sham (n.) Look up sham at Dictionary.com
1670s, "a trick, a hoax, a fraud," also as a verb and an adjective, of uncertain origin; the words burst into use in 1677. Perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of shame (n.); a derivation OED finds "not impossible." Sense of "something meant to be mistaken for something else" is from 1728. The meaning "false front" in pillow-sham (1721) is from the notion of "counterfeit." Related: Shammed; shamming; shammer. Shamateur "amateur sportsman who acts like a professional" is from 1896.
shaman (n.) Look up shaman at Dictionary.com
1690s, "priest of the Ural-Altaic peoples," probably via German Schamane, from Russian sha'man, from Tungus saman, which is perhaps from Chinese sha men "Buddhist monk," from Prakrit samaya-, from Sanskrit sramana-s "Buddhist ascetic" [OED]. Related: Shamanic.
shamanism (n.) Look up shamanism at Dictionary.com
1780, from shaman + -ism. Related: Shamanistic.
shamble (v.) Look up shamble at Dictionary.com
"to walk with a shuffling gait, walk awkwardly and unsteadily," 1680s, from an adjective meaning "ungainly, awkward" (c. 1600), from shamble (n.) "table, bench" (see shambles), perhaps on the notion of the splayed legs of bench, or the way a worker sits astride it. Compare French bancal "bow-legged, wobbly" (of furniture), properly "bench-legged," from banc "bench." The noun meaning "a shambling gait" is from 1828. Related: Shambled; shambling.
shambles (n.) Look up shambles at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "meat or fish market," from schamil "table, stall for vending" (c. 1300), from Old English scamol, scomul "stool, footstool" (also figurative); "bench, table for vending," an early Proto-Germanic borrowing (Old Saxon skamel "stool," Middle Dutch schamel, Old High German scamel, German schemel, Danish skammel "footstool") from Latin scamillus "low stool, a little bench," ultimately a diminutive of scamnum "stool, bench," from PIE root *skabh- "to prop up, support." In English, sense evolved from "place where meat is sold" to "slaughterhouse" (1540s), then figuratively "place of butchery" (1590s), and generally "confusion, mess" (1901, usually in plural).
shambolic (adj.) Look up shambolic at Dictionary.com
1961, apparently from shamble in the sense "disorder" (see shambles), perhaps on model of symbolic.
shame (n.) Look up shame at Dictionary.com
Old English scamu, sceomu "feeling of guilt or disgrace; confusion caused by shame; disgrace, dishonor, insult, loss of esteem or reputation; shameful circumstance, what brings disgrace; modesty; private parts," from Proto-Germanic *skamo (cognates: Old Saxon skama, Old Norse skömm, Swedish skam, Old Frisian scome, Dutch schaamte, Old High German scama, German Scham). The best guess is that this is from PIE *skem-, from *kem- "to cover" (covering oneself being a common expression of shame).

Until modern times English had a productive duplicate form in shand. An Old Norse word for it was kinnroði, literally "cheek-redness," hence, "blush of shame." Greek distinguished shame in the bad sense of "disgrace, dishonor" (aiskhyne) from shame in the good sense of "modesty, bashfulness" (aidos). To put (someone or something) to shame is mid-13c. Shame culture attested by 1947.
shame (v.) Look up shame at Dictionary.com
Old English scamian "be ashamed, blush, feel shame; cause shame," from the root of shame (n.). Compare Old Saxon scamian, Dutch schamen, Old High German scamen, Danish skamme, Gothic skaman, German schämen sich. Related: Shamed; shaming.
shamefaced (adj.) Look up shamefaced at Dictionary.com
"modest, bashful," 1550s, folk etymology alteration of shamefast, from Old English scamfæst "bashful," literally "restrained by shame," or else "firm in modesty," from shame (n.) + -fæst, adjectival suffix (see fast (adj.)). Related: Shamefacedly; shamefacedness.
shamefaced, -fast. It is true that the second is the original form, that -faced is due to a mistake, & that the notion attached to the word is necessarily affected in some slight degree by the change. But those who, in the flush of this discovery, would revert to -fast in ordinary use are rightly rewarded with the name of pedants .... [Fowler]
shameful (adj.) Look up shameful at Dictionary.com
Old English scamful "modest;" see shame (n.) + -ful. Meaning "disgraceful, causing shame" is from c. 1300. Related: Shamefully; shamefulness. Middle English shamely (adv.) "shamefully" for some reason has fallen from use. Old English scamlic (adj.) "shameful, disgraceful," but this also could mean "modest."
shameless (adj.) Look up shameless at Dictionary.com
Old English scamleas "shameless, impudent, immodest;" see shame (n.) + -less. Related: Shamelessly; shamelessness. Similar formation in Old Norse skammlauss, Dutch schaamteloos, Old High German scamalos, German schamlos.
shammy (n.) Look up shammy at Dictionary.com
1650s, phonetic spelling of chamois. Other bungled spellings include shambo (1610s), shamois, shamoys, shammies. Compare shay from chaise; shappo (1700) for chapeau; shapperoon (1620s) for chaperon.
shampoo (v.) Look up shampoo at Dictionary.com
1762, "to massage," from Anglo-Indian shampoo, from Hindi champo, imperative of champna "to press, knead the muscles," perhaps from Sanskrit capayati "pounds, kneads." Meaning "wash the hair" first recorded 1860; extended 1954 to carpets, upholstery, etc. Related: Shampooed; shampooing.
shampoo (n.) Look up shampoo at Dictionary.com
"soap for shampooing," 1866, from shampoo (v.).
shamrock (n.) Look up shamrock at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Irish seamrog, diminutive of seamar "clover." Compare Gaelic seamrag "trefoil."
shamus (n.) Look up shamus at Dictionary.com
"police officer, detective," 1920, apparently first in "The Shamus," a detective story published that year by Harry J. Loose (1880-1943), a Chicago police detective and crime writer; the book was marketed as "a true tale of thiefdom and an expose of the real system in crime." The word is said to be probably from Yiddish shames, literally "sexton of a synagogue" ("a potent personage only next in influence to the President" [Israel Zangwill]), from Hebrew shamash "servant;" influenced by Celtic Seamus "James," as a typical name for an Irish cop.
shan't Look up shan't at Dictionary.com
by 1660s, "colloquial" [OED] contraction of shall not.
shanachie (n.) Look up shanachie at Dictionary.com
"skilled teller of tales and legends," from Old Irish sen "old," from PIE root *sen- (see senile).
shandy (n.) Look up shandy at Dictionary.com
"mix of beer and fizzy lemonade," 1888, shortening of shandygaff (1853), of obscure origin.
Shane Look up Shane at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, pronunciation-based variant of Sean.
shanghai (v.) Look up shanghai at Dictionary.com
"to drug a man unconscious and ship him as a sailor," 1854, American English, from the practice of kidnapping to fill the crews of ships making extended voyages, such as to the Chinese seaport of Shanghai.
Shanghai Look up Shanghai at Dictionary.com
Chinese seaport, literally "by the sea," from Shang "on, above" + hai "sea." In 19c., a long-legged breed of hens, supposed to have come from there; hence U.S. slang senses relating to long, tall persons or things.
Shangri La (n.) Look up Shangri La at Dictionary.com
imaginary earthly paradise, 1938, from Shangri La, name of Tibetan utopia in James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon" (1933, film version 1937). In Tibetan, la means "mountain pass."
shank (n.) Look up shank at Dictionary.com
Old English sceanca "leg, shank, shinbone," specifically, the part of the leg from the knee to the ankle, from Proto-Germanic *skankon- (cognates: Middle Low German schenke, German schenkel "shank, leg"), perhaps literally "that which bends," from PIE root *skeng- "crooked" (cognates: Old Norse skakkr "wry, distorted," Greek skazein "to limp"). Shank's mare "one's own legs as a means of transportation" is attested from 1774 (shanks-naig).
shank (v.) Look up shank at Dictionary.com
1927, in golf, "to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club," from shank (n.). Related: Shanked; shanking. Earlier as "to take to one's legs" (1774, Scottish); "to send off without ceremony" (1816).
Shannon Look up Shannon at Dictionary.com
river in Ireland, the name is something like "old man river," from a Proto-Celtic word related to Irish sean "old" (see senile).
shantung (n.) Look up shantung at Dictionary.com
type of coarse silk, 1882, from Shantung province, in China, where the fabric was made. The place name is "east of the mountain," from shan (mountain) + dong (east). The mountain in question is Tan Shan. West of it is Shansi, from xi "west."
shanty (n.1) Look up shanty at Dictionary.com
"rough cabin," 1820, from Canadian French chantier "lumberjack's headquarters," in French, "timberyard, dock," from Old French chantier "gantry," from Latin cantherius "rafter, frame" (see gantry). Shanty Irish in reference to the Irish underclass in the U.S., is from 1928 (title of a book by Jim Tully).
shanty (n.2) Look up shanty at Dictionary.com
"sea song," 1867, alternative spelling of chanty (n.).
shantytown (n.) Look up shantytown at Dictionary.com
also shanty town, 1836, from shanty (n.1) + town.
shape (v.) Look up shape at Dictionary.com
Old English scapan, past participle of scieppan "to create, form, destine" (past tense scop), from Proto-Germanic *skapjanan "create, ordain" (cognates: Old Norse skapa, Danish skabe, Old Saxon scapan, Old Frisian skeppa, Middle Dutch schappen "do, treat," Old High German scaffan, German schaffen "shape, create, produce"), from PIE root *(s)kep-, forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (see scabies), which acquired broad technical senses and in Germanic a specific sense of "to create."

Old English scieppan survived into Middle English as shippen, but shape emerged as a regular verb (with past tense shaped) by 1500s. The old past participle form shapen survives in misshapen. Middle English shepster (late 14c.) "dressmaker, female cutter-out," is literally "shape-ster," from Old English scieppan.

Meaning "to form in the mind" is from late 14c. Phrase Shape up (v.) is literally "to give form to by stiff or solid material;" attested from 1865 as "progress;" from 1938 as "reform;" shape up or ship out is attested from 1956, originally U.S. military slang, with the sense being "do right or get shipped up to active duty."
shape (n.) Look up shape at Dictionary.com
Old English sceap, gesceap "form; created being, creature; creation; condition; sex, genitalia," from root of shape (v.)). Meaning "contours of the body" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "condition, state" is first recorded 1865, American English. In Middle English, the word in plural also had a sense of "a woman's private parts." Shape-shifter attested from 1820. Out of shape "not in proper shape" is from 1690s. Shapesmith "one who undertakes to improve the form of the body" was used in 1715.
shapeless (adj.) Look up shapeless at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from shape (n.) + -less. Related: Shapelessly; shapelessness.
shapely (adj.) Look up shapely at Dictionary.com
"well-formed, having a regular and pleasing shape," late 14c., from shape (n.) + -ly (1). Related: Shapeliness.
shard (n.) Look up shard at Dictionary.com
also sherd, Old English sceard "incision, cleft, gap; potshard, a fragment, broken piece," from Proto-Germanic *skardas (cognates: Middle Dutch schaerde "a fragment, a crack," Dutch schaard "a flaw, a fragment," German Scharte "a notch," Danish skaar "chink, potsherd"), a past participle from the root of Old English sceran "to cut" (see shear). Meaning "fragment of broken earthenware" developed in late Old English. Used late 14c. as "scale of a dragon." French écharde "prickle, splinter" is a Germanic loan-word.
share (n.1) Look up share at Dictionary.com
"portion," Old English scearu "a cutting, shearing, tonsure; a part or division," related to sceran "to cut," from Proto-Germanic *skaro- (cognates: Old High German scara "troop, share of forced labor," German Schar "troop, band," properly "a part of an army," Old Norse skör "rim"), from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).

Meaning "part of the capital of a joint stock company" is first attested c. 1600. Share and share alike attested from 1560s. The same Old English noun in the sense "division" led to an obsolete noun share "fork ('division') of the body at the groin; pubic region" (late Old English and Middle English); hence share-bone "pubis" (early 15c.).
share (n.2) Look up share at Dictionary.com
"iron blade of a plow," Old English scear, scær "plowshare," properly "that which cuts," from Proto-Germanic *skar- (cognates: Old Frisian skere, Middle Low German schar, Old High German scar, German Schar, Dutch ploegschaar, Middle High German pfluocschar), from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear).
share (v.) Look up share at Dictionary.com
1580s, "to apportion to someone as his share; to apportion out to others; to enjoy or suffer (something) with others," from share (n.1). Meaning "to divide one's own and give part to others" is recorded from 1590s. Meaning "confess one's sins openly" (1932, implied in sharing) is from "the language of Moral Rearmament" [OED]. Related: Shared; sharer; sharing.
sharecropper (n.) Look up sharecropper at Dictionary.com
also share-cropper, 1887, in a U.S. Southern context; from share + agent noun from crop (v.). Share-crop system attested from 1871. As a verb, share-crop is recorded by 1867. Sharecropping attested by 1936.
shareholder (n.) Look up shareholder at Dictionary.com
c. 1830, from share (n.1) in the financial sense + agent noun from hold (v.).
shareware (n.) Look up shareware at Dictionary.com
by 1982, from share (v.) + ware (n.).
sharia (n.) Look up sharia at Dictionary.com
Islamic religious law, 1855, from Arabic shari'ah "the revealed law," from shar' "revelation."
sharif (n.) Look up sharif at Dictionary.com
1550s, shereef, from Arabic sharif "noble, glorious," from sharafa "to be exalted." A descendant of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima.
shark (n.) Look up shark at Dictionary.com
1560s, of uncertain origin; apparently the word and the first specimen were brought to London by Capt. John Hawkins's second expedition (landed 1565; see Hakluyt).
There is no proper name for it that I knowe, but that sertayne men of Captayne Haukinses doth call it a 'sharke' [handbill advertising an exhibition of the specimen, 1569]
The meaning "dishonest person who preys on others," though attested only from 1599 (sharker "artful swindler" in this sense is from 1594), may be the original sense, later transferred to the large, voracious marine fish. If so, it is possibly from German Schorck, a variant of Schurke "scoundrel, villain," agent noun of Middle High German schürgen (German schüren) "to poke, stir."

But on another theory, the English word is from a Mayan word, xoc, which might have meant "shark." Northern Europeans seem not to have been familiar with sharks before voyages to the tropics began. A slightly earlier name for it in English was tiburon, via Spanish (where it is attested by 1520s), from the Carib name for the fish.

The English word was applied (or re-applied) to voracious or predatory persons, on the image of the fish, from 1707 (originally of pick-pockets); loan shark is attested from 1905. Sharkskin (1851) was used for binding books, etc. As the name of a type of fabric held to resemble it, it is recorded from 1932.
There is the ordinary Brown Shark, or sea attorney, so called by sailors; a grasping, rapacious varlet, that in spite of the hard knocks received from it, often snapped viciously at our steering oar. [Herman Melville, "Mardi"]
shark (v.) Look up shark at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "to live by one's wits," of uncertain origin (see shark (n.)); according to OED, at least partly a variant of shirk. Meaning "obtain by sharking" is from 1610s. Related: Sharked; sharking.
sharn (n.) Look up sharn at Dictionary.com
Old English scearn "dung, muck," from Proto-Germanic *skarnom- (cognates: Old Frisian skern, Old Norse skarn, Danish skarn), a past participle form from *sker- "to cut" (see shear). Compare Old English scearnbudda "dung beetle," and Scottish Sharnie "a name given to the person who cleans a cow-house" [Jamieson].
Sharon Look up Sharon at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name; from the name of the fertile coastal plain between Jaffa and Mount Carmel, from Hebrew, short for yesharon, properly "the Plain," from stem of yashar "was straight, was even" (compare Hebrew mishor "level land, plain"). A top-10 list name for girls born in the U.S. between 1943 and 1949.
sharp (adj.) Look up sharp at Dictionary.com
Old English scearp "having a cutting edge; pointed; intellectually acute, active, shrewd; keen (of senses); severe; biting, bitter (of tastes)," from Proto-Germanic *skarpaz, literally "cutting" (cognates: Old Saxon scarp, Old Norse skarpr, Old Frisian skerp, Dutch scherp, German scharf "sharp"), from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (cognates: Lettish skarbs "sharp," Middle Irish cerb "cutting;" see shear (v.)).

The figurative meaning "acute or penetrating in intellect or perception" was in Old English; hence "keenly alive to one's own interests, quick to take advantage" (1690s). Of words or talk, "cutting, sarcastic," from early 13c. Meaning "distinct in contour" is from 1670s. The adverbial meaning "abruptly" is from 1836; that of "promptly" is first attested 1840. The musical meaning "half step above (a given tone)" is from 1570s. Meaning "stylish" is from 1944, hepster slang, from earlier general slang sense of "excellent" (1940). Phrase sharp as a tack first recorded 1912 (sharp as a needle has been around since Old English). Sharp-shinned attested from 1704 of persons, 1813 of hawks.
sharp (n.) Look up sharp at Dictionary.com
"a cheat at games," 1797, short for sharper (1680s) in this sense. Meaning "expert, connoisseur" is attested from 1840, and likely is from sharp (adj.). Music sense is from 1570s. The noun was used 14c. as "a sharp weapon, edge of a sword."
sharpen (v.) Look up sharpen at Dictionary.com
1520s, "bring to an edge or point," from sharp (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Sharpened; sharpening. Old English verb scearpian meant "to score, scarify;" also compare scearpung "scarifying." To sharpen (one's) pencil "prepare to get to work" is from 1957, American English.