- box (n.1.)
- Old English box "a wooden container," also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood box," from pyxos "box tree," which is of uncertain origin. See OED entry for discussion. German Büchse also is a Latin loan word.
Meaning "compartment at a theater" is from c.1600. Meaning "pigeon-hole at a post office" is from 1832. Meaning "television" is from 1950. Slang meaning "vulva" is attested 17c., according to "Dictionary of American Slang;" modern use seems to date from c.World War II, perhaps originally Australian, on notion of "box of tricks." Box office is 1786; in the figurative sense of "financial element of a performance" it is first recorded 1904. Box lunch (n.) attested from 1899. The box set, "multiple-album, CD or cassette issue of the work of an artist" is attested by 1955.
- box (n.2.)
- "a blow," c.1300, of uncertain origin, possibly related to Middle Dutch boke, Middle High German buc, and Danish bask, all meaning "a blow," perhaps imitative.
- box (v.1)
- "to put into storage, put into a box," mid-15c., from box (n.1). Related: Boxed; boxing.
- box (v.2)
- "to beat or whip," late 14c., from box (n.2). Meaning "to fight with the fists" is from 1560s. Related: Boxed; boxing.