Etymology
Advertisement
sophomore (n.)
Origin and meaning of sophomore

1680s, "student in the second year of university study," literally "arguer," altered from sophumer (1650s), from sophume, an archaic variant form of sophism, ultimately from Greek sophistēs "a master of one's craft; a wise or prudent man, one clever in matters of daily life."

The modern form probably is by folk etymology derivation from Greek sophos "wise" + mōros "foolish, dull" (see moron).

The original reference of the "arguer" name might be to the dialectic exercises that formed a large part of education in the middle years. At Oxford and Cambridge, a sophister (from sophist with spurious -er as in philosopher) was a second- or third-year student (what Americans would call a "junior" might be a senior sophister).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
flora (n.)
c. 1500, "Roman goddess of flowers;" 1777, "the plant life of a region or epoch," from Latin Flora, "goddess of flowers," from flos (accusative florem, genitive floris) "flower," from *flo-s-, Italic suffixed form of PIE *bhle- "to blossom, flourish" (source also of Middle Irish blath, Welsh blawd "blossom, flower," Old English blowan "to flower, bloom"), extended form of root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom."

Her festival, the Floralia, was April 28 to May 2 and featured "comic theatrical representations" and "excessive drinking" [Century Dictionary]. The French Revolutionary calendar had a month Floréal (April 20-May 20). Used as the title of systematically descriptive plant catalogues since 1640s, but popularized by Linnaeus in his landmark 1745 study of Swedish plants, "Flora Suecica."
Related entries & more 
brown (adj.)

Old English brun "dark, dusky," developing a definite color sense only 13c., from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (source also of Old Norse brunn, Danish brun, Old Frisian and Old High German brun, Dutch bruin, German braun), from PIE root *bher- (2) "bright; brown."

The Old English word also had a sense of "brightness, shining," preserved only in burnish. The Germanic word was adopted into Romanic (Middle Latin brunus, Italian and Spanish bruno, French brun). Brown sugar is from 1704. Brown Bess, slang name for old British Army flintlock musket, is first recorded 1785. Brown study "state of mental abstraction or meditation" is from 1530s; OED says the notion is "gloomy." Brown-paper "kind of coarse, stout, unbleached paper used for wrapping" is from 1650s.

Related entries & more 
policy (n.1)
Origin and meaning of policy

["way of management"], late 14c., policie, "study or practice of government; good government;" from Old French policie (14c.) "political organization, civil administration," from Late Latin politia "the state, civil administration," from Greek politeia "state, administration, government, citizenship," from politēs "citizen," from polis "city, state" (see polis).

From early 15c. as "an organized state, organized or established system of government or administration of a state," but this sense has gone with polity. Also from early 15c. as "object or course of conduct, or the principles to be observed in conduct," and thus "prudence or wisdom in action" generally, but especially "the system of measures or the line of conduct which a ruler, minister, government, or party adopts as best for the interests of the country in domestic or foreign affairs."

Related entries & more 
etymology (n.)
Origin and meaning of etymology

late 14c., ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from Old French etimologie, ethimologie (14c., Modern French étymologie), from Latin etymologia, from Greek etymologia "analysis of a word to find its true origin," properly "study of the true sense (of a word)," with -logia "study of, a speaking of" (see -logy) + etymon "true sense, original meaning," neuter of etymos "true, real, actual," related to eteos "true," which perhaps is cognate with Sanskrit satyah, Gothic sunjis, Old English soð "true," from a PIE *set- "be stable." Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium.

In classical times, with reference to meanings; later, to histories. Classical etymologists, Christian and pagan, based their explanations on allegory and guesswork, lacking historical records as well as the scientific method to analyze them, and the discipline fell into disrepute that lasted a millennium. Flaubert ["Dictionary of Received Ideas"] wrote that the general view was that etymology was "the easiest thing in the world with the help of Latin and a little ingenuity."

As a modern branch of linguistic science treating of the origin and evolution of words, from 1640s. As "an account of the particular history of a word" from mid-15c. Related: Etymological; etymologically.

As practised by Socrates in the Cratylus, etymology involves a claim about the underlying semantic content of the name, what it really means or indicates. This content is taken to have been put there by the ancient namegivers: giving an etymology is thus a matter of unwrapping or decoding a name to find the message the namegivers have placed inside. [Rachel Barney, "Socrates Agonistes: The Case of the Cratylus Etymologies," in "Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy," vol. xvi, 1998]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
erogenous (adj.)

"inducing erotic sensation or sexual desire," 1889, from Greek eros "sexual love" (see Eros) + -genous "producing." A slightly earlier variant was erogenic (1887), from French érogénique. Both, as OED laments, are improperly formed. Erogenous zone attested by 1905.

In this connection reference may be made to the well-known fact that in some hysterical subjects there are so-called "erogenous zones" simple pressure on which suffices to evoke the complete orgasm. There is, perhaps, some significance, from our present point of view, in the fact that, as emphasized by Savill ("Hysterical Skin Symptoms," Lancet, January 30 1904) the skin is one of the very best places to study hysteria. [Havelock Ellis, "Studies in the Psychology of Sex," 1914]
Related entries & more 
apprehend (v.)

late 14c., "grasp with the senses or mind;" early 15c. as "grasp, take hold of" physically, from Latin apprehendere "to take hold of, grasp," from ad "to" (see ad-) + prehendere "to seize" (from prae- "before;" see pre- + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take"). Often "to hold in opinion but without positive certainty."

We "apprehend" many truths which we do not "comprehend" [Richard Trench, "On the Study of Words," 1856]

The metaphoric extension to "seize with the mind" took place in Latin and was the sole sense of cognate Old French aprendre (12c., Modern French appréhender); also compare apprentice). Specific meaning "seize in the name of the law, arrest," is from 1540s. Meaning "be in fear of the future, anticipate with dread" is from c. 1600. Related: Apprehended; apprehending.

Related entries & more 
dysphemism (n.)

"substitution of a vulgar or derogatory word or expression for a dignified or normal one," 1873, from Greek dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" (see dys-) + phēmē "speech, voice, utterance, a speaking," from phanai "speak" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say"); Greek dysphemia meant "ill language, words of ill omen"). The opposite of euphemism. Rediscovered 1933 from French formation dysphémisme (1927, Carnoy).

The French psychologist Albert J. Carnoy gave an extensive definition in his study Le Science du Mot, which in translation runs: "Dysphemism is unpitying, brutal, mocking. It is also a reaction against pedantry, rigidity and pretentiousness, but also against nobility and dignity in language" (1927, xxii, 351). [Geoffrey L. Hughes, "An Encyclopedia of Swearing," 2006]
Related entries & more 
humanism (n.)
along with humanist used in a variety of philosophical and theological senses 16c.-18c., especially ones concerned with the (mere) humanity of Christ, or imitating Latin humanitas "education befitting a cultivated man." See human (adj.) + -ism. In the sense "the doctrine or science of human nature," humanics (1864) has been used.

From 1832 in reference to "intelligent study and appreciation of the classics," especially in reference to the Renaissance. By 1847 in reference to "system or mode of thought in which human interests predominate" (originally often in the writings of its enemies). As a pragmatic system of thought, defined 1907 by co-founder F.C.S. Schiller as "The perception that the philosophical problem concerns human beings striving to comprehend a world of human experience by the resources of human minds."
Related entries & more 
closet (n.)

late 14c., "a small private room for study or prayer," from Old French closet "small enclosure, private room," diminutive of clos "enclosure," from Latin clausum "closed space, enclosure, confinement," from neuter past participle of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)).

In Matthew vi.6 it renders Latin cubiculum "bedchamber, bedroom," Greek tamieion "chamber, inner chamber, secret room." Modern sense of "small side-room for storage" is first recorded 1610s.

The adjective is from 1680s, "private, done in seclusion;" from 1782 as "fitted only for scholarly seclusion, not adopted to the conditions of practical life." The meaning "secret, not public, unknown" is recorded from 1952, first of alcoholism but by 1970s used principally of homosexuality; the phrase come out of the closet "admit something openly" is first recorded 1963, and lent a new meaning to the word out.

Related entries & more 

Page 23