Etymology
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contrive (v.)

early 14c., controve, contreve, "to invent, devise, plan;" late 14c., "to manage by a plan or scheme," from Old French controver (Modern French controuver) "to find out, contrive, imagine," from Late Latin contropare "to compare" (via a figure of speech), from an assimilated form of Latin com "with, together" (see con-) + tropus "song, musical mode," from Greek tropos "figure of speech" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn").

Sense evolution (in French) was from "invent with ingenuity" to "invent falsely." Spelling in English was altered by the same unexplained 15c. sound change that also affected briar, friar, choir. Related: Contrived; contriving.

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nerve-racking (adj.)

also nerveracking, "causing anxiety or mental stress," 1812, from nerve (n.) + present participle of rack (v.1). Between nerve-racking and nerve-wracking (1867) this is probably the better choice as a figure of speech, but the sense of wrack (v.), though less suitable in the image, is not obviously wrong.

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hendiadys (n.)
1580s, figure of speech in which two nouns joined by and are used in place of a noun and an adjective; from Medieval Latin alteration of Greek hen dia dyoin "one (thing) by means of two." If this term was used by Greek grammarians it is no longer found in their writings, but it is frequent among Latin writers.
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forked (adj.)

c. 1300, "branched or divided in two parts," past-participle adjective from fork (v.). Of roads from 1520s; from 1550s as "pointing more than one way." In 16c.-17c. sometimes with a suggestion of "cuckold," on the notion of "horned." Forked tongue as a figure of duplicitous speech is from 1885, American English. Double tongue in the same sense is from 15c.

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match-wood (n.)

also matchwood, 1590s, "wood used to start a fire;" 1838, "wood which has been split to proper size for matches," from match (n.1) + wood (n.). From the latter sense it has been used as a figure of speech for wood which has been broken or splintered into very small pieces. Also in this sense is matchsticks (1791).

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baboon (n.)
type of old world ape, c. 1400, babewyn, earlier "a grotesque figure used in architecture or decoration" (early 14c.), from French babouin "baboon," from Old French baboin "ape," earlier "simpleton, dimwit, fool" (13c.), also "gaping figure (such as a gargoyle)," so perhaps from Old French baboue "grimacing;" or perhaps it is imitative of the ape's babbling speech-like cries. Also see -oon.

German Pavian "baboon" is from Dutch baviaan, from Middle Dutch baubijn, a borrowing of the Old French word. Century Dictionary says Arabic maimun probably is from the European words.
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asyndeton (n.)

"figure of speech consisting of omission of conjunctions," 1580s, from Latin, from Greek asyndeton, neuter of asyndetos "unconnected," from a- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + syndetos, from syndein "to bind together," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + dein "to bind," related to desmos "band," from PIE root *dē- "to bind" (see diadem).

"I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other." ["The Tempest"]
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hyperbaton (n.)
"figure of speech by which what should have been first according to the natural and grammatical order is put last, especially for the sake of emphasis," 1570s, from Greek hyperbaton, literally "overstepping," from hyper "over" (see hyper-) + bainein "to go, walk, step," from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Classical grammarians distinguish as many as seven kinds of it: Anastrophe, hysteron proteron, hypallage, synchysis, tmesis, parenthesis, and hyperbaton, strictly so called.
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hysteron-proteron (n.)
1560s, from Late Latin, from Greek hysteron-proteron, literally "the latter (put as) the former." A cart-before-the-horse figure of speech, in which what should come last is put first. From hysteron, neuter of hysteros "latter, second, after" (from PIE *ud-tero-, from root *ud- "up, out;" see out (adv.)) + proteron, neuter of proteros "before, former," from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first."
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ursprache (n.)
"proto-language," 1908, from German Ursprache, from ur- (see ur-) + sprache "speech" (see speech).
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