Etymology
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bee-line (n.)

also beeline, "straightest line between two points," 1830, American English, from bee + line (n.), in reference to the homing of bees in the field.

TO LINE BEES is to track wild bees to their homes in the woods. One who follows this occupation is called a bee hunter. [Bartlett, 1859]

The verbal phrase line bees is attested from 1827.

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clothes-line (n.)
also clothesline, 1830, from clothes + line (n.). As a kind of high tackle in U.S. football (the effect is similar to running into a taut clothesline) attested by 1970; as a verb in this sense by 1959.
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front-line (n.)
also frontline, 1842 in the military sense, from front (adj.) (1520s, from front (n.)) + line (n.). As an adjective from 1915.
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Maginot Line 

1936, network of defensive fortifications built along the northern and eastern borders of France before World War II, in which the French placed unreasonable confidence, named for André Maginot (1877-1932), French Minister of War under several governments in the late 1920s and early 1930s. After the fall of France in 1940, for the next 40 years or so the phrase was associated with a mental attitude of obsessive reliance on defense.

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main line (n.)

"principal line of a railway," 1841, from main (adj.) + line (n.). Meaning "affluent area of residence" is by 1917, originally (with capitals) that west of Philadelphia, from the "main line" of the Pennsylvania Railroad which added local stops to a string of backwater towns west of the city late 19c. that helped turn them into fashionable suburbs.

The Main Line, Philadelphia's most famous suburban district, was deliberately conceived in the 1870's and 1880's by the [Pennsylvania] Railroad, which built high-toned housing developments, ran hotels, more or less forced its executives to plunk their estates out there, and created a whole series of somewhat spurious Welsh towns along the railroad tracks. ... Now everybody assumes these all date from 1682, like the Robertses; but as Chestnut Hill people like to say, "nobody but Welsh peasants lived on the Main Line till the Railroad built it up." [Nathaniel Burt, "The Perennial Philadelphians," 1963]

The original station stops were, in order out from the city, Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Paoli. The train line for commuters along it is the Paoli Local.

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life-line (n.)
also lifeline, 1700, "rope used to save lives" in any way (especially for the safety of sailors on vessels in bad weather or on the yards), from life (n.) + line (n.); figurative sense first attested 1860. Sense in palmistry from 1890.
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line-up (n.)
also lineup, from the verbal phrase line up (1889 as "form a line;" 1902 as "make into a line"); see line (v.2) + up (adv.). As a noun, the baseball version (1889) is older than the police version (1907).
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hard-line (adj.)
"uncompromising," 1958, originally in reference to Soviet communist policies, from the noun phrase (see hard (adj.) + line (n.)) in the political sense. Related: Hard-liner (1963).
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time-line (n.)
also timeline, 1876, from time (n.) + line (n.).
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Mendoza line (n.)

in baseball, "a low batting average," (somewhere around .200) with the suggestion that any player hitting below it ought to feel a bit ashamed, by 1984, said to have been in humorous use in baseball clubhouses c. 1979, from the name of former Pirate, Mariner, and Ranger shortstop Mario Mendoza, who was noted for his defense but whose .215 lifetime batting average routinely left him at the bottom of weekly batting averages. The surname is Basque.

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