"to kick a ball dropped from the hands before it hits the ground," 1845, first in a Rugby list of football rules, of obscure origin; perhaps from dialectal punt "to push, strike," alteration of Midlands dialect bunt "to push, butt with the head," of unknown origin, perhaps echoic (compare bunt).
Student slang meaning "give up, drop a course so as not to fail," 1970s, is because a U.S. football team punts when it cannot advance the ball. Related: Punted; punting.
"refusing to submit, not submissive or compliant," 1823, from French récalcitrant, literally "kicking back" (17c.-18c.), from Late Latin recalcitrantem (nominative recalcitrans), present participle of recalcitrare "to kick back" (of horses), also "be inaccessible," in Late Latin "to be petulant or disobedient;" from re- "back" (see re-) + Latin calcitrare "to kick," from calx (genitive calcis) "heel" (see calcaneus). Used from 1797 as a French word in English.
c. 1300, "a retreat, a drawing back" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French recul "recoil, backward movement, retreat," from reculer (see recoil (v.)). Meaning "back-kick of a firearm or piece of ordnance when discharged" is from 1570s.
also side-kick, "companion or close associate," 1901, also side-kicker (1903, "O. Henry"), American English, of uncertain signification. Earlier terms were side-pal (1886), side-partner (1886).
Old English dynt "blow dealt in fighting" (especially by a sword), from Proto-Germanic *duntiz (source also of Old Norse dyntr "blow, kick"), a word well represented only in Germanic and of disputed etymology. Phrase by dint of "by force of, by means of," is early 14c.
type of Latin American dance, "usu. performed by several people in single file and consisting of three steps forward followed by a kick" [OED], 1935, from American Spanish, fem. of (danza) Congo "Congo (dance)" (see Congo); so called because it was assumed to be of African origin. As a verb by 1941. Related: Congaed; congaing.
Congo was used in the U.S. to form the names of dances associated with slaves from 1803. Congo dance is attested from 1823.
late 14c., "to aid," also "to hold up, prop up, put up with, tolerate," from Old French suporter "to bear, endure, sustain, support" (14c.), from Latin supportare "convey, carry, bring up, bring forward," from assimilated form of sub "up from under" (see sub-) + portare "to carry," from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over." Related: Supported; supporting.