late 14c., meloun, "herbaceous, succulent trailing annual plant," or its sweet, edible fruit, from Old French melon (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin melonem (nominative melo), from Latin melopeponem, a kind of pumpkin, from Greek mēlopepon "gourd-apple" (name for several kinds of gourds bearing sweet fruit), from mēlon "apple" (see malic) + pepon, a kind of gourd, which is probably a noun use of pepon "ripe" (see pumpkin).
Among the earliest plants to be domesticated. In Greek, melon was used in a generic way for all foreign fruits (compare similar use of apple). The Greek plural of "melon" was used from ancient times for "a girl's breasts."
kind of thick, soft leather, 1570s, buffe leather "leather made of buffalo hide," from French buffle "buffalo" (15c., via Italian, from Latin bufalus; see buffalo (n.)).
The color term "light brownish-yellow" (by 1788) comes from the hue of buff leather. Association of "hide" and "skin" led c. 1600 to the sense in in the buff "naked." Buff-colored uniforms of New York City volunteer firefighters since 1820s led to the meaning "enthusiast" (1903).
These men, together with a score or more of young boys who cherish ambitions to be firemen some day, make up the unofficial Fire Department of New York, and any one who imagines they are not a valuable branch of the service need only ask any firemen [sic] what he thinks of the Buffs to find out his mistake. The Buffs are men and boys whose love of fires, fire-fighting and firemen is a predominant characteristic, who simply cannot keep away from fires, no matter at what time of the day or night they occur, or how long they continue. [New York Sun, Feb. 4, 1903]
1946, from Italian, augmentative of provola "cheese made from buffalo milk," from Medieval Latin probula, a word of uncertain origin.
Il nome non ha una derivazione precisa. L'etimologia, secondo alcuni, fa pensare alla parola napoletana prova-provola con cui in Campania viene indicato il classico latticino di bufala a pasta filata, da consumarsi fresco. ["Dieta Mediterranea"]
"dog," 1917, American English, of unknown origin. Earlier it was a dog name, attested as such by 1901 as the name of a dog owned by Dick Craine, "the Klondike pioneer" (the article in the May 12 Buffalo Courier reports: " 'Pooch' is the Alaskan name for whisky, and although the dog is not addicted to the use of this stimulant, he is a genuine Eskimo dog, and, therefore, it is appropriate"). Harvard coach "Pooch" Donovan also was much in the news during the early years of 20c.
from air (n.1) + conditioner. Along with air-conditioning first attested 1909, originally in reference to an industrial process in textile manufacturing. The word conditioning was applied to the determination of the moisture content of textiles, control of which was essential to spin fine cotton yarns. The original purpose of air-conditioning was to purify air and regulate moisture.
In 1906 Stuart W. Cramer of Charlotte, N.C., and Willis H. Carrier of Buffalo, N.Y., independently devised methods of using a fine spray of water to cool air. Self-contained air-conditioning units, complete with refrigeration equipment, were widely used to cool air in U.S. stores, restaurants, etc. from the 1930s. An earlier name for such a device (using ice and fans) was air cooler (1875).
1640s, "gourd-like fruit, of a deep orange-yellow color when ripe, of a coarse decumbent vine native to North America," an alteration of pompone, pumpion "melon, pumpkin" (1540s), from French pompon, from Latin peponem (nominative pepo) "melon," from Greek pepon "melon." The Greek word is probably originally "ripe," on the notion of "cooked (by the sun)," from peptein "to cook" (from PIE root *pekw- "to cook, ripen"). With ending conformed to words in -kin.
Figuratively, in 19c. (and later) U.S. vernacular, it has meant both "stupid, self-important person" and "person or matter of importance" (as in some pumpkins).
Pumpkin-pie is recorded from 1650s. Pumpkin-head, American English colloquial for "person with hair cut short all around" is recorded by 1781. Vulgar American English alternative spelling punkin attested by 1806.
America's a dandy place:
The people are all brothers:
And when one's got a punkin pye,
He shares it with the others.
[from "A Song for the Fourth of July, 1806," in The Port Folio, Philadelphia, Aug. 30, 1806]