Etymology
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prick (v.)

Middle English priken, from Old English prician "to pierce with a sharp point, prick out, place a point, dot, or mark upon; sting; cause a pricking sensation," from West Germanic *prikojan (source also of Low German pricken, Dutch prikken "to prick"), of uncertain origin. Danish prikke "to mark with dots," Swedish pricka "to point, prick, mark with dots" probably are from Low German. Related: Pricked; pricking.

From c. 1200 in a figurative sense of "to cause agitation, to distress, to trouble;" late 14c. as "incite, stir to action." Pricklouse (c. 1500) was a derisive name for a tailor. To prick up (one's) ears is 1580s, originally of animals with pointed ears (prycke-eared, of foxes or horses or dogs, is from early 15c.).

thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!
["Henry V," ii. 1. 44.]

Prick-me-dainty (1520s) was an old term for one who is affectedly finical.

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heaven (n.)

Old English heofon "home of God," earlier "the visible sky, firmament," probably from Proto-Germanic *hibin-, a dissimilation of *himin- (source also of Low German heben, Old Norse himinn, Gothic himins, Old Frisian himul, Dutch hemel, German Himmel "heaven, sky"), which is of uncertain and disputed origin.

Perhaps it means literally "a covering," from a PIE root *kem- "to cover" (which also has been proposed as the source of chemise). Watkins derives it elaborately from PIE *ak- "sharp" via *akman- "stone, sharp stone," then "stony vault of heaven."

The English word is attested from late 14c. as "a heavenly place; a state of bliss." The plural use in sense of "sky" probably is from the Ptolemaic theory of space as composed of many spheres, but it also formerly was used in the same sense in the singular in Biblical language, as a translation of Hebrew plural shamayim. Heaven-sent (adj.) is attested from 1640s.

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Hessian (n.)

"resident of the former Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel," western Germany; its soldiers being hired out by the ruler to fight for other countries, especially the British during the American Revolution, the name Hessians by 1835 in U.S. became synonymous (unjustly) with "mercenaries." Hessian fly (Cecidomyia destructor) was a destructive parasite the ravaged U.S. crops late 18c., so named 1787 in erroneous belief that it was carried into America by the Hessians.

The place name is from Latin Hassi/Hatti/Chatti, the Latinized form of the name of the Germanic people the Romans met in northern Germany (Greek Khattoi). The meaning of the name is unknown. Part of Arminius's coalition at the Battle of Teutoburger Wald (9 C.E.), they later merged with the Franks. They are mentioned in Beowulf as the Hetwaras. The state was annexed to Prussia in 1866 and is not to be confused with the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.

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anathema (n.)

1520s, "an accursed thing," from Latin anathema "an excommunicated person; the curse of excommunication," from Ecclesiastical Greek anathema "a thing accursed," a slight variation of classical Greek anathama, which meant merely "a thing devoted," literally "a thing set up (to the gods)," such as a votive offering in a temple, from ana "up" (see ana-) + tithenai "to put, to place" (from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

By the time it reached Late Latin the meaning of the Greek word had progressed through "thing devoted to evil," to "thing accursed or damned." Later it was applied to persons and the Divine Curse. The meaning "act or formula of excommunicating and consigning to damnation by ecclesiastical authority" is from 1610s.

Anathema maranatha, taken as an intensified form, is held to be a misreading of I Corinthians xvi.22 where anathema is followed by Aramaic maran atha "Our Lord hath come" (see Maranatha).

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drop (n.)

Middle English drope, from Old English dropa "a small, spherical mass of liquid," from Proto-Germanic *drupon (source also of Old Saxon dropo, Old Norse dropi, Dutch drop, Old High German tropfo, German Tropfen (n.)); see drop (v.).

Sense of "minute quantity of anything, least possible amount" is from c. 1200. Meaning "an act of dropping" is from 1630s; of immaterial things (prices, temperatures, etc.) from mid-19c. Meaning "lozenge, hard candy" is 1723, from resemblance in shape. Meaning "secret place where things can be left illicitly and picked up later" is from 1931. Theatrical meaning "painted curtain dropped between scenes to conceal the stage from the audience" is by 1779.

Drop in the bucket (late 14c.) is from Isaiah xl.15 [KJV]. At the drop of a hat "suddenly" is from 1854. To get the drop on "be prepared before one's antagonist" originally was Old West gunslinger slang (1869).

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mound (n.)

1550s, "hedge, fence," also "an embankment, a dam" (a sense probably influenced by mount (n.)), a word of obscure origin. The relationship between the noun and the verb is uncertain.

Commonly supposed to be from Middle English mounde "the hand; guardianship, power," from Old English mund (cognate with Latin manus), but this is not certain (OED discounts it on grounds of sense). Perhaps it is a confusion of the native word and Middle Dutch mond "protection," used in military sense for fortifications of various types, including earthworks.

From 1726 as "artificial elevation of earth" (as over a grave); 1810 as "natural low elevation." As the place where the pitcher stands on a baseball field, from 1912. Mound-builder "one of the prehistoric race of the Mississippi Valley that erected extensive earthworks" is by 1838.

In Middle English mounde also meant "the world," from Old French monde, from Latin mundus (see mundane).

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tuxedo (n.)

man's evening dress for semiformal occasions, 1889, named for Tuxedo Park, N.Y., a rural resort development for wealthy New Yorkers and site of a country club where it first was worn, supposedly in 1886. The name is an attractive subject for elaborate speculation, and connections with Algonquian words for "bear" or "wolf" were proposed. The authoritative Bright, however, says the tribe's name probably is originally a place name, perhaps Munsee Delaware (Algonquian) p'tuck-sepo "crooked river."

There was a hue and cry raised against the Tuxedo coat upon its first appearance because it was erroneously considered and widely written of as intended to displace the swallow tail. When the true import of the tailless dress coat came to be realized it was accepted promptly by swelldom, and now is widely recognized as one of the staple adjuncts of the jeunesse dorée. [Clothier and Furnisher, August 1889]
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stand (n.)

Old English stand "a pause, delay, state of rest or inaction," from the root of stand (v.). Compare Dutch and German stand (n.). Sense of "action of standing or coming to a position" is attested from late 14c., especially in reference to fighting (1590s). Sense of "state of being unable to proceed" is from 1590s.

Meaning "place of standing, position" is from early 14c.; figurative sense is from 1590s. Meaning "raised platform for a hunter or sportsman" is attested from c. 1400. Meaning "raised platform for spectators at an open-air event" is from 1610s; meaning "piece of furniture on which something is to be set" is from 1690s. Sense of "stall or booth" is first recorded c. 1500. Military meaning "complete set" (of arms, colors, etc.) is from 1721, often a collective singular. Sense of "standing growth" (usually of of trees) is 1868, American English. Theatrical sense of "each stop made on a performance tour" is from 1896. The word formerly also was slang for "an erection" (1867).

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nationalism (n.)

1844, "devotion to one's country, national spirit or aspirations, desire for national unity, independence, or prosperity;" see nationalist + -ism; in some usages from French nationalisme. Earlier it was used in a theological sense of "the doctrine of divine election of nations" (1836). Later it was used in a sense of "doctrine advocating nationalization of a country's industry" (1892). An earlier word for "devotion or strong attachment to one's own country" was nationality (1772).

To place the redemptive work of the Christian Faith in social affairs in its proper setting, it is necessary to have clearly in mind at the outset that the consciousness of "the nation" as the social unit is a very recent and contingent experience. It belongs to a limited historical period and is bound up with certain specific happenings, theories of society and attitudes to life as a whole. [Vigo A. Demant, "God, Man and Society"]
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