region near Los Angeles, named for the ranch that once stood there, which was named by Deida Wilcox, wife of Horace H. Wilcox, Kansas City real estate man, when they moved there in 1886. They began selling off building lots in 1891 and the village was incorporated in 1903. Once a quiet farming community, by 1910 barns were being converted into movie studios. The name was used generically for "American movies" from 1926, three years after the giant sign was set up, originally reading Hollywoodland, another real estate developer's promotion.
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).
1849, of chemicals, etc.; 1885 as a person who "makes things right;" agent noun from fix (v.). Fixer-upper is from 1967 as "that which repairs other things" (in an advertisement for a glue); by 1976 as a real-estate euphemism for "property that needs a lot of work."
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.
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.
1540s, "quality of being real, objective reality," from French réalité and directly from Medieval Latin realitatem (nominative realitas), from Late Latin realis (see real (adj.)). Also compare realty, which was the older form of the word in the sense of "reality" (mid-15c.).
Meaning "real existence, what is real, the aggregate of all that is real" is from 1640s; that of "the real state (of something)" is from 1680s. Sometimes 17c.-18c. it also meant "sincerity." Reality-based is attested from 1960, in marriage counseling. Reality television is attested from 1991.