- rush (v.)
- mid-14c. (implied in rushing), "to drive back or down," from Anglo-French russher, from Old French ruser "to dodge, repel" (see ruse). Meaning "to do something quickly" is from 1650s; transitive sense of "to hurry up (someone or something)" is from 1850. U.S. Football sense originally was in rugby (1857).
Fraternity/sorority sense is from 1896 (originally it was what the fraternity did to the student); from 1899 as a noun in this sense. Earlier it was a name on U.S. campuses for various tests of strength or athletic skill between freshmen and sophomores as classes (1860).
- rush (n.1)
- "plant growing in marshy ground," Old English resc, earlier risc, from Proto-Germanic *rusk- (source also of Middle Low German rusch, Middle High German rusch, German Rausch, West Frisian risk, Dutch rusch), from PIE *rezg- "to plait, weave, wind" (source also of Latin restis "cord, rope").
Old French rusche probably is from a Germanic source. Used for making torches and finger rings, also strewn on floors when visitors arrived; it was attested a type of "something of no value" from c. 1300. See OED for spelling variations.
- rush (n.2)
- "a hasty driving forward," late 14c., from rush (v.). Sense of "mass migration of people" (especially to a gold field) is from 1848, American English. Football/rugby sense from 1857. Meaning "surge of pleasure" is from 1960s. Rush hour first recorded 1888. Rush order from 1896.