mid-14c., legal term for various types of clauses in real estate transactions, from Anglo-French and Old North French warantie "protection, defense, safeguard" (Old French garantie), from warant (see warrant (n.)).
also block-buster, 1942, "large bomb" (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), from block (n.1) in the "built-up city square" sense, + agent noun from bust (v.), on the notion of the widespread destruction they could cause. The popular entertainment sense of "spectacularly successful production" is attested by 1952. The U.S. sense of "real estate broker who sells a house to a black family on an all-white neighborhood," thus sparking an exodus, is from 1955.
used figuratively for "generic suburban tract housing," American English, from the vast planned real estate developments built by the firm Levitt & Sons Inc., the first on Long Island, 1946-51 (more than 17,000 homes), the second north of Philadelphia (1951-55).
late 14c., "overgrown with trees and shrubs," from wood (n.) + -y (2). Of plants, "having a stem of wood," from 1570s. Related: Woodiness. Old English had wudulic. As a name for a kind of station wagon with wood panels, by 1961, U.S. surfer slang (real wood exterior panels were rare after 1951 and the last use of real wood was in the 1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon). Slang meaning "erection" attested by 1990 (for hardness).
early 15c., ayre lome, a hybrid from heir + loom (n.) in its original but now otherwise obsolete sense of "implement, tool," extended to mean "article." Technically, some piece of property that by will or custom passes down with the real estate. General sense of "anything handed down from generation to generation" is from 1610s.
1728 in legal sense, "extinguishment by absorption," originally of real estate titles, from merge (v.), on analogy of French infinitives used as nouns (see waiver). From 1889 in the business sense "extinguishment of a security for a debt by the creditor's acceptance of a higher security;" not common until c. 1926. General meaning "any act of merging" is by 1881.
"person who cheats or robs sailors ashore," 1769, from land (n.) + shark (n.). Smyth ("Sailor's Word-book," 1867) lists the types as "Crimps, pettifogging attorneys, slopmongers, and the canaille infesting the slums of seaport towns." As "land-grabber, speculator in real estate" from 1839. In both senses often in Australian and New Zealand publications during 19c.
late 14c. (mid-14c. in Anglo-French), "one of the common people, a member of the third estate," agent noun from common (v.) "participate in common, associate or have dealings with" (mid-14c.), from common (adj.). From mid-15c. as "member of the House of Commons."