tongued (adj.) Look up tongued at
"speaking (in a certain manner)," late 14c., in compounds and combinations, from tongue (n.).
tongueless (adj.) Look up tongueless at
late 14c., "having no tongue;" early 15c. as "speechless, silent," from tongue (n.) + -less. Related: Tonguelessly; tonguelessness.
tonic (n.1) Look up tonic at
"a tonic medicine," 1799, from tonic (adj.). From 1873 (in gin and tonic) as short for tonic water (1861 as a commercial product, water infused with quinine), so called because held to aid digestion and stimulate appetite.
tonic (n.2) Look up tonic at
in the musical sense, 1760, short for tonic note, from tone (n.) in the musical sense + -ic. Related: Tonicity.
tonic (adj.) Look up tonic at
1640s, "relating to or characterized by muscular tension," from Greek tonikos "of stretching," from tonos "a stretching," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." The meaning "maintaining the healthy firmness of tissues" is recorded from 1680s, first extended 1756 to "having the property of restoring to health." Related: Tonical (1580s).
tonify (v.) Look up tonify at
1786, from ton (n.2) + -ify. Related: Tonified; tonifying.
tonight (adv.) Look up tonight at
Old English toniht "in the coming night," from to "at, on" (see to) + niht (see night). As a noun, "in the night after the present day," early 14c. Written as two words until 18c., after which it was to-night until early 20c.
tonite (adv.) Look up tonite at
colloquial shortening of tonight, attested by 1918.
Present-day student notices on bulletin boards, etc., read oftener than not, "Party Friday Nite," "Meeting Tonite," "Kum Tonite," etc. [Louise Pound, Spelling-Manipulation and Present-Day Advertising, "Dialect Notes," 1923]
tonite (n.) Look up tonite at
explosive used in blasting, 1881, from Latin tonare "to thunder" (see thunder (n.)) + -ite (2).
tonnage (n.) Look up tonnage at
early 15c., "tax or duty on wine imported in tuns," from ton (n.1) + -age, and from Old French tonnage "duty levied on wine in casks" (c. 1300). Meaning "carrying capacity of a ship" is from 1718.
tonne (n.) Look up tonne at
1877, French form of ton (n.1), adopted for English use to denote a metric ton (1,000 kg.).
tonneau (n.) Look up tonneau at
1901, rear part of an automobile, from French tonneau, literally "cask, tun" (see tun).
tonsil (n.) Look up tonsil at
c. 1600, from Latin tonsillae, tosillae (plural) "tonsils," diminutive of toles "goiter," which is perhaps of Gaulish origin. Related: Tonsils.
tonsillectomy (n.) Look up tonsillectomy at
1899, from comb. form of tonsil + -ectomy. A hybrid with a Latin front end and a Greek ending. A correct formation all from Greek would be amygdalectomy.
tonsillitis (n.) Look up tonsillitis at
also tonsilitis, "inflammation of the tonsils," 1801, from combining form of tonsil + -itis "inflammation."
tonsillolith (n.) Look up tonsillolith at
1894, from tonsillo-, combining form of tonsil + -lith "stone."
tonsorial (adj.) Look up tonsorial at
"pertaining to barbers," 1765, from -al (1) + Latin tonsorius "of or pertaining to shearing or shaving," from tonsor "a shaver, barber, shearer, clipper," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave, clip, crop," from PIE *tend-, from root *tem- "to cut." Generally used in an attempt at humor. Tonsorious in the same sense is attested from 1650s.
tonsure (n.) Look up tonsure at
late 14c., "shaving of the head or part of it," especially as a religious rite, from Anglo-French tonsure (mid-14c.), Old French tonsure "ecclesiastical tonsure; sheep-shearing" (14c.), from Latin tonsura "a shearing, clipping," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave, clip, crop," from PIE *tend-, from root *tem- "to cut." The verb is attested from 1706 (implied in tonsured). Related: Tonsuring.
tontine (n.) Look up tontine at
1765, from French tontine, named for Lorenzo Tonti, Neapolitan banker in Paris who in 1653 first proposed this method of raising money in France.
Tonto Look up Tonto at
former term for the Western Apaches, from Spanish, literally "foolish;" probably a translation of a name given to the people by other branches of the Apache, such as Chiricahua Apache /bini:'édiné/, Mescalero Apache /bini:'édinendé/, both literally "people without minds," and used to designate the Western Apaches. Spanish tonto is said to be originally a nursery word, used for its sound [Buck], but in some sources it is given as perhaps literally "thunderstruck," from Latin attonius, whence also Spanish atonar "to stupefy."
tony (adj.) Look up tony at
"of a high tone, affecting social elegance," 1877, American English slang, from tone (n.) + -y (2). It was the name of a reddish-brown fashion color in the 1920s.
Tony Look up Tony at
1947, awards given by American Theatre Wing (New York), from nickname of U.S. actress, manager, and producer Antoinette Perry (1888-1946).
Tony Look up Tony at
masc. proper name, short for Anthony. Tony Curtis, style of men's haircut (usually with a D.A. at the back), is from 1956, from screen name of U.S. film star Bernard Schwarz (1925-2010).
too (adv.) Look up too at
"in addition; in excess," a variant of to (prep.) originally used when the word was stressed in pronunciation. In Old English, the preposition (go to town) leveled with the adverb (the door slammed to). Most of the adverbial uses of to since have become obsolete or archaic except the senses "in addition, besides" (Old English), "more than enough" (c. 1300). As this often fell at the end of a phrase (tired and hungry too), it retained stress and the spelling -oo became regular from 16c.

Use after a verb, for emphasis (as in did, too!) is attested from 1914. Slang too-too "excessive in social elegance" first recorded 1881. Too much is from 1530s as "more than can be endured;" sense of "excellent" first recorded 1937 in jazz slang. German zu unites the senses of English to and too.
toodle-oo Look up toodle-oo at
colloquial "good-bye" word, 1904, said in early uses to be "cockney," of unknown origin; variant tooraloo is recorded from c. 1921.
took Look up took at
past tense of take (v.), from late Old English toc, past tense of tacan.
tool (v.) Look up tool at
"to drive a vehicle," 1812, probably from tool (n.) as if "to manage skillfully." The meaning "to work or shape with a tool" is recorded from 1815; that of "equip (a factory) with machine tools" is from 1927. Related: Tooled; tooling.
tool (n.) Look up tool at
Old English tol "instrument, implement used by a craftsman or laborer, weapon," from Proto-Germanic *to(w)lam "implement" (source also of Old Norse tol), from a verb stem represented by Old English tawian "prepare" (see taw). The ending is the instrumental suffix -el (1). Figurative sense of "person used by another for his own ends" is recorded from 1660s. Slang meaning "penis" first recorded 1550s.
toolbar (n.) Look up toolbar at
1960 as a frame fitted to a tractor to hold tools; from tool (n.) + bar (n.1). Computer sense is attested from 1991.
Among 100-odd new features in Excel 3.0 is a row of "buttons" on the screen called the Toolbar. Located under the pull-down menus, the Toolbar provides rapid access to frequently used commands. ["Popular Science," April 1991.]
toolbox (n.) Look up toolbox at
also tool-box, 1801, from tool (n.) + box (n.1).
toolkit (n.) Look up toolkit at
also tool-kit, 1908, from tool (n.) + kit (n.1).
toon (n.) Look up toon at
colloquial shortening of cartoon (n.), attested by 1985.
toot (v.) Look up toot at
c. 1500, of horns, ultimately imitative, also found in Middle Low German and Low German tuten "blow a horn." Related: Tooted; tooting. Tooting as a strong affirmative (as in you're damned tootin') is attested from 1932, American English.
toot (n.) Look up toot at
1640s, from toot (v.); meaning "cocaine" is attested by 1977.
toot sweet (adv.) Look up toot sweet at
"right away, promptly," 1917, American English, representing U.S. soldiers' mangled adaptation of French tout de suite.
tooth (n.) Look up tooth at
Old English toð (plural teð), from Proto-Germanic *tan-thuz (source also of Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Dutch tand, Old Norse tönn, Old Frisian toth, Old High German zand, German Zahn, Gothic tunþus), from PIE root *dent- "tooth." Plural teeth is an instance of i-mutation.

The loss of -n- before spirants is regular in Old English, Old Frisian, and Old Saxon: compare goose (n.), five. Also thought, from stem of think; couth from the stem of can (v.1); us from *uns.

Application to tooth-like parts of other objects (saws, combs, etc.) first recorded 1520s. Tooth and nail as weapons is from 1530s. The tooth-fairy is attested from 1964.
tooth-ache (n.) Look up tooth-ache at
also toothache, Old English toðece; see tooth + ache (n.).
toothbrush (n.) Look up toothbrush at
also tooth-brush, 1650s, from tooth + brush (n.1).
toothless (adj.) Look up toothless at
Old English toðleas, in the literal sense; see tooth + -less. Figurative sense of "dull" is recorded from 1590s; that of "lacking enforcement powers" is first recorded 1961. Related: Toothlessly; toothlessness.
toothpaste (n.) Look up toothpaste at
also tooth-paste, 1832, from tooth + paste (n.). Earlier substances were tooth-powder (1540s); tooth-soap (c. 1600).
toothpick (n.) Look up toothpick at
also tooth-pick, late 15c., from tooth + pick (n.). Old English had toðsticca.
toothsome (adj.) Look up toothsome at
"pleasant to the taste," 1560s, from -some (1) + tooth in a figurative sense of "appetite, taste, liking" attested from late 14c. (compare sweet tooth, also figurative use of palate). The extended sense of "attractive" (1550s) is attested earlier. Related: Toothsomely; toothsomeness.
tootle (v.) Look up tootle at
1820, frequentative of toot (v.). Related: Tootled; tootling.
toots (n.) Look up toots at
slang familiar form of address to a woman or girl, 1936, American English, short for tootsie, tootsy, from tootsy-wootsy (1895), a familiar form of address to a sweetheart, originally a playful or nursery name for a small foot, from childish pronunciation of foot (n.); compare tootsy.
tootsy (n.) Look up tootsy at
also tootsie, 1854, baby-talk substitution for foot (n.). Candy bar Tootsie Roll patent claims use from 1908.
top (v.) Look up top at
"put a top on," 1580s, perhaps mid-15c., from top (n.1). Earlier "cut the top off, shave the head" (c. 1300). The meaning "be higher or greater than" also is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "strike (a ball) towards its top" is from 1881. Related: Topped; topping. To top off "to finish" is colloquial from 1836; in sense "fill up, add more to to bring to fullness" it is from 1917.
top (n.1) Look up top at
"highest point," Old English top "summit, crest, tuft," from Proto-Germanic *tuppaz (source also of Old Norse toppr "tuft of hair," Old Frisian top "tuft," Old Dutch topp, Dutch top, Old High German zopf "end, tip, tuft of hair," German Zopf "tuft of hair"); no certain connections outside Germanic except a few Romanic words probably borrowed from Germanic.

Few Indo-European languages have a word so generic, which can be used of the upper part or surface of just about anything. More typical is German, which has Spitze for sharp peaks (mountains), oberfläche for the upper surface of flat things (such as a table). Meaning "highest position" is from 1620s; meaning "best part" is from 1660s. To go over the top is World War I slang for "start an attack," in reference to the top of the trenches; as "beyond reasonable limits, too far" it is recorded from 1968. Top of the world as "position of greatest eminence" is from 1670s. Top-of-the-line (adj.) is by 1950.
top (n.2) Look up top at
"toy that spins on a point," late Old English top, probably a special use of top (n.1), but the modern word is perhaps via Old French topet, which is from or influenced by a Germanic source akin to the root of English top (n.1). As a type of seashell, first recorded 1680s.
top (adj.) Look up top at
"being at the top," 1590s, from top (n.1). Top dollar "high price" is from 1942. Top-drawer (1920) is from British expression out of the top drawer "upper-class." Top ten in popular music is from 1945 ("Billboard"). The top dog is the one uppermost in a fight, from 1868 in figurative use, opposed to the underdog.
But if the under dog in the social fight runs away with a bone in violation of superior force, the top dog runs after him bellowing, "Thou shalt not steal," and all the other top dogs unite in bellowing, "This is divine law and not dog law;" the verdict of the top dog so far as law, religion, and other forms of brute force are concerned settles the question. [Van Buren Denslow, "Modern Thinkers: What They Think and Why," 1880]
top-hamper (n.) Look up top-hamper at
1791, originally the upper masts, sails, and rigging of a sailing ship, from top (n.1) + hamper (n.) in the nautical sense of "things necessary but often in the way."