tokay (n.) Look up tokay at
1710, rich sweet wine from the region of Tokay (Hungarian Tokaj) a town in Hungary. The name is perhaps Slavic, from tok "current," or Hungarian, from a Turkic personal name.
toke (n.) Look up toke at
"inhalation of a marijuana cigarette or pipe smoke," 1968, U.S. slang, from earlier verb meaning "to smoke a marijuana cigarette" (1952), perhaps from Spanish tocar in sense of "touch, tap, hit" or "get a shave or part." In 19c. the same word in British slang meant "small piece of poor-quality bread," but probably this is not related.
token (adj.) Look up token at
"nominal," 1915, from token (n.). In integration sense, first recorded 1960.
token (n.) Look up token at
Old English tacen "sign, symbol, evidence" (related to verb tæcan "show, explain, teach"), from Proto-Germanic *taiknam (source also of Old Saxon tekan, Old Norse teikn "zodiac sign, omen, token," Old Frisian tekan, Middle Dutch teken, Dutch teken, Old High German zeihhan, German zeichen, Gothic taikn "sign, token"), from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly."

Meaning "coin-like piece of stamped metal" is first recorded 1590s. Older sense of "evidence" is retained in by the same token (mid-15c.), originally "introducing a corroborating circumstance" [OED].
tokenism (n.) Look up tokenism at
1962, from token (adj.) in the integration sense + -ism.
Tokyo Look up Tokyo at
so named 1868, from Japanese to "east" + kyo "capital;" its earlier name was Edo, literally "estuary."
told Look up told at
past tense and past participle of tell (v.), from Old English tealde, past tense of tellan.
tole (n.) Look up tole at
"ornamented and painted sheet iron," 1946, from French tôle "sheet iron," from dialectal taule "table," from Latin tabula "a flat board" (see table (n.)).
Toledo Look up Toledo at
city in Spain, famous from 16c. for its sword-blades of fine temper; the place name is Celtic, from tol "hill."
tolerable (adj.) Look up tolerable at
early 15c., "bearable," from Middle French tolerable (14c.) and directly from Latin tolerabilis "that may be endured, supportable, passable," from tolerare "to tolerate" (see toleration). Meaning "moderate, middling, not bad" is recorded from 1540s. Related: Tolerably.
tolerance (n.) Look up tolerance at
early 15c., "endurance, fortitude" (in the face of pain, hardship, etc.), from Old French tolerance (14c.), from Latin tolerantia "a bearing, supporting, endurance," from tolerans, present participle of tolerare "to bear, endure, tolerate" (see toleration). Of individuals, with the sense "tendency to be free from bigotry or severity in judging other," from 1765. Meaning "allowable amount of variation" dates from 1868; and physiological sense of "ability to take large doses" first recorded 1875.
tolerant (adj.) Look up tolerant at
1784, "free from bigotry or severity in judging others," from French tolérant (16c.), and directly from Latin tolerantem (nominative tolerans), present participle of tolerare "to bear, endure, tolerate" (see toleration). Meaning "able to bear (something) without being affected" is from 1879. Related: Tolerantly.
tolerate (v.) Look up tolerate at
1530s, of authorities, "to allow without interference," from Latin toleratus, past participle of tolerare (see toleration). Related: Tolerated; tolerating.
toleration (n.) Look up toleration at
1510s, "permission granted by authority, licence," from Middle French tolération (15c.), from Latin tolerationem (nominative toleratio) "a bearing, supporting, enduring," noun of action from past participle stem of tolerare "to endure, sustain, support, suffer," literally "to bear," from PIE *tele- "to bear, carry" (see extol).

Meaning "forbearance, sufferance" is from 1580s. The specific religious sense is from 1609; as in Act of Toleration (1689), statute granting freedom of religious worship (with conditions) to dissenting Protestants in England. In this it means "recognition of the right of private judgment in matters of faith and worship; liberty granted by the government to preach and worship as one pleases; equality under the law without regard to religion."
If any man err from the right way, it is his own misfortune, no injury to thee; nor therefore art thou to punish him in the things of this life because thou supposest he will be miserable in that which is to come. Nobody, therefore, in fine, neither single persons nor churches, nay, nor even commonwealths, have any just title to invade the civil rights and worldly goods of each other upon pretence of religion. [John Locke, "Letter Concerning Toleration," 1689]

Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. [James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments," 1785]

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. [Karl Popper, "The Open Society and Its Enemies," 1962]
toll (v.) Look up toll at
"to sound with slow single strokes" (intransitive), mid-15c., probably a special use of tollen "to draw, lure," early 13c. variant of Old English -tyllan in betyllan "to lure, decoy," and fortyllan "draw away, seduce," of obscure origin. The notion is perhaps of "luring" people to church with the sound of the bells, or of "drawing" on the bell rope. Transitive sense from late 15c. Related: Tolled; tolling. The noun meaning "a stroke of a bell" is from mid-15c.
toll (n.) Look up toll at
"tax, fee," Old English toll "impost, tribute, passage-money, rent," variant of toln, cognate with Old Norse tollr, Old Frisian tolen, Old High German zol, German Zoll, probably representing an early Germanic borrowing from Late Latin tolonium "custom house."

The Germanic words probably are borrowed from Latin telonium "tollhouse," from Greek teloneion "tollhouse," from telones "tax-collector," from telos "duty, tax, expense, cost," from suffixed form of PIE root *tele- "to lift, support, weigh" (see extol) For sense, compare finance. On another theory it is native Germanic and related to tell (v.) on the notion of "that which is counted." Originally in a general sense of "payment exacted by an authority;" meaning "charge for right of passage along a road" is from late 15c.
tollbooth (n.) Look up tollbooth at
early 14c., originally a tax collector's booth, from toll (n.) + booth.
Toltec (adj.) Look up Toltec at
1787, in reference to an ancient people of Mexico, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) tolteca, literally "people of the tules" (cat-tail reeds).
toluene (n.) Look up toluene at
colorless liquid hydrocarbon, 1855, from German toluin (Berzelius, 1842), from Tolu, place in Colombia (now Santiago de Tolu) from which "balsam of Tolu" was obtained from the bark of certain trees, which were known in Europe by the name of the port. The chemical so called because it was first distilled (1841) from balsam of Tolu. The place name is of unknown origin.
Tom Look up Tom at
familiar shortening of masc. proper name Thomas, used by late 14c. as a type of a nickname for a common man (as in Tom, Dick, and Harry, 1734). Applied 17c. as a nickname for several exceptionally large bells. Short for Uncle Tom in the sense of "black man regarded as too servile to whites" is recorded from 1959. Tom Walker, U.S. Southern colloquial for "the devil" is recorded from 1833. Tom and Jerry is first attested 1828 and later used in many extended senses, originally were the names of the two chief characters (Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn) in Pierce Egan's "Life in London" (1821); the U.S. cat and mouse cartoon characters debuted 1940 in "Puss Gets the Boot." Tom Thumb (1570s) was a miniature man in popular tradition before P.T. Barnum took the name for a dwarf he exhibited. Tom-tit "titmouse" is from 1709. Compare tomcat.
tom-fool (n.) Look up tom-fool at
also tom-fool, "buffoon, clown," 1640s, from Middle English Thom Foole, personification of a mentally deficient man (mid-14c.), see Tom + fool (n.).
tom-tom (n.) Look up tom-tom at
1690s, "drum" (originally used in India), from Hindi tam-tam, probably of imitative origin (compare Sinhalese tamat tama and Malay tong-tong). Related: Tom-toms.
tomahawk (n.) Look up tomahawk at
1610s, tamahaac, from Virginia Algonquian (probably Powhatan) tamahaac "a hatchet, what is used in cutting," from tamaham "he cuts." Cognate with Mohegan tummahegan, Delaware tamoihecan, Micmac tumeegun.
tomato (n.) Look up tomato at
1753, earlier tomate (c. 1600), from Spanish tomate (mid-16c.) from Nahuatl (Aztecan) tomatl "a tomato," said to mean literally "the swelling fruit," from tomana "to swell." Spelling probably influenced by potato (1565). Slang meaning "an attractive girl" is recorded from 1929, on notion of juicy plumpness.

A member of the nightshade family, all of which contain poisonous alkaloids. Introduced in Europe from the New World, by 1550 they regularly were consumed in Italy but grown only as ornamental plants in England and not eaten there or in the U.S. at first. An encyclopedia of 1753 describes it as "a fruit eaten either stewed or raw by the Spaniards and Italians and by the Jew families of England." Introduced in U.S. 1789 as part of a program by then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, but not commonly eaten until after c. 1830.

Alternative name love apple and alleged aphrodisiac qualities have not been satisfactorily explained; perhaps from Italian name pomodoro, taken as from adorare "to adore," but probably rather from d'or "of gold" (in reference to color) or de Moro "of the Moors."
tomb (n.) Look up tomb at
c. 1200, tumbe, early 14c. tomb, from Anglo-French tumbe and directly from Old French tombe "tomb, monument, tombstone" (12c.), from Late Latin tumba (also source of Italian tomba, Spanish tumba), from Greek tymbos "mound, burial mound," generally "grave, tomb."

Watkins suggests it is perhaps from PIE root *teue- "to swell," but Beekes writes that it is probably a Pre-Greek (non-IE) word. He writes that Latin tumulus "earth-hill" and Armenian t'umb "landfill, earthen wall" "may contain the same Pre-Greek/Mediterranean word," and suggests further connections to Middle Irish tomm "small hill," Middle Welsh tom "dung, mound."

The final -b began to be silent about the time of the spelling shift (compare lamb, dumb). Modern French tombeau is from Vulgar Latin diminutive *tumbellus. The Tombs, slang for "New York City prison" is recorded from 1840.
tombola (n.) Look up tombola at
Italian lotto-style lottery, 1880, from Italian tombola, apparently from tombolare "to tumble, fall upside down," from a Germanic source (see tumble (v.)).
tombolo (n.) Look up tombolo at
sand-bar joining an island to the mainland, 1899, from Italian tombolo "sand dune," from Latin tumulus "hillock, mound, heap of earth" (see tomb).
tomboy (n.) Look up tomboy at
1550s, "rude, boisterous boy," from Tom + boy; meaning "wild, romping girl, girl who acts like a spirited boy" is first recorded 1590s. It also could mean "strumpet, bold or immodest woman" (1570s). Compare tomrig "rude, wild girl." Related: Tomboyish.
tombstone (n.) Look up tombstone at
1560s, originally the flat stone atop a grave (or the lid of a stone coffin); from tomb + stone (n.). Meaning "gravestone, headstone" is attested from 1711. The city in Arizona, U.S., said to have been named by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find there was his tombstone.
tomcat (n.) Look up tomcat at
1809, from Tom + cat (n.); probably influenced by Tom the Cat in the popular children's book "The Life and Adventures of a Cat" (1760); replaced earlier Gib-cat, from diminutive of Gilbert, though Tom was applied to male kittens c. 1300. The name also is used of the males of other beasts and birds since at least 1791 (such as tom-turkey, by 1846). Also see Tibert. The verb meaning "to pursue women promiscuously for sexual gratification" is recorded from 1927. Related: Tom-catting.
tome (n.) Look up tome at
1510s, "a single volume of a multi-volume work," from Middle French tome (16c.), from Latin tomus "section of a book, tome," from Greek tomos "volume, section of a book," originally "a section, piece cut off," from temnein "to cut," from PIE root *tem- "to cut." Sense of "a large book" is attested from 1570s.
tomfoolery (n.) Look up tomfoolery at
"foolish trifling," 1812, from tom-fool + -ery.
Tommy Look up Tommy at
"British soldier," 1884, from Thomas Atkins, since 1815 the typical sample name for filling in army forms. Tommy gun (1929) is short for Thompson gun (see Thompson). Soon extended to other types of sub-machine gun, especially those favored by the mob.
tommyrot Look up tommyrot at
1884, from tommy in sense of "a simpleton" (1829), diminutive of Tom (as in tomfool) + rot (n.).
tomography (n.) Look up tomography at
1935, from Greek tomos "slice, section" (see tome) + -graphy.
tomorrow (adv.) Look up tomorrow at
mid-13c., to morewe, from Old English to morgenne "on (the) morrow," from to "at, on" (see to) + morgenne, dative of morgen "morning" (see morn, also morrow). As a noun from late 14c. Written as two words until 16c., then as to-morrow until early 20c.
ton (n.1) Look up ton at
"measure of weight," late 14c. The quantity necessary to fill a tun or cask of wine, thus identical to tun (q.v.). The spelling difference became firmly established 18c. Ton of bricks in the colloquial figurative sense of what you come down on someone like is from 1884.
ton (n.2) Look up ton at
"prevailing mode, style, fashionable ways," 1769, from French ton (see tone (n.)).
tonal (adj.) Look up tonal at
1776; from tone (n.) in the musical sense + -al (1), or from Medieval Latin tonalis.
tonality (n.) Look up tonality at
1824, from tonal + -ity.
tone (v.) Look up tone at
"to impart tone to," 1811, from tone (n.). Related: Toned; toning. To tone (something) down originally was in painting (1831); general sense of "reduce, moderate" is by 1847.
tone (n.) Look up tone at
mid-14c., "musical sound or note," from Old French ton "musical sound, speech, words" (13c.) and directly from Latin tonus "a sound, tone, accent," literally "stretching" (in Medieval Latin, a term peculiar to music), from Greek tonos "vocal pitch, raising of voice, accent, key in music," originally "a stretching, tightening, taut string," related to teinein "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Sense of "manner of speaking" is from c. 1600. First reference to firmness of body is from 1660s. As "prevailing state of manners" from 1735; as "style in speaking or writing which reveals attitude" from 1765. Tone-deaf is from 1880; tone-poem from 1845.
toner (n.) Look up toner at
1888, agent noun from tone (v.). As a photography chemical, from 1920; in xerography, from 1954.
Tong (n.) Look up Tong at
"Chinese secret society," 1883, from Cantonese t'ong "assembly hall."
tongs (n.) Look up tongs at
Old English tange, tang "tongs, pincers, foreceps, instrument for holding and lifting," from Proto-Germanic *tango (source also of Old Saxon tanga, Old Norse töng, Swedish tång, Old Frisian tange, Middle Dutch tanghe, Dutch tang, Old High German zanga, German Zange "tongs"), literally "that which bites," from PIE root *denk- "to bite" (source also of Sanskrit dasati "biter;" Greek daknein "to bite," dax "biting"). For sense evolution, compare French mordache "tongs," from mordre "to bite."
tongue (v.) Look up tongue at
"to touch with the tongue, lick," 1680s, from tongue (n.). Earlier as a verb it meant "drive out by order or reproach" (late 14c.). Related: Tongued; tonguing.
tongue (n.) Look up tongue at
Old English tunge "tongue, organ of speech; speech, a people's language," from Proto-Germanic *tungon (source also of Old Saxon and Old Norse tunga, Old Frisian tunge, Middle Dutch tonghe, Dutch tong, Old High German zunga, German Zunge, Gothic tuggo), from PIE root *dnghu- "tongue."

For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come. The spelling of the ending of the word apparently is a 14c. attempt to indicate proper pronunciation, but the result is "neither etymological nor phonetic, and is only in a very small degree historical" [OED]. In the "knowledge of a foreign language" sense in the Pentecostal miracle, from 1520s. Tongue-tied is first recorded 1520s. To hold (one's) tongue "refrain from speaking" was in Old English. Johnson has tonguepad "A great talker."
tongue-in-cheek (adv.) Look up tongue-in-cheek at
1856, from phrase to speak with one's tongue in one's cheek "to speak insincerely" (1748), suggestive of sly irony or humorous insincerity, perhaps a stage trick to convey irony to the audience.
Hem! Pray, Sir, said he to the Bard, after thrusting his Tongue into a Corner of his Cheek, and rolling his Eyes at Miss Willis, (Tricks which he had caught by endeavouring to take off a celebrated Comedian) were these fine Tragedies of yours ever acted? [anonymous, "Emily, or the History of a Natural Daughter," 1761]

This arietta, however, she no sooner began to perform, than he and the justice fell asleep ; but the moment she ceased playing, the knight waked snorting, and exclaimed,--'O cara! what d'ye think, gentlemen? Will you talk any more of your Pargolesi and your Corelli ?'--At the same time, he thrust his tongue in one cheek, and leered with one eye at the doctor and me, who sat on his left hand--He concluded the pantomime with a loud laugh, which he could command at all times extempore. [Smollett, "The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker," 1771]
tongue-lash (v.) Look up tongue-lash at
"scold, abuse with words," 1857, from tongue (n.) + lash (v.). Related: Tongue-lashing.
tongue-twister (n.) Look up tongue-twister at
1875, in reference to an awkward sentence, 1892 of a deliberately difficult-to-say phrase, from tongue (n.) + agent noun from twist (v.). The first one called by the name is "Miss Smith's fish-sauce shop."