It is clear that none of the unfortunate people, perhaps at this moment on board, can stand upright, but that they must sit down, and contract their limbs within the limits of little more than three square feet, during the whole of the middle passage. I cannot compare the scene on board this vessel, to any other than that of a pen of sheep; with this difference only, that the one have the advantages of a wholesome air, while that, which the others breathe, is putrid. [Thomas Clarkson, "An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species," 1788]
1630s, "a covered chair on poles, serving as a vehicle for one person," a word of uncertain origin, possibly from a southern Italian dialect derivative of Italian sede "chair" (compare Italian seggietta, 1590s; the thing itself was said to have originated in Naples), which is from Latin sedes, a noun related to sedere "to sit" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit").
Since the date of Johnson's conjecture, however, the word has been often derived from the name of the town of Sedan in France, where it was said to have been made or first used, but historical evidence for this connection is lacking and OED frowns on it.
The thing was introduced in England by Sir Sanders Duncombe in 1634 and first called a covered chair. "In Paris the sedan-chair man was usually an Auvergnat, in London an Irishman" ["Encyclopaedia Britannica," 1929].
Brit. 'Sfoot where's my wife then?
Sam. If your wife be the gentlewoman o' the house sir, shee's now gone forth in one o' the new Hand-litters : what call yee it, a Sedan.
[Richard Brome, "The Sparagus Garden: A Comedie," 1635]
[T]heir use was greatly extended in the eighteenth century, when they were the common means of transportation for ladies and gentlemen in the cities of England and France. They were often elaborately decorated, with paintings by artists of note, panels of vernis Martin, and the like, and lined with elegant silks. Similar chairs, carried on the shoulders of two or more bearers, have long been in use in China. [Century Dictionary]
Meaning "closed automobile seating four or more" is recorded by 1911, American English, in automotive journals. Middle English had sede (n.) "a chair, seat" (early 14c.), from Latin sedes.
Old English flor "floor, pavement, ground, bottom (of a lake, etc.)," from Proto-Germanic *floruz "floor" (source also of Middle Dutch and Dutch vloer, Old Norse flor "floor," Middle High German vluor "floor, flooring," German Flur "field, meadow"), from PIE *plaros "flat surface" (source also of Welsh llawr "ground"), enlarged from root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread."
Meaning "level of a house" is from 1580s. The figurative sense in legislative assemblies (1774) is in reference to the "floor" where members sit and from which they speak (as opposed to the platform). Spanish suelo "floor" is from Latin solum "bottom, ground, soil;" German Boden is cognate with English bottom (n.). Floor-plan is attested from 1794; floor-board from 1787, floor-lamp from 1886, floor-length (adj.) of dresses is from 1910. The retail store's floor-walker is attested from 1862.
"one who looks on at card games and offers unwelcome advice," 1915, from Yiddish, agent noun from kibitz (q.v.). "Der Kibitzer" is noted as the name of a Yiddish humorous weekly published in New York from 1908-1912. ["The Jewish Press in New York City," 1918]
LICENSE TO "KIBITZ"
"This license entitles bearer to 'kibitz'; to sit near any table of players; to criticize, knock, boost or do anything that will abuse players.
"If a man makes a wrong play it is up to the 'kibitzer' to correct him, and the 'kibitzer' will be held personally responsible should the player lose, and this license will be forfeited.
"Any licensed 'kibitzer' not abiding by above rules and regulations Will be subject to fine or imprisonment."
[notice said to have been posed on the bulletin board of the club room of the Associated Traveling Salesmen of New York, quoted in The Clothier and Furnisher, March 1915]
Old English benc "long seat," especially one without a back, from Proto-Germanic *bankon(source also of Old Frisian bank "bench," Old Norse bekkr, Danish bænk, Middle Dutch banc, Old High German banch). The group is cognate with bank (n.2) "natural earthen incline beside a body of water," and perhaps the original notion is "man-made earthwork used as a seat."
Used from late 14c. of a merchant's table. From c. 1300 in reference to the seat where judges sat in court, hence, by metonymy, "judges collectively, office of a judge." Hence also bencher "senior member of an inn of court" (1580s). Sporting sense "reserve of players" (in baseball, North American football, etc.) is by 1909, from literal sense of place where players sit when not in action (attested by 1889). A bench-warrant (1690s) is one issued by a judge, as opposed to one issued by an ordinary justice or magistrate.
c. 1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s.
The meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" is attested by 1510s; it is a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantle-tree" (late 15c.) "beam of oak or some other hard wood above a fireplace or oven" (with tree in the now-obsolete sense of "beam"). But the exact meaning of mantle in that had become obscure by the 19c.
In a fire-place, the mantle or mantlepiece, may have been either a covered or chimney-piece; or the part below it to which a hanging, for the sake of making a flue for the wind to draw up the fire, was attached. The details, however, of this are uncertain. [Robert Gordon Latham, "A Dictionary of the English Language," 1882]
Mantel-clock "clock intended to sit on a mantle-shelf," is by 1824.
c. 1200, "the left-hand side, the side opposite the right," from left (adj.). In military formations with reference to the center; of river banks it implies going in the direction the current flows; in an assembly in reference to the seat of the presiding officer; in baseball in reference to the point of view of the batter.
Political sense "the democratic or liberal party" arose from the custom of assigning those members of a legislative body to the left side of a chamber. This usage is first attested in English in 1837 (by Carlyle, in reference to the French Revolution), and probably is a loan-translation of French la gauche (1791), said to have originated during the seating of the French National Assembly in 1789 in which the nobility took the seats on the President's right and left the Third Estate to sit on the left. The term became general in U.S. and British political speech c. 1900. Century Dictionary and OED 2nd ed. both refer to this as primarily in reference to continental European politics.
late 14c., possessen, "to hold, occupy, inhabit" (without regard to ownership), a back formation from possession and in part from Old French possesser "to have and hold, take, be in possession of" (mid-13c.), from Latin possessus, past participle of possidere "to have and hold, hold in one's control, be master of, own," probably a compound of potis "having power, powerful, able" (from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord") + sedere, from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit."
According to Buck, Latin possidere was a legal term first used in connection with real estate. The meaning "to hold as property" in English is recorded from c. 1500. That of "to seize, take possession of" is from 1520s; the demonic sense of "have complete power or mastery over, control" is recorded from 1530s (implied in possessed); the weakened sense of "fascinate, enthrall, affect or influence intensely" is by 1590s. Related: Possessed; possessing. The other usual Latin verb for "to possess," tenere, originally was "to hold," then "occupy, possess" (see tenet).
"structure built by a bird or domestic fowl for the insulation and rearing of its young," Old English nest "bird's nest; snug retreat," also "young bird, brood," from Proto-Germanic *nistaz (source also of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch nest, German Nest; not found in Scandinavian or Gothic), from PIE *nizdo- (source also of Sanskrit nidah "resting place, nest," Latin nidus "nest," Old Church Slavonic gnezdo, Old Irish net, Welsh nyth, Breton nez "nest"), probably from *ni "down" + from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit."
From c. 1200 of an animal or insect. Used since Middle English in reference to various accumulations of things, especially of diminishing sizes, each fitting within the next (such as a nest of drawers, early 18c.). Nest egg "retirement savings" is from 1700; it was originally "a real or artificial egg left in a nest to induce the hen to go on laying there" (nest ei, early 14c.), hence "something laid up as the beginning of a continued growth."
late Old English, the second book of the Old Testament, from Latin exodus, from Greek exodos "a military expedition; a solemn procession; departure; death," literally "a going out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + hodos "a way, path, road; a ride, journey, march," figuratively "way out, means," a word of uncertain origin. The book is so called because it tells of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. General sense (with lower-case -e-) "departure from a place," especially "the migration of large bodies of people or animals from one country or region to another," is from 1620s.
Beekes derives the Greek word from PIE *sod- "course" and says it is traditionally connected with Slavic words for "course" (such as Russian xod "course, progress," "which might have been borrowed from Iranian") and adds that it is perhaps also related to Sanskrit a-sad- "to tread on, go on," Avestan apa-had- "to go away; become weak," "but the relation between them is unclear, as is the connection to the PIE root *sed- "sit" (proposed in Watkins, etc.)."