quoin, pre- 
served in coign of vantage {Macb. i. 6), mod. 
currency of which dates from Scott. 

coil^. Verb. OF. coildre, coillir [cueillir), L. 
colligere, to collect, gather, from co- and 
legere, to gather (cf. cull). ME. sense sur- 
vives in northern dial, to coil hay, put it 
in cocks. 

coil-. Disturbance, fuss, etc. Archaic, exc. 
in this mortal coil {Hanil. iii. i). OF. 
acueil (accueil), encounter, collision. The 
earliest E. examples (from 1567) are all 
such {what) a coil, prob. for accoil (cf. 
rouse''-), although this hypothesis is not 
necessary in accounting for the normal 
loss of init. a- (see cater). The OF. mean- 
ings of accueillir are very numerous and 
varied. Spenser uses accoil, to crowd, 
throng. For origin of F. accueillir see 

About tlie caudron many cookes accoyled 
With hookes and ladles, as need did requyre 

{Faerie Qneene, 11. ix 30) 





coin. F., wedge (see quoin), corner, die for 

stamping, L. cuneus; cf. It. conio, Sp. 

cuno. Mod. sense appears in ME. (Chauc.) 

almost as soon as that of die {Piers Plowm.). 
coincide. F. co'incider, MedL. co-incidere, to 

fall together. 
coir. Coco-nut fibre for ropes. Earlier (16 

cent.) cayro, Port, cairo, Malayalam kdyar, 

coit. See quoit. 
coition. L. coitio-n-, from coire, from co- and 

ire, 'it-, to go. 
coke. First found (17 cent.) as northern dial. 

word, and often in pi. (coaks). Perh. ident. 

with northern dial, colk, core. 
Coke-upon-Littleton. Subtleties of the law. 

Allusion to the Institutes of the Law of 

England (1628 sqq.), based by Sir Edward 

Cohe on the Tenures of Sir Thomas Littleton 

(15 cent.). 
coker-nut. See coco-nut. 
col. Mountain pass. F., neck, L. collum. Cf. 

SAfr. nek. 
cola, kola. Nut. Native WAfr. name (Sierra 

colander. From L. colare, to strain; cf. MedL. 

colator, Sp. colador, ModProv. couladou. 

Immediate source of E. word unknown. 

Cf. obs. cullis, clear broth. 

colendre to strayne with: coiileresse (Palsg.). 

colchicum. Meadow saffron. L., G. koXx^lkov, 
from Colchis (E. of Black Sea), with im- 
plied allusion to Medea of Colchis, skilled 
in poisons. 

colcothar. Red peroxide of iron. F., Sp. 
colcotar, Arab, qalqatdr, prob. from G. x*^^' 
KavOos, from xaAKos, copper, av^os, flower. 

cold. AS. ceald. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. koud, 
Ger. halt, ON. kaldr, Goth, kalds; cogn. 
with L. gelid-US ; cf . chill, cool. Cold comfort 
is recorded c. 1325. A cold chisel is used on 
cold iron and is all metal, while the smith's 
chisel has a wooden grip to prevent con- 
duction from the hot iron; cf. cold-draivn. 
A cold (in the head, etc.) replaced (16 cent.) 
earlier rheum (q.v.). Cold cream is recorded 
c. 1700. The NED. sees in to throw cold 
water on an allusion to the shock thus 
given to the naked body; but cf. wet 

coldshort [techn.]. Brittle (of iron in the cold 
state). Corrupt, of Norw. Dan. kuldskjcer 
or Sw. kallskor, in which second element 
means timid. 

cole. Cabbage. Now usu. in compds. {cole- 

ivort, sea-kale). AS. cawel, cdl, L. caulis, 
whence also Du. kool, Ger. kohl, ON. kdl, 
OF. chol (chou) ; also in Celt, langs. A 
characteristic example of the Roman cul- 
ture in Europe. See also kale, colza. 

colemouse. See coalmouse. 

coleoptera. Beetles. From G. KoXeos, sheath, 
TTTepoi', wing. Cf. lepidoptera. 

colibri. Humming-bird. F., Sp., from Carib. 

colic. Orig. adj. F. colique, L., G. koXikos, 
belonging to the koXov, lower intestine. 

colyk, sekenesse: colica passio {Prompt. Parv.). 

coliseum. After Rom. & MedL. forms of L. 
Colosseum, amphitheatre of Vespasian at 
Rome, neut. of adj. colosseus, gigantic. 
See colossus. 

collaborate. From L. collaborare, from co- 
and laborare, to work. 

collapse. From L. collabi, from co- and lahi , 
laps-, to slip, fall. 

collar. ME. & AF. coler, F. collier, necklace, 
L. collare, from colhim, neck (whence F. . 
col, collar), with mod. spelling assimilated 
to L. Earliest of armour, jewelled collar, 
etc., as still in collar of the Garter, etc. To 
slip the collar, against the collar, collar-work 
refer to collar of horse. Earliest sense of 
verb is in wrestling (16 cent.). Collared 
head {brawn) is so called (17 cent.) from 
being rolled up like a collar. 

collard. Cabbage that does not heart. Said 
to be corrupt, of colewort. 

collate. OF. collater, from L. collatus, p.p. of 
conferre, to bring together, confer. Used 
for confer in spec, sense (eccl.). 

collateral. MedL. collateralis, from L. lateralis, 
from latus, later-, side. In Piers Plowm. 
and Chauc. 

collation. Light meal, esp. cold collation, "a 
treat less than a feast" (Johns.). Earlier, 
light evening meal in monastery, orig. 
after the reading aloud of collations, or 
Lives of the Fathers, esp. the Collationes 
Patrum in Scetica Ereyno Commorantium, 
by John Cassian (c. 400 a.d.). Cf. hist, of 
chapter (eccl.). 

colleague. F. collegue, L. coUega, partner in 
office, from legere, to choose (see college). 
Distinct from archaic to colleague, co- 
operate, conspire, OF. colliguer, from L. 
ligare, to bind, though sometimes wrongly 
associated, as in quot. i. From the latter 
word comes mod. sense of collogue (now 
Midi. & Ir.' dials.), orig. to cajole, prob. 
from F. colloqiie, dialogue, debate. It is 





given by Cotg. s.v. flater, and is called a 

"low word" by Johns. 

These hovvses thai usuallle call colleges, beecause 
they are ther coJliged in felawship and ministerie 

(Transl. of Polydcre Vergil, c. i534)- 

How long have you been so thick with Dunsey 
that you must "collogue" with him to embezzle 
my money? {Silas Marner). 

collect. Prayer. This is oldest sense [Ancren 
Riwle), but Wye. also uses it for offertory 
(i Cor. xvi. i) and congregation {Neh. viii. 
18). Verb to collect is much more recent 
(16 cent.). Church sense comes from MedL. 
collectio or coLlecta, used in Galilean liturgies 
of a summary of ideas suggested by the 
chapters for the day. From L. colligere, 
collect-, to gather together (see coil^). To 
collect oneself is to "pull oneself together." 
Collectivism, -ist are from F. (c. 1880). 

colleen. Ir. cailin, girl, dim. of caile, wench. 
Said to be ult. cogn. with L. pellex, G. 
TraA-XttK?;, concubine. Cf. boreen, squireen, 

college. F. college, L. collegium (see colleague). 
Earliest E. sense, community, or in ref. to 
Oxf. and Camb. A collegiate church has a 
chapter [college] of canons. College pudding 
? for earlier New College (Oxf.) pudding 
Crist and his colage [the apostles] (Wye). 

collet. Part of ring in which stone is set. F., 
dim. of col, neck, which has given E. collet 
in various techn. senses. Prob. confused 
also with collet, base of cut diamond, also 
culet, dim. of F. cul, bottom, L. cuius. In 
F. this is culasse. 

collide. L. collidere, from co- and laedere, to 
hurt. Hence collision. 

collie, colly. Usu. explained as from dial. adj. 
colly, coaly, coal-black, which is also a dial, 
name for the blackbird. Much more prob. 
from common Sc. name Colin. Colle, as 
proper name for a dog, occurs in Chauc. 
(v.i.). With collie dog cf. rohin redbreast. 

Ran CoUe, oure dogge, and Talbot, and Gerland, 
And Malkyn, with a dystaf in hir hand (B. 4573). 

collier. Orig. charcoal-burner, which accounts 
for its frequency as a surname in parts of 
England where no coal exists. From coal 

colligate. From L. colligare, to bind together. 

collimate. To adjust line of sight, etc. From 
ghost-word collimare, wrong reading in 
some editions of Cicero for collineare, to 
bring into line. Adopted by earlier as- 

tronomers who wrote in L., e.g. Kepler. 
Cf. syllabus. 

collision. See collide. 

collodion. From G. koXXwSt/s, glue-like, from 
KoWa, glue. 

collogue [dial.]. See colleague. 

collop. Orig. bacon and eggs. Earliest form 
coloppe, colhoppe [Piers Plowm.). But 
found a century earlier as (still existing) 
surname, e.g. Colop [Close R. temp. Henry 
III), Colhoppe [Feet of Fines). First ele- 
ment is coal, second obscure. Cf. OSw. 
kol-huppadher , roasted on coals, Sw. glod- 
hoppad, irom glod, glowing coal, "glede." 

I have no salt bacon, 
Ne no cokeneyes, bi Crist, colbpus [var. colopis, 
colhoppes] to maken {Piers Plowm. A. vii. 272). 

coUoppe, nteate: oeuf au lard (Palsg.). 

colloquy. L. colloquiitm, from colloqui, to 

speak together. Cf. colloquial. 
collotype. From G. KoWa, glue. 
collusion. F., L. collusio-n-, from colludere, 

collus-, to play together, i.e. into one 

another's hands. 
collyrium. Eye-wash, etc. From G. koX- 

Xvpiov, poultice, from KoXXvpa, roll of 

coarse bread, 
collywobbles. Jocular formation ? on colic 

and zvobble. 
colocynth. Drug. Earlier coloqtiint. G. koXo- 

kvvOls, -9l8-. 

As bitter as coloquintida {Olh. i. 3) 

Cologne. F. form of Ger. Koln, L. colonia 
[Agrippina], whence eau de Cologne. The 
Three Kings of Cologne were the three Wise 
Men from the East, Gaspar, Melchior, 
Balthazar, fabled to be buried there. 

colon. G. kmXov, limb, member of sentence. 

colonel. Up to c. 1650 usu. coronel, Sp., by 
dissim. from It. colonnello, from colonna, 
column; for dissim. cf. Prov. coronel, door- 
post. This form persisted in speech and 
accounts for mod. pronunc. The colonel, 
for colonel Bogey (golf), is mod. 

colonell: a colonell, or coronell; the commander of 
a regiment (Cotg.). 

colonnade. F., from colonne, L. columna, after 

It. colonnato. 
colony. F. colonie, L. colonia, from colonus, 

tiller, from colere, to till. Current sense 

from c. 1600. 

Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of 
Macedonia, and a colony {Acts, xvi. 12). 

Get a map of the world and show me where the 
d — d places are (Early Victorian statesman). 





colophon. Inscription or device at end of 
book. G. KoXo(f>wv, summit, finishing 

colophony. Resin. From Colophon, town in 
Lydia, prob. ident. in etym. with pre- 

coloquintida. It. iov colocynth (q.v.). 

color-. See colour. 

Colorado beetle. Fatal to potatoes (scare of 
1877). From state of Colorado (US.), 
named from Rio Colorado, coloured river 
(Sp.). Cf. Colorado, dark, claro light, on 

Colosseum. See coliseum. 

colossus. L., G. KoXocro-os, orig. applied by 
Herodotus to gigantic Egypt, statues, but 
usu. connected with bronze statue of 
Apollo at entrance to harbour of Rhodes. 
Punningly applied to Cecil Rhodes (figoa). 

colour. F. couleur, L. color-em, cogn. with 
celare, to hide; replacing as gen. term AS. 
Inw (see hue). Man of colour, now usu. 
negro, was orig. mixed breed intermediate 
between black and white. As mil. and 
nav. term colour dates back to age of 
chivalry {colours of a knight). Hence 
many fig. uses, some naut. {false colours, 
nail colours to the mast), others rather mil. 
{with flying colours, stick to one's colours). 
In sense of semblance {under colour of) it 
is recorded c. 1300, this use perh. springing 
from the badge sense (see quot. i). Cf. 
colourable, specious (Wye), and prob. colour 
of one's money, as inspiring confidence. 
Later are the art metaphors {true colours, 
lively colours). Colour-blindness (19 cent.) 
was earlier Z)a/fonJsm (q.v.). Local colour {s) 
is in Bailey (1721). The rank of colour- 
sergeant was created (1813) by George IV, 
when Regent, in recognition of the part 
played by non-commissioned officers in 
Peninsular War. 

Brybers that wold a robbed a ship undyr colar of 
my Lord of Warwyk (Paston Lett.). 

They should depart with flying colours, with bag 
and baggage (Sydenham Poyntz, 1624-36). 

colporteur. In E. book (esp. Bible) pedlar. 
F., pedlar (in gen. sense), from colporter, to 
carry {porter) on the neck {col); but this 
is a late substitution, due to folk-etym., 
for OF. comporter, to carry with one. 

colt. AS. colt, orig. young ass, or camel {Gen. 
xxxii. 15). Origin unknown. Also in ME. 
for novice, etc., as now in cricket. In 
sense of "rope's-end" perh. for colt' s-tail ; 
cf. cat {0' nine tails). 

Colt's revolver. See revolver. 

colubrine. Of the snake, L. colubra. Cf. 
cobra, culverin. 

columbarium. L., dove-cot, from columba, 
dove; hence, catacomb with cinerary urns 
in "pigeon-holes." 

Columbia. Poet, for US. From Columbus; 
cf. origin of America. Hence cohimbiad, 
heavy gun in Amer. Civil War. 

columbine^. Flower. F., L. columbina, from 
columba, dove, shape suggesting cluster of 

columbine^. In pantomime. It. proper name 
Colombina (dove-like), mistress of Harle- 
quin in It. comedy. 

column. Restored spelling of colompne, OF., 
L. colum{p)na, cogn. with culmen, summit. 
Earhest E. sense in ref. to column of manu- 

colure [astron.]. L. colurus, G. KoAovpos, from 
K0A.0?, docked, ovpd, tail, because lower 
part of circle is never in view. 

colza. F., earlier colzat, Du. koolzaad, cole- 

com-. L., archaic form of cum, with, but 
sense is sometimes merely intens. Also co-, 
col-, con-, cor-. 

coma' [med.]. G. Kwfxa, cogn. with Koifxav, to 
put to sleep (cf . cemetery) . 

coma^ [hot. & astron.]. L., G. ko/jlt], hair of 
the head. See comet. 

comb. AS. camb. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. kam, 
Ger. kamm, ON. kambr; cogn. with Sanskrit 
qhambas, tooth. In many fig. senses, e.g. 
honeycomb (AS. hunigcamb), cock's comb 
(see coxcomb), whence to cut one's comb 
(16 cent.), make one less "cocky." As 
verb replaces earlier kemb (AS. cemban), 
which survives in unkempt (q.v.) and sur- 
name Kenipster. To comb out (neol.) is a 
somewhat unsavoury metaphor from the 
use of a small-toothed comb for certain 
toilet purposes. 

comb(e). See coomb {e). 

combat. Earlier also combate (cf. debate), 
F. combattre, VL. *com-battere, from bat- 
tuere. In all Rom. langs. 

combine. Late L. combinare , to put two-and- 
two, L. bini, together. Combination (gar- 
ment) is recorded for 1884. Combination- 
room (Camb.) in sense of common-rooni 
(Oxf.) is 17 cent. 

combustion. F., Late L. combustio-n-, from 
comburere , from comb- (for cum) and urere, 
ust-, to burn. 

come. AS. cuman. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. 





komen, Ger. kommen, ON. koma, Goth. 
qiman; cogn. with Sanskrit ^a?«. 
comeatable. Recorded by NED for 1687, 
but must be older (v.i.). 

uncomeatable: quod parare quis vel consequi non 
possit (Litt.). 

comedy. F. comedie, L., G. Kco/xtoSta, ? from 
Kw/xos, revel (whence Milton's Comus), ? or 
Kw/AT?, village, and det'Seu', to sing (cf. ode). 
First E. sense (Chauc), narrative poem, 
from It., as in Dante's Commedia. Cf. 

comely. AS. cymlU, beautiful, splendid; re- 
lated to come; cf. L. conveniens, F. avenant, 
MHG. komlich, archaic Du. komelick, all 
in similar sense; cf. also becoming. 

comelv as a earment or atyer is to a person: advenant 


advenant: handsome, proper, comely, decent, neat, 
gracefull, well-fashioned, well-behaved (Cotg.). 

komelick: conveniens, congruens, commodus, aptus 


comestible. F., Late L. comestihilis, from L. 

comedere, comes-, from com- and edeve, to 

comet. AS. cometa and F. comete, L., G. 

KOfx.rjTTj'i, from Kojxrj, head of hair, tail of 


I r,tood beside the grave of him who blazed 
The comet of a season (Byron, ChurchilVs Grave). 

comether [Anglo-Ir.']. To put the comether on, 
cajole. Come hither, in coaxing horse, etc. 

He cud put the comether on any woman that trod 
the green earth av God (Kipling, Love o' Women). 

comfit. ME. confit, F., p.p. of confire, to 

pickle, etc., L. conficere, to put together. 

Learned form is conject. Cf. discomfit, to 

comfort. Archaic F. conjorter, Late L. con- 

fortare, to strengthen, from fortis, strong. 

ModF. confort is borrowed back from E. 

in sense of well-being, etc. As title of Holy 

Ghost, comforter (Wye.) is for L. consolator , 

rendering G. irapanX-qTO'; {John, xiv. 16). 

See paraclete. Comforter , scarf, is 19 cent. ; 

in US. it means thick quilt. 

And the child we.xide, and was coumfortid [Vulg. 
confortabatur] (Wye. Luke, i. 80). 

comfrey. OF. confirie (whence MedL. ctmi- 
firia), from firie, liver (ModF. /r?ze), a word 
derived in a complicated manner from L. 
{jeciir)ficatum, goose-liver stuffed with figs, 
a bit of Roman slang (cf. ModG. (tvkmti, 
liver, from (tvkov, fig). The plant was so 

called because of its congealing properties 
esp. in case of wounds (hence bot. name 
symphyttim officinale) . Cf . its Late L. names 
consolida (whence F. consoude, It. con- 
solida, Sp. consuelda), conferva, also MedL. 
confirma, conserva. The usual F. for con- 
geal is figer, irom ficatum (v.s.), with which 
cf. MHG. liberen, to congeal, lit. to assume 
a "liver-like" aspect. Cf. also Norw. 
vatlsaks, lit. weld-sedge, Ger. beinwell, lit. 
bone-weld, and other foreign names of the 
comic. Orig. belonging to comedy (q.v.). L., 


comitadji. Member of a "committee," i.e., 
in the Balkans, a gang of patriotic cut- 
throats. The Turk, suffix makes it likely 
that the word originated in Greece. It 
translates Serb, chetnik, from cheta, band, 

His name is Feodor, and he is a Bulgar comitadjus, 
or whatever is the singular of comitadji 

[Punch, Jan. 24, I9i7)- 

comitia. L., general assembly, pi. of comi- 
tium, from com- and ire, it-, to go. 

comity. L. comitas, from comis, courteous. 
Esp. in comity (courteous understanding) 
of nations, now often misused as though 
from comes, comit-, companion. 

comma. L., G. KO/A/xa, piece cut off, short 
clause, from KOTrretv, to cut. 

command. F. commander , VL. *commandare, 
from mandare, partly replacing L. com- 
mendare, which is of same origin [manus 
and dare). Commandeer, SAfrDu. kom- 
manderen, is F. commander (cf. cashier^) ; 
and commando, party called out for mil. 
service, is adopted from Port. (cf. kraal, 
sjambok) . Commander of the Faithful trans- 
lates title assumed by Caliph Omar I 
(c. 640). Ten commandments, for finger- 
nails of angry woman, is used by mod. 
writers after 2 Hen. VI, i. 3. Also called 
ten talents [talons). 

commemorate. From L. commemcrare. See 

commence. F. commencer , VL. *com-initiare, 
from initium, beginning; cf. It. cominciare , 
Sp. comenzar. In univ. lang. translates L. 
incipere, used in same sense in MedL. 
commend. L. commendare. See command. 
Sense of praising springs from that of pre- 
senting as worthy of favourable regard, 
commendam. Ace. of MedL. commenda, 
trust, in phrase in commendam, used of 
provisional occupation of office. 





commensal. F., MedL. commensalis, eating 

at same table, niensa. 
commensurate. Late L. commensurafus, from 

mensurare , to measure. 
comment. OF. conient (now only in verb 
commenter) , L. cotnmentus, p.p. of coni- 
minisci, comment-, to contrive, etc., from 
same root as mens, mind, memini, I re- 
member. Verb also represents MedL. com- 
commerce. F., L. commercium, from merx, 
mere-, merchandise. For fig. sense cf. 
commination. F., L. comminatio-n-, from 

comminari, to threaten strongly. 
comminute. From L. comminuere , to reduce 

to minute portions. 
commiserate. From L. commiserari, from 
miserari, to bewail, from miser, wretched. 
commissariat. F., office or duty of a com- 
missaire, i.e. commissary, commissioner, 
one to whom certain duties are "com- 
mitted." ModE. sense, not found in F. 
[approvisionnement) , is due to spec, use of 
E. commissary (from 15 cent.). 
commission. F., L. commissio-n-, from com- 
mittere, -miss-, to entrust. Oldest sense is 
the written instrument or warrant. 
commissionaire. F., in this sense from com- 
mission, errand. The Corps 0/ Commission- 
aires was established 1859. 
commissure [anat.]. Line of juncture. F., 

L. commissura, from committere (v.i.). 
commit. L. committere , to entrust, etc., from 
mittere, to send. Sense of perpetrating, 
ancient in L., seems to arise from the idea 
of "putting together," contriving. That 
of compromising, as in non-committal, was 
adopted (c. 1770) from F. commettre by 
author of Letters of Junius. 
committee. Orig. one person (cf. payee, 
patentee), as still in Court of Committees of 
Guy's Hospital. AF. p.p. committe, sub- 
stituted for F. commis. Collect, sense from 
c. 1600. F. comite is from E. 
commode. Head-dress (obs.), furniture. F., 
adj., as noun. Cf. commodious, OF. com- 
modieux, from L. commodus , from modus, 
measure. Commodity implies goods from 
which mankind receives advantage. 
commodore. Appears as commandore, com- 
madore, temp. William III, therefore perh. 
Du. commandeur , from F., but the unusual 
ending suggests Sp. or Port, influence. 
Falconer's theory that it is corrupted from 
Sp. comendador (also Port.), a commendary. 

receives some support from tlic fact that 
a commodore is an admiral in commendam 

A commodore is only an occasional dignity... when 
the commission ceases, he descends again to the 
rank of a private captain {NED. 1757). 

common. F. commun, L. communis, second 
element of which is cogn. with E. mean^; 
cf. Ger. gemein, common, mean. With 
common (land), orig. opposite of close, cf. 
F. prS communal. With commonal[i)ty , 
OF. comunalte (communauie) , cf. MedL. 
communalitas . A commoner (Oxf.), not 
being on the foundation, pays for his 
commons, provisions supplied for the com- 
munity (whence short commons) ; cf. Camb. 
pensioner (q.v.). Commonplace translates 
L. locus communis for G. Kotvos tottos, 
general theme. Common Prayer is con- 
trasted with private prayer. House of Com- 
mons first occurs in a letter of James I 
(1621). Common sense was orig. (14 cent.) 
the inward power of unifying mentally the 
impressions conveyed by the five physical 
senses; cf. L. communis sensus, social 
instinct Commonweal (14 cent.), common- 
wealth (c. 1500), not orig. compds., were 
used indiscriminately; cf. F. Men public, 
L. res publica. For gen. degeneration of the 
word cf. that of mean^. Its ground-sense is 
about equivalent to municipal (q.v.). 

commotion. F., L. commotio-n-, from com- 
movere, from movere, mot-, to move. 

communed Noun. Smallest F. administra- 
tive division. MedL. communa, from com- 
munis, common. Also title twice assumed 
by Parisian political desperadoes (Reign of 
Terror and 1871). Communism was prob. 
coined (1840) by Goodwyn Barmby, 
founder of London Communist Propa- 
ganda Society. 

commune^. Verb. OF. comuner, from adj. 
commun (v.s.). 

communicate. From L. commumcare, to 
make common. Cf. F. p.p. communique, 
now current E. 

communion. F., or Church L. communio-n-, 
from communis . 

Calix benedictionis, cui benedicimus, nonne com- 
municatio [G. Koivwvla, Wye. comenj-nge, Tynd. 
Cranm. partakynge, A V. communion] sanguinis 
Christ! est? [Vulg. i Cor. x. 16). 

commute. " To buy off or ransom one ob- 
ligation by another" (Johns.). L. com- 
mutare, from tnutare, to change. 

compact^. Concentrated. From p.p. of L. 





compingere, to join together, from pangere, 

compact^. Agreement. From p.p. of L. com- 
pacisci, to agree together. 

compagination. Late L. compaginatio-n-, 
from compaginare, to fit together, from 
compago, compagin-, joint, from root pag- 
oi pangere, to fasten. 

companion\ company. F. compagnon, VL. 
*companio-n-, from pants, bread, whence 
also It. compagnone; of. OHG. gileibo, 
"messmate," from leib {laih), loaf. Com- 
pany is F. compagnie, formed (like It. 
compagnia, Sp. compania, etc.) on same 
stem. Companion was formerly used, as 
F. compagnon still is, contemptuously for 

Scurvy companion ! saucy tarpaulin ! impertinent 
fellow {Roderick Random). 

companion^ [naiit.]. Du. kampanje, quarter- 
deck, earlier kompanje (Kil., Sewel), OF. 
compagne, steward's room in gallej^ It. 
compagna, ioT camera della compagna, store- 
room, caboose, OCatalan company a, pro- 
vision store, from L. panis, bread (see 
companion''-). Meaning has changed and 
varied between the time of the medieval 
galley and E. use (first in Falc). There 
ma}^ also have been confusion with MedL. 
capanna (see cabin), in fact some regard 
this as the true origin. 

companion: capot d'echelle dans les batimens 
marchands, dans les yachts, &c. (Lesc). 

compare. F. comparer, from L. comparare, 
from par, equal. To compare notes is re- 
corded from c. 1700. See also compeer. 

compartment. F. compartiment, It. comparti- 
mento, from Late L. compartiri, to divide, 
from pars, pari-, part. Cf. apartment. 

compass. F. compas, from compasser, to go 
round, VL. *compassare, from passus, step. 
Cf. MedL. compassiis. It. compasso, Sp. 
compas, pair of compasses, Ger. kompass, 
Du. kompas, mariner's compass. In most 
Europ. langs., math, in Rom. and naut. in 
Teut., E. having both senses. Fig. senses 
{within compass, to fetch a compass) are 
usu. from the math., and earlier, sense. 
So also in verb to compass one's ends {an 
enemy's destruction, etc.) the idea of design 
is predominant. 

compassion. F., Late L. compassio-n-, from 
pati, pass-, to suffer. Cf. fellow-feeling, 
sympathy, Ger. mitgefiihl. 

compatible. F., MedL. compatibilis (from 

pati, to suffer), sharing in suffering, hence 
mutually tolerant, etc. 

compatriot. - F. compatriote. Late L. com- 
patriota. See patriot. 

compeer. OF. cotnper, -pair, equal, L. corn- 
par, prob. confused, in sense of companion, 
with F. compere, Church L. compater, 
fellow godfather, hence crony, "gossip." 
Hence without compare, associated men- 
tally with cogn. compare (q.v.) ; cf. peerless 
and F. sans pair. See peer'-. 

compel. OF. compeller, L. compellere, -puis-, 
to drive together. Hence compulsion. 

compendium. L., what is weighed together. 
Cf. com,pensate. 

compensate. From L. compensare, to weigh 
together, from pensare, frequent, of pen- 
dere, pens-, to weigh. 

compete. L. competere, to seek in common. 
Rare before 19 cent. Competition wallah 
(Anglo-Ind.), member of Indian Civil Ser- 
vice under competitive system (from 1856}, 
is known in E. chiefly by Trevelyan's 
Letters of a Competition-wallah (1864). See 
wallah. Competent, competence , competency 
come, through F., from 1.. competere in 
intrans. sense of coinciding, being con- 

From the use 'of the Scotticisms "succumb," 
"compete,"... he ought to be a Scotchman 

(De Quincey, 1824). 

compile. F. compiler, L. compilare, to plun- 
der, orig. in literary sense (see pillage). 
Later sense influenced bj? pile^, as though 
to heap up. Some regard the latter as the 
orig. sense. 

complacent. See complaisant. 

complain. Archaic F. complaindre , to lament. 
Late L. complangere, from plangere, to 
beat the breast. Hence complaint, (chronic) 
ailment (c. 1700), because regarded as a 
cause of complaint. Complainant is AF. 
pres. part. 

complaisant. F., pres. part, of complaire, 
from L. complacere (see please, pleasure). 
Complacent, from L., has acquired passive 

complement. L. complementum , filling up 

complete. L. computus , p.p. of complere, to 
fill up, from plere, to fill. 

complex. L. complexus, from complectere , lit. 
to plait together. 

complexion. F., L. complexio-n-, from com- 
plexus, from complecti, to embrace, com- 
prise, analysed as " twining, weaving to- 




gether" (cf. I., complex, etc.). In Late L., 
and in OF. & ME. physiology, the com- 
bination of supposed "humours" in man; 
hence, physical and moral character; later, 
the colour of face (and hair), supposed to 
be indicative of temperament. Traces of 
orig. sense survive, e.g. to put a fresh com- 
plexion on the matter. 

Of his complexioun he was sangwyn 

(Chauc. A. 333). 
Something of a jealous complexion (Much Ado, ii. i). 

My father was of a sanguine complexion, mixed 
with a dash of choler (Evelyn). 

compliant. See comply. 

complicate. From L. complicare, to fold to- 
gether. Cf. Ger. verwickeln. 

complicity. From archaic complice, now usu. 
accomplice (q.v.). 

compliment. F., It. complimento, Sp. cum- 
plimiento, the "fulfilling" of an act of 
courtesy. Ident. with complement (q.v.), 
which occurs earlier in same sense, the 
two forms being for some time used in- 

compline. Earlier complin. Last service of 
canonical hours. ME. cumplie, OF. com- 
plie (now complies by analogy with heures, 
vepres), p.p. fem. of OF. complir, coined on 
Church L. completa (sc. hora). Ending -in, 
from 13 cent., perh. by analogy with matin. 

complot [archaic]. F., orig. dense crowd (12 
cent.), also OF. complote, crowd, melee. 
Perh. from pelote, ball, bunch, VL. *pi- 
lotta, dim. of pila. See plot. 

Des autres meseaus [lepers] li conplot... 

Tot droit vont vers I'enbuschement (Tristan). 

compluvium [antiq.]. Opening in roof of 
atrium. L., from pluere, to rain. 

comply. It. complire, borrowed from Sp. 
cumplir (cf. compliment), which had the 
spec, sense of satisfying requirements (true 
It. form from L. complere is compire). 
Adopted in E. c. 1600. Influenced in form 
by supply (q.v.) and in meaning by ply, 
e.g. compliant is often understood as 
pliable, flexible. 

compo. Short for composition, esp. in sense 
of stucco. 

composant. Corrupt, of corposant (q.v.). 

component. From pres. part, of L. componere, 
to put together. 

comport. L. comportare, to bear together, 
carry with one. 

compose. See pose. But much influenced in 
F. & E. by L. compos-, from componere, 


to put together, whence composite, com- 
position, compositor; e.g. a composition with 
creditors is also called compounding (see 
compound^). For fig. use of composed cf. 
collected. Compositor (typ.) is 16 cent. 

compos, non (sc. mentis). L. compos, from 
-potis, capable, whence also L. posse (potis 

compost. OF. {compot, compote), L. composi- 
tum, from componere , compos-, to put to- 

compote. F., see compost. 

compound^ To mix, etc. Earlier also com- 
poiin, compone, OF. componre, compondre 
(replaced by composer), L. componere, to 
put together. From the etym. sense of 
composing, settling, comes that of com- 
potmding a felony {with one's creditors). 
Adj. compound was orig. the p.p. com- 

compound 2 [Anglo-Ind.]. Enclosure. Malay 

kampung, enclosure, etc.; but this is 

possibly from Port, campo, field. Hobson-. 

Jobson quotes from a modern novel — 

When the Rebellion broke out... I left our own 
compost ! 

comprador. In East, native servant who buys 
for household, purveyor. Port., L. com- 
parator-em, from comparare, to buy, from 
parare, to prepare. Cf. caterer. 

compree [neol.]. From mil. slang. See com- 

comprehend. L. comprehendere , to grasp, from 
com- and prehendere , to seize. Has replaced 
ME. comprend, F. comprendre. 

comprise. F. compris, p.p. of F. comprendre, 
L. comprehendere . This very common pro- 
cess, the adoption of a F. p.p. as a finite 
verb, is curiously exemplified by compree, 
now (191 7) current E. in our army. 

The Briton had a hand under the Teuton's arm 
and was encouraging him in the lingua franca. 
"No walkee much further," he said, "Soon there 
now. Compree, Fritz?" "Ja," groaned Fritz. He 

compromise. Orig. agreement, with no sug- 
gestion of concession, or surrender. F. 
compromis, p.p. of compromettre, L. com- 
promittere , to put before a disinterested 

That damned word "compromise" — the beastliest 
word in the English language 

(Lord Fisher, Times, Sep. 9, 1919). 

compter [hist.]. Name of various London 
debtors' prisons. Etymologizing spelling 
of counter^, office, etc. 





comptoir. F., counter^. 

comptometer [ncol.]. Calculating machine. 
From F. compter, L. computare. 

Six comptometers are kept going with calculations 
{Ev. Stand. Apr. 8, 1918). 

comptroller. In some official titles for con- 
troller. Bad spelling, due to mistaken 
association with F. compte, account. See 

compulsion. ¥., L. compiilsio-n-. See compel. 

compunction. OF., L. compunctio-n-, used 
by early Church writers for " prick of con- 
science," from L. compungere, -punct-, to 

compurgator [hist.]. MedL., witness to char- 
acter, lit. purifier, from purgarc, to purge. 

compute. F. computer, L. computare, from 
piitare, to reckon. 

comrade. Earlier camerade, F. camarade, Sp. 
carnarada, orig. room-full (cf. mil. F. 
chambree), later, chamber-fellow, "chum" 
(q.v.). Spelt CMwra^e in Shaks. For sense- 
development cf. Ger. bursch, fellow, orig. 
college hostel, frauenzimmer , wench, lit. 
women's room. Sense of fellow-socialist 
is a neol. 
carnarada: a camerade, or cabbin mate (Minsh.) 

comtism. System of Auguste Comte (11857), 
positivism. See altruism. 

Comus. God of revelry. See comedy. 

con^. To examine, learn by heart (a page, 
lesson, etc.). Earlier cun, AS. cttnnian, to 
test, examine, secondary form of ciinnan, 
to know, learn. See can^, ken'-. 

con"-. To guide a ship by directing the helms- 
man. Earlier cond, ME. condue, condy, to 
guide, from F. conduire, L. conducere. 
Hence conning-tower. 

con^. For L. contra, in pyo and con. 

con-. L., for cum, with. 

conacre [Anglo-Ir.]. Prepared land sub-let 
to small tenant. For corn-acre. 

conation [philos.]. L. conaiio-n , from conari, 
to attempt. 

concatenate. From Late L. concatenare, to 
link together, from catena, chain. 

concave. F., L. concavtts, from cavus, hollow. 

conceal. Tonic stem [conceil-) of OF. conceler, 
L. concelare, from celare, to hide. 

concede. L. concedere, from cedere, to give 

conceit. AF., p.p. of conceive (q.v.). Orig. 
sense of opinion in out of conceit with. 
Conceited is for earlier self -conceited, con- 
taining the idea of wise in one's own conceit 

(15 cent.), whence deterioration of the 
word. Verbal conceit is Jt. concetto, "a 
conceit or apprehension of the minde" 

At this day ye stand gretly in the countreys con- 
ceyte [Paslon Let. i. 347). 

Be not proude in your awne consaytes 

(Coverd. Rom. xii. 16). 

Lord, send us a gude conceit o' oursel' (Bums). 

conceive. F. concevoir, VL. *concipere for 

concipere, from capere, to take. 
concent [archaic]. Harmony. L. concentus, 

from concinere, to sing {canere) together; 

cf. It. concento. Now absorbed by consent 


For government, though high, and low, and lower, 
Put into parts, doth keep in one concent, 
Congreeing in a full and natural close, 
Like music [Hen. V, i. 2), 

concentrate. For earlier concentre, F. con- 
centrer, from L. cum and centrum. Cf. con- 
centric, with common centre. 

conception. F., E. conceptio-n-, from con- 
cipere, concept-, to conceive. First (c. 1300) 
of the Immaculate Conception. Concept, 
in philos. sense, is 19 cent. 

concern. Late L. concernere , to sift, separate, 
used in MedL. as intens. of cernere, to 
perceive, have regard to. To be con- 
cerned about, i.e. distressed, etc. (orig. 
interested generally), is evolved from to 
be concerned in, i.e. interested in. The 
noun has progressed from the idea of a 
relation or connection to that of a business 
organization, etc., e.g. a flourishing concern. 
Cf. sense-development of affair. 

My Lord Sandwich is well and mightily concerned 
to hear that I was well (Pepys, Sep. 17, 1665). 

concert. F. concerter. It. concertare, ? Iv. con- 
certare, to strive together. VL. *consertare, 
from conserere, -seit-, to join together, 
better suits sense and earlier It. form con- 
sertare (Flor.). Constantl}'- confused, even 
now, with consort (q.v.), esp. in to act in 
consort with. Hence noun concert, F., It. 
concerto. The concertina was invented by 
\^Tieatstone (1829). 

concession. F., L. concessio-n-, from con- 
cedere, -cess-, to grant. Spec, sense of privi- 
lege granted by government, etc., is de- 
veloped in F. ; cf. concessionaire. First 
NED. record of this meaning is connected 
with Suez Canal. 

concetto. Usu. in pi. concetti. It., verbal 
"conceit," witticism. 





conch. L. concha, G. Koy-^rj, cockle, mussel. 

Hence conchology , science of shells. 
conchy [«eo/.]. For conscientious objector. 

The majority of the conchies is in reality composed 
of the "gun-shies" 

(A Quaker Descendant, Times, Nov. 30, 1917). 

concierge. Doorkeeper. F., earlier also 
-serge, -sierge, VL. *conservians, for con- 
scrvans, pres. part, of conservare, to keep. 

kepar of a kynges or a great lordes place: consierge 


conciliate. From L. conciliare, to bring to- 
gether, convoke. See council. 

concinnity. Harmony. L. concinnitas , from 
concinnus, skilfully adjusted. 

concise. From L. concidere, concis-, to cut 
(caedere) up. 

conclamation. L. conclamatio-n- , general cry, 
from clamare, to shout. 

conclave. F., L. conclave, from clavis, key 
Earliest in ref. to conclave of cardinals. 

conclude. L. concludere, from claudere, to 
close. With to try conclusions {Haml. iii. 4) 
cf. to be at issxie. 

concoct. From p.p. of L. concoquere , -coct-, 
to boil together. With fig. senses cf. those 
of brew. 

concomitant. From pres. part, of L. con- 
comitari, to go with as companion, comes, 
comit-. Thus pleon. (see count^). 

concord. F. Concorde, L. concordia. See 
accord. Hence concordance , in Bibl. sense 
from 14 cent. Cf. concordat, F., L. con- 
cordatum, from concordare, to agree, esp. 
in ref. to agreements between Papal See 
and French monarchy, e.g. betv/een Pius 
VIII and Napoleon I (1802). 

concourse. F. concours, L. concursus, from 
concurrere , -curs-, to run together. The 
most usual F. meaning, competition, has 
not passed into E. 

concrete. L. concretus, p.p. of concrescere, to 
grow together. The ig cent, meaning, con- 
glomeration of stone and cement, is thus 
fairly logical. As opposite to abstract it was 
applied by early logicians to a quality 
adherent as opposed to one detached. 

concubine. F., L. concubina, from con-, to- 
gether, cubare, to lie. 

concupiscence. L. concupiscentia from con- 
cupiscere, incept, of concupere , from cupere, 
to desire. 

concur. L. concurrere, to run together. In 
16-17 cents, often replaced by condog, a 
somewhat feeble witticism. 
concurrere: to concur, to condog (Litt.). 

concussion. L. concussio-n- , from conciUere, 
-cuss-, to strike together, from quatere, to 

condemn. L. condem(p)nare , from dam(p)nare, 
to damage. 

condense. F. condenser, L. condensare, to 
make dense, concentrate. 

condescend. F. condescendre. Late L. con- 
descendere, to come down from one's 
position ; cf . Ger. sich herablassen, lit. to let 
oneself down. Not orig. with any idea of 
assumed superiority'- {Rom. xii. 16). 

condign. L. condignus. Now only of making 
" the punishment fit the crime," but earlier 
in etym. sense of equally worthy. 

Without giving me leasure to yeeld him condigne 
thankes, if any thankes could be condigne, for so 
great and so noble a benefit 

(Sir Anth. Sherley, in Purch.). 

condiment. F., L. condimentum , from con- 
dire, to pickle. 

condition. L. condicio-n-, incorr. condit-, lit. 
discussion, from dicere, to speak. ME. 
sense of temperament, evolved from that 
of essential circumstance, survives in ill- 
conditioned, and, more vaguely, in gen. 
sense of state, fettle. 

condole. L. condolere, to suffer with; cf. 
compassion, sympathy . 

condominium. Joint sovereignty. L. con- and 
dominium, rule. App. a Ger. coinage (c. 1 700) . 

condone. L. condonare, to give up, remit; cf. 
pardon. Chief current sense dates from 
Divorce Act (1857). 

condor. Sp., Peru v. cuntur. F. condore is in 

condottiere. Mercenary leader. It., lit. con- 
ductor; cf. MedL. conducterius, mercenary 
(12 cent.), for conducticius. 

conduce. L. conducere (v.i.). 

conduct. Both noun and verb were in ME. 
also conduyt, condute, etc., from F. con- 
duit-e, p.p. of conduire, L. conducere, from 
ducere, duct-, to lead. Cf. safe-conduct from 
F. sauf-conduit. With sense of behaviour 
cf. to lead a good {bad) life. 

conduit. ME. also condit, cundit, F. conduit, 
from conduire, to lead (v.s.) ; cf . Ger. wasscr- 
leitung and archaic E. lode (q.v.). 

Condy's fluid. Name of patentee (19 cent.). 

condyle [anat.]. Rounded end of bone fitting 
socket. F., L., G. kovSvXos, knuckle. 

cone. L. conus, G. kwvos, cone, pine-cone, 
spinning top. 

confab. For confabulation, from L. confabulari, 
to chat together. See fable. 





confarreation [antiq.]. L. confarreaiio-n-, so- 
lemnization of marriage by offering of 
bread. From'L. far, farr-, grain. 

confect. Restored spelling of comfit (q.v.). 

confection. F., L. confectio-n-, from conficere, 
-feet-, to make up. For limitation of orig. 
sense oi confectioner of. stationer, undertaker, 
etc. F. confectionneur means ready-made 
clothier, confectioner being represented by 
confiseur. See comfit, confetti. 

confederate. L. confoederatus , from foedus, 
foeder-, treaty, league. In US. of the eleven 
southern states which seceded in i860. 
Cf . federal. 

confer. L. conferre, to bring together. Sense 
of taking counsel, whence conference , arises 
from that of comparing opinions. See also 

confess. OF. confesser, L. confiteri, confess-, 
to acknowledge (fateri) together. Hence 
confession, first in rel. sense, and later used 
by early Reformed Churches of their spec, 
tenets. Also confessor, orig. one who avows 
his religion in spite of persecution, but 
does not suffer martyrdom. Hence Edward 
the Confessor (tio66), whose title is often 
misunderstood as though implying a com- 
parison with the priest who hears con- 
fessions, a much later sense of the word in 

confetti. It., pi. of confetto, sweetmeat. As 
comfit (q.v.). 

confide. L. confidere, from fidere, to trust. 
Cf. confidante, app. meant to represent 
pronunc. of F. confident-e. It. confidente, 
a stage type introduced (16 cent.) into F. 
from It. drama. The confidence trick was 
orig. US. 

confine. F. confiner, from confins, bounds, 
L. confinis, having common frontier 
(finis). Hence confinement, 18 cent. euph. 
for child -bed, from earlier confined to 
one's bed (by the gout, etc.). ME. said, 
much more poetically. Our Lady's bands 

confirm. F. confirmer, L. confirmare, to make 
firm. In eccl. sense (c. 1300) preceded by 
to bishop. 

confiscate. For earlier confisk, F. confisquer, 
L. confiscare, orig. to appropriate for the 
treasury, jfscMs. See fiscal. 

confiteor. L., I confess. 

conflagration. L. conflagratio-n-, from con- 
flagrare, to burn vip. Cf. flagrant. 

confiation. Fusing together. L. conflatio-n-, 
from conflare, to blow together. 

conflict. From L. confligere, -fiict-, to strike 

confluence. Late L. confluentia, from con- 

fluere, to flow together. Hence Coblentz, 

on Rhine and Moselle. 
conform. F. conformer, L. conformare, orig. 

trans., mod. sense being for earlier reflex. 

Eccl. sense from c. 1600. 
confound. F. confondre, L. confundere, to 

pour together. Earliest E. sense is to over- 
throw utterly, whence use as imprecation; 

cf. to put to confusion . 
confrere. F., MedL. conf rater, whence also 

confront. F. confronter, from front. 
Confucian. Of Confucius, latinized form of 

Chin. K'ung FH tsze, K'ung the master 

confuse. Orig. used as p.p. of confound. See 

fuse. Confusion worse confounded is from 

Par. L. ii. 992. 
confute. L. confutare, orig. a cooking term, 

cogn. with fundere, to pour. Cf . refute. 

confutare: properly to cool or keel the pot by 
stirring it when it boils (Litt.). 

congeal. F. congeler (congel-), L. congelare, 
to freeze together. See jelly. 

congee^, conge. F. conge, L. commeatus , leave 
to go, furlough, etc., from meare, to pass 
through. Fully naturalized, also as congy, 
in 14-17 cents., now made F. again. Hence 
eccl. conge d'elire, leave to elect, granted 
by Crown. The congee, or low bow, was 
orig. at leave-taking. 

congee^. See conjee. 

congener. L., of the same genus, gener-. 

congenial. ModL. congenialis, suiting one's 

congenital. From L. congenitus, born with, 
from gignere, genit-, to beget. 

conger. F. congre, L. congrus, G. yoyypos. 

congeries. L. , from conger ere, to bring together. 

congestion. L. congestio-n-, from congerere, 
-gest- (v.s.). 

conglomerate. See agglomerate. 

congou. Tea. For Chin, kung-fu-ch'a, work 
tea, tea on which labour has been expended . 
This is kang-hu-te in Amoy dial. 

congratulate. From L. congratulari, from 
grains, pleasing. 

congregation. F., L. congregatio-n- , from con- 
gregare, to herd together, from grex, greg-, 
herd. Hence Congregationalism, system of 
the Independents, the word congregation 
being much used by the Reformers, after 
Tynd., as a substitute for church, owing to 

349 congress 

the "sacerdotal" associations of the latter 

Apon this roocke I wyll bylde my congregacion 

(Tynd. Matt. xvi. i8). 

congress. L. congressus, from congredi, -gress-, 

to go together, from gradi, to step. The 

US. Congress, as now constituted, first met 

March 4, 1789. 

Congreve rocket. Invented (1808) by Sir 

WiUiatn Congreve. 
congruent. From pres. part, of L. congruere, 

to agree, from mere, to rush. 
conic sections [math.]. So called because each 
of the curves may be regarded as section 
of a cone. 
conifer. See cone and -fer{ous). 
conjecture. L. conjectiira, from conicere, 

conject-, to cast {jacere) together. 
conjee, congee [Anglo-Ind.]. Rice-water. 
Tamil kanjt, boiUngs, in Vrduganji. Hence 
congee-house, mil. lock-up. 
conjugal. L. conjugalis, from conju{n)x, con- 
jug-, spouse, lit. joined together. Cf. con- 
jugation, lit. joining or yoking together. 
See join, yoke. 
conjunctive [gram.]. Modus conjunctivus and 
suhjunctivus are used by L. grammarians 
of 4 cent. See subjunctive. 
conjuncture. F. conjoncture, from L. con- 
jungere, -junct-. App. an astrol. metaphor 
{favourable , critical, fatal), for earlier con- 
junction, proximity of planets, in same 
sense. The latter word is in Chauc, and 
Wye. uses it in the gram, sense. 
conjure. F. conjurer, L. conjurare, to swear 
together. Mod. sense of producing rabbits 
from a hat is evolved from ME. meaning 
of constraining by a spell a demon to do 
one's bidding. Usu. accented on first syll. 
in all senses in ME. 
conk. Nose. Slang c. 1800. ? F. conque, 
shell, conch. 

Est-ce [votre nez] une conque, etes-vous un triton? 

(Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, i. 4). 

connate. L. connatus, born together, from 

nasci, nat-, to be born. 
connect. L. connectere, to fasten together. 

Connexion, with var. connection, is a late 

word (not in A V. or Shaks.). Its rel. sense 

is due to Wesley. 
connive. L. connivere, to wink. 
connoisseur. OF. {connaisseur),iromconoistre 

{connaitre), L. cognoscere, to know. 
connote. MedL. connotare, as term in logic. 

Mod. use, contrasted with denote, dates 

from Mill. See note. 



connubial. L. conubialis, from conubium, 
marriage, from niibere, to wed. 

conquer. OF. conquerre {conqudrir), VL. 
*conquaerere, from quaerere, quaesit-, to 
seek. Conquest represents OF. conquest 
[conquet), what is acquired, and conqueste 
[conquete), the act of acquiring. Traces of 
the former are found in Sc. law. 

conquistador [hist.]. Sp., conqueror, from 
conquistar, to conquer (see conquest). Ap- 
plied to Sp. conquerors of Mexico and 

consanguinity. F. consanguinite, L. consan- 
guinitas, blood relationship, from sanguis, 

conscience. F., L. conscientia, knowledge 
within oneself, superseding E. inwit, once 
used to render it, e.g. in Ayenbite of Inwiie, 
i.e. remorse of conscience (cf. Ger. ge- 
ivissen, likewise due to the L. word). In 
all conscience orig. meant in all fairness, 
justice. Conscionable, unconscionable are 
irreg. Conscience money is recorded for 
i860, and the practice of paying it for the 
18 cent, (but see quot. i). 

Of a Baysler [Bachelor] of Martyn College for a 
other man whoys concyans dyd gruge hym for 
his privy tythes, 3d. 

(Accts. of All Saints Church, Oxf. 1513). 

I never heard a man yet begin to prate of his con- 
science, but I knew that he was about to do some- 
thing more than ordinarily cruel or false 

{Westward Ho! ch. vii.). 

A conscientious objector, who gave an address at 
Knutsford, was fined £4 at Warrington for de- 
frauding the railway company 

(Daily Chron. Apr. 24, 191 8). 

conscript. The now common verbal use, for 
coi-rect conscribe, L. conscribere, conscript-, 
to write together, originated in Civil War 
in US. Conscription, in sense of compulsory 
enlistment, appears in F. c. 1789. For 
sense-development cf. enroll, enlist. 

Every atom of personality... is conscripted into tlie 
task (Daily Chron. Jan. 15, 1917). 

consecrate. From L. consecrare, to make 
holy, sacer. 

consecutive. F. consecutif, from L. consequor, 
-secut-, to follow. 

consensus. L., consent. 

consent. F. consentir, L. consentirc, to feel 
together. Sense as noun has been affected 
by obs. concent (q.v.). 

consequence. F. cons(?qiience, L. consequentia 
(see consecutive). Mod. sense of conse- 
quential, self-important, springs from that 





of important, pregnant with consequences 
or results; cf. of consequence, 
une matiere de consequence: a matter of importance, 
moment, or weight (Cotg.). 

conservatoire. F., It. conservator io, orig. for 
"preserving" and rearing of foundlings, 
etc., to whom a musical education was 
given. First at Naples (1537). 

conserve. F. conserver, L. conservare, to pro- 
tect, from servare, to preserve. Cf. con- 
servancy (of rivers, esp. Thames), a mistake 
of Johns, for earlier conservacy, OF. con- 
servacie, MedL. conservatia for conservatio. 
Conservation of energy {force) occurs first 
in Leibnitz (c. 1692), la conservation de la 
force absolue. Conservative was suggested 
as substitute for Tory by J. Wilson Croker. 
It had previously been used by Canning. 

What is called the Tory, and which might with 
more propriety be called the Conservative, party 
(Croker, Quart. Rev. Jan. 1830). 

consider. Orig., as still in F., to view atten- 
tively. F. considerer, L. considerare, perh. 
orig. astron., from sidus, sider-, star (cf. 
desire, contemplate). Prep, considering re- 
placed earlier and logical considered; the 
ellipt. use, as in pretty well, considering (all 
things), is found in Richardson. For con- 
sideration, regard, payment, cf. regard, re- 
ward. For illogical sense of considerate cf. 

consign. Orig. to mark with a sign or seal. 
F. consigner, L. consignare. 

consist. L. consistere, to stand firm. Cf. con- 
sistory, F. consistoire, Late L. consistorium, 
standing-place, waiting room, hence council 
room of Roman Emperors. Now eccl., 
Papal, Episcopal, Presbyterian, etc. 

consolation. F., L. consolatio-n-, from con- 
solar i, to console, from solari, to comfort 
(see solace). Consolation prize is from 
earlier (18 cent.) practice at cards of giving 
something to the loser. 

console [arch.]. F., app. from consoler, to 
console, as F. consolateur occurs in same 
sense (1562). ? Idea of support, help. 

consolateur: a consolator, solacer, comforter; also, 
a corbell (in building) or, as console de basliment 


consolidate. From L. consolidare, from soli- 
dus. In current (1915) mil. sense, to con- 
solidate captured position, etc., app. adapted 
from F. consolider. 

consols. For consolidated annuities, various 
government securities consolidated into 
one fund in 1751. 

consomme. Soup. F., p.p. of consommer , in 
this sense from L. consumere , to consume, 
the nourishment of the meat being com- 
pletely used up for the soup. 

consonant. F., from pres. part, of L. co7i- 
sonare, to sound with. 

consort. First (c. 1400) as noun, partner, 
colleague, etc. F., L. consors, consort-, from 
sors, fate, lot. Constantly confused in form 
and sense with concert (q.v.). 

conspectus. L., general view. Cf. synopsis. 

conspicuous. From L. conspicuus, from con- 
s pi cere, to see clearly, from specere. Con- 
spicnons by absence was coined (1859) by 
Lord John Russell after Tacitus. 

Praefulgebant Cassius atque Brutus eo ipso quod 
effigies eorum non visebantur {Annals, iii. 76). 

conspire. F. conspirer, L. conspirare, lit. to 
breathe together. 

constable. OF. conestable {connetable) , Late L. 
cotnes stabuli (a.d. 438), count of the stable, 
translating Teut. marshal (q.v.), orig. prin- 
cipal officer of household of Frankish kings. 
For wide sense-development cf. marshal, 
steward, sergeant. 

ouirun the constable: to spend more than is got, or 
run out of an estate, to run riot {Diet. Cant. Crew). 

constant. F., from pres. part, of L. constare, 

to stand together, firm, 
constantia. Wine from Constantia Farm, near 


They gave us some stuff under the name of Con- 
stantia, which to my palate was more like treacle 
and water than a rich and generous wine 

(Hickey's Memoirs, ii. 106). 

constellation. F., L. constellatio-n-, cluster of 
stars {stella). 

consternation. F., L. consternatio-n- , from 
consternare , ? for consterncre , to bestrew, 
throw down, from sternere, to strew. 

constipate. From L. constipare, to press to- 
gether. See costive, stevedore. 

constituency. First (1831) in Macaulay, but 
app. not his coinage. 

constitute. From L. constituere, -stitut-, to 
place {siatuere) together. Constitution, in 
sense of politic system of a state, was 
gradually evolved between the two great 
Revolutions (1689-1789). Constitutional 
(walk) was orig. a univ. word, now replaced 
at Camb. by grind. 

constrain. OF. constreindre (contraindre), L. 
constringere, constrict-, to tighten, whence 
also constrict-. Cf. strain^. 

constriction. L. constrictio-n- (v.s). 

construct. See construe. 





construe. L. consiruere, to pile together, con- 
struct, from struere, struct-, to heap. Esp. 
as gram, term, to analyse construction of 
sentence, interpret, etc., in which sense the 
later construct has also been used. With 
gram, sense goes to put a good [bad, favour- 
able) construction on; cf. also constructive 
blasphemy {possession, treason, etc.), i.e. 
susceptible of being interpreted as such. 

consubstantiation [theol.']. Formed (i6 cent.) 
on trans ubstantiation (q.v.) to designate 
controversially the Lutheran conception 
of the Eucharist; but not accepted by 
Lutherans. L. consubstantialis (Tertullian) 
was used to translate G. ofxoova-ios, of 
common substance. 

consuetudinary. From L. consuetudo, custom 

consul. L., ult. cogn. with counsel and con- 
sult. Mod. diplomatic sense was evolved 
(i6 cent.) from the earlier meaning of a 
representative chosen by any society of 
merchants established in a foreign country. 
In MedL. & ME. the title was vaguely 
used as equivalent to count. The Roman 
method of denoting the years by consul- 
ships survives in the familiar Confute 
Planco (Hor.), which Byron {Don Juan, 
i. 212) renders "When George the Third 
was King." 

consult. L. consultare , frequent, of consulere, 
to take counsel. 

consume. L. consumere, to use up, from 
sumere, to take hold of. Hence consumedly , 
at first as expression of dislike (cf. con- 
foundedly), but now app. felt as for con- 

consummate. From L. consummare, from 
summits, highest, summa, total, for *sup- 
mus, from super. 

consumption. See consume. Med. sense is 
common in ME. 

contact. From L. contingere, contact-, compd. 
of tangere, to touch. Hence also contagion, 
L. contagio-n-. 

contadino. It. peasant, from contado, county. 

contagion. See contact. 

contain. F. contenir, VL. *contenire for con- 
tinere, from tenere, to hold. 

contaminate. From L. contaminare, from con- 
tamen, contagion, for *contagmen. 

contango [Stock Exchange]. Percentage paid 
to postpone transfer, opposite of back- 
wardation. ? Sp. contengo, I hold back, 
"contain," ? or arbitrary perversion of 

contemn. L. contem{p)nere, contem{p)t-. Hence 
contempt, contemptible, the latter used 
(since Sep. 1914) to render Ger. verdchtlich, 
an epithet oddly applied by Wilhelm II of 
Germany to the finest army that ever took 
the field. Cf. f rightfulness. 

This makes me naturally Jove a souldier, and 
honour those tattered and contemptible regiments 
that will dye at the command of a sergeant 

(Religio Medici) . 

contemplate. From L. contemplari, orig. used 
of augurs viewing a templum in the sky. 
Cf. consider. 

contemporary. In sense of Late L. contenipo- 
ralis, L. contemporaneus (whence F. contem- 
porain) ,iiOTn con- a.n<itempus,tefnpor-,time. 

contempt. See contemn. 

contend. L. contendere, intens. of tendere, to 

content. F., L. contentus, p.p. of continere, to 
contain. The contented man's desires are 
"bounded" by what he has (cf. adj. con- 
tinent). The etym. sense (as in cubic con- 
tent) and the fig. are combined in to one's 
heart's content. 
Such is the fullness of my heart's content 

(2 Hen. VI, i. 1). 

conterminous. From L. conterminus, with 
common boundary. 

contest. F. contester, L. contestari, to call to 
witness {testis), esp. as in contestari litem, 
to open proceedings. 

context. L. contextus, from contexere, to 
weave together. 

contiguous. From L. contiguus, from contin- 
gere, to be in contact. 

continent. F., from pres. part, of L. con- 
tin^re, to hold {tenere) together. In geog. 
sense, for continent (i.e. continuous) land. 

contingent. From pres. part, of L. contingere, 
from tangere, to touch. Mil. sense, orig. 
(18 cent.) proportion of force to be con- 
tributed by each contracting power, arises 
from that of "liable to occur" (cf. con- 
tingency) . 

continue. F. continuer, L. continuare , from 
continuus, from continere (see continent). 

conto. Million reis. Port., Late L. computus. 

contort. From L. contorquere, contort-, to 
twist together. 

contour. F., from contourner, to follow the 
outline (see turn). It. contorno is used in 
same sense. 

contra-. L., against, orig. a compar. forma- 
tion from con, cum, with. Cf. native equiva- 
lent with-. Cf. counter-. 

W. E. D. 





contraband. Sp. contrahanda. It. contrab- 
bando, against law (see bav}). Dates in E. 
from illicit trade (c. 1600) with Sp. posses- 
sions in SAmer. 

contract. L. contractus, a drawing together, 
from contrahere, from trahere, tract-, to 
draw. The same idea is seen in to contract 
a disease {matrimonial alliance, etc.). For 
current limited sense of contractor, as in 
Builders and Contractors, cf. undertaker . 

contradict. From L. contradicere, -diet-, to 
speak against. Contradiction in terms is 
mod. for earlier contradiction {Par. L. x. 

contralto. It., "a counter treble in musicke" 

(Flor.). Froin L. contra and altus, high. 

Not orig. limited to female voice. Cf. obs. 

contraption [dial. &- US.]. App. formed 

irreg. from contrive, on deceive, deception, 

contrapuntal. From It. form of counterpoint 

contrary. OF. contrarie {contraire), L. con- 

trarius, from contra, against. "The accent 

is invariably placed on the first syllable 

by all correct speakers, and as constantly 

removed to the second by the illiterate 

and vulgar" (Walker). The vulgar pro- 

nunc. is, as usual, the older. 

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, 

How does j'our garden grow? 

contrast. F. contraster. Late L. contrastare, 

to stand against. 
contravallation [Jort.]. See circumvallation . 
contravene. F. contrevenir, L. contravenire, 

to come against. 
contre-danse. F. corrupt, of country-dance 

contretemps. F., out of time. In E. first as 

fencing term. 
contribute. From L. contribuere, contribut-. 

See tribute. 
contrite. From L. conterere, contrit-, to 

bruise, crush. Cf. attrition. 
contrive. ME. contreve, to invent, etc., esp. 

of evil devices, OF. contruev-, -treuv-, tonic 

stem of OF. controver {controiiver) , from 

trouver, of doubtful origin (see trover) . OF. 

ue, eu, regularly become E. e; cf. retrieve, 

beef, people. 

Guy Fawkes, Guy ! 
He and his companions did contrive 
To blow all England up alive. 

control. F. controle, OF. contre-rolle, register 
kept in duplicate for checking purposes, a 

sense not preserved in E. Cf. counterfoil 
and see roll. Much older than control is 
controller, whence corruptly comptroller. 
Now (1918) esp. in Food Controller. De- 
control is a neol. (1919). 

contrerolle: a controlement, or contrarolement; the 
copy of a role (of accounts &c.), a parallel of the 
same quality and content, with the original] (Cotg.). 

controvert. Back-formation, by analogy with 
convert, divert, etc., from controversy (Wye), 
from L. controversus , turned against. 

contumacy. L. contumacia, from contumax, 
-tumac-, prob. from tumere, to swell. 

contumely. L. contumelia, cogn. with above. 

contuse. From L. contundere, -tus-, from 
tundere, to beat. 

conundrum. " A cant word " (Johns.). EarUest 
sense (c. 1600) seems to have been whimsy, 
oddity, either in speech or appearance. 
Later, a play on words, "a low jest; a 
quibble; a mean conceit" (Johns.), and 
finally (late 18 cent.), a riddle. Prob. 
univ. slang (associated with Oxf., 1645) 
originating in a parody of some L. scho- 
lastic phrase. Cf. panjandrum, Jiocus-pociis. 
See quot. s.v. bee. 

Others weare a dead ratt tyed by the tayle and 
such like conundrums 

(Travaile into Virginia, c. 1612). 
I begin to have strange conundrums in my head 


convalescent. From pres. part, of L. con- 
valescere, to grow strong, from incept, of 
valere, to be strong. 

convection [phys.]. L. convectio-n- , from con- 
vehere, from vehere, vect-, to carry. 

convenance. Usu. pi. F., from convenir, to 
agree, be fitting. Cf. comely. 

convene. F. convenir, L. convenire , to come 
together. Mod. trans, sense, to summon, 
is due to double function of other E. verbs 
{assemble, gather, disperse, etc.). 

convenient. F. convenient, from pres. part, 
of L. convenire, to come together, agree, 
suit. Cf. convenance . 

convent. ME. usually convent, covent (as in 
Covent Garden). F. convent. Church L. 
conventus, assembly. Restored spelling 
convent is also found in OF., but now re- 
jected for convent. In ModE. esp. nunnery. 
convent: a covent, cloister, or abbey of monkes, 
or nunnes (Cotg.). 

conventicle. L. conveniiculum, meeting, place 
of n:ieeting, from convenire, convent-, to 
come together, applied by Roman Chris- 
tians (4 cent.) to their places of worship. 





In Middle Ages assumed disparaging sense, 
being applied to illicit or heretical assem- 
blies. Hist, sense dates esp. from Con- 
venticle Act (1664). 

That ye suffer no ryottes, conventiculs, ne con- 
gregasions of lewde pepuU among you 

[Coventry Leet Book, 1451). 

convention. F., L. conventio-n- , meeting, 
agreement, from convenire, to come to- 
gether. Hence conventional, applied (19 
cent.) to lang., art, etc. 

converge. Late L. convergere , to incline to- 
gether, from vergere, to bend. 

conversation. Orig. association, frequenta- 
tion, behaviour, as still in crim. con. From 
L. conversari, to dwell (lit. turn about) 
with; cf. conversant. Current sense from 
16 cent. 

Our conversation [Vulg. conversatio, G. iroXiTev/xa, 
RV. citizenship] is in heaven (Phil. iii. 20). 

conversazione. It., social gathering, "at 
home," lit. conversation. From 18 cent. 

converse. Opposite. L. conversus, p.p. of con- 
vertere, to turn about. 

convert. As noun, substituted under influence 
of verb convert (v.s.) for earlier converse. 

Conversis fro hethenesse to the lawe of Israel 

(Wye. I Chron. xxii. 2). 

convex. L. convexus, from convehere, to bring 
together (two surfaces). Cf. concave. 

convey. OF. conveier {convoyer), VL. *con- 
viare, from via, way. Orig. to escort, ac- 
company (cf. convoy). In 15-17 cents, 
euph. for steal (cf. current expropriate). 
Hence leg. conveyance, transfer of property. 
For vehicle sense cf. carriage. Dr Thomp- 
son, Master of Trinity, once suggested that 
a dispute as to a distinguished contem- 
porary being the son of a lawyer or of a 
cabman might be settled by the com- 
promise conveyancer. 

Convey, the wise it call. Steal? foh ! a fico for 
the phrase [Merry Wives, i. 3). 

convict, convince. L. convincere, convict-, 
from vincere, to vanquish. Convict as noun 
dates from 16 cent. Use of convincing in 
"intellectual" jargon is mod. (not in 

He that complies against his will 

Is of his own opinion still [Hudibras, in. lii. 547). 

The three-quarters, though more convincing than 

those of the other side, were given very little scope 

[Daily Tel. Apr. 17, 1919). 

convivial. LateL. convivialis, from conviviuni, 
feast, from con- and vivere, to live. 

convoke. F. convoquer , L. convocare , to call 
together. Convocation, in eccl. sense, dates 
from temp. Ed. I, in univ. sense from 
15 cent. 

convolution. From L. convolvers, convolut-, to 
loll together; cf. convolvulus, L., bindweed. 

convoy. F. convoyer (see convey), keeping 
more of orig. sense, esp. mil. and naut. 

The sinking of the great galiasse, the taking of their 
convoie, which in the East partes is called a 
carvana [caravan] (Camden, 1602). 

convulse. From L. convellere, -vids-, to pull 

convulsionnaire [hist.}. F., fanatic indulging 
in convulsions at tomb of Fran9ois de 
Paris in graveyard of St Medard, Paris, 
where miracles were reported to take place. 
The prohibition of these performances led 
some humorist to fix to the church door 
the following — 

De par le roi, defense a Dieu 
De faire miracle en ce lieu. 

cony. First in AF. pi. conys, from OF, 
conil, L. cuniculus; cf. It. coniglio, Sp. 
conejo. Orig. rimed with honey, money. 
Now usu. replaced by rabbit (q.v.). The 
animal is of southern origin, as no Celt, or 
Teut. names for it exist; cf. Ger. kaninchen, 
MHG. kiiniklin, etc., also from L. The L. 
word is supposed to be Iberian. The cony 
of the Bible is really the hyrax Syriacus, a 
small pachyderm resembling the marmot. 

coo. Earlier croo. Imit., cf. F. roucouler. 
With double form cf. F. croasser (of raven), 
coasser (of frog). 
roucoulement: the crooing of doves (Cotg.). 

cooee, cooey {Austral.']. Adopted from native 
signal-cry. Cf. yodel. 

cook. First as noun. AS. coc, L. coquus, 
whence also Du. kok, Ger. koch, archaic F. 
queux, It. cuoco, etc. Verb from noun in 
ME. Teut. langs. had bake, roast, seethe, 
but no gen. term (cf. kitchen). With to 
cook one's goose cf. to settle one's hash. To 
cook [accounts, statements, etc.) is 17 cent. 
(cf. concoct). 

cooky [Sc.]. Cake. Du. koekje, dim. of koek, 
cake; cogn. with Ger. k lichen. For LG. 
origin cf. scone. 

cool. AS. col. WGer. ; cf. Du. koel, Ger. kilhl; 
cogn. with L. gelidus. See cold. The verb, 
earlier kele (whence Shaks. to keel the pot, 
for which see also quot. s.v. confute), has 
been assimilated to the adj. In applica- 
tion to sums of money perh. from idea of 





deliberate counting. To cool one's heels, now 
iron., was orig. used of a rest on the march. 
A cool hand appears to be suggested by such 
expressions as skilled {cunning) hand. 

"A cool four thousand, Pip!" I never discovered 
from whom Joe derived the conventiona] tempera- 
ture of the four thousand pounds, but it appeared 
to make the sum of money more to him, and he had 
a manifest rehsh in insisting on its being cool 

[Great Expectations, ch. Ivii.). 

coolie, cooly. Prob. from Kull, KolT, name of 
aboriginal tribe of Guzerat. So used in 
16 cent. Port. Cf. hist, of slave. 

coomb^, combe. Hollow, valley, esp. in S.W. 
of England. AS. ciinib, prob. of Celt, 
origin. Very common in place-names. Cf. 
F. combe. 

coomb^. Obs. dry measure. AS. ct^mfc, vessel; 
cf. Ger. kumpf. 

coon [C75.]. Aphet. for racoon (q.v.). Fig. 
and prov. uses appear to come esp. from 
negro pastime of coon-hunting. 

coop. ME. cupe, L. cupa, vat, cask, etc., 
v/hence F. cuve, vat. Existence of Ger. 
kufe, tub, suggests that the word may have 
been adopted also in AS. For changed E. 
sense cf. basket. 

cooper^. Maker of casks. Du. cttper, MedL. 
ctiparius, from L. cupa, cask (v.s.). Not 
immediately from coop, which has never 
meant cask in E. Earlier forms couper, 
cowper survive as surnames. Hence cooper, 
stout and porter mixed, favourite tap of 
brewery cooper (cf. porter^). 

cooper^, coper. Chiefly in horse-co{o)per. 
From Du. koopen, to buy; cf. Ger. kaitfen 
and see cheap, chapman. Cf. also co{o)per, 
Du. ship trading with North Sea fishermen, 
"floating grog-shop." 

cooperate. From Late L. cooperari, to work 
together, from opus, oper-, work. Hence 
cooperation, in econ. sense app. introduced 
(1817) by Owen. 

co-opt. L. cooptare, to choose together. 
Earlier cooptate (Blount). 

coordinate. From MedL. coordinare, to ar- 
range together, from ordo, ordin-, order. 

coot. Apphed in ME. to various water-fowl. 
ME. cote, coote; cf. Du. koet. A LG. word 
of unknown origin. 

What though she be toothless and bald as a coot? 

(Heywood, 1562). 

cop [slang]. To seize. ? Northern pronunc. 
of obs. cap, OF. caper, L. capere. Hence a 
fair cop, copper, policeman. No cop is a 
variation on no catch. 

copaiba [med.]. Balsam. Sp. Port., Brazil. 

copal. Resin. Sp., Mex. copalli, incense. 

coparcener [leg.]. From obs. parcener, part- 
ner, OF. pargonier, from pargon, share, L. 

cope^. Garment. ME. co/>«, earlier ca^e. Late 
L. capa (see cap, cape''-). Hence verb to 
cope, cover (a wall), as in coping. Fig. in 
cope (i.e. mantle) cf night, of heaven. 

Halfe so trewe a man ther nas of love 
Under the cope of hevene, that is above 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 1526). 

cope^. Verb. OF. coper [couper), to strike, 
from coup, blow, VL. *colapus, for colaphus, 
G. KoAa<^os, buffet. Influenced in sense by 
obs. cope, to traffic (see cooper^), occurring 
commonly in to cope with (cf. fig. sense of 
to deal with). Nor can F. coupler, "to 
couple, joyne, yoake; also, to coape, or 
graple together" (Cotg.), be left out of 
account (cf. buff, for buffle). 

copeck. Small Russ. coin. Russ. kopeika, 
dim. of kopye, lance. Effigy of Ivan IV 
with lance was substituted (1535) for that 
of his predecessor with sword. Cf. tester'^. 

coper. See cooper'^. 

Copernican. Astron. system of Copernicus, 
latinized form of Koppernik, Pruss. as- 
tronomer (1473-1543)- 

coping. See cope''. 

copious. F. copieux, L. copio-ms, from copia, 
plenty, from co- and ops, wealth. See 

copper^. Metal. AS. coper, VL. cuprum, for 
Cyprium aes, Cyprian bronze, from Cyprus, 
G. Kr7rpo5. In most Europ. langs., e.g. Du. 
kobber, Ger. kupfer, ON. kopar, F. ctiivre, 
etc. In hot coppers there is prob. the meta- 
phor of the over-heated vessel, the kitchen 
copper dating from 17 cent. Sense of coin 
is in Steele, who uses it collect, (cf. silver). 

copper^ [slang]. Policeman. See cop. 

copperas. ME. coperose; cf. F. couperosc, It. 
copparosa, Ger. kupferrose. Origin uncer- 
tain ; ? from Late L. adj. cuprosa, of copper 
(cf. tuberose), ? or an imitation of synon. 
G. x'^XKavOot;, flower (rose) of brass. 

copperhead [US. hist.]. Venomous snake. 
Fig. northern sympathizer with Secession 

coppice, copse. OF. cope'is, from coper {cou- 
per), to cut (see cope'^) , with, suffix -e'is, L. 
-aticius. Cf. synon. F. taillis, from tailler, 
to cut. With dial, coppy cf. cherry, pea, 



copra. Dried kernel of coco-nut. Sp. Port. 
copra, Malayalam koppara (Hind, khoprd), 

coprolite [min.]. From G. KOTr/aos, dung, XlOo<;, 
stone, from supposed composition. 

copse. See coppice. 

Copt. Native Egypt. Christian. ModL. Cop- 
tus, earlier Cophtus, Arab, qiift, qift, Coptic 
qyptios, G. Aiyi^Trrtos, Egyptian. Coptic 
lang. ceased to be spoken after 17 cent. 

copulate. From L. copulare, from copula, 
bond, couple, from co- and apere, to fit. 

copy. F. copic, L. copia, abundance, whence 
mod. sense via that of multiplying ex- 
amples; cf. MedL. copiare, to transcribe. 
Sense of MS. for printer is in Caxton. 
Copyhold is from copy in ME. sense of 
transcript of manorial court-roll. Copy- 
right is 18 cent. Copy -hook, in current 
sense, is in Shaks. {Love's Lab. Lost, v. 2). 

coquelicot. F., wild poppy. Imit. of cry of 
cock, suggested by resemblance of bright 
red flower to cock's comb. 

coquette. Earlier also coquet. F. coquet (m.), 
coquette (f.), dim. of coq (see cock'^). 

coquette: a pratling, or proud gossip; a fisking, or 
fliperous minx; a cocket, or tatling houswife, a 
titifiU, a flebergebit (Cotg.). 

coquito. Palm. Sp., dim. of coco (q. v.). 
cor. Measure {Ezek. xlv. 14). Heb. kor. 
coracle. Welsh cwrwgl, corwgl, for corwg, 
trunk, carcase, coracle; cf. Ir. Gael. 


carabe: a corracle, or little round skiffe, made of 
ozier twigs woven together, and covered with raw 
hides (Cotg.). 

coracoid [anat.]. Beaked. From G. Kopa^, 
KopaK-, raven, crow. Cf. coccyx. 

corah. Unbleached or undyed silk. Urdu 
kor a. 

coral. OF. {corail), L. corallum, G. KopdX- 

coran. See alcoran. 

cor anglais. F., English horn. L. cornu. 

coranto [archaicl. Dance. F. courante, "a 
curranto" (Cotg.), lit. running (dance), 
Italianized in form. 

corban. Offering vowed to God [Mark, vii. 
11). Heb. qorbdn, offering. Cf. taboo. 

corhoi [arch.]. Bracket. OF. {corbeau),va.vQn, 
dim. of OF. corb, VL. *corbus, for corvus, 
raven, in ref. to beaked shape. 

corbie \_Sc.]. Raven. From OF. corb (v.s.). 
With corbie-steps, projections on edges of 
gable, cf. synon. Ger. katzentreppe , cat- 

core 362 

cord. F. corde, L. chorda, G. x^pS^?. gut, string 
of instrument (see chord). Native rope is 
used of thicker type, but cordage is applied 
to ropes also in collect, sense. 

Cordelier. Franciscan friar wearing rope 
girdle. F., from cordelle, dim. of corde, 
rope. Hence one of the pol. clubs of the 
Revolution, housed in former convent of 
Cordeliers. Cf. Jacobin. 

cordial. F., MedL. cordialis, from cor, cord-, 
heart. Earliest E. use is med. 
For gold in phisik is a cordial (Chauc. A. 443). 

Cordillera [geog.]. Sp., from cordilla, OSp. 
dim. of cuerda, rope. Hence las Cordilleras 
de los Andes. Cf. sierra. 

Cordillera: the running a long of a rock or hill in 
length, as a cord (Minsh.). 

cordite. Explosive (1889), from string-like 

cordon. F., dim. of corde, in various senses. 
With cordon bleu, highest distinction, orig. 
ribbon worn by Knights Grand Cross of 
the French Order of the Holy Ghost, cf. 
blue ribbon. Humorously applied to a dis- 
tinguished chef {de cuisine). Cordon sani- 
taire is a precaution against infection. 

A sanitary cordon to bar the road to Bolshevism 
{Westm. Gaz. Mar. 27, 1919). 

cordovan. Of Cordova, esp. leather. See cord- 

corduroy, corderoy. Late 18 cent. Origin 
unknown. It may be a trade-name {corde 
du roi) of the bovril type, or from a maker's 
name, Corduroy, Corderey, etc., as sur- 
name, being a ME. nickname "king's 
heart." I have suggested elsewhere {Trans. 
Phil. Soc. 1910) that it may be contracted 
from the earlier material colourderoy, F. 
couleur de roi, orig. purple, but in Cot- 
grave's time the "bright tawnie." 

cordwainer [archaic'] . Worker in leather, shoe- 
maker. OF. cordouanier {cordonnicr) , work- 
er in cordouan, i.e. leather from Cordova 
(Sp.). Still in official use. F. cordonnier 
shows the same mistaken association with 
cord{e) . 

core. First c. 1400, replacing in this sense 
earlier colk (see coke). Derived by the old 
etymologists from L. cor, heart, and 
nothing more plausible has been suggested. 
The final -e is not an insuperable dif- 
ficulty as we find core also for corn^, from 
F. cor, "a. core in the feet" (HoUyband, 

cuor: a hart or courage. Also a core of any fruit 




corf [techn. & dial.]. Basket. Du. or LG. 

korf, L. cordis, early adopted in WGer. ; cf . 

Ger. korb. 
coriaceous. Leather3^ From L. coriaceus, 

from corhim, hide, cogn. with cortex, bark, 
coriander. Plant. F.coriandre,'L.coriandrum, 

from G. Kopiavvov, prob. not of G. origin. 
Corinthian [archaic]. Dandy, "toff" (18-19 

cents.) ; earlier, profligate, dissipated, from 

proverbially licentious manners of Corinth. 

Cf. similar use of Ephesian {Merry Wives, 

iv. 5)- 

A Corinthian, a lad of mettle (i Hen. IV, ii. 4). 

cork. Earliest sense (14 cent.) is shoe, slipper, 
Sp. alcorque, "a corke shooe, a pantofle" 
(Minsh.), of Arab, origin (cf. Sp. alcornoque, 
cork tree). This was also the earliest sense 
of Ger. kork, and the substance was called 
panto ffelholz , slipper-wood. The above 
words are connected by some with L. 
quercus, oak, which seems unlikely. Their 
relation to Sp. corcha, cork, and of the 
latter to L. cortex, cortic-, bark, is a 
mystery. With corker (app. US.) cf. to 
pitt the lid on. 

cork, bark: cortex {Prompt. Parv.). 

corking-pin [archaic]. "A pin of the largest 
size" (Johns.). Earlier calkin, cawking, 
but relation to calkin (q.v.) is obscure. 

cormorant. F. cormoran, earlier cormaran, 
-ein, -in, from OF. *marenc, of the sea, 
from L. mare with Ger. suffix -ing, of which 
fem. survives in F. dial, pie marenge, cor- 
morant. Cf. MedL. corvus marinus, sea 
raven, whence Port, corvomarinho. For 
E. -/ cf. pheasant, tyrant, etc. 

corn^. Grain. AS. corn. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. 
koren, Ger. ON. korn, Goth, kaurn; cogn. 
with L. granitm. For double sense (single 
seed, as in peppercorn, and collect.) cf. 
grain. In US. esp. maize, whence corn-cob, 
cornflour. Cornstalk, native-born Austra- 
lian (esp. NSW.), alludes to height and 
slimness. Corned beef is so called because 
preserved with "corns" (grains) of salt. 

corn^. On foot. OF. corn {cor), horn, horny 
substance, L. cornu. See core. 

cornbrash. Sandstone. From corn''- and brash 

cornea [anat.]. Of the eye. For L. cornea tela, 
homy web. 

cornel. Tree. In 16 cent, cornel-tree, for Ger. 
cornel-baum, from MedL. cornolius, from 
L. cornus, cornel tree, named, like the horn- 

coronet 364 

beam, from horny nature. Cf . F. cornouiller , 
cornel tree. 
cornelian. Stone. M.'E.corneline,Y.cornaline; 
cf. It. cornalina, Prov. cornelina. ? From 
L. cornu, horn (cf. onyx), or from resem- 
bling fruit of cornel tree (v.s.). The form 
carnelian (cf. Ger. karneol) is due to mis- 
taken association with L. caro, cam-, flesh 

cornaline: the comix, or cornaline; a flesh-coloured 
stone (Cotg.). 

corner. ME. & AF. corner, F. cornier, VL. 
*cornarium, from cornu, horn. The verb 
to corner (commodities) arises from earlier 
sense (also US.) of driving into a corner. 
The Corner, Tattersall's, was formerly at 
Hyde Park Corner. Corner-stone is in W^^c. 
{Viilg. lapis angularis) . 

cornet^. Instrument. OF., It. cornetto, dim. 
of corno, horn, L. cornu. 

cornet^. Head-dress, standard of troop of 
cavalry. F. cornette, dim. of come, horn, 
L. corn{u)a, neut. pi. taken as fem. sing. 
With obs. cornet (of horse) cf. ensign (of 

cornice. Earlier also cornish, F. corniche. It. 
cornice. App. ident. with It. cornice, crow, 
L. comix, comic-. Cf. corbel. 

Cornish [ling.]. Celt. lang. which became ex- 
tinct in 18 cent. 

cornopean. Cornet a piston. ? Arbitrary 
formation (19 cent.). 

cornucopia. For L. cornu copiae, horn of 
plenty. Orig. horn of the she-goat Amal- 
thaea which suckled infant Zeus. 

corody. See corrody. 

corolla. L., dim. of corona, crown, garland. 

corollary. L. corollarium, gratuity, orig. one 
given for garland (v.s.). Math, sense is in 

corolaire: a corollaire; a surplusage, overplus, addi- 
tion to, vantage above measure; also, a small gift, 
or large?se bestowed on the people at publique 
feastes, and playes (Cotg.). 

coronach [Sc.]. Funeral lament. Gael, cor- 
ranach, from coinh-, together, rdnacJi, out- 

coronation. OF. coronacion, from coroner 
{couronner) , to crown, from L. corona. 

coroner. AF. corouner, from coroime, crown, 
F. couronne, L. corona. Orig. (from 1194) 
custos placitorum coronae, an official at- 
tending to private rights of crown, his 
functions being now limited. Also pop. 

The crowner hath sat on her, and finds it Christian 
burial [Haml. v. i). 





coronet. OF. coronete, dim. of corone {cou- 
ronne), crown. 

corozo. SAmer. tree, whence vegetable ivory. 
Native name. 

corporal [eccl.]. Cloth covering Eucharistic 
elements. MedL. corporalis (sc. palla). Cf. 

corporal^. Adj. L. corporalis, from corpus, 
corpor-, body. 

corporaP [mil.]. OF. (replaced by caporal), 
MedL. corporalis, from corpus, corpor-, 
body. F. caporal, It. caporale, seems to be 
perverted under influence of It. capo, head, 
VIv. *caporalis, from caput, capit-, being 

corporas [archaic]. ME. & OF. corporaus, pi. 
of corporal, linen vestment, linen cloth used 
at Eucharist, MedL. corporalis, from cor- 
pus, corpor-, body. See corporal^. 

corporation. Late L. corporatio-n-, from cor- 
porare, to embody (v.s.). Slang sense, due 
to association with corpulent, dates from 
18 cent. (Smollett). 

corposant [naiit.]. "St Elmo's fire." Port. 
corpo santo, holy body. 

A riel. Now on the beak, 

Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, 
I flam'd amazement; sometimes I'd divide 
And burn in many places; on the topmast, 
The yards and bowsprit would I flame distinctly 

(Temp. i. 2). 

corps [mil.]. F., body (v.i.), as in corps d'- 
armee, d'elite, etc. 

corpse. Restored spelling (influencing pro- 
nunc.) of ME. & OF. cors, L. corpus. Hence 
dial. sing, corp by back-formation. Corse 
survives in poet, style {Burial of Sir John 
Moore). Earlier also live body (see quot. 
s.v. booze), hence dead corpse (2 Kings, xix. 
35), lifeless corpse, not orig. pleon. Cf. 
Ger. leiche, leichnam, corpse, orig. body 
(see lich). 

corpulent. F., L. corpulentus, from corpus, 

corpus. L., body; esp. in Corpus Poetarum 
Latinorum and other such comprehensive 
works. Cf. leg. corpus delicti, body (of facts 
forming part) of crime. 

Corpus Christi. Thursday after Trinity (cf. 
F . fete-Dieu, Ger . Fronleichnam.) ; constantly 
associated with early rel. drama. 

As clerkes in corpus christi feste singen and rcden 
{Piers Plowm. B. xv. 381). 

corpuscle. L. corpusculum, dim. of corpus, 

body. From 17 cent. 
corral. Enclosure, pen. Sp., from correr, to 

run, L. currere, as in correr toros, to hold 

a bull-fight. See kraal. With to corral, 

secure, cf. to round up. 
corrasion [geol.]. From L. corradere, -ras-, 

to scrape together, after corrosion. 
correct. From L. corrigere, correct-, from 

regere, to rule. House of Correction is 16 

corregidor. Sp., magistrate. From corregir, 

to correct (v.s.). 
correspond. F. correspondre, MedL. corre- 

spondere. See respond and cf. to answer to. 

In journalistic sense gradually evolved 

since establishment of periodical literature 

(c. 1700). 
corridor. F., It. corridore, from correre, to 

run, L. currere; cf. Sp. corredor. Replaced 

OF. couroir (see couloir). 

The corridor train is so named from a narrow 
passage which runs from end to end 

{Daily News, Mar. 8, 1892). 

corrie [Sc.]. Circular glen. Gael, coire, caul- 

corrigenda. L., neut. pi. gerund, of corrigere, 
to correct. Cf. addenda. 

corroborate. From L. corroborare, to strength- 
en, from robur, robor-, strength. Cf. robust. 

corroboree. Dance of Austral, aboriginals. 
According to NED., from extinct native 
lang. of Port Jackson (NSW.) . Morris gives 
native korobra, to dance. 

corrode. L. corrodere, from rodere, ros-, to 
gnaw. Hence corrosive. 

corrody [hist.]. Allowance, orig. preparation, 
outfit. AF. corodie, MedL. corrodium, for 
corredium (see curry''-). 

corrosion. See corrode. 

corrugated. L. corrugatus, from ruga, wrinkle, 
furrow. With corrugated iron cf. F. tole 
gaufrie (see gopher), Ger. welleisen (from 
we lie, wave). 

corrupt. From L. corrumpere, corrupt-, lit. to 
break up. 

corsage. F., cf. corset. 

corsair. F. corsaire. It. corsare, earlier cor- 
saro, MedL. cursarius, from cursus, raid, 
incursion, from L. currere, curs-, to run. 
See hussar. 

corse. See corpse. 

corset. F., dim. of OF. cors (corps), bodj- (see 
corpse). With mod. pi. corsets cf. hist, 
of bodice. Corslet is a double dim., -el-et. 
corset: a paire of bodies (for a woman) (Cotg.). 

corslet [hist.]. See corset. 

cortege. F., It. corteggio, from corte, court, 
"also a princes whole familie or traine" 





Cortes. Legislative assembly. Sp. Port., pi. 
of corte, court. 

cortical. Of bark, L. cortex, cortic-. 

corundum [min.]. Tamil kurundam, Sanskrit 
kuntvinda, ruby. 

coruscate. From L. coruscare, to glitter. 

corvee. Forced labour. F., OF. corovee, p.p. 
fem. of OF. cor-rover. to call together, ren- 
dered in MedL. by corrogata {opera); but 
OF. rover, to ask, summon, is more prob. 
from CSax. ropan (cf. Ger. rufen), to call 
(cf. Sc. roop, auction). 

corvette. Small frigate. F., Port, corveta, L. 
corbita (sc. navis), from corbis, basket; rea- 
son of name unknown. 

corvine. L. corvinus, of the crow, corvus. 

Corybant. Priest of Phrygian worship of 
Cybele, wild dancer. F. corybante, L., G. 
Kopv/Sas, KopvfSavT-. 

Corydon. Conventional rustic {Allegro, 83). 
L., G. proper name KopuSwv (Theocritus). 

corymb [bot.]. G. Kopvix^o-i, cluster, esp. of 

coryphaeus. Chorus leader (in Attic drama). 
G. Kopv<f)a'io'i, from Kopvcjirj, head. 

COS. Lettuce. From Aegean island, G. Kws, 
now Stanchio. 

cosher^ To cocker, pamper. Ir. coisir, feast. 

cosher^. See kosher. 

cosmetic. G. KoafxyjrLKo^, from Koa-p-os, order, 

cosmos. G. KO(T/xos, order, a name given by 
Pythagoras to the universe. Often con- 
trasted with chaos (q.v.). Cf. cosmogony, 
creation, from -yovia, begetting; cosmo- 
polite, citizen of the world, from TroXtTTjs, 
citizen; cosmography, etc. 

coss, koss [Anglo-Ind.]. Varying measure of 
length (usu. about 2 miles). Hind, kos, 
Sanskrit krosa, measure, orig. call showing 

"The city is many koss wide," the Havildar-Major 
resumed (Kipling, In the Presence). 

396 course of India make EngHsh miles 55 li 

(Peter Mundy, 1631). 

Cossack. Earlier (16 cent.) cassacke, Turki 
quzzdq, adventurer, freebooter, etc. 

The Cossacks are a species of Tartars; their name 
signifies freebooters (Jonas Hanway, 1753). 

cosset. To pamper. From cosset, spoilt child, 
young animal brought up by hand, " cade- 
lamb." Perh. AS. cotsetla, cot-dweller (cf. 
It. casiccio, pet lamb, from casa, house, 
and Ger. hauslamm, pet) ; but there is no 
record of the AS. word between Domesday 

and 1579, though the corresponding Ger. 
compd. survives {kossat, cotter). 

cost. OF. coster {colter), L. constare, from 
stare, to stand; cf. It. costare, Sp. costar. 
The L. idiom is curiously like ModE., e.g. 
Hoc constitit mihi tribus assibus, "stood 
me in." See stand. 

costal [anat.]. Of the rib, L. costa. 

costard. Apple, fig. head. ? From OF. coste, 
L. casta, rib, the apple being described as 
"ribbed"; cf. OF. poire a cousteau, app. 
ribbed pear. Hence costard-monger , apple- 
dealer, for extended sense of which {coster - 
monger) cf. chandler. For the opposite cf. 
stationer, undertaker . 

costardmonger: fruyctier (Palsg.). 

costive. OF. costeve, L. constipatus. For loss 
of suffix cf. signal^, trove, defile^, etc. See 
costmary [archaic]. Plant. Earlier also cost, 
L. costus, G. Koaro'i, Arab, gust, Sanskrit 
kustha, name of plant found in Cashmere. 
Second element is St Mary; cf. synon. OF. 
herbe sainte Marie, Ger. Marienbldttchen, 
etc. Has influenced rosemary (q.v.). 
costume. F., It., custom, fashion, L. consue- 
tiulo, -tudin-, custom. Cf. double meaning 
of habit. Introduced as art term, and itali- 
cized up to c. 1750. Not in Johns. 

cosy. Orig. Sc, comfortable, snug. Earliest 
(c. 1700) colsie. Origin doubtful. ? Norw. 
koselig, snug, cosy, from kose sig, to make 
oneself comfortable; cf. Ger. kosen, to chat 
familiarly, liebkosen, to caress, ult. ident. 
with F. causer, to talk. 

cot', cote. Dwelling. AS. coi; cf. Du. LG. ON. 
kot; also AS. cote, whence cote in sheep-cote, 
dove-cote, etc. Prob. cogn. with coat (q.v.) 
with ground-idea of covering. 

cot^. Bed. Hind, khdt, Sanskrit khatwd. 
From 17 cent, in mil. and naut. use. Child's 
cot first in Todd. 

cote. See cot^. 

coterie. F., orig. association of peasants hold- 
ing land from a lord, from OF. cotier, cot- 
dweller; cf. MedL. coteria. See cot^. 

cothurnus. Tragic buskin. L., G. K66opvo<;. 

cotillon. F., petticoat, double dim. of cotte, 
skirt, etc. (see coat). Reason for applica- 
tion to a dance is obscure. 

cotta [ecc/.] . Surplice. MedL. co««. See coat. 

cottage. AF. cotage, from cot^; cf. MedL. 
cotagiimi. Hence cottage loaf, easily made 
without elaborate apparatus. 

cotter^ cottar, cottier. Cottager. See cot^. 

369 cotter 

cotter^ [techn.]. Peg, wedge, in various senses. 
Earlier cotterel. Prob. fig. use of same 
words in ME. sense of servile tenant, 
villein, lit. cot-dweller, MedL. cottarius, 
cotterellus. Cf. Ger. stiefelknecht, bootjack. 

cotton. F. colon, Arab, qutn (see acton). In 
most Europ. langs. The verb to cotton, 
orig. (16 cent.) to prosper, succeed, appears 
to be due to a fig. sense of raising a nap 
on cloth, or of getting materials to combine 
successfully. See quot. below, in which, 
however, the association may be forced. 
Cottonocracy is applied in E. to the cotton- 
lords of Lancashire, in US. to the planters. 

It cottens well; it cannot choose but bear a pretty 
nap (Middleton, 1608). 

Cottonian. Library of Sir R. Cotton (11631), 
nucleus of British Museum. 

cotwal [Anglo-Ind.]. Head of police. Pers. 
kot-wdl, fort commander. 

cotyledon [hot.']. Introduced by Linnaeus. 
G. K0TvXrj8(x)v, cup-shaped cavity, from 
KOTvXrj, hollow vessel. 

couch. First as verb. F. coucher, OF. colchier, 
L. collocare, to place together; cf. It. col- 
care, Sp. colgar. Gen. idea, to lay hori- 
zontally, e.g. to couch a lance. Etym. sense 
survives in to couch in obscure language 
(technical phraseology , etc.), with which cf. 
F. coucher par ecrit, to set down in writing. 
In med. couching of cataract, orig. sense is 
to lower, depress. 

couch-grass. See quitch. 

cougar. Puma, catamount. F. couguar, Buf- 
fon's adaptation of an earlier cuguacu ara, 
for Guarani (Brazil) guazu ara. Cf. jaguar. 

cough. Found in AS. only in derivative 
cohhetan. Cf. Du. kuchen, to cough, Ger. 
keuchen, to pant, whence keuchhusten, 
whooping-cough. All imit. Synon. AS./zwo- 
stan survives in Sc. hoast; cf. Ger. husten. 

could. See can. 

coulee [geol.]. Solidified lava. F., p.p. fem. 
of couler, to flow, L. colare. 

coulisse. Side-scene on stage, etc. F., fem. 
form of coulis, from couler, to flow, slide, 
L. colare. Cf. portcullis. 

couloir [Alp.]. Steep gorge. F., by dissim 
for OF. couroir, corridor (q.v.). 

coulomb. Unit of electricity. From C. A. de 
Coulomb, F. physicist (|i8o6). Cf. am- 
pere, volt. 

coulter. Of plough. AS. culter, from L. See 

council. L. concilium, assembly, ? lit. a call- 
ing together, L. calare. Unconnected with 



counsel, F. conseil, L. consilium, plan, 
opinion, ? lit. leaping together, from L. 
satire. But the two words were completely 
confused in E., though vaguely, and often 
incorrectly, differentiated from 16 cent. 
Council has encroached on counsel, while 
F. still limits concile to eccl. sense. So also 
councillor is for older counsellor, F. con- 
seiller. Counsel as applied to individual 
(K.C.) is evolved from sense of body of 
counsellors. Cf. Ger. geheimrat, privy- 
councillor, lit. privy-council. 

But I do see by how much greater the council, and 
the number of counsellors is, the more confused 
the issue is of their councils (Pepys, Jan. 2, 1668). 

counsel. See council. F. conseil had also in 
OF. the sense of (secret) plan, whence to 
keep one's own counsel. 

count^. Title. OF. conte [comte], L. comes, 
comit-, companion, from cum and ire, to go; 
cf. It. conte, Sp. conde. Used in AF. for 
earl, but not recognized as E. word till 
16 cent., though countess, county are com- 
mon in ME. 

count^. Verb. OF. confer, L. computare , from 
putare, to think, reckon. ModF. has conter, 
to tell (a story), compter, to count (cf. 
double sense of E. tell). For restored spelling 
of F. compter cf. E. accompt. Archaic to 
count, plead in a court of law, whence the 
counts of an indictment, belongs in sense 
to ModF. conter. 

countenance. F. contenance, L. continentia, 
manner of holding oneself, bearing, from 
continere, lit. to hold together. In E. gradu- 
ally applied esp. to the "behaviour" of 
the features, e.g. to change countenance. 
Orig. sense of bearing appears in to keep 
in {put out of) countenance, whence coun- 
tenance, moral support. 

counter^. Adv. Esp. in to run counter. See 
counter-. Also with adj. sense, e.g. in 
counter revolution. 

counter-. Of a shop. Extended use of same 
word meaning banker's desk, counting- 
house; cf. F. comptoir, MedL. coniputa- 

counter^. Part of horse's breast. From 
counter'^. Cf. origin of withers (q.v.). 

counter*. Of a ship. Perh. as counto^, 
? from shape. 

counter^. In fencing, boxing. For earlier 
counter-parade, counter-parry (see counter-). 

counter". Verb. From adv. counter"^, but in 
some senses aphet. for encounter and ol)s. 





counter-. AF. form of F. contre, L. contra, 

counterblast. App. from blast blown on 
trumpet in answer to challenge. Revived 
in 19 cent, as echo of James I's Counter- 
blast to Tobacco (1604). 

counterfeit. F. contrefait, p.p. of contrefaire, 
from contre and faire, L. facere. Not orig. 
with suggestion of fraud. 

counterfoil. Seefoil^. 

counterfort [arch.]. F. contrefort, buttress, 
from fort, strong. 

countermand. F. contremander , from mander, 
L. mandare, to order. 

counterpane. Earlier counter -point, OF. coute- 
pointe (now corruptly courte-pointe) , Late 
L. culcita puncta, stitched quilt, from pun- 
gere, to prick. The corrupted contre-pointe 
is found in OF., being explained by Cotg. 
as "wrought with the backe stitch." The 
altered ending in E. is perh. due to pane, 
cover-pane, F. pan, cloth (see panel), for- 
merly used in similar sense. See also quilt. 

In ivory coffers I have stuff'd my crowns; 
In cypress chests my arras, counterpoints, 
Costly apparel, tents and canopies {Shrew, ii. i). 

counterpoint [mus.]. F. contrepoint, It. con- 
trappunto, an accompaniment "pricked 
against" notes of melody. See puncture. 

countervail. From tonic stem of OF. contre- 
valoir, from L. contra and valere, to be 
worth. Cf. avail, prevail. 

The enemy could not countervail the king's 
damage {Esth. vii. 4). 

counting-house. See count^. First record in 
NED. is 1440 {Prompt. Parv.), but Nicholas 
del Countynghouse is in Issue Rolls (1381). 

country. F. contree. Late L. contrata, (land) 
spread before one {contra). Cf. Ger. gegend, 
district, from gegen, against. The oldest 
E. sense is region, district, as F. contree, 
and the three main existing meanings are 
all exemplified in countryman. Hence 
country-dance, in F. corrupted to contre- 
danse. Countryside, orig. Sc, or north., is 
a neol. in literary E. The Teut. word, in 
same senses, is land, which has prevailed 
in the other Teut. langs. 

In a country dress, she and others having, it seemed, 

had a country dance in the play 

(Pepys, May 22, 1667). 
county. AF. countd, OF. conte {comte), L. 

comitatus (see count^). The county court 

translates the AS. shire-moot, the county 

council dates from 1888. 
coup. F. (see cope^). Now common in E., 

e.g. coup d'essai, coup d'litat (esp. in ref. 
to Louis Napoleon, 1851), coi{p de grace, of 
mercy (putting opponent out of his misery), 
coup de main, coup de theatre. 

Mr Lloyd George aimed at a coup d'etat, but he 
has achieved a coup de tMdtre 

[Daily News, Dec. 3, 1918). 

coupe. F., p.p. of couper, to cut (in half). See 

couple. F., L. copula, bond. In ME. esp. 

leash, brace of hounds, as in to uncouple, 

hunt in couples, etc. 
coupon. F., a "detachable" certificate, from 

couper, to cut (see cope^). In travel sense 

introduced by Cook (1864). Now (1918) 

one of the most familiar words in the lang. 

(cf. control, censor, etc.). 

On no account should voters be fooled by the fact 
that candidates have been couponed or ticketed 
by the Coalition [Daily Mail, Dec. 9, 191 8). 

The election of December, 1918, may not impossibly 
be known in history as " the coupon election " 

(H. H. Asquith, Apr. 11, 1919). 

courage. F., VL. *coraticum, from cor, heart; 
cf. It. coraggio, Sp. coraje. In ME., as in 
F. up to 17 cent., commonly used for heart. 
Ce grand prince calma les courages emus (Bossuet). 

courbash. See kourbash. 

courier. Combined from F. coureur, runner, 
from courir, to run (corresponding to Sp. 
corredor. It. corridore. Late L. curritor-em) , 
and 16 cent. F. courrier, courier, It. cor- 
riere (corresponding to MedL. currcrius). 

course. Combined from F. cours, L. cursus, 
whence also It. corso, Sp. curso, and the 
later fem. form course. Has taken over 
some senses of native noun run. Wye. 
uses it in etym. sense of race (2 Tim. iv. 7, 
Vulg. cursus). Sense of routine order has 
given of course, matter of course (see also 
cursitor). Hence verb to course, now only 
hares, rabbits, but formerly also boars, 
wolves, etc. ; cf. F. courre le cerf. The sense- 
development of naut. course {fore-course, 
main-course) is perh. connected with the 
"running" of ships under these, sails. 

court. OF. court {cour), L. cohors, cohort-, 
cogn. with hortns, garden, and used by 
Varro in sense of poultry-yard. It repre- 
sents partly also L. curia, used as its MedL. 
equivalent in leg. and administrative sense. 
For double group of meanings cf. Ger. hof, 
yard, court (of prince, etc.). In courteous 
there has been change of suffix, F. courtois, 
ONE. curteis, L. -ensis, surviving in name 
Curtis. For courtesy see curtsy. Courtesan, 





F. courtisane, It. cortigiana, is euph. (see 
bravo). Courtier is from OF. cortoier, to 
frequent court (F. courtesan = courtier, 
F. courtier = broker). With verb to court 
cf . F. faire la cour. Court-plaster was form- 
erly used for "patches" by ladies of the 
court. Court hand, in writing, is that in 
which leg. enactments are copied. Court 
martial was earlier (i6 cent.) martial court, 
the inversion being app. due to association 
with provost marshal, who carried out sen- 
tence of court martial. It is often spelt 
court marshal in 17 cent., martial and 
marshal being quite unconnected. Court- 
yard is pleon., the two words being synon. 
and ult. ident. 

For freend in court ay better is 

Than peny in purs certis [Rom. of Rose, 5541). 

court-card. For earlier coat-card, from the 
pictures; cf. It. carta di figura, "a cote 
carde" (Flor.). 

couscous. Afr. dish. F., Arab, kuskus, from 
kaskasa, to pound small. 

cousin. F. ; cf. It. cugino, MedL. cosinus 
(7 cent.), with meaning of L. consan- 
guineus. Cosinus is supposed to be a contr. 
(? due to infantile speech) of L. con- 
sohrinus, "cousin germane, sisters Sonne" 
(Coop.), but this seems hardly credible. 
But one might conjecture that the OL. 
form *consuesrinus might have become 
*consuesinus and so cosinus. 

couvade. Custom ascribed to some races of 
father taking to his bed on birth of a child. 
F. (see covey). Earliest mention of the 
custom is prob. in the Argonautica of 
Apollonius (ti86 B.C.). 

cove^. Creek. In AS. chamber, cell, recess, 
etc., whence mod. sense of concave arch. 
AS. cofa. Com. Teut. ; cf. Ger. kofen, pig- 
sty (from LG.), koben, hut, ON. kofi, hut. 
See cubby -house. 

cove^ [slang]. Earlier (16 cent, thieves' cant) 
cofe. Prob. ident. with Sc. cafe, hawker, 
cogn. with chapman (q.v.). Cf. degenera- 
tion of cadger. 

covenant. Pres. part, of OF. covenir {con- 
venir), to agree, L. convenire, to come to- 
gether. As Bibl. word represents Heb. 
berith, contract, rendered by haOrjKrj in 
LXX. and in Vulg. by foedus, pactum, 
testamentum. Hence Sc. Covenanter (hist.), 
subscriber to the National Covenant 
(1638) or the Solemn League and Covenant 

Coventry, send to. In current sense from 
18 cent. Origin unknown. 

Bromigham [Birmingham] a town so generally 
wicked that it had risen upon small parties of the 
king's and killed or taken them prisoners and 
3ent them to Coventry 

(Clarendon, Hist, of Great Rebellion). 

If Mons"^ de Foscani be weary of Coventry, where 
he has been alone I believe these ten months, I 
know no reason why he may not remove to Lich- 
field: he desired himself to be sent to Coventry to 
avoid being with the French 

(Marlborough, Letter to Harley, 1707). 

cover. F. couvrir, L. cooperire; cf. It. coprire, 
Sp. cubrir. The vulgar kiver is ME. kever, 
regularly from OF. tonic stem cuevr- (cf. 
ME. keverchefe, kerchief). Some of the 
senses of the noun {under cover) are from 
F. convert, orig. p.p. of couvrir, of which the 
OF. pi. was coverz. Hence covert for game. 
The participial sense survives in covert 
glance {threat, etc.). Coverture, protected 
state of married woman, femme couverte, 
is from Law F. 

coverlet, coverlid. AF. coverlit (14 cent.), cover 
bed, formed like curfew, kerchief (q. v.) . Not 
from ModF. couvre-lit, which is a neol, 

covet. OF. coveiter {convoiter), VL. *cupidi- 
tare, from cupiditas, desire; cf. It. cubitare, 
Prov. cobeitar. 

covey. F. couvee, brood, p.p. fern, of coiiver, 
to brood, incubate, L. cubare; cf. It. covata, 
" a covie of partridges, a bevie of phesants, 
a broode of chickens, an ayrie of haukes" 

cow^. Noun. AS. cH. Aryan; cf. Du. koe, 
Ger. kuh, ON. kyr, Sanskrit gdus (see 
nylghau, Guicowar) ; ult. cogn. with G. ^oCs, 
(3o-, L. bos, bov-. Kine is a southern form 
(cf. brethren) of pi. kye, AS. cy (cf. mouse, 
mice), which was usual up to 17 cent. 
Cowboy (US.) was orig. used hist, of sym- 
pathizers with England in War of Inde- 
pendence (see Fenimore Cooper's Spy). 
Cowhide, whip, is also US. For cowpox, 
first investigated by Jenner (1798), see pox. 

cow^. Verb. ON. kviga, to cow, whence 
Norw. hue. First in Shaks. {Macb. v. 8). 
Owing to late appearance it is often felt 
as back-formation from cotvard. 

cowage, cowitch. Plant. Hind, kawahch. 
Corrupted to cowitch owing to its stinging 

coward. Archaic F. couard, from OF. coue 
{queue), tail, L. cauda, with depreciatory 
suffix -ard, Ger. -hart, as in bastard, laggard, 
etc. ; cf. It. codardo. No doubt an allusion 

375 cower 

to the tail between the legs. Cowardy 

custard seems to be meaningless infantile 

cower. Prob. of Norse origin; cf. Sw. kura, 

Dan. kure, to squat, and Ger. kauern, to 

cower. Influenced in sense by cow'^, ME. 

meaning being to squat, crouch, 
cowitch. See cowage. 
cowP. Garment. AS. cugele, Late L. cuciilla, 

cowl, for cucullus, hood of a cloak; cf. 

MHG. kugel. 
cowF [archaic]. Tub. AS. cufel, dim. from 

L. cupa; cf. Ger. kuhel, tub, bucket, and 

see coop. Hence coivl-stajf, for carrying a 

cowrie. Hind. Aawn. The use of the cowrie 

as money is mentioned by Chin, writers 

of 14 cent. B.C. 
cowslip. AS. cu-slyppe, cow dung. Cf. oxlip 

and dial, bull-slop. 

cowslope, herbe: herba petri (Prompt. Parv.). 

cox. See coxswain. 
coxal [anat.]. Of the hip, L. co,ra. 
coxcomb. Cock's comb. Orig. ornamentation 
of head-dress of professional fool. 

If thou follow him, thou must needs wear my 
coxcomb [Lear, i. 4). 

coxswain. Earlier cock-swain. See cockboat 
and swain. Orig. sailor in charge of boat 
(cf. boatswain). Hence, by incorr. separa- 
tion, cox as noun and verb. 

coy. F. coi, VL. *quetus for quietus. In ME. 
first in etym. sense and usu. in to Jiold 
{keep) oneself coy, for F. se tenir coi. 

coyote. Prairie wolf. Sp., Mex. coyotl. 

coz. For cousin, which is usu. spelt cozen in 
17 cent., e.g. in Pepys. 

cozen. It. cozzonare, " to breake horses, to 
plaie the horse-courser, or knavish knave" 
(Flor.), "to have perfect skill in all cosen- 
ages" (Torr.), from cozzone, "a horse- 
courser, a horse-breaker, a craftie knave" 
(Flor.). a. to jockey. Cozzone is 'L. coctio-n- 
(for cocio), whence OF. & ME. cosson, horse- 
dealer. The word was app. brought to 
England by young nobles who included 
Italy in the grand tour. Often punningly 
connected with cousin. Earliest recorded 
in noun cousoner (1561). 

By gar I am cozened, I ha married con garsoon, 
a boy [Merry Wives, v. 5). 

Cousins, indeed ; and by their uncle cozened 
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life 

(Rich. Ill, iv. 4). 
cozy. See cosy. 



crab^. Crustacean. AS., 
and LG. krabben, to scratch, claw. Cogn. 
with Ger. krebs (see crayfish) and with crawl^. 
With crab, capstan, orig. with claws, cf. 
crane and other animal names for mech. 
devices. With to catch a crab, as though 
a crab had got hold of the oar, cf. It. 
pigliare un granchio (crab) , used of any kind 
of blunder. Verb to crab, to "pull to 
pieces," was orig. a term of falconry. Adj. 
crabbed referred orig. to the crooked, way- 
ward gait of the crab, as still in crabbed hand- 
writing (style, etc.), but has been affected 
in sense by the idea of sourness associated 
with crab^. For formation cf. dogged, 
crahbyd, awk, or wraw: ceronicus, bilosus, can- 
cerinus (Prompt. Parv.). 

crab^. Apple. Possibly Sc. form scrab (Gavin 
Douglas), Sw. dial, skrabba, wild apple, is 
the older, in which case the E. form may 
have been assimilated to crab'^ as a depre- 
ciatory name for the fruit. Cf. double idea 
contained in crabbed (v.s.) and dial, crab- 
stick, ill-tempered person, prop, crabtree 
cudgel. The existence of the common 
Yorks. surname Crabtree shows that the 
word must be some centuries older than 
the first NED. record (1420). 

crack. First as verb, AS. cracian; cf. Du. 
kraken, Ger. krachen, F. craquer; of imit. 
origin, the name of the sound extending to 
the break which produces it. The ME. 
sense of uttering loudly survives in to crack 
a joke, and Sc. crack, to talk. That of boast- 
ing, praising, in to crack up, whence also use 
of crack for person or thing praised [crack 
regiment, etc.). Crack of doom is from 
Macb. iv. i. Cracksman, burglar, is from 
crack, breaking open, in thieves' slang, as 
in to crack a crib, words popularized by 
Dickens [Oliver Twist). With cracker, thin, 
hard biscuit (now chiefly US.), cf. cracknel 
and crackling. 

crackle. Frequent, of crack. Hence crackling 
(of roast pork). Crackle -china, is so called 
from its fissured appearance; cf. synon. F. 

cracknel. Metath. of F. craquelin, from Du. 
krakeling; cf. E. dial, crackling and see 

craquelin: a crackneU; made of the yolks of egges, 
water, and flower; and fashioned like a hollow 
trendle (Cotg.). 

And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels [Vulg. 
crustula], and a cruse of honey (i Kings, xiv. 3). 

cracksman. See crack. 





cracovienne [archaic]. Dance. F., from Cra- 
covie, Cracow; cf. varsovienne, polka, etc. 

-cracy. Earlier -cratie, F., MedL., G. -Kparia, 
from KpoLTo^, power. Change of spelling is 
due to F. pronunc. Hence many jocular 
formations with connecting -0- {mobocracy , 
cottonocracy, beerocracy, etc.). 

A democracy, a theocracy, an aristocracy, an auto- 
cracy, or any other form of "cracy" 

(H. Belloc, Daily News, July 24, 1917). 

cradle. AS. cradol, cogn. with OHG. chratto, 
basket; cf. Du. krat, basket. Applied 
techn. to various frame-works or rocking 
contrivances. Cradle-walk (Evelyn), over- 
arched with trees, is translated from synon. 
F. berceau. 

berceau: a cradle; also, an arbor, or bower in a 
garden (Cotg.). 

The hand that rocks the cradle 
Is the hand that rules the world 

(W. R. Wallace, c. 1866). 

craft. AS. crcBft. Com. Teut. in sense of 
strength; cf. Du. kracht, Ger. kraft, ON. 
kraptr. Sense of skill, ingenuity, degenera- 
ting early to slyness, is peculiar to E. 
(cf. artful, cunning, knowing). This sur- 
vives in handicraft, witchcraft, crafts, nan, 
members of same craft, etc. Sense of vessel, 
earlier only small vessel, and orig. (17 
cent.) always accompanied by adj. sm,all, 
prob. arose ellipt. from some such phrase 
as "vessels of small craft," small power 
and activity. Aircraft is, like all our air 
vocabulary, modelled on naut. 

The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne 

(Chauc. Pari, of Fowls, i). 

Of his [a hockey-player's] stickcraft there is no 
question {Daily Chron. Nov. 26, 1919). 

crag. Celt.; cf. Gael. Ir. creag, Welsh craig; 

cogn. with place-name Carrick. 
crake. In corn-crake. Cf. ME. & dial, crake, 

crow, ON. krdka, crow, krdkr, raven. 

Imit. ; cf. croak. 
cram. AS. crammian, from crimman {cram, 

crummen), to insert, orig. to squeeze, press; 

cogn. with cramp. With cram, lie, cf. to 

stuff up. Locke uses cram of undigested 


The best fattening of all fowls is, first, to feed them 
with good meat, secondly, to give it them not con- 
tinually, as crammers do {NED. 1655). 

crambo. 16 cent, crambe, used of a riming 
game, capping verses, now usu. dumb 
crambo, and orig. of distasteful repetition. 
L. crambe, cabbage, G. Kpafi^rj, with ref. 

to crambe repetiia, cabbage served up a- 

Occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros 

(Juv. vii. 154). 

From thence to the Hague again, playing at 
crambo in the waggon (Pepys, May 19, 1660). 

cramoisy [archaic]. F. cramoisi, crimson. See 

carmine, crimson. 
cramp. OF. crampe, bent, twisted, of LG. 

origin (cf. Du. kramp), and cogn. with Ger. 

krampf, cramp, orig. adj., bent. Cogn. 

with cram, crimp, crump-le. In mech. 

sense (e.g. cramp-iron) it is the same word, 

prob. through obs. Du. krampe {kram). 

Both origins unite in some senses of the 

cran [Sc.]. Measure of fresh herrings (37^ 

gallons). Gael, crann, share, lot. 
cranberry. Ger. kranbeere, crane berry, taken 

to NAmer. by emigrants, and introduced, 

with the fruit, into E. in 17 cent. For the 

double voyage cf. boss^. Cf. Sw. tranbdr, 

Dan. tranebcer, from trana, trane, crane. 

Hujus baccas a Nova Anglia usque missas Londini 
vidimus et gustavimus (Ray, 1686). 

crane. AS. cran; cf. Du. kraan, Ger. kran-ich; 
cogn. with E. grus, G. yepavos, Welsh 
garan. The Norse langs. have tr-, e.g. ON. 
Irani. The mech. application is found also 
in other langs. Cf. to crane one's neck, fig. 
to hesitate, like a horse "looking before 
leaping," craning at a fence. 
gnie: a crane; also, the engine so called (Cotg.). 

cranium. MedL., G. KpavCov, skull. 

crank^. Instrument, handle. AS. crane, in 
cranc-stcef. Orig. something bent, cogn. 
with cringe, cringle, crinkle. Hence used, 
after Milton's qtiips and cranks {A llegro, 25), 
of fanciful twists or turns of speech. Sense 
of eccentricity is 19 cent., and crank, eccen- 
tric person, is US. (cf. crook). With 
cranky, of mod. formation and repre- 
senting various senses of crank, cf. Ger. 
krank, ill. The verb to come cranking in 
is after Shaks. 

See, how this river comes me cranking in. 
And cuts me from the best of all my land 
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantle out 

(i Hen. IV, iii. i). 

crank- [naut.]. Easily capsized. Earlier 

crank-sided (Capt. John Smith). From Du. 

krengen, to push over, careen a ship, ult. 

cogn. with crank^, in sense of turn. 
crannog. Celt, lake-dwelling. Ir. crannog, 

Gael, crannag, from crann, tree, beam. 





cranny. App. from F. cran, earlier cren, VL. 

*crennum. The dim. appears in crenelate 

(q.v.). Cf. It. crena, notch, indentation on 

leaves. L. crena, from which these words 

were formerly derived, is now regarded as 

a wrong reading in Pliny. 
crape. F. crepe, OF. crespe, L. crispa, curly 

(sc. tela). 
crapulous. From L. crapula, drunkenness, 

G. Kpanrakf], drunken head-ache, nausea, 
crash^ Of noise, etc. First as verb in ME. 

Imit. ; related to crack as clash to clack. 

Cf. Ger. krach, crash, commercial disaster, 

from krachen, to crack. Spec, application 

to fall of aeroplane dates from Great War. 
crash-. Coarse linen used for towels. From 

Russ. krashenina, coloured hnen. Usu. 

crasko in Hakl. and Purch. 
crasis [ling.]. Running together of vowels, 

as in Kayu) for kol iyo). G. Kpacn<;, mixture, 

from KcpawvvaL, to mix. 
crass. L. crasstis, fat, thick. In F. only in 

fern, {ignorance crasse), L. crasstis giving 

F. gras. 
-crat. See -cracy. 
cratch [dial.]. Manger. F. creche, OHG. 

chrippa (krippe), ident. with crib (q.v.). 

Cf. match-, patch. 

Sche childide her firste born soae, and wlappide 
him in clothis, and puttide him in a cracche 

(Wye. Luke, ii. 7). 

crate. Du. krat, basket (see cradle). Prob. 
introduced with earthenware from Delft. 

crater. L., bowl, G. KpaT-qp, mixing-bowl (see 
crasis\. Recorded for 1839 in mil. sense, 
now so familiar, of cavity caused b}^ ex- 

craunch. Earlier used for crunch (q.v.). 
Prob. nasalized form of crash^. Scraunch 
is also found (cf. scrunch). 

Herke howe he crassheth these grystels bytwene 
his tethe (Palsg.). 

The queen... would craunch the wing of a lark, 
bones and all, between her teeth [Gulliver). 

cravat. F. cravate (17 cent.), scarf like those 
worn by Croatian soldiers (Thirty Years 
War). Cf. F. Cravate, Croat, Ger. Krahate, 
Flem. Crawaat, Croato-Serbian Hrvat. 
There is at Woodchurch, Kent, an inn 
called the Jolly Cravat, perh. founded by 
some returned soldier of fortune. 

crabbat: ...a new fashionable gorget which women 
wear (Blount). 

crave. AS. crafian, to demand as a right; cf. 
synon. ON. krefja; ? cogn. with craft, 
power. Current sense comes via that of 

asking very earnestly (/ crave your par- 
don), as still in cravings oj hunger, etc. 

craven. ME. cravant, cravand, vanquished, 
cowardly, app. confused, esp. in to cry 
craven, with the commoner creant, aphet. 
for recreant (q.v.). Related to OF. era- 
venter, crevanter, to overthrow, VL. *cre- 
pantare, for crepare (whence F. crever, to 
burst, etc.). It may be the F. p.p. with 
suffix lost as in costive, defile^, trove, or a • 
verbal adj. of the same type as stale. 
Sense has been affected by association 
with crave (mercy, pardon, etc.). 

craw. Crop of a bird. ME. crawe, cogn. with 
Du. kraag, neck, OHG. chrago; cf. Ger. 
kragen, collar, Sc. cra{i)g, neck. These 
forms point to an AS. *craga. 

crawfish. See crayfish. 

crawP. Verb. ON. krafla, to claw; cf. Norw. 
kravle, to crawl, climb, Sw. krafla. Orig. 
to claw one's way. Cogn. with crah^; cf. 
Ger. krabbeln, to crawl, from LG. 

crawl- [Wind.]. Pen in water for turtles, etc. 
Var. of corral, kraal (q.v.). 

crayfish, crawfish. Corrupted from ME. cre- 
vesse, F. ecrevisse, OF. also crevice, OHG. 
krebiz {krebs), crab. 
escrevisse: a crevice, or crayfish (Cotg.). 

crayon. F., pencil, from craie, chalk, L. 
creta. Formerly used for pencil (q.v.). 

craze. To break, crack, whence crazed, crazy. 
Aphet. for OF. acraser, var. of escraser 
(e'craser), from Sw. krasa, to break, prob. 
related to crash^. Orig. sense survives in 
ref. to china-ware (cf. crackle). 

With glas 
Were al the wyndowes wel y-glased 
Ful clere, and nat an hole y-crased 

(Chauc. Blanche the Duchess, 322). 

I was yesterday so erased and sicke, that I kept 
my bedd all day [Plumpton Let. temp. Hen. VII). 

creak. First used in ME. of cry of crows, 
geese, etc. Imit., cf. crake, croak. 

cream. F. creme, OF. cresme, L. chrisma (see 
chrism). Referred by 16 cent, etymolo- 
gists to L. crenior lactis, " creame of milke " 
(Coop.), which has no doubt influenced the 
sense-development. Cream-laid paper is 
laid (i.e. rolled, not wove) paper of cream 
colour and should rather be cream laid- 
paper (cf. bespoke bootmaker). Cream re- 
placed native ream (see reaming). 

crease^. Inequality. Earlier (16 cent.) 
creaste, OF. creste (crete), crest, ridge, Lat. 
crista. Orig. the ridge as opposed to the 
corresponding depression. F. crete means 

38 I crease 

ridge, not peak, e.g. la Crete d'une vague, 
d'lin toit, etc. Cf. US. crease, to stun (a 
horse, etc.) by a shot through the "crest" 
or ridge of the neck. 

A rough iiarde stone, full of creastes and gutters 

(Lyte's Dodoens, 1578). 
Creasing consists in sending a bullet through the 
gristle of the mustang's neck, just above the bone, 
so as to stun the animal 

(Ballantyne, Dog Crusoe, ch. xv.). 

crease^, creese, kris. Dagger. Malay kirls, 
kris, of Javanese origin. 

Their ordinary weapon is called a crise, it is about 
two feet in length, the blade being waved, and 
crooked to and fro, indenture like 

(ScoVs Java, 1602-5). 

creator. Church word, occurring earlier than 
the verb to create. F. createiir, L. creator-em, 
used in ME. for AS. scieppend (cf. Ger. 
schopfer). Creature, in sense of drink, esp. 
Ir. cratur, is- a spec, application of the 
word in the sense of product, thing created 
for the use of man (cf. creature comforts). 
Good wine is a good familiar creature [Oih. ii. 3). 

For, after death, spirits have just such natures 
They had, for all the world, when human creatures 


creche. Late 19 cent, from F., orig. manger 
in which Christ was born. Ger. krippe is 
used in same sense. See cratch, crib. 

credence. F. credence. It. credenza, VL. *cre- 
dentia, from credere, to believe. Sense of 
faith, confidence, is archaic in F., usual 
meaning being side-board, as in eccl. E. 
credence-table (19 cent.). This arose from 
the practice of "assaying" meat and drink 
at the side-board so as to inspire confidence 
against poison. Cf. salver, 
credenza: credence, credite, trust, confidence, safe- 
conduct. Also a cubboarde of plate, a butterie.... 
Also the taste or assaie of a princes meate and 
drinke (Flor.). 

credentials. From 17 cent., for earlier letters 

of credence (14 cent.). 
credit. F. credit, It. credito, p.p. of credere, to 

believe, trust. A creditable action orig. 

inspired trust. 
credo. L., I believe, first word of Apostles' 

and Nicene Creeds. So in most Europ. 

langs. Cf. angelus, ave, dirge, etc. 
credulous. From L. credulus, from credere, to 

creed. AS. creda, L. credo (q.v.). Early 

Church word. The Apostles' Creed, trad. 

ascribed to the Apostles, dates from 4 cent. 

(exposition of Rufinus). See Athanasian, 




creek. Cf. F. crique, Du. kreek. In ME. 
usually crike, from F. ? ON. kriki, nook, 
bend, cogn. with crook. 

He knew wel alle the havenes, as they were, 
From Gootlond to the Cape of Fynystere, 
And every cryke in Britaigne and in Spayne 

(Chauc. A. 406). 

a creek, crook, or nook to unload wares: crepido 


creel. OF. greille, grill, sieve, VL. craticula, 
from crates, wicker-work, hurdle; cf. OF. 
creil, hurdle. Creel is still in techn. and dial, 
use for various frame-works. See grill. Cf . 
It. gradella, creel. 

creep. AS. creopan, orig. strong [creap, cro- 
pen) ; cf. Du. kruipen, ON. krjiipa. Cf. 

creese. See crease^. 

cremation. L. crematio-n-, from cremare, to 
burn. Hence crematorium, MedL., after 
auditorium, etc. 

cremona. Violin from Cremona, in Lom- 
bardy. Also used wrongly for cromorne 

crenate [hot.]. ModL. crenatus, notched (v.i.). 

crenelate. To embattle. For earlier crenel, 
F. creneler, from OF. crenel (cre'neau), 
battlement, dim. of OF. cren (cran), notch 
(see cranny). The noun was common in 
ME. in forms camel, kernel, etc. 

Creole. F. creole, earlier criole, Sp. criollo, 
orig. applied to all West Indians (white or 
black) wholly or partly of foreign paren- 
tage; now usu. to those of Europ. ancestry. 
Perh. corrupt, or dim. of Sp. criado, foster- 
child, L. creatus, said to have been orig. 
applied to the indoor slaves. Cf. OPort. 
gallinha crioula, pet hen. 

criollos: those that are borne of the Spaniard and 
Indians (Minsh.). 

creosote. Mod. formation from G. Kpia<s, 
flesh, and o-w^etv, to save; from antiseptic 
properties. Discovered (1832) by Reichen- 

crepe. F., see crape. 

crepitate. From L. crepitare, frequent, of 
crepare, crepit-, to crack, resound. 

crepon. F., from crepe, crape. 

crepuscular. From L. crepusculum, twilight. 

crescendo [mus.]. It., from L. crescere, to 
grow. Often fig. as noun, e.g. a crescendo 
0} admiration. 

crescent. Restored spelling, on L. crescens, 
crescent-, of ME. cressant, OF. creissant 
[croissant), pres. part, of creistre [croitre), 

383 cress 

to grow, L. crescere. First applied to the 
growing moon. Often wrongly used, owing 
to its adoption by the Turk. Sultans, as 
a symbol of Mohammedanism in general. 
Russ. churches are often surmounted by 
the cross standing on the over-turned 
crescent, and Red Crescent is applied to a 
Turk, organization corresponding to our 
Red Cross. 

cress. AS. ccerse, cerse, cresse. WGer. ;cf. Du. 
kers, Ger. kresse; also borrowed by Scand. 
& Rom. langs., e.g. F. cresson; perh. cogn. 
with OHG. chresan, to creep. Older form 
still in place-names, e.g. Kersey, cress 
island, and in not to care a curse (see curse, 
damn) . 

cresset. Portable beacon. OF. craisset, lan- 
tern, from OF. craisse (graisse), grease 
(with which a cresset is filled). See grease. 

crest. OF. creste {crete), L. crista, crest of cock 
or helmet. Crestfallen belongs to cock- 
fighting. The crest of a horse is the neck 
ridge (see crease'^). 

cretaceous. From L. cretaceus, from creta, 
chalk, orig. p.p. of cernere, to separate (sc. 
terra) . 

Cretan. Liar {Tit. i. 12). Cf. syncretism. 

An introduction to Dora might inspire some of 
these modern Cretans with a wholesome respect 
for the truth {Pall Mall Gaz. Jan. 30, 1918). 

cretic [metr.]. Amphimacer. L. Creticus, of 

cretin. Deformed idiot, in Alps. F., from 
Swiss dial, crestin, creitin, Christian. Cf. 
similar use of innocent, natural, also F. 
benet, fool, L. benedictus. 

cretonne. Made at Creton (Eure). 

crevasse [Alp.}. F., see crevice. 

crevice. ME. crevace, F. crevasse, from crever, 
to burst, L. crepare. 

crew. Earlier (15 cent.) crue, also accrue, 
p.p. fern, of F. croitre, accroitre, to grow, 
OF. creistre, L. crescere. Orig. reinforce- 
ment, mil. or nav. ; cf . recruit. 

The forts thereabouts were not suppHed with anie 
new accrewes of soldiers (Hollnshed). 

crewel. Earlier (1500-1600), crule, crewle, 
croole, croile, also crewe, crue. Origin 
doubtful ? F. ecru, unbleached, L. ex and 
crudus, raw, as in fil escru, unbleached 
yarn (13 cent.), altered as scroll (q.v.). 
Another suggestion is OF. escrouelles, 
shreds (see scroll), which suits the form, 
but hardly the sense. It is not certain 
whether the name was orig. applied to the 

crim. con. 


yarn or to the material on which it was 

j fyne counterpoynt [counterpane] of sylk and 
cruell of Joseph and Mary {Rutland MSS. 1543). 

crib. AS. cribb, ox-stall, etc. WGer. : cf. Du. 
krib, Ger. krippe (see also cratch, creche) ; 
cf. MHG. krebe, basket, a common mean- 
ing of crib in E. dial., whence crib, to steal 
(cf. cabbage^), and hence, to cheat in school- 
boy sense. The game of cribbage is from 
the crib, or store of cards, secured by the 
dealer. Earliest records refer chiefly to 
the crib in which Christ was born, hence 
later child's crib. The sense of small 
dwelling, etc., e.g. a snug crib, is evolved 
from that of ox-stall, the latest shade of 
meaning appearing in the burglar's to 
crack a crib. 

Now, my dear, about that crib at Chertsey 

{Oliver Twist, eh. xix.). 

Crichton. All round gifted man. James 
Crichton, called "the Admirable" by 
Urquhart, soldier, scholar, swordsman, 
etc., killed in a brawl at Mantua (1585). 

crick. Prob. cogn. with crook; cf. synon. F. 
torticolis. It. torcicollo, lit. twist-neck. 
Another name was schote (in Prompt. Parv. 
with cryk), with which cf. Ger. schuss, 
shooting, as in hexenschuss, lumbago. 

cricket^. Insect. F. criquet, from criquer, "to 
creak, rattle, crackle" (Cotg.), imit. of 
sound; cf. Du. krekel and F. cri-cri. The 
cricket on the hearth is from Dickens after 
Milton {Penseroso, 82). With merry as a 
cricket (i Hen. IV, ii. 4) cf. grig. 

cricket^. Game. First recorded {creckett) 
1598. App. first used of the wicket; cf. 
OF. criquet, stake used as goal at bowls, 
from Flem. krick, "scipio, baculus" (Kil.), 
cogn. with crutch. Cotg. gives cricket-staffe 
as one meaning of F. crosse, and Urquhart 
{Rab. i. 22) renders la crosse by cricket. 
The adoption of the word as emblem of 
fair-play is mod. 

Last week a tryal was brought at Guildhall before 
the Lord Chief Justice Pratt, between two com- 
panies of cricket players, the men of Kent plain- 
tiffs, and the men of London defendants, for sixty 
pounds, played for at cricket, and after a long 
hearing, my Lord, not understanding the game, 
ordered them to play it over again 

{MisVs Journal, Mar. 28, 1719). 

crikey [vulg.]. Euph. alteration of Christ. Cf. 

crim. con. [leg.']. For criminal conversation. 





crime. F., L. crimen, criniin-, from root of 
cernere, to separate, decide. 

We share Dr Topinard's dislike of the term "cri- 
minal anthropology," and may adopt the term 
"criminology" till a better can be found 

{Athenaeum, Sep. 6, 1890). 

criminy, crimine [colloq.]. Suggested by 
Christ (cf. crikey) and jiminy (q.v.). 

crimp. Du. krimpen, "contrahere, dimi- 
nuere, arctare, coarctare, extenuare" (Kil.); 
cogn. with cramp, crumple. Fish are 
crimped to make their flesh contract. From 
the verb comes naut. crimp, perh. via an 
obs. (17 cent.) card-game. 

lo play crimp: to lay or bet on one side, and (by 
foul play) to let t'other win, having a share of it 

(Diet. Cant. Crew). 

crimson. Earher (15 cent.) cremesyn, OSp. 
cremesin {carmesi) or Olt. cremestno {cre- 
mesi), Arab, qermazi; cf. F. cramoisi. Ult. 
source is Arab, qirmiz, kermes, cochineal 
insect. See kermes, cartnine. 

cringe. Orig. trans. ME. crengen, causal of 
AS. cringan, to fall in battle, orig. to be- 
come bent, "succumb"; cogn. with crank''. 

cringle [naut.]. Ring. Earlier creengle (Capt. 
John Smith, 1627). From LG. or Du. Cf. 
Du. Ger. kring, circle, etc., ON. kringja, to 
encircle; cogn. with crank'^, crinkle. 

crinite [biol.']. L. crinitus, from crinis, hair. 

crinkle. Earlier also crenkle, frequent, from 
AS. crincan, var. of cringan (see cringe), or 
from cogn. LG. or Du. krinkel, turn, twist; 
cogn. with crank'-, cringle. Cf. crinkum- 
crankum, elaborately intricate, full of 
"crinks" and "cranks." 

The house is crynkled to and fro, 
And hath so queynte weyes for to go. 
For it is shapen as the mase is wroght 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 2012). 

crinoline. Orig. (c. 1830) stiff fabric with 
warp of thread and woof of horse-hair. 
F., 19 cent, coinage from crin, horse-hair 
L. crinis, and lin, flax, L. linum. Cf. lino- 
leum. Crinoletfe is from c. 1880. 

cripple. AS. crypel, cogn. with creopan, to 
creep, crawl; cf. Du. kreupel, Ger. kriippel 
(from LG.), ON. cryppill. 

crisis. L., G. KpLaL<;, decision, from Kpiveiv, 
to judge. Earliest (16 cent.) in medicine. 

crisp. AS. crisp, cyrps, L. crispus, curled. 
Hence surnames Crisp, Cripps. Mod. 
sense, opposed to flabby, now often fig., 
is from 16 cent. 

Crispin [archaic}. Shoemaker. From St Cris- 
pin, patron saint of the craft. 

criss-cross. Now regarded as redupl. of cross, 
but orig. suggested by christ-cross row (see 


la croix de par Dieti: the Christes-crosse-row; or, 
the hornebooke wherein a child learnes it (Cotg.). 

cristate [biol.l. L. cristatus, from ciista, crest, 
criterion. G. /cpiT^ptov, from KpiT-qs, judge, 
critic. L. criticus or F. critique, G. /cptriKOs 

from KpLvuv, to judge (v.s.). Critique is 

restored spelling, after F., of earlier critick, 

croak. ME. crouken, crowken. Imit., cf. 

crake, creak, Ger. krdchzen, F. croasser. 

Slang to croak, die, is from the sound of 

the death-rattle. Croaker, prophet of evil, 

alludes to the raven. 

I would croak like a raven; I would bode, I would 
bode {Trail. & Cress, v. 2). 

Croat [hist.]. See cravat. The lang. is Serb. 

crochet. F., dim. of croc, hook (see crook). 
Cf. Ger. hdkeln, to crochet, from haken, 

crocidolite [min.]. Named (1831) from G. 
KpoKi<;, KpoKih-, var. of KpoKvs, nap of cloth, 
and \l6os, stone. 

crock^. Vessel. AS. crocc, crocca, pot. Com. 
Teut. ; cf. Du. kruik, Ger. krug, ON. krukka ; 
also in Rom. langs., e.g. F. cruche, and with 
cogn. forms in Celt. ? Cogn. with cruse. 

crock^. Duffer. Earlier (16 cent. Sc.) worn- 
out ewe; hence applied to horse and per- 
son. Various words of somewhat similar 
meaning in krak-, found in Scand. & LG., 
are app. related to crack, so that a crack 
and a crock mSiy be etym. ident. It may 
however be noted that F. cruche, pitcher, 
crock^, from OHG., also has the meaning 
of duffer, simpleton. 
kraecke: jumentum coriaginosum (Kil.). 

crocket [arch.]. AF. from ONF. form of 
crochet, hook. See crochet, crotchet. 

Crockford. Clergy directory. From compiler 
of first issue (1865). Cf. Bradshaw. 

crocodile. Restored spelling of ME. & OF. 
cocodrille, with corresponding forms, now 
also restored, in other Rom. langs. L., G. 
KpoK6h€t\o<i, lizard, applied by Herodotus 
to the crocodile of the Nile (cf. history of 
alligator). St Asterius, bishop of Amasia 
(4 cent.), explains that the crocodile weeps 
over the head of his victim, after devouring 
the body, not from repentance or sorrow, 
but because he regrets that the bony 
nature of the head makes it unsuitable 

for food €t9 ^pS)(TlV OVK eTTlTr/SftOV. 


387 crocus 

crocus. L., G. KpoKo?, crocus, saffron; prob. 
of Semit. origin; cf. Heb. karkom, Arab. 

Croesus. King of Lydia (6 cent. B.C.), famed 
for wealth. 

croft [dial.]. Small enclosed piece of arable 
land, and, in Sc, one worked by peasant 
tenant, crofter. Very common, also as 
craft, in place-names and surnames, but 
unfamiliar in some parts of the south. AS. 
croft, small field; cf. Du. kroft, krocht, hil- 
lock, land above water-level. 

cromlech. Welsh, crooked stone, from cram 
fern, of crwm, bent, and llech, fiat stone. 
Cf. crutHpet. 

cromorne [mus.]. Reed-stop in organ. F., 
Ger. krummhorn, crooked horn. Incorr. 

crone. Usu. identified with archaic and dial. 
crone, worn-out ewe (cf. crock'^), archaic 
Du. kronje, karonje, from Picard carogne 
{charogne), carrion (q.v.). The sense of hag 
is, however, much the older (Chauc.) ; and, 
though F. charogne is used as a term of 
abuse, the mental picture of a bent or 
crooked crone suggests a possible con- 
nection with Walloon cron, bent, hunch- 
backed, Du. krom (cf. Ger. krumm and see 
crumpet) . 
This olde sowdanesse, cursed krone (Chauc. B. 432). 

kronie: adasia, ovis vetula, rejecula; ang. crone 

karonie: cadaver, corpus mortuum {ib ). 

an old crone: vieille accroupie (Sherwood). 

Marie Stuart avait eu des bontes pour le cron, 
Rizzio (V^. Hugo, L' Homme qui rit). 

crony. Earlier chrony. G. '^(fiovio'i, from 
-)(p6vo'5, time, used in univ. slang for con- 
temporary (v.i.). Skinner (1671) explains 
it as vox acadeniica. 

The scholar... content to destroy his body with 
night labours and everlasting study to overtake 
his chronyes and contemporaries 
(1652, in Hist. MSS. Various Collections, ii. 207). 

crook. ME. crok, ON. krokr; cogn. with 
obs. Du. croec, OHG. krdko. The same root 
is represented in VL. (see crochet, crocket, 
croquet, crosier). US. crook, swindler, one 
who is not "straight," was perh. partly 
suggested by synon. F. escroc. 

croon. Orig. Sc. Prob. of LG. origin; cf. Du. 
kreunen, earlier kronen, to whimper, groan. 

crop. AS. cropp, head of herb, bunch of 
flowers, ear of com, crop (of bird), kidney. 
Ground-sense appears to be swelling; cf. 
Du. krop, Ger. kropf, crop of bird, ON. 



kroppr, hump. Has passed into Rom. langs. 
(see group) . Sense of sprout, hence, in ME., 
product of soil, is E. only. Verb to crop, 
intrans. and trans, (to crop up, to crop the 
hair), arises naturally from the agricultural 
sense. Crop-ear, orig. of horses and dogs, 
was applied by Cavaliers to Roundheads, 
to suggest loss of ears at hands of exe- 
cutioner; cf. croppy, Ir. rebel (i 798) wearing 
short hair as sign of sympathy with F. 
revolution. Sense of head, top-end, is obs. 
exc. in neck and crop, to come a cropper 
(cf. header). Hunting-crop, orig. switch, 
preserves the sense of shoot, slender 
growth, as in Chauc. (v.i.). See also 

Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breath 
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 
The tendre croppes (Chauc. A. 5). 

houssine: a riding rod of holly; a hoLly wand; a 
crop of holly (Cotg.). 

croquet. Popular in Ireland (c. 1830), intro- 
duced into England (c. 1850). Said to be 
from Brittany and to be etym. ident. with 
crochet (q.v.), ? curved stick used for 
mallet. But croquet, as now used in F., is 
from E. An earlier game of the type was 
pall-mall (q.v.). 

croquette. Kind of rissole. F., from croquer, 
to crunch. 

crore [Anglo-Ind.]. One hundred lakhs (of 
rupees). Hind, kror, Sanskrit koti. 

Words unintelligible to English ears, with lacs and 
crores, zemindars and aumils 

(Macaulay, Warren Hastings). 

crosier, crozier. For crosier-staff, the crosier 
being orig. the bearer (hence surname 
Crosier), ME. crosier, OF. crossier, from 
crosse, crook, pastoral staff, VL. *croccia, 
bent (see crook). Not immediately related 
to cross, though often confused with it in 
ME. and by mod. eccl. writers. The first 
quot. below shows that the crosse was a 
" crook," not a " cross," while the second is 
an example of early confusion between the 
two. Cf. lacrosse. 

A bisschopes crosse [var. croce] 
Is hoked in that one ende to halie men fro helle 
[Piers Plowm. B. viii. 94). 

crocer: crociarius, cruciferarius {Prompt. Parv.). 
cross. The adoption of the Roman gibbet as 
symbol of Christianity has resulted in a 
large contribution to the Europ. vocabu- 
lary. Lat. crux, critc-, gave F. croix, Sp. 
cruz. It. croce, Ger. kreuz, and late AS. cruc, 
replacing earlier rod [rood). From AS 



cyuc comes ME. cruche, crouche (whence 
Crutched Friars, Crouch End, etc.), gradu- 
ally superseded by northern cross, late AS. 
cros (in north country place-names), from 
ON. kross. In southern ME. crois, from 
OF., is the usual form. Crossbow, con- 
trasted with longbow, is 15 cent., but the 
weapon {arbalest) is much older. As adj. 
applied to persons (from 17 cent.) cross 
is a fig. use of earlier sense of athwart, 
opposed to; cf. cross as two sticks. Cross- 
patch preserv^es archaic patch, fool, child. 
Cross-grained was first used of " obstinate " 
timber, and quot. below is much earlier 
than NED. With on the cross (slang), 
i.e. not straight, cf. queer. As prefix 
cross- is sometimes aphet. for across-, 
e.g. in cross-country , with which cf. long- 

His Majesty [James 1] protested very earnestly the 

cross grain was in the men and not in the timber 

(Phineas Pett, 1609). 

crosse. See lacrosse. 

crotalus. Rattle-snake. From G. Kporakov, 

crotch [dial. 6- US.]. Fork in various senses. 
F. croche, fern, of croc, hook, VL. *croccus 
(see crook) ; but in some senses for crutch 

crotchet [rmts.]. F. crochet, little hook (v.s.). 
It is doubtful, in spite of Cotg. (v.i.), 
whether crotchet, whim (16 cent.), arises 
from the mus. sense; it seems rather to 
contain the idea of kink, twist, "crank." 

crochiie: a quaver in musicke; whence il a des 
crochiies en teste (we sav) his head is full of crotches 


croton. G. Kporwv, a tick, dog-louse, and 
hence the castor-oil plant, named from the 
shape of its seed. 

crouch. Late ME., perh. suggested by com- 
bination of crook, cringe and couch. Cf. 
lion couchant and croucJiing lion. OF. 
crochir, given by some, is a very rare word, 
and would hardly give crouch. 

Issachar is a strong ass couching down between 
two burdens {Gen. xli.x. 14). 

croup^. Of a horse. F. croupe, of Teut. 
origin and ident. with crop (q.v.), in sense 
of rounded protuberance. Cf. ON. kroppr, 
hump, protuberance, Norw. Dan. krop, 
body, trunk. See crupper, group. 

croup^. Disease. Sc, orig. verb, to croak 
hoarsely. Imit. 

croupier. F., orig. one who rides behind, en 

crown 390 

croupe, hence one acting as second to 
gamester, etc. See croups. 

Le cavalier croupier se laissa tomber k terre 


crow'. Bird. AS. crdwe, imit. of cry, AS. 
crdwan, to crow; cf. Du. kraai, kraaijen, 
Ger. krdhe, krdhen, etc. So also L. comix, 
corvits, from imit. cor ! To have a crow to 
pluck (15 cent, pull) with suggests animals 
struggling over prey, and has numerous 
parallels in other langs. 

So longe mote ye live, and alle proude, 
Til Crowes feet be growe under your ye 

(Chauc. Troil. ii. 402). 

crow^. Tool, crowbar. Now usu. crow-bar. 
Although early associated with crow^ and 
fig. use of L. corvus, this is a separate word. 
The oldest examples are always crows 
{croes) of iron, representing synon. OF. cros 
(pi. of croc, hook, crook) defer. In early use 
we find in same sense crome, crone, both 
ult. from Du. kroni, bent. 

crow^. Mesentery, esp. in liver and crow. Cf. 
obs. Du. kroos, giblets, Ger. gekrose, cogn. 
with kraus, curly, from appearance. See frill. 

crowds Multitude. First as verb; noun only 
from 16 cent., replacing earlier press. AS. 
crudan, to press, push (cf. to crowd sail). 
US. crowd, to hustle, bully {Brer Rabbit), 
is prob. from cogn. LG. or Du. form. For 
sense-development cf. press, throng, and 
F. foule, crowd, from fouler, to trample, 
press. See ctird. 

One crowded hour of glorious life 
Is worth an age without a name 
(quoted by Scott, Old Mortality, ch. .\xxiv., from 

T. O. Mordaunt). 

crowd^ [archaic & dial.]. Fiddle {Ivanhoe, 
ch. xh.). Welsh crwth. See rote^. Hence 
surname Crowder, Crowther. 

He herde a symphonye and a crowde 

(Wye. Luke, xv. 25). 

crown. AF. coroune, OF. corone {couronne), 
L. corona, from G. Kopcovos, curved. In 
most Europ. langs., but rendered in AS. 
by cyne-helm, royal helmet, the (royal) 
crown being orig. Oriental. The crown of 
the head was orig., like F. couronne, applied 
to the tonsure. With the croivn of the 
causeivay, i.e. the highest and central part 
of the road, cf. F. le haul du pave, both ex- 
pressions going back to a time when there 
were no side-walks and the " weakest went 
to the wall." The first E. crown-pieces 
were coined (1526) by Henry VIII, the 
name having been used earlier for various 





F. coins marked with the crown. Crown 
octavo had a crown as watermark; cf. 
foolscap, crown Derby. Crowning mercy was 
used by Cromwell in his dispatch after 
Worcester (1651). 

The crowning mercy of Ypres in 1914 

(Daily Tel. Oct. 31, 191 7)- 

crowner. See coroner. 

croydon. Gig. From Croydon (Surr.) ; cf. 
berlin, landau. 

crozier. See crosier. 

crucial. Explained by Bacon as from L. crux, 
cross, in sense of finger-post at cross-roads, 
where decision has to be made as to course, 
"parting of the ways." In mod. use asso- 
ciated with crux, difficulty, from scholastic 
L. crux (martyrdom, torture) interpretum. 

crucible. MedL. crucibulum, as though from 
crux, cross, with suffix as in thuribulum, 
censer; cf. OF. croiseul, croiset, creuseul, 
crucible (now creuset). But the first element 
is prob. MHG. kruse, earthen pot (see cruse) . 

creuset: a crucible, cruzet, or cruet; a little earthen 
pot, wherein goldsmiths melt their silver, etc. 


cruciferous [bot.]. Plant with flower having 
four petals arranged cross-wise. See cross, 

crucifix. Orig. the Crucified One. F., L. 
crucifixus, fixed to the cross. Crucify, F. cru- 
cifier, is Late L. *crucificare for crucifigere. 

He that swears by the Cross swears by the Holy 
Crucifix, that is, Jesus crucified thereon 

(Jeremy Taylor). 

crude. L. crudtis, raw, cogn. with cruor, blood. 

cruel. F., L. crudelis, from crudus (v.s.). 

cruet. In E. first of vessel used in Eucharist. 
AF. dim. of OF. cruie, pot, OLG. kruga, 
kriica (cf. Ger. krug, E. crock), whence also 
F. cruche, pitcher. 

Waischingis of cuppis and cruetis [Tynd. cruses] 

(Wye. Mark, vii. 4). 

cruise. Spelt (17 cent.) after Du. kruisen, 
from kruis, cross (cf. Ger. kreuzen from 
kreuz) ; but prob. from Sp. Port, cruzar, to 
cruise, or F. croisiere, a cruise. In any case 
ult. from L. crux, cross, with ref. to varying 

crumb. AS. cruma; cf. Du. kruiin, Ger. 
krume (from LG.); cogn. with Ger. krauen, 
to scratch. Hence crumble. 

crump. A hard hit, from verb crump, orig. 
of "crunching" food. Much used of shells 
at the front. 

Until he's got a crump on his cokcr-nut, the old 
Turk doesn't know when he's beat (T. Atkins). 

crumpet. App. ME. crompid, p.p. of crump, 
to bend, curl up, from archaic adj. crump, 
crooked (still as surname), AS. crump, cogn. 
with cramp, crimp; cf. Ger. krtimni, OHG. 
krumpf. Gael. Ir. crom, bent, crooked, 
whence Crummie, "cow with crumpled 
horn," is prob. cogn. For final -t cf. 
pouncet-box , stickit tninister. 

A crusted cake spreynde with oyle, a crompid cake 
[I'lilg. lagenum, AV. wafer] (Wye. Ex. xxix. 23). 

crumple. From obs. crump (v.s.). Crumpled 
roseleaf goes back to the Sybarite men- 
tioned by Seneca {De Ira, ii. 25), who felt 
ill "quod foliis rosae duplicatis incu- 

crunch. Mod. var. of craunch (q.v.), perh. 
influenced by crump. 

crupper. Orig. tail-strap. F. croupiere; see 
croups. For transference to part of body 
cf . saddle (of mutton) . 

crural [anat.]. L. cruralis, from crus, crur-, 

crusade. Earlier croisad, croisado, crusada, 
etc. ; cf. F. croisade, replacing (after Sp. cru- 
zada) OF. croisde, p.p. fem. of croiser, to 
take the cross. A 16 cent, word in E., 
superseding earlier croiserie, croisee, from 

The Americans are the greatest crusaders there 
iver was — for a shorrt distance [Dooley, 1919). 

crusado. Coin. Port, cruzado, marked with 

cross; cf. Ger. kreutzer. 
cruse [archaic']. Cf. Du. kroes, Ger. krause, 

ON. krfis. Ult. source unknown, but app. 

Teut. and cogn. with crock'^. Cf. crucible. 

kroes: a cup to drink out. smelt-kroes: a crucible 


crush. OF. croissir, cruissir; cf. It. crosciare, 
Sp. crujir; of Teut. origin; cf. Goth. 
kriustan, to gnash the teeth {Mark, ix. 18). 
In E. orig., as in OF., of clash of weapons, 
its earlier senses now being taken by crash. 
In current sense since Shaks. With archaic 
to crush a pot {cup) {Rom. 6- Jul. i. 2) cf. 
to crack a bottle (see 2 Hen. IV, v. 3). 

crust. OF. crouste {croUte), L. crusta, or, in 
some senses, immediately from L. Cf. 
crustacean, hard-shelled. Crusty, ill-tem- 
pered, ? hard and cornery like crust, has 
perh. been associated with curst, peevish, 
shrewish, used repeatedly of Katherine in 
the Taming of the Shrew. 
Thou crusty batch of nature (Trail. & Cress, v. i). 

crutch. AS. crycc; cf. Du. kruk, Ger. kriicke; 
cogn. with crook, orig. sense being staff 


Crutched Friars 



with bent handle. AS. crycc is also used 
for crosier. Some connect this group with 
L. crux, cruc-, cross, staff with cross-piece. 
Crutched Friars. Order of friars carrying, or 
wearing, a cross, ME. crouch (see cross). 
They appeared in E. in 1244 and were 
suppressed in 1656. Hence street in Lon- 
don; cf. Blackjriars, Whitefriars, Austin 

Fratres dicti cruciferi, dicti sic, quia cruces in 
baculis eilerebant (Matt. Paris, 1259). 

crux. L., cross. See crucial. 

cry. F. crier, ? VL. *critare, L. quiritare, to 
summon to one's help the Quirites, citizens ; 
cf. It. gridare, Sp. gritar. A rival, and more 
likely, etym. is from Goth. *kreitan, to cry 
out, shriek, corresponding to MHG. krizen, 
Ger. kreischen. Also it is prob. that quiritare 
is of imit. origin and only connected by folk- 
etym. with Quirites. Since 16 cent, has 
replaced weep in colloq. E. Much cry and 
little wool is from the proverbial useless- 
ness of shearing hogs (see wool). A crying 
injustice {wrong, etc.) is one that "cries to 
heaven" for vengeance {Gen. iv. 10). The 
crier became the rival of the beadle c. 1300. 

Does ever any man cry stinking fish to be soid? 

(Jer Taylor) 

cryo-. From G. Kpvos, frost. 

crypt. L. crypta, G. kpvttttq, vault, etc., from 
KpvTTTeiv, to hide. First in sense of grot 
(q.v.), arch, sense being mod. Cf. cryptic, 
hidden, mysterious; cryptogram, hidden 
writing, cipher, esp. in ref. to Ignatius 
Donnelly's Bacon-Shakspeare cryptogram 
(1888); cryptogamia (bot.), without sta- 
mens or pistils, from G. ya/xos, marriage. 

crystal. Restored spelling of F. cristal, G. 
KpuorraXXos, clear ice, from Kpvos, frost. 

cteno-. From G. ktcis, ktcv-, comb. 

cub. Orig. young fox (Palsg.), as still in cub- 
hunting; cf. Norw. kobbe, Icel. kobbi, seal, 
which, like cub, are prob. related to Norw. 
kubbe, kub, block, stump, cogn. with cob^, 
from idea of shapelessness (v.i.). Has re- 
placed whelp in some senses. Unlicked cub 
refers to the popular belief that the bear 
"licks into shape" its young; cf. F. ours 
nial Uche. 

cubby-house. From archaic and dial, cub, 
crib, partition, etc., with various LG. 
cognates. Cf. Ger. koben, from MHG. kobe, 
st^^ cage, cogn. with cove'^ (q-v.). Cobhouse 
occurs in ME. {Cleanness, 629). 

cube. F., L., G. ku^Sos, orig. a die for play. 
Hence cubist (neol.), eccentric artist. 

cubeb. Berry. F. cubebe, MedL. cubeba (as 
in It. & Sp.), Arab, kabdbah. 

cubicle. L. cubiculum, from cubare, to lie. 
A ME. word revived in 19 cent. 

cubit. L. cubitus, arm from elbow to finger 
tips, from cubare, to recline. Cf. ell, foot, 

cucking-stool [hist.]. Instrument for punish- 
ing scolds, etc. From obs. verb cuck, ster- 
corare, ON. Mka. From its orig. form. 

Tiiat ther be a cookestowie made to punysche 
skolders and chidders {Coventry Leet Book, 1423). 

cuckold [archaic]. ME. cukeweld, cokewald, 
etc., OF. cucualt, coucuol, formed, with 
suffix -aid, Ger. -wald, from coucou, cuckoo, 
from some belief as to the habits of the 
hen-bird; cf. F. cocu. 

Who hath no wyf he is no cokewold 

(Chauc. A. 3152) 

cuckoo. F. coucou, imit. of cry. Cf. L. 
cuculus, G. k6kkv$, Ger. kuckuck, etc. The 
AS. name was geac, cogn. with Ger. gauch, 
now meaning fool, gowk. 

cucumber. OF. cocombre {concombre) , L. 
cucumis, cucumer-. Spelt and pronounced 
cowcumber in 17-18 cents., as by the 
author's grandfather (11876), a country 
schoolmaster. Cf. sparrowgrass. 

cud. AS. cwudu, cudu, cogn. with OHG. chuti, 
quiti, glutinous substance {kitt, plaster, 
glue). Ci.quid^. For fig. sensed, ruminate. 

cudbear. Dye from lichen. Coined from his 
own name by patentee, Cuthbert Gordon 
(18 cent.). 

cuddle. Of late appearance (18 cent.). App. 
a mod. variation (after mull, muddle, mell, 
meddle, etc.) on archaic cull, coll, to em- 
brace, OF. acoler, from col, neck. 

cuddy^ [naut.]. Du. kajuit, earher kajute, F. 
cahute, little hut, perh. from hutte, hut, 
influenced by cabane, cabin. In Pepys 
(May 14, 1660). 

kaiute, kaiiiyte: cubile naucleri, cubiculum na- 
varchi. Gal. cahute, casa (Kil.). 

cuddy2 [dial-^- Donkey. From name Cuth- 
bert (cf . Cuddy Headrigg in Old Mortality) ; 
cf. dicky, neddy, in same sense. 

cudgel. AS. cycgel. Earliest sense perh. dart 
(cf . OF. boujon, garrot, materas, all of which 
mean heavy-headed dart and also club) ; 
cogn. with Ger. kugel, ball, heule, cudgel. 
Currency of to cudgel one's brains (cf F. 
se rompre la tete, Ger. sich den kopf zer- 
brechen) is revived from Shaks. {Haml. v. i). 
I am ready to take up the cudgels in his defence 
(T. Brown, c. 1700). 

395 cue 

cue^ Pigtail, billiard cue. F. queue, tail {also 

in both E. senses), L. canda. See queue. 

? Orig., in billiards, applied to the tapering 

end of the stick. 
cue^ [theat.]. Earlier q, explained in 17 cent. 

as abbrev. of L. quando, when (to come 

in), in stage-directions. Hence to take one's 

cue from, he in the cue for, etc. 

"Deceiving me" is Thisbe's cue; she is to enter, 

and I am to spy her through the wall 

(Mids. N. Dream, v. i). 

cuffi. Mitten. ME. coffe, cuffe. If orig. sense 
was covering in general, it may be related 
to coif (q.v.); or, if it were possible to fill 
in the history of handcuff (q.v.) between 
AS. and Defoe, it might be a playful appli- 
cation of that word. L. manica means 
both cuff and handcuff. 

cuff2. Buffet. First as verb. Cf. synon. LG. 

huff en, Sw. dial, huff a, to push roughly; 

? cogn. with cow'^. 

I cuffe one, I pomell hvm about the heed: je torche 


cuibono. L., to whose advantage? Attributed 
by Cicero to Lucius Cassius. Often 
wrongly used in E., as though, to what 

Lucius Cassius ille, quem populus Romanus verissi- 
mumet sapientissimum judicemputabat.identidem 
in causis quaerere solebat, "Cui bono fuisset? " 

{Pro Roscio Amer. cap. xxx.). 

cuirass. F. cuirasse, from cuir, leather, L. 
corium; cf. It. corazza, Sp. coraza. A back- 
formation curat was common in 16-17 

These arrowes... pierce quilted breast-plates or 
curates (Purch. xvi. 430). 

cuisine. F., VL. coquina (from coquere, to 

cook), for culina; cf. It. cucina, and see 

cuisse, cuish [hist.'\. Thigh armour (i Hen. IV, 

iv. i). ME. pi. cuissues, OF. cuisseaux, pi. 

of cuissel (from cuisse, thigh, L. coxa, hip), 

became cuisses, whence new sing. 
Culdee [hist.]. Scoto-Ir. rel. order (lona, 

8 cent.). Olr. cele de, friend or servant of 

God. Later form is due to a fancied etym. 

cultor Dei. 
cul de lampe, cul de sac. F. cul, bottom, L. 

-cule. L. dim. suffix -cuius, -a, -um. 
culinary. L. culinarius, from culina, kitchen. 

See kiln. 
cull. F. cueillir, from L. colligere, to collect. 

Cf. coil\ 
cullender. See colander. 



culm^ [dial.]. Soot, coal-dust. Also coom. 
? Cf. Ger. qualm, Du. kwalm, reek, smoke. 
colme of a smek: ffuligo [Prompt. Parv.). 

culm^ [hot.]. L. culmus, stalk. 

culminate. From Late L. culminare , from cul- 
men, culmin-, summit. 

culpable. Restored spelling of ME. coupable, 
F., L. culpabilis, from culpa, fault. 

culprit. Prop, only in " Culprit, how will you 
be tried?" said by Clerk of Crown to 
prisoner pleading not guilty. Supposed 
to have arisen from written contr. cul. 
prest, for Law F. culpable; prest a averer 
nostre bille, (you are) guilty; (I am) ready 
to prove our case. Culprit occurs first in 
trial for murder of Earl of Pembroke (1678), 
but non cul. prist is found in a 16 cent, 
abridgment of Assize records of 13 cent. 
The above explanation, given by Black- 
stone, is not altogether satisfactory. 

cult. F. culte, L. cultus, from colere, cult-, to 
cultivate, worship, etc. Cf. culture. 

cultivate. From Late L. cultivare from cul- 
tiva [terra), from colere, cult- (v.s.). Cf. 
colony, kultur. 

culver [archaic]. Dove, pigeon. AS. culfre. 
No cogn. forms known, unless it was in 
some way altered from L. columba. 

He say the Spirit of God cummynge doun as a 
culver [Tynd. dove] (Wye. Matt. iii. 16). 

culverin [Af5^.]. Long cannon. ¥ . couleuvrine , 

from couleuvre, snake, from L. coluber. Cf. 
falconet, Ger. feldschlange, etc. 
culvert. From c. 1770. ? Name of some 

engineer or bridge-builder (cf. macadam). 
cumber. First as verb (c. 1300), corresponding 

to F. encombrer, from Late L. comhrus, 

barrier, weir, of doubtful origin, prob. 

Celt. Cf. Du. kommer, Ger. kummer, It. 

ingo)ubro, etc., from Late L. 
Cumbria. See Cambria. 
cumin, cummin. AS. cymen, L. cuminum, G. 

KVfxLvov, Heb. kammon or Arab, kammvin. 

In most Europ. langs., e.g. It. cumino, 

Ger. kiimmel. Now usu. with ref. to Matt. 

xxiii. 23. 

The false values which our educational authorities 
attach to the mint and cummin of theology 

[Sunday Times, Mar. 3, 1918). 

cummer, kimmer [Sc. &■ north.]. Female 
friend, gossip. F. commere, fellow god- 
mother. See compeer, gossip. 

cummerbund. Urdu kamar-band, loin-band, 
from Pers. 

cummin. See cumin. 





cumulate. From L. cmnnlare, from cumulus, 

cuneate, cuneiform. From L. cuneiis, wedge. 

cunning. Midi, form of pres. part, of ME. 
cunnen, to know, AS. cunnan. Later ex- 
tended to south. For degeneration cf. 
knowing, crafty, etc. See can^, con^. 

The sone of Ysaye Bethlemyte, kunnynge [Vtdg. 
sciens] to harpe (Wye. i Sam. xvi. 18). 

cup. AS. cnppe. Late L. cuppa for cupa (see 
coop); cf. F. coupe, Sp. Port, copa, Du. kop, 
OHG. hopf, beaker (now, head), etc. With 
in one' s cxips cf. obs. in one's pots (Purch.). 
A Clipboard was orig. a table, side-board. 

The cups that cheer, but not inebriate 

(Cowper, Task, iv. 39). 

A cupboard love is seldom true (Poor Robin, 1757). 

cupel. Vessel used in assaying. F. coupelle, 
dim. of coupe, cup, goblet. 

cupid. L. cupido, from cupere, to desire. Cf. 
cupidity, L. cupiditas; cupidinous (Mere- 

cupola. It., from L. cupa, cask, tun (see 
coop) . 

cupreous. From L. cupreus, from cuprum, 
copper (q.v.). 

cur. EarHer (13 cent.) cur-dog, prob. from 
Sw. or Norw. dial, verb kurre, korre, from 
ON. kurra, to grumble. This seems con- 
firmed by the same word having been 
applied to the gurnard (q.v.), and also to 
a kind of duck with croaking cry. 
cuculo: a fish called a gournard or cur (Flor.). 

curagao. From name of island off Venezuela, 
whence also curassow, kind of turke3^ 
Commonly misspelt (cf. cocoa). 

curare. Indian arrow poison from Guiana. 
Carib ourari, ourali, etc.. the c- being an 
attempt at a native init. "click." Cf. 
wourali. Laurence Keymis (1596) gives 
ourari as one of the "poysoned hearbes" 
of Guiana. 

Mason showed some of the curari, or Indian 
arrow poison (Nottingham Guard. Feb. 5, 1917). 

curassow. See curagao. 

curate. MedL. curatus, entrusted with a cure 
(of souls), whence F. ciirS, from L. cura, 
care, cure (of souls). ModE. sense (about 
equivalent to F. vicaire) is evolved from 
that of priest put in charge during absence 
of incumbent. See vicar, and cf. curator (L.). 

curb. F. courber, to bend, VL. *curbare for 
curvare. Hence curb-stone, kerb. 

curcuma. Arab, kurkum, saffron, turmeric. 

curd. ME. crudde, prob. from AS. criidan, 
to press (see crowd^); cf. relation of L. 
coagulum, curd, to cogere (co-agere), to 
press; hence curdle. 

cure^. To heal. F., L. curare, from cura, care. 
Oldest E. sense, of spiritual care, as in 
cure of souls. Sense of healing, found in 
Wye, though A V. prefers heal, develops 
from gen. sense of caring for, seeing to (cf. 
to cure bacon). Curator is in Lydgate. 

cure- [slang']. Short for curio or curiosity. 

cure. F., see curate. 

curfew. AF. covre-fu, cure-fu, cover (imper.) 
fire. See cover and focus. In gen. use in 
Med. Europe; not introduced by the Con- 

curia. Court, esp. Papal; hence curial-ism. 
L., division of orig. Roman tribe; hence, 
senate, senate-house. 

curio. Abbrev. (19 cent.) of curiosity. 

curious. F. curieux, L. curiosus, inquisitive, 
caring for, from cura, care. The later ob- 
jective sense, exciting attention, has many 
parallels in the hist, of adjectives, e.g. 
nauseous was earlier used in sense of 
squeamish. For an opposite example see 

curl. First as adj. ME. crul; cogn. with Du. 
krul, Ger. krolle, curl (from LG.). For 
metath. cf. curd, cress. The game of 
curling is so called from the curving path 
of the stones, like that of a bowl. Cf. Flem. 
kyullebol, bowP. 

With lokkes crulle as they were Jeyd in presse 

(Chauc. .\. 81). 

curlew. F. courlieu, courlis, with man\- dial, 
vars. App. imit. of cry (cf. peewit). 

curmudgeon. "An avaricious, churhsh fellow; 
a miser; a niggard" (Johns.). Origin un- 
known. Johns, gave, from an "unknown 
correspondent," as suggested etym., F. 
casur mechant, which led Ash in his Diet. 
(1775) to give the derivation from F. cosur 
unknown, and me'chant, a correspondent. 
It may be noted, however, that the spelling 
curmegient is found (1626), and that Cur- 
megan, occurring as a medieval nickname 
or surname {Ramsey Cartulary), is not im- 
possibly F. cceur mdchant. 

currant. Orig. (14 cent.) AF. raisins de Co- 
raunte, Corinth grapes, the small fruit im- 
ported dried from the Levant. Applied, 
from resemblance of clusters, to garden 
currant {riba) introduced in 16 cent. This 
was called by Lyte (1578) the "beyond 
sea gooseberry" or "bastard currant." 





Both the gooseberry and garden currant 

are called groseille in F. 

Pro viij lb. racemorum de Corauiit 

[Edrl of Derby's Exped. 1390-93). 

groiselles: gooseberries; thorne-berries ; fea-berries; 
groiselles noires: blacke gooseberries, blacke ribes; 
aa ill-tasting kinde of the beyond-sea gooseberrie; 
groiselles rouges: red gooseberries, beyond-sea 
gooseberries, garden ciirrans, bastard currans (Cotg.). 

currency. Former name for Austral, born, 
from fig. comparison between colonial and 
imperial (stalling) currency. 
You're a regular currency lass. ..always thinking 
about horses (Rolf Boldrewood). 
current. From pres. part, of L. currere, to 
run, replacing ME. corant, couraunt, from 
OF. With current coin cf . F. argent de cours. 
curricle [archaic] . L. curriculum, race-course, 
racing chariot, dim. of currus. Cf. curri- 
culum, academic "course." 
curry^ To dress (a horse or leather). OF. 
carreer [corroyer, courroyer), to prepare, 
VL. *con-red-are, from Teut. root of ready 
(q.v.) ; see array, and cf. It. corredare, to fit 
out. ModF. courroyer is partly due to 
association with courroie, strap, L. cor- 
rigia. For limitation of sense cf. Ger. 
gerben, to tan, lit. to make ready, from 
gar, cogn. with Shaks. yare {Temp. i. i). 
To curry favour is folk-etym. for ME. curry 
javel (c. 1400), from Favel, OF. Fauvel, 
the name of a fawn coloured horse (see 
fallow) used as type of hypocrisy in a 14 
cent. F. allegory. The name is explained 
for edification as an acrostic from the 
vices Flatterie, Avarice, Vilenie, Varidte, 
Envie, Ldchete. Hence we have to ctirry 
acquaintance {pardon, etc.). 
curryfavell, aflatterar: estrille-fauveau (Palsg.). 
curry^. Dish. Earlier (16-17 cents.) carriel, 
carree (cf. F. cari. Port, caril). Tamil kari, 
Canarese karil, sauce, relish. 
curse. First as noun, late AS. curs, of un- 
known origin. I suggest that it may be 
F. courroux, or rather OF. coroz (10 cent.), 
Norman curuz {Laws of William the Con- 
queror). The first example of cttrse is 
Goddes curs (11 cent.) which may very well 
mean orig. wrath. With the verb, late AS. 
cursian, cf. OF. corocier {courroucer) , core- 
cier, curcier, the last form being esp. AF., 
VL. *corruptiare, with forms in other Rom. 
langs. Not to care a curse is prob. ME. kers, 
cress {Piers Plowm.), though there is a gap 
between that and mod. use (see note on 
damn). The curse of Scotland, i.e. nine of 

diamonds (recorded from 1710), is prob. 
from its resemblance to the arms (nine 
lozenges on a saltire) of Dalrymple, Lord 
Stair, instigator of the Massacre of Glencoe 
(1692) and of the Parliamentary union 

Wisdome and witte now is nought worth a carse 
[var. kerse] {Piers Plowm. B. x. 17). 
cursitor [hist.]. AF. coursetour, MedL. cur- 
sitor, clerk of Court of Chancery who made 
out writs de cursu, of common routine. 
Hence Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane 
(where Mr Snagsby lived). 
cursive. MedL. cursivus, running, from L. 
cursus, from currere, curs-, to run. Cf. 
cursory, L. cursorius, from cursor, runner. 
curt. L. curtus, short, cogn. with G. Kapros. 
from Kupeiv, to cut. A mod. word (17 
cent.), but appearing much earlier in de- 
rived kirtle- (q.v.). 
curtail. Mentally associated with tail, or with 
F. tailler, to cut, but evolved as verb from 
earlier curtal, horse with docked tail (or 
ears), OF. courtald {courtaud), from court, 
short, L. curtus, and suffix -aid, Ger. -wald; 
cf. It. cortaldo. Cut-tail, as in long and cut- 
tail, is prob. the same word. 
courtauU: a curtail, a horse (Palsg.). 
cortaldo: a curtail, a horse without a taile (Flor.). 
curtain. ME. curtine, F. courtine, Late L. 
cortina {Vulg. Ex. xxvi. i), perh. a transl. 
of G. avXata, curtain, avXii], hall, court, 
being regarded as equivalent to cohors (see 
court). Curtain lecture, "a reproof given 
by a wife to her husband in bed " (Johns.), 
is recorded for 17 cent. Curtain fire is now 
replaced by barrage (q.v.). Curtain-raiser 
(theat.) is after F. lever de rideau. 
curtal-axe, curtle- [hist.]. Corrupt. (16 cent. 

to Scott) of cutlas (q.v.). Cf. pickaxe. 
curtana [hist.]. Pointless "sword of mercy" 
borne before E. monarchs at coronation. 
Cf. OF. cortain, the sword of Ogier le 
Danois. ? From L. curtus, short. 
curtilage [leg.]. Court-yard, etc. OF. corti- 
lage, from cortil, court, enclosure, from cort 
{cour), court. Cf. village from ville. 
curtle-axe. See curtal-. 

curtsy. Var. of courtesy. Cf. fig. use of re- 
verence, obeisance. 
curule chair. Of highest Roman magistrates. 
L. cur{r)ulis, supposed to come from cur- 
rus, chariot. 
curve. L. curvare. A late substitution for 
ME. curb (q.v.) . As noun it is for curve line ; 
cf. F. ligne courbe. 





curvet. It. corvetta, from archaic corvo (curvo), 
bent, L. czirvus ; cf. F. coiirbette, " a curvet, 
or the curvetting of a horse" (Cotg.). See 

cuscus. Indian grass. Urdu khas khas, from 

cushat {dial.'\. Wood-pigeon, ring-dove. AS. 
cusceote, first element of which is prob. 
from cry, coo, second perh. cogn. with 
sceotan, to shoot. Cf. relationship of dove 
to dive. 

cushion. F. coussin, OF. coissin, VL. *coxi- 
num, frojTi coxa, thigh (cf. L. cubital, 
elbow-cushion, from cubitus, elbow) ; cf . 
It. cuscino, Sp. cojin. The OF. & ME. 
forms are very numerous, and more than 
400 spellings of the pi. cushions have been 
noted in ME. wills and inventories. 

cushy [neol.]. Associated with cushion, but 
said to be Hind., from Pers. khUsh, pleasure. 

The making of cushy jobs in these days of labour 
famine is an evident evil 

{Daily Expr. Feb. 7, 1917). 

cusp. p. cuspis, point. 

cuspidor [US.]. Spittoon. Port., from cuspir, 

to spit, L. conspuere. 
cuss. Colloq. US. for curse (cf. bust for hurst). 

Hence cussedness. But a rum cuss is prob. 

rather for customer; cf. hist, oichap, or Sc. 

callant, from F. chaland, customer. 

I do not heed their coarse remarks, but, with their 

playful cusses, 
They frighten from our healthful parks the children 

with their nusses {Punch). 

custard. Altered from ME. crustade, a pie 
with a crust; cf. It. crostata, "a kinde of 
daintie pye, chewet, or such paste meate" 
(Flor.). The recipes in a 15 cent, cookery- 
book for custard and crustade are ident. 

custody. L. custodia, from custos, custod-, 

custom. OF. coustume (coutume), L. consue- 
tudo, -tudin-; cf. costume. In spec, sense 
of " regular " due has superseded toll. With 
queer customer, etc. (from 16 cent.), cf. 
chap, Sc. callant, and see cuss. 

custos rotulorum [hist.]. L., keeper of the 

cut. Replaces in many senses, from c. 1300, 
AS. ceorfan, snlthan, scieran. Origin ob- 
scure. Some connect it with F. couteau, 
knife (see cutlas) . It has perh. been affected 
by F. dcourter, VL. *ex-curtare, from curtus, 
short. Cutty {pipe, sark) corresponds ex- 
actly to F. dcourte; see also cut-tail (s.v. 
curtail). To draw cuts, i.e. lots, is very 

suggestive of F. tirer a la courte paille. 
A cut above is perh. from cut, style, 
fashion. To cut and run, i.e. to cut the 
cable and sail away, and to cut out, are 
both orig. naut. To have one's work cut 
out perh. refers to a difficult piece of 
tailoring. To cut up well, i.e. leave money, 
likens the defunct to a joint, and to cut up 
rough, etc. is a variation on the same idea. 
To cut one's stick is to prepare for a journey 
by providing oneself with a staff. Cut and 
dried was orig. used of herbs ready for use. 

II li ont sun somer de la coue escurte 

{Anglo-Norm. Life of Becket, 12 cent.). 

Anon to drawen every wight bigan. 
And, shortly for to tellen as it was. 
Were it by aventure, or sort, or cas. 
The sothe is this, the cut [i.e. the short straw] fil 
to the knyght (Chauc. A. 842). 

court festu [straw]: drawing of cuts (Cotg.). 

Upon all such occasions, thou hast a thousand 
excuses ready cut and dry'd for the purpose 

(T. Brown, c. 1700). 

cutaneous. From MedL. cutaneus, from cutis, 

cutcha [Anglo-Ind.]. Mud brick. Hind. 

kachchd, raw, crude, etc. Often contrasted 

with pucka (q.v.). 

The only objection that could be made [to the 
house] was its being cutcha, that is, built with mud 
instead of mortar (Rickey's Memoirs, ii. 134). 

cutcherry [Anglo-Ind.]. Office, administra- 
tion. Hind, kachahri, audience room. 

The prodigious labours of cutcherry 

{Vanity Fair, ch. Ivii.). 

cute. Aphet. for acute. In Bailey (1731). 

Cuthbert. Used of late (early 1917) of " knut" 
supposed to be escaping mil. service by 
holding government employ. Perh. sug 
gested by music-hall song on "Cuthbert, 
Clarence and Claude." 

From Whitehall we could raise regiments of Cuth- 
berts {Ev. News, Apr. 5, 191 7). 

Cuthbert duck. From St Cuthbert, apostle of 
Northumbria, because it breeds on the 
Fame islands (see also Mar>nion, ii. x6). 

cuticle. L. cuticula, dim. of cutis, skin. 

cutlas. F. coutelas, augment, of OF. coutcl 
[couteau), L. cultellus, dim. oi culler, plough- 
share. Often corrupted into curtal-axc , 
cutlash, etc. Cf. It. coltellaccio , " a curtelax, 
or chopping knife" (Flor.). 

cutler. F. coutelier, from OF. coutel (v.s.). 

cutlet. F. cotelette, double dim. of c6te, rib, 
L. costa. No connection with cut. 





cutter. Vessel. ? Ftotq cut; ci. clipper. Some 
identify it with catur, a vessel used on 
Malabar coast, perh. from Sanskrit chaiura, 
swift. The NED. rejects this too readily. 
Catur was adopted by Port., and is used in 
E. (1643) a century' before the first record 
of cutter (1745). There are other examples 
of Eastern boat-names adopted by the 
navy (see dinghy, launch), and we have 
always been easily familiarized with such 
exotic words {junk, sampan, catamaran, 
kayak, etc.). and have been expert in cor- 
rupting them {jolly-boat, barquentine) . 
catur: (an Indian word), a sort of small man-of- 
war (Vieyra). 
cuttle-fish. AS. cudete, glossed as wasescite, 
ooze shooter. Found also in OLow Frank- 
ish c. 1 100. Cogn. with cod^, with allusion 
to the bag that contains the black fluid. 
The explanatory -yzs/z is added from 16 cent, 
cutty. See cut. 

cwt. For lajj-brid centum weight, for hundred- 
weight. Cf. dwt. 
cyanide [chcm.]. From G. Kuavos, dark blue, 
cycad. Palm. Modi-, cycas, cycad-, from sup- 
posed G. KVKas, scribal error for KotKas, 
ace. pi. of Kol^, the Egypt, doum-palm. 
cyclamen. From G. kvkXo.jxlvo^, perh. from 

KVKko<;, circle, in allusion to round roots, 
cycle. G. kvkXo<;, circle. Orig. astron. in E. 
For bicycle since c. 1870. Cf. Cyclades, 
islands lying in a circle round Delos. 
cyclo-. See cycle. 
cyclone. Irreg. (19 cent.) from G. kvkXos, 

cyclopaedia. ~For eaxYier encyclopaedia (q.v.). 
Cyclops. L., G. KvkXcoi/a, from kvkXos, circle, 

wt//, eye. 
cyder. See cider. 

cygnet. Dim. from F. cygne, swan, L. cygnus, 
earlier cycnus, G. kvkvos, cogn. with L. 
ciconia, stork. 
cylinder. From L., G. KvXivipo<;, roller, from 
kvXlvZuv, to roll. 

When it suits the purpose of the military chieftains 
they [German statesmen] are allowed to let loose 
peace cylinders... to poison the atmosphere 

(D. Lloyd George, May 24, 1918). 

cyma [arch.]. Moulding. G. KVfJLa, anything 

swollen or waved. 
cymar [hist.]. F. simarre, earlier cimarre, It. 

cimarra. Cf. chimer. 

The purple robe, the cymar, the coronet 

{Ingoldsby) . 
cymbal. L., G. Kvfx^aXov, from Kvix^rj, hollow 

of vessel, whence L. cymha, boat. See chime. 
cyme [bot.]. F. cime, summit. As cyma (q.v.). 

Cymric. From Welsh Cyniru, Wales (see 

cynanche [med.]. See quinsy. 
cynic. G. kwikos, dog-like, from kvwv, kw-, 
dog. Cf. hunks. "In the appellation of 
the Cynic philosophers there was prob. 
an original reference to the Kuvocrapycs, 
a gymnasium where Antisthenes taught" 
{NED.), a. hist, oi stoic. 
cynocephalus. Dog-headed baboon. From G. 

K€(f>aXT], head (v.s.). 
cynosure. F., L., G. Kvvocrovpa, dog's tail 
{ovpd) . Constellation of Ursa Minor, in tail 
of which is pole star. Esp. in cynosure of 
neighbouring eyes {Allegro, 77). 
cypher. See cipher. 
cypres [leg.]. Law F., for si pres, as nearly as 

cypress^. Tree. Restored spelling of IME. 
& OF. cipres {cypres). Late L. cypressus for 
cupressus, G. Kvirdpicr(ro<;. 
cypress^ [archaic]. Fabric. Esp. in cypress- 
lawn {Penseroso, 35). Used in ME. of 
various fabrics from Cyprus. Earlier cipre, 
from OF. 
Cyprian. Of Cyprus; hence, hcentious. Cf. 

Cyrenaic. Of Cyrene, G. 'Kvp-qv-q, G. colony 
in Afr. Esp. in ref. to hedonistic philo- 
sophy of Aristippus of Cyrene (5 cent. B.C.). 
Cyrillic. Alphabet used by Slav, nations of 
Greek church. Attributed to St Cyril, 
apostle of Slavs (9 cent.), 
cyst. From G. kvo-tis, bladder. 
Cytherean. Of Aphrodite, or Venus, from 

her favourite isle of Kvdrjpa, now Cerigo. 
cytisus. Shrub. G. KvVto-os. Cf. F. cytise. 
czar, tzar, tsar [hist.]. Russ. tsar, OSlav. 
cesare, L. Caesar, adopted in various forms 
by Slav, langs. The spelling czar is due 
to an early Ger. form, our knowledge of 
Russ. matters having as a rule passed 
through Germany. The title was used in 
Russia in 15 cent., but not formally adopted 
by the Emperor till 1547 (Ivan IV). Cf. 
kaiser. Czarina, F. tsarine, czarine, and 
corresponding It. Sp. Port, forms in -ina, 
all represent Ger. zarin, with the Ger. fem. 
suffix -in (see vixen). The correct Russ. 
word is czar it za, tsaritsa. Czarevitch, czar- 
evna, son, daughter, of czar, had ceased to 
be offic. titles before the Revolution of 1917. 
See also cesarevitch. 
Czech. Native and lang. (Slav.) of Bohemia. 
Also Tschekh; cf. F. Tcheque, Boh. Chech, 
Pol. Czech. 

405 D 

D. For 500, in Roman numerals, is an ap- 
proximate imitation of 'half the peculiarly 
shaped Roman CIO, i.e. M (for mille, thou- 

dab^. Verb. Perh. imit. of a short quick 
blow, its ME. sense, and influenced later 
by F. dauber (see daub), as in wattle and dab. 
Hence prob. dab, small flat fish, likened to 
a dab (of wax, paint, etc.), as pat (of butter) 
from verb to pat. 

dab^. Adept. Also dabster (from c. 1700). 
Slang. Origin obscure. ? Corrupt, of adept, 
dab: expert, exquisite in roguery {Did. Cant. Crew). 

dabble. Obs. Du. dabbelen, frequent, of earlier 
dabben. First in Tusser (16 cent.). Perh. 
related to dab"^. 

dabben, dabbelen: pulverem sive lutum versaremani- 
bus aut pedibus (Kil.). 

dabchick. Earlier also dap-, dip-, dob-, related 
to dip and dive. Cf. synon. didopper (q.v.). 

daboya. Viper. Hind, daboyd, from dabnd, 
to lurk. 

dabster. See dab'^. 

da capo [mus.]. It., from beginning (head). 

dace. In ME. also darse, OF. dars, nom. of 
dard, dart, dace. The fish is suppo.'^ed to 
be named from its darting motion ; but 
the name is prob. of Gaulish origin and 
unconnected with dart. For loss of -r- cf. 

dard: a dart, a javeling, a gleave; also, a dace, or 
dare fish (Cotg.). 

dachshund. Ger., badger hound. Dachs is 
OHG. dahs, whence Late L. taxus, taxo, 
F. dial, taisson, badger, and It. name 

dacoit. Hind, dakait, ddkdyat, robber be- 
longing to armed band. 

dactyl [nietr.]. L., G. SctKTwXos, finger (— w v./). 

dad, daddy. From infantile speech; cf. 
mammy, baby, etc. Corresponding forms 
in most langs., e.g. Sanskrit lata. Recorded 
c. 1500, but prob. prehistoric. 

dado. It., L. datum (see die'^). Grig, the die- 
shaped part of pedestal; then, part of wail 
representing continuous pedestal. Hence 
dado round the dining-room, knitted ab- 
dominal belt (T. Atkins, 19 14). 

daedal. Maze-like, etc. From G. name Aat- 
SaXos, "the cunning one," constructor of 
the Cretan labyrinth. 

daemonic. See demon. 

dafi'. Occasional var. of doff (q.v.). 

daffodil. For earlier affodil, F. asphodele (see 
asphodel). For d-, prob. playful elabora- 



tion, cf. dapple-grey. Daffadowndilly is in 

asphodile: the daffadill, affodill, or asphodill, 
flower (Cotg.). 

Daffy's elixir [archaic]. Invented by Thomas 
Daffy, a Leicestershire clergyman (17 cent.). 

daft. AS. gedcBJte, gentle, meek, cogn. with 
gedafenian, to be fitting, becoming, whence 
the sense preserved in deft (q.v.) ; cf. Goth. 
gadaban, to be fitting. For degeneration 
of daft cf. silly (q.v.). 

dag^ [hist.]. Shorthand-gun. Prob. F. dague, 
dagger (q.v.). Cf. F. pistolet, which form- 
erly meant dagger as well as pistol, while, 
according to Howell (v.i.), both dag and 
dagger were used indifferently in the two 

a dagge: (F.) pistolet; (It.) pistola, daga; (Sp.) 
pistol, pistolete, daga. 

a great horseman's dagger or pistoll: (F.) pistole; (It.) 
pistola; (Sp.) pistol (Howell, Lex. Tetraglot. 1660). 

"This shall prove whether thou art human or not," 
cried Henry, taking deliberate aim at him with his 
dag (Ainsworth, Windsor Castle). 

dag^ [ven.]. Pointed horn of young stag. F. 
dague, "a dagger, also the -head of the 
young deere, called a spitter, or pricket"' 

dagger. Cf. F. dague. It. Sp. daga, Ger. 
degen, sword (from F.). MedL. daggarius 
occurs c. 1200. Origin unknown. Earliest 
record (12 cent.) is E. With at daggers 
drawn, earlier also at daggers drawing 
(Pepys, Dec. 3, 1665), cf. F. a coitteaux 
tires. With to look daggers cf. Shaks. to 
speak daggers {Haml. iii. 2). Both above 
phrases only became common in 19 cent. 

daggle. Frequent, of dial, dag, in same sense; 
cf. noun dag, tag, clotted lock of wool, etc. 
Associated in meaning with dabble, draggle, 
and also with dial, dag, dew, ON. dogg. 
I daggyl or I dagge a thing ivith mver: je crotte 


dago [t/5.]. Orig. Spaniard, now also Italian 
and Portuguese. Sp. Diego, a form of 
James, taken as typical name (cf. John 
Bull, Frits). This was anticipated under 
the Stuarts (v.i.). 

The Diego [the Spaniard] was a dapper fellow 

(Dekker, 161;,). 

dagoba. Buddhist shrine for relics of saint. 

Singhalese ddghaba, Sanskrit dhdtu-garbha , 

relic receptacle. 
Dagon. Fish-tailed deity of Philistines 

{Judges, xvi. 23). Heb. ddgon, dim. of dag, 






dags, to do. Schoolboy perversion of dare. 

Cf'. fag\ fug. 
daguerreotype. Earliest photograph. From 

Daguerrc, F. inventor (1839). 
dahabeeyah. Large sailing barge on Nile. 

Arab. dhahaUyah, the golden, from dhahab, 

gold; orig. gilded barge of Moslem rulers. 
dahlia. Discovered in Mexico by Humboldt 

and named (1791) in honour of Dahl, Sw. 

Dail Eireann [neol.]. Gael. Ir. ddil, meeting, 

and genitive of Eire, Ireland (see Erse). 

The Dail Eireann, or Irish Constituent Assembly, 
met in the Mansion House at Dubhn 

(Daily Mail, Jan. 22, 1919)- 

daimio. Obs. title of great Jap. noble. Chin. 
dai, great, mio, name. 

dainty. First as noun, meaning honour, re- 
gard, etc. OF. deintie, L. dignitas, -tat-, 
from dignus, worthy. For development of 
adj. from noun cf. choice, and for wide 
range of senses cf. nice. Sense of pleasing, 
esp. to the palate, appears early (Wye, 
Chauc). Cf. deign, disdain. 

dairy. ME. & AF. deierie, dayerie, from ME. 
dey, woman, servant, AS. dcege, for which 
see lady. Cf. the similarly formed pantry, 
laundry, buttery, all of F. origin. The native 
compd. was dey-house, still in dial use. 
Le chat lui mena...en le deyerie (Bozon). 
deyerie: vaccaria {Prompt. Parv.). 

dais. F., L. discus, disk, quoit, G. Siotkos; 
in Late L. table; cf. desk, dish, disk. Orig. 
raised table, high table, as in OF. In 
ModF. canopy, 
daisy. AS. dcBges cage, day's eye, from its 
opening in the morning and also from its 
appearance. Daisy-cutter (cricket), ball 
that keeps low, was earlier applied to a 
horse that kept its feet close to the ground 
in trotting. 

Men by resoun wel it calle may 
The dayesie, or elles the ye of day 

(Chauc. Leg. Good Women, 183). 

dak, dawk. Hind. & Mahratti dak, post, brig, 
transport by relays of men and horses. 
Hence dak-bungalow, rest house in India. 

daker. See dicker. 

Dalai Lama. Mongolian dalai, ocean, to indi- 
cate the extent of power of the Grand 
Lama of Tibet. See lama. 

dale. AS. dcsl. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. dal, Ger. 
tal (see thaler), ON. dalr, Goth. dal. Pre- 
valence in north is due to ON. influence, 
more gen. term being dean^ (q-v.). 

dallastype [phot.]. Invented (1875) by D. C. 

dally. OF. dailler, dallier, to chafE, from OF. 
dail, sickle, blade. Orig. in F. to slash, then 
used of cut-and-thrust repartee, hence, in 
E., conversation, and finally, frivolous pre- 
occupation, etc. OF. dail is of unknown 
origin; cf. Norw. dcslje, Sw. dial, dalja, LG. 
daljen, to strike and hew, which may be 
of Teut. rather than OF. origin. From F. 
comes Ger. dahlen, to trifle. 

Patrick de Graham, ke demourt et daille 

Del espe furbie [slashes with his bright sword] 


Pur ceo nous aprent coment devoms daher [behave, 
deal judiciously] od gentz qi sent en power de 
baillye ou de seignurie (Bozon). 

l.ewd and schrewd dalyauns [i.e. conversation] 

{Paston Let. i. 514). 

dalmatian. Dog from Dalmatia. Hence also 
dalmatic, vestment, F. dalmatique. Cf. 

Dalmatica vestis primum in Dalmatia provincia 
Graeciae texta est, tunica sacerdotalis Candida 
cum clavis ex purpura (Isidore). 

Daltonism. Colour-blindness. John Dalton 
(11844), famous E. chemist, originator of 
atomic theory, was colour-blind. Term is 
of F. introduction, daltonisme (Provost, 
professor at Geneva). 

dam^. Barrier. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. dam (as 
in Amsterdam), MHG. tam {damm), ON. 
dammr. Noun not recorded in AS., which 
has, ho-wever , for demman , to obstruct, with 
which cf. Goth, faurdammjan. 

dam^. Mother. Var. of dame (q.v.), from 
which it is differentiated since 16 cent. In 
lang. of venery correlative to sire. For 
application to birds see Deut. xxii. 6. 

Dam Fortone...turne? about ay hir whele 

(Hampole, 14 cent.). 

damage. OF. [dommage], from OF. dam, 
harm, L. dammtm. Hence leg. damage 
feasant, damage due to trespass of animals, 
AF. feasant, OF. fesant {faisant). What's 
the damage? is app. a playful variation on 
earlier zvhat's the shot? 

damascene, -keen. To ornament with in- 
cised patterns as famous armourers of 
Damascus. Cf. bilbo, toledo. 

damask. From Damascus, through It. Da- 
masco; cf. F. damas, damask, and the 
material called damassd. Also damask rose, 
whence fig. rosy, beautiful cheek [As You 
Like It, iii. 5). 
rose de Damas: the damaske, or muske rose (Cotg.). 





dambrod, damboard [Sc.]. Draught-board. 
Du. dambord or Dan. dambret, the name 
coming from F. jeu des dames, as dis- 
tinguished from jeu des rois (chess). See 

dame. F., L. domina; cf. It. donna, Sp. dona, 
duena {duenna). Orig. used indifferently 
with dam^ (q-v.). Gradually extended to 
women of lower rank {dame's school), but 
still leg. title for wife of knight or baronet. 
See damsel. The weakening of vowel in F. 
is perh. due to its unemphatic use as title. 
Cf. sir (q.v.), m'tn. 

damn. F. damner, L. dam{p)nare, to con- 
demn to a penalty. Theol. sense from 
14 cent. Coverd. uses it four times in 
Joshua, vi. 18. Pope's damn with faint 
praise, aimed at Addison, is borrowed 
from the prologue to Wycherley's Plain 
Dealer. As oath recorded from 16 cent., 
but the English were known in earlier OF. 
as godons, goddams (temp. Joan of Arc), 
from their habitual oath. The NED. re- 
jects the suggestion that not to care a 
damn is from Hind, dam, a small copper 
coin. I believe that at any rate the popu- 
larity of the expression is of this origin. 
In all langs. expressions of this kind are 
from (i) small coins and sums {twopence, 
brass farthing), or (ii) objects of no value 
{button, straw). Such expressions swarm 
esp. in OF. I know no parallel to damn in 
this sense, for not to care a curse (see 
curse) is really an argument in favour of 
the small coin suggestion. The popularizer 
in E. of the twopenny damn, in which the 
coin association seems to survive, was a 
great Anglo-Indian, the Duke of Welling- 
ton. With euph. d — d cf. Du. verdijd, for 

England expects that every tank will do its 

(Admiral of the Tank Fleet, Nov. 20, 19 17). 

Damnonian. Of Devonshire. From L. 
Damnonia, Roman name for county. 

Damocles, sword of. Imminent peril waiting 
on apparent prosperity. Damocles, feasted 
by Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse (4 cent. 
B.C.), suddenly noticed sword suspended by 
horse-hair above his head. 

Damon and Pythias. Types of ardent friend- 
ship; cf. David and Jonathan. Damon, 
condemned to death by Dionysius (v.s.), 
left Pythias as surety while he returned 
home to settle his affairs. See Schiller's 
ballad die BUrgschnft. 

damp. Prob. a LG. word. Quot. below, 
referring to coal-mine damp, is some 
centuries older than NED. records. Cf. 
Du. damp, Ger. dampf, steam, Norw. Dan. 
damp (from LG.) ; cogn. with Ger. dumpf, 
close, oppressive. Cf. verb to damp, choke, 
smother. Orig. sense of exhalation, va- 
pour, survives in miners' fire-damp, choke- 
damp. Hence damper, flour and water 
cake of Austral, bushmen (1827). To put 
a damper on is from mus. sense of muffling 

Ventus qui vocatur "le damp" 

(Wollaion MSS. 1316). 

damsel. ME. & OF. dameisele {demoiselle), 
VL. * dominicella , from domina (see dame) ; 
ct. It. donzella, Sp. doncella. Orig. maiden 
of gentle birth. Archaic damosel, -zel, was 
revived by romantic poets, esp. Scott. OF. 
had also masc. form dameisel {damoiseau) , 
young squire. 

damson. ME. damascene, danism, etc., plum 
of Damascus. See damask. 

damaisine: a damascene, or damsen plum (Cotg.). 

dan^ [archaic']. OF., lord, L. dominus; masc. 
of dame (q.v.). Hence ME. daun, common 
in Chauc, who is also called Dan Chaucer 
by Spenser; cf. It. donno, Sp. don. For 
vowel cf. dame. 

dan^ [naut.]. Small buoy used by trawlers. 
? From name Daniel. 

Let go your warp and put a dan on the end of it 
(Skipper T. Crisp, R.N.R., V.C). 

Danaid. G. AavatSes, daughters of Danaus, 
king of Argos, condemned, for the murder 
of their husbands, to attempt to fill sieves 
with water. Hence Danaidean (endless, 
hopeless) task. 

dance. F. danser; cf. It. danzare, Sp. danzar, 
Ger. tanzen (from It.). ? All from OHG. 
danson, to draw along, cogn. with OHG. 
dinsan and Goth, at-thinsan, to draw to- 
wards one {John, vi. 44). Hence app. iirst 
of choric or processional dancing; but this 
etym. is prob. wrong. In ME. replaced 
AS. sealtian, L. saltare. The Dance of Death 
represented the equality of all men before 
Death (see macabre). 

I purpose verrely, with Goddes grace, theraflftre 
to daunce at'^ndaunce most abowt your plesure 
and ease {Paston Let. iii. 130). 

dancette [arch.], dancette [her.]. Cf. OF. 
danchd, indented. Late L. denticatus, from 
dens, dent-, tooth. 





dandelion. F. dent de lion, from toothed edge 
of leaf. Cf. synon. Ger. lowenzahn, lit. 
lion's tooth. 

dander [t/5.]. Temper, as in to get one's dander 
up. ? Fig. use of Wind, dander, fermenta- 
tion (of sugar), usu. dunder, from Sp. 
redundar, to overflow, L. redundare. 

Dandie Dinmont. See dandy. 

dandiprat. Insignificant dwarf. Also (16 
cent.) small copper coin. For double sense 
cf. obs. scuddick, small coin, dwarf. ? Of 
the same family as Jack Sprat. 

This Jack Prat will go boast 
And say he hath cowed me 

(Misogonus, ii. i, c. 1550)- 

dandle. From 16 cent. Cf. It. dondolare, F. 
dodeliner, prob. cogn. with F. dodo, baby 
word for dorniir, as in faire dodo, go to 
by-by. Has been confused with dangle 

dandruff, dandriff. Second element is OiS. 
hriifa, scab (cf. Ger. riife, OHG. hruj), 
whence E. dial, hurf; first doubtful. Cf. 
AS. hreofla, leper. 

porrigo: scurfe or scaules in the head, dandraffe 


dandy^ Fop. First on Sc. border at end ot 
18 cent., hence prob. for Andrew. Cf. mod. 
use of Johnny. From Scott's Dandie Din- 
mont {Guy Mannering) comes name of 
terrier; cf. King Charles' spaniel. 

dandy- [Anglo-Ind.]. Hammock slung on 
pole for carrying. Hind, dcindi, from ddnd, 

Dane. From Dan. Daner, ON. Danir. Hence 
also (hist.) Danegeld, ODan. Danegjeld (see 
yield), and Danelaw, -lagh {seelaiv). With 
great dane (dog), cf. earlier F. grand danois 
(Buffon) ; cf. also dabnatian, pomeranian, 
etc. The Dane John (Canterbury) is sup- 
posed to be corrupted from donjon (q.v.). 

Within an hour all Canterbury was in commotion 

From St George's Gate to St Dunstan's suburb, 
from the Donjon to the borough of Staplegate, all 
was noise and hubbub {Ingoldshy). 

Danebrog. See Dannebrog. 

dane-hole. See dene-hole. 

dang. Euph. for damn; cf. darn^. 

danger. F., VL. *dominiariu7n, ior dominitim, 
rule, lordship. Change of vowel (OF. also 
dongier) is due to association with damnum. 
Sense-development took place in OF., 
earliest meaning surviving in in danger of, 
orig. subject to the jurisdiction of, e.g. in 
Matt. V. 22, where it represents Vitlg. reus. 

In the Paston Let. constantly used in sense 

of being in debt to. 

Metons nos hors de lor dangler (Wace). 

You stand within his danger, do you not? 

{Merch. of Ven. iv. i). 

dangle. From 16 cent., with cogn. forms in 
Scand. & NFris. A frequent, verb, re- 
lated by ablaut to ding^ (qv.), in sense of 
setting in motion. Confused in senses with 

Daniel. Wise and upright judge [Merch. of 
Ven. iv. i). From Daniel of Apocrypha. 

Danish. AS. Denisc; ci. O'^. Danskr. In ME. 
usu. densh, whence surname Dench; also 
daneis, from OF., whence Dennis. Lang., 
one of the mod. forms of ON., is almost 
ident. with Norw., and the hist. Danes 
also came mostly from Norway. 

Danite. Member of supposed murderous 
organization among early Mormons, taking 
name from Bibl. Danites [Gen. xlix. 16). 

dank. Now usu. replaced as adj. by damp 
(q.v.). Origin obscure; believed to be cogn. 
with Ger. dunkel, dark. Earliest records 
refer to dew. 

Dannebrog, Danebrog. Dan. national flag. 
Second elemeivM*- thought to be ODan. 
hrog, breech, clout (see brogues) ; but some 
regard the word as a perversion of Jutish 
danbroget, red with white "blaze" and 
fetlocks, perh. from Fris. dan, red. This 
would have a parallel in OF. bausant, the 
Templars' black and white flag [Ivanhoe, 
ch. xii.), prop, a horse with a "blaze," and 
ident. with E. dial, bawson, badger (q.v.). 

danseuse. F., see dance - 

daphne. Laurel. G. Sd<f)vrj, derived in myth, 
from name of nymph changed into laurel 
to escape pursuit of Apollo. 

dapper. Du., brave, sprightly; cf. Ger. tapfer, 
brave, OSlav. dobli, strong, doughty. ON. 
dapr, sad, is the same word, the inter- 
mediate sense being grim; cf. hist, of 
moody, or relation of Ger. dreist, audacious, 
to L. tristis, sad. 

dapyr, or praty: elegans [Prompt. Parv.). 
The pert fairies and the dapper elves (Comus, 11 8). 

dapple. Back-formation from dapple-grey, 
for unrecorded *apple-grey, the markings 
being likened to the splashes of colour on 
an apple; cf. F. gris pommele. It. pome- 
lato, Ger. apfelschimmel, etc., all rendered 
dapple-grey in early diets. So also ON. 
apalgrdr and Russ. yablochnyl, dappled, 





from yabloko, apple. For prefixed d- cf. 


This reve sat upon a ful good stot, 

That was al pomely grey, and highte Scot 

(Chauc. A. 615). 
His steede was al dappiiU-gray (ib. B. 2074). 
darbies [slang]. Handcuffs. Origin unknown, 
but earliest records (v.i.), always Derby's 
bands {bonds), suggest that Darby (from 
Derby) was some noted usurer, or perh. 
officer of the law. 
To binde such babes in father Derbies bands 

(Gascoyne, Steel Glass, 16 cent.). 

Darby and Joan. First used of attached old 
couple in song in Gentleman' s Mag. (1735), 
perh. characters from real life. 

dare. An old preterite-present verb, as shown 
by orig. absence of -6 in third person, he 
dare not (cf. can, may, etc.). AS. dearr, with 
past dorste (durst), cogn. with G. Oapa-eiv, 
to dare; cf. OSax. gidar, OHG. tar, Goth. 
ga-daursan. Absent from ON. Daredevil 
is formed like cutthroat, scapegrace, Shake- 
spear, etc. 

dark. AS. deorc, cogn. with OHG. tarchanjan, 
to conceal, but without other parallel 
forms. Opposite of light in lit. and fig. 
senses. Dark horse (racing, politic^.) is 
19 cent. Dark Continent appears to have 
been coined by Stanley. Dark Ages, as 
applied to the Middle Ages, is a mod. im- 
pertinence. To darken one's door may be 
one of Benjamin Franklin's coinages. 
Darkle is a back-formation from adv. 
darkling (cf. grovel). Darky, negro, is US. 

darling. AS. deorling, dierling, double dim., 
-l-ing, of dear^. 

darn^. To mend. Also earlier dern, dearn. 
Appears c. 1600 and is prob. a spec, use of 
dern, darn, to hide, common in ME. and still 
in dial, use, from AS. dierne, hidden, secret, 
cogn. with Ger. tarnkappe, coat of invisi- 
bility in Nibelnngenlied. Cf. Ger. striimpfe 
stopfen, to darn (lit. stop up) stockings. 
darn^ [C7S.]. Euph. for damn. So also 

darned, darnation (tarnation). 
darnel. Used in early Bible translations in- 
differently with tares and cockle. Cf. F. 
dial, darnelle. Second element is F. nielle, 
cockle, L. nigella, first is of unknown ori- 
gin, but app. contains idea of stupefymg; 
cf. F. ivraie, tares, from ivre, drunk, L. 
ebrius, and the L. name lolium tenmlentum, 
drunken tare, from stupefying properties; 
also Du. dolik, darnel, from dol, mad. 
yvraie: the vicious graine called ray, or darnell 


dart. F. dard, OF. also dart; cf. It. Sp. dardo. 
Of Teut. origin; cf. AS. daroth, -eth, 
javelin, found also in OHG., whence prob. 
the continental forms; also ON. darrathr. 

dartre. Ulcer. F ., ior OF . derte , darte . ? From 
Gaulish derbita. 

Darwinian. Of Charles Darwin, the naturalist 
(iiSSa), but applied earlier to his grand- 
father, Erasmus Darwin, the poet (f 1802). 

dash^. Of hasty movement, etc. ME. also 
dasse, dassch. Prob. imit., of same type 
as bash, smash, etc.; cf. Sw. daska, Dan. 
daske, to beat, slap, etc. Oldest sense as 
in mod. to dash in pieces. Noun, in various 
senses, from idea of sudden, rapid move- 
ment contained in verb. To cut a dash is 
for earlier to cut a feather (see feather). 
Dashed, euph. for damned, contains an 
allusion to the dash in d — d (cf. blank, 
blankety) . 

dash- [WAfr.]. Present, commission. App. 
native word of long standing (v.i.). 

When they have bestowed their monie, then we 
must give them some-what to boot, which they 
call dache (Purch. Descript. of Guinea). 

dastard. Formed with depreciatory suffix 
-ard (cf. sluggard) from p.p. of daze. Orig. 
dullard and synon. with obs. dasiberd, lit. 
dazy beard. See daze. Cf. obs. Du. dcescerd, 
"delirus, insanus, phantasticus, perter- 
ritus" (Kil.). 

Daff, or dastard, or he that spekyth not in tyme 

[Prompt. Parv.). 
Dastard, or dullard {ib.}. 

dasyure. "Brush-tailed possum," "native 

cat" (Austral.). From G. Saoa's, hairy, 

ovpd, tail, 
data. L., things given. From dare, dat-, to give, 
dataller [dial.]. Day-taler, day-labourer. 

From day and tale. Common in Midlands 

and north. 
date^. Fruit. OF. (datte), L., G. SaKTvXos, 

finger; cf. Olt. dattilo, whence Ger. dattel. 

From shape; ? cf. banana, and also L. 

dactylis, "a long grape like a finger" 

CCoop.). Some suggest that L. dactylus 

in this sense is merely an imit. form of an 

Arab, word, but the opposite is more 

likely (cf. carat, apricot, etc.). 
date^. Time. F., L. data, p.p. neut. pi. of 

dare, to give, as in Data Romae prid. kal. 

Apr., (these) given at Rome March 31, but 

in MedL. understood as fem. (sc. epistola). 

Up to date is orig. from book-keeping, 
dative [gram.]. L. dativns, rendering G. 8oriK»/ 

(rrTwo-ts), giving (case). 





datum. Assumption taken as basis of calcu- 
lation. Sing, of data (q.v.). 

datura. Narcotic plant. Hind, dhatura, from 

daub. F. dauber, L. dealbare, to plaster, from 
L. albus, white. Daubing was orig. a handi- 
craft (cf. wattle and daub), now replaced 
by plastering. 

daughter. AS. dohtor. Aryan; ci. Du. dochier, 
Ger. tochter, ON. dotter, Goth, dauhtar, G. 
dvyoLT-qp, Sanskrit duhitar. ? From Sanskrit 
root diigh, to milk. Found in the same 
langs. as the cognates of son. Normal form 
doughter (Tynd., Coverd.) was replaced by 
daughter (Cranmer). 

daunt. OF. danter, donter {dompter), L. domi- 
tare, frequent, of domare, to tame (q.v.). 
For vowel cf. dan^, dame, danger. 

Dauphin \Jiist.]. Title assumed (1349) by 
eldest son of king of France. The province 
of Dauphine took its name from the 
Dauphin family, lit. dolphin (q.v.), a 
common early surname in E. & F. 

Daulphin de France: the dolphin, or eldest son of 
France; called so, of Daulphine, a province given, 
or (as some report it) sold in the year 1349, by 
Humbert Earle thereof to Philippe de Valois, partly, 
on condition, that for ever the French Kings 
eldest Sonne should hold it (during his fathers life) 
of the empire (Cotg.). 

davenport. Writing-table (19 cent.). Maker's 
name. Cf. chippendale, tilbury, etc. 

David and Jonathan. Cf. Damon and Pythias. 

davit [naut.]. Earlier (15 cent.) daviot. AF. 
& OF. daviet, daviot, dim. of name David. 
Cf. Ger. jutte, davit, from Judith, and 
numerous meanings of jack. In 17 cent, 
usu. david. ? Allusion to David being let 
down from a window (i Sam. xix. 12). 
Some suggest that OF. daviet is a naut. 
perversion of Sp. gaviete, davit, which be- 
longs to gaff^. 

davy^. Lamp. Invented (1815) by Sir Hum- 
phry Davy. 

davy^. Vulgar for affidavit (q.v.). 

Davy Jones. Spirit of the sea in naut. myth. 
Reason for choice of name unknown. Cf. 
blue Peter, round robin. Mother Carey's 
chicken, all naut. ? Reminiscence of Jonah, 
ii. 5, the prophet, formerly called Jonas, 
being made into Jones and supplied with 
a fitting Welsh christian name. Hence Davy 
Jones' locker, the sea (see lock^ for early 

daw. Now usu. jackdaw (cf. magpie, tom- 
tit, etc.); cf. Sc. caddow, from ME. compd. 
ca-daw, of which both parts are prob. 

imit. of cry. Ger. dohle, earlier dahle, 
MHG. tahele, from take, OHG. tdhd, may 
be related. The F. name choucas is from 
E. chough, 
chonca: a chough, or Jack Daw (Cotg.). 

dawdle. Became popular in 18 cent. Not 
in Bailey or Johns. Prob. dial. var. of 
daddle, to walk unsteadily, trifle. Cf. 
dadder, dodder, dither, all with idea of un- 
steady movement; also obs. or dial. dade. 
There are also LG. parallels, e.g. Hamburg 
daudeln, to waste one's time. 

dawk. See dak. 

dawn. First as verb (c. 1500), replacing 
earlier daw, AS. dagian (from day). Thus 
dawn of day is pleon. Earliest is dawning 
(c. 1300) app. of Norse origin; cf. Sw. Dan. 
dagning. The Proinpt. Parv. has both 
dawyn and dawnyng. 
The cock may craw, the day may daw (Bums). 

day. AS. dceg. Com. Tent. ; cf. Du. dag, Ger. 
tag, ON. dagr, Goth. dags. Orig. time of 
sunlight, the 24 hours being represented 
by night (q.v.). Day spring, archaic for 
dawn, usu. after Luke, i. 78 [Viilg. oriens), 
is app. from spring, ?but cf. Norw. dagsbryn, 
ON. dagsbriin, dawn, lit. day's brow. In 
now-a-days, tii'ice-a-day, etc., a is for earlier 
on. One of these days is used by Coverd. 
(i Sam. xxvii. i) for Vulg. aliquando. Ger. 
der tag, the day, is said to have been a 
pre-war toast in the Ger. navy, alluding to 
the coming encounter with the British 

In the fulness of his heart, he [Mr Brass] invited 
Mr Swiveller to partake of a bowl of punch with 
him at that remote and indefinite period which 
is currently denominated "one of these days" 

{Old Curiosity Shop, ch". xxxv.). 

daysman [archaic']. Umpire. Usu. after Job, 
ix. 33. Contains a reminiscence of archaic 
use of day, in sense of time appointed for 
judgment. Cf. Ger. tagen, to hold assembly 
(as in Reichstag, Landtag) and see diet^. 

daze. ON. *dasa, as in reflex, dasask, to be- 
come exhausted (cf. bask, busk^) ; cf. ON. 
dasi, dullard, whence Norw. daase. In ME. 
to numb, become numbed, dazzled, etc. 

dazzle. Frequent, of daze. Earliest intrans., 
of eyes. Hence dazzle-ship (191 7), camou- 
flaged so as to confuse hostile gunners, 
invented by Lieut. Commander N. Wil- 

de-. L. de, from, do^vTlward, but often a 
mere intens. {demur, denigrate). In words 
of F. origin usu. for de-, OF. des-, L. dis-, 





which largely replaced de- in VL. Often 
in nonce-words or neols. {decelerate, de- 

deacon. AS. diacon, L., G. StaKovos, servant. 
Orig. business helper of the apostles {Acts, 
vi. 1-6). Cf. mod. n(5n conformist use. Dan. 
degn, Norw. dial, dekn mean sexton. 

dead. AS. dead. Com. Teut. ; cf. Du. dood, 
Ger. tot, ON. dauthr, Goth, dauths; cogn. 
with die^ (q.v.). In many fig. uses {dead 
certainty, shot, dead on the target) with sense 
of the inevitable, or to express silence and 
stagnation {dead of night) . Dead as a door- 
nail is in Piers Plowm. From the idea of 
unrelieved continuity comes dead ivall. 
Deadhead (US.) was orig. applied to pas- 
sengers not paying fare, likened to dead 
head (of cattle), as opposed to live stock. 
Naut. deadeye was earlier (15 cent.) dead 
man's eye. Dead heat (19 cent.) was earlier 
simply dead. Dead-alive, now used of 
places, was in 16 cent, applied to people; 
cf. living death. Dead letter was applied 
first to lit., as opposed to spiritual, meaning 
(2 Cor. iii. 6), then to writ or law becoming 
inoperative, and finally (18 cent.) became a 
postal term. Deadlock is from wrestling, 
each being afraid to let go. Dead reckoning 
may be from naut. abbrev. ded. {= deduced) 
in log-book (cf. F. route estimee). 
Mammon well follow'd, Cupid bravely led; 
Both touchers; equal fortune makes a dead 

(Quarles, 1635). 

deaf. AS. deaf. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. doof, 
Ger. taub, ON. daufr, Goth, danfs; cogn. 
with G. Tu^Aos, blind, common idea being 
dullness, obtuseness, a sense of deaf in 
ME.; cf. our blind nettle with Ger. tanb- 
nessel, deaf nettle. Deaf as a post was 
earlier as a doorpost, or doornail. With 
deaf nut (without kernel) cf. Ger. taube 
miss. Till 18 cent, rimed with thief, as still 
in dial, and US. 
Till Death shall bring the kind relief, 
We must be patient, or be deaf (Prior, 1717). 

deal^ Share, quantity. AS. d(^l. Com. Teut. ; 
cf. Du. deel, Ger. teil, Norw. Dan. del, Goth. 
dails. See also dole^. Orig. part, as in 
good {great) deal. Hence verb to deal, dis- 
tribute (cards, blows, etc.), take a share 
in business, and finally, have transactions 
with. Mod. sense of bargain, often with 
suggestion of dishonesty, is US. 
This werke I departe and dele in seven e bookes 

(Trev. i. 27). 
With the one lamb a tenth deal of flour 

[Ex. xxi.x. 40). 

deal^. Timber. A LG. word, introduced by 
Baltic trade (c. 1460). Orig. plank, hence 
kind of tree or timber from which planks 
were made. Cf. Du. deel, Ger. diele, plank, 
also from LG. Cogn. with E. thill (q.v.), 
OHG. dim, ON. thilja, rower's bench. 

dean^. Church dignitary. OF. deien {doyen), 
L., Church G. Sexavos, from 8e/ca, ten. Used 
in Vulg. in sense of decurio (v.i.). In eccl. 
sense {dean and chapter) orig. chief of ten 
monks. In sense of senior (professor, am- 
bassador, etc.) F. doyen is sometimes used 
in E. 

Ordeyne thou of hem tribunes, and centuriouns, 
and quinquagenaries, and deenys 

(Wye. Ex. xviii. 21). 

dean^, dene. Valley. AS. denu, valley. Esp. 
in place-names, often alternating with -den 
in Kent. Cogn. with den. 

dear^. Precious, beloved. AS. deore, dure. 
Com. Teut.; cf. Du. duur, costly, Ger. 
teuer, ON. dyrr. For two groups of mean- 
ings cf. F. cher. In exclamations, such as 
O dear! it is prob. for dear Lord; cf. Ir. 
Dear bless you. Dear knoivs, etc. This will, 
however, hardly account for Dear me, 
which has been conjectured to be from 
some such It. phrase as Dio mi {salvi). 

dear^ [archaic]. AS. deor, bold, fierce, perh. 
ult. ident. with dear'^. In AS. & ME. poetry, 
revived by Spenser and used by Shaks. 
and later poets, by whom it was prob. felt 
as an oxymoronic application of dear'^, as 
in dearest foe. 

I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite 

{Sonnet xxxvii.). 

dearth. From dear'^ (q-v.). Not found in 
AS., but cf. corresponding ON. dyrth, 
glory, OHG. tinrida, honour, preciousness, 
showing the other sense of dear^. Mod. 
sense of scarcity appears earliest in ME., 
but must have been evolved from etym. 
sense of costliness (cf. synon. Ger. ienerung, 
from teuer, dear, costly). In Prayer in the 
Time of Dearth and Famine {PB.) scarcity 
and dearth are contrasted with plenty and 

death. AS. death. Com. Teut.; cf. Du. dood, 
Ger. tod, ON. dauthi, Goth, dautliiis; cogn. 
with die^, dead. Already personified in AS. 
Black Death, for the oriental plague which 
reached Europe in 14 cent., was app. in- 
troduced into E. by Mrs Markham (1823), 
corresponding descriptions occurring earli- 
est in Sw. & Dan. (16 cent.). It is recorded 






as MedL. mala mors (1358). In at the death 
is from fox-hunting. 

debacle. F. debacle, orig. "bust-up" of ice 
on river; hence, stampede. From debdcler, 
from bdcler, to fasten up, Prov. baclar, to 
bar, from L. baculus, staff, crossbar. In 
mil. sense esp. since Zola's novel La De- 
bacle (1892). 

debar. App. of E. formation from bar (q.v.). 
F. debarrer, OF. desbarer, has almost oppo- 
site sense, to unbar (door, window). 

debark. F. dcbarquer. See bark^. Now usu. 
replaced by disembark . 

debate. F. d4battre. Orig., in F. & E., to 
fight (see combat). Cf. daughter of debate 
(Mary, Queen of Scots). Hence debatable 
ground, esp. as recognized Tudor name for 
part of the Border claimed by both coun- 

And over that his cote-armour, 

As whit as is a lilye flower, 

In which he wol debate (Chauc. B. 2056). 

debauch. F. ddbancher, OF. desbaucher, orig. 
to lead astray, as in debauchee, from F 
p.p. Origin unknown. Parallel of de- 
lirium (q.v.), and of such mod. expres- 
sions as to run off the line, suggests forma- 
tion from Teut. balk, in gen. sense of line, 
ridge, boundary (see balk). Perh. orig. 
ploughing metaphor. 

debenture. Earlier (15 cent.) debentur, they 
are owing, from L. debere, to owe. Sup- 
posed to have been init. word of docu- 
ment. Cf. affidavit, item, purview, etc. 
Orig. voucher for goods supplied to govern- 
ment, etc. Current sense from middle of 
1 9 cent. 

debility. F. debilite, L. debilitas, from de- 
bilis, weak. 

debit. F. debit, L. debitum, from debere, to 
owe. Cf. credit. 

debonair. OF. debonaire [debonnaire) , for de 
bon aire, of good race, orig. of hawks 
(see aery, eyry), hence "thorough-bred." 
Very common in ME. for docile, courteously 
well-bred (hence surname Bonar, Bonner), 
but obsolescent after Milton. Mod. sense 
is somewhat altered. OF. had also the 
opposite demalaire. 
E ! gentilz hum, chevaliers de bon aire {Rol. 2252). 

Ahi, culvert [caitiff], malvais hum de put aire 

(ib. 762). 

deboshed. Archaic var. of debauched, revived 

by Scott. 
debouch. Mil. word of 18 cent. F. deboucher, 

OF. desboucher, from bouche, mouth, L. 

bucca, lit. cheek, used in VL. for os. Cf. 
It. sboccare, " to mouth or fall into the sea 
as a river" (Flor.). See disembogue. 

debris. F., from de'briser, from briser, to 
break. See bruise. 

debt. Restored spelUhg of ME. det, dette, 
F. dette, L. debita, p.p. neut. pi. of debere, 
to owe. Debt of honour (17 cent.) is so- 
called because it cannot be legally en- 
forced. Debt of nature, death, is ME. The 
National Debt is the sum of a number of 
national debts from end of 17 cent, onward. 

debus [neol.'\. This and embus were officially 
used (1914) on the model of debark, embark, 
detrain, entrain. 

debut. F., from debuter, to lead off at bowls, 
etc. From but, mark, goal. 

deca-. G. hiKa, ten. 

decade. F., L., G. Sckcis, SckciS-, group of 
ten, SeKtt. 

decadent. F. decadent, from pres. part, of VL. 
*decadere [decidere), to fall, decay. Applied 
to themselves (c. 1885) by a group of un- 
wholesome young F. writers, "unpleasant 
little anthropoids with the sexless little 
Muse and the dirty little Eros" (G. Du 
Maurier), who affected admiration for litera- 
ture of Roman decadence. 

decalogue. F., L., G. ScKaXoyos (sc. ySt^SAos), 
from phrase ol hiKa Xoyoi, Ten Command- 
ments, in LXX. Used by Wye. 

Decameron. It. Decamerone, title of Boc- 
caccio's (ti375) collection of tales, sup- 
posed to occup}^ ten days. From G. 8eKa, 
ten, rjfxipa, day. Cf. F. Heptameron (seven 
days), tales of Marguerite de Navarre 
(16 cent.). Both are formed on MedL. 
hexameron, incorr. contr. of G. k^a-fjiiepov . 

decamp. F. decamper, orig. to break up 
camp, OF. descamper; 'cf. It. scampare, 
and see scamper. A mil. word from 1 7 cent. 

decanal [eccl.]. Of a dean^ (q-v). Hence 
ruri-decanal, of a rural dean. 

decani [eccl.]. Dean's side of choir. Genitive 
of L. decaniis, dean. Cf. cantoris. 

decant. Orig. in alch. F. dscanter, MedL. de- 
canthare, from canthus, corner, lip of jug, 
supposed to be from G. kovOos, corner of 
eye. See cant^. 

decant: from the Lat. Barb, decantare, a word 
lately found out by more barbarous chymists; 
which those mighty Zoilus's derive from the Lat. 
de, and the Gr. Kavdos, a corner 

(Gazophylacium Anglicanum, 1689) 

decapitate. After F. decapiter, from Late L. 
decapitare, froin caput, capit-, head. 





decay. OF. deca'ir, dial, form ot decheeir 

{dechoir), VL. *decadere, for decidere, to 

"fall off"; cf. Sp. decaer. 
decease. ME. deces, F. deces, L. decessus, lit. 

"departure/' euph. for mors. In F. & E. 

chiefly ofi&c. 

Le Deces, c