rogue's cant 16c.-17c. for "a wench, a young girl of the vagrant class," 1560s, of uncertain origin.
A Dell is a yonge wenche, able for generation, and not yet knowen or broken by the vpright man. ... [W]hen they have beene lyen with all by the vpright man then they be Doxes, and no Dells. [Thomas Harman, "A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursitors," 1567]
1540s, mynx "pet dog," later (1590s) "a young, pert, wanton girl" [Johnson], also "a lewd woman," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps a shortening of minikin "girl, woman," from Middle Dutch minnekijn "darling, beloved," from minne "love" (see minnesinger) + diminutive suffix -kijn (see -kin). Klein's sources suggest the word is from Low German minsk "a man," also "an impudent woman," related to German Mensch (see mensch), which in vulgar use also has a sense of "wench, hussy, slut."
1810, American English variant of mamma (q.v.). Apparently first used in the South and with a racial context. As a biker's girlfriend or female passenger, from 1950s.
An old negro woman is called momma, which is a broad pronunciation of mama ; and a girl, missy. I once happened to call a young negro wench momma—"me be no momma," says she, "me had no children yet." [John Lambert, "Travels through Lower Canada, and the United States of North America in the Years 1806, 1807, and 1808," London, 1810]
"a person, an individual," c. 1300, from piece (n.1), but in modern use contemptuous and commonly of women; the meaning "person regarded as a sex object" is by 1785. Compare piece of ass under ass (n.2); human beings colloquially have been piece of flesh from 1590s; also compare Latin scortum "bimbo, anyone available for a price," literally "skin."
PIECE. A wench. A damned good or bad piece; a girl who is more or less active and skilful in the amorous congress. Hence the (Cambridge) toast, may we never have a PIECE (peace) that will injure the constitution. [Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence, London, 1811]
pseudo-translation of French Cendrillon, from cendre "ashes" (see cinder). Used figuratively for something unappreciated or something that ends at midnight. A widespread Eurasian folk tale, the oldest known version is Chinese (c. 850 C.E.); the English version is based on Perrault's "Cendrillon" (1697), translated from French 1729 by Robert Sambler, but native versions probably existed (such as Scottish "Rashin Coatie").
The German form is Aschenbrödel, literally "scullion," from asche "ash" (see ash (n.1)) + brodeln "bubble up, to brew." Native words, wisely passed over by Sambler, for "woman whose occupation is to rake ciders into heaps" were cinder-woman (17c.); cinder-wench (1712). Used figuratively for "neglected family member" or in reference to something that ends at midnight.
Old English hecg "hedge," originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *hagjo (source also of Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from a verb *hagjanan, from PIE root *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (source also of Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw (n.)).
Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. As hedges were "often used by vagabonds as places of shelter or resort" [Century Dictionary], the word, compounded, "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s. The noun in the betting sense is from 1736 (see hedge (v.)).
proverbial for "something extremely rare or non-existent" (late 14c.) is from Juvenal ["Sat." vi. 164], but the real thing turned up in Australia (Chenopsis atratus).
"Do you say no worthy wife is to be found among all these crowds?" Well, let her be handsome, charming, rich and fertile; let her have ancient ancestors ranged about her halls; let her be more chaste than all the dishevelled Sabine maidens who stopped the war—a prodigy as rare upon the earth as a black swan! yet who could endure a wife that possessed all perfections? I would rather have a Venusian wench for my wife than you, O Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, if, with all your virtues, you bring me a haughty brow, and reckon up Triumphs as part of your marriage portion. [Juvenal]
Blue dahlia also was used 19c. for "something rare and unheard of."
"trivial, old-fashioned, worthless," 1913 (from 1912 as a noun, "antiquated or worthless object"), said to be carnival slang and imitative of the sound of banjo music at parades [Barnhart]; compare ricky-tick "old-fashioned jazz" (1938). But early records suggest otherwise unless there are two words. The earliest senses seem to be as a noun, "maltreatment," especially robbery:
So I felt and saw that I was robbed and I went to look after an officer. I found an officer on the corner of Twenty-fifth street and Sixth avenue. I said, "Officer, I have got the rinky-dink." He knew what it meant all right. He said, "Where? Down at that wench house?" I said, "I guess that is right." [testimony dated New York August 9, 1899, published 1900]
And this chorus from the "Yale Literary Magazine," Feb. 1896:
Rinky dinky, rinky dink,
Stand him up for another drink.