Old English discipul (fem. discipula), "one who follows another for the purpose of learning," especially "the personal followers of Jesus Christ during his life, the twelve Apostles chosen or called by him to be his immediate associates," a Biblical borrowing from Latin discipulus "pupil, student, follower," which is of uncertain origin.
In OED and Watkins it is said to be from discere "to learn," from a reduplicated form of the PIE root *dek- "to take, accept." But according to Barnhart and Klein, it is from a lost compound *discipere "to grasp intellectually, analyze thoroughly," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + capere "to take, take hold of," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." De Vaan finds the ending -pulus "difficult to explain" in the former theory and the latter "semantically not compelling."
It was not common in Old English, where the usual word was leorningcniht, and in some cases þegn (see thane). The pre-Christian Latin sense of "scholar, pupil, student" is rare in English. Meaning "one who follows or is influenced by the doctrine or example of another" is from c. 1300.
"pertaining to or involving intense heat deep in the earth's crust," 1796, coined by Irish scientist Richard Kirwin (1733-1812) from combining form of Pluto (as god of the underworld) + -ic. Especially in reference to early 19c. geological theory (championed by Hutton) that attributed most of the present features of the earth's crust to action of internal heat, a theory which triumphed over its rival, neptunism, which attributed them to water. Related: Plutonism; Plutonist.
Plutonic rocks are such igneous rocks as have been formed under conditions of depth and pressure, and have cooled slowly, so as to have acquired in general a distinctly crystalline structure ; the term Plutonic is opposed to volcanic, the former designating rocks formed at some depth beneath the surface, the latter rocks of igneous origin but of superficial formation. As used by Lyell, the word is nearly the equivalent of metamorphic. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
acronym for sealed with a kiss, attested from 1911, in a legal publication quoting a letter from 1909:
"... Well Kid I don't know nothing else to say only that I hope to see your sweet face Sat. Good by from your Dear Husban to his sweet little wife. P. S. excuse bad writing and mispelled words take all mistakes as kisses. S.W.A.K. * * *" This letter was postmarked at Des Moines October 20, 1909, addressed to Carrie Sprague at Jefferson, Iowa, and reached the latter place October 21, 1909. [State v. Manning (a conspiracy-to-lure-women-to-prostitution case), Supreme Court of Iowa, Nov. 16, 1910, reported in Northwestern Reporter, vol. cxxviii, 1911]
Popularized in soldiers' letters home in World War I. It probably is meant also to echo the sound of a kiss. Compare Middle English swack "a hard blow" (late 14c.).
late 14c., "a communicable disease; a harmful or corrupting influence," from Old French contagion and directly from Latin contagionem (nominative contagio) "a touching, contact," often in a bad sense, "a contact with something physically or morally unclean, contagion," from contingere "to touch," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tangere "to touch," from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle." Meaning "infectious contact or communication" is from 1620s.
A distinction between contagion and infection is sometimes adopted, the former being limited to the transmission of disease by actual contact of the diseased part with a healthy absorbent or abraded surface, and the latter to transmission through the atmosphere by floating germs or miasmata. There are, however, cases of transmission which do not fall under either of these divisions, and there are some which fall under both. In common use no precise discrimination of the two words is attempted. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
early 15c., "slanting, sloping, sideways; crooked, not straight or direct," originally of muscles or eyes, from Old French oblique (14c.) and directly from Latin obliquus "slanting, sidelong, indirect," which is perhaps from ob "against" (see ob-) + root of licinus "bent upward," from a PIE root meaning"to bend, be movable," the source of see limb (n.1). But De Vaan writes, "The etymology is unknown. Closest in form and meaning are līmus 'transverse' and sublīmis 'transverse from below upward', and the latter would be morphologically similar to oblīquus. Yet a root *lī- with different suffixes *-mo- and *-kwo- does not immediately make sense, and has no clear connections outside Italic."
Figurative sense of "indirect" is from early 15c. As a noun in anatomy in reference to a type of muscle the direction of whose fibers is oblique to the long axis of the body or to the long axis of the part acted, by 1838. Related: Obliquely; obliqueness.
late Old English hrung "rod, cross-bar; stout, rounded stick," from Proto-Germanic *khrungo (source also of Middle Low German runge, Old High German runga "stake, stud, stave," German Runge "stake, stud, stave," Middle Dutch ronghe, Dutch rong "rung," Gothic hrugga "staff"), a word of unknown origin with no connections outside Germanic if as is supposed the Celtic words are from English.
The sense in English narrowed to mean usually "round or stave of a ladder" (attested from late 13c.), but usage of cognate words remains more general in other Germanic languages.
This [rungs] has generally been considered as a mere corruption of rounds; and people of education use only this latter word. [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]
lawn game played with balls, mallets, hoops, and pegs, 1851, from French, from Northern French dialect croquet "hockey stick," from Old North French "shepherd's crook," from Old French croc (12c.), from Old Norse krokr "hook" (see crook (n.)). The game originated in Brittany and was popularized in Ireland c. 1830 in England c. 1850 and was very popular in the latter place until 1872.
Qui est-ce qui a inventé le croquet? On l'ignore. On sait qui a imaginé l'imprimerie, qui a découvert la vapeur, et l'on ne connaît pas l'inventeur du croquet. O ingratitude! A moins, pourtant, qu'enfant de la nature et sorti tout entier de la main du Créateur, comme Ève de la côte d'Adam, il ne se soit inventé tout seul. [Jacques Boucher de Perthes, "Hommes et Choses; Alphabet des Passion et des Sensations," Paris, 1850]
a word used to denote the marriage of a man of high rank to a woman of lower station with stipulations limiting her claims, also of the marriage of a woman of high rank to a man of lower station; 1727, from French morganatique (18c.), from Medieval Latin matrimonium ad morganaticam "marriage of the morning," probably from Old High German *morgangeba (Middle High German morgengabe) "morning gift," corresponding to Old English morgengifu (see morn + gift (n.) ).
In an unequal marriage between a man of royal blood and a common woman, this was a gift traditionally given to the wife on the morning after consummation, representing the only share she and her children may claim in the husband's estate. Also known as left-handed marriage, because the groom gives the bride his left hand instead of his right, but sometimes this latter term is used of a class of marriage (especially in Germany) where the spouse of inferior rank is not elevated, but the children inherit rights of succession. Related: Morganatically.
1580s, "nictitate, wink rapidly and repeatedly," perhaps from Middle Dutch blinken "to glitter," which is of uncertain origin, possibly, along with German blinken "to gleam, sparkle, twinkle," from a nasalized form of base found in Old English blican "to shine, glitter" (from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn").
Middle English had blynke (c. 1300) in the sense "a brief gleam or spark," perhaps a variant of blench "to move suddenly or sharply; to raise one's eyelids" (c. 1200), perhaps from the rare Old English blencan "deceive."
The word existed originally with a vague and shifting set of meanings, many now obsolete, having to do with motion of the eyes; in earlier use "the notion of 'glancing' predominates; in the latter, that of 'winking'" [OED].
Blink as "to wink" is attested by 1761. The meaning "cast a sudden, fleeting light" is from 1786; that of "shut the eyes momentarily and involuntarily" is from 1858. Related: Blinked; blinking. The last, as a euphemism for a stronger adjective, is attested by 1914.
word-ending that sometimes distinguish British from American English. In the U.S., the change from -re to -er (to match pronunciation) in words such as fibre, centre, theatre began in late 18c. and became standard there over the next 25 years at the urging of Noah Webster (the 1804 edition of his speller, and especially his 1806 dictionary). The -re spelling, like -our, however, had the authority of Johnson's dictionary behind it and was unmoved in Britain, where it came to be a point of national pride, contra the Yankees.
Despite Webster's efforts, -re was retained in words with -c- or -g- (such as ogre, acre, the latter of which Webster insisted to the end of his days ought to be aker, and it was so printed in editions of the dictionary during his lifetime). The -re spelling generally is more justified by conservative etymology, based on French antecedents. It is met today in the U.S. only in Theatre as an element in the proper names of entertainment showplaces, where it is perhaps felt to inspire a perception of bon ton.