In English, of rules, discipline, etc., from mid-15c. Related: Laxly; laxness. A transposed Vulgar Latin form yielded Old French lasche, French lâche. The laxists, though they formed no avowed school, were nonetheless condemned by Innocent XI in 1679.
Old English utlaga "one put outside the law" (and thereby deprived of its benefits and protections), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse utlagi (n.) "outlaw," from utlagr (adj.) "outlawed, banished," from ut "out" (see out (adv.)) + *lagu, plural of lag "law" (see law). Formerly it was lawful for anyone to kill such a person.
[G]if he man to deaðe gefylle, beo he þonne utlah ["Laws of Edward & Guthrum," c.924]
Meaning "disorderly person living in defiant violation of the law, one living a lawless life" is recorded by 1880. As an adjective, from Old English.
also lagnappe, "dividend, something extra, present or extra item given by a dealer to a customer to encourage patronage," 1849, from New Orleans creole, of unknown origin though much speculated upon. Originally a bit of something given by New Orleans shopkeepers to customers. Said to be from American Spanish la ñapa "the gift." Klein says this is in turn from Quechua yapa "something added, gift."
We picked up one excellent word — a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word — 'lagniappe.' They pronounce it lanny-yap. It is Spanish — so they said. ["Mark Twain," "Life on the Mississippi," 1883]
1670s, lagune, earlier laguna (1610s), "area of marsh or shallow, brackish water beside a sea but separated from it by dunes," from French lagune or directly from Italian laguna "pond, lake," from Latin lacuna "pond, hole," from lacus "pond" (see lake (n.1)). Originally in reference to the region of Venice. The word was applied 1769 (by Capt. Cook) to the lake-like stretch of water enclosed in a South Seas atoll. Also see -oon. Related: Lagoonal.
In regions where Spanish is or formerly was the current language, the word lagoon is likely to be used with more latitude of meaning, since in the Spanish laguna is applied to ordinary lakes, to the bottoms of deep bays, especially when these are more or less closed in by a narrowing of the coast-lines, so as to give rise to lake-like areas, and also to shallow, swampy, or almost dried-up lakes inland as well as near the coast. [Century Dictionary]
Log cabin (1770) was the typical dwelling of the poor in antebellum U.S. history in the well-timbered region that was then the West. It has been a figure of the honest pioneer since the 1840 presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison (the original application was derisive and either way it was inaccurate). Falling off a log as a type of something easy to do is from 1839.
late 14c., from French galaxie or directly from Late Latin galaxias "the Milky Way" as a feature in the night sky (in classical Latin via lactea or circulus lacteus), from Greek galaxias (adj.), in galaxias kyklos, literally "milky circle," from gala (genitive galaktos) "milk" (from PIE root *g(a)lag- "milk").
The technical astronomical sense in reference to the discrete stellar aggregate including the sun and all visible stars emerged by 1848. Figurative sense of "brilliant assembly of persons" is from 1580s. Milky Way is a translation of Latin via lactea.
See yonder, lo, the Galaxyë Which men clepeth the Milky Wey, For hit is whyt. [Chaucer, "House of Fame"]
Originally ours was the only one known. Astronomers began to speculate by mid-19c. that some of the spiral nebulae they could see in telescopes were actually immense and immensely distant structures the size and shape of the Milky Way. But the matter was not settled in the affirmative until the 1920s.
late 13c., from a Scandinavian source, probably Old Norse leggr "a leg, bone of the arm or leg," from Proto-Germanic *lagjaz (cognates Danish læg, Swedish läg "the calf of the leg"), a word with no certain ulterior connections. Perhaps from a PIE root meaning "to bend" [Buck]. For Old Norse senses, compare Bein, the German word for "leg," in Old High German "bone, leg" (see bone (n.)). Replaced Old English shank (n.), itself also perhaps from a root meaning "crooked."
Distinguished from an arm, leg, or fin in being used for support. Of triangle sides from 1650s (translating Greek skelos, literally "leg"). Extended to furniture supports from 1670s. Meaning "part of pants which cover the leg" is from 1570s. By 1870s as an adjective it had a salacious suggestion of artistic displays focused on the female form, such as leg-piece in theater jargon, leg-business as slang for "ballet."
The meaning "a part or stage of a journey or race" (1920) is from earlier sailing sense of "a run made by a ship on a single tack when beating to windward" (1867), which was usually qualified as long leg, short leg, etc. Slang phrase shake a leg is attested from 1869 as "dance," 1880 as "hurry up." To be on (one's) last legs "at the end of one's life" is from 1590s, the notion is of something that serves one for support and keeps one moving. To take leg bail was old slang for "run away" (1774). Legs "ability to be an enduring success, staying power" is from 1970s show business slang.