Etymology
Advertisement
cooptation (n.)

also co-optation, 1530s, "choice, selection, mutual choice, election to fill a vacancy" on a committee, board, or society, from Latin cooptationem (nominative cooptatio) "election," noun of action from past-participle stem of cooptare "to elect, to choose as a colleague or member of one's tribe," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + optare "choose" (see option (n.)). Related: Cooptative.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
sampler (n.)

early 14c., "pattern or model to be imitated," from sample (n.) in one of its older senses now found only in its source, example. The meaning "embroidery specimen by a beginner to show skill," (1520s) is probably originally meant as "piece of embroidery serving as an illustrative specimen," or "pattern to be copied or to fix and retain a valuable pattern." As "a collection of samples, a representative selection," from 1912.

Related entries & more 
elite (n.)

"a choice or select body, the best part," 1823, from French élite "selection, choice," from Old French eslite (12c.), fem. past participle of elire, elisre "pick out, choose," from Latin eligere "choose" (see election). Borrowed in Middle English as "chosen person" (late 14c.), especially a bishop-elect, but it died out mid-15c. The word was re-introduced by Byron's "Don Juan." As an adjective by 1852. As a typeface, recorded by 1920.

Related entries & more 
pick (n.2)

a name of pointed instruments of various kinds, and also other noun senses, in most cases from pick (v.) but in some perhaps with some influence of pick (n.1). Meaning "a blow with a pointed instrument" is from mid-15c; the sense in toothpick is from late 15c. The meaning "plectrum for a guitar, lute, etc." is from 1895. As a type of basketball block, from 1951. The meaning "right of selection, first choice" is by 1772, hence "choicest part or example" (by 1858). Meaning "instrument for picking locks" is by 1890.

Related entries & more 
conscription (n.)

late 14c., "a putting in writing, a written record," from Latin conscriptionem (nominative conscriptio) "a drawing up of a list, enrollment, a levying of soldiers," noun of action from past-participle stem of conscribere "to enroll," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").

Meaning "enlistment (of soldiers)" is from 1520s; the sense "compulsory enrollment by lot or selection of suitable men for military or naval service" (1800) is traceable to the French Republic act of Sept. 5, 1798. Technically, a conscription is the enrollment of a fixed number by lot, with options of providing a substitute.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
crisis (n.)

early 15c., crise, crisis, "decisive point in the progress of a disease," also "vitally important or decisive state of things, point at which change must come, for better or worse," from Latinized form of Greek krisis "turning point in a disease, that change which indicates recovery or death" (used as such by Hippocrates and Galen), literally "judgment, result of a trial, selection," from krinein "to separate, decide, judge," from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish."

Transferred non-medical sense is 1620s in English. A German term for "mid-life crisis" is Torschlusspanik, literally "shut-door-panic," fear of being on the wrong side of a closing gate.

Related entries & more 
detail (n.)

c. 1600, "attention to particulars," from French détail, from Old French detail "small piece or quantity," literally "a cutting in pieces," from detaillier "cut in pieces" (12c.), from de- "entirely" (see de-) + taillier "to cut in pieces" (see tailor).

French en détail "piece by piece, item by item" (as opposed to en gros), a commercial term used where we would today use retail, expanded the senses of the noun. Meaning "a minute account or narrative" is from 1690s; that of "an individual part, a particular" is from 1786. In fine arts, "a small, subordinate part," by 1823.

Military sense of "selection of an individual or body of troops for a particular service" is from 1708, from the notion of "distribution in detail of the daily orders first given in general," including assignment of specific duties.

Related entries & more 
cowbell (n.)

1809, "bell attached to the neck of a cow to indicate her whereabouts" (usually oblong and of a heavy, clanking tone), from cow (n.) + bell (n.). They are cut from sheet metal (mostly copper, or iron coated with bronze) and folded into shape. As a musical instrument (without the clapper) by 1919; in that period associated with, and scorned as an absurdity of, jazz.

Art is long and time is fleeting,
   And the man who cannot play,
On a cowbell wildly beating,
   Calls it "jazz"—and gets away.
[from "The Psalm of Jazz," Oregon Voter, Aug. 30, 1919]

But an article on cowbells in "Hardware" magazine for Dec. 25, 1897, notes: "Cowbells are made in ten sizes, whose sounds range through an octave. Sometimes musical entertainers who play upon bells of one sort and another come to the manufacturer, and by selection among bells of the various sizes find eight bells that are accurate in scale."

Related entries & more 
number (n.)

c. 1300, "sum, aggregate of a collection," from Anglo-French noumbre, Old French nombre and directly from Latin numerus "a number, quantity," from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take."

Meaning "written symbol or figure of arithmetic value" is from late 14c. Meaning "single (numbered) issue of a magazine" is from 1795. Colloquial sense of "a person or thing" is by 1894. Meaning "dialing combination to reach a particular telephone receiver" is from 1879; hence wrong number (1886). The modern meaning "musical selection" (1885) is from vaudeville theater programs, where acts were marked by a number. Earlier numbers meant "metrical sound or utterance, measured or harmonic expression" (late 15c.) and, from 1580s, "poetical measure, poetry, verse."

Number one "oneself" is from 1704 (mock-Italian form numero uno attested from 1973); the biblical Book of Numbers (c. 1400, Latin Numeri, Greek Arithmoi) is so called because it begins with a census of the Israelites. Childish slang number one and number two for "urination" and "defecation" attested from 1902. Number cruncher is 1966, of machines; 1971 of persons. To get or have (someone's) number "have someone figured out" is attested from 1853; to say one's number is up (1806) meaning "one's time has come" is a reference to the numbers on a lottery, draft, etc. The numbers "illegal lottery" is from 1897, American English.

Related entries & more 
pizza (n.)

"a savoury dish of Italian origin, consisting of a base of dough, spread with a selection of such ingredients as olives, tomatoes, cheese, anchovies, etc., and baked in a very hot oven" [OED], 1931, from Italian pizza, originally "cake, tart, pie," a name of uncertain origin. The 1907 "Vocabolario Etimologico della Lingua Italiana" reports it is said to be from dialectal pinza "clamp" (from Latin pinsere "to pound, stamp"). Klein suggests a connection with Medieval Greek pitta "cake, pie" (see pita). Watkins says it is (perhaps via Langobardic) from a Germanic source akin to Old High German bizzo, pizzo "bite, morsel," from Proto-Germanic *biton- (see bit (n.1)). Ayto ["Diner's Dictionary"] seems inclined toward this explanation, too.

The notion of taking a flat piece of bread dough and baking it with a savoury topping is a widespread one and of long standing — the Armenians claim to have invented it, and certainly it was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans — but it is Italy, and particularly Naples, that has given its version of the dish to the world. ... Since then it has undergone a series of metamorphoses in base, topping, and general character that would make it hard for Neapolitans to recognize as their own, but which have transformed it into a key item on the international fast-food menu. [Ayto]
A pizza is manufactured, as far as I can ascertain, by garnishing a slab of reinforced asphalt paving with mucilage, whale-blubber and the skeletons of small fishes, baking same to the consistency of a rubber heel, and serving piping-hot with a dressing of molten lava. ["Simon Stylites," in The Bergen Evening Record, May 15, 1931]
Related entries & more 

Page 2