c. 1200, diggen, "to make a ditch or other excavation," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps related to dike and ditch, either via Anglo-French diguer, from Old French digue "dike" (which is ultimately from Proto-Germanic *dīk-, from PIE root *dheigw- "to stick, fix") or directly from an unrecorded Old English verb. The older native words were deolfan (see delve), grafan (see grave (v.)).
Transitive meanings "form by excavation, make by digging," also "obtain or remove by excavation" are from late 14c.; figurative sense of "discover by effort or search" is from early 15c. Meaning "to penetrate" is from mid-15c.; transitive sense of "cause to penetrate, thrust or force in" is by 1885.
In 19c. U.S. student slang it meant "study hard, give much time to study" (1827); the 20c. slang sense of "understand" is recorded by 1934 in African-American vernacular. Both probably are based on the notion of "excavate." A slightly varied sense of "appreciate" emerged by 1939. The strong past participle dug appeared in 16c. but is not etymological.
c. 1300, pushen, "to shove, move onward, strike with a thrusting motion, thrust forcibly against for the purpose of impelling," from Old French poulser (Modern French pousser), from Latin pulsare "to beat, strike, push," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to push, drive, beat" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive").
Transitive meaning "urge, incite, press" is by 1570s; that of "promote, advance or extend by persistence or diligent effort" is from 1714; intransitive sense of "make one's way with force and persistence (against obstacles, etc.)" is by 1718. The meaning "approach a certain age" is from 1937. For palatization of -s-, OED compares brush (n.1); quash. Related: Pushed; pushing.
To push up daisies "be dead and buried" is from World War I, but variants with the same meaning date back to 1842.
"Pushing up the daisies now," said a soldier of his dead comrade. [The American Florist, vol. xlviii, March 31, 1917]
To push (someone) around "bully, browbeat, domineer" is by 1923. To push (one's) luck is from 1754. To push the envelope in the figurative sense is by late 1980s.
early 14c., reclaimen, "call back a hawk to the glove," from Old French reclamer "to call upon, invoke; claim; seduce; to call back a hawk" (12c., Modern French réclamer) and directly from Latin reclamare "cry out against, contradict, protest, appeal," from re- "opposite, against" (see re-) + clamare "cry out" (from PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout").
"Call out; call back a hawk," hence "make tame" (mid-15c.), "subdue, reduce to obedience, make amenable to control" (late 14c.). Many Middle English senses lack an apparent notion of return or reciprocation (not unusual with Middle English re- words). Meaning "revoke" (a grant, gift, etc.) is from late 15c. That of "recall (someone) from an erring course to a proper state" is from mid-15c.
The sense of "get back by effort" might reflect influence of claim. The specific meaning "bring waste land into useful condition fit for cultivation" is attested by 1764, probably on notion of "reduce to obedience" (perhaps from the image of taming wild animals) rather than a suggestion of a return to a previous condition. Related: Reclaimed; reclaiming.
1560s, "to handle, train, or direct" (a horse), from the now-obsolete noun manage "the handling or training of a horse; horsemanship" (see manege, which is a modern revival of it), from Old French manège "horsemanship," from Italian maneggio, from maneggiare "to handle, touch," especially "to control a horse," which ultimately from Latin noun manus "hand" (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand").
Extended sense of "control or direct by administrative ability" any sort of business is by 1570s; meaning "to wield (a tool or object) by hand" is from 1580s. Meaning "effect by effort" (hence "succeed in accomplishing") is by 1732. Intransitive sense of "get by, carry on affairs" is suggested by 1650s, in frequent use from mid-19c. Related: Managed; managing. Managed economy was used by 1933.
Manage literally implies handling, and hence primarily belongs to smaller concerns, on which one may at all times keep his hand: as, to manage a house; to manage a theater. Its essential idea is that of constant attention to details: as, only a combination of great abilities with a genius for industry can manage the affairs of an empire. [Century Dictionary]
mid-14c., "material consisting of a compacted web or felting of vegetable fibers, commonly as a thin, flexible sheet for writing, printing, etc.," from Anglo-French paper, Old French papier "paper, document," and directly from Latin papyrus "paper, paper made of papyrus stalks," from Greek papyros "any plant of the paper plant genus," a loan-word of unknown origin, often said to be Egyptian (see papyrus).
Sense of "essay, dissertation on a topic" is from 1660s. Meaning "bills of exchange, paper money" is attested by 1722. As "paper for covering the walls of interiors," 1764. As "printed sheet of news" (a shortened form of newspaper), attested by 1640s. Papers, "collection of documents which establish one's identity, standing, credentials, etc.," it is attested from 1680s.
Paper-clip is by 1875; paper-cutter as a type of machine is by 1969. Paper-hanger is by 1796. Paper-wasp " type of wasp that builds a nest out of paper-like material" is by 1805. Paper chase is by 1856 in British English for the game of hare-and-hounds, from the bits of paper scattered as "scent" by the "hares;" the slang meaning "effort to earn a diploma or college degree" is by 1932.
early 14c., "to bear or convey, take along or transport," from Anglo-French carier "to transport in a vehicle" or Old North French carrier "to cart, carry" (Modern French charrier), from Gallo-Roman *carrizare, from Late Latin carricare, from Latin carrum originally "two-wheeled Celtic war chariot," from Gaulish (Celtic) karros, from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- "to run."
Meaning "take by force, gain by effort" is from 1580s. Sense of "gain victory, bear to a successful conclusion" is from 1610s; specifically in reference to elections from 1848, American English. Meaning "to conduct, manage" (often with an indefinite it) is from 1580s. Meaning "bear up and support" is from 1560s. Commercial sense of "keep in stock" is from 1848. In reference to mathematical operations from 1798. Of sound, "to be heard at a distance" by 1858.
To carry out "conduct to completion" is from c. 1600. To carry it off "brazen a thing out" is from 1704; carried off as a euphemism for "killed" is from 1670s. To be carried (away) in the figurative sense "transported, having the attention fully absorbed" is from 1560s. Carrying capacity is attested from 1836. Carry-castle (1590s) was an old descriptive term for an elephant.
c. 1200, "at ease, having ease, free from bodily discomfort and anxiety," from Old French aisie "comfortable, at ease, rich, well-off" (Modern French aisé), past participle of aisier "to put at ease," from aise (see ease (n.)). Sense of "not difficult, requiring no great labor or effort" is from late 13c.; of conditions, "offering comfort, pleasant," early 14c. Of persons, "lenient, kind, calm, gentle," late 14c. Meaning "readily yielding, not difficult of persuasion" is from 1610s. The concept of "not difficult" was expressed in Old English and early Middle English by eaþe (adv.), ieþe (adj.), apparently common West Germanic (compare German öde "empty, desolate," but of disputed origin.
Easy Street is from 1890. Easy money attested by 1889; to take it easy "relax" is from 1804 (be easy in same sense recorded from 1746); easy does it recorded by 1835. Easy rider (1912) was African-American vernacular for "sexually satisfying lover." The easy listening radio format is from 1961, defined by William Safire (in 1986) as, "the music of the 60's played in the 80's with the style of the 40's." Related: Easier; easiest.
Replaced native slack, slothful, and idle as the usual word expressing the notion of averse to work. Lazy Susan is from 1917. Lazy-tongs is from 1785, "An instrument like a pair of tongs for old or very fat people, to take anything off the ground without stooping" [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue"]. In his 1788 edition, Grose has lazy man's load: "Lazy people frequently take up more than they can safely carry, to save the trouble of coming a second time."
1520s, "obtain as profit," from French gagner, from Old French gaaignier "to earn, gain; trade; capture, win," also "work in the fields, cultivate land," from Frankish *waidanjan "hunt, forage," also "graze, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *waithanjan "to hunt, plunder," from *waithjo- "pursuit, hunting" (source also of Old English waþ "hunting," German Weide "pasture, pasturage," Old Norse veiðr "hunting, fishing, catch of fish").
This is from PIE root *weie- "to go after, strive after, pursue vigorously, desire," with noun derivatives indicating "force, power" (related to *wi-ro- "man;" see virile). Cognates include Sanskrit padavi- "track, path, trail," veti- "follows, strives, leads, drives;" Avestan vateiti "follows, hunts;" Greek hiemai "move oneself forward, strive, desire;" Lithuanian vyti "to chase, pursue;" Old Norse veiðr "chase, hunting, fishing;" Old English OE wað "a chase, hunt."
Meaning "obtain by effort or striving" is from 1540s; intransitive sense of "profit, make gain" is from 1570s. Meaning "arrive at" is from c. 1600. Of timepieces by 1861. Related: Gained; gaining. To gain on "advance nearer" is from 1719. To gain ground (1620s) was originally military.
late 13c., peine, "the agony suffered by Christ;" c. 1300, "punishment," especially for a crime, "legal punishment of any sort" (including fines and monetary penalties); also "condition one feels when hurt, opposite of pleasure," including mental or emotional suffering, grief, distress; from Old French peine "difficulty, woe, suffering, punishment, Hell's torments" (11c.), from Latin poena "punishment, penalty, retribution, indemnification" (in Late Latin also "torment, hardship, suffering"), from Greek poinē "retribution, penalty, quit-money for spilled blood," from PIE *kwei- "to pay, atone, compensate" (see penal).
The early "punishment" sense in English survives in phrase on pain of death. Also c. 1300 the word was used for the torments of eternal damnation after death. The sense of "exertion, effort" is from late 14c.; pains "great care taken (for some purpose), exertion or trouble taken in doing something" is recorded from 1520s.
Phrase give (someone) a pain "be annoying and irritating" is by 1895; as a noun, localized as pain in the neck (1924) and pain in the ass (1934), though this last might have gone long unrecorded and be the original sense and the others euphemisms. First record of pain-killer "drug or herb that reduces pain" is by 1845.