Etymology
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apron (n.)

"apparel for covering the front of a person" (especially while at work, to keep clothes clean), mid-15c., faulty separation (as also in adder, auger, umpire) of a napron (c. 1300), from Old French naperon "small table-cloth," diminutive of nappe "cloth," from Latin mappa "napkin." Napron was still in use as recently as late 16c. The shift of Latin -m- to -n- was a tendency in Old French (conter from computare, printemps from primum, natte "mat, matting," from matta).

Extended 17c. to things which resemble or function like an apron. Symbolic of "wife's business" from 1610s; apron-string tenure was in reference to property held in virtue of one's wife, or during her lifetime only.

Even at his age, he ought not to be always tied to his mother's apron string. [Anne Brontë, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," 1848]
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superintendent (n.)

1550s, originally an ecclesiastical word meaning "bishop" or "minister who supervises churches within a district" (ultimately a loan-translation of Greek episkopos "overseer"), from Medieval Latin superintendentem (nominative superintendens), present participle of Late Latin superintendere "oversee," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + intendere "turn one's attention to, direct" (see intend). Famously used by 16c. radical Protestants in place of bishop, which to them was tainted by Papacy.

[Martinists] studie to pull downe Bishopps, and set vp Superintendents, which is nothing else, but to raze out good Greeke, & enterline bad Latine. [Lyly, "Pappe with an Hatchet," 1589]

The general sense of "a person who has charge of some business" is first recorded 1580s. Meaning "janitor, custodian" is from c. 1935. Shortened form super first attested 1857, especially at first of overseers of sheep ranches in Australia. As an adjective meaning "superintending," from 1590s.

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chapman (n.)

"peddler, itinerant tradesman," Middle English form of Old English ceapman "tradesman," from West Germanic compound *kaupman- (source also of Old High German choufman, German Kauffman, Middle Dutch and Dutch koopman), formed with equivalents of man (n.) + West Germanic *kaup- (source also of Old Saxon cop, Old Frisian kap "trade, purchase," Middle Dutch coop, Dutch koop "trade, market, bargain," kauf "trader," Old English ceap "barter, business; a purchase").

This is from Proto-Germanic *kaupōn- (source also of Danish kjøb "purchase, bargain," Old Norse kaup "bargain, pay;" compare also Old Church Slavonic kupiti "to buy," a Germanic loan-word), probably an early Germanic borrowing (Boutkan says 1c. C.E.) from Latin caupo (genitive cauponis) "petty tradesman, huckster, peddler," which is of unknown origin.

Compare cheap (adj.). In Middle English and later, chapman also could mean "a customer, purchaser." In a c. 1200 work the Devil is þe chapmon of helle as "the purchaser of souls." 

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circuit (n.)

late 14c., "a circumference; a periphery, a line going around (an area), whether circular or not; a circular or circuitous course," from Old French circuit (14c.) "a circuit; a journey (around something)," from Latin circuitus "a going around," from stem of circuire, circumire "go around," from circum "round" (see circum-) + ire "to go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go").

From c. 1400 as "space enclosed within certain limits." Hence, "district in which any business involving periodic journeys is done (1570s), especially of judicial assignments involving the journey of a judge from one place to another; in reference to routes followed by itinerant entertainers from 1834. Hence also circuit-rider "Methodist minister who rides a circuit, preaching successively in different stations" (by 1834); to ride circuit "take a roundabout course" is from 1650s.

Electrical sense "arrangement by which a current is kept up between two poles" is from 1746. Circuit-breaker "device for automatically opening an electrical circuit" is recorded from 1874. Related: Circuital.

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ration (n.)

1550, "the mental process of reasoning," later, "the relation of one number to another" (1660s), then "fixed allowance of food or other means of subsistence for a fixed period of time" (1702, often rations, from French ration in this sense).

All are from Latin rationem (nominative ratio) "reckoning, numbering, calculation; business affair, procedure," also "reason, reasoning, judgment, understanding," in Medieval Latin "a computed share or allowance of food." This is from rat-, past participle stem of reri "to reckon, calculate," also "think" (from PIE root *re- "to reason, count").

The first sense listed for the English word is obsolete; the second has gone with ratio. The military pronunciation (rhymes with fashion) took over in English from the preferred civilian pronunciation (rhymes with nation) during World War I. That war also gave the word a specific sense of "officially limited allowance for civilians in times of war or dearth" (by 1917).

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A.D. 
1570s, an abbreviation of Latin Anno Domini "Year of the Lord." This system of counting years was put forth by Dionysius Exiguus in 527 or 533 C.E., but used at first only for Church business. Introduced in Italy in 7c., France (partially) in 8c. In England, first found in a charter of 680 C.E. Ordained for all ecclesiastical documents in England by the Council of Chelsea, July 27, 816.

The resistance to it might have come in part because Dionysius chose 754 A.U.C. as the birth year of Jesus, while many early Christians would have thought it was 750 A.U.C. (See John J. Bond, "Handy-Book of Rules and Tables for Verifying Dates With the Christian Era," 4th ed., London: George Bell & Sons, 1889.) There is a use of simple a for anno domini in an English document from c. 1400; A.C., for Anno Christi, also was common 17c.
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ready (adj.)

Middle English redi, with adjectival suffix -i (as in busy, crafty, hungry, etc.) + Old English ræde, geræde "prepared, ready, suitably equipped;" of a horse, "ready for riding."

This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *(ga)raitha- "arranged" (source also of Old Frisian rede "ready," Middle Dutch gereit, Old High German reiti, Middle High German bereite, German bereit, Old Norse greiðr "ready, plain," Gothic garaiþs "ordered, arranged"), which is perhaps from PIE root *reidh- "to ride" (see ride (v.)).

Lengthened in Middle English by change of ending. Sense of "at hand, present, available" is late 12c. Of money, "immediately available," c. 1300, hence slang noun the ready "cash" (1680s). Phrase at the ready "in the position of a soldier's firearm after the command '(make) ready!'" is attested from 1837. As an adverb, c. 1300, "at hand." A ready-reckoner (1757) was a book of tabulated calculations of the sort used in ordinary business and housekeeping.

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beautician (n.)

first recorded 1924, American English (Mencken found it in the Cleveland, Ohio, telephone directory), from beauty + ending as in technician. Beauty salon is from 1912, a substitution for prosaic beauty shop (1898). Beauty parlor is from 1894.

The sudden death of a young woman a little over a week ago in a down-town "beauty parlor" has served to direct public attention to those institutions and their methods. In this case, it seems, the operator painted on or injected into the patron's facial blemish a 4-per-cent cocaine solution and then applied an electrode, the sponge of which was saturated with carbolized water. [The Western Druggist, October 1894]
Back in 1917, according to Frances Fisher Dubuc, only two persons in the beauty culture business had paid an income tax; by 1927 there were 18,000 firms and individuals in this field listed as income-tax payers. The "beautician" had arrived. [Frederick Lewis Allen, "Only Yesterday," 1931]
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muck-raker (n.)

also muckraker, c. 1600, "one who rakes muck" (earliest use is in a figurative sense: "a miser"), from muck-rake "rake for scraping muck or filth" (mid-14c.), from muck (n.) + rake (n.). The figurative meaning "one who inquires into and publishes scandal and allegations of corruption among political and business leaders" was popularized 1906 in speech by President Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to the "man ... with a Muckrake in his hand" in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" (1684) who seeks worldly gain by raking filth.

The men with the muck-rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society, but only if they know when to stop raking the muck. [T. Roosevelt, quoted in "Cincinnati Enquirer," April 15, 1906.]

Muck-rake (n.) in sense "person who hunts scandal" is attested from 1872. To muck-rake (v.) in the literal sense is from 1879; figuratively from 1910. Related: Muck-raking.

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mantua (n.)

loose gown opening in front worn by women 17c.-18c. (also the name of a type of loose cloak worn by women c. 1850), 1670s, a corruption of French manteau "cloak, mantle," from Old French mantel (see mantle); form influenced in English by Mantua, name of the city in Italy. Mantua-maker (1690s) became by mid-18c. the general term for "dressmaker."

[The mantua-maker's] business is to make Night-Gowns, Mantuas, and Petticoats, Rob de Chambres, &c for the Ladies. She is Sister to the Taylor, and like him, must be a perfect Connoisieur in Dress and Fashions; and like the Stay-Maker, she must keep the Secrets she is entrusted with, as much as a woman can .... She must learn to flatter all Complexions, praise all Shapes, and, in a word, ought to be compleat Mistress of the Art of Dissimulation. It requires a vast Stock of Patience to bear the Tempers of most of their Customers, and no small Share of Ingenuity to execute their innumerable Whims. [R. Campbell, "The London Tradesman," 1747]
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