alimony (n.)

1650s, "nourishment," also "allowance to a wife from a husband's estate, or in certain cases of separation," from Latin alimonia "food, support, nourishment, sustenance," from alere "to nourish, rear, support, maintain" (from PIE root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish") + -monia suffix signifying action, state, condition (cognate with Greek -men). Derived form palimony was coined 1979, from pal (n.). Related: Alimonious.

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loner (n.)

"one who avoids company," 1946; see lone. Apparently first in U.S. baseball slang:

Ted [Williams] is likable enough in spite of his obsession with his specialty. He is something of a "loner," and he refuses to pal around with his teammates in off hours, but in the clubhouse he does his share of the talking. [Life magazine, Sept. 23, 1946]
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pole (n.1)

"stake, staff," late Old English pal "stake, pole, post," a general Germanic borrowing (Old Frisian and Old Saxon pal "stake," Middle Dutch pael, Dutch paal, Old High German pfal, Old Norse pall) from Latin palus "a stake," from PIE *pakslo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten." Later specifically "a long, slender, tapering piece of wood."

Racing sense of "inside pole-fence surrounding a course" is from 1851; hence pole position in auto racing (1904). A ten-foot pole as a metaphoric measure of something one would not touch something (or someone) else with is by 1839, American English. The ten-foot pole was a common tool used to set stakes for fences, etc., and the phrase "Can't touch de bottom with a ten foot pole" is in the popular old minstrel show song "Camptown Races."

"I saw her eat."
"No very unnatural occurrence I should think."
"But she ate an onion!"
"Right my boy, right, never marry a woman who would touch an onion with a ten foot pole."
[The Collegian, University of Virginia, June 1839]
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paladin (n.)

1590s, in reference to the medieval romance cycle, "one of the twelve knightly champions in attendance on Charlemagne and accompanying him to war," from French paladin "a warrior" (16c.), from Italian paladino, from Latin palatinus "palace official;" noun use of palatinus "of the palace" (see palace).

The Old French form of the word was palaisin (which gave Middle English palasin, c. 1400); the Italian form prevailed because, though the matter was French, most of the poets who wrote the romances were Italians. Extended sense of "a heroic champion" is by 1788.

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paleontology (n.)

also palaeontology, "the science of the former life of the Earth, as preserved in fossils," 1833, probably from French paléontologie, from Greek palaios "old, ancient" (see paleo-) + ontologie "science or study of being and the essence of things" (see ontology). Related: Paleontological.

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from Latin Palestina (name of a Roman province), from Greek Palaistinē (Herodotus), from Hebrew Pelesheth "Philistia, land of the Philistines" (see Philistine). In Josephus, the country of the Philistines; extended under Roman rule to all Judea and later to Samaria and Galilee.

Revived as an official political territorial name 1920 with the British mandate. Under Turkish rule, Palestine was part of three administrative regions: the Vilayet of Beirut, the Independent Sanjak of Jerusalem, and the Vilayet of Damascus. In 1917 the country was conquered by British forces who held it under occupation until the mandate was established April 25, 1920, by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers at San Remo. During the occupation Palestine formed "Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (South)," with headquarters at Jerusalem.

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palestra (n.)

c. 1400, palestre, "ancient Greek gymnasium," from Old French palestre (12c.) and directly from Latin palaestra, from Greek palaistra "gymnasium, public place for exercise under official direction," originally "wrestling school," from palaiein "to wrestle, survive a wrestling match," which is of unknown origin (see discussion in Beekes) + -tra, suffix denoting place. The noun palē "wrestling" is a back-formation from the verb. Palestral "pertaining to wrestling or martial games, athletic" is attested from late 14c. 

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palette (n.)

1620s, "flat, thin tablet, with a hole at one end for the thumb, used by an artist to lay and mix colors," from French palette, from Old French palete "small shovel, blade" (13c.) diminutive of pale "shovel, blade," from Latin pala "spade, shoulder blade," probably from PIE *pag-slo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten." Transferred sense of "colors used by a particular artist" is from 1882. Palette-knife, originally one used by artists for mixing colors, is attested by 1759.

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palfrey (n.)

c. 1200, palefrei (mid-12c. as a surname), "saddle horse for ordinary riding (opposed to a war horse), a fine, small horse for ladies," from Old French palefroi (11c., palefreid) and directly from Medieval Latin palafredus, altered by dissimilation from Late Latin paraveredus "post horse for outlying districts" (6c.), originally "extra horse," from Greek para "beside, secondary" (see para-) + Medieval Latin veredus "post horse; light, fast horse used by couriers," which is probably from Gaulish *voredos, from Celtic *wo-red- (source also of Welsh gorwydd "horse," Old Irish riadaim "I ride"), from PIE root *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)). The Latin word passed to Old High German as pfarifrid, and in modern German it has become the usual word for "horse" (Pferd).

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palinode (n.)

"poetical recantation, poem in which the poet retracts invective contained in a former satire," 1590s, from French palinod (16c.) or directly from Late Latin palinodia, from Greek palinōidia "poetic retraction," from palin "again, back" (see palindrome) + ōidē "song" (see ode). Related: Palinodical; palinodial.

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