c. 1200, "the face, countenance," especially as expressing emotion, from Anglo-French chere "the face," Old French chiere "face, countenance, look, expression," from Late Latin cara "face" (source also of Spanish cara), possibly from Greek kara "head" (from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head"). From mid-13c. as "frame of mind, state of feeling, spirit; mood, humor."
By late 14c. the meaning had extended metaphorically to "state or temper of mind as indicated by expression." This could be in a good or bad sense ("The feend ... beguiled her with treacherye, and brought her into a dreerye cheere," "Merline," c. 1500), but a positive sense, "state of gladness or joy" (probably short for good cheer), has predominated since c. 1400.
The meaning "that which makes cheerful or promotes good spirits" is from late 14c. The meaning "shout of encouragement" is recorded by 1720, perhaps nautical slang (compare the earlier verbal sense "encourage by words or deeds," early 15c.). The antique English greeting what cheer? (mid-15c.) was picked up by Algonquian Indians of southern New England from the Puritans and spread in Native American languages as far as Canada.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to rub away, harm." Possibly identical with the root *mer- that means "to die" and forms words referring to death and to beings subject to death.
It forms all or part of: amaranth; ambrosia; amortize; Amritsar; immortal; manticore; marasmus; mare (n.3) "night-goblin, incubus;" morbid; mordacious; mordant; moribund; morsel; mort (n.2) "note sounded on a horn at the death of the quarry;" mortal; mortality; mortar; mortgage; mortify; mortmain; mortuary; murder; murrain; nightmare; post-mortem; remorse.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit mrnati "crushes, bruises," mriyate "to kill," martave "to die," mrta- "died, dead," mrtih "death," martah "mortal man," amrta- "immortal;" Avestan miriia- "to die," miryeite "dies," Old Persian martiya- "man;" Hittite mer- "to disappear, vanish," marnu- "to make disappear;" Armenian meranim "to die;" Greek marainein "to consume, exhaust, put out, quench," marasmus "consumption," emorten "died," brotos "mortal" (hence ambrotos "immortal"); Latin mors (genitive mortis) "death," mori "to die;" Armenian merani- "to die;" Gothic maurþr, Old English morþ "murder;" Old Irish marb, Welsh marw "dead;" Lithuanian mirti "to die," mirtis "death;" Old Church Slavonic mreti "to die," mrutvu "dead;" Russian mertvyj, Serbo-Croatian mrtav "dead."
11c., from Old English ginȝifer, ginȝiber, from Late Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from srngam "horn" + vera- "body," so called from the shape of its root. But this may be Sanskrit folk etymology, and the word may be from an ancient Dravidian word that also produced the modern name for the spice, inchi-ver (inchi "ginger", ver "root").
Bishop Caldwell and Drs. Burnell and Gundert considered that the Tamil iñci must have had an initial ś- formerly, that the Sanskrit śṛṅgabera was an imitation of the (supposititious) Tamil ciñcivēr and that European zingiber was derived from the Tamil name. [R. Swaminatha Aiyar, Dravidian Theories]
The word apparently was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (12c., Modern French gingembre). In reference to coloring, by 1785 of fighting cocks, 1885 of persons (gingery with reference to hair is from 1852). The meaning "spirit, spunk, temper" is from 1843, American English (see gin (v.1)).
Ginger-ale is recorded by 1822, the term adopted by manufacturers to distinguish their product from ginger beer (1809), which was sometimes fermented. Ginger-snap as a type of hard cookie flavored with ginger is by 1855, American English.
c. 1400, also raindere, reynder, rayne-dere, genus of deer inhabiting the arctic regions of Europe, from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse hreindyri "reindeer," with dyr "animal" (see deer) + hreinn, the usual name for the animal in Old Norse, from Proto-Germanic *khrinda- (source also of Old English hran "reindeer;" German Renn "reindeer," which was altered by folk etymology influence of rennen "to run;" and Swedish renko "female reindeer," with ko "cow" (n.)).
Watkins has this from PIE *krei-, from root *ker- (1) "horn; head," with derivatives referring to horned animals (both male and female reindeer have horns; those of the male are remarkable), and thus perhaps cognate with Greek krios "ram" (see kerato-). Older sources connect it to words in Lapp or Finnish (raingo). French renne, Spanish reno, Italian renna ultimately are from Germanic.
Larwood & Hotten ("History of Signboards") write that the 1670s London tavern sign of the ranged deer "was simply intended for the Reindeer, which animal had then just newly come under the notice of the public; their knowledge of it was still confused, and its name was spelled in various ways, such as: rain-deer, rained-deer, range-deer, and ranged-deer."