"private meeting of party leaders or local voters," 1763, American English (New England), perhaps from an Algonquian word caucauasu "counselor, elder, adviser" in the dialect of Virginia, or from the Caucus Club of Boston, a 1760s social and political club whose name possibly derived from Modern Greek kaukos "drinking cup." Another old guess is caulker's (meeting) [Pickering, 1816], but OED and Century Dictionary find this dismissable.
CAUCUS. This noun is used throughout the United States, as a cant term for those meetings, which are held by the different political parties, for the purpose of agreeing upon candidates for office, or concerting any measure, which they intend to carry at the subsequent public, or town meetings. [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
The word caucus, and its derivative caucusing, are often used in Boston. The last answers much to what we stile parliamenteering or electioneering. All my repeated applications to different gentlemen have not furnished me with a satisfactory account of the origin of caucus. It seems to mean, a number of persons, whether more or less, met together to consult upon adopting and prosecuting some scheme of policy, for carrying a favorite point. [William Gordon, "History, Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United States of America," London, 1788]
"club-shaped instrument used for pounding and breaking materials in a mortar," mid-14c. pestel, (as a surname late 13c.), from Old French pestel and directly from Latin pistillum (Medieval Latin pestellum) "pounder, pestle," related to pinsere "to pound," from PIE *pis-to-, suffixed form of root *peis- "to crush" (source also of Sanskrit pinasti "pounds, crushes," pistah "anything ground, meal," Greek ptissein "to winnow," Old Church Slavonic pišo, pichati "to push, thrust, strike," pišenica "wheat," Russian pseno "millet").
Also in old use "the leg of certain animals used for food" (14c.), hence pestle of a lark "a trifle, an unimportant matter" (1590s).
"to dance in a way that simulates the body's action in copulation," by 2005, alteration of twurk, which seems to have originated in the Atlanta, Georgia, strip club and hip-hop scene and first came to wide attention in the Ying Yang Twins' 2000 song "Whistle While You Twurk," described as "an ode to strippers" ["Country Fried Soul, Adventures in Dirty South Hip-Hop"]. Probably ultimately imitative of something. Related: Twerked; twerking. There is a verb twirk from 1599, "to pull, tug, twirl," what a man does with his mustache, but OED regards this as possibly a misprint of twirl.
"instrument for loosening soil in digging, shaped like a pickaxe but with broad instead of pointed ends," Middle English mattok, from Old English mttoc, formerly said to be probably from Vulgar Latin *matteuca "club," which is related to Latin mateola, a kind of mallet (see mace (n.1)), but this is not certain, and synonymous Russian motyka, Polish motyka, Lithuanian matikas, as well as Old High German medela "plow," Middle High German metz "knife" suggest rather a PIE *mat- as source of the Latin, Germanic, and Slavic words. OED says similar words in Welsh and Gaelic are from English.
1620s, "equality in value or circumstances," also "value of one currency in terms of another," from Latin par "equal, equal-sized, well-matched," also as a noun, "that which is equal, equality," a word of unknown and disputed origin. De Vaan is noncommittal. Watkins suggests perhaps from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot," with suggestion of reciprocality. Another guess connects it with PIE root *per- (5) "to traffic in, sell" (on notion of "give equal value for"). Meaning "a standard fixed by consent or by natural conditions, average or usual amount" is first attested 1767. Golf sense is attested by 1898, which led to the figurative use of par for the course for "fairly normal, what can be expected" (by 1928).
"limited, confined," 1830, past-participle adjective from restrict. Of government documents, etc., "secret, not for public release" it is recorded from 1944. Related: Restrictedly. The older adjective was simply restrict. In mid-20c. U.S., restricted was a euphemism for "off-limits to Jews" (1947).
Manager: "I'm sorry, Mr. Marx, but we can't let you use the pool; this country club is restricted."
Groucho: "Well, my daughter's only half-Jewish; could she go in up to her knees?" [there are many versions and variations of this story in print, some referencing a son instead, dating to his obituaries in 1977]
"wireless transmission of voice signals with radio waves," 1907, abstracted or shortened from earlier combinations such as radio-receiver (1903), radiophone "instrument for the production of sound by radiant energy" (1881), radio-telegraphy "means of sending telegraph messages by radio rather than by wire" (1898), from radio- as a combining form of Latin radius "beam" (see radius). Use for "radio receiver" is attested by 1913; sense of "sound broadcasting as a medium" also is from 1913.
That winter, however—the winter of 1921-22—[radio] came with a rush. Soon everybody was talking, not about wireless telephony, but about radio. A San Francisco paper described the discovery that millions were making: "There is radio music in the air, every night, everywhere. Anybody can hear it at home on a receiving set, which any boy can put up in an hour." In February President Harding had an outfit installed in his study, and the Dixmoor Golf Club announced that it would install a "telephone" to enable golfers to hear church services. [Frederick Lewis Allen, "Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's," 1931]
It is not a dream, but a probability that the radio will demolish blocs, cut the strings of red tape, actuate the voice "back home," dismantle politics and entrench the nation's executive in a position of power unlike that within the grasp of any executive in the world's history. [The Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa., U.S.A., March 16, 1924]
As late as July 1921 the New York Times was calling it wireless telephony, and wireless remained widespread until World War II, when military preference for radio established it as the word. As an adjective by 1912, "by radio transmission;" meaning "controlled by radio" is from 1974. Radio _______ as the proper name of a particular radio station or service, "radio station or service from _______" is by 1920. A radio shack (1946) was a small outbuilding housing radio equipment.
"grumble, chatter aimlessly, nag," 1829, northern England dialect variant of gnatter "to chatter, grumble," earlier (18c.) "to nibble away," probably of echoic origin. Related: Nattered; nattering. As a noun, 1866, from the verb.
In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club — the ‘hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.' [U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew (in reference to the media), address to the California Republican state convention, Sept. 11, 1970 (the speech was written by then-White House speechwriter William Safire)]
early 14c., "to guide, aim, or direct," from Old French adrecier "go straight toward; straighten, set right; point, direct" (13c.), from Vulgar Latin *addirectiare "make straight" (source also of Spanish aderezar, Italian addirizzare), from ad "to" (see ad-) + *directiare "make straight," from Latin directus "straight, direct" past participle of dirigere "set straight," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line"). Compare dress (v.)).
The oldest sense in English is preserved in the terminology of golf (to address a ball). The meaning "direct for transmission, write as a destination on a message" is from mid-15c. The meaning "direct spoken words (to someone)" is from late 15c. From late 14c. as "to set in order, repair, correct." The attempt (falsely) re-Latinize the spelling to add- began in France 15c. but failed there (the Modern French verb is adresser); it stuck in English. Related: Addressed; addressing.
deformity in which a bone or joint is twisted outward from the center of the body; form of club-foot, 1800, from Latin valgus "bandy-legged, bow-legged, having the legs bent outward." Said to be probably related to Sanskrit valgati "to move up and down," Old English wealcan "to roll, move to and fro" (see walk (v.)), perhaps on the notion of "go irregularly or to and fro" [Tucker]. "Yet the main characteristic of 'bow-legged' is the crookedness of the legs, not 'going up and down' or 'to and fro'" [de Vaan] and there are phonetic difficulties. A classical word used in a different sense in modern medicine; also see varus.