Etymology
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releve (n.)

1825 as a dish; 1930 in ballet, "a lifted step, a raising of the body on point or points," literally "raised up," from French relevé, 19th century verbal noun from past participle of relever "to raise" (see relieve). Middle English had relevement "relief, succor" (mid-15c., from Old French) and relevacioun "alleviation, relief; a raising up" (c. 1400, from Latin).

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nut-cracker (n.)

also nutcracker, "instrument used for cracking hard-shelled nuts," 1540s, from nut (n.) + agent noun from crack (v.). Hence also "toy having a grotesque human head, in the mouth of which a nut is placed to be cracked by a screw or lever." The ballet was first performed in 1892, based on Dumas père's rendition of E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 story "Nussknacker und Mausekönig."

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contretemps (n.)

1680s, "a blunder in fencing," from French contre-temps "motion out of time, unfortunate accident, bad times" (16c.), from contre, an occasional, obsolete variant of contra (prep.) "against" (from Latin contra "against;" see contra (prep., adv.)) + tempus "time" (see temporal).

Meaning "an unfortunate accident, an unexpected or embarrassing event" is from 1802; as "a dispute, disagreement," from 1961. It also was used as a ballet term (1706).

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corps (n.)

"a part of an army expressly organized and having a head," 1704, from French corps d'armée (16c.), which apparently was picked up in English during Marlborough's campaigns, from French corps (old French cors) "body," from Latin corpus "body" (from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance"); see corpse, which is a doublet of this word, for the pronunciation.

The field corps, a tactical unit of a large army composed of two or more divisions, began with Napoleon. The word was extended to other organized groups under a leader, as in corps de ballet (1826), corps diplomatique (1796). Corpsman "enlisted medical auxiliary in the U.S. military" is from 1941.

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arabesque (n.)

1786, "Moorish or Arabic ornamental design," from French arabesque (16c.), from Italian arabesco, from Arabo "Arab" (see Arab), with reference to Moorish architecture. In reference to an ornamented theme or passage in piano music it is attested by 1853, originally the title given in 1839 by Robert Schumann to one of his piano pieces ("Arabeske in C major"). As a ballet pose, first attested 1830.

The name arabesque applied to the flowing ornament of Moorish invention is exactly suited to express those graceful lines which are their counterpart in the art of dancing. ["A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Classical Theatrical Dancing," 1922]
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Bolshevik (n.)
"Russian radical socialist of the revolutionary period," 1917, from Russian bol'shevik (plural bol'sheviki), bol'shiy "greater," comparative of adjective bol'shoy "big, great" (as in Bolshoi Ballet), from Old Church Slavonic boljiji "larger," from PIE root *bel- "strong" (source also of Sanskrit balam "strength, force," Greek beltion "better," Phrygian balaios "big, fast," Old Irish odbal "strong," Welsh balch "proud;" Middle Dutch, Low German, Frisian pal "strong, firm").

The faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker's Party after a split in 1903 that was either "larger" or "more extreme" (or both) than the Mensheviks (from Russian men'shij "less"); after they seized power in 1917, the name was applied generally to Russian communists, then also to anyone opposed to an existing order or social system. Bolshevism is recorded from 1917.
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idealism (n.)

1796 in the abstract metaphysical sense "belief that reality is made up only of ideas," from ideal (adj.) + -ism. Probably formed on model of French idéalisme. Meaning "tendency to represent things in an ideal form" is from 1829. Meaning "pursuit of the ideal, a striving after the perfect state" (of truth, purity, justice, etc.).

In the philosophical sense the Germans have refined it into absolute (Hegel), subjective (Fichte), objective (von Schelling), and transcendental (Kant).

That the glory of this world in the end is appearance leaves the world more glorious, if we feel it is a show of some fuller splendour : but the sensuous curtain is a deception and a cheat, if it hides some colourless movement of atoms, some spectral woof of impalpable abstractions, or unearthly ballet of bloodless categories. Though dragged to such conclusions, we can not embrace them. Our principles may be true, but they are not reality. They no more make that Whole which commands our devotion, than some shredded dissection of human tatters is that warm and breathing beauty of flesh which our hearts found delightful. [F.H. Bradley, "Principles of Logic," 1883]
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vaudeville (n.)

1735, "a country song," especially one for the stage, from French vaudeville (16c.), alteration (by influence of ville "town") of vaudevire, said to be from (chanson du) Vau de Vire "(song of the) valley of Vire," in the Calvados region of Normandy, first applied to the popular satirical songs of Olivier Basselin, a 15c. poet who lived in Vire. The alternative explanation is that vaudevire derives from dialectal vauder "to go" + virer "to turn." From the popularity of the songs in France grew a form of theatrical entertainment based on parodies of popular opera and drama, interspersed with songs.

The Théatre du Vaudeville is rich in parodies, which follow rapidly upon every new piece given at the Opera, or at the Théatre Français. Their parody upon Hamlet is too ludicrous for description, but irresistibly laughable; and the elegaut light ballet of La Colombe Retrouvée [The Dove found again], I saw parodied at the Vaudeville as "La Maison Retrouvée" [The House found again], with a breadth of farce quite beyond the genius of Sadler's Wells. Some of the acting here, particularly that of the men, is exquisite; and the orchestra like all the orchestras in Paris is full and excellent. ["France in 1816," by Lady Morgan]

As a sort of popular stage variety entertainment show suitable for families, from c. 1881 in U.S., displaced by movies after c. 1914, considered dead from 1932.

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leg (n.)

late 13c., from a Scandinavian source, probably Old Norse leggr "a leg, bone of the arm or leg," from Proto-Germanic *lagjaz (cognates Danish læg, Swedish läg "the calf of the leg"), a word with no certain ulterior connections. Perhaps from a PIE root meaning "to bend" [Buck]. For Old Norse senses, compare Bein, the German word for "leg," in Old High German "bone, leg" (see bone (n.)). Replaced Old English shank (n.), itself also perhaps from a root meaning "crooked."

Distinguished from an arm, leg, or fin in being used for support. Of triangle sides from 1650s (translating Greek skelos, literally "leg"). Extended to furniture supports from 1670s. Meaning "part of pants which cover the leg" is from 1570s. By 1870s as an adjective it had a salacious suggestion of artistic displays focused on the female form, such as leg-piece in theater jargon, leg-business as slang for "ballet."

The meaning "a part or stage of a journey or race" (1920) is from earlier sailing sense of "a run made by a ship on a single tack when beating to windward" (1867), which was usually qualified as long leg, short leg, etc. Slang phrase shake a leg is attested from 1869 as "dance," 1880 as "hurry up." To be on (one's) last legs "at the end of one's life" is from 1590s, the notion is of something that serves one for support and keeps one moving. To take leg bail was old slang for "run away" (1774). Legs "ability to be an enduring success, staying power" is from 1970s show business slang.

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