bond (n.)

early 13c., "anything that binds, fastens, or confines," a phonetic variant of band (n.1) and at first interchangeable with it. For vowel change, see long (adj.); also influenced by unrelated Old English bonda "householder," literally "dweller" (see bond (adj.)).

It preserves more distinctly than band the connection with bind and bound (adj.1) and is now the main or only form in the sense of "restraining or uniting force."

From early 14c. as "an agreement or covenant;" from late 14c. as "a binding or uniting power or influence." The legalistic sense of "an instrument binding one to pay a sum to another" is recorded by 1590s. The meaning "a method of laying bricks in courses" is from 1670s. In chemistry, of atoms, by 1900.

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rubber (n.1)

1530s, "thing that rubs" (a brush, cloth, etc.), agent noun from rub (v.). By c. 1600 as "one who applies friction or massage in some process."

The meaning "elastic substance from tropical plants" is recorded by 1788, short for India rubber. Earlier known also as catouchou, caoutchouc, it was  introduced to Europe 1744 by Charles Marie de la Condamine, so called because it originally was used to erase pencil marks from paper, etc. Later extended to synthetic substances having the same qualities.

This substance is very useful in drawing, &c., for erasing the strokes of black lead pencils, and is popularly called rubber, and lead-eater. [from the entry for Caoutchouc in George Selby Howard, "New Royal Cyclopaedia," 1788]

The meaning "an overshoe made of rubber" is 1842, American English; slang sense of "contraceptive sheath, condom" is by 1930s. As an adjective by 1844, "In very common use from about 1875" [OED]. Some figurative phrases are from the notion of rubber automobile tires.

Rubber cement "adhesive compound containing rubber" is attested from 1856 (from 1823 as India-rubber cement). Rubber check (one that "bounces") is from 1927. The decorative household rubber plant is so called by 1876 (earlier India-rubber plant, by 1805). Rubber-chicken circuit "after-dinner speaking tour" is by 1959, in reference to the likely quality of the food.

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steam (n.)

Old English steam "vapor, fume, water in a gaseous state," from Proto-Germanic *staumaz (source also of Dutch stoom "steam"), of unknown origin. Meaning "vapor of boiling water used to drive an engine" is from 1690s, hence steam age (1828) and many figurative uses, such as let off steam (1831, literal), blow off steam (1857, figurative), full-steam (1878), get up steam (1887, figurative). Steam heat is from 1820s in thermodynamics; as a method of temperature control from 1904.

We have given her six months to consider the matter, and in this steam age of the world, no woman ought to require a longer time to make up her mind. [Sarah Josepha Hale, "Sketches of American Character," 1828]
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program (n.)

1630s, "public notice," from Late Latin programma "proclamation, edict," from Greek programma "a written public notice," from stem of prographein "to write publicly," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy).

 The meaning "written or printed list of pieces at a concert, playbill" is recorded by 1805 and retains the original sense. The sense of "broadcasting presentation" is from 1923.

The general sense of "a definite plan or scheme, method of operation or line of procedure prepared or announced beforehand" is recorded from 1837. The computer sense of "series of coded instructions which directs a computer in carrying out a specific task: is from 1945.

The sense of "objects or events suggested by music" is from 1854 (program music is attested by 1877). Spelling programme, established in Britain, is from French in modern use and began to be used early 19c., originally especially in the "playbill" sense.

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size (n.)

c. 1300, "quantity, length, stature; manner, method, custom; a decision, a stipulated reward," from Old French sise, shortened form of assise "session, assessment, regulation, manner," noun use of fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere/adsidere "to sit beside" (and thus to assist in the office of a judge), "sit with in counsel or office," from ad "to" (see ad-) + sedere "to sit," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." The French word is probably a misdivision of l'assise as la sise.

The sense of "extent, amount, volume, magnitude" is from the notion of regulation (of weights, food portions, etc.) by fixing the amount of it. The specific sense of "one of a set of regularly increasing dimensions of a manufactured article for sale" is attested from 1590s (in reference to shoes). Figurative use of the sales clerk's try (something) on for size (to see if it "fits") is by 1956.

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kibosh (n.)

1836, kye-bosk, in British English slang phrase put the kibosh on, of unknown origin, despite intense speculation. The earliest citation is in Dickens. Looks Yiddish, but its original appearance in a piece set in the heavily Irish "Seven Dials" neighborhood in the West End of London seems to argue against this.

One candidate is Irish caip bháis, caipín báis "cap of death," sometimes said to be the black cap a judge would don when pronouncing a death sentence, but in other sources this is identified as a gruesome method of execution "employed by Brit. forces against 1798 insurgents" [Bernard Share, "Slanguage, A Dictionary of Irish Slang"]. Coles' dictionary of "difficult terms" (1684) has cabos'd "having the head cut off close to the shoulders." Or the word might somehow be connected with Turkish bosh (see bosh).

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irony (n.)

"figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of the literal meaning" (usually covert sarcasm under a serious or friendly pretense), c. 1500, from Latin ironia, from Greek eironeia "dissimulation, assumed ignorance," from eiron "dissembler," perhaps related to eirein "to speak," from PIE *wer-yo-, suffixed form of root *were- (3) "to speak" (see verb). Used in Greek of affected ignorance, especially that of Socrates, as a method of exposing an antagonist's ignorance by pretending to modestly seek information or instruction from him. Thus sometimes in English in the sense "simulated ignorance."

For nuances of usage, see humor (n.). In early use often ironia. Figurative use for "condition opposite to what might be expected; contradictory circumstances; apparent mockery of natural or expected consequences" is from 1640s, sometimes distinguished as irony of fate or irony of circumstances. Related: Ironist. A verb ironize "speak ironically" is recorded from c. 1600.

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ostracism (n.)

1580s, the name of a legal political method among the ancient Athenians by which men deemed dangerous to the liberties of the people or embarrassing to the state were banished for 10 years by public vote, from French ostracisme (16c.), Modern Latin ostracismus, or directly from Greek ostrakismos, from ostrakizein "to ostracize," from ostrakon "tile, potsherd," from PIE *ost-r-, from root *ost- "bone," which also is the source of Greek osteon "bone," ostreion "oyster," and German Estrich "pavement" (which is from Medieval Latin astracus "pavement," ultimately from Greek ostrakon).

So called because the citizens each indicated the name of the man they wished banished by scratching it on a potsherd or tile. A similar practice in ancient Syracuse (with banishment for five years) was by writing names on olive leaves, and thus was called petalismos. In English, the word in the general sense of "expulsion, exclusion" (from society, etc.) is by early 17c.

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maieutic (adj.)

"pertaining to the Socratic method of assisting a person, by questions, to discover conceptions latent in his mind," 1650s, from Greek maieutikos, a figurative use in philosophy of a word meaning literally "obstetric," from maieuesthai "act as a midwife," from maia "midwife" (see Maia).

By putting leading questions on general or well-known facts, Socrates, by easy steps, to the surprise and delight of his subject, would bring him to the enunciation of some principle hitherto unknown or undeveloped in his mind. This is called his Maieutic: a term which Socrates himself suggested, likening his relation to the development and birth of ideas in the mind to that mid-wife office which his mother performed for the body. Both this feature and the illustration afforded fine material for jest to Aristophanes, who, in his usual comic way, proceeded to literalize the metaphor. [Samuel Ross Winans, "Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates," Boston: 1890]
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rack (v.1)

early 15c., rakken, "to stretch, stretch out (cloth) for drying," also, of persons, "to torture by violently stretching on the rack," from rack (n.1) or from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German recken. Of other pains from 1580s.

Figurative sense of "subject to strenuous effort" (of the brain, memory, etc.) is by 1580s; that of "to torment, afflict with great pain or distress" is from c. 1600. Meaning "fit with racks" is from 1580s.

Sense of "to place (pool balls, etc.) in a rack" as before starting a game is by 1909 (the noun in this sense is by 1907). Teenager slang meaning "to sleep" is from 1960s (rack (n.) was Navy slang for "bed" in 1940s). Related: Racked; racking. Rack up "register, accumulate, achieve" is attested by 1943 (in Billboard magazine), probably from pool halls, perhaps from a method of keeping score. To rack up formerly was "fill a stable rack with hay or straw for horses kept overnight" (1743).

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