c. 1400, promisen, "make a promise of," from promise (n.). Meaning "afford reason to expect" is from 1590s. Related: Promised; promising. In Middle English also promit (promitten), from the Latin verb. The promised land (1530s, earlier lond of promission, mid-13c.; province of promissioun, late 15c.) is a reference to the land of Canaan promised to Abraham and his progeny (Hebrew xi:9, etc.; Greek ten ges tes epangelias).
surname, from the many Mortons on the map of England, literally "moor or marsh settlement." Morton's Fork (1759) is in reference to John Morton (c. 1420-1500), archbishop of Canterbury, who levied forced loans under Henry VII by arguing the obviously rich could afford to pay and those who were not were living frugally and thus had savings and could pay, too.
The horse follows the crooks of a country road, but then the training of the "motorcycle" (horrid name) will inevitably straighten out the crooks in the country road, and afford long ranges of straight tracks. [Payson Burleigh, "The Age of Steel," Oct. 12, 1895]
"endure, go on existing," from Old English læstan "to continue, endure," earlier "follow (a leader), accomplish, carry out, perform," from Proto-Germanic *laistjan "to follow a track" (source also of Gothic laistjan "to follow after," Old Frisian lasta "to fulfill, to pay (duties)," German leisten "to perform, achieve, afford"), from PIE root *lois- "furrow, track." It is related to last (n.1), but not to last (adj.). Related: Lasted; lasting.
Meaning "declare to be innocent or blameless" is from 1520s. Of circumstances, "to afford justification," from 1630s. Meaning "to make exact" (now largely restricted to typesetting) is from 1550s. Related: Justified; justifier; justifying.
"breach of faith or trust, base treachery," 1590s, from French perfidie (16c.), from Latin perfidia "faithlessness, falsehood, treachery," from perfidus "faithless," from phrase per fidem decipere "to deceive through trustingness," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + fidem (nominative fides) "faith" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade").
[C]ombinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practiced perfidy grow faithless to each other. [Samuel Johnson, "Life of Waller"]
1550s, "a sudden rush (out), a dashing or springing forth," especially of troops, from a besieged place, attacking the besiegers, from French saillie "a rushing forth," noun use of fem. past participle of saillir "to leap," from Latin salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)).
Hence figuratively, in 17c. of spiritual matters, in 18c. of wit, etc. In architecture, "a projection," 1660s. Sally-port "gate or passage in a fortification to afford free egress to troops in making a sally" is from 1640s (with port (n.2)).
also dead-wood, 1887 in the figurative sense of "useless person or thing," originally American English, from dead (adj.) + wood (n.). The meaning "wood dead upon a tree" is by 1803. Dead wood in a forest is useful as firewood; perhaps the reference here is to the dried up parts of plants grown for commercial production of flowers or fruit.
The term also meant, in ship-building, "timber built up at either end of the keel to afford firm fastening for the cant timbers" (18c.) and, in bowls, "pins which have been knocked down and block those still standing" (1858).
"Eskimo dog," 1852, Canadian English, earlier (1830) hoskey "an Eskimo," probably shortened variant of Ehuskemay (1743), itself a variant of Eskimo.
The moment any vessel is noticed steering for these islands [Whalefish Islands], the Esquimaux, or "Huskies,"* as the Danes customarily term them, come off in sufficient numbers to satisfy you that you are near the haunts of uncivilized men, and will afford sufficient information to guide any stranger to his anchorage. *"Husky" is their own term. I recollect the chorus to a song at Kamtchatka was "Husky, Husky." ["Last of the Arctic Voyages," London, 1855]