Etymology
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baksheesh (n.)
1620s (variously spelled), in India, Egypt, etc., "a gratuity, present in money," from Persian bakhshish, literally "gift," from verb bakhshidan "to give" (also "to forgive"), from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share."
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Balaam 
Biblical prophet (wicked, but not false) whose story is told in Numbers xxii-xxiv; figurative of "one who makes profession of religion for the sake of gain" from 1640s. Balaam's ass speaks in a human voice in Numbers xxii ("And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay."). In old newspaper jargon Balaam came to be used for paragraphs regarding marvelous or incredible events, used to fill out short columns (1826). The name is of uncertain origin.
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Balaclava (n.)
"woolen head covering," especially worn by soldiers, evidently named for village near Sebastopol, Russia, site of a battle Oct. 25, 1854, in the Crimean War. But the term (originally Balaclava helmet) does not appear before 1881 and seems to have come into widespread use in the Boer War. The British troops suffered from the cold in the Crimean War, and the usage might be a remembrance of that conflict. The town name (Balaklava) often is said to be from Turkish, but is perhaps folk-etymologized from a Greek original Palakion.
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balalaika (n.)
stringed instrument with a triangular body, 1788, from Russian balalaika, said to be related to balabolit' "to chatter, babble," an imitative word.
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balance (n.)

early 13c., "scales, apparatus for weighing by comparison of mass," from Old French balance "balance, scales for weighing" (12c.), also in figurative sense; from Medieval Latin bilancia, from Late Latin bilanx, from Latin (libra) bilanx "(scale) having two pans," possibly from Latin bis "twice" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + lanx "dish, plate, scale of a balance," which is of uncertain origin.

The accounting sense "arithmetical difference between the two sides of an account" is from 1580s; meaning "sum necessary to balance the two sides of an account" is from 1620s. Meaning "what remains or is left over" is by 1788, originally in commercial slang. Sense of "physical equipoise" is from 1660s; the meaning "general harmony between parts" is from 1732.

Many figurative uses are from Middle English image of the scales in the hands of personified Justice, Fortune, Fate, etc.; thus in (the) balance "at risk, in jeopardy or danger" (c. 1300). Balance of power in the geopolitical sense "distribution of forces among nations so that one may not dominate another" is from 1701. Balance of trade "difference between the value of exports from a country and the value of imports into it" is from 1660s.

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balance (v.)
1570s, "be equal with," from balance (n.). Meaning "serve as a counterpoise to" is from 1590s; that of "bring or keep in equilibrium" is from 1630s; that of "keep oneself in equilibrium" is from 1833. Of accounts, "settle by paying what remains due," from 1580s. Related: Balanced; balancing.
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balance-beam (n.)
1798 as the cross-piece of a scales, 1813 as a type of device on a drawbridge, canal-lock, etc., from balance (n.) + beam (n.). From 1893 as a type of gymnastics apparatus.
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balanced (adj.)
1590s, "in equilibrium," past-participle adjective from balance (v.). In reference to meal, diet, etc., by 1908.
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balance-sheet (n.)
"statement showing the state of credits and debits in a particular business," 1812, from balance (n.) in the accounting sense + sheet (n.1).
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balcony (n.)
1610s, "platform projecting from a wall of a building surrounded by a wall or railing," from Italian balcone, from balco "scaffold," which is from a Germanic source (perhaps Langobardic *balko- "beam"), from Proto-Germanic *balkon- (see balk (n.)). With Italian augmentative suffix -one. From 1718 as "gallery in a theater." Until c. 1825, regularly accented on the second syllable. Related: Balconied.
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