late 14c., direccioun, "action of directing or guiding," from Latin directionem (nominative directio) "a making straight, a straight line, a directing (toward something)," noun of action from past-participle stem of dirigere "to set straight, arrange; give a particular direction to," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line").
Meaning "the act of governing, administration" is from early 15c. Sense of "relative position without regard to distance" is from 1660s. Meaning "course pursued by a moving object" is from 1660s.
Sense of "order, instruction in how to proceed" is from early 15c.; specific sense of "instruction in how to get somewhere" is from 1590s (directions in this sense is by 1749). Related: Directional.
Old English hwær, hwar "at what place," from Proto-Germanic adverb *hwar (source also of Old Saxon hwar, Old Norse hvar, Old Frisian hwer, Middle Dutch waer, Old High German hwar, German wo, Gothic hvar "where"), equivalent to Latin cur, from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns. Where it's at attested from 1903.
It has figured in a great many prepositional and adverbial compounds through the years; in addition to the ones listed in this dictionary (whereas, wherefore, whereabouts, etc.) English has or had whereagainst, wherefrom, wherehence, whereinsoever, whereinto, wheremid, whereout, whereover, whereso, wheresoever, wherethrough, whereto, whereunder, whereuntil.
"torn or worn scrap of cloth," early 14c., probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse rögg "shaggy tuft, rough hair," earlier raggw-; Old Danish rag; see rug), or else a back-formation from ragged. It also may represent an unrecorded Old English cognate of Old Norse rögg. In any case, from Proto-Germanic *rawwa-, from PIE root *reue- (2) "to smash, knock down, tear up, uproot" (see rough (adj.)).
Also in Middle English "a hard, rough piece of stone" (late 13c.). As an insulting term for "newspaper, magazine" it dates from 1734; slang for "tampon, sanitary napkin" is attested from 1930s (on the rag "menstruating" is from 1948). Rags "tattered clothing" is from mid-14c.; in the jocular sense of "personal clothing" it is attested by 1855 (singular), American English. Rags-to-riches as a description of a tale of a rise from poverty to wealth is attested by 1896. Rag-picker is from 1860; rag-shop, one selling old clothes, is from 1829.
1540s, "miserable person, wretch," from Latin miser (adj.) "unhappy, wretched, pitiable, in distress," a word for which "no acceptable PIE pedigree has been found" [de Vaan]. The oldest English sense now is obsolete; the main modern meaning of "money-hoarding person" ("one who in wealth conducts himself as one afflicted with poverty" - Century Dictionary) is recorded by 1560s, from the presumed unhappiness of such people. The older sense is preserved in miserable, misery, etc.
Besides general wretchedness, the Latin word connoted also "intense erotic love" (compare slang got it bad "deeply infatuated") and hence was a favorite word of Catullus. In Greek a miser was kyminopristes, literally "a cumin seed splitter." In Modern Greek, he might be called hekentabelones, literally "one who has sixty needles." The German word, filz, literally "felt," preserves the image of the felt slippers which the miser often wore in caricatures. Lettish mantrausis "miser" is literally "money-raker."
mid-15c., "pretend poverty," probably from Old French muchier, mucier "to hide, sulk, conceal, hide away, keep out of sight," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic or Germanic (Liberman prefers the latter, Klein the former). Also compare Middle English michen "to pilfer (small things)," mid-15c., perhaps from an Old English *mycan (compare Old High German muhhan "rob, ambush, waylay"). Or the word may be a variant of Middle English mucchen "to hoard, be stingy" (c. 1300), probably originally "to keep coins in one's nightcap," from mucche "nightcap," from Middle Dutch muste "cap, nightcap," ultimately from Medieval Latin almucia, also a word of unknown origin. Sense of "sponge off others" is recorded by 1857.
Whatever the distant origin of mooch, the [Germanic] verb *mycan and its cognates have been part of European slang for at least two millennia. [Liberman]
It appears to be a remarkably long-lived bit of slang. Related: Mooched; mooching. As a noun meaning "a moocher," from 1914; as "action of mooching," by 1867.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "few, little."
It forms all or part of: catchpoll; encyclopedia; filly; foal; few; hypnopedia; impoverish; orthopedic; Paedophryne; paraffin; parvi-; parvovirus; paucity; Paul; pauper; pedagogue; pederasty; pedo-; pedophilia; poco; poltroon; pony; pool (n.2) "game similar to billiards;" poor; poulterer; poultry; poverty; puericulture; puerile; puerility; puerperal; pullet; pullulate; Punch; Punchinello; pupa; pupil (n.1) "student;" pupil (n.2) "center of the eye;" puppet; pusillanimous; putti.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit potah "a young animal," putrah "son;" Avestan puthra- "son, child;" Greek pauros "few, little," pais (genitive paidos) "child," pōlos "foal;" Latin paucus "few, little," paullus "little," parvus "little, small," pauper "poor," puer "child, boy," pullus "young animal;" Oscan puklu "child;" Old English feawe "not many, a small number," fola "young horse;" Old Norse fylja "young female horse;" Old Church Slavonic puta "bird;" Lithuanian putytis "young animal, young bird;" Albanian pele "mare."
early 15c., in law, "the senior justices of the peace," whose presence was necessary to constitute a court, from Latin quorum "of whom," genitive plural (masc. and neuter; fem. quarum) of qui "who" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns).
The traditional wording of the commission appointing justices of the peace translates as, "We have also assigned you, and every two or more of you (of whom [quoram vos] any one of you the aforesaid A, B, C, D, etc. we will shall be one) our justices to inquire the truth more fully." The justices so-named usually were called the justices of the quorum.
Meaning "fixed number of members of any constituted body whose presence at a particular meeting is necessary to transact business" is recorded by 1610s.
c. 1300, nece, "daughter of one's brother or sister; granddaughter; female relative," from Old French niece "niece; granddaughter" (12c., Modern French nièce), earlier niepce, from Latin neptia (also source of Portuguese neta, Spanish nieta), a more decidedly feminine form of neptis "granddaughter," in Late Latin "niece," fem. of nepos "grandson, nephew" (see nephew). Cognate with Old Lithuanian neptė, Sanskrit naptih "granddaughter;" Czech net, Old Irish necht, Welsh nith, German Nichte "niece."
It replaced Old English nift, from Proto-Germanic *neftiz, from the same PIE root (Old English also used broðordohter and nefene). Until c. 1600 in English, niece also commonly meant "a granddaughter" or any remote female descendant or kinswoman.
late 14c., "relationship, relation; regard, consideration" (as in in respect to), from Old French respect and directly from Latin respectus "regard, a looking at," literally "act of looking back (or often) at one," noun use of past participle of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" (see re-) + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").
Meanings "feeling of esteem excited by actions or attributes of someone or something; courteous or considerate treatment due to personal worth or power." From late 15c. as "an aspect of a thing, a relative property or quality," hence "point, detail, particular feature" (1580s). With all due respect as a polite phrase introducing deferential disagreement is attested by 1670s.
"short, erect tail" (of a rabbit, hare, deer, etc.), 1520s; earlier "a hare" (mid-15c., perhaps c. 1300), a word of obscure origin.
Perhaps it is from Old Norse skjota "to shoot (with a weapon), launch, push, shove quickly" (compare Norwegian skudda "to shove, push"), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw." Or perhaps it is a relative of Middle English sheten "hasten from one place to another," from Old English sceotan, sceotian, from Proto-Germanic *skeutanan (source also of Old Frisian skiata "to shoot, supply," Old Dutch scietan), for which Boutkan offers no IE etymology.
Also compare Middle English scut (v.) "make short, hurried runs," as a noun, "a short garment" (mid-15c.), as an adjective, "short" (c. 1200), perhaps from Old French escorter, from Latin excurtare.