Its use as a photographic film was noted by 1889. As an adjective, "of or pertaining to motion pictures," by 1922; as a noun, figuratively, "motion pictures" from 1934. Abbreviated form cell "sheet of celluloid" is from 1933 (see cel).
early 14c., "make, form, fashion" (obsolete), from Anglo-French feture, from Old French faiture "deed, action; fashion, shape, form; countenance," from Latin factura "a formation, a working," from past participle stem of facere "make, do, perform" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
Sense of "facial characteristic" is mid-14c.; that of "any distinctive part" first recorded 1690s. Entertainment sense is from 1801; in journalism by 1855. Meaning "a feature film" is from 1913. Latin factura also is the source of Spanish hechura, Portuguese feitura, Italian fattura.
1580s, "hound or huntsman that follows a trail," agent noun from trail (v.). From 1610s as "something that trails." By 1890 as "vehicle pulled by another;" originally a small carriage drawn along by a bicycle.
The meaning "advertisement run alongside a motion picture" is attested by 1916; trailer as "length of blank film at the end of a reel" is by 1913. Trailer park "mobile home community" recorded by 1936. Derogatory trailer trash is in use by 1986.
fem. proper name, personified as a nymph by Milton in "Comus" (1634). The name is from a Welsh tale of a maiden drowned in the river Severn by her stepmother; the legend is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth and Giraldus Cambrensis. It appears to be the Romanized form of the name of the River Severn (Welsh Hafren, Habren), which is Celtic and of unknown origin; it perhaps means "boundary." Sabrina neckline is from the 1954 film "Sabrina" starring Audrey Hepburn. Sabrina-work (1871) was a millinery term for a variety of application embroidery.
second letter of the Latin alphabet, corresponding to Greek beta, Phoenician beth, literally "house." It "has nothing of that variety of pronunciation shown by most English letters" [Century Dictionary]. The Germanic "b" is said to represent a "bh" sound in Proto-Indo-European, which continued as "bh" in Sanskrit, became "ph" in Greek (brother/Greek phrater; bear (v.)/Greek pherein) and "f" in Latin (frater, ferre).
Often indicating "second in order." B-movie is by 1939, usually said to be so called from being the second, or supporting, film in a double feature. Some film industry sources say it was so called for being the second of the two films major studios generally made in a year, and the one cast with less headline talent and released with less promotion. And early usage varies with grade-B movie, suggesting a perceived association with quality.
B-side of a gramophone single is by 1962 (flip-side is by 1949). B-girl, abbreviation of bar girl, U.S. slang for a woman paid to encourage customers at a bar to buy her drinks, is by 1936.
1725, "the need very badly to urinate," from Latin micturitum, from past participle of micturire "to desire to urinate," desiderative of mingere "to urinate," from PIE root *meigh- "to urinate." As during the final 20 minutes of a 4-hour film after drinking a 32-ounce Mountain Dew from the snack bar and the movie ends with a drawn-out farewell scene while Frodo is standing on the pier and wavelets lap audibly on the dock the whole time as if the director was a sadist set on compounding your torment. Also used, incorrectly, for "act of urinating."
late 14c., "a fold or doubling of cloth, rope, leather, cord, etc.," of uncertain origin. OED favors a Celtic origin (compare Gaelic lub "bend," Irish lubiam), which in English was perhaps influenced by or blended with Old Norse hlaup "a leap, run" (see leap (v.)). As a feature of a fingerprint, 1880. In reference to magnetic recording tape or film, first recorded 1931. Computer programming sense "sequence of instructions executed repeatedly" first attested 1947.
1899, American English, some sort of skin condition (sometimes identified with poison ivy infection) that either lasts seven years or returns every seven years. Jocular use for "urge to stray from marital fidelity" is attested from 1952, as the title of the Broadway play (made into a film, 1955) by George Axelrod (1922-2003), in which the lead male character reads an article describing the high number of men have extra-marital affairs after seven years of marriage.
c. 1300, "opposite, contrary in position or direction, turned backward," from Old French revers "reverse, cross, opposite" (13c.) and directly from Latin reversus, past participle of revertere "turn back, turn about, come back, return" (see revert). In reference to a gear mechanism enabling a vehicle to go backward without changing the rotation of the engine, by 1875. Reverse angle (shot, etc.) in film-making is from 1934. Reverse discrimination is attested from 1962, American English. Reverse dictionary, one in which the words are arranged alphabetically by last letter to first, is by 1954.
1580s, the short "the result, the total," from short (adj.). The meaning "electrical short circuit" is by 1906 (see short circuit). The meaning "contraction of a name or phrase" is by 1845 (in for short). The general sense of "whatever is deficient in number, quality, etc." is by 1868.
By 1823 as "a short drink." The slang meaning "car" is attested from 1897; originally "street car," so called because street cars (or the rides taken in them) were "shorter" than railroad cars. By 1929 as "a short film."