late 15c., dews, "the 2 in dice or cards," also "a roll of 2 in dice" (1510s), from Old French deus (Modern French deux), from Latin duos (nominative duo) "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two"). The spelling -ce from -s to reflect voiceless pronunciation is as in dice, pence, etc.
The word became a mild oath by 1710, about 50 years after it was first attested in the sense of "bad luck, the devil, etc.," perhaps because two was the lowest score, and probably by similarity to Latin deus and related words meaning "god." According to OED, 16c. Low German had der daus! in the same sense, which perhaps influenced the English form.
In tennis, "a stage of the game in which both players or sides have scored 40, and one must score 2 points to win," 1590s. Deuce coupe is 1940s hot-rodder slang for "souped up two-door car," especially a 1932 Ford. Related: Deuced; deucedly.
Old plural form shoon lasted until 16c. Meaning "metal plate to protect a horse's hoof" is attested from late 14c. Distinction between shoe and boot (n.) is attested from c. 1400. To stand in someone's shoes "see things from his or her point of view" is attested from 1767. Old shoe as a type of something worthless is attested from late 14c.
Shoes tied to the fender of a newlywed couple's car preserves the old custom (mentioned from 1540s) of throwing an old shoe at or after someone to wish them luck. Perhaps the association is with dirtiness, on the "muck is luck" theory.
"to strip off" the skin, bark, or rind from, developed from Old English pilian "to peel, skin, decorticate, strip the skin or ring," and Old French pillier, both from Latin pilare "to strip of hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Probably also influenced by Latin pellis "skin, hide." Related: Peeled; peeling. Intransitive sense of "to lose the skin or rind" is from 1630s.
The figurative expression keep (one's) eyes peeled "be observant, be on the alert" is by 1852, American English, perhaps a play on the potato "eye," which is peeled by stripping off the skin. Peel out "speed away from a place in a car, on a motorcycle, etc.," is hot-rodders' slang, attested by 1952, perhaps from the notion of leaving behind a "peel" of rubber from the tire as it skids. Aircraft pilot phrase peel off "veer away from formation" is from World War II; earlier American English had slang peel it "run away at full speed" (1860).
c. 1400, loupen, "to draw (a leash through a ring)," from loop (n.). Sense of "form into a loop or loops" (transitive) is from 1832; transitive meaning "form (something) into loops" is from 1856. Related: Looped (1934 in the slang sense "drunk"); looping. Loop the loop (1900) originally was in reference to roller-coasters at amusement parks.
"Loop-the-Loop" is the name of a new entertainment which goes further in the way of tempting Providence than anything yet invented. The "Loop" is an immense circle of track in the air. A car on a mimic railway shoots down a very steep incline, and is impelled around the inner side of this loop. ... The authorities at Coney Island are said to have prohibited "looping-the-loop" because women break their corset strings in their efforts to catch their breath as they sweep down the incline, and moreover, a young man is reported to have ruptured a blood vessel in his liver. ["Philadelphia Medical Journal," Aug. 10, 1901]
"of Scotland," 1590s, a contraction of Scottish. As a noun, by 1743 as "the people of Scotland collectively;" 1700 as "the sort of English spoken by the people of Scotland."
Scots (mid-14c.) is the older adjective, which is from Scottis, the northern variant of Scottish. Scots was used in Scottish English until 18c., then Scotch became vernacular, but in mid-19c. there was a reaction against it because of insulting and pejorative formations made from it by the English (such as Scotch greys "lice;" Scotch attorney, a Jamaica term from 1864 for strangler vines).
Scotch-Irish is from 1744 (adj.); 1789 (n.); more properly Scots-Irish (1966). Commercial Scotch Tape (1945) was said to be so called because at first it had adhesive only on the edges (to make it easier to remove as a masking tape in car paint jobs), which was interpreted as a sign of cheapness on the part of the manufacturers. It had become a verb by 1955 and for a time was often printed without capitals.
Also from the Late Latin word are Spanish carpintero, Italian carpentiero. Replaced Old English treowwyrhta, which is literally "tree-wright." German Zimmermann "carpenter" is from Old High German zimbarman, from zimbar "wood for building, timber," cognate with Old Norse timbr (see timber). First record of carpenter-bee, which bores into half-rotten wood to deposit its eggs, is from 1795. A carpenter's rule (1690s) is foldable, suitable for carrying in the pocket.
Track record (1955) is a figurative use from racing, "performance history" of an individual car, runner, horse, etc. (1907, but the phrase was more common in sense "fastest speed recorded at a particular track"). To make tracks "move quickly" is American English colloquial first recorded 1835; to cover (one's) tracks in the figurative sense first attested 1898; to keep track of something is attested from 1883. American English wrong side of the tracks "bad part of town" is by 1901. Track lighting attested from 1970.
Old English heap "pile (of things); great number, crowd, multitude (of persons)," from West Germanic *haupaz (source also of Old Saxon hop, Old Frisian hap, Middle Low German hupe, Dutch hoop, German Haufe "heap"), of uncertain origin. The group is perhaps related to Old English heah "high" (see high), but OED suggests a common origin with Latin cubare "lie down," and Boutkan says it is probably not Indo-European at all.
Slang meaning "old car" is attested from 1924. Earlier it meant "slovenly woman" (1806). As a characteristic word in American Indian English speech, "a lot, a great deal," by 1832.
One grain of sand does not make a heap. A second grain of sand added to the first does not make a heap. Indeed each and every grain of sand, when added to the others, does not make a heap which was not a heap before. Therefore, all the grains of sand in existence can still not a heap make. [the fallacy of the heap, as described in Malcolm Murray and Nebojsa Kujundzic, "Critical Reflection," 2005]
late 12c., "one who commits robbery, one who steals, plunders, or strips unlawfully by violence," from Anglo-French robbere, Old French robeor, agent noun from rober "to rob, steal, pillage, ransack, rape" (see rob).
Robber baron in the "corrupt, greedy financier" sense is attested from 1870s, from a comparison of Gilded Age capitalists to medieval European warlords (the phrase is attested in the historical sense from 1831).
It is the attempt of the more shrewd to take advantage of the less shrewd. It is the attempt of the strong to oppress the weak. It is the old robber baron in his castle descending, after men have planted their crops, and stealing them. [Henry Ward Beecher, sermon, "Truthfulness," 1871]
Regulation by combination means that the railroad managers are feudal lords and that you are their serfs. It means that every car load of grain or other produce of your fields and shops that passes over the New York Central shall pay heavy toll for right of transit to Vanderbilt, the robber baron of our modern feudalism, who dominates that way. [W.C. Flagg, testimony to Congress, 1874]
"contractible animal tissue consisting of bundles of fibers," late 14c., "a muscle of the body," from Latin musculus "a muscle," literally "a little mouse," diminutive of mus "mouse" (see mouse (n.)).
So called because the shape and movement of some muscles (notably biceps) were thought to resemble mice. The analogy was made in Greek, too, where mys is both "mouse" and "muscle," and its combining form gives the medical prefix myo-. Compare also Old Church Slavonic mysi "mouse," mysica "arm;" German Maus "mouse; muscle," Arabic 'adalah "muscle," 'adal "field mouse;" Cornish logodenfer "calf of the leg," literally "mouse of the leg." In Middle English, lacerte, from the Latin word for "lizard," also was used as a word for a muscle.
Musclez & lacertez bene one selfe þing, Bot þe muscle is said to þe fourme of mouse & lacert to þe fourme of a lizard. [Guy de Chauliac, "Grande Chirurgie," c. 1425]
Hence muscular and mousy are relatives, and a Middle English word for "muscular" was lacertous, "lizardy." Figurative sense of "muscle, strength, brawn" is by 1850; that of "force, violence, threat of violence" is 1930, American English. Muscle car "hot rod" is from 1969.