- homophobic (adj.)
- by 1971, from homo- (2) "homosexual" + -phobia + -ic. Related: Homophobe; homophobia (which word is said to date from 1969 in this context; earlier "fear of men," by 1908).
- homophone (n.)
- "a word pronounced the same as another (whether spelled the same or not) but different in meaning and etymology," 1843, from the adjective homophone (1620s), from Greek homos "same" (see homo- (1)) + phone "sound," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)). Related: Homophonic. Greek homophonos meant "speaking the same language; sounding in unison; of the same sound or tone."
- homophony (n.)
- 1768, from French homophonie, from Greek homophonia "unison," from homophonos "of the same sound or tone" (see homophone).
- homosexual (adj.)
- 1892, in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," from German homosexual, homosexuale (by 1880, in Gustav Jäger), from Greek homos "same" (see homo- (1)) + Latin-based sexual.
'Homosexual' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it. It is, however, convenient, and now widely used. 'Homogenic' has been suggested as a substitute. [H. Havelock Ellis, "Studies in Psychology," 1897]
Sexual inversion (1883, later simply inversion, by 1895) was an earlier clinical term for "homosexuality" in English, said by Ellis to have originated in Italian psychology writing. See also uranian. Unnatural love was used 18c.-19c. for homosexuality as well as pederasty and incest. Related: Homosexually.
- homosexual (n.)
- "homosexual person," by 1895, from homosexual (adj.). In technical use, either male or female; but in non-technical use almost always male. Slang shortened form homo attested by 1929.
- homosexuality (n.)
- 1892; see homosexual + -ity.
- homozygous (adj.)
- 1902, from homo- (1) "same" + zygote + -ous. Related: homozygote (1902).
- homuncular (adj.)
- 1822, from homunculus + -ar.
- homunculus (n.)
- "tiny human being produced artificially," 1650s, from Latin homunculus (plural homunculi), literally "little person," with -culus, diminutive suffix, + homo (genitive hominis), which technically meant "male human," but it also was used with a sense "the human race, mankind;" while in Vulgar Latin it could be used as "one, anyone, they, people" and in logical and scholastic writing as "a human being, person."
This is conjectured to be from PIE *(dh)ghomon- (source also of Old Irish duine, Welsh dyn, Breton den "man;" Old Prussian smunents, smunets "man;" Old Lithuanian žmuo "person," Lithuanian žmogus "man," žmones "people," Gothic guma, Old High German gomo, Old Norse gume, Old English guma "man").
The literal sense is "earthling," from PIE root *dhghem- "earth" (see chthonic; also compare human (adj.)). Other Latin diminutives from homo included homullus, homuncio.
- homy (adj.)
- also homey, "home-like, resembling home," 1856, from home (n.) + -y (2). Related: Hominess.
- 1721 as short for honorable (adj.); 1906 as short for honey (n.) in the affectionate sense.
- honcho (n.)
- 1947, American English, "officer in charge," from Japanese hancho "group leader," from han "corps, squad" + cho "head, chief." Picked up by U.S. servicemen in Japan and Korea, 1947-1953.
- Spanish, literally "the depths," probably in reference to coastal waters on the east side. Said to have been called that by Columbus in 1524. Related: Honduran.
- hone (n.)
- Old English han "a stone, rock, (boundary) stone," from Proto-Germanic *haino (source also of Old Norse hein "hone"), from PIE *ko- "to sharpen, whet." The specific sense "whetstone, stone used for sharpening tools that require a delicate edge" emerged in Middle English (early 14c.). "A hone differs from a whetstone in being of finer grit and more compact texture" [Century Dictionary].
- hone (v.)
- "rub or sharpen on or as on a hone," 1788, from hone (n.). Related: Honed; honing. The verb form in Middle English (hene) and Old English (hænan) meant "cast stones at."
- honer (n.)
- 1826, agent noun from hone (v.); early 13c. as a surname.
- honest (adj.)
- c. 1300, "respectable, decent, of neat appearance," also "free from fraud," from Old French oneste, honeste "virtuous, honorable; decent, respectable" (12c.; Modern French honnête), from Latin honestus "honorable, respected, regarded with honor," figuratively "deserving honor, honorable, respectable," from honos (see honor (n.)) + suffix -tus. Main modern sense of "dealing fairly, truthful, free from deceit" is c. 1400, as is sense of "virtuous, having the virtue of chastity" (of women). Phrase to make an honest woman of "marry (a woman) after seduction" is from 1620s.
- honestly (adv.)
- mid-14c., from honest + -ly (2). As an intensifier or exclamation, from 1898.
- honesty (n.)
- early 14c., "splendor, honor; elegance," later "honorable position; propriety of behavior, good manners; virginity, chastity" (late 14c.), from Old French oneste, honesté "respectability, decency, honorable action" (12c., Modern French uses the variant honnêteté, as if from Latin *honestitatem), from Latin honestatem (nominative honestas) "honor received from others; reputation, character;" figuratively "uprightness, probity, integrity, virtue," from honestus (see honest). Meaning "moral purity, uprightness, virtue, justness" is from c. 1400; in English, the word originally had more to do with honor than honest.
- honey (n.)
- Middle English hony, from Old English hunig "honey," from Proto-Germanic *hunagam (source also of Old Norse hunang, Swedish honung, Old Saxon honeg, Old Frisian hunig, Middle Dutch honich, Dutch honig, Old High German honang, German Honig "honey"), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from PIE *k(e)neko- "yellow, golden" (source also of Sanskrit kancanum, Welsh canecon "gold"). The more common Indo-European word is represented in Germanic by the Gothic word for "honey," miliþ (from PIE *melith "honey;" see Melissa). A term of endearment from at least mid-14c.; extended form honey-bunch attested by 1904. Meaning "anything good of its kind" is 1888, American English. Honey-locust, North American tree, so called from 1743, said to be named from a sweet pulp made by Native Americans from the tree's beans.
- honey (v.)
- "to sweeten, cover with honey," mid-14c., from honey (n.). Related: Honeyed; honeying.
- honey-bee (n.)
- also honeybee, c. 1400, from honey (n.) + bee (n.).
- honeycomb (n.)
- Old English hunigcamb; see honey (n.) + comb (n.). Probably the image is from wool combing. Transferred use, in reference to various structures resembling honeycomb, from 1520s. The image is not found outside English; in other Germanic languages the word for it is "honey-string," "honey-cake," "bee-wafer," etc. Latin has favus, Greek melikerion. As a verb, from 1620s (implied in honeycombed).
- honeydew (n.)
- also honey-dew, 1570s, "sticky sweet substance found in small drops on trees and plants," from honey (n.) + dew (n.); Similar formation in Dutch honigdaauw, German Honigthau. honeydew melon first recorded 1916, a cross between cantaloupe and a South African melon.
- honeyed (adj.)
- "sweet with honey," mid-14c., from honey (v.). Middle English also had honey-sweet (adj.) "sweet as honey; pleasurable; spiritually beneficial."
- honeymoon (n.)
- "indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a newly wed couple," 1540s (hony moone), but probably older, from honey (n.) in reference to the new marriage's sweetness, and moon (n.) "month" in reference to how long it probably will last, or from the changing aspect of the moon: no sooner full than it begins to wane. French has cognate lune de miel, but German version is flitterwochen (plural), from flitter "tinsel" + wochen "week." In figurative use from 1570s. Specific sense of "post-wedding holiday" attested from c. 1800.
- honeymoon (v.)
- "take a wedding trip," 1821, from honeymoon (n.). Related: Honeymooned; honeymooning; honeymooner. The first TV "Honeymooners" sketch aired in 1951.
- honeypot (n.)
- also honey-pot, late 15c., from honey (n.) + pot (n.1).
- honeysuckle (n.)
- c. 1300, hunisuccle "clover, red clover;" c. 1400 in reference to the common climbing vine with abundant fragrant flowers; diminutive of Middle English honeysouke, hunisuge (c. 1300), from Old English hunigsuge, meaning perhaps honeysuckle, clover, wild thyme, or privet, literally "honey-suck" (see honey (n.) + suck) + diminutive suffix -el (2). So called because "honey" can be sucked from it (by bees or persons). In Middle English sometimes a confused rendering of Latin locusta, taken as the name of a plant eaten by St. John the Baptist in the wilderness, thence "a locust."
So eet Baptist eerbis and hony. Sum men seien þat locusta is a litil beest good to ete; Sum seien it is an herbe þat gederiþ hony upon him; but it is licli þat it is an herbe þat mai nurishe men, þat þei clepen hony soukil, but þis þing varieþ in many contrees. ["Wycliffite Sermons," c. 1425]
- Hong Kong
- former British colony in China, from Cantonese pronunciation of Chinese Xianggang, literally "fragrant port." Perhaps so called from the scent of incense factories or opium cargoes, or from the semi-fresh waters of the bay. The Cantonese word hong, literally "row, series" was the general English term for foreign trading establishments in China (warehouse viewed as a row of rooms).
- honi soit qui mal y pense
- Middle French, "shame on him who thinks evil of it;" proverbial expression recorded from c. 1300, used as motto of the Order of the Garter.
- honk (n.)
- cry of a goose, 1814, American English, imitative. The sense of "sound a horn," especially on an automobile, first recorded 1895 in American English. As a verb by 1854, of geese. Related: Honked; honking.
- honker (n.)
- "that which honks," especially the wild goose of North America, agent noun from honk (v.).
- honky (n.)
- also honkey, derogatory word for "white person," by 1967, African-American vernacular, of unknown origin, perhaps from late 19c. hunky "East-Central European immigrant," which probably is a colloquial shortening of Hungarian (compare hunk (n.2)). Honky in the sense of "factory hand" is attested by 1946 in blues slang.
- honky-tonk (n.)
- "cheap night club," by 1898 (honk-a-tonk is from 1894), Southern U.S., of unknown origin. As a type of music played in that sort of low saloon, it is attested from 1921.
- chief city of Hawaii, from Hawaiian hono "port" + lulu "calm."
- honor (n.)
- c. 1200, onur, "glory, renown, fame earned," from Anglo-French honour, Old French onor, honor "honor, dignity, distinction, position; victory, triumph" (Modern French honneur), from Latin honorem (nominative honos, the form used by Cicero, but later honor) "honor, dignity, office, reputation," of unknown origin. In Middle English, it also could mean "splendor, beauty; excellence." Until 17c., honour and honor were equally frequent; the former now preferred in England, the latter in U.S. by influence of Noah Webster. Meaning "feminine purity, a woman's chastity" first attested late 14c. Honor roll in the scholastic sense attested by 1872.
The initial h in honest, honor, etc., is merely etymological, the sound having already disappeared when the word came into ME use. [Century Dictionary]
It was a Latinate correction that began to be made in early Old French. From c. 1300 as "action of honoring or paying respect to; act or gesture displaying reverence or esteem; state or condition inspiring respect; nobleness of character or manners; high station or rank; a mark of respect or esteem; a source of glory, a cause of good reputation." Meaning "one's personal title to high respect or esteem" is from 1540s.
- honor (v.)
- mid-13c., honuren, "to do honor to, show respect to," from Old French onorer, honorer "respect, esteem, revere; welcome; present" (someone with something), from Latin honorare "to honor," from honor "honor, dignity, office, reputation" (see honor (n.)). From c. 1300 as "confer honors on." From c. 1300 as "to respect, follow" (teachings, etc.). In the commercial sense of "accept a bill due, etc.," it is recorded from 1706, via the notion of "perform a duty of respect toward." Related: Honored; honoring.
A custom more honoured in the breach than the observance. Whoever will look up the passage (Hamlet I. iv. 16) will see that it means, beyond a doubt, a custom that one deserves more honour for breaking than for keeping: but it is often quoted in the wrong & very different sense of a dead letter or rule more often broken than kept. [Fowler]
- honorable (adj.)
- mid-14c. (mid-13c. as a surname, Walter le Onorable, also known as Walter Honurable), "worthy of respect or reverence, respectable," also "signifying or rendering distinction or respect; ensuring good repute or honor," from Old French onorable, honorable "respectable, respectful, civil, courteous," from Latin honorabilis "that procures honor, estimable, honorable," from honorare "to honor," from honor (see honor (n.)). Meaning "honest, sincere, in good faith" is from 1540s; sense of "acting justly" is from c. 1600.
"Now, George, you must divide the cake honorably with your brother Charlie."--George: "What is 'honorably,' mother?" "It means that you must give him the largest piece."--George: "Then, mother, I should rather Charlie would cut it." ["Smart Sayings of Bright Children," collected by Howard Paul, 1886]
As an epithet before the name of a peer, Church or civil official, guild officer, etc., from c.1400. As a noun, "honorable person," late 14c. Alternative adjective honorous (Old French honoros) seems not to have survived Middle English. Related: Honorably; honorableness.
- honoraria (n.)
- Latin plural of honorarium (q.v.).
- honorarium (n.)
- "fee for services rendered by a professional person such as a physician, barrister, etc.; honorary reward," 1650s, from Latin honorarium (donum), literally "honorary (gift)," but in Latin meaning "bribe paid to get appointed to an honorary post," neuter of adjective honorarius "for the sake of honor," from honos (see honor (n.)).
- honorary (adj.)
- 1610s, "bringing honor, done or made to signify honor," from honor (n.) + -ary; possibly influenced by French honoraire, Latin honorarius "pertaining to honor, honorary." Specific sense "done merely to confer honor, without customary obligations or requirements" is from 1660s.
- honoree (n.)
- by 1958, from honor + -ee. Less-used alternative honorand, from Latin honorandus, is from 1950.
- fem. proper name, from Latin Honoria, fem. of Honorius "man of reputation," from honos (see honor (n.)).
- honorific (adj.)
- "conferring honor," 1640s, from French honorifique (16c.) or directly from Latin honorificus "that which does honor," from honorem (see honor (n.)) + -ficus "making," from stem of facere "make, do" (see factitious). As a noun, "a word used as an honorific term," by 1867.
- honors (n.)
- "distinction for eminence in scholarship," by 1782, plural of honor (n.). Earlier in the sense "civilities paid; courtesies rendered" (1650s), which is the sense in do the honors (1650s), which originally meant the customary civilities and courtesies at a public entertainment, etc.
- chiefly British English spelling of honor; also see -or. Related: Honoured; honouring; honours.
- honourable (adj.)
- chiefly British English spelling of honorable; also see -or. Related: Honourably.
- hooch (n.)
- also hootch, "cheap whiskey," 1897, shortened form of Hoochinoo (1877) "liquor made by Alaskan Indians," from the name of a native tribe in Alaska whose distilled liquor was a favorite with miners during the 1898 Klondike gold rush; the tribe's name is said by OED to be from Tlingit Hutsnuwu, literally "grizzly bear fort."
As the supply of whisky was very limited, and the throats down which it was poured were innumerable, it was found necessary to create some sort of a supply to meet the demand. This concoction was known as "hooch"; and disgusting as it is, it is doubtful if it is much more poisonous than the whisky itself. [M.H.E. Hayne, "The Pioneers of the Klondyke," London, 1897]
- hoochy koochy (n.)
- also hoochie-coochie, hootchy kootchy, "erotic suggestive women's dance" (involving a lot of hip-grinding), 1898, of obscure origin, usually associated, without evidence, with the Chicago world's fair of 1893 and belly-dancer Little Egypt (who might not even have been there), but the word itself is attested from 1890, as the stage name of minstrel singer "Hoochy-Coochy Rice," and the chorus of the popular minstrel song "The Ham-Fat Man" (by 1856; see ham (n.2)) contains the nonsense phrase "Hoochee, kouchee, kouchee."
To-day, however, in place of the danse du ventre or the coochie-coochie we have the loop-the-loop or the razzle-dazzle, which latter, while not exactly edifying at least do not serve to deprave public taste. ["The Redemption of 'Old Coney,'" in "Broadway Magazine," April 1904]