Etymology
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gridiron (n.)

cooking utensil for broiling over a fire, early 14c., griderne, alteration (by association with iron) of gridire (late 13c.), a variant of gridil (see griddle). Confusion of "l" and "r" was common in Norman dialect. Also a medieval instrument of torture by fire. As the word for a U.S. football field, by 1896, for its lines.

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Durham 

c. 1000, Dunholm "city on a hill," a merger of Old English dun "hill" (see down (n.2)) and Scandinavian holmr (see holm). The change from -n- to -r- is a result of Norman confusion (see Shrewsbury). As a breed of short-horned cattle, by 1810, so called from being bred there.

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etiolate (v.)

"turn (a plant) white by growing it in darkness," 1791, from French étiolé, past participle of étioler "to blanch" (17c.), perhaps literally "to become like straw," from Norman dialect étule "a stalk," Old French esteule "straw, field of stubble," from Latin stipula "straw" (see stipule). Related: Etiolated.

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Percy 

masc. proper name, from the surname, which is of Norman origin, from a place name, from Old French percer "to pierce, break through" (see pierce). As a given name sometimes also short for Percival (for which see Parzival). The colloquial connotation of weakness or effeminacy in the man's name is attested by 1916.

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calumet (n.)

kind of tobacco pipe used by North American Indians, 1660s, from Canadian French calumet (1630s), from Norman French calumet "pipe, reed pipe" (Old French chalemel, 12c., Modern French chalumeau), from Latin calamellus, diminutive of calamus "reed; something made of reed or shaped like a reed" (see shawm).

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race (n.3)

[strong current of water] c. 1300, more or less a particular sense of race (n.1), which then denoted any forward movement or swift running, from Old Norse ras in its sense of "a rushing of water." Via Norman French the word entered French as ras, which might have given English race its specialized meaning of "channel of a stream" (especially an artificial one, to a mill, etc.), which is recorded in English from 1560s.

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factoid (n.)

1973, "published statement taken to be a fact because of its appearance in print," from fact + -oid, first explained, if not coined, by Norman Mailer.

Factoids ... that is, facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority. [Mailer, "Marilyn," 1973]

By 1988 it was being used in the sense of "small, isolated bit of true factual information."

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filbert (n.)

"hazelnut," late 14c., from Anglo-French philber (late 13c.), from Norman dialect noix de filbert, in reference to St. Philbert, 7c. Frankish abbot, so called because the hazel nuts ripen near his feast day, Aug. 22 (Old Style). Weekley compares German Lambertsnuss "filbert," associated with St. Lambert (Sept. 17); also German Johannisbeere "red currant," associated with St. John's Day (June 24). The saint's name is Old High German Filu-berht, literally "very bright."

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moat (n.)

c. 1300, mote "a mound, a hill" (a sense now obsolete); late 14c., "ditch or deep trench dug round the rampart of a castle or other fortified place," from Old French mote "mound, hillock, embankment; castle built on a hill" (12c.; Modern French motte) and directly from Medieval Latin mota "mound, fortified height," a word of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish mutt, mutta.

The sense shifted in Norman French from the castle mound to the ditch dug around it. For a similar evolution, compare ditch (n.) and dike. As a verb, "to surround with a moat," early 15c. Related: Moated.

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wicket (n.)

early 13c., "small door or gate," especially one forming part of a larger one, from Anglo-French wiket, Old North French wiket (Old French guichet, Norman viquet) "small door, wicket, wicket gate," probably from Proto-Germanic *wik- (source also of Old Norse vik "nook," Old English wican "to give way, yield"), from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind." The notion is of "something that turns." Cricket sense of "set of three sticks defended by the batsman" is recorded from 1733; hence many figurative phrases in British English.

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