- roll (n.)
- early 13c., "rolled-up piece of parchment or paper," from Old French rolle, from Medieval Latin rotulus "a roll of paper," from Latin rotula "small wheel," diminutive of rota "wheel." Meaning "dough which is rolled before baking" is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "quantity of paper money" is from 1846; sense of "quantity of (rolled) film" is from 1890. Meaning "act of sexual intercourse" is attested from 1942.
- roll (v.)
- c.1300 in intransitive sense of "to move by rotating;" late 14c. as "to move (something) by turning it over and over," from roll (n.).
The rollyng stone neuer gatherth mosse. [John Heywood, "A dialogue conteinying the nomber in effect of all the proverbes in the Englishe tongue," 1546]Of eyes, from 1510s. Of a movie camera, "to start filming," from 1938. Sense of "to rob a stuporous drunk" is from 1873, from the action required to get to his pockets. To roll with the punches is a metaphor from boxing (1940). Rolling pin is recorded from late 15c. Heads will roll is a Hitlerism:
If our movement is victorious there will be a revolutionary tribunal which will punish the crimes of November 1918. Then decapitated heads will roll in the sand.