late 14c., "suffering, anguish; act or fact of pressing on the mind or heart," from Old French presseure "oppression; torture; anguish; press" (for wine or cheeses), "instrument of torture" (12c.) and directly from Latin pressura "action of pressing," from pressus, past participle of premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").
The literal meaning "act or fact of pressing" in a physical sense is attested in English from early 15c. The meaning "moral or mental coercing force, exertion of authority or influence" is from 1620s; the meaning "urgency, demand on one's time or energies" is from 1812. Scientific sense in physics, "force per unit area exerted over a surface and toward the interior" is from 1650s.
Pressure cooker "airtight vessel in which food is cooked in steam under pressure" is attested from 1915; figurative sense is from 1958. Pressure point of the skin is attested from 1876. Pressure-treated, of woods impregnated with a preservative fluid under pressure, is from 1911.
"many-stemmed woody plant," from Old English bysc (found in place names), from West Germanic *busk "bush, thicket" (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German busc, Dutch bosch, bos, German Busch). Influenced by or combined with Old French (busche "firewood") and Medieval Latin busca (source also of Italian bosco, Spanish bosque, French bois), both of which probably are from Germanic (compare Boise).
In the British American colonies, applied from 1650s to the uncleared districts. In South Africa, "country," as opposed to town (1780); probably from Dutch bosch in the same sense. As "branch of a tree hung out as a tavern-sign," 1530s; hence the proverb "good wine needs no bush." The meaning "pubic hair" (especially of a woman) is from 1745.
To beat the bushes (mid-15c.) is a way to rouse birds so that they fly into the net which others are holding, which originally was the same thing as beating around the bush (see beat (v.)).
type of small songbird, 1650s (short for Canary-bird, 1570s), from French canarie, from Spanish canario "canary bird," literally "of the Canary Islands" (where it is indigenous), from Latin Insula Canaria "Canary Island," largest of the Fortunate Isles, literally "island of dogs" (canis, derived adjective canarius, from PIE root *kwon- "dog").
Supposedly so called "from its multitude of dogs of a huge size" (Pliny), but perhaps this is folk-etymology, and the name might instead be that of the Canarii, a Berber people who lived near the coast of Morocco opposite the island and might have settled on it. The name was extended to the whole island group (Canariæ Insulæ) by the time of Arnobius (c. 300). As a type of wine (from the Canary Islands) from 1580s.
[Recent DNA analysis (2019) of ancient remains on the island suggest the indigenous people were of typical North African lineages as well as Mediterranean and sub-Saharan African groups and may have arrived by c. 100 C.E.]
1859, slang shortening of public house (see public (adj.)), which originally meant "any building open to the public" (1570s), then "inn that provides food and is licensed to sell ale, wine, and spirits" (1660s), and finally "tavern" (1768). Simple public (n.) as short for public house is attested from 1709 and might have been the intermediate form. Pub crawl is attested by 1910 in British slang. Pub rock is from 1973 in England; popular in U.S. from 1976.
When, in the late '60s, rock 'n' roll suddenly became rock, there sprang up a network of bands that sought to preserve the old styles, that resisted the trend toward larger and larger concert halls. Because these groups preferred to play one-nighters on Britain's club circuit, their music came to be known as "pub rock." ["U.S. gets 'pub rock,'" Washington Post article in Newark (Ohio) Advocate, April 1, 1976]
1540s (early 15c. as alcofol), "fine powder produced by sublimation," from Medieval Latin alcohol "powdered ore of antimony," from Arabic al-kuhul "kohl," the fine metallic powder used to darken the eyelids, from kahala "to stain, paint." The al- is the Arabic definite article, "the."
Paracelsus (1493-1541) used the word to refer to a fine powder but also a volatile liquid. By 1670s it was being used in English for "any sublimated substance, the pure spirit of anything," including liquids.
The sense of "intoxicating ingredient in strong liquor" is attested by 1753, short for alcohol of wine, which then was extended to the intoxicating element in fermented liquors. The formerly preferred terms for the substance were rectified spirits or brandy.
In organic chemistry, the word was extended by 1808 to the class of compounds of the same type as this (a 1790 translation of Lavoisier's "Elements of Chemistry" has alkoholic gas for "the combination of alkohol with caloric").
c. 1300, gral, "the Holy Grail," from Old French graal, greal "Holy Grail; cup," earlier "large shallow dish, basin," from Medieval Latin gradalis, also gradale, grasale, "a flat dish or shallow vessel." The original form is uncertain; the word is perhaps ultimately from Latin crater "bowl," which is from Greek krater "bowl, especially for mixing wine with water" (see crater (n.)).
Holy Grail is Englished from Middle English seint gral (c. 1300), also sangreal, sank-real (c. 1400), which seems to show deformation as if from sang real "royal blood" (that is, the blood of Christ) The object had been inserted into the Celtic Arthurian legends by 12c., perhaps in place of some pagan otherworldly object. It was said to be the cup into which Joseph of Arimathea received the last drops of blood of Christ (according to the writers who picked up the thread of Chrétien de Troyes' "Perceval") or the dish from which Christ ate the Last Supper (Robert de Boron), and ultimately was identified as both ("þe dische wiþ þe blode," "Joseph of Aramathie," c. 1350?).
1795, genus of small evergreen trees native to west Africa, introduced and nativized in New World tropics, from a Latinized form of a West African name of the tree (compare Temne kola, Mandingo kolo). The cola-nut contains much caffeine.
Meaning "carbonated soft drink" is 1919, short for Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and their many imitators. A 1900 publication ("Alcohol," by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union) lists the names of drinks found to contain caffeine and extract of coca leaf:
Afri Cola, Ala Cola, Cafe Coca, Carre Cola, Celery Cola, Chan Ola, Chera Cola, Coca Beta, Coca Cola, Pilsbury's Coke, Cola Coke, Cream Cola, Dope, Four Kola, Hayo Kola, Heck's Cola, Kaye Ola, Koca Nola, Koke, Kola Ade, Kola Kola, Kola Phos, Koloko, Kos Kola, Lime Cola, Lima Ola, Mellow Nip, Nerv Ola, Revive Ola, Rocola, Rye Ola, Standard Cola, Toka Tona, Tokola, Vim-O, French Wine of Coca, Wise Ola.
late 14c., of a voice, "pure, clear;" mid-15c., of abstract things, "absolute, sheer;" from Old French mier "pure" (of gold), "entire, total, complete," and directly from Latin merus "unmixed" (of wine), "pure; bare, naked;" figuratively "true, real, genuine," according to some sources probably originally "clear, bright," from PIE *mer- "to gleam, glimmer, sparkle" (source also of Old English amerian "to purify," Old Irish emer "not clear," Sanskrit maricih "ray, beam," Greek marmarein "to gleam, glimmer"). But de Vaan writes "there is no compelling reason to derive 'pure' from 'shining,'" and compares Hittite marri "just so, gratuitously," and suggests the source is a PIE *merH-o- "remaining, pure."
The English sense of "nothing less than, in the fullest sense absolute" (mid-15c., surviving now only in vestiges such as mere folly) existed for centuries alongside the apparently opposite sense of "nothing more than" (1580s, as in a mere dream).
"a call to drink to someone's health," 1690s (but said by Steele, 1709, to date to the reign of Charles II), originally referring to the beautiful or popular woman whose health is proposed and drunk to. The custom apparently has its origin in the use of spiced toast (n.1) to flavor drink; the lady being regarded as figuratively adding piquancy to the wine which was drunk to her health.
The custom itself is much older than this word for it, and the expectation of a bit of toast in a mug of ale at a tavern is well attested in many 17c. drinking songs, though none of them seems to give a reason for it.
Steele's story ["Tatler," No. 24] is that an (unnamed) beauty of the day was taking the cold waters at Bath, when a gentleman dipped his cup in the water and drank it to her health; another in his company wittily (or drunkenly) replied that, while he did not care for the drink, he would gladly enjoy the toast. Meaning "one whose health is proposed and drunk to" is from 1746. Toast-master attested from 1749.
"salted and peppered raw egg, drunk in booze or vinegar," by 1878, American English, from prairie + oyster (in reference to the taste or the method of consuming it). Also called prairie-cocktail (1889). Prairie-oyster as "fried calf testicle," considered a delicacy, is by 1941.
PRAIRIE OYSTER. This simple but very nutritious drink may be taken by any person of the most delicate digestion, and has become one of the most popular delicacies since its introduction by me at Messrs. Spiers and Pond's. Its mode of preparation is very simple. Into a wine glass pat a new-laid egg ; add half a tea-spoonful of vinegar, dropping it gently down on the inside of the glass ; then drop on the yolk a little common salt, sufficient not to quite cover half the size of a threepenny-piece; pepper according to taste, The way to take this should be by placing the glass with the vinegar furthest from the mouth and swallow the contents. The vinegar being the last gives it more of an oyster-like flavour. [Leo Engel, "American & Other Drinks," London, 1878]