"in good health, robust," Old English hal "healthy, sound, safe; entire; uninjured; genuine, straightforward," from Proto-Germanic *hailaz(source also of Old Frisian hel"complete, full; firm" (of ground), Old High German heil, Old Norse heill "hale, sound," Gothic hails "hale"), from PIE *kailo- "whole, uninjured, of good omen" (see health). The Scottish and northern English form of whole and with a more etymological spelling. It later acquired a literary sense of "free from infirmity" (1734), especially in reference to the aged. Related: Haleness.
Middle English quene "a woman; a low-born woman," from Old English cwene "woman," also "female serf, hussy, prostitute" (as in portcwene "public woman"), from Proto-Germanic *kwenon (source also of Old Saxon quan, Old High German quena, Old Norse kona, Gothic qino "wife, woman," Middle Dutch quene "vain or worthless woman"), from PIE root *gwen- "woman." Compare queen (n.). The -ea- spelling is attested from early 15c.
Woman considered without regard to qualities or position (perhaps by contrast to the senses in queen), hence often a slighting or abusive term for a woman; in Middle English it could mean "a harlot; an old woman or crone," and it was in popular use 16c.-17c. in the sense of "hussy." But in Scottish often with a sense of "young, robust woman" (late 15c.).
The sense of "effeminate homosexual" is recorded by 1935, according to Partridge this was especially in Australian slang.
"strong, brave, spirited, valiant," Middle English doughti, from Old English dohtig "competent, good, valiant," from dyhtig "strong," related to dugan "to be fit, be able, be strong," and influenced by its past participle, dohte.
All from Proto-Germanic *duhtiz- (source also of Middle High German tuhtec, German tüchtig "efficient, capable," Middle Dutch duchtich "large, sturdy, powerful," Danish dygtig "virtuous, proficient," Gothic daug "is fit"), from PIE *dheugh- "to be fit, be of use, proper; meet, hit the mark" (source also of Sanskrit duh "gives milk;" Greek teukhein "to manufacture, accomplish; make ready;" Irish dual "becoming, fit;" Russian duij "strong, robust;" German Tugend "virtue").
Rare after 17c.; in deliberately archaic or mock-heroic use since c. 1800. If it had survived in living language, its modern form would be dighty.
c. 1300, "having a rough, hairy, or shaggy surface" (originally of animals), a word probably of Scandinavian origin: compare Old Norse rogg "shaggy tuft" (see rug). "The precise relationship to ragged is not quite clear, but the stem is no doubt ultimately the same" [OED]. In Middle English ruggedy (late 14c.) also was used.
Of ground, "broken, stony," by 1650s. Of made things, "strongly constructed, able to withstand rough use," by 1921. By 1620s, especially of persons or their qualities, as "unsoftened by refinement or cultivation," thence "of a rough but strong or sturdy character" (by 1827). The specific meaning "vigorous, strong, robust, healthy," is American English, attested by 1847.
We were challenged with a peace-time choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines — doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. [Herbert Hoover, speech in New York, Oct. 22, 1928]
Hoover said the phrase was not his own, and it is attested from 1897, though not in a patriotic context. Related: Ruggedly; ruggedness.