"urn or vase for the bones of the dead;" also "place where bones of the dead are deposited," 1650s, from Late Latin ossuarium "charnel house, receptacle for bones of the dead," from neuter of Latin ossuarius "of bones," from Latin os (plural ossua) "bone" (from PIE root *ost- "bone") on model of mortuarium.
surname, also Osborne, Osbourn, Osbourne, etc., a Scandinavian name (Old Norse Asbiorn, Old Danish Asbiorn) meaning literally "god-bear," from os "a god" (see Oscar) + the Germanic word for "bear" (see bear (n.)). The name is found in England before the Conquest, perhaps directly from Scandinavia; it also was common in Normandy and was brought over from thence.
It forms all or part of: osseous; ossicle; ossuary; ossifrage; ossify; osteo-; osteology; osteopathy; ostracism; ostracize; oyster; periosteum.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit asthi, Hittite hashtai-, Greek osteon "bone," Greek ostrakon "oyster shell," Avestan ascu- "shinbone," Latin os (genitive ossis) "bone," osseus "bony, of bone," Welsh asgwrn, Armenian oskr, Albanian asht "bone."
"kind of vibration in which a body swings backward and forward," 1650s, from French oscillation and directly from Latin oscillationem (nominative oscillatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of oscillare "to swing," from oscillum "a swing," which usually is identified with the oscillum that meant "little face" (literally "little mouth"), a mask of open-mouthed Bacchus hung up in vineyards as a charm (the sense evolution would be via the notion of "swinging in the breeze"); from PIE *os- "mouth" (see oral). Figurative use, in reference to a swinging back and forth (in opinion, attitude, etc.) is by 1798.
"sea-eagle, osprey," c. 1600, from Latin ossifraga "vulture," fem. of ossifragus, literally "bone-breaker," from ossifragus (adj.) "bone-breaking," from os (genitive ossis) "bone" (from PIE root *ost- "bone") + stem of frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break").
By this name Pliny meant "the Lammergeier" (that name is from German and means literally "lamb-vulture"), a very large Old World vulture that swallows and digests bones and was believed also to drop them from aloft to break them and get at the marrow. But in England and France, the word was transferred to the osprey, perhaps on the basis of a rough similarity of sound between the two words.
The statuette awarded for excellence in film acting, directing, etc., given annually since 1928 was first so called in 1936. The common explanation of the name is that it sprang from a 1931 remark by Margaret Herrick, secretary at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, on seeing the statuette: "He reminds me of my Uncle Oscar." Thus the award would be named for Oscar Pierce, U.S. wheat farmer and fruit grower. The popularity of the name seems to trace to columnist Sidney Skolsky, and there are other stories of its origin.
1620s, "uttered by the mouth or in words;" 1650s, "of or pertaining to the mouth," from Late Latin oralis, from Latin os (genitive oris) "mouth, opening, face, entrance," from PIE *os- "mouth" (source also of Sanskrit asan "mouth," asyam "mouth, opening," Avestan ah-, Hittite aish, Middle Irish a "mouth," Old Norse oss "mouth of a river," Old English or "beginning, origin, front").
Os was the usual word for "mouth" in Latin, but as the vowel distinction was lost it became similar in sound to os "bone" (see osseous). Thus bucca, originally "cheek" but used colloquially as "mouth," became the usual word for "mouth" (see bouche).
The psychological meaning "of the mouth as the focus of infantile sexual energy" (as in oral fixation) is attested from 1910. The sex-act sense is first recorded 1948, in Kinsey. As a noun, "oral examination," attested from 1876. Related: Orally (c. 1600); orality.