c. 1200 (mid-12c. as surname), "maker of bits for bridles and saddles, worker in small ironware," from Old French loremier "saddler, harness-maker, military leatherworker" (Modern French lormier), from loraim, from Latin lorum "strap, thong, rein of a bridle," cognate with Greek eulera, aulera "reins," but further connections uncertain; perhaps a loan-word from a lost IE language [de Vaan], and/or from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve" [Watkins].
"long, narrow, flat piece," mid-15c., "narrow piece of cloth," probably related to or from Middle Low German strippe "strap, thong," and from the same source as stripe (n.1). Sense extension to wood, land, etc. first recorded 1630s.
Sense in comic strip is from 1920. Airport sense is from 1936; race track sense from 1941. Meaning "street noted for clubs, bars, etc." is attested from 1939, originally in reference to Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. Strip mine (n.) attested by 1892, as a verb by 1916; so called because the surface material is removed in successive parallel strips.
also flip flop, "plastic thong beach sandal," by 1970, imitative of the sound of walking in them. Flip-flap had been used in various senses, mostly echoic or imitative of a kind of loose flapping movement, since 1520s:
Flip-flaps, a peculiar rollicking dance indulged in by costermongers, better described as the double shuffle; originally a kind of somersault. [Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1864]
Flip-flop in the general sense of "complete reversal of direction" dates from 1900; it began to be used in electronics in the 1930s in reference to switching circuits that alternate between two states. As a verb by 1897. Flop (n.) in the sense "a turn-round, especially in politics" is from 1880.
Old English teag, "cord, band, thong, fetter," literally "that with which anything is tied," from Proto-Germanic *taugo (source also of Old Norse taug "tie," tygill "string"), from PIE root *deuk- "to lead" (source also of Old English teon "to draw, pull, drag").
Figurative sense is recorded from 1550s. Sense of "cravat, necktie" (usually a simple one knotted in front) first recorded 1761. The railway sense of "cross-beam between and beneath rails to keep them in place" is from 1857, American English. Meaning "equality between competitors" is first found 1670s, from notion of a connecting link. Tie-breaker is recorded from 1938. The figurative old school tie (1938) in its literal sense was a necktie of a characteristic pattern worn by former students of a particular English school.
early 14c., "piece of armor for the arms," also "thong, strap for fastening," from Old French brace "arms," also "length measured by two arms" (12c., Modern French bras "arm, power;" brasse "fathom, armful, breaststroke"), from Latin bracchia, plural of bracchium "an arm, a forearm," from Greek brakhion "an arm" (see brachio-).
The meaning "that which holds two or more things firmly together" (on the notion of clasping arms) is from mid-15c. Hence the word is applied to various devices for fastening and tightening. The meaning "a prop, support," especially in architecture, is from 1520s. Of dogs, ducks, pistols, etc., "a couple, a pair" from c. 1400.
Braces is from 1798 as "straps passing over the shoulders to hold up the trousers;" from 1945 as "wires for straightening the teeth."
Middle English purs, purse, from Old English pursa "little bag or pouch made of leather," especially for carrying money, from Medieval Latin bursa "leather purse" (source also of Old French borse, 12c., Modern French bourse; compare bourse), from Late Latin bursa, variant of byrsa "hide," from Greek byrsa "hide, leather." Change of b- to p- perhaps is by influence of Old English pusa, Old Norse posi "bag."
From c. 1300 as "the royal treasury;" figurative sense of "money, means, resources, funds" is from mid-14c. Meaning "sum of money collected as a prize in a race, etc.," is from 1640s. Meaning "woman's handbag" is attested by 1879. Also in Middle English "scrotum" (c. 1300).
Purse-strings, figurative for "control of money," is by early 15c. Purse-snatcher first attested 1902 (earlier purse-picker, 1540s; purse-cutter, mid-15c.; pursekerver, late 14c.). The notion of "drawn together by a thong" also is behind purse-net "bag-shaped net with a draw string," used in hunting and fishing (c. 1400). Purse-proud (1680s) was an old term for "proud of one's wealth."
Middle English rop, from Old English rap "strong, heavy cord of considerable thickness," from Proto-Germanic *raipaz (source also of Old Norse reip, West Frisian reap, Middle Dutch, Dutch reep "rope," Old Frisian silrap "shoe-thong," Gothic skauda-raip "shoe-lace," Old High German, German reif "ring, hoop"). Technically, only cordage above one inch in circumference and below 10 (bigger-around than that is a cable). Nautical use varies. Finnish raippa "hoop, rope, twig" is a Germanic loan-word.
It is attested by early 14c. as "a noose, a snare." Rope of sand (1620s) was an old figure for anything lacking coherence or binding power.
To know the ropes "understand the way to do something" (1840, Dana) originally was a seaman's term. The phrase on the ropes "about to be defeated" is attested from 1924, a figurative extension from the fight ring, where being in or on the ropes was a figure by 1829.
To be at the end of (one's) rope "out of resources and options" is attested by 1680s. An earlier expression was have too long rope "have too much freedom" (late 15c.).
Rope formerly also figured in slang and extended-sense expressions related to punishment by hanging, such as John Roper's window "a noose," rope-ripe "deserving to be hanged," both 16c. The figurative phrase give someone (enough) rope (to hang himself) is by 1680s.