pina colada (n.) Look up pina colada at
1942, from Spanish piña colada, literally "strained pineapple." First element from Latin pinea (see pineapple). For second element, see colander.
pinafore (n.) Look up pinafore at
"sleeveless apron worn by children," 1782, from pin (v.) + afore "on the front." So called because it was originally pinned to a dress front.
pinata (n.) Look up pinata at
1887, from Mexican Spanish piñata, in Spanish literally "jug, pot," ultimately from Latin pinea "pine cone," from pinus (see pine (n.)).
pinball (n.) Look up pinball at
also pin-ball, game played on a sloping surface, 1911, from pin (n.) + ball (n.1). Earlier it meant "a pincushion" (1803).
pince-nez (n.) Look up pince-nez at
folding eyeglasses, 1876, French, literally "pinch-nose," from pincer "to pinch" (see pinch (v.)) + nez "nose" (see nose (n.)).
pincers (n.) Look up pincers at
early 14c., "tool for grasping or nipping," from Old French pinceure "pincers, tongs," from pincier "to pinch" (see pinch). Applied to animal parts from 1650s. Related: Pincer.
pinch (v.) Look up pinch at
early 13c., from Old North French *pinchier "to pinch, squeeze, nip; steal" (Old French pincier, Modern French pincer), of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *punctiare "to pierce," which might be a blend of Latin punctum "point" + *piccare "to pierce." Meaning "to steal" in English is from 1650s. Sense of "to be stingy" is recorded from early 14c. Related: Pinched; pinching.
pinch (n.) Look up pinch at
late 15c., "critical juncture" (as in baseball pinch hitter, attested from 1912), from pinch (v.). This figurative sense is attested earlier than the literal sense of "act of pinching" (1590s) or that of "small quantity" (as much as can be pinched between a thumb and finger), which is from 1580s. There is a use of the noun from mid-15c. apparently meaning "fold or pleat of fabric."
pincushion (n.) Look up pincushion at
1630s, from pin (n.) + cushion (n.).
Pindaric (adj.) Look up Pindaric at
1630s, pertaining to or in the style of Pindar, from Latin Pindaricus, from Greek Pindaros, Greek lyric poet (c. 522-443 B.C.E.).
pine (n.) Look up pine at
"coniferous tree," Old English pin (in compounds), from Old French pin and directly from Latin pinus "pine, pine-tree, fir-tree," which is perhaps from a PIE *pi-nu-, from root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (see fat (adj.)). If so, the tree's name would be a reference to its sap or pitch. Compare Sanskrit pituh "juice, sap, resin," pitudaruh "pine tree," Greek pitys "pine tree." Also see pitch (n.1). Pine-top "cheap illicit whiskey," first recorded 1858, Southern U.S. slang. Pine-needle (n.) attested from 1866.
Most of us have wished vaguely & vainly at times that they knew a fir from a pine. As the Scotch fir is not a fir strictly speaking, but a pine, & as we shall continue to ignore this fact, it is plain that the matter concerns the botanist more than the man in the street. [Fowler]
pine (v.) Look up pine at
Old English pinian "to torture, torment, afflict, cause to suffer," from *pine "pain, torture, punishment," possibly ultimately from Latin poena "punishment, penalty," from Greek poine (see penal). A Latin word borrowed into Germanic (Middle Dutch pinen, Old High German pinon, German Pein, Old Norse pina) with Christianity. Intransitive sense of "to languish, waste away," the main modern meaning, is first recorded early 14c. Related: Pined; pining.
pine cone (n.) Look up pine cone at
1690s, from pine (n.) + cone (n.). An earlier word for it was pine nut (Old English pinhnyte); also see pineapple.
pine-barren (n.) Look up pine-barren at
1731, American-English, from pine (n.) + barren (n.).
pine-tree (n.) Look up pine-tree at
Old English pintreow; see pine (n.) + tree (n.).
pineal (adj.) Look up pineal at
1680s, in reference to the gland in the brain, from French pinéal, literally "like a pine cone," from Latin pinea "pine cone," from pinus "pine tree" (see pine (n.)).
pineapple (n.) Look up pineapple at
late 14c., "pine cone," from pine (n.) + apple. The reference to the fruit of the tropical plant (from resemblance of shape) is first recorded 1660s, and pine cone emerged 1690s to replace pineapple in its original sense except in dialect. For "pine cone," Old English also used pinhnyte "pine nut."
ping (n.) Look up ping at
1835, imitative of the sound of a bullet striking something sharply. Meaning "short, high-pitched electronic pulse" is attested from 1943. As a verb from 1855; in computer sense is from at least 1981. Related: Pinged; pinging.
ping-pong (n.) Look up ping-pong at
1900, as Ping-Pong, trademark for table tennis equipment (Parker Brothers). Both words are imitative of the sound of the ball hitting a hard surface; from ping + pong (attested from 1823). It had a "phenomenal vogue" in U.S. c. 1900-1905.
ping-pong (v.) Look up ping-pong at
1901, from ping-pong (n.). In the figurative sense from 1952. Related: Ping-ponged; ping-ponging.
pinguid (adj.) Look up pinguid at
1630s, from Latin pinguis "fat (adj.), juicy," figuratively "dull, gross, heavy; comfortable," from stem of pinguere, from PIE *pei- "fat, sap, juice" (see pine (n.)).
pinhead (n.) Look up pinhead at
also pin-head, "head of a pin," 1660s, from pin (n.) + head (n.). Meaning "person of small intelligence" is from 1896.
pinion (n.1) Look up pinion at
"wing joint, segment of a bird's wing," mid-15c., from Old French pignon "wing-feather, wing, pinion" (c. 1400), from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem (nominative *pinnio), augmentative of Latin pinna "wing" (see pin (n.)).
pinion (n.2) Look up pinion at
"small wheel with teeth to gear with a larger one" (as in rack and pinion), 1650s, from French pignon "pinion" (16c.), literally "gable," from Old French pignon "pointed gable, summit," from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem, augmentative of Latin pinna "battlement, pinnacle" (see pin (n.)).
pinion (v.) Look up pinion at
"disable by binding the arms," 1550s, older in English than literal sense "cut or bind the pinions (of a bird's wing) to prevent flying" (1570s); from pinion (n.1). Related: Pinioned.
pink (n., adj.) Look up pink at
1570s, common name of Dianthus, a garden plant of various colors, of unknown origin. Its use for "pale rose color" first recorded 1733 (pink-coloured is recorded from 1680s), from one of the colors of the flowers. The plant name is perhaps from pink (v.) via notion of "perforated" petals, or from Dutch pink "small" (see pinkie), from the term pinck oogen "half-closed eyes," literally "small eyes," which was borrowed into English (1570s) and may have been used as a name for Dianthus, which sometimes has pale red flowers.

As an earlier name for such a color English had incarnation "flesh-color" (mid-14c.), and as an adjective incarnate (1530s), from Latin words for "flesh" (see incarnation) but these also had other associations and tended to drift in sense from "flesh-color, blush-color" toward "crimson, blood color."

The flower meaning led (by 1590s) to a figurative use for "the flower" or finest example of anything (as in Mercutio's "Nay, I am the very pinck of curtesie," Rom. & Jul. II.iv.61). Political noun sense "person perceived as left of center but not entirely radical (i.e. red)" is attested by 1927, but the image dates to at least 1837. Pink slip "discharge notice" is first recorded 1915. To see pink elephants "hallucinate from alcoholism" first recorded 1913 in Jack London's "John Barleycorn."
pink (v.) Look up pink at
c. 1200, pungde "pierce, stab," later (early 14c.) "make holes in; spur a horse," of uncertain origin; perhaps from a Romanic stem that also yielded French piquer, Spanish picar (see pike (n.2)). Or perhaps from Old English pyngan and directly from Latin pungere "to prick, pierce," related to pugnus "a fist" (see pugnacious). Surviving mainly in pinking shears.
pink-collar (adj.) Look up pink-collar at
in reference to jobs generally held by women, 1977, from pink (adj.), considered a characteristically feminine color, + collar (n.).
pink-eye (n.) Look up pink-eye at
contagious eye infection, 1882, American English, from pink (adj.) + eye (n.).
Pinkerton (n.) Look up Pinkerton at
"semi-official detective," 1888, from the detective agency begun in U.S. 1850 by Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884).
pinkie (n.) Look up pinkie at
"the little finger," 1808, in Scottish, from Dutch pinkje, diminutive of pink "little finger," of uncertain origin.
pinko (n.) Look up pinko at
1936, derogatory slang form of pink (n.), used of people whose social or political views "have a tendency toward 'red;' " a metaphor that had existed since at least 1837. As an adjective by 1957.
pinky (adj.) Look up pinky at
"pinkish," late 18c., from pink (n.) + -y (2).
pinnace (n.) Look up pinnace at
small, light vessel, 1540s, from Middle French pinace (earlier spinace, 15c., from Old French espinace, Modern French péniche; also attested as Anglo-Latin spinachium (mid-14c.)); of unknown origin. The French word perhaps is from Italian pinaccia or Spanish pinaza, from pino "pine tree; ship" (Latin pinus "pine tree" also had a secondary sense of "ship, vessel"). But variations in early forms makes this uncertain.
pinnacle (n.) Look up pinnacle at
c. 1300, "mountain, peak, promontory," from Old French pinacle "top, gable" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin pinnaculum "peak, pinnacle, gable," extended form (via diminutive suffix, but not necessarily implying smallness) of Latin pinna "peak, point," (see pin (n.1)). Figurative use is attested from c. 1400.
pinnate (adj.) Look up pinnate at
1727, from Latin pinnatus "feathered, winged," from pinna "feather, wing" (see pin (n.)).
pinniped (n.) Look up pinniped at
1842, from Modern Latin Pinnipedia, suborder of aquatic carnivorous mammals (seals and walruses), literally "having feet as fins," from Latin pinna in secondary sense "fin" (see pin (n.)) + pes, genitive pedis "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)).
pinochle (n.) Look up pinochle at
also pinocle, 1864, Peaknuckle, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Swiss dialect Binokel (German), binocle (French), from French binocle "pince-nez" (17c.), from Medieval Latin binoculus "binoculars" (see binocular). Taken as a synonym for bésigue "bezique," the card game, and wrongly identified with besicles "spectacles," probably because the game is played with a double deck. Pinochle was popularized in U.S. late 1800s by German immigrants.
pinocytosis (n.) Look up pinocytosis at
from Greek pinein "to drink" (see imbibe) + -cytosis.
pinot (n.) Look up pinot at
type of grape vine used in wine-making, 1912, American English variant spelling of French pineau (attested in English from 1763), name of a family of wine grapes, from pin "pine tree" (see pine (n.)) + diminutive suffix -eau. So called from the shape of the grape clusters. Variants are pinot noir, "black," pinot blanc, "white," and pinot gris, "gray."
pinpoint (n.) Look up pinpoint at
also pin-point, "point of a pin," 1849, from pin (n.) + point (n.). Taken into aeronautics in sense "place identified from the air," hence verb meaning "locate precisely" (1917), which originally was aviators' slang. Related: Pinpointed; pinpointing. As an adjective, "performed with precisional accuracy," 1944, originally of aerial bombing.
pinprick (n.) Look up pinprick at
also pin-prick, 1851, from pin (n.) + prick (n.). Used figuratively of petty irritations from 1885. Earlier pin's prick (1825).
pinscher (n.) Look up pinscher at
1926, from German Pinscher, also Pinsch, probably from English pinch, in reference to its "clipped" ears.
pint (n.) Look up pint at
mid-14c., from Old French pinte "liquid measure, pint" (13c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *pincta (source of Old Provençal, Spanish, Italian pinta), altered from Latin picta "painted," fem. past participle of pingere "to paint" (see paint (v.)), on notion of a painted mark on a vessel indicating this measure. Used elliptically for "pint of ale" (or beer) from 1742. Pint-sized "small" (especially in reference to children) is recorded from 1938.
pintail (n.) Look up pintail at
type of duck, 1767, from pin (n.1) + tail (n.).
pinto (n.) Look up pinto at
1860, "a horse marked black and white," from American Spanish pinto, literally "painted, spotted," from Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *pinctus, variant of Latin pictus "painted," past participle of pingere "to paint" (see paint (v.)). Pinto bean is attested from 1916, so called for its markings.
pinwheel (n.) Look up pinwheel at
also pin-wheel, 1690s, "a wheel in the striking train of a clock in which pins are fixed to lift the hammer," from pin (n.) + wheel (n.). Fireworks sense is from 1869.
pinyin (n.) Look up pinyin at
system of Romanized spelling for Chinese, 1963, from Chinese pinyin "to spell, to combine sounds into syllables," from pin "put together" + yin "sound, tone." Adopted officially by the People's Republic of China in 1958. Outside China gradually superseding the 19c. Wade-Giles system (Mao Tse-tung is Wade-Giles, Mao Zedong is pinyin).
piolet (n.) Look up piolet at
1868, from Savoy French piolet "climber's ice-axe" (19c.), diminutive of piolo "axe," perhaps from Medieval Latin piola "plane, scraper."
pion (n.) Look up pion at
1951, from Greek letter pi + -on.