late Old English (replacing Old English fers, an early West Germanic borrowing directly from Latin), "line or section of a psalm or canticle," later "line of poetry" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French and Old French vers "line of verse; rhyme, song," from Latin versus "a line, row, line of verse, line of writing," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend." The metaphor is of plowing, of "turning" from one line to another (vertere = "to turn") as a plowman does.
The English New Testament first was divided fully into verses in the Geneva version (1550s). Meaning "metrical composition" is recorded from c. 1300; as the non-repeating part of a modern song (between repetitions of the chorus) by 1918.
The Negroes say that in form their old songs usually consist in what they call "Chorus and Verses." The "chorus," a melodic refrain sung by all, opens the song; then follows a verse sung as a solo, in free recitative; the chorus is repeated; then another verse; chorus again;—and so on until the chorus, sung for the last time, ends the song. [Natalie Curtis-Burlin, "Negro Folk-Songs," 1918]
late 14c., cressaunt, "crescent-shaped ornament," from Anglo-French cressaunt, from Old French creissant, croisant "crescent of the moon" (12c., Modern French croissant), from Latin crescentum (nominative crescens), present participle of crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell, increase in numbers or strength," from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow."
Applied in Latin to the waxing moon, luna crescens, but subsequently in Latin mistaken to refer to the shape, not the stage. The original Latin sense is preserved in crescendo.
Meaning "moon's shape in its first or last quarter" is from mid-15c. in English. Meaning "small roll of bread made in the form of a crescent" is from 1886. Adjectival sense of "shaped like the crescent moon" is from c. 1600 (earlier it meant "increasing, growing," 1570s).
A badge or emblem of the Turkish sultans (probably chosen for its suggestion of "increase"); figurative sense of "Muslim political power" is from 1580s, but modern writers often falsely associate it with the Saracens of the Crusades or the Moors of Spain. Horns of the waxing moon are on the viewer's left side; those of the waning moon are on his right.
"next in order after the third; an ordinal numeral; being one of four equal parts into which a whole is regarded as divided;" mid-15c., alteration (by influence of four), of ferthe, from Old English feorða "fourth," from Proto-Germanic *feurthan (source also of Old Saxon fiortho, Old Norse fiorðe, Dutch vierde, Old High German fiordo, German vierte); see four + -th (1). As a noun from 1590s, both of fractions and in music.
Among the old Quakers, who rejected the pagan weekday names, fourth day was Wednesday, often a secondary day of meeting for worship. Fourth-dimension attested from 1844. The theatrical fourth wall is from 1807. The celebration of the Fourth of July as the epoch of American independence is attested from 1777.
That there is due to Daniel Smith, of the city tavern, for his bill of expences of Congress, on the 4 of July last, including a balance of an old account, the sum of 729 68/90 dollars; also a bill for materials, workmanship, &c furnished for the fire works on the 4 July, the sum of 102 69/90 dollars .... [Auditor General's report, Aug. 8, 1777, Journals of Congress, vol. VII]
"narrow track worn or cut in the ground," as by a passing wheeled vehicle, 1570s, probably from Middle English route "way, a road, space for passage" (see route (n.)); though OED finds this "improbable." If so, it is a doublet of route.
Of the lines on the face by 1620s. The figurative meaning "narrow, monotonous routine; habitual mode of behavior or procedure" is attested by 1839 (Carlyle); earlier figurative use was as an obstacle to rapid transit (1705).
Enter an OLD LADY.
[Bosola] You come from painting now.
Old Lady. From what?
Bos. Why, from your scurvy face-physic.
To behold thee not painted, inclines somewhat near
A miracle: these in thy face here, were deep ruts,
And foul sloughs, the last progress.
There was a lady in France, that having the small-pox,
Flay'd the skin off her face, to make it more level;
And whereas before she looked like a nutmeg-grater,
After she resembled an abortive hedgehog.
[Webster, "The Duchess of Malfi"]
The verb meaning "mark with or as with ruts" is by c. 1600. Related: Rutted; rutting.
"each, considered indefinitely as a unitary part of an aggregate; all, of a collective or aggregate number, taken one by one;" early 13c., contraction of Old English æfre ælc "each of a group," literally "ever each" (Chaucer's everich), from each with ever added before it for emphasis. The word still is felt to want emphasis; as in Modern English every last ..., every single ..., etc.
Also a pronoun to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, "each of any number of persons or things; every one." Compare everybody, everything, etc. The word everywhen is attested from 1843 but never caught on; neither did everyhow (1837).
Every now and then "repeatedly, at short intervals" is from 1660s. Every once in a while, U.S. colloquial, "now and then, from time to time," is attested from 1814 (Bartlett calls it "A singular though very common expression"). Slang phrase every Tom, Dick, and Harry "every man, everyone" dates from at least 1723, from the common English given names.
That is to ſay, they affirm, that once upon a Time (tho' they never yet could tell when) all Mankind were upon a Level, and that there was no ſuch Thing as Government in the World; and that Tom, Dick, and Harry, ay, every individual Man, Woman, and Child, had a Right to the whole World. [Charles Leslie, "A Short and Eaſie Method with the Deists," London, 1723]
late 14c., (late late 13c. in surnames and place names), cobelere "one who mends shoes," of uncertain origin. It and cobble (v.) "evidently go together etymologically" [OED], but the historical record presents some difficulties. "The cobbler should stick to his last" (ne sutor ultra crepidam) is from the anecdote of Greek painter Apelles.
On one occasion a cobbler noticed a fault in the painting of a shoe, and remarking upon it to a person standing by, passed on. As soon as the man was out of sight Apelles came from his hiding-place, examined the painting, found that the cobbler's criticism was just, and at once corrected the error. ... The cobbler came by again and soon discovered that the fault he had pointed out had been remedied; and, emboldened by the success of his criticism, began to express his opinion pretty freely about the painting of the leg! This was too much for the patience of the artist, who rushed from his hiding place and told the cobbler to stick to his shoes. [William Edward Winks, "Lives of Illustrious Shoemakers," London, 1883]
[The tale is variously told, and the quote is variously reported: Pliny ("Natural History" XXXV.x.36) has ne supra crepidam judicaret, while Valerius Maximus (VIII.xiii.3) gives supra plantam ascendere vetuit. The version cited here confessedly is for the sake of the book name]
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.
Old English æt, from Proto-Germanic *at (source also of Old Norse, Gothic at, Old Frisian et, Old High German az), from PIE root *ad- "to, near, at." Lost in German and Dutch, which use their equivalent of to; in Scandinavian, however, to has been lost and at fills its place.
At is used to denote relations of so many kinds, and some of these so remote from its primary local sense, that a classification of its uses is very difficult. [OED]
In choosing between at church, in church, etc. at is properly distinguished from in or on by involving some practical connection; a worshipper is at church; a tourist is in the church. In 19c. it was used for points of the compass as regions of a country (at the South) where later tendency was to use in.
The colloquial use of at after where (as in where it's at) is noted in Bartlett (1859). At last is recorded from late 13c.; adverbial phrase at least was in use by 1775. At in Middle English was used freely with prepositions (as in at after, which is in Shakespeare), but this has faded with the exception of at about.
cited as a typical authority on card or board games, by 1755, a reference to Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), author of several works on card-playing. The surname, according to Bardsley, represents a Northern English dialectal pronunciation of hole. "In Yorks and Lancashire hole is still dialectically hoyle. Any one who lived in a round hollow or pit would be Thomas or Ralph in the Hoyle." ["Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," London, 1901]
To the making of rule-books there is no end, and books on card games are no exception to the rule. Many claim to be the last word in 'Official Rules', and to this end disguise themselves under the name of HOYLE as an earnest of proof and authority. It may therefore be rather surprising to learn that Hoyle died over 200 years ago, and positively disconcerting find that most card games do not actually have official rules. What's more, the original Hoyle, an eighteenth-century Whist tutor, only described some half-dozen card games, and in not a single instance did he write any rules explaining how the game is played. [David Parlett, "A History of Card Games," 1991]
The phrase sixty-four dollar question "crucial question, most difficult question" is attested in general use from 1942, from the popular radio quiz show "Take It or Leave It" (debuted 1940), in which contestants answered questions of ascending difficulty and with ascending prizes for right answers, from $1 for the first to $64 for the seventh and last, and the option to take the winnings or take the next question. The show renamed itself "The $64 Question" in 1950. The amount of money offered advanced over time, and by 1955 it was "The $64,000 Question."
Baggy-browed Phil Baker took the $64 Question to Hollywood this week. As custodian of the renowned question—now so much a part of the national idiom that even $64 prose stylists avoid using it—and quizmaster of one of U.S. radio's most popular shows, Take It or Leave It (CBS, Sun., 10 p.m., E.W.T.), Phil Baker was ready to put both on celluloid. But there would be one slight variation: to suit Hollywood's philosophy, the $64 Question would become the $640 Question. [Time, March 6, 1944].