Etymology
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betide (v.)
late 12c., "to happen, come to pass," from be- + tiden "to happen" (see tide (v.)). Transitive sense "happen to (someone)" is from early 13c. Surviving, if at all, in the expression woe betide! (late 14c.).
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homesickness (n.)
1756, translating German Heimweh, from Heim "home" (see home (n.)) + Weh "woe, pain;" the compound is from Swiss dialect, expressing a longing for the mountains, and was introduced to other European languages 17c. by Swiss mercenaries. Also see nostalgia.
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alas (interj.)

mid-13c., from Old French ha, las (later French hélas), from ha "ah" + las "unfortunate," originally "tired, weary," from Latin lassus "weary" (from PIE root *‌‌lē- "to let go, slacken"). At first an expression of weariness rather than woe.

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worth (v.)
"to come to be," now chiefly, if not solely, in the archaic expression woe worth the day, present subjunctive of Old English weorðan "to become, be, to befall," from Proto-Germanic *werthan "to become" (source also of Old Saxon, Old Dutch werthan, Old Norse verða, Old Frisian wertha, Old High German werdan, German werden, Gothic wairþan "to become"), literally "to turn into," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
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oppressive (adj.)

1640s, "unreasonably or unjustly burdensome," from Medieval Latin oppressivus, from oppress-, past participle stem of opprimere "press against, press together, press down;" figuratively "crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly" (see oppress). Sense of "inclined to oppress, tyrannical" is from 1712; that of "heavy, overwhelming" (of grief, woe, heat, etc.) is by 1712. Related: Oppressively; oppressiveness.

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bane (n.)

Old English bana "killer, slayer, murderer, a worker of death" (human, animal, or object), also "the devil," from Proto-Germanic *banon, cognate with *banja- "wound" (source also of Old Frisian bona "murderer," Old Norse bani "death; that which causes death," Old High German bana "death, destruction," Old English benn "wound," Gothic banja "stroke, wound"), a word of no certain IE etymology. Sense of "that which causes ruin or woe" is from 1570s. Related: Baneful.

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Niobe 

in Greek mythology, a queen of Thebes, daughter of Tantalus, married to Amphion, she was changed to a stone while weeping for her numerous children (slain, after she boasted of them overmuch, by Artemis and Apollo); hence the name is used figuratively for bereavement and woe. The name is said to mean literally "snowy; snowy-bright." By scientists the name was given to a type of trilobites and an asteroid. Related: Niobean.

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careful (adj.)

Old English cearful "mournful, sad," also "full of care or woe; anxious; full of concern" (for someone or something), thus "applying attention, painstaking, circumspect" (late Old English), the main modern sense; from care (n.) + -ful. In Middle English also "miserable, unfortunate," of persons or things; "causing fear, frightening, terrible." Careful-bed (early 14c.) was "sick-bed;" careful-day (c. 1200) was "judgment day."

Dragons dryfes doun
With kene carefull crie.
["The Wars of Alexander," c. 1400]
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Acheron 

1580s, fabled river of the Lower World in Greek mythology, from Greek Akheron, the name of several real rivers in addition to being the mythical river of the Underworld. The name perhaps means "forming lakes" (compare Greek akherousai "marsh-like water"), from PIE root *eghero- "lake" (source of Lithuanian ežeras, ažeras, Old Prussian assaran, Old Church Slavonic jezero "lake").

The derivation from Greek akhos "woe" is considered folk etymology. The name later was given to certain rivers in Greece and Italy because they flowed through dismal surroundings or disappeared underground and were thought to be gateways to the Underworld. Related: Acherontic.

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pain (n.)

late 13c., peine, "the agony suffered by Christ;" c. 1300, "punishment," especially for a crime, "legal punishment of any sort" (including fines and monetary penalties); also "condition one feels when hurt, opposite of pleasure," including mental or emotional suffering, grief, distress; from Old French peine "difficulty, woe, suffering, punishment, Hell's torments" (11c.), from Latin poena "punishment, penalty, retribution, indemnification" (in Late Latin also "torment, hardship, suffering"), from Greek poinē "retribution, penalty, quit-money for spilled blood," from PIE *kwei- "to pay, atone, compensate" (see penal).

The early "punishment" sense in English survives in phrase on pain of death. Also c. 1300 the word was used for the torments of eternal damnation after death. The sense of "exertion, effort" is from late 14c.; pains "great care taken (for some purpose), exertion or trouble taken in doing something" is recorded from 1520s.

 Phrase give (someone) a pain "be annoying and irritating" is by 1895; as a noun, localized as pain in the neck (1924) and pain in the ass (1934), though this last might have gone long unrecorded and be the original sense and the others euphemisms. First record of pain-killer "drug or herb that reduces pain" is by 1845.

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