newsgroup (n.)
by 1985, from news (n.) + group (n.).
newsie (n.)
1875, short for newsboy.
newsletter (n.)
also news-letter , 1670s, from news (n.) + letter (n.). It fell from use until it was revived 20c.
newspaper (n.)
1660s, though the thing itself is older (see gazette); from news (n.) + paper (n.).
[T]he newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours -- distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it's the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version. [David Broder, Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, 1973]
Newspeak (n.)
name of the artificial language of official communication in George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four," 1949, from new (adj.) + speak (n.). Frequently applied to what is perceived as propagandistic warped English.
newsprint (n.)
"cheap paper from pulp, used to print newspapers," 1909, from news (n.) + print.
newsreel (n.)
1916, from news (n.) + reel (n.).
newsstand (n.)
1872, from news (n.) + stand (n.).
newsworthy (adj.)
1932, from news + worthy.
newsy (adj.)
"full of news," 1832 from news (n.) + -y (2). Related: Newsily; newsiness.
newt (n.)
early 15c., misdivision of an ewte (see N for other examples), from Middle English evete (see eft).
Newton (n.)
unit of force, 1904, named in honor of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).
next (adj.)
Old English niehsta, nyhsta (West Saxon), nesta (Anglian) "nearest, closest," superlative of neah (West Saxon), neh (Anglian) "nigh;" from Proto-Germanic *nekh- "near" + superlative suffix *-istaz. Cognate with Old Norse næstr, Dutch naast "next," Old High German nahisto "neighbor," German nächst "next." Adverbial and prepositional use from c.1200. Phrase the next person "a typical person" is from 1857.
next-door (adv.)
also nextdoor, 1570s, from noun phrase next door "nearest house" (late 15c.), from next + door. Noun meaning "the people living next door" is from 1855.
nexus (n.)
1660s, "bond, link, means of communication," from Latin nexus "that which ties or binds together," past participle of nectere "to bind," from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie" (see net (n.)).
Nez Perce
native people of Idaho and vicinity, and their language, from French Nez Percé, literally "pierced nose." In reference to an early custom of the people of wearing shell ornaments in pierced septums.
niacin (n.)
"pellagra-preventing vitamin in enriched bread," 1942, coined from ni(cotinic) ac(id) + -in (2), chemical suffix; suggested by the American Medical Association as a more commercially viable name than nicotinic acid.
The new name was found to be necessary because some anti-tobacco groups warned against enriched bread because it would foster the cigarette habit. ["Cooperative Consumer," Feb. 28, 1942]
Niagara
waterfall from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, from a town name, perhaps from an Iroquoian language and meaning "a neck" (between two bodies of water); general sense of "a cataract, torrent" is attested from 1841; meaning " 'shower' of ringlets (true or false) in women's hair" is from 1864, also known as cataract curls.
nib (n.)
1580s, "beak or bill of a bird," Scottish variant of Old English neb (see neb). Meaning "point" (of a pen or quill) first recorded 1610s.
nibble (v.)
"to bite gently," c.1500, perhaps from Low German nibbeln "to nibble, gnaw," related to Middle Low German nibbelen, Middle Dutch knibbelen "to gnaw," source of Dutch knibbelen "to cavail, squabble." Related: Nibbled; nibbling.
nibble (n.)
1650s, "act of nibbling," from nibble (v.). As "a small bite," from 1838.
Nibelungenlied (n.)
German epic poem of 13c., literally "song of the Nibelungs," a race of dwarves who lived in Norway and owned a hoard of gold and a magic ring, literally "children of the mist," related to Old High German nebul "mist, darkness," Old English nifol (see nebula).
niblick (n.)
golf club with a heavy head, of unknown origin.
nibs (n.)
especially in His Nibs "boss, employer, self-important person," 1821, of unknown origin; perhaps a variant of nob "person of high position."
Nicaragua
visited 1522 by Spanish conquistador Gil González Dávila, who is said to have named it for a local native chieftain, Nicarao. Related: Nicaraguan.
nice (adj.)
late 13c., "foolish, stupid, senseless," from Old French nice (12c.) "careless, clumsy; weak; poor, needy; simple, stupid, silly, foolish," from Latin nescius "ignorant, unaware," literally "not-knowing," from ne- "not" (see un-) + stem of scire "to know" (see science). "The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj." [Weekley] -- from "timid" (pre-1300); to "fussy, fastidious" (late 14c.); to "dainty, delicate" (c.1400); to "precise, careful" (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to "agreeable, delightful" (1769); to "kind, thoughtful" (1830).
"In many examples from the 16th and 17th centuries it is difficult to say in what particular sense the writer intended it to be taken." [OED]
By 1926, it was pronounced "too great a favorite with the ladies, who have charmed out of it all its individuality and converted it into a mere diffuser of vague and mild agreeableness." [Fowler]
"I am sure," cried Catherine, "I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should I not call it so?"
"Very true," said Henry, "and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything." [Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey," 1803]
nicely (adv.)
early 14c., "foolishly," from nice + -ly (2). From c.1600 as "scrupulously;" 1714 as "in an agreeable fashion."
Nicene (adj.)
early 15c., in reference to Nicaea (Greek Nikaia, modern Turkish Isnik), city in Bithynia where ecclesiastical council of 325 C.E. dealt with the Arian schism and produced the Nicene Creed. A second council held there (787) considered the question of images.
niceness (n.)
1520s, "folly, foolish behavior," from nice + -ness. Meaning "exactness" is from 1670s; that of "pleasantness" is from 1809.
nicety (n.)
mid-14c., "folly, stupidity," from Old French niceté "foolishness, childishness, simplicity," from nice "silly" (see nice). Underwent sense evolution parallel to nice, arriving at "minute, subtle point" 1580s and "exactitude" in 1650s. Phrase to a nicety "exactly" is attested from 1795.
niche (n.)
1610s, "shallow recess in a wall," from French niche "recess (for a dog), kennel" (14c.), perhaps from Italian nicchia "niche, nook," from nicchio "seashell," said by Klein and Barnhart to be probably from Latin mitulus "mussel," but the change of -m- to -n- is not explained. Watkins suggests that the word is from an Old French noun derived from nichier "to nestle, nest, build a nest," via Gallo-Roman *nidicare from Latin nidus "nest;" but that has difficulties, too. Figurative sense is first recorded 1725. Biological use dates from 1927.
Nicholas
masc. proper name, from French Nicolas, from Latin Nicholaus, Nicolaus, from Greek Nikholaos, literally "victory-people," from nike "victory" (see Nike) + laos "people" (see lay (adj.)). The saint (obit. 326 C.E.) was a bishop of Myra in Lycia, patron of scholars, especially schoolboys. A popular given name in England in Middle Ages, as was the fem. form Nicolaa, corresponding to French Nicole. Colloquial Old Nick "the devil" is attested from 1640s, evidently from the proper name, but for no certain reason.
nick (n.)
"notch, groove, slit," late 15c., nyke, of unknown origin, possibly influenced by Middle French niche (see niche), or from it. Nick of time is first attested 1640s (nick of opportunity is 1610s), possibly from an old custom of recording time as it passed by making notches on a tally stick, though nick in the general sense of "critical moment" is older (1570s, Hanmer, who adds "as commonly we say") than the phrase.
nick (v.)
1520s, "to make a notch in," from nick (n.). Sense of "to steal" is from 1869, probably from earlier slang sense of "to catch, take unawares, arrest" (1620s). The precise sense connection is unclear. Related: Nicked; nicking.
Nick
masc. proper name, familiar form of Nicholas. As "the devil" by 1640s, but the reason for it is obscure.
nickel (n.)
whitish metal element, 1755, coined in 1754 by Swedish mineralogist Axel von Cronstedt (1722-1765) from shortening of Swedish kopparnickel "copper-colored ore" (from which it was first obtained), a half-translation of German Kupfernickel, literally "copper demon," from Kupfer (see copper) + Nickel "demon, goblin, rascal" (a pet form of masc. proper name Nikolaus, compare English Old Nick "the devil;" see Nicholas); the ore so called by miners because it looked like copper but yielded none.

Meaning "coin made partly of nickel" is from 1857, when the U.S. introduced one-cent coins made of nickel to replace the old bulky copper pennies. Application to five-cent piece (originally one part nickel, three parts copper) is from 1883, American English; in earlier circulation there were silver half-dimes. To nickel-and-dime (someone) is from 1964 (nickels and dimes "very small amounts of money" is attested from 1893).
nickelodeon (n.)
1888, "motion picture theater," from nickel "five-cent coin" (the cost to view one) + -odeon, as in Melodeon (1840) "music hall," ultimately from Greek oideion "building for musical performances" (see odeon). Meaning "nickel jukebox" is first attested 1938.
nicker (v.)
"to neigh," 1774, of imitative origin (see neigh). Related: Nickered; nickering.
nickname (n.)
mid-15c., misdivision of ekename (c.1300), an eke name, literally "an additional name," from Old English eaca "an increase," related to eacian "to increase" (see eke; also see N). As a verb from 1530s. Related: Nicknamed; nicknaming.
nicky-tam (n.)
also nicky tam, "garter worn over trousers," 1911, from Scottish, from shortened form of knickers + Scottish & northern English dialect taum, from Old Norse taumr "cord, rein, line," cognate with Old English team (see team). Originally a string tied by Scottish farmers around rolled-up trousers to keep the legs of them out of the dirt.
nicotine (n.)
poisonous alkaloid found in tobacco leaves, 1819, from French nicotine, earlier nicotiane, from Modern Latin Nicotiana, formal botanical name for the tobacco plant, named for Jean Nicot (c.1530-1600), French ambassador to Portugal, who sent tobacco seeds and powdered leaves back to France 1561. His name is a diminutive of Nicolas.
nicotinic (adj.)
1873, from nicotine + -ic.
nictitate (v.)
"to wink," 1822, from Medieval Latin nictitatus, past participle of nictitare, frequentative of Latin nictare "wink, blink," related to nicere "to beckon," from PIE root *kneigwh- "to lean on, to bend" (the eyelids together). Related: Nictitated; nictitating (1713). Earlier form was nictate (v.), 1690s, from Latin nictare.
nidicolous (adj.)
of birds, "bearing young which are helpless at birth," 1920, from Modern Latin Nidicolae (1894), from Latin nidus (see nest (n.)) + colere "to inhabit" (see colony). Contrasted to nidifugous birds (1902), whose young are well-developed and leave the nest at birth (from Latin fugere "to flee").
nidification (n.)
"nest-building," 1650s, from nidify, from Latin nidus "a nest" (see nest (n.)) + -ify.
nidus (n.)
"nest, breeding place," 1742, from Latin nidus "a nest," from Old Latin *nizdus (see nest (n.)). Figurative use by 1807. Classical plural is nidi.
niece (n.)
c.1300, from Old French niece "niece, granddaughter" (12c., Modern French nièce), earlier niepce, from Latin neptia (also source of Portuguese neta, Spanish nieta), from neptis "granddaughter," in Late Latin "niece," fem. of nepos "grandson, nephew" (see nephew). Replaced Old English nift, from Proto-Germanic *neftiz, from the same PIE root (Old English also used broðordohter and nefene).

Until c.1600, it also commonly meant "a granddaughter" or any remote female descendant. Cognate with Spanish nieta, Old Lithuanian nepte, Sanskrit naptih "granddaughter;" Czech net, Old Irish necht, Welsh nith, German Nichte "niece."
Nielsen
in reference to popularity ratings of TV and radio programs, 1951, named for U.S. market researcher Arthur Clarke Nielsen (1897-1980), founder of A.C. Nielsen Co., which evaluates viewership based on samplings of receiving sets.
Nietzschean (adj.)
1904, in reference to the ideas or followers of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).
nieve (n.)
"clenched fist" (northern and Scottish dialect), c.1300, from Old Norse hnefi (related to Norwegian dialectal neve, Swedish näfve, Danish næve), not found in other Germanic languages.