Etymology
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cajole (v.)

"deceive or delude by flattery," 1640s, from French cajoler "to cajole, wheedle, coax," a word of uncertain origin; perhaps a blend of cageoler "to chatter like a jay" (16c., from gajole, southern diminutive of geai "jay;" see jay (n.)), and Old French gaioler "to cage, entice into a cage" (see jail (n.)). Related: Cajoled; cajoling.

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cajolery (n.)

"act of cajoling, delusive wheedling," 1640s, from French cajolerie "persuasion by flattery" (16c.), from cajoler "to wheedle, coax" (see cajole). Coleridge used cajolement.

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Cajun (n.)

"Louisianan descendant of French refugees from Acadia," 1868, Cagian, dialectic pronunciation of Acadian, from Acadia, former French colony in what is now the Canadian Maritimes. Its French setters were dispersed and exiled by the English and thousands made their way to New Orleans in the period 1764-1788.

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cake (v.)

"to form into a cake" (transitive), c. 1600; "to concrete into a hard mass" (intransitive), 1610s; from cake (n.). Related: Caked; caking.

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cake (n.)

early 13c., "flat or comparatively thin mass of baked dough," from Old Norse kaka "cake," from West Germanic *kokon- (source also of Middle Dutch koke, Dutch koek "a cake, gingerbread, dumpling," Old High German kuohho, German Kuchen "a cake, a tart"). Not believed to be related to Latin coquere "to cook," as formerly supposed. Replaced its Old English cognate, coecel.

What man, I trow ye raue, Wolde ye bothe eate your cake and haue your cake? ["The Proverbs & Epigrams of John Heywood," 1562]

Extended mid-15c. to any flat, rounded mass. Extended from early 15c. to "a light composition of flour, sugar, butter and other ingredients baked in any form." To take the cake "win all, rank first" (often ironic) is from 1847, American English; piece of cake "something easy" is from 1936.

The let them eat cake story is found in Rousseau's "Confessions," in reference to an incident c. 1740, long before Marie Antoinette, though it has been associated with her since c. 1870; it apparently was a chestnut in the French royal family that had been told of other princesses and queens before her.

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caked (adj.)

"thickly encrusted," 1922, past-participle adjective from cake (v.).

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cakewalk (n.)

"something easy," 1863, American English, from cake (n.) + walk (n.). Probably it is in some way a reference to the cake given as a prize for the fanciest steps in a procession in a Southern black custom (explained by Thornton, 1912, as, "A walking competition among negroes," in which the prize cake goes to "the couple who put on most style"), even though its figurative meaning is recorded before the literal one (1879). As a verb, from 1904. This also might be the source of the verbal phrase take the cake "win all" (1847).

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calabash (n.)

"dried, hollowed gourd used as a drinking cup," 1650s, callebass, from Spanish calabaza, possibly from Arabic qar'a yabisa "dry gourd," from Persian kharabuz, used of various large melons; or from a pre-Roman Iberian *calapaccia. As "the fruit of the calabash tree" (from which the cups were made) from 1590s.

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calaboose (n.)

"prison, a common jail or lock-up," 1792, Western and Southwestern American English, from Louisiana French calabouse, from Spanish calabozo "dungeon," probably from Vulgar Latin *calafodium, from pre-Roman *cala "protected place, den" + Latin fodere "to dig" (see fossil).

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Calabria 

region of southern Italy, named for a people who once lived there. Related: Calabrian; Calabrese.

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