- Logos (n.)
- 1580s, "the divine Word, second person of the Christian Trinity," from Greek logos "word, speech, statement, discourse," also "computation, account, also "reason," from PIE *log-o-, suffixed form of root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak," on notion of "to pick out words." The Greek word was used by Neo-Platonists in metaphysical and theological senses involving notions of both "reason" and "word" and subsequently picked up by New Testament writers.
- logy (adj.)
- also loggy, "dull and heavy," 1847, American English, perhaps from Dutch log "heavy, dull" + -y (2); compare Middle Low German luggich "sleepy, sluggish." Or perhaps a variant of loggy.
- loimic (adj.)
- "pertaining to plague," 1822, from Greek loimikos "pestilential," from loimos "plague, pestilence," metaphorically "pernicious man," most often taken as a variant of limos "hunger, famine," a word of uncertain origin. Related: Loimography (1706).
- loin (n.)
- early 14c., "side of the body of an animal used for food;" late 14c., "side of the lower torso of a human body," from Old French loigne "hip, haunch, lumbar region," from Vulgar Latin *lumbea, from *lumbea caro "meat of the loin," from fem. of *lumbeus, from Latin lumbus "loin," from PIE root *lendh- (1) "loin" (see lumbo-).
The native word was Old English lendenu "loins," from Proto-Germanic *landwin- (source also of German Lende "loin," Lenden "loins;" Old High German lenti, Old Saxon lendin, Middle Dutch lendine, Dutch lende, Old Norse lend). The Latin word perhaps was borrowed from Germanic. In Biblical translations, often used for "that part of the body that should be covered and about which the clothes are bound" (1520s), hence, in symbolic or figurative use, with reference to being the seat of sexual faculty and a symbol of strength. Related: Loins.
- loin-cloth (n.)
- also loincloth, "cloth worn about the loins" (properly the hips), 1851, from loin (n.) + cloth (n.).
- river through central France, from Latin Liger, which is perhaps from a compound of PIE roots meaning "mud" and "water."
- loiter (v.)
- early 15c., "idle one's time, dawdle over work;" perhaps from or akin to Middle Dutch loteren "be loose or erratic, shake, totter" like a loose tooth or a sail in a storm; in modern Dutch, leuteren "to delay, linger, loiter over one's work," according to Watkins, literally "to make smaller," and perhaps from Germanic *lut-, from PIE *leud- "small" (see little (adj.)).
The Dutch word is said to be cognate with Old English lutian "lurk," and related to Old English loddere "beggar;" Old High German lotar "empty, vain," luzen "lurk;" German Lotterbube "vagabond, rascal," lauschen "eavesdrop;" Gothic luton "mislead;" Old English lyðre "base, bad, wicked." Related: Loitered; loitering.
- loitering (n.)
- late 14c., verbal noun from loiter (v.).
- lol (interj.)
- by 1993, computer chat abbreviation of laughing out loud.
- fem. proper name, diminutive of Spanish Dolores.
- fem. proper name, diminutive of Lola (thus a double diminutive). Title and character name in the 1958 novel by Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) "about a precocious schoolgirl seduced by a middle-aged man" [OED]; hence figurative use (by 1960) "to designate people and situations resembling those in the book."
- loll (v.)
- mid-14c., lollen "to lounge idly, hang loosely;" late 14c., "rest at ease" (intransitive), a word of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Middle Dutch lollen "to doze, mumble," or somehow imitative of rocking or swinging. Specifically of the tongue from 1610s. Also in extended form lollop (1745). Related: Lolled; lolling. As a noun, from 1709. Lollpoop "A lazy, idle drone" ("Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue") is from 1660s.
- lollapalooza (n.)
- also lallapaloosa, lallapalootza, etc.; "remarkable or wonderful person or thing," 1901, American English, fanciful formation. The annual North American alternative pop music concert of the same name dates from 1991.
- name for certain heretics, late 14c., also Loller, from Middle Dutch lollaerd, a word applied pejoratively to members of semi-monastic reforming sects active in the Low Countries from c. 1300 who devoted themselves to the care of the sick and poor. The Dutch word means literally "mumbler, mutterer, one who mutters prayers and hymns," from lollen "to mumble or doze."
They were so called by critics who saw in them heretics pretending to humble piety, from lollen "to mumble or doze." In transferred use it became the generic late Middle English term for groups suspected of heresy, especially followers of John Wyclif. Related: Lollardism (the modern word); Lollardy (the old one).
- lollipop (n.)
- 1784, lolly-pops "soft candy, coarse sweetmeat made of treacle and sugar, usually with butter and flour added," a word "of obscure formation" [OED]. The elements are perhaps related to loll (v.) "to dangle" (the tongue) + pop "a strike, slap." Or the first element may be northern dialectal lolly "the tongue." Figurative sense of something sweet but unsubstantial is by 1849. Meaning "hard candy on a stick" is from 1920s.
- lolly (n.)
- short for lollipop, 1854. Also, in mid-20c. British slang, "money."
- lollygag (v.)
- "dawdle, dally," 1862, lallygag, American English, perhaps from dialectal lolly "tongue" + gag "deceive, trick." Related: Lollygagged; lollygagging.
- Lombard (n.)
- also (reflecting a variant pronunciation) Lumbard, late 15c., "native or inhabitant of Lombardy" in Italy, from Medieval Latin Lombardus (source also of Italian Lombardo), from Late Latin Langobardus, name of a Germanic people that originated in Scandinavia, migrated to the Elbe area 1c. C.E., then to Pannonia (5c.) and c. 568 uner Albonius conquered northern Italy and founded a kingdom there.
The name is from Proto-Germanic *Langgobardoz, often said to mean literally "Long-beards" (see long (adj.) + beard (n.)), but according to OED the second element is perhaps rather from the proper name of the people (Latin Bardi). Their name in Old English was Langbeardas (plural), but also Heaðobeardan, from heaðo "war."
In Middle English the word meant "banker, money-changer, pawnbroker" (late 14c.), especially a Lombard or other Italian trading locally, before it was used in reference to the nationality. The name in Old French (Lombart, Lombert) also meant, in addition, "money-changer; usurer; coward." Lombards were noted throughout medieval Western Europe as bankers and money-lenders, also pawn-brokers. French also gave the word in this sense to Middle Dutch and Low German.
London's Lombard Street (c. 1200) originally was the site of the houses of Lombard (and other Italian) bankers, who dominated the London money-market into Elizabethan times. An old expression for "long odds, much against little" was Lombard Street to a China orange (1815, earlier to an egg-shell, 1763).
- 1690s, from Lombard + -ic or from Medieval Latin Lombardicus.
- region and former kingdom (overthrown 744 by Charlemagne) in northern Italy; see Lombard. Lombardy poplar, originally from Italy but planted in North American colonies as an ornamental tree, is attested from 1766.
- chief city and capital of England, Latin Londinium (c.115), according to the "Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names," "unexplained." It is often said to be "place belonging to a man named *Londinos," a supposed Celtic personal name meaning "the wild one," "but this etymology is rejected in an emphatic footnote in Jackson 1953 (p.308), and we have as yet nothing to put in its place" [Margaret Gelling, "Signposts to the Past: Place-Names and the History of England," Chichester, 1978]. Its mythical history is told in Layamon's "Brut" (c. 1200).
In late Old English often with -burg, -wic, or -ceaster. As an adjective, Old English had Lundenisc, but this seems to have fallen from use, and modern Londonish (1838) probably is a re-coinage. Also Londony (1884); Londonesque (1852); Londinensian (George Meredith); Londonian (1824, marked "rare" in OED).
London Bridge the children's singing game is attested from 1827. London broil "large flank steak broiled then cut in thin slices" attested 1930s, American English; London fog first attested 1785.
- Londoner (n.)
- "resident or native of London," mid-15c., from London + -er (1). Earlier (late 14c.) was Londenoys, from Anglo-French Londenois.
- lone (adj.)
- late 14c., "having no companion, solitary, apart from any other," shortening of alone (q.v.) by weakening of stress or else by misdivision of what is properly all one. Used attributively, while the full form is used in the predicate. Compare live (adj.), from alive; colloquial 'long for along. The Lone Star in reference to Texas is first recorded 1843, from its flag when it was a nation. Lone wolf in the figurative sense is 1901, American English.
- loneliness (n.)
- 1580s, "condition of being solitary," from lonely + -ness. Meaning "feeling of being dejected from want of companionship or sympathy" is from 1814.
- loneling (n.)
- "single child" (as opposed to a twin, etc.), 1570s, from lone (adj.) + -ling.
- lonely (adj.)
- c. 1600, "solitary, lone; unfrequented," from lone + -ly (1). Meaning "dejected for want of company" is from 1811. Lonely heart (n.) "a lonely-hearted person" is from 1922. Lonely hearted (adj.) is attested from 1820.
- loneness (n.)
- "state of being solitary or alone," 1590s, from lone (adj.) + -ness.
- loner (n.)
- "one who avoids company," 1946; see lone. Apparently first in U.S. baseball slang:
Ted [Williams] is likable enough in spite of his obsession with his specialty. He is something of a "loner," and he refuses to pal around with his teammates in off hours, but in the clubhouse he does his share of the talking. ["Life" magazine, Sept. 23, 1946]
- lonesome (adj.)
- 1640s, from lone (adj.) + -some (1). Related: Lonesomeness. An older adjective was loneful (1560s).
Loneliness expresses the uncomfortable feelings, the longing for society, of one who is alone. Lonesomeness may be a lighter kind of loneliness, especially a feeling less spiritual than physical, growing out of the animal instinct for society and the desire of protection, the consciousness of being alone .... Lonesomeness, more often than loneliness, may express the impression made upon the observer. [Century Dictionary]
- long (adj.)
- Old English lang "having a great linear extent, that extends considerably from end to end; tall; lasting," from Proto-Germanic *langgaz (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon lang, Old High German and German lang, Old Norse langr, Middle Dutch lanc, Dutch lang, Gothic laggs "long").
The Germanic words perhaps are from PIE *dlonghos- (source also of Latin longus "long, extended; further; of long duration; distant, remote," Old Persian darga-, Persian dirang, Sanskrit dirghah "long"), from root *del- (1) "long" (source also of Greek dolikhos "long," endelekhes "perpetual"). Latin longus (source of prolong, elongate, longitude, etc.) thus is probably cognate with, but not the source of, the Germanic words. The word illustrates the Old English tendency for short "a" to become short "o" before -n- (also retained in bond/band and West Midlands dialectal lond from land and hond from hand).
Also in Old English in reference to time, "drawn out in duration," with overtones of "serious." The old sense of "tall" now appears to be dialectal only, or obsolete. For long "during a long time" is from c. 1300. To be long on something, "have a lot" of it, is from 1900, American English slang. A long vowel (c. 1000) originally was pronounced for an extended time. Long division is from 1808. Sporting long ball is from 1744, originally in cricket. Long jump as a sporting event is attested from 1864. A long face, one drawn downward in expression of sadness or solemnity, is from 1786. Long in the tooth (1841 of persons) is from horses showing age by recession of gums (but not in this sense until 1870). Long knives, name Native Americans gave to white settlers (originally in Virginia/Kentucky) is from 1774, perhaps a reference to their swords. Long time no see, supposedly imitative of American Indian speech, is first recorded 1919 as Chinese English.
- long (v.)
- Middle English longen, from Old English langian "to yearn after, grieve for," literally "to grow long, lengthen," from Proto-Germanic *langojan, which probably is connected with the root of long (adj.). Cognate with Old Norse langa, Old Saxon langon, Middle Dutch langhen, Old High German langen "to long," German verlangen "to desire." Related: Longed; longing.
- long (adv.)
- Old English lange, longe "for a length of time, a long time; far, to a great extent in space," from long (adj.). Old English also had langlice (adv.) "for a long time, long, at length." Longly (adv.) is rarely used. No longer "not as formerly" is from c. 1300; to be not long for this world "soon to die" is from 1714.
- long (n.)
- in long and short of it "the sum of the matter in a few words," c. 1500, from long (adj.).
- long johns (n.)
- type of long, warm underwear, 1943, originally made for U.S. GIs in World War II. Earlier as the name of a type of pastry (1919). Also used of sorts of worm, potato, table, sled, etc.
- long pig (n.)
- "human being eaten as food," by 1848, in stories from the Fiji Islands, said to be a literal rendering of a local term, in one version puaka balava.
Bau literally stank for many days, human flesh having been cooked in every house, and the entrails thrown outside as food for pigs, or left to putrefy in the sun. The Somosomo people were fed with human flesh during their stay at Bau, they being on a visit at that time; and some of the Chiefs of other towns, when bringing their food, carried a cooked human being on one shoulder, and a pig on the other; but they always preferred the "long pig," as they call a man when baked. ["FEEJEE.--Extract of a Letter from the Rev. John Watsford, dated Ono, October 6th, 1846." in "Wesleyan Missionary Notices," Sept. 1847]
- long run (n.)
- also long-run, "ultimate outcome," 1620s, from long (adj.) + run (n.); the notion is "when events have run their course." As an adjective from 1804.
- long shot (n.)
- also long-shot, in the figurative sense of "something unlikely," 1867, from long (adj.) + shot (n.). The notion is of a shot at a target from a great distance, thus difficult to make. Cinematic sense is from 1922. As an adjective by 1975.
- long-ago (adj.)
- 1834, from the adverbial phrase, "far away in past time;" see long (adv.) + ago. As a noun from 1842.
- long-beard (n.)
- "man with a long beard," late 14c., from long (adj.) + beard (n.).
- long-boat (n.)
- longest and strongest boat on a sailing ship, 1510s, from long (adj.) + boat (n.).
- long-distance (adj.)
- 1878, in reference to telephoning (1876 of railway fares and traffic), from long (adj.) + distance (n.).
Lieut. G.R.R. Savage, R.E., writing from Roorkee, North-West Provinces, India, sends us an account of some interesting experiments he has been making on long-distance telephones. He constructed telephones expressly for long-distance work, and succeeded in getting a bugle-call heard distinctly over 400 miles of Government telegraph line .... ["Nature," May 16, 1878]
- long-drawn (adj.)
- "protracted," 1640s, from long (adv.) + drawn.
- long-hair (n.)
- also longhair, 1893, "cat with long hair," from long (adj.) + hair (n.). As "intellectual," especially in musical tastes, "devotee of classical music," 1920 (late 19c. long hair was noted as a characteristic of classical musicians, perhaps inspired by the famous locks of Liszt). Sense of "hippie" attested from 1969. The adjective long-haired is attested from mid-15c.
Forty years ago, a music teacher who was not born abroad and who did not wear long hair was regarded with suspicion. He was spurious--not the real thing. On the face of it he could not be a good musician. [W. Francis Gates, in "The Music Student," vol. i, no. 3, October 1915]
- long-haul (adj.)
- 1873, originally in railroad use, in reference to the relative length of transportation, which determined the rate paid for it (long hauls = lower rate per mile); see long (adj.) + haul (n.).
- long-headed (adj.)
- "discerning," 1700, slang, from long (adj.) + -headed. Literal sense is from 1856. A long head "mind characterized by shrewdness and sagacity" is by 1793.
- long-lived (adj.)
- "having long life," c. 1400, from long (adv.) + past participle of live (v.). Old English had langlife "long-lived."
- long-neck (n.)
- 1660s, from long (adj.) + neck (n.).
- long-playing (adj.)
- 1910, of gramophone recordings, from long (adv.) + present participle of play (v.).
- long-range (adj.)
- 1854, from long (adj.) + range (n.).
- long-running (adj.)
- 1943, of theatrical productions, from long (adv.) + present participle of run (v.). Related: Longest-running.