bangs (n.) Look up bangs at Dictionary.com
"hair cut straight across so as to form a fringe over the forehead," 1878 (in singular, bang), American English, attested from 1832 of horses (bang-tail), perhaps from notion of abruptness (as in bang off "immediately, without delay," though this expression is attested only from 1886). See bang.
banish (v.) Look up banish at Dictionary.com
late 14c., banischen, "to condemn (someone) by proclamation or edict to leave the country, to outlaw by political or judicial authority," from banniss-, extended stem of Old French banir "announce, proclaim; levy; forbid; banish, proclaim an outlaw" (12c., Modern French bannir), from a Germanic source (perhaps Frankish *bannjan "to order or prohibit under penalty"), from Proto-Germanic *bannan (see ban (v.)). The French word might be by way of Medieval Latin bannire, also from Germanic (compare bandit). The general sense of "send or drive away, expel" is from c. 1400. Related: Banished; banishing.
To banish is, literally, to put out of a community or country by ban or civil interdict, and indicates a complete removal out of sight, perhaps to a distance. To exile is simply to cause to leave one's place or country, and is often used reflexively: it emphasizes the idea of leaving home, while banish emphasizes rather that of being forced by some authority to leave it .... [Century Dictionary]
banishment (n.) Look up banishment at Dictionary.com
"act of banishing; state of being banished," c. 1500, from banish + -ment. Earlier was banishing (mid-15c.).
banister (n.) Look up banister at Dictionary.com
1660s, unexplained corruption of baluster (q.v.). As late as 1848 it was identified as a vulgar term, but it is now accepted. Another 17c. corrupted form is barrester. Surname Bannister is unrelated, from Old French banastre "basket," hence, "basket-maker."
banjo (n.) Look up banjo at Dictionary.com
"guitar-like musical instrument with a circular body covered in front with stretched parchment, like a tambourine," 1764, in various spellings (Thomas Jefferson has banjar), American English, usually described as of African origin, probably akin to Bantu mbanza, name of an instrument resembling a banjo. The word has been influenced by colloquial pronunciation of bandore (1560s in English), a 16c. lute-like stringed instrument, from Portuguese bandurra, from Latin pandura (see mandolin). The origin and the influence might be the reverse of what is here described. Related: Banjoist. The banjo-clock (1891) was so called for its shape.
bank (n.1) Look up bank at Dictionary.com
"financial institution," late 15c., originally "money-dealer's counter or shop," from either Old Italian banca or Middle French banque (itself from the Italian word), both meaning "table," from a Germanic source (such as Old High German bank "bench, moneylender's table"), from Proto-Germanic *bankiz- "shelf," *bankon- (see bank (n.2)). The etymonlogical notion is of the moneylender's exchange table.

As "institution for receiving and lending money" from 1620s. In games of chance, "the sum of money held by the proprietor or one who plays against the rest," by 1720. Bank holiday is from 1871, though the tradition is as old as the Bank of England. To cry all the way to the bank was coined 1956 by U.S. pianist Liberace (1919-1987), after a Madison Square Garden concert that was panned by critics but packed with patrons.
bank (v.1) Look up bank at Dictionary.com
"to act as a banker," 1727, from bank (n.1). As "to deposit in a bank" from 1833. Figurative sense of "to rely on" (i.e. "to put money on") is from 1884, U.S. colloquial. Related: Banked; banking; bankable.
bank (v.2) Look up bank at Dictionary.com
1580s, "to form a bank or slope or rise," from bank (n.2). Meaning "to rise in banks" is by 1870. That of "to ascend," as of an incline, is from 1892. In aeronautics, from 1911. Related: Banked; banking.
bank (n.2) Look up bank at Dictionary.com
"natural earthen incline bordering a body of water," c. 1200, from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse *banki, Old Danish banke "sandbank," from Proto-Germanic *bankon "slope," cognate with *bankiz "shelf" (see bench (n.)). As "rising ground in a sea or rover, shoal," from c. 1600. As "bench for rowers in an ancient galley," 1590s.

There probably was an Old English cognate but it is not attested in surviving documents. The nasalized form likely is a variant of Old Norse bakki "(river) bank, ridge, mound; cloud bank," cognate with Swedish backe, Danish bakke "hill, rising ground."
bank (v.3) Look up bank at Dictionary.com
originally in billiards, "to make (the cue ball) touch the cushion (bank) of the table before touching another ball," by 1909, from a specialized sense of bank (n.2); probably abstracted from bank-shot (n.), which is attested by 1889. Related: Banked; banking.
banker (n.) Look up banker at Dictionary.com
"keeper of a bank," 1530s, agent noun formed from bank (n.1), possibly modeled on French banquier (16c.).
banking (n.) Look up banking at Dictionary.com
"the business of a banker," 1735, verbal noun from bank (v.1).
bankroll (n.) Look up bankroll at Dictionary.com
"roll of bank notes," 1887, from bank (n.1) + roll (n.). The verb is attested from 1928. Related: Bankrolled; bankrolling.
bankrupt (adj.) Look up bankrupt at Dictionary.com
"in the state of one unable to pay just debts or meet obligations," 1560s, from Italian banca rotta, literally "a broken bench," from banca "moneylender's shop," literally "bench" (see bank (n.1)) + rotta "broken, defeated, interrupted" from (and in English remodeled on) Latin rupta, fem. past participle of rumpere "to break" (see rupture (n.)). Said to have been so called from an old custom of breaking the bench of bankrupts, but the allusion probably is figurative. Figurative (non-financial) sense in English is from 1580s. As a noun, "insolvent person," from 1530s.
bankrupt (v.) Look up bankrupt at Dictionary.com
"make insolvent," 1550s, from bankrupt (adj.). Related: Bankrupted; bankrupting.
bankruptcy (n.) Look up bankruptcy at Dictionary.com
1700, "the breaking up of a business due to its inability to pay obligations," from bankrupt, "probably on the analogy of insolvency, but with -t erroneously retained in spelling, instead of being merged in the suffix ...." [OED]. Figurative use from 1761. Earlier words for it (late 16c.-17c.) were bankrupting, bankruption, bankrupture, bankruptship.
banlieue (n.) Look up banlieue at Dictionary.com
French word for "suburbs, outskirts, outlying precincts of a town or city," 13c., from Vulgar Latin *banleuca, from Germanic *ban (see ban (n.1)) + leuca "a league" (of distance, in Medieval Latin, "indefinite extent of territory;" see league (n.2)). So, originally, "area around a town within which the bans -- rules and proclamations of that place -- were in force; territory outside the walls but within the legal jurisdiction." German had a similar formation, bann-meile (see mile (n.)), in the same sense; and compare Middle English bane cruces "crosses marking the boundary of territory subject to the edicts or laws of a certain ruler."
bann (n.) Look up bann at Dictionary.com
in phrase banns of marriage, an alternative spelling of ban (n.); see banns.
banner (n.) Look up banner at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "piece of cloth attached to the upper end of a pole or staff," from Old French baniere "flag, banner, standard" (12c., Modern French bannière), from Late Latin bandum "standard," borrowed from Frankish or another West Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *bandwa- "identifying sign, banner, standard," also "company under a banner" (source also of Gothic bandwa "a sign"), from suffixed form of PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine."

Formerly the standard of a king, lord, or knight, behind which his followers marched to war and to which they rallied in battle. Figurative sense of "anything displayed as a profession of principles" is from early 14c. Of newspaper headlines that stream across the top of the page, from 1913.
banneret (n.) Look up banneret at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, an order of knighthood, originally in reference to one who could lead his men into battle under his own banner (q.v.). Later it meant one who received rank for valiant deeds done in the king's presence in battle. Also "a small banner" (c. 1300, also bannerette).
bannock (n.) Look up bannock at Dictionary.com
"thick flat cake, bread baked on the hearth or under ashes," Old English bannuc, from Gaelic bannach "a cake," which is perhaps a loan-word from Latin panicium, from panis "bread," from PIE root *pa- "to feed."
banns (n.) Look up banns at Dictionary.com
"proclamation or notice given in a church of an intended marriage," mid-15c. (late 12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old English bannan "to summon, command, proclaim" (see ban (v.)). Also probably partly from Old French ban "announcement, proclamation, banns, authorization," from Frankish *ban or some other Germanic cognate of the Old English word. They were made part of ecclesiastic legislation 1215 by the fourth Lateran council.
banquet (n.) Look up banquet at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "feast, sumptuous entertainment," from Old French banquet "feast," earlier simply "small bench," from Old Italian banchetto, diminutive of banco "bench," variant of banca "bench," which is from a Germanic source (see bench (n.)). Apparently originally "a snack eaten on a bench" (rather than at table), hence "a slight repast between meals;" if so, the meaning has entirely changed.
banquet (v.) Look up banquet at Dictionary.com
"to feast," c. 1500, from banquet (n.). Related: Banqueted; banqueting.
banquette (n.) Look up banquette at Dictionary.com
"raised platform in a fortification," 1620s, from French banquette (15c.), from Italian banchetta, diminutive of banca "bench, shelf," which is from Germanic (see bank (n.1)).
banshee (n.) Look up banshee at Dictionary.com
in Irish folklore, a type of female fairy believed to foretell deaths by singing in a mournful, unearthly voice, 1771, from phonetic spelling of Irish bean sidhe "female of the Elves," from bean "woman" (from PIE root *gwen- "woman") + Irish sidhe (Gaelic sith) "fairy" or sid "fairy mound" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"). Sidhe sometimes is confused with sithe, genitive of sith "peace."
bantam (n.) Look up bantam at Dictionary.com
1749, after Bantam, former Dutch residency in Java, from which the small domestic fowl were said to have been first imported. Extension to "small person" is 1837. As a light weight class in boxing, it is attested from 1884, probably from the birds, which are small but aggressive and bred for fighting.
banter (v.) Look up banter at Dictionary.com
"attack with good-humored jokes and jests," 1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun, "good-humored ridicule," is from 1680s.
The third refinement observable in the letter I send you, consists in the choice of certain words invented by some pretty fellows; such as banter, bamboozle, country put, and kidney, as it is there applied; some of which are now struggling for the vogue, and others are in possession of it. I have done my utmost for some years past to stop the progress of mobb and banter, but have been plainly borne down by numbers, and betrayed by those who promised to assist me. [Swift, "The Tatler," No. 230, 1710]
banting (n.) Look up banting at Dictionary.com
system for weight loss through diet control, named for William Banting (1797-1878), the English undertaker who invented it, tested it himself, and promoted it in his 1863 booklet "Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public." Although the word is a surname, it was used like a verbal noun in -ing. ("She is banting"). It consisted of eating lean meats and abstaining from fats, starches, and sugars.
Bantu Look up Bantu at Dictionary.com
1862, applied to an equatorial and southern African language group in the 1850s by German linguist Wilhelm Heinrich Immanuel Bleek (1827-1875), from native Ba-ntu "mankind," from ba-, plural prefix, + ntu "a man, person." Bantustan in a South African context is from 1949.
banyan (n.) Look up banyan at Dictionary.com
also banian, "Indian fig tree," 1630s, so called in reference to a specific tree at Gombroon (modern Bandar Abbas) on the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf, near which the Hindu merchants known as banians had built a pagoda. The word is from Gujarati vaniyo "a man of the trading caste," from Sanskrit vanija "merchant."

The banians, based in Bombay and elsewhere, were great traders who trafficked from interior Asia to Africa. The tree develops roots from branches; these and the broad shade of its crown made them natural market places. The banians also were noted as rigorous abstainers from flesh-eating and for their reverence for all animal life, hence banian-hospital (1809) where worn-out domestic animals were cared for.
banzai (interj.) Look up banzai at Dictionary.com
Japanese war-cry, 1893, literally "(may you live) ten thousand years," originally a greeting addressed to the emperor, from ban "ten thousand" + sai "year."
baobab (n.) Look up baobab at Dictionary.com
large tropical African tree (later transplanted and naturalized in the East and West Indies), 1630s, from Medieval Latin bahobab (1590s), apparently from a central African language.
Baphomet Look up Baphomet at Dictionary.com
name of the idol which the Templars were accused of worshipping, regarded as a corruption of Mahomet (see Muhammad), "a name which took strange shapes in the Middle Ages" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Baphometic.
baptise (v.) Look up baptise at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of baptize; for spelling, see -ize. Related: Baptised; baptising.
baptism (n.) Look up baptism at Dictionary.com
"initiatory sacrament of the Christian faith, consisting in immersion in or application of water by an authorized administrator," c. 1300, bapteme, from Old French batesme, bapteme "baptism" (11c., Modern French baptême), from Latin baptismus, from Greek baptismos, noun of action from baptizein (see baptize). The -s- was restored in late 14c.

The signification, qualifications, and methods of administration have been much debated. Figurative sense "any ceremonial ablution as a sign of purification, dedication, etc." is from late 14c. Old English used fulluht in this sense (John the Baptist was Iohannes se Fulluhtere).

Phrase baptism of fire "a soldier's first experience of battle" (1857) translates French baptême de feu; the phrase originally was ecclesiastical Greek baptisma pyros and meant "the grace of the Holy Spirit as imparted through baptism;" later it was used of martyrdom, especially by burning.
baptismal (adj.) Look up baptismal at Dictionary.com
1640s, from baptism + -al (1). Related: Baptismally.
baptist (n.) Look up baptist at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "one who baptizes," also (with capital B-) a title of John, the forerunner of Christ; see baptize + -ist. As "member of a Protestant sect that believes in adult baptism upon profession of faith," generally by full immersion (with capital B-), attested from 1654; their opponents called them anabaptists (see Anabaptist).
baptistry (n.) Look up baptistry at Dictionary.com
"part of a church (or separate building) set aside for baptisms," c. 1300, from Old French baptisterie and directly from Medieval Latin; see baptism + -ery.
baptize (v.) Look up baptize at Dictionary.com
"to administer the rite of baptism to," c. 1300, from Old French batisier "be baptized; baptize; give a name to" (11c.), from Latin baptizare, from Greek baptizein "immerse, dip in water," also figuratively, "be over one's head" (in debt, etc.), "to be soaked (in wine);" in Christian use, "baptize;" from baptein "to dip, steep, dye, color," perhaps from PIE root *gwabh- (1) "to dip, sink." Christian baptism originally was a full immersion. Related: Baptized; baptizing.
Baqubah Look up Baqubah at Dictionary.com
city in Iraq, from Arabic baya 'kuba "Jacob's house."
bar (n.2) Look up bar at Dictionary.com
"tavern," 1590s, so called in reference to the bars of the barrier or counter over which drinks or food were served to customers (see bar (n.1)).
bar (v.) Look up bar at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "to fasten (a gate, etc.) with a bar," from bar (n.1); sense of "to obstruct, prevent" is recorded by 1570s. Expression bar none "without exception" is recorded from 1866.
bar (n.1) Look up bar at Dictionary.com
late 12c., "stake or rod of iron used to fasten a door or gate," from Old French barre "beam, bar, gate, barrier" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *barra "bar, barrier," which some suggest is from Gaulish *barros "the bushy end" [Gamillscheg, etc.], but OED regards this as "discredited" because it "in no way suits the sense."

General sense of "anything which obstructs, hinders, or impedes" is from 1530s. Of soap, by 1833; of candy, by 1906 (the process itself dates to the 1840s), both from resemblance of shape. Meaning "bank of sand across a harbor or river mouth" is from 1580s, probably so called because it was an obstruction to navigation. Bar graph is attested from 1925. Bar code first recorded 1963. Behind bars "in prison" is attested by 1934, American English. Welsh bar "a bar, rail," Irish barra "a bar, spike" are said to be from English; German Barre, Danish barre, Russian barŭ are from Medieval Latin or Romanic.
bar (n.3) Look up bar at Dictionary.com
"whole body of lawyers, the legal profession," 1550s, a sense which derives ultimately from the railing that separated benchers from the hall in the Inns of Court (see bar (n.1)). Students who had attained a certain standing were "called" to it to take part in the important exercises of the house. After c. 1600, however, this was popularly assumed to mean the bar in a courtroom, the wooden railing marking off the area around the judge's seat, where prisoners stood for arraignment and where a barrister (q.v.) stood to plead. As the place where the business of court was done, bar in this sense had become synonymous with court by early 14c.
bar (n.4) Look up bar at Dictionary.com
unit of pressure, coined 1903 from Greek baros "weight," which is related to barys "heavy," from PIE root *gwere- (2) "heavy."
Bar Mitzvah Look up Bar Mitzvah at Dictionary.com
1842, in Judaism, "male person who has completed his 13th year" and thus reached the age of religious responsibility; Hebrew, literally "son of command." As a name for the ceremony itself, by 1917.
bar-room (n.) Look up bar-room at Dictionary.com
also barroom, "room in a tavern, etc., with a bar or counter where alcoholic drinks are served," 1797, from bar (n.2) + room (n.).
Barabbas Look up Barabbas at Dictionary.com
biblical masc. proper name, Greek Barabbas, from Aramaic (Semitic) barabba, "son of the father," or "son of the master." In Hebrew, it would be ben abh. In the Crucifixion story, the name of the prisoner freed instead of Jesus at the crowd's insistence.
barb (v.) Look up barb at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "to clip, mow" (a sense now archaic or obsolete); see barb (n.). Meaning "to fit or furnish with barbs" is from 1610s. Related: Barbed; barbing.