Etymology
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Prussia (n.)

region in northeastern Germany, late 14c., Prusse (late 13c. as a surname), from Medieval Latin Borussi, Prusi, Latinized forms of the native name of the Lithuanian people who lived in the bend of the Baltic before being conquered 12c. and exterminated by (mostly) German crusaders who replaced them as the inhabitants.

Perhaps from Slavic *Po-Rus "(Land) Near the Rusi" (i.e. Russians; compare Pomerania). The German duchy of Prussia after the 17c. union with the Mark of Brandenberg became the core of the Prussian monarchy and later the chief state in the German Empire. The center of power shifted to Berlin after the union, and the old core of the state came to be known as East Prussia.

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Appalachia 
"cultural and geographical region of inland Eastern U.S.," 1880s, from the Appalachian Mountains, which are its core. Earlier Appalachia was proposed as a better name for "United States of America" by Washington Irving in 1839 (though he preferred Alleghenia) and this may have been the coinage of the word (see America).
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know-nothing (n.)
1827, "ignoramus," from know (v.) + nothing. As a U.S. nativist political party, active 1853-56, the name refers to the secret society at the core of the party, about which members were instructed to answer, if asked about it, that they "know nothing." The party eventually merged into the Republican Party. Related: Know-nothingism.
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husk (n.)
late 14c., huske "dry, outer skin of certain fruits and seeds," of unknown origin. "A common word since c 1400 of which no earlier trace has been found" [OED]. Perhaps from Middle Dutch huuskyn "little house, core of fruit, case," diminutive of huus "house," or from an equivalent formation in English (see house (n.)).
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kernel (n.)
"edible substance in a nut or the stone of a fruit," Old English cyrnel "seed, kernel, pip," from Proto-Germanic *kurnilo- (source also of Middle High German kornel "a grain," Middle Dutch cornel "coarse meal"), from the root of corn "seed, grain" (from PIE root *gre-no- "grain") + -el, diminutive suffix. Figurative sense of "core or central part of anything" is from 1550s.
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ply (v.1)

"work with, practice with persistence, use or employ diligently," late 14c., shortened form of applien "join to, apply" (see apply). The core of this is Latin plicare "to lay, fold, twist," from Proto-Italic *plekt-, from PIE root *plek- "to plait." The sense of "travel regularly, go back and forth over the same course" is attested from 1803, perhaps from earlier sense "steer a course" (1550s). Related: Plied; plies; plying.

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spigot (n.)
late 14c., "plug used to stop the hole of a cask," according to Barnhart probably from Old French *espigot (compare Gascony dialect espigot "core of a fruit, small ear of grain"), diminutive of Old Provençal espiga "ear of grain," from Latin spica "ear of grain" (see spike (n.2)). Meaning "valve for controlling the flow of a liquid" is from 1520s; the connecting notion is "that which controls or restrains."
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mantle (n.)

Old English mentel "a loose, sleeveless garment worn as an outer covering, falling in straight lines from the shoulders," from Latin mantellum "cloak" (source of Italian mantello, Old High German mantal, German Mantel, Old Norse mötull), perhaps from a Celtic source, or, if the Latin word is the same word as mantelum, mantelium "a cloth, hand-towel, napkin," perhaps it is from manus "hand."

Reinforced and altered 12c. by cognate Old French mantel "cloak, mantle; bedspread, cover" (Modern French manteau), also from the Latin source. Figurative sense "that which enshrouds, something that conceals, a covering" is from c. 1300. Allusive use for "symbol of literary authority or artistic pre-eminence" (by 1789) is from Elijah's mantle (II Kings ii.13). As a layer of the earth between the crust and core (though not originally distinguished from the core) it is attested from 1940. To take (originally have) the mantel (and the ring) was a symbolic act done before a bishop by a widow, indicating a vow of chastity (c. 1400).

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enucleation (n.)

"the act of removing (a kernel, seed, tumor, etc.) from its cover or capsule," 1640s, noun of action from verb enucleate (1540s), from Latin enucleatus "pure, clean," past participle of enucleare "to lay open, explain in detail," literally "to remove the kernel from" (see ex- + nucleus). Mostly figurative in Latin (the notion is of getting at the "core" of some matter), and usually figurative in English until mid-19c. advances in science and medicine gave it a new literal sense.

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inchoate (adj.)
"recently or just begun," 1530s, from Latin inchoatus, past participle of inchoare, alteration of incohare "commence, begin," probably originally "to hitch up," traditionally derived from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + a verb from cohum "strap (fastened to the oxen's yoke)," a word of obscure origin. De Vaan says that as, incohere "is a frequent verb, ... its meaning can easily have derived from 'to yoke a plough to a team of oxen' ..., in other words, 'to start work.' Thus, there might be a core of truth in the ancient connection of cohum with a yoke."
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