"style of elaborate female head-dress," 1817 (in reference to styles of c. 1780), from French bouffer "to blow out, puff," probably of imitative origin. In dress-making, in reference to a part gathered up in a bunch, recorded from 1869; in reference to over-stuffed cushions, 1884. As a verb by 1882 (implied in pouffed).
"hands," 1874, now mainly in put up your dukes (phrase from 1859), probably not connected to duke (n.). Chapman ["Dictionary of American Slang"] suggests Romany dook "the hand as read in palmistry, one's fate;" but Partridge ["Slang To-day and Yesterday"] gives it a plausible, if elaborate, etymology as a contraction of Duke of Yorks, rhyming slang for forks, a Cockney term for "fingers," thus, by extension, "hands."
early 13c., devisen, "to form, fashion;" c. 1300, "to plan, contrive, think or study out, elaborate in the mind," from Old French deviser "dispose in portions, arrange, plan, contrive" (in Modern French, "to chat, gossip"), from Vulgar Latin *divisare, frequentative of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).
Sense of "give, assign, or transmit by will" is from late 14c. in English, from Old French, via the notion of "to arrange a division." As a noun, "act of bequeathing by will" (1540s), also "a will or testament." Compare device. Related: Devised; devising.
For as her natural face decays, her skill improves in making the artificial one. Well, nothing diverts me more than one of those fine, old, dressy things, who thinks to conceal her age by everywhere exposing her person; sticking herself up in the front of a side-box; trailing through a minuet at Almack's; and then, in the public gardens looking, for all the world, like one of the painted ruins of the place. [Goldsmith, "The Good Natured Man," 1768]
1756, "a kind of loose gown worn by women," from French négligée, noun use of fem. past participle of négligier "to neglect" (14c.), from Latin neglegere "to disregard, not heed, not trouble oneself about," also "to make light of" (see neglect (v.)).
So called in comparison to the elaborate costume of a fully dressed woman of the period. Grose ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1788] reports it "vulgarly termed a neggledigee." The word was borrowed again c.1835; the modern sense "semi-transparent, flimsy, lacy dressing gown" is yet another revival, recorded from 1930. It also was used in the U.S. funeral industry mid-20c. for "shroud of a corpse."
member of a supposed secret society possessing ancient occult wisdom, 1620s, from Modern Latin rosa crucis (DuCange) or crux, in either case a Latinization of German Rosenkreuz, French rosecroix, in either case from the name of the society's reputed founder, Christian Rosenkreuz, said to date from 1484 but not mentioned before 1614. As an adjective from 1660s. Related: Rosicrucianism.
The book describing the Rosicrucians ("Fama Fraternitatis," published in 1614) is generally regarded as merely an elaborate satire on the charlatanry and credulity of the times. Books of Rosicrucian pretensions were formerly numerous in England as well as in Germany, and several have lately reappeared in the United States. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
bivalve mollusk, c. 1500 (in clam-shell), originally Scottish, apparently a particular use of Middle English clam "pincers, vice, clamp" (late 14c.), from Old English clamm "bond, fetter, grip, grasp," from Proto-Germanic *klam- "to press or squeeze together" (source also of Old High German klamma "cramp, fetter, constriction," German Klamm "a constriction"), possibly from a PIE *glem- or *glom- "contain, embrace" (see glebe).
If this is right then the original reference is to the shell. Clam-chowder attested from 1822. To be happy as a clam is from 1833, but the earliest uses do not elaborate on the notion behind it, unless it be self-containment.
in the modern sense of a game of ball for teams of nine, 1845, American English, from base (n.) + ball (n.1). Earlier references, such as in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey," refer to the game of rounders, of which baseball is a more elaborate variety. The modern game was legendarily invented 1839 by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, N.Y. Base was used for "start or finish line of a race" from 1690s; and the sense of "safe spot" found in modern children's game of tag can be traced to 15c. (the use in reference to the bags in modern baseball is from 1868). Baseball as "ball with which the game of baseball is played" is by 1885.