town in northeastern India, from Tibetan dojeling "diamond island," in reference to Vajrayana (literally "vehicle of the diamond") Buddhism. The "island" being the high ground of the place's site. As a type of tea, by 1862.
The first trial of the tea plant at Darjeeling was made in 1841, with a few seeds grown in Kumaon from China stock. It was quite successful as to its growth, and the quality was approved of by the Assam tea planter who visited Darjeeling in 1846, and made the first tea here. The original plants are now to be seen. All are of gigantic size; one is a bush 50 feet in circumference and 20 feet high. [list of contributions from British India at the New Zealand Exhibition of 1865]
species of hard wheat especially used in making macaroni, by 1904, from Latin durum, neuter of durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." The seeds are tough. It was introduced in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture in 1899 from Russia and 1900 from North Africa.
Previous to 1901 this wheat could not usually be sold at the elevators or mills at any price and was rarely grown—in small quantities only, for stock feed. Since its commercial value has been demonstrated the production has increased from 100,000 bushels, the largest estimate in 1901, to at least 6,000,000 bushels in 1903—an increase of sixtyfold in two years. [Flour Trade News, November 1904]
"exceed in any excess of evil," from Shakespeare's it out-Herods Herod in Hamlet's instruction to the players in "Hamlet" Act III, Scene II. Shakespeare used the same construction elsewhere ("All's Well that Ends Well" has out-villain'd villany). The phrase reflects the image of Herod as stock braggart and bully in old religious drama. The form of the phrase was widely imitated 19c. and extended to any excessive behavior.
Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise: I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod: pray you, avoid it. ["Hamlet"]
1879 as colloquial shortening of Metropolitan (n.) "member of the New York Metropolitan Base-Ball Club."
THE baseball season has opened, and along with the twittering of the birds, the budding of the trees, and the clattering of the truck, comes the news that the "Mets were beaten yesterday 17 to 5." It is an infallible sign of spring when the Mets are beaten 17 to 5, and we invariably put on our thinner clothing when we read that refreshing, though perennial news in the papers. [Life magazine, May 12, 1887]
Used variously to abbreviate other proper names beginning with Metropolitan, such as "Metropolitan Museum of Art" (N.Y.), by 1919; "Metropolitan Railway" (stock), by 1890; "Metropolitan Opera Company (N.Y.), by 1922. Related: Mets.
"large cask," especially one for wine, ale, or beer, Old English tunne "tun, cask, barrel," a general North Sea Germanic word (compare Old Frisian tunne, Middle Dutch tonne, Old High German tunna, German tonne), also found in Medieval Latin tunna (9c.) and Old French tonne (diminutive tonneau); perhaps from a Celtic source (compare Middle Irish, Gaelic tunna, Old Irish toun "hide, skin"). Tun-dish (late 14c.) was a funnel made to fit into the bung of a tun.
— That? said Stephen. — Is that called a funnel? Is it not a tundish? —
— What is a tundish? —
— That. The ... the funnel. —
— Is that called a tundish in Ireland? — asked the dean. — I never heard the word in my life. —
— It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra — said Stephen, laughing — where they speak the best English.—
— A tundish — said the dean reflectively. — That is a most interesting word I must look that word up. Upon my word I must. —
His courtesy of manner rang a little false, and Stephen looked at the English convert with the same eyes as the elder brother in the parable may have turned on the prodigal. [Joyce, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"]
late 13c., "bundle of twigs bound up," also fagald, faggald, from Old French fagot "bundle of sticks" (13c.), of uncertain origin, probably from Italian fagotto "bundle of sticks," diminutive of Vulgar Latin *facus, from Latin fascis "bundle of wood" (see fasces). But another theory traces the Vulgar Latin word to Greek phakelos "bundle," which is probably Pre-Greek.
Especially used for burning heretics (emblematic of this from 1550s), so that phrase fire and faggot was used to indicate "punishment of a heretic." Heretics who recanted were required to wear an embroidered figure of a faggot on the sleeve as an emblem and reminder of what they deserved.
Faggots, the traditional British dish made from the innards of pigs (liver, lungs, heart, spleen) mixed with bread crumbs, rolled in balls, and braised in stock (1851) apparently is the same word, presumably from the notion of "little bits and pieces bound up together."
"petty crook who will turn his hand to anything so long as it does not involve honest work," 1934, British slang, probably dating back to late 19c. and connected with spiff (see spiffy) in one of its various senses. Being a flashy dresser was a spiv characteristic.
The spiv reached his apotheosis during World War II and the succeeding years, when the disrupted economic conditions allowed ample scope for unofficial trading (a pair of nylons here, a few packets of cigarettes there) and other petty crime. He became a stock figure in the English social comedy, represented on screen by such stereotypes as 'Flash Harry' (played by George Cole) in the St. Trinian's films and Pte. Walker in Dad's Army. [Ayto, "20th Century Words"]
"to hold back," early 14c., from a Scandinavian source, such as Old Norse stemma "to stop, dam up; be stopped, abate," from Proto-Germanic *stamjan (source also of Swedish stämma, Old Saxon stemmian, Middle Dutch stemon, German stemmen "stop, resist, oppose"), from PIE root *stem- "to strike against something" (source also of Lithuanian stumiu, stumti "thrust, push"). Not connected to stem (n.). Related: Stemmed; stemming. Phrase to stem the tide is literally "to hold back the tide," but often is confused with stem (v.2) "make headway against."
Verbal phrase stems from (1932, American English), perhaps is from stem (v.) in the sense "to rise, mount up, have origin in" (1570s), or is influenced by or translates German stammen aus, probably from a figurative sense represented by English stem (n.) in the sense of "stock of a family, line of descent" (c. 1540; compare family tree, and German stammvater "tribal ancestor," literally "stem-father").
c. 1600, "action of choosing;" 1630s, "power or liberty of choosing," from French option (Old French opcion), from Latin optionem (nominative optio) "choice, free choice, liberty to choose," from optare "to desire, pray for, choose," which is of uncertain origin. De Vaan derives it from Proto-Italic *opeje- "to choose, grab," from PIE *hopeie- "to choose, grab," and compares Hittite epp/app- "to take, grab," Sanskrit apa, Avestan apa "has reached."
The meaning "thing that may be chosen" is attested from 1885. The commercial transaction sense of "privilege secured by payment of a premium (on a stock or a certain produce at a specified time and at a specified price)" is recorded from 1755 (the verb in this sense is attested by 1880 in American English). As a North American football play in which the back may either pass the ball or run with it, it is recorded by 1953.