spunky (adj.) Look up spunky at Dictionary.com
"courageous, spirited," 1786, from spunk (n.) + -y (2). Related: Spunkily; spunkiness.
spur (n.) Look up spur at Dictionary.com
Old English spura, spora "metal implement worn on the heel to goad a horse" (related to spurnan "to kick"), from Proto-Germanic *spuron (cognates: Old Norse spori, Middle Dutch spore, Dutch spoor, Old High German sporo, German Sporn "spur"), from PIE *spere- "ankle" (see spurn). Related to Dutch spoor, Old English spor "track, footprint, trace."

Generalized sense of "anything that urges on, stimulus," is from late 14c. As a sharp projection on the leg of a cock, from 1540s. Meaning "a ridge projecting off a mountain mass" is recorded from 1650s. Of railway lines from 1837. "Widely extended senses ... are characteristic of a horsey race" [Weekley]. Expression on the spur of the moment (1801) preserves archaic phrase on the spur "in great haste" (1520s). To win one's spurs is to gain knighthood by some valorous act, gilded spurs being the distinctive mark of a knight.
spur (v.) Look up spur at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, from spur (n.). Figurative use from c. 1500. Related: Spurred; spurring. Old English had spyrian, but it meant "follow the track of, track down, investigate."
spurge (n.) Look up spurge at Dictionary.com
plant species, late 14c., from Old French espurge, from espurgier "to purge" (transitive and intransitive), from Latin expurgare, from ex- "out" (see ex-) + purgare "to purge" (see purge (v.)). So called from the purgative and emetic properties of the plant's root.
spurious (adj.) Look up spurious at Dictionary.com
1590s, "born out of wedlock," from Latin spurius "illegitimate, false" (source also of Italian spurio, Spanish espurio), from spurius (n.) "illegitimate child," probably from Etruscan spural "public." Sense of "having an irregular origin, not properly constituted" is from c. 1600; that of "false, sham" is from 1610s; of writing, etc., "not proceeding from the source pretended, 1620s. Related: Spuriously; spuriousness.
spurn (v.) Look up spurn at Dictionary.com
Old English spurnan "to kick (away), strike against; reject, scorn, despise," from Proto-Germanic *spurnon (cognates: Old Saxon and Old High German spurnan, Old Frisian spurna, Old Norse sporna "to kick, drive away with the feet"), from PIE root *spere- "ankle" (cognates: Middle Dutch spoor "track of an animal," Greek sphyron "ankle," Latin spernere "to reject, spurn," Sanskrit sphurati "kicks," Middle Irish seir "heel"). Related: Spurned; spurning.
spurt (v.) Look up spurt at Dictionary.com
"to gush out, squirt," 1560s, variant of spirt, perhaps cognate with Middle High German spürzen "to spit," and sprützen "to squirt" (see sprout (v.)). Related: Spurted; spurting. The noun in this sense is attested from 1775.
spurt (n.) Look up spurt at Dictionary.com
"brief burst of activity," 1560s, variant of spirt "brief period of time" (1540s), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow connected with spurt (v.).
sputnik (n.) Look up sputnik at Dictionary.com
"artificial satellite," extended from the name of the one launched by the Soviet Union Oct. 4, 1957, from Russian sputnik "satellite," literally "traveling companion" (in this use short for sputnik zemlyi, "traveling companion of the Earth") from Old Church Slavonic supotiniku, from Russian so-, s- "with, together" + put' "path, way," from Old Church Slavonic poti, from PIE *pent- "to tread, go" (see find (v.)) + agent suffix -nik.

The electrifying impact of the launch on the West can be gauged by the number of new formations in -nik around this time (the suffix had been present in a Yiddish context for at least a decade before); Laika, the stray dog launched aboard Sputnik 2 (Nov. 2, 1957), which was dubbed muttnik in the "Detroit Free Press," etc. The rival U.S. satellite which failed to reach orbit in 1957 (because the Vanguard rocket blew up on the launch pad) derided as a kaputnik (in the "Daytona Beach Morning Journal"), a dudnik ("Christian Science Monitor"), a flopnik ("Youngstown Vindicator," "New York Times"), a pffftnik ("National Review"), and a stayputnik ("Vancouver Sun").
sputter (v.) Look up sputter at Dictionary.com
1590s, "to spit with explosive sounds," cognate with Dutch sputteren, West Frisian sputterje, from Proto-Germanic *sput- (see spout (v.)). Related: Sputtered; sputtering. The noun is attested from 1670s.
sputum (n.) Look up sputum at Dictionary.com
1690s, from Latin sputum, noun use of neuter past participle of spuere "to spit" (see spew (v.)).
spy (v.) Look up spy at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "to watch stealthily," from Old French espiier "observe, watch closely, spy on, find out," probably from Frankish *spehon or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *spehon- (cognates: Old High German *spehon "to look out for, scout, spy," German spähen "to spy," Middle Dutch spien), the Germanic survivals of the productive PIE root *spek- "to look, observe" (see scope (n.1)). Old English had spyrian "make a track, go, pursue; ask about, investigate," also a noun spyrigend "investigator, inquirer." Italian spiare, Spanish espiar also are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "to catch sight of" is from c. 1300. Children's game I spy so called by 1946.
spy (n.) Look up spy at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "one who spies on another," from Old French espie "spy, look-out, scout" (Modern French épie), probably from a Germanic source related to spy (v.).
spyglass (n.) Look up spyglass at Dictionary.com
also spy-glass, "telescope, field-glass," 1706, from spy (v.) + glass (n.). Spying-glass is from 1680s.
spyware (n.) Look up spyware at Dictionary.com
by 2000, from spy + ending from software in the computer sense.
squab (n.) Look up squab at Dictionary.com
1680s, "very young bird," earlier (1630s) "unformed, lumpish person" and used at various times for any sort of flabby mass, such as sofa cushions; probably from a Scandinavian word (compare dialectal Swedish skvabb "loose or fat flesh," skvabba "fat woman"), from Proto-Germanic *(s)kwab-. Klein lists cognates in Old Prussian gawabo "toad," Old Church Slavonic zaba "frog."
squabble (n.) Look up squabble at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, probably from a Scandinavian source and of imitative origin (compare dialectal Swedish skvabbel "a quarrel, a dispute," dialectal German schwabbeln "to babble, prattle"). The verb also is from c. 1600. Related: Squabbled; squabbling.
squad (n.) Look up squad at Dictionary.com
1640s, "small number of military men detailed for some purpose," from French esquade, from Middle French escadre, from Spanish escuadra or Italian squadra "battalion," literally "square," from Vulgar Latin *exquadra (see square (n.)). Before the widespread use of of automatic weapons, infantry troops tended to fight in a square formation to repel cavalry or superior forces. Extended to sports 1902, police work 1905.
squadron (n.) Look up squadron at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Italian squadrone, augmentative of squadra "battalion," literally "square" (see squad). As a division of a fleet, from 1580s, of an air force, 1912.
squalid (adj.) Look up squalid at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French squalide and directly from Latin squalidus "rough, coated with dirt, filthy," related to squales "filth," squalus "filthy," squalare "be covered with a rough, stiff layer, be coated with dirt, be filthy," of uncertain origin. Related: Squalidly; squalidness; squalidity.
squall (n.) Look up squall at Dictionary.com
"sudden, violent gust of wind," 1719, originally nautical, probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian skval "sudden rush of water," Swedish skvala "to gush, pour down"), probably ultimately a derivative of squall (v.).
squall (v.) Look up squall at Dictionary.com
"cry out loudly," 1630s, probably from a Scandinavian source, such as Old Norse skvala "to cry out," and of imitative origin (compare squeal (v.)). Related: Squalled; squalling. As a noun from 1709.
squally (adj.) Look up squally at Dictionary.com
1719, from squall + -y (2).
squalor (n.) Look up squalor at Dictionary.com
1620s, "state or condition of being miserable and dirty," from Latin squalor "roughness, dirtiness, filthiness," from squalere "be filthy" (see squalid).
squamous (adj.) Look up squamous at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin squamosus "covered with scales, scaly," from squama "scale," perhaps related to squalus "foul, filthy" (see squalid). Middle English had squame "a scale" (late 14c.), from Old French esquame, from Latin squama. Alternative form squamose attested from 1660s.
squander (v.) Look up squander at Dictionary.com
1580s (implied in squandering), "to spend recklessly or prodigiously," of unknown origin; Shakespeare used it in "Merchant of Venice" (1593) with a sense of "to be scattered over a wide area." Squander-bug, a British symbol of reckless extravagance and waste during war-time shortages, represented as a devilish insect, was introduced 1943. In U.S., Louis Ludlow coined squanderlust (1935) for the tendency of government bureaucracies to spend much money.
square (n.) Look up square at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "tool for measuring right angles, carpenter's square," from Old French esquire "a square, squareness," from Vulgar Latin *exquadra, back-formation from *exquadrare "to square," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + quadrare "make square, set in order, complete," from quadrus "a square" (see quadrant).

Meaning "square shape or area" is recorded by late 14c. (Old English used feower-scyte). Geometric sense "four-sided rectilinear figure" is from 1550s; mathematical sense of "a number multiplied by itself" is first recorded 1550s. Sense of "open space in a town or park" is from 1680s; that of "area bounded by four streets in a city" is from c. 1700. As short for square meal, from 1882. Square one "the very beginning" (often what one must go back to) is from 1960, probably a figure from board games.
square (adj.) Look up square at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "containing four equal sides and right angles," from square (n.), or from Old French esquarre, past participle of esquarrer. Meaning "honest, fair," is first attested 1560s; that of "straight, direct" is from 1804. Of meals, from 1868.

Sense of "old-fashioned" is 1944, U.S. jazz slang, said to be from shape of a conductor's hand gestures in a regular four-beat rhythm. Square-toes meant nearly the same thing late 18c.: "precise, formal, old-fashioned person," from the style of men's shoes worn early 18c. and then fallen from fashion. Squaresville is attested from 1956. Square dance attested by 1831; originally one in which the couples faced inward from four sides; later of country dances generally.
[T]he old square dance is an abortive attempt at conversation while engaged in walking certain mathematical figures over a limited area. [March 1868]
square (v.) Look up square at Dictionary.com
late 14c. of stones, from Old French esquarrer, escarrer "to cut square," from Vulgar Latin *exquadrare (see square (adj.)). Meaning "regulate according to standard" is from 1530s; sense of "to accord with" is from 1590s. With reference to accounts from 1815. In 15c.-17c. the verb also could mean "to deviate, vary, digress, fall out of order." Related: Squared; squaring.
square (adv.) Look up square at Dictionary.com
1570s, "fairly, honestly," from square (adj.). From 1630s as "directly, in line." Sense of "completely" is American-English, colloquial, by 1862.
squared (adj.) Look up squared at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "made square," past participle adjective from square (v.). Meaning "drawn up in squares" is from 1660s. Of numbers, "multiplied by itself," from 1550s.
squarely (adv.) Look up squarely at Dictionary.com
1540s, of multiplication, from square (adj.) + -ly (2). From 1560s as "in a straightforward manner;" meaning "firmly, solidly" is from 1860.
squash (v.) Look up squash at Dictionary.com
"to crush, squeeze," early 14c., squachen, from Old French esquasser, escasser "to crush, shatter, destroy, break," from Vulgar Latin *exquassare, from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + quassare "to shatter" (see quash "to crush"). Related: Squashed; squashing.
squash (n.1) Look up squash at Dictionary.com
gourd fruit, 1640s, shortened borrowing from Narraganset (Algonquian) askutasquash, literally "the things that may be eaten raw," from askut "green, raw, uncooked" + asquash "eaten," in which the -ash is a plural affix (compare succotash).
squash (n.2) Look up squash at Dictionary.com
1610s, "act of squashing," from squash (v.). The racket game called by that name 1899; earlier (1886) it was the name of the soft rubber ball used in it.
squashy (adj.) Look up squashy at Dictionary.com
1690s, from squash (n.2) + -y (2).
squat (v.) Look up squat at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to crush;" early 15c., "crouch on the heels," from Old French esquatir, escatir "compress, press down, lay flat, crush," from es- "out" (see ex-) + Old French quatir "press down, flatten," from Vulgar Latin *coactire "press together, force," from Latin coactus, past participle of cogere "to compel, curdle, collect" (see cogent). Meaning "to settle on land without any title or right" is from 1800. Related: Squatted; squatting.
squat (n.) Look up squat at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "bump, heavy fall," from squat (v.). Meaning "posture of one who squats" is from 1570s; that of "act of squatting" is from 1580s. Slang noun sense of "nothing at all" first attested 1934, probably suggestive of squatting to defecate. Weight-lifting sense is from 1954.
squat (adj.) Look up squat at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "crouch on the heels, in a squatting position," from squat (v.)). Sense of "short, thick" dates from 1620s.
squatter (n.) Look up squatter at Dictionary.com
"settler who occupies land without legal title," 1788, agent noun from squat (v.); in reference to paupers or homeless people in uninhabited buildings, it is recorded from 1880.
squaw (n.) Look up squaw at Dictionary.com
"American Indian woman," 1630s, from Massachuset (Algonquian) squa "woman" (cognate with Narraganset squaws "woman"). "Over the years it has come to have a derogatory sense and is now considered offensive by many Native Americans" [Bright]. Widespread in U.S. place names, sometimes as a translation of a local native word for "woman."
squawk (v.) Look up squawk at Dictionary.com
1821, probably of imitative origin (compare dialectal Italian squacco "small crested heron"). Related: Squawked; squawking. Squawk-box "loud-speaker" is from 1945.
squawk (n.) Look up squawk at Dictionary.com
1850, from squawk (v.).
squeak (v.) Look up squeak at Dictionary.com
late 14c., probably of imitative origin, similar to Middle Swedish skväka "to squeak, croak." Related: Squeaked; squeaking.
squeak (n.) Look up squeak at Dictionary.com
1660s, from squeak (v.); sense of "narrow escape" is by 1811.
squeaky (adj.) Look up squeaky at Dictionary.com
1823, from squeak (n.) + -y (2). Squeaky clean in figurative sense is from 1972, probably from advertisements for dishwashing liquid. Related: Squeakily; squeakiness.
squeal (v.) Look up squeal at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, probably of imitative origin, similar to Old Norse skvala "to cry out" (see squall (v.)). The sense of "inform on another" is first recorded 1865. Related: Squealed; squealing. The noun is attested from 1747.
squeamish (adj.) Look up squeamish at Dictionary.com
late 14c., variant (with -ish) of squoymous "disdainful, fastidious" (early 14c.), from Anglo-French escoymous, which is of unknown origin. Related: Squeamishly; squeamishness.
He was somdel squaymous
Of fartyng, and of speche daungerous
[Chaucer, "Miller's Tale," c. 1386]
squeegee (n.) Look up squeegee at Dictionary.com
"wooden scraping instrument with a rubber blade," 1844, a nautical word originally, perhaps from squeege "to press" (1782), an alteration of squeeze (v.). Later in photography, then window-washing.
squeezable (adj.) Look up squeezable at Dictionary.com
1813, from squeeze + -able.