"a seat with a back, intended for one person," early 13c., chaere, from Old French chaiere "chair, seat, throne" (12c.; Modern French chaire "pulpit, throne;" the more modest sense having gone since 16c. with variant form chaise), from Latin cathedra "seat" (see cathedral).
Figurative sense of "seat of office or authority" c. 1300 originally was of bishops and professors. Meaning "office of a professor" (1816) is extended from the seat from which a professor lectures (mid-15c.). Meaning "seat of a person presiding at meeting" is from 1640s. As short for electric chair from 1900. Chair-rail "strip or board of wood fastened to a wall at such a height as to prevent the plaster from being scraped by the backs of chairs" is from 1822.
1580s, "that which is added," also "act of acceding" (by assent, to an agreement, etc.), from Latin accessionem (nominative accessio) "a going to, approach; a joining; increase, enlargement," noun of action from past-participle stem of accedere "approach, enter upon" (see accede). From 1640s as "act of coming to a position or into possession," especially in reference to a throne. Related: Accessional.
"based on or contained in the law code of the Salian Franks," 1540s, from French Salique, from Medieval Latin Salicus, from the Salian Franks, a name given to a Frankish Germanic tribe that once lived near the Zuider Zee, the ancestors of the Merovingian kings, and it means "those living near the river Sala" (the modern Ijssel).
The Salic Law, a supposed code of law of the ancient Germanic tribes, was invoked 1316 by Philip V of France to exclude a woman from succeeding to the throne of France (and later to combat the French claims of Edward III of England), but the precise meaning of the cited passage is unclear.
1590s, "one who intends;" 1620s as "one who puts forth a claim;" agent noun from pretend (v.). Specifically of a claimant to the English throne from 1690s, especially the Old and Young Pretenders, the son and grandson of James II who asserted claims to the throne against the Hanoverians. Meaning "one who feigns, one who makes a false show, one who puts forth a claim without adequate grounds" is from 1630s.
Having been a spectator of the battle of the Boyne, on the first of July 1690, he thought it most prudent, while the fate of the day was yet undecided, to seek for safety in flight. In a few hours he reached the castle of Dublin, where he was met by Lady Tyrconnel, a woman of spirit. "Your countrymen (the Irish), Madam," said James, as he was ascending the stairs, "can run well."—"Not quite so well as your Majesty," retorted her Ladyship ; "for I see you have won the race." [anecdote of the Old Pretender, first, as far as I can tell, in Charles Wilson's "Polyanthea," 1804]
1701, "pleasure carriage," from French chaise "chair" (15c.), dialectal variant of chaire (see chair (n.)) due to 15c.-16c. Parisian accent swapping of -r- and -s-, a habit often satirized by French writers. French chair and chaise then took respectively the senses of "high seat, throne, pulpit" and "chair, seat," but this was after chair had been borrowed into English in the older sense.
Originally a one-horse, two-wheeled carriage for two persons, later extended to other types of pleasure or travelling carriages. Chaise lounge (1800) is corruption of French chaise longue "long chair," the second word confused in English with lounge.
early 13c., regne, "kingdom, state governed by a monarch," senses now obsolete, from Old French reigne "kingdom, land, country" (Modern French règne), from Latin regnum "kingship, dominion, rule, realm," which is related to regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").
From late 14c. as "sovereignty, royal authority, dominion." Hence, generally, "power, influence, or sway like that of a king" (by 1725). The meaning "period of time during which a monarch occupies a throne," used for dating, is recorded from mid-14c.
fem. proper name, from French Mathilde, which is of Germanic origin, literally "mighty in battle;" compare Old High German Mahthilda, from mahti "might, power" (see might (n.)) + hildi "battle," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle" (see Hilda). Matilda (1102-1167), daughter of Henry I, claimant to the throne during the Anarchy, usually is not reckoned among the kings and queens of England.
The name also was late 19c. Australian slang for "a traveler's bundle or swag," hence the expression waltzing Matilda "to travel on foot" (by 1889).
In my electorate nearly every man you meet who is not "waltzing Matilda" rides a bicycle. ["Parliamentary Debates," Australia, 1907]
The lyrics of the song of that name, sometimes called the unofficial Australian national anthem, are said to date to 1893.
According to Mr. H.A. Hamilton, in his "Quarter Sessions from Queen Elizabeth," the practice of giving children two Christian names was unknown in England before the period of the Stuarts, was rarely adopted down to the time of the Revolution, and never became common until after the Hanoverian family was seated on the throne. "In looking through so many volumes of county records," he says, "I have, of course, seen many thousands and tens of thousands of proper names, belonging to men of all ranks and degrees,—to noblemen, justices, jurymen, witnesses, sureties, innkeepers, hawkers, paupers, vagrants, criminals, and others,—and in no single instance, down to the end of the reign of Anne, have I noticed any person bearing more than one Christian name ...." [Walsh]