Etymology
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quillet (n.)

"a quibble, a nicety or subtlety," 1580s, obsolete, probably a corruption or contraction of Latin quidlibet "what you please," from quid "anything," neuter of indefinite pronoun quis "somebody, someone or other" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns) + libet "it pleases" (from PIE root *leubh- "to care, desire, love").

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dickens 

exclamation, "the Devil!," used with the definite article, formerly with the indefinite, 1590s, apparently a substitute for devil; probably altered from Dickon, the old nickname for Richard and source of the surnames Dickens and Dickenson, but if so the exact derivation and meaning are unknown. Century Dictionary points to Low German duks, düker "the deuce," variants of deuce (see deuce).

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decimation (n.)

mid-15c., decimacioun, "the paying of tithes, a tithing, a tax of 10% on income," from Old French decimacion and directly from Late Latin decimationem (nominative decimatio) "the taking of a tenth," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin decimare "the removal or destruction of one-tenth," from decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten").

As "punishment by capital execution of every tenth man, chosen by lot," from 1580s; loose or transferred sense of "destruction of a great but indefinite number, severe loss" is attested by 1680s.

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decimate (v.)

c. 1600, "to select by lot and put to death every tenth man," from Latin decimatus, past participle of decimare "the removal or destruction of one-tenth," from decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten").

The killing of one in ten, chosen by lots, from a rebellious city or a mutinous army was a punishment sometimes used by the Romans. The word has been used (loosely and unetymologically, to the irritation of pedants) since 1660s for "destroy a large but indefinite number of." Related: Decimated; decimating.

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pique (n.)

1530s, "slight offense taken; feeling of displeasure, resentment, etc. arising from wounded pride, vanity, or self-love," from French pique "a prick, sting, irritation," noun of action from piquer (see pike (n.1)).

Pique is more likely to be a matter of injured self-respect or self-conceit ; it is a quick feeling, and is more fugitive in character. Umbrage is founded upon the idea of being thrown into the shade or over-shadowed ; hence it has the sense of offense at being slighted or not sufficiently recognized ; it is indefinite as to the strength or the permanence of the feeling. [Century Dictionary]
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malaise (n.)

c. 1300, maleise "pain, suffering; sorrow, anxiety," also, by late 14c., "disease, sickness," from Old French malaise "difficulty, suffering, hardship," literally "ill-ease," from mal "bad" (see mal-) + aise "ease" (see ease (n.)). The current use, in the sense of "unease, discomfort," especially "an indefinite feeling of uneasiness," is perhaps a mid-18c. reborrowing from Modern French. A Middle English verbal form, malasen "to trouble, distress" (mid-15c.), from Old French malaisier, did not endure.

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region (n.)

c. 1300, regioun, "tract of land of a considerable but indefinite extent," also "a kingdom, country, nation; the people of a country," from Anglo-French regioun, Old French region "land, region, province" (12c.) and directly from Latin regionem (nominative regio) "a district, portion of a country, territory, district; a direction, line; boundary line, limit," noun of state from past-participle stem of regere "to direct, rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").

From late 14c. as "a part of the world," also "rural area around a city." Phrase in the region of "about" (of numbers, etc.) is attested from 1961.

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accomplice (n.)

"associate in crime," 1580s, an unetymological extension of earlier complice "an associate or confederate" (early 15c.), from Old French complice "a confederate, partner" (not in a criminal sense), from Late Latin complicem (nominative complex) "partner, confederate," from Latin complicare "to involve," literally "fold together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + plicare "to fold, weave" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait"). Altered perhaps on model of accomplish, etc., or by assimilation of the indefinite article in a complice.

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banlieue (n.)

French word for "suburbs, outskirts, outlying precincts of a town or city," 13c., from Vulgar Latin *banleuca, from Germanic *ban (see ban (n.1)) + leuca "a league" (of distance, in Medieval Latin, "indefinite extent of territory;" see league (n.2)). So, originally, "area around a town within which the bans — rules and proclamations of that place — were in force; territory outside the walls but within the legal jurisdiction." German had a similar formation, bann-meile (see mile (n.)), in the same sense; and compare Middle English bane cruces "crosses marking the boundary of territory subject to the edicts or laws of a certain ruler."

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certain (adj.)

c. 1300, "determined, fixed," from Old French certain "reliable, sure, assured" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *certanus, extended form of Latin certus "determined, resolved, fixed, settled," of things whose qualities are invariable, "established," also "placed beyond doubt, sure, true, proved; unerring, to be depended upon" (also source of Old French cert, Italian certo, Spanish cierto), originally a variant past participle of cernere "to distinguish, decide," literally "to sift, separate." This Latin verb comes from the PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish," which is also the source of Greek krisis "turning point, judgment, result of a trial" (compare crisis).

The transferred sense, in reference to persons, "full of confidence in one's knowledge or judgment, made certain in reference to a matter or thing," is from mid-14c. (it also was a sense in Latin). The meaning "established as true beyond doubt" in English is from c. 1400. The meaning "indefinite, not specifically named, known but not described" is from late 14c.

Different as this seems to be from sense I, it is hardly separable from it in a large number of examples: thus, in [a certain hour], the hour was quite 'certain' or 'fixed', but it is not communicated to the reader; to him it remains, so far as his knowledge is concerned, quite indefinite; it may have been, as far as he knows, at any hour; though, as a fact, it was at a particular hour. [OED]

Lewis & Short write that Latin certus also was sometimes indefinite, "of things, the certainty of whose existence is given, but whose nature is not more definitely designated, or comes not into consideration ...."

Hence the euphemistic use, attested from mid-18c., as in woman of a certain age "an old maid;" woman of a certain description "disreputable woman;" in a certain condition "pregnant;" a certain disease "venereal disease;" of a certain weight "obese." Used with proper names from 1785, "often conveying a slight shade of disdain" [OED]. Certainer, certainest were common to c. 1750, but have fallen from proper use for some reason. Expression for certain "assuredly" is attested by early 14c.

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