Etymology
Advertisement
badly (adv.)
c. 1300, "unluckily;" late 14c., "wickedly, evilly; poorly, inadequately," from bad (adj.) + -ly (2). By 1814 as "incorrectly;" meaning "very much" is by 1849, American English.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
badminton (n.)
outdoor game similar to lawn tennis but played with a shuttlecock, 1874, from Badminton House, name of Gloucestershire estate of the Duke of Beaufort, where the game first was played in England, mid-19c., having been picked up by British officers from Indian poona. The place name is Old English Badimyncgtun (972), "estate of (a man called) Baduhelm."
Related entries & more 
bad-mouth (v.)
"abuse (someone) verbally," 1941, probably ultimately from noun phrase bad mouth (1835), in African-American vernacular, "a curse, spell," translating an idiom found in African and West Indian languages. See bad (adj.) + mouth (n.). Related: Bad-mouthed; bad-mouthing.
Related entries & more 
badness (n.)
"state of being evil, wrong, improper, deficient in quality, etc.," late 14c., baddenesse; see bad (adj.) + -ness.
Related entries & more 
Baedeker (n.)
"travel guide," 1857, from German printer and bookseller Karl Baedeker (1801-1859) whose popular travel guides began the custom of rating places with one to four stars. The Baedeker raids by the Luftwaffe in April and May 1942 targeted British cultural and historical sites.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
baffle (v.)
1540s, "to disgrace," of uncertain origin. Perhaps a Scottish respelling of bauchle "to disgrace publicly" (especially a perjured knight), which is probably related to French bafouer "to abuse, hoodwink" (16c.), possibly from baf, a natural sound of disgust, like bah (compare German baff machen "to flabbergast"). The original sense is obsolete. Meaning "defeat someone's efforts, frustrate by interposing obstacles or difficulties" is from 1670s. Related: Baffled; baffling.
Related entries & more 
baffle (n.)
"shielding device," especially in a stove or oven, 1881 (short for baffle-plate), from baffle (v.). Earlier in the same sense was baffler (1861).
Related entries & more 
bafflement (n.)
"state of being baffled," 1841, from baffle (v.) + -ment.
Related entries & more 
baffling (adj.)
"bewildering, confusing, perplexing," 1733, present-participle adjective from baffle (v.); also an 18c. sailor's adjective for winds that blow variously and make headway difficult.
Related entries & more 
bag (n.)

"small sack," c. 1200, bagge, probably from Old Norse baggi "pack, bundle," or a similar Scandinavian source. OED rejects connection to other Germanic words for "bellows, belly" as without evidence and finds a Celtic origin untenable. In some senses perhaps from Old French bague, which is also from Germanic.

As disparaging slang for "woman" it dates from 1924 in modern use (but various specialized senses of this are much older, and compare baggage). Meaning "person's area of interest or expertise" is 1964, from African-American vernacular, from jazz sense of "category," probably via notion of putting something in a bag. Meaning "fold of loose skin under the eye" is by 1867. Related: bags.

To be left holding the bag (and presumably nothing else), "cheated, swindled" is attested by 1793. Many figurative senses, such as the verb meaning "to kill game" (1814) and its colloquial extension to "catch, seize, steal" (1818) are from the notion of the game bag (late 15c.) into which the product of the hunt was placed. This also probably explains modern slang in the bag "assured, certain" (1922, American English).

To let the cat out of the bag "reveal the secret" is from 1760. The source is probably the French expression Acheter chat en poche "buy a cat in a bag," which is attested in 18c. French and explained in Bailey's "Universal Etymological English Dictionary" (1736), under the entry for To buy a pig in a poke as "to buy a Thing without looking at it, or enquiring into the Value of it." (Similar expressions are found in Italian and German; and in English, Wyclif (late 14c.) has To bye a catte in þo sakke is bot litel charge). Thus to let the cat out of the bag would be to inadvertently reveal the hidden truth of a matter one is attempting to pass off as something better or different, which is in line with the earliest uses in English.

Sir Joseph letteth the cat out of the bag, and sheweth principles inimical to the cause of true philosophy, by wishing to make great men Fellows, instead of wise men ["Peter Pindar," "Peter's Prophecy," 1788]
Related entries & more 

Page 13