Etymology
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saddle (n.)

Middle English sadel, from Old English sadol "contrivance secured to the back of a horse, etc., as a seat for a rider," from Proto-Germanic *sathulaz (source also of Old Norse söðull, Old Frisian sadel, Dutch zadel, zaal, German Sattel "saddle"), from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit" + Germanic suffix *-þra, used to form neutral names of tools.

Extended to various things resembling or functioning as a saddle. Figurative phrase in the saddle "in an active position of management" is attested from 1650s. Saddle-horse "horse for riding" is from 1660s. Saddle-stitch (n.) is from bookbinding (1887).

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residence (n.)

late 14c., "act of dwelling in a place; one's dwelling place," from Old French residence, from Medieval Latin residentia (source also of Spanish residencia, Italian residenza), from Latin residentem (nominative residens) "residing, dwelling," present participle of residere "to settle, linger, sit down" (see reside).

Meaning "fact of having one's usual abode in a particular place" is from late 15c. The sense of "a staying in some place for the discharge of special duties or one's occupation" is also from late 14c., originally ecclesiastical, extended 19c. to professors, artists, poets, etc. The expression _____-in-residence is attested by 1954. Also borrowed into German (Residenz), Dutch (residentie).

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cathedral (n.)

1580s, "church of a bishop," from phrase cathedral church (c. 1300), partially translating Late Latin ecclesia cathedralis "church of a bishop's seat," from Latin cathedra "an easy chair (principally used by ladies)," also metonymically, as in cathedrae molles "luxurious women;" also "a professor's chair;" from Greek kathedra "seat, bench," from kata "down" (see cata-) + hedra "seat, base, chair, face of a geometric solid," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit."

It was born an adjective, and attempts to force further adjectivization onto it in 17c. yielded cathedraical (1670s), cathedratic (1660s), cathedratical (1660s), after which the effort seems to have been given up.

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hostage (n.)
late 13c., from Old French ostage, hostage "kindness, hospitality; residence, dwelling; rent, tribute; compensation; guarantee, pledge, bail; person given as security or hostage" (11c., Modern French ôtage), which is of uncertain origin. Either from hoste "guest" (see host (n.1)) via notion of "a lodger held by a landlord as security" [Watkins, Barnhart]; or else from Late Latin obsidanus "condition of being held as security," from obses "hostage," from ob- "before" + base of sedere "to sit," with spelling influenced by Latin hostis. [OED, Century Dictionary]. Modern political/terrorism sense is from 1970.
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soil (n.1)
c. 1300, originally "land, area, place," from Anglo-French soil "piece of ground, place" (13c.), from a merger or confusion of Old French sol "bottom, ground, soil" (12c., from Latin solum "soil, ground;" see sole (n.1)), Old French soeul, sueil "threshold, area, place" (from Latin solium "seat," from PIE *sodio- "seat," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"), and Old French soil, soille "a miry place," from soillier (see soil (v.)).

Meaning "place of one's nativity" is from c. 1400. Meaning "mould, earth, dirt" (especially that which plants grow in) is attested from mid-15c.
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seat (n.1)

c. 1200, sete, "thing to sit on; place one sits," from Old Norse sæti "seat, position," both from Proto-Germanic *sæt- (source also of Old High German saze, Middle Dutch gesaete "seat," Old High German gisazi, German Gesäß "buttocks"), from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." Old English had sæt "place where one sits in ambush," which also meant "residents, inhabitants," and is the source of the -set in Dorset and Somerset.  

The sense of "part of a thing (a saddle, etc.) on which one sits" is from c. 1400. The meaning "posterior of the body" (the sitting part) is from c. 1600; the sense of "part of a garment which covers the buttocks" is from 1835. Seat belt "safety restraint when sitting" is from 1915, originally in airplanes.

By late 14c. as "part of the body in which a humor arises;" from 1550s as "site, situation, location" generally.

The word in the sense of "residence, abode, established place" (late 13c.) is an extended use of this, influenced by Old French siege "seat, established place," and Latin sedes "seat." It is perhaps from the notion of a chair set apart for the holder of some position of dignity or authority (a sense attested in English seat from c. 1200). The meaning "city in which a government sits" is attested from c. 1400. The sense of "right of taking a place in a parliament or other legislative body" is attested from 1774.

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settle (v.)
"come to rest," Old English setlan "cause to sit, place, put," from setl "a seat" (see settle (n.)). Related: Settling. Compare German siedeln "to settle, colonize."

From c. 1300 of birds, etc., "to alight." From early 14c. as "sink down, descend; cave in." Early 15c. in reference to suspended particles in a liquid. Sense of "establish a permanent residence" first recorded 1620s; that of "decide" is 1620s. Meaning "secure title to by deed" is from 1660s.

Meaning "reconcile" (a quarrel, differences, etc.) perhaps is influenced by Middle English sahtlen "to reconcile," from Old English saht "reconciliation," from Old Norse satt "reconciliation." To settle down "become content" is from 1853; transitive sense from 1520s; as what married couples do in establishing domesticity, from 1718. To settle for "content oneself with" is from 1943.
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gangway (n.)

"temporary passageway" to a ship, building under construction, etc., ultimately from Old English gangweg "road, passage, thoroughfare;" a compound of gang (n.) in its original sense "a going, journey, way, passage" and way (n.). Nautical use dates from 1680s in reference to a passage on the ship, from 1780 of the opening at the side whereby people enter and leave, and by 1840s of the board or bridge they use to get to and from the dock. As a command to clear way, attested by 1912, American English. In British parliamentary use, with somewhat the same sense aisle has in the U.S. Congress.

Below the g[angway], as a parliamentary phrase, is applied to members whose customary seat does not imply close association with the official policy of the party on whose side of the House they sit. [Fowler]
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recreant (adj.)

c. 1300, recreaunt, "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished, admitting defeat, surrendering, ready to yield in a fight," also a word of surrender, from Old French recreant "defeated, vanquished, yielding, giving; weak, exhausted; cowardly" (also used as a noun), present-participle adjective from recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," literally "believe again;" perhaps on notion of "take back one's pledge, yield one's cause," from re- "again, back" (see re-) + croire "entrust, believe," from Latin credere (see credo).

Non sufficit ... nisi dicat illud verbum odiosum, quod recreantus sit. [Bracton, "De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliæ," c. 1260]

The extended meaning "cowardly" in English is from late 14c. The meaning "unfaithful to duty" is from 1640s. Middle English also had a verb recreien "to be cowardly, yield in battle" (mid-14c.).

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sansculotte (n.)

also sans-culotte, "lower-class republican of the French Revolution," 1790, from French, literally "without breeches;" see sans + culottes. This usually is explained as referring to the class whose distinctive costume was pantalons (long trousers) as opposed to the upper classes, which wore culottes (knee-breeches), but this is not certain. Whatever the origin, the name was embraced from the start by the revolutionists of Paris. Related: Sansculottes; sansculotterie; sansculottic; sansculottism. "opinions and principles of the sancullotes."

Unhappy Friends of Freedom ; consolidating a Revolution ! They must sit at work there, their pavilion spread on very Chaos ; between two hostile worlds, the Upper Court-world, the nether Sansculottic one ; and, beaten on by both, toil painfully, perilously,—doing, in sad literal earnest, 'the impossible.' [Carlyle, "The French Revolution"]
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