Etymology
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neighbor (n.)

"one who lives near another," Middle English neighebor, from Old English neahgebur (West Saxon), nehebur (Anglian) "one who dwells nearby," from neah "near" (see nigh) + gebur "dweller," related to bur "dwelling," from Proto-Germanic *(ga)būraz (from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow"). A common Germanic compound (cognates: Old Saxon nabur, Middle Dutch naghebuur, Dutch (na)bur, Old High German nahgibur, Middle High German nachgebur, German Nachbar). Good neighbor policy is attested by 1937, but good neighbor with reference to U.S. policy toward Latin America was used by 1928 by Herbert Hoover.

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neighbor (v.)

"border on or be near to," 1580s, from neighbor (n.). Related: Neighbored; neighboring.

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neighbour 

chiefly British English spelling of neighbor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.

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neighborly (adj.)

1550s, "kindly, considerate, becoming a neighbor," from neighbor (n.) + -ly (1). Earlier as an adverb (1520s), while an earlier adjective form was neighborlike (late 15c.). Of persons, "cultivating familiar intercourse," 1610s. Related: Neighborliness, which ousted earlier neighborship (mid-15c.).

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neighborhood (n.)

mid-15c., "neighborly conduct, mutual friendliness," from neighbor (n.) + -hood. Modern sense of "community of people who live close together" is recorded by 1620s. Phrase in the neighborhood of meaning "near, somewhere about" is by 1857, American English. The Old English word for "neighborhood" was neahdæl. Middle English had neighborship (early 14c.), "neighborliness; neighborly acts," later "state of being neighbors."

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good-neighbor (adj.)

also (chiefly British English) good-neighbour, adjectival phrase, in reference to U.S. foreign policy, especially in Latin America, 1928, originally in Herbert Hoover. The good neighbours is Scottish euphemism for "the fairies" (1580s).

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Boer (n.)

"Dutch colonist in South Africa," 1824, from Dutch boer "farmer," from Middle Dutch, cognate with Old English gebur "dweller, farmer, peasant," and thus related to bower, German Bauer, and the final syllable of neighbor; from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."

The Boer War (1899-1902), in which Great Britain defeated the South African Republic of Transvaal and Orange Free State, was technically the Second Boer War, there having been a brief preview 1880-1881.

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vicinity (n.)

1550s, "nearness in place," from French vicinité and directly from Latin vicinitas "of or pertaining to neighbors or a neighborhood," as a noun, "neighborhood, nearness, proximity," from vicinus (adj.) "of the neighborhood, near, neighboring," as a noun "the neighborhood, a neighbor," from vicus "group of houses, village," related to the -wick, -wich in English place names, from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan." Meaning "neighborhood, surrounding district" in English is attested by 1796.

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gossip (n.)

Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "a familiar acquaintance, a friend, neighbor" (c. 1300), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.

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slather (v.)

"spread liberally," 1847, of uncertain origin. Early 19c. local glossaries from western England have the word with a sense "to slip or slide."

Slather on the manure on all the hoed crops, if you have it; if not buy of your improvident neighbor. [Genesee Farmer, June 1847]

Sometimes said to be from a dialectal noun meaning "large amount" (usually as plural, slathers), but this is first attested 1855. Related: Slathered; slathering.

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