- two-step (n.)
- dance style, 1893, from two + step (n.); so called for the time signature of the music (as distinguished from the three-step waltz). But as the positions taken by the dancers involved direct contact, it was highly scandalous in its day and enormously popular.
A certain Division of an Auxiliary gave a dance not long since. I went and looked on. What did they dance? Two-step, two-step and two-step. How did they dance? When we used to waltz, we clasped arms easily, took a nice, respectable position, and danced in a poetry of motion. Now, girls, how do you two-step? In nine cases out of ten the dear girl reposes her head on the young man's shoulder, or else their faces press each other. He presses her to his breast as closely as possible, and actually carries her around. Disgraceful? I should say so. Do you wonder at the ministers preaching on dancing as a sin, when it looks like this to a woman like myself who believes in dancing and has danced all her life? Mothers, as you love your girls, forbid them to dance after this manner. [letter in the ladies' section of "Locomotive Engineers' Monthly Journal," March 1898]
To the Two Step may be accredited, serious injury to the Waltz, awkward and immodest positions assumed in round dancing, also as being a prominent factor in overcrowding the profession and causing a general depression in the business of the legitimate Master of Dancing. ["The Director," March 1898]
- two-time (v.)
- "to deceive, cheat, betray," 1924, perhaps from notion of "to have two at a time." An earlier reference (1922) in a Kentucky criminal case involves a double-cross or betrayal without a romance angle. Related: two-timing (adj.); two-timer.
- twofer (n.)
- 1911 (originally in reference to cigars), from two for (a quarter); see two + for.
- twofold (adj.)
- Old English tweofeald; see two + -fold.
- place of public execution for Middlesex from c. 1200 to 1783; it stood at the junction of modern Oxford Street, Bayswater Road and Edgware Road.
- goddess of fortune, Latinized form of Greek Tykhe, literally "fortune."
- tycoon (n.)
- 1857, title given by foreigners to the shogun of Japan (said to have been used by his supporters when addressing foreigners, as an attempt to convey that the shogun was more important than the emperor), from Japanese taikun "great lord or prince," from Chinese tai "great" + kiun "lord." Transferred meaning "important person" is attested from 1861, in reference to U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (in the diary of his secretary, John Hay); specific application to "wealthy and powerful businessman" is post-World War I.
- tyke (n.)
- late 14c., "cur, mongrel," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse tik "bitch," from Proto-Germanic *tikk- (cognates: Middle Low German tike). Also applied in Middle English to a low-bred or lazy man. The meaning "child" is from 1902, though the word was used in playful reproof from 1894. As a nickname for a Yorkshireman, from c. 1700; "Perhaps originally opprobrious; but now accepted and owned" [OED].
- Tylenol (n.)
- introduced 1955 as the name of an elixir for children, trade name originally registered by McNeil Laboratories, Philadelphia, Pa., from elements abstracted from N-acetyl-para-aminophenol, the chemical name of its active compound.
- surname, 12c., literally "tile-maker."
- tympanic (adj.)
- 1808, from tympanum + -ic.
- tympanist (n.)
- 1610s, "one who plays on a drum," from Latin tympanista, from Greek tympanistes, from tympanizein, from tympanon (see tympanum). Since mid-19c. specifically of players on kettledrums.
- tympanum (n.)
- "drum of the ear," 1610s, from Medieval Latin tympanum, introduced in this sense by Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio (1523-1562), from Latin tympanum "a drum, timbrel, tambourine," from Greek tympanon "a kettledrum," from root of typtein "to beat, strike" (see type (n.)). Compare Old English timpan "drum, timbrel, tambourine," from Latin tympanum. The modern meaning "a drum" is attested in English from 1670s.
- type (n.)
- late 15c., "symbol, emblem," from Latin typus "figure, image, form, kind," from Greek typos "a blow, dent, impression, mark, effect of a blow; figure in relief, image, statue; anything wrought of metal or stone; general form, character; outline, sketch," from root of typtein "to strike, beat," from PIE *tup-, variant of root *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)).
Extended 1713 to printing blocks with letters carved on them in relief. The meaning "general form or character of some kind, class" is attested in English from 1843, though it had that sense in Latin and Greek. To be (someone's) type "be the sort of person that person is attracted to" is recorded from 1934.
- type (v.)
- "to write with a typewriter," 1888; see type (n.). Earlier it meant "to symbolize, typify" (1836) and "to foreshadow" (1590s). Related: Typed; typing.
- type-setting (n.)
- 1824, from type (n.) in the printing sense + verbal noun from set (v.).
- typecast (v.)
- also type-cast, with reference to actors, 1937 (implied in typecasting), from type (n.) in the "general character" sense (perhaps a deliberate pun on the verbal phrase in the printing sense "to found types in molds," attested from 1847). See type (n.) + cast (v.).
- typeface (n.)
- also type-face, "top of a type," 1852, from type (n.) in the printing sense + face (n.).
- typesetter (n.)
- also type-setter, "compositor," 1800, from type (n.) in the printing sense + setter.
- typewriter (n.)
- in the mechanical sense, 1868, from type (n.) + writer. Related: Type-write (v.) "print by means of a typewriter;" type-written (1882).
- typhoid (adj.)
- 1800, literally "resembling typhus," from typhus + -oid. The noun is from 1861, a shortened form of typhoid fever (1845), so called because it originally was thought to be a variety of typhus. Typhoid Mary (1909) was Mary Mallon (d.1938), a typhoid carrier who worked as a cook and became notorious after it was learned she unwittingly had infected hundreds in U.S.
- giant in Greek mythology; see typhoon.
- typhoon (n.)
- Tiphon "violent storm, whirlwind, tornado," 1550s, from Greek typhon "whirlwind," personified as a giant, father of the winds, perhaps from typhein "to smoke" (see typhus), but according to Watkins from PIE *dheub- "deep, hollow," via notion of "monster from the depths." The meaning "cyclone, violent hurricane of India or the China Seas" is first recorded 1588 in Thomas Hickock's translation of an account in Italian of a voyage to the East Indies by Caesar Frederick, a merchant of Venice:
concerning which Touffon ye are to vnderstand, that in the East Indies often times, there are not stormes as in other countreys; but euery 10. or 12. yeeres there are such tempests and stormes, that it is a thing incredible, but to those that haue seene it, neither do they know certainly what yeere they wil come. ["The voyage and trauell of M. Caesar Fredericke, Marchant of Venice, into the East India, and beyond the Indies"]
This sense of the word, in reference to titanic storms in the East Indies, first appears in Europe in Portuguese in the mid-16th century. It aparently is from tufan, a word in Arabic, Persian, and Hindi meaning "big cyclonic storm." Yule ["Hobson-Jobson," London, 1903] writes that "the probability is that Vasco [da Gama] and his followers got the tufao ... direct from the Arab pilots."
The Arabic word sometimes is said to be from Greek typhon, but other sources consider it purely Semitic, though the Greek word might have influenced the form of the word in English. Al-tufan occurs several times in the Koran for "a flood or storm" and also for Noah's Flood. Chinese (Cantonese) tai fung "a great wind" also might have influenced the form or sense of the word in English, and that term and the Indian one may have had some mutual influence; toofan still means "big storm" in India.
From the thighs downward he was nothing but coiled serpents, and his arms which, when he spread them out, reached a hundred leagues in either direction, had countless serpents' heads instead of hands. His brutish ass-head touched the stars, his vast wings darkened the sun, fire flashed from his eyes, and flaming rocks hurtled from his mouth. [Robert Graves, "Typhon," in "The Greek Myths"]
- typhus (n.)
- acute infectious fever, usually accompanied by prostration, delirium, and small reddish spots, 1785, from medical Latin, from Greek typhos "stupor caused by fever," literally "smoke," from typhein "to smoke," related to typhos "blind," typhon "whirlwind," from PIE *dheubh-, perhaps an extended form of root *dheu- (1) "to fly about like dust."
The Greek term [typhos] (smoke, mist, fog) was employed by Hippocrates to define a confused state of the intellect, with a tendency to stupor (stupor attonitus); and in this sense it is aptly applied to typhus fever with its slow cerebration and drowsy stupor. Boissier de Sauvages first (in 1760) called this fever "typhus," and the name was adopted by Cullen of Edinburgh in 1769. Previous to the time of de Sauvages typhus was known as "Pestilential" or "Putrid Fever," or by some name suggested by the eruption, or expressive of the locality in which it appeared, as "Camp," "Jail," "Hospital," or "Ship Fever" (Murchison). [Thomas Clifford, ed., "A System of Medicine," New York, 1897]
Related: typhous (adj.).
- typical (adj.)
- c. 1600, "symbolic, emblematic," from Medieval Latin typicalis "symbolic," from Late Latin typicus "of or pertaining to a type," from Greek typikos, from typos "impression" (see type (n.)). Sense of "characteristic" is first recorded 1850. Related: Typically.
- typify (v.)
- 1630s, "to represent by a symbol," from Late Latin typus (see type (n.)) + -fy. Meaning "serve as a typical specimen of some class, etc." is attested from 1854. Related: Typified; typifying.
- typist (n.)
- 1843, "compositor," from type (n.) + -ist. Meaning "person who operates a typewriter" is from 1884.
- typo (n.)
- 1816, "compositor," short for typographer; 1892 as short for typographical error.
- typographer (n.)
- "printer," 1640s, from typography + -er (1).
- typographic (adj.)
- 1778, "of or pertaining to the art of printing from types," from Medieval Latin typographicus (16c.), from typographus, from Greek typos (see type (n.)) + graphos "writing," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy).
- typographical (adj.)
- "pertaining to typography," 1590s, from typography + -ical. Related: Typographically.
- typography (n.)
- "art of composing types and printing from them," 1640s, from French typographie, from Medieval Latin typographia, from Greek typos (see type (n.)) + -grapheia "writing," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy).
- typology (n.)
- "doctrine of symbols," 1845, from Greek typos (see type (n.)) + -logy. Related: Typological; typologically.
- tyrannical (adj.)
- 1530s, from Latin tyrannicus "arbitrary, despotic," from Greek tyrannikos "befitting a despot," from tyrannos (see tyrant) + -al (1). Tyrannic was used in this sense from late 15c. Related: Tyrannically.
- tyrannize (v.)
- "rule despotically or cruelly; rule tyrannically," late 15c., from Middle French tyranniser (14c.), from tyrannie (see tyranny). Greek tyrannizein meant "to take the part of tyrants" in politics. Related: Tyrannized; tyrannizing.
- tyrannosaurus (n.)
- carnivorous Cretaceous bipedal dinosaur, 1905, Modern Latin genus name, coined by H.F. Osborn (published 1906 in "Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History" XXI, p.259) from comb. form of Greek tyrannos "tyrant" (see tyrant) + -saurus. Abbreviated name T. rex attested by 1970 (apparently first as the band name).
- tyrannous (adj.)
- "of tyrannical character," late 15c., from Latin tyrannus (see tyrant) + -ous.
- tyranny (n.)
- late 14c., "cruel or unjust use of power; the government of a tyrant," from Old French tyranie (13c.), from Late Latin tyrannia "tyranny," from Greek tyrannia "rule of a tyrant, absolute power," from tyrannos "master" (see tyrant).
- tyrant (n.)
- c. 1300, "absolute ruler," especially one without legal right; "cruel, oppressive ruler," from Old French tiran, tyrant (12c.), from Latin tyrannus "lord, master, monarch, despot," especially "arbitrary ruler, cruel governor, autocrat" (source also of Spanish tirano, Italian tiranno), from Greek tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler unlimited by law or constitution," a loan-word from a language of Asia Minor (probably Lydian); Klein compares Etruscan Turan "mistress, lady" (surname of Venus).
In the exact sense, a tyrant is an individual who arrogates to himself the royal authority without having a right to it. This is how the Greeks understood the word 'tyrant': they applied it indifferently to good and bad princes whose authority was not legitimate. [Rousseau, "The Social Contract"]
Originally in Greek the word was not applied to old hereditary sovereignties (basileiai) and despotic kings, but it was used of usurpers, even when popular, moderate, and just (such as Cypselus of Corinth), however it soon became a word of reproach in the usual modern sense. The spelling with -t arose in Old French by analogy with present participle endings in -ant. Fem. form tyranness is recorded from 1590 (Spenser); Medieval Latin had tyrannissa (late 14c.).
- tyre (n.)
- variant spelling of tire (n.), chiefly British English.
- Tyrian (adj.)
- 1510s, from Latin Tyrius "of Tyre," (Latin Tyrus), island-city in the Levant, from Greek Tyros, from Hebrew/Phoenician tzor, literally "rock, rocky place." Especially in reference to Tyrian purple, a dye chemically similar to indigo, made there in ancient times from certain mollusks (Murex brandaris).
- tyro (n.)
- 1610s, from Medieval Latin tyro, variant of Latin tiro (plural tirones) "young soldier, recruit, beginner," of unknown origin.
- German Tirol, ultimately from Celtic tir "land" (see Tyrone). Related: Tyrolean.
- Irish county, from Irish Tir Eoghain "Eoghan's Land," from Eoghan "Owen," ancestor of the O'Neills, who owned land here. Tir also forms the final syllable in Leinster, Munster, Ulster.
- tyrosine (n.)
- white, crystalline amino acid, 1857, coined 1846 by German chemist Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), who had first obtained it a year before from the products of a fusion of old cheese and potash, from Greek tyros "cheese" (from PIE *tu-ro-, from *teue- (2) "to swell" (see thigh) on the notion of "a swelling, coagulating") + chemical suffix -ine (2).
- Tyrrhenian (adj.)
- 1650s, "pertaining to the Etruscans," from Latin Tyrrheni, from Greek Tyrrenoi "Tyrrhenians," from tyrsis "tower, walled city" (cognate with Latin turris "tower"). Earlier Tyrrhene (late 14c.).