Etymology
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thither (adv.)
Old English þider "to or toward that place," altered (by influence of its opposite hider) from earlier þæder "to that place," from Proto-Germanic *thadra- (source also of Old Norse þaðra "there," Gothic þaþro "thence"), from PIE pronominal root *to- (see that) + PIE suffix denoting motion toward (compare Gothic -dre, Sanskrit -tra). The medial -th- developed early 14c. but was rare before early 16c. (compare gather, murder, burden).
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grave (v.)
"to engrave," Old English grafan "to dig, dig up; engrave, carve, chisel" (medial -f- pronounced as "v" in Old English; past tense grof, past participle grafen), from Proto-Germanic *grabanan (source also of Old Norse grafa "to dig; engrave; inquire into," Old Frisian greva, Dutch graven "to dig, delve," Old High German graban, German graben, Gothic graban "to dig, carve"), from the same source as grave (n.). Its Middle English strong past participle, graven, is the only part still active, the rest of the word supplanted by its derivative, engrave.
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fortress (n.)

early 14c., from Old French forteresse, forterece "strong place, fortification" (12c.), variant of fortelesse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis "strong" (see fort) + -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality or condition. French -ess from Latin -itia also is in duress, largesse, riches, also obsolete rudesse, "lack of cultivation" (early 15c.).

For change of medial -l- to -r- in Old French, compare orme "elm" from Latin ulmus; chartre from cartula; chapitre from capitulum.

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cruel (adj.)

c. 1200, "stern;" early 13c., of suffering, death, etc., "attended by much distress;" c. 1300, "inclined or willing to make another suffer, disposed to inflict suffering, mental or physical, on any sentient being," from Old French cruel (12c.), earlier crudel, from Latin crudelis "rude, unfeeling; cruel, hard-hearted," related to crudus "rough, raw, bloody" (see crude). Related: Cruelly.

Latin medial -d- began to disappear 10c. in French: compare chance/cadentia, cheoir/cadere, joyeux/gaudiosus, juif/judaeus, moyen/medianus, obéir/obedire, séance/sedentia.

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youth (n.)

Old English geoguð "youth; young people, junior warriors; young of cattle," related to geong "young," from Proto-Germanic *jugunthi- (source also of Old Saxon juguth, Old Frisian jogethe, Middle Dutch joghet, Dutch jeugd, Old High German jugund, German Jugend, Gothic junda "youth"), from suffixed form of PIE root *yeu- "vital force, youthful vigor" (see young (adj.)) + Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)).

According to OED, the Proto-Germanic form apparently was altered from *juwunthiz by influence of its contrast, *dugunthiz "ability" (source of Old English duguð). In Middle English, the medial -g- became a yogh, which then disappeared.

They said that age was truth, and that the young
Marred with wild hopes the peace of slavery
[Shelley]
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gravy (n.)

late 14c. (early 14c. in Anglo-French), from Old French grave, graue, apparently a misspelling of grané "sauce, stew," with -n- misread for -u- — the character used for -v- in medial positions in words in medieval manuscripts. The French word probably originally meant "properly grained, seasoned," from Latin granum "grain, seed" (see grain (n.)).

The meaning "money easily acquired" is attested by 1910; gravy train (by 1899) as something lucrative or productive is said to have been originally railroad slang for a short haul that paid well. Gravy-boat "small, deep dish for holding gravy or sauce" is from 1827.

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lease (v.)
late 15c., "to take a lease," from Anglo-French lesser (13c.), Old French laissier "to let, let go, let out, leave" "to let, allow, permit; bequeath, leave," from Latin laxare "loosen, open, make wide," from laxus "loose" (from PIE root *sleg- "be slack, be languid"). Medial -x- in Latin tends to become -ss- or -s- in French (compare cuisse from coxa). The Latin verb also is the source of Spanish laxar; Italian lasciare "leave," lassare "loosen."

Compare release (v.). Meaning "to grant the temporary possession of at a fixed rate" is from 1560s. Related: Leased; leasing. The form has been influenced by the noun, and the modern sense of "to take a lease" might be a new 19c. formation. Lessor, lessee in contract language preserve the Anglo-French vowel.
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rouse (v.)

mid-15c., rousen, intransitive, probably from Anglo-French or Old French reuser, ruser; Middle English Compendium compares 16c. French rousee "abrupt movement." Sometimes also said to be from Latin recusare "refuse, decline," with loss of the medial -c-. Originally in English a technical term in hawking, "to shaking the feathers of the body," but like many medieval hawking and hunting terms it is of obscure origin.

The sense of "cause game to rise from cover or lair" is from 1520s. The word became general from 16c. in the figurative, transitive, meaning "stir up, cause to start up by noise or clamor, provoke to activity; waken from torpor or inaction" (1580s); that of "to awaken, cause to start from slumber or repose" is recorded by 1590s. Related: Roused; rousing.

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scrivener (n.)

"professional penman, copyist, amanuensis, clerk," late 14c. (early 13c. as a surname), with superfluous -er + scrivein "scribe" (c. 1300, c. 1200 as a surname), from Anglo-French escrivin, Old French escrivain "a writer, notary, clerk" (Modern French écrivain), from Vulgar Latin *scribanem accusative of scriba "a scribe," from scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). For the dropping of Latin soft medial -b- to aspirated -v- in French, compare debere/devoir, caballum/cheval, habere/avoir, etc.

Middle English also had scrivable "suitable for being written on" (c. 1400); an adverb scrivenish (late 14c.); scrivenrie "craft or occupation of writing" (mid-15c.). A back-formed verb scriven "to write," especially in the wordy and repetitive style of legal documents, is attested by 1680s.

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leman (n.)

"sweetheart, paramour, loved one" (archaic), c. 1200, lemman, "loved one of the opposite sex; paramour, lover; wife;" also "a spiritually beloved one; redeemed soul, believer in Christ; female saint devoted to chastity; God, Christ, the Virgin Mary;" also a term of intimate address to a friend or lover, contracted from late Old English leofman, a compound of leof "dear" (see lief) + man "human being, person" (from PIE root *man- (1) "man").

Originally of either gender, though in deliberate archaic usage it tends to be limited to women. Often in religious use in early Middle English, of brides of Christ, the spiritually beloved of God, etc.; by c. 1300 it could mean "betrothed lover," and by late 14c. it had the pejorative sense "concubine, mistress, gallant." For loss of medial -f-, compare had.

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