- male proper name, from Welsh Llywelin, often explained as "lion-like," but probably from llyw "leader."
- male proper name, from Welsh Llwyd, literally "gray," from PIE *pel- (2) "pale" (see pallor). Lloyd's, meaning the London-based association of marine underwriters, is first recorded as such 1805, from Lloyd's Coffee House, Tower Street, London, opened in 1688 by Edward Lloyd, who supplied shipping information to his patrons.
- by 1997, online abbreviation of laughing my ass off. Related: LMFAO (by 2000).
- lo (interj.)
- early 13c., from Old English la, exclamation of surprise, grief, or joy; influenced in Middle English by lo!, short for lok "look!" imperative of loken "to look" (see look (v.)). Expression lo and behold attested by 1779.
- loach (n.)
- small edible European fish, mid-14c., from Old French loche (13c.), also, in dialect, "slug," of unknown origin (see discussion in Gamillscheg).
- load (n.)
- "that which is laid upon a person or beast, burden," c. 1200, from Old English lad "way, course, carrying," from Proto-Germanic *laitho (source also of Old High German leita, German leite, Old Norse leið "way, course"); related to Old English lædan "to guide," from PIE *leit- (2) "to go forth" (see lead (v.1)). Sense shifted 13c. to supplant words based on lade, to which it is not etymologically connected; original association with "guide" is preserved in lodestone. Meaning "amount customarily loaded at one time" is from c. 1300.
Figurative sense of "burden weighing on the mind, heart, or soul" is first attested 1590s. Meaning "amount of work" is from 1946. Colloquial loads "lots, heaps" is attested from c. 1600. Phrase take a load off (one's) feet "sit down, relax" is from 1914, American English. Get a load of "take a look at" is American English colloquial, attested from 1929.
- load (v.)
- late 15c., "to place in or on a vehicle," from load (n.). Transitive sense of "to put a load in or on" is from c. 1500; of firearms from 1620s. Of a vehicle, "to fill with passengers," from 1832. Related: Loaded; loaden (obs.); loading.
- loaded (adj.)
- "drunk," slang, 1886, from past participle of load (v.), from expression take one's load "drink one's fill" (1590s). In the sense of "rich," loaded is attested from 1910.
- loader (n.)
- late 15c., "person who loads," agent noun from load (v.). Of machinery, by 1862.
- loaf (n.)
- late 13c., from Old English hlaf "portion of bread baked in a mass of definite form," from Proto-Germanic *khlaibuz (source also of Old Norse hleifr, Swedish lev, Old Frisian hlef, Old High German hleib, German Laib, Gothic hlaifs "bread, loaf"), of uncertain origin, perhaps connected to Old English hlifian "to raise higher, tower," on the notion of the bread rising as it bakes, but it is unclear whether "loaf" or "bread" is the original sense. Finnish leipä, Old Church Slavonic chlebu, Lithuanian klepas probably are Germanic loan words. Meaning "chopped meat shaped like a bread loaf" is attested from 1787.
- loaf (v.)
- 1835, American English, back-formation from loafer (1830). Related: Loafed; loafing.
The term "loafing" is, of course, very vague. Its meaning, like that of its opposite, "work," depends largely on the user. The highly successful quarterback with an E in Greek is a loafer in his professor's eyes, while the idea of the professor's working, in spite of his voluminous researches on Mycenean Table Manners, would excite hoots of derision from the laborer that lays the drains before his study window. [Yale Literary Magazine, May 1908]
- loafer (n.)
- "idler, person who loafs," 1830, of uncertain origin, often regarded as a variant of land loper (1795), a partial loan-translation of German Landläufer "vagabond," from Land "land" + Läufer "runner," from laufen "to run" (see leap (v.)). But OED finds this connection "not very probable." As a type of shoe, 1937. Related: Loafers.
- loam (n.)
- Old English lam "clay, mud, mire, earth," from Proto-Germanic *laimaz (source also of Old Saxon lemo, Dutch leem, German Lehm "loam"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)). As a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1660s. As a verb from c. 1600.
- loan (n.)
- mid-13c., from Old Norse lan, related to lja "to lend," from Proto-Germanic *laikhwniz (source also of Old Frisian len "thing lent," Middle Dutch lene, Dutch leen "loan, fief," Old High German lehan, German Lehn "fief, feudal tenure"), originally "to let have, to leave (to someone)," from PIE *leikw- "to leave" (see relinquish).
The Norse word also is cognate with Old English læn "gift," which did not survive into Middle English, but its derived verb lænan is the source of lend (v.). As a verb, loan is attested from 1540s, perhaps earlier, and formerly was current, but has now been supplanted in England by lend, though it survives in American English.
Loan word (1874) is a translation of German Lehnwort; loan-translation "word or phrase that has been translated literally from another language and which keeps its original connotation" is attested by 1933, from German Lehnübersetzung. Slang loan shark first attested 1900.
- loaner (n.)
- 1884, "one who lends," agent noun from loan (v.). Meaning "a thing loaned" especially in place of one being repaired, is from 1926.
- loath (adj.)
- Old English lað "hated; hateful; hostile; repulsive," from Proto-Germanic *laithaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian leth "loathsome," Old Norse leiðr "hateful, hostile, loathed;" Middle Dutch lelijc, Dutch leelijk "ugly;" Old High German leid "sorrowful, hateful, offensive, grievous," German Leid "sorrow"), from PIE root *leit- (1) "to detest."
Weakened meaning "averse, disinclined" is attested from late 14c. Loath to depart, a line from some long-forgotten song, is recorded since 1580s as a generic term expressive of any tune played at farewells, the sailing of a ship, etc. Related: Loathness. French laid "ugly" is from the same source, via Frankish *laid or another Germanic word.
- loathe (v.)
- Old English laðian "to hate, to be disgusted with," from lað "hostile" (see loath). Cognate with Old Saxon lethon, Old Norse leiða. Related: Loathed; loathing.
- loathing (n.)
- "abhorrence," mid-14c., verbal noun from loathe.
- loathly (adj.)
- Old English laðlic "hateful, horrible, unpleasant;" see loath + -ly (2). As an adverb, Old English laðlice.
- loathsome (adj.)
- c. 1300, "foul, detestable," from loath in its older, stronger sense + -some (1). Related: Loathsomely; loathsomeness.
- lob (v.)
- "send up in a slow, high arc," 1824 (implied in lobbing), but the word existed 16c. in various senses suggesting heavy, pendant, or floppy things, and probably is ultimately from an unrecorded Old English word; compare East Frisian lobbe "hanging lump of flesh," Dutch lob "hanging lip, ruffle, hanging sleeve," Danish lobbes "clown, bumpkin." Related: Lobbed; lobbing. The noun in this sense is from 1875, from the verb.
- lob (n.)
- a word of widespread application to lumpish things, probably in Old English. Compare Middle Dutch, Middle Low German lobbe, Old Norse lubba. From late 13c. as a surname; meaning "pollack" is from early 14c.; that of "lazy lout" is from late 14c.
- lobate (adj.)
- "having lobes," 1760, from Modern Latin lobatus, from lobus (see lobe).
- lobby (n.)
- 1530s, "cloister, covered walk," from Medieval Latin laubia, lobia "covered walk in a monastery," from a Germanic source (compare Old High German louba "hall, roof;" see lodge (n.)). Meaning "large entrance hall in a public building" is from 1590s. Political sense of "those who seek to influence legislation" is attested by 1790s in American English, in reference to the custom of influence-seekers gathering in large entrance-halls outside legislative chambers.
- lobby (v.)
- "seek to influence legislation," 1826, American English, from lobby (n.). Related: Lobbied; lobbying.
- lobbyist (n.)
- 1863, American English, from lobby (n.) in the political sense + -ist.
[A] strong lobbyist will permit himself to lose heavily at the poker-table, under the assumption that the great Congressman who wins the stake will look leniently upon the little appropriation he means to ask for. [George A. Townsend, "Events at the National Capital and the Campaign of 1876," Hartford, Conn., 1876]
- lobe (n.)
- early 15c., "a lobe of the liver or lungs," from Middle French lobe and directly from Medieval Latin lobus, from Late Latin lobus "hull, husk, pod," from Greek lobos "lobe of the ear, vegetable pod," perhaps related to Greek leberis "husk of fruits," from PIE *logwos. Extended 1670s to divisions of the brain.
- loblolly (n.)
- "thick gruel," 1590s, probably from lob, imitative of bubbling and boiling + lolly, obsolete Devonshire dialect word for "broth, soup, food boiled in a pot."
- lobo (n.)
- wolf of the U.S. southwest, 1859, from Spanish lobo, from Latin lupus (see wolf).
- lobotomize (v.)
- 1943; see lobotomy + -ize. Related: Lobotomized.
- lobotomy (n.)
- 1936, coined from lobe (in the brain sense) + medical suffix -tomy. Figurative use is attested from 1953.
Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
That I got no cerebellum
[Ramones, "Teenage Lobotomy," 1977]
- lobster (n.)
- marine shellfish, Old English loppestre "lobster, locust," corruption of Latin locusta, lucusta "lobster, locust," by influence of Old English loppe "spider," a variant of lobbe. The ending of Old English loppestre is the fem. agent noun suffix (as in Baxter, Webster; see -ster), which approximated the Latin sound.
Perhaps a transferred use of the Latin word; trilobite fossils in Worcestershire limestone quarries were known colloquially as locusts, which seems to be the generic word for "unidentified arthropod," as apple is for "foreign fruit." OED says the Latin word originally meant "lobster or some similar crustacean, the application to the locust being suggested by the resemblance in shape." Locusta in the sense "lobster" also appears in Old Cornish legast and French langouste, now "crawfish, crayfish," but in Old French both "lobster" and "locust" (a 13c. psalter has God giving over the crops of Egypt to the langoustes). As slang for "a British soldier" since 1640s, originally in reference to the jointed armor of the Roundhead cuirassiers, later (1660) to the red coat.
Sir William Waller having received from London [in June 1643] a fresh regiment of five hundred horse, under the command of sir Arthur Haslerigge, which were so prodigiously armed that they were called by the other side the regiment of lobsters, because of their bright iron shells with which they were covered, being perfect curasseers. [Clarendon, "History of the Rebellion," 1647]
- loc. cit.
- 1854, abbreviation of Latin loco citato or locus citatus "in the place cited;" hence, "in the book that has been previously quoted."
- locable (adj.)
- 1816, from Latin locare "to place" (see locate) + -able. Alternative formation locatable is attested from 1838.
- local (adj.)
- "pertaining to position," late 14c. (originally medical, "confined to a particular part of the body"), from Old French local (13c.) and directly from Late Latin localis "pertaining to a place," from Latin locus "place" (see locus). The meaning "limited to a particular place" is from c. 1500. Local color is from 1721, originally a term in painting; meaning "anything picturesque" is from c. 1900.
- local (n.)
- early 15c., "a medicament applied to a particular part of the body," from local (adj.). Meaning "inhabitant of a particular locality" is from 1825. The meaning "a local train" is from 1879; "local branch of a trade union" is from 1888; "neighborhood pub" is from 1934.
- locale (n.)
- 1772, local, from French local, noun use of local (adj.), from Latin locus "place" (see locus). English spelling with -e (1816) probably is based on morale or else to indicate stress.
The word's right to exist depends upon the question whether the two indispensable words locality & scene give all the shades of meaning required, or whether something intermediate is useful. [Fowler]
- localism (n.)
- "attachment to a particular locality," 1803, from local (adj.) + -ism. Meaning "something characteristic of a particular locality" is from 1823.
- localist (n.)
- 1680s, from local (adj.) + -ist. Related: Localistic.
- localitis (n.)
- "obsession with the problems of one's locality and consequent failure to see big pictures," 1943, from local (adj.) + transferred use of medical suffix -itis.
- locality (n.)
- 1620s, "fact of having a place," from French localité, from Late Latin localitatem (nominative localitas) "locality," from localis "belonging to a place" (see local). Meaning "a place or district" is from 1830.
- localization (n.)
- 1811, noun of action from localize.
- localize (v.)
- 1792, from local + -ize. Related: Localized; localizing.
- locally (adv.)
- mid-15c., from local (adj.) + -ly (2).
- locate (v.)
- 1650s, "to establish oneself in a place, settle," from Latin locatus, past participle of locare "to place, put, set, dispose, arrange," from locus "a place" (see locus). Sense of "mark the limits of a place" (especially a land grant) is attested from 1739 in American English; this developed to "establish (something) in a place" (1807) and "to find out the place of" (1882, American English). Related: Located; locating.
- location (n.)
- "position, place," 1590s, from Latin locationem (nominative locatio), noun of action from past participle stem of locare (see locate); Hollywood sense of "place outside a film studio where a scene is filmed" is from 1914.
- locative (n.)
- "grammatical case indicating place," 1804, from Latin locus "place" (see locus) on model of Latin vocativus "vocative," from vocatus, past participle of vocare "to call, summon." As an adjective by 1816.
- locator (n.)
- c. 1600, of persons, from Latin locator, agent noun from locare (see locate). Of things which locate, from 1902.
- locavore (n.)
- one who eats only locally grown or raised food, by 2001, from local + ending abstracted from carnivore, etc., ultimately from Latin vorare "to devour" (see voracity).
- loch (n.)
- late 14c., from Gaelic loch "lake, narrow arm of the sea," cognate with Old Irish loch "body of water, lake," Breton lagen, Anglo-Irish lough, Latin lacus (see lake (n.1)). The Loch Ness monster is first attested 1933.