past-participle suffix of weak verbs, from Old English -ed, -ad, -od (leveled to -ed in Middle English), from Proto-Germanic *-da- (cognates: Old High German -ta, German -t, Old Norse -þa, Gothic -da, -þs), from PIE *-to-, "suffix forming adjectives marking the accomplishment of the notion of the base" [Watkins] (cognates: Sanskrit -tah, Greek -tos, Latin -tus; see -th (1)).
Originally fully pronounced, as still in beloved (which, with blessed, accursed, and a few others retains the full pronunciation through liturgical readings). In Old English already the first and third person singular past tense form of some "weak" verbs was -te, a variant of -de (see -ed), often accompanied by a change in vowel sound (as in modern keep/kept, sleep/slept).
A tendency to shorten final consonants has left English with many past tense forms spelled in -ed but pronounced "-t" (looked, missed, etc.). In some older words both forms exist, with different shades of meaning, as in gilded/gilt, burned/burnt.
Sense of "strike the foot forcibly downwards" is from mid-14c. The meaning "impress or mark (something) with a die" is first recorded 1550s. Italian stampa "stamp, impression," Spanish estampar "to stamp, print," French étamper (13c., Old French estamper) "to stamp, impress" are Germanic loan-words. Related: Stamped; stamping. To stamp out originally was "extinguish a fire by stamping on it;" attested from 1851 in the figurative sense. Stamping ground "one's particular territory" (1821) is from the notion of animals. A stamped addressed envelope (1873) was one you enclosed in a letter to speed or elicit a reply.
"covering," Old English hod "a hood, soft covering for the head" (usually extending over the back of the neck and often attached to a garment worn about the body), from Proto-Germanic *hōd- (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian hod "hood," Middle Dutch hoet, Dutch hoed "hat," Old High German huot "helmet, hat," German Hut "hat," Old Frisian hode "guard, protection"), which is of uncertain etymology, perhaps from PIE *kadh- "to cover" (see hat).
Modern spelling is early 1400s to indicate a "long" vowel, which is no longer pronounced as such. Used for hood-like things or animal parts from 17c. Meaning "Foldable or removable cover for a carriage to protect the occupants" is from 1826; meaning "sunshade of a baby-carriage" is by 1866. Meaning "hinged cover for an automobile engine" attested by 1905 (in U.K. generally called a bonnet). Little Red Riding Hood (1729) translates Charles Perrault's Petit Chaperon Rouge ("Contes du Temps Passé" 1697).
Old English hlysnan (Northumbrian lysna) "to listen, hear; attend to, obey" (transitive), from Proto-Germanic *hlusinon (source also of Dutch luisteren, Old High German hlosen "to listen," German lauschen "to listen"), from PIE root *kleu- "to hear."
This root is the source also of Sanskrit srnoti "hears," srosati "hears, obeys;" Avestan sraothra "ear;" Middle Persian srod "hearing, sound;" Lithuanian klausau, klausyti "to hear," šlovė "splendor, honor;" Old Church Slavonic slusati "to hear," slava "fame, glory," slovo "word;" Greek klyo "hear, be called," kleos "report, rumor, fame glory," kleio "make famous;" Latin cluere "to hear oneself called, be spoken of;" Old Irish ro-clui-nethar "hears," clunim "I hear," clu "fame, glory," cluada "ears;" Welsh clywaf "I hear;" Old English hlud "loud," hleoðor "tone, tune;" Old High German hlut "sound;" Gothic hiluþ "listening, attention."
The -t- probably is by influence of Old English hlystan (see list (v.2)). For vowel evolution, see bury. Intransitive sense is from c. 1200. To listen in (1905) was originally in reference to radio broadcasts.
"anything that guides or directs in an intricate case," 1590s, a special use of a revised spelling of clew "a ball of thread or yarn" (q.v.). The word, which is native Germanic, in Middle English was clewe, also cleue; some words borrowed from Old French in -ue, -eu also were spelled -ew in Middle English, such as blew, imbew, but these later were reformed to -ue, and this process was extended to native words (hue, true, clue) which had ended in a vowel and -w. The spelling clue is first attested mid-15c.
The sense shift is originally in reference to the clew of thread given by Ariadne to Theseus to use as a guide out of the Labyrinth in Greek mythology. The purely figurative sense of "that which points the way," without regard to labyrinths, is from 1620s. As something which a bewildered person does not have, by 1948.
Thus hardy Theseus, with intrepid Feet,
Travers'd the dang'rous Labyrinth of Crete;
But still the wandring Passes forc'd his Stay,
Till Ariadne's Clue unwinds the Way
The board game (originally Cluedo) was launched in 1949 in Britain.
"any structure that affords passage over a ravine or river," Old English brycge, from Proto-Germanic *brugjo (source also of Old Saxon bruggia, Old Norse bryggja, Old Frisian brigge, Dutch brug, Old High German brucca, German Brücke), from PIE root *bhru "log, beam," hence "wooden causeway" (source also of Gaulish briva "bridge," Old Church Slavonic bruvuno "beam," Serbian brv "footbridge").
The original notion is of a beam or log. Compare Old Church Slavonic mostu, Serbo-Croatian most "bridge," probably originally "beam" and a loanword from Germanic, related to English mast (n.1). For vowel evolution, see bury. Meaning "bony upper part of the nose" is from early 15c.; of stringed instruments from late 14c. The bridge of a ship (by 1843) originally was a "narrow raised platform athwart the ship whence the Captain issues his orders" [Sir Geoffrey Callender, "Sea Passages"].
Bridge in steam-vessels is the connection between the paddle-boxes, from which the officer in charge directs the motion of the vessel. [Smyth, "The Sailor's Word-book," 1867]
1852, from German umlaut "change of sound," from um "about" (from Proto-Germanic umbi, from PIE root *ambhi- "around") + laut "sound," from Old High German hlut (from Proto-Germanic *hludaz "heard, loud," from suffixed form of PIE root *kleu- "to hear"). Coined 1774 by poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724-1803) but first used in its current sense "modification of vowels" 1819 by linguist Jakob Grimm (1785-1863).
The scribal use of umlaut marks in German began 14c. as the pronunciation of some sounds simplified, to indicate the older ("proper") pronunciation; originally it was a full letter -e- above a -u- (later also added to -a- and -o-).
When the umlauted diphthong came to be pronounced as a single vowel sound ü, the e was then written over the u by many scribes in order to indicate the proper pronunciation of what had become a monophthong. ... Our "umlaut marks" are simply the vestiges of the two broken strokes of the Gothic-script e. [John T. Waterman, "A History of the German Language," University of Washington Press, 1976]
These are from PIE *swesor, one of the most persistent and unchanging PIE root words, recognizable in almost every modern Indo-European language (Sanskrit svasar-, Avestan shanhar-, Latin soror, Old Church Slavonic, Russian sestra, Lithuanian sesuo, Old Irish siur, Welsh chwaer, Greek eor). French soeur "a sister" (11c., instead of *sereur) is directly from Latin soror, a rare case of a borrowing from the nominative case.
According to Klein's sources, probably from PIE roots *swe- "one's own" + *ser- "woman." For vowel evolution, see bury. Used of nuns in Old English; of a woman in general from 1906; of a black woman from 1926; and in the sense of "fellow feminist" from 1912. Meaning "female fellow-Christian" is from mid-15c. Sister act "variety act by two or more sisters" is from vaudeville (1908).
fourteenth letter of the English alphabet; in chemistry, the symbol for nitrogen.
In late Middle English a and an commonly were joined to the following noun, if that word began with a vowel, which caused confusion over how such words ought to be divided when written separately. In nickname, newt, and British dialectal naunt, the -n- belongs to a preceding indefinite article an or possessive pronoun mine.
Other examples of this from Middle English manuscripts include a neilond ("an island," early 13c.), a narawe ("an arrow," c. 1400), a nox ("an ox," c. 1400), a noke ("an oak," early 15c.), a nappyle ("an apple," early 15c.), a negge ("an egg," 15c.), a nynche ("an inch," c. 1400), a nostryche ("an ostrich," c. 1500). My naunt for mine aunt is recorded from 13c.-17c. None other could be no noder (mid-15c.). My nown (for mine own) was frequent 15c.-18c. In 16c., an idiot sometimes became a nidiot (1530s), which, with still-common casual pronunciation, became nidget (1570s), now, alas, no longer whinnying with us.
It is "of constant recurrence" in the 15c. vocabularies, according to Thomas Wright, their modern editor. One has, among many others, Hoc alphabetum ... a nabse, from misdivision of an ABC (and pronouncing it as a word), and Hic culus ... a ners. Also compare nonce, pigsney. Even in 19c. provincial English and U.S., noration (from an oration) was "a speech; a rumor."
The process also worked in surnames, from oblique cases of Old English at "by, near," as in Nock/Nokes/Noaks from atten Oke "by the oak;" Nye from atten ye "near the lowland;" and see Nashville. (Elision of the vowel of the definite article also took place and was standard in Chancery English of the 15c.: þarchebisshop for "the archbishop," thorient for "the orient.")
But it is more common for an English word to lose an -n- to a preceding a: apron, auger, adder, umpire, humble pie, etc. By a related error in Elizabethan English, natomy or atomy was common for anatomy, noyance (annoyance) and noying (adj.) turn up 14c.-17c., and Marlowe (1590) has Natolian for Anatolian. The tendency is not limited to English: compare Luxor, jade (n.1), lute, omelet, and Modern Greek mera for hēmera, the first syllable being confused with the article.
The mathematical use of n for "an indefinite number" is attested by 1717 in phrases such as to the nth power (see nth). In Middle English n. was written in form documents to indicate an unspecified name of a person to be supplied by the speaker or reader.
"be in great plenty," early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + undare "rise in a wave," from unda "a wave," from PIE *unda-, nasalized form of root *wed- (1) "water; wet". Related: Abounded; abounding; abounder "one who has plenty or is wealthy" (1755).
English seems to always have used in the -ou- spelling, though in Middle English an unetymological h- sometimes was added. The vowel in Old French abonder, abondance is a continuation of a Merovingian Latin scribal use of -o- for classical Latin -u- to attempt to identify a sound that had evolved since classical times. In French eventually this sound came to be represented by -ou-. Compare French tour "tower," from Old French tor, from Latin turris; court (n.), from Old French cort, from Latin curtus; French outre from Latin ultra, etc. However -o- remained before a nasal (as nombre from numerus, monde from mundum, etc.).