also *skeu- Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to see, observe, perceive."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kavih "wise, sage; seer, poet;" Avestan kauui- "seer, poet, wise man;" Middle Iranian škoh "splendor, majesty;" Latin cautio "care, foresight," cautus "careful, heedful," cavere "beware, take heed;" Greek kydos "glory, fame;" Lithuanian kavoti "tend, safeguard;" Armenian cucanem "I show;" Old Church Slavonic čudo "wonder;" Czech (z)koumati "to perceive, be aware of;" Serbian čuvati "watch, heed;" Old English sceawian "to look at," Middle Dutch schoon "beautiful, bright," properly "showy," Old High German scouwon "to watch."
Old English is "ice, piece of ice" (also the name of the Anglo-Saxon rune for -i-), from Proto-Germanic *is- "ice" (source also of Old Norse iss, Old Frisian is, Dutch ijs, German Eis), of uncertain origin; possible relatives are Avestan aexa- "frost, ice," isu- "frosty, icy;" Afghan asai "frost." Slang meaning "diamonds" is attested from 1906.
Modern spelling begins to appear 15c. and makes the word look French. On ice "kept out of the way until wanted" is from 1890. Thin ice in the figurative sense is from 1884. To break the ice "to make the first opening to any attempt" is from 1580s, metaphoric of making passages for boats by breaking up river ice though in modern use it usually has implications of "cold reserve." Ice-fishing is from 1869; ice-scraper is from 1789 in cookery.
Middle English melten, from Old English meltan (intransitive) "become liquid through heat" (class III strong verb; past tense mealt, past participle molten), from Proto-Germanic *meltanan; fused with Old English gemæltan (Anglian), gemyltan (West Saxon) "make liquid, reduce from a solid to a fluid state by means of heat" (transitive), from Proto-Germanic *gamaltijan (source also of Old Norse melta "to digest").
Both Germanic words are from PIE *meldh- (source also of Sanskrit mrduh "soft, mild," Greek meldein "to melt, make liquid," Latin mollis "soft, mild"), from root *mel- (1) "soft." Also in Middle English "dissolve" (of salt, sugar, etc.), "corrode" (of iron), "putrefy" (of flesh). Meaning "pass imperceptibly from one thing into another" is by 1781. Related: Melted; melting.
Figurative use "to diminish, wane; be touched, grow tender" is by c. 1200; transitive sense of "soften" (to love, pity, tenderness) is by early 14c. Of food, to melt in (one's) mouth is from 1690s. Melting point "degree of temperature at which a solid body melts" is by 1807. Melting pot is from early 15c.; figurative use from 1855; popularized with reference to immigrant assimilation in the United States by the play "The Melting Pot" by Israel Zangwill (1908):
DAVID Yes, East and West, and North and South, the palm and the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross—how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purging flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man and the Kingdom of God. Ah, Vera, What is the glory of Rome and Jerusalem where all nations and races come to worship and look back, compared with the glory of America where all races and nations come to labour and look forward!
late 14c., "to fix the mind upon for careful examination, meditate upon," also "view attentively, scrutinize; not to be negligent of," from Old French considerer (13c.) "reflect on, consider, study," from Latin considerare "to look at closely, observe," probably literally "to observe the stars," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + sidus (genitive sideris) "heavenly body, star, constellation" (see sidereal).
Perhaps a metaphor from navigation, but more likely reflecting Roman obsession with divination by astrology. Tucker doubts the connection with sidus, however, because it is "quite inapplicable to desiderare," and suggests derivation instead from the PIE root of English side meaning "stretch, extend," and a sense for the full word of "survey on all sides" or "dwell long upon."
From 1530s as "to regard in a particular light." Related: Considered; considering.
of unknown origin; OED and Barnhart give earliest date as 1925, but the "Dictionary of American Slang" gives a first reference of 1874 (but without citation and I can't find it), which, if correct, would rule out the usual theory that it is from the proper name of T.W. Earp, a student at Oxford c. 1911, who kindled wrath "in the hearts of the rugger-playing stalwarts at Oxford, when he was president of the Union, by being the last, most charming, and wittiest of the 'decadents.' " [Rawson]
"Mean to say you never heard of Sinzy? Why, he's one of the greatest characters in this town. He's a terrible twerp to look at — got a face like bad news from home, but I guess he's the best jazz piano player in the world." [Julian Street, "Cross-Sections," 1923]
"There are three words in the English language that end in -gry. Two of them are angry and hungry. What is the third?" There is no third (except some extremely obscure ones). Richard Lederer calls this "one of the most outrageous and time-wasting linguistic hoaxes in our nation's history" and traces it to a New York TV quiz show from early 1975.
c. 2000, professional wrestling slang for one whose main purpose is to make the better-known wrestlers of the organization look good; he or she does this by losing to them. More commonly known as a jobber, in a specialized sense of that word (though some enthusiasts claim there is a difference), and perhaps a mock-Italianized form of that word (but compare jaboney "naive person; immigrant; hoodlum," a word of unknown origin, in American English use c. 1990).
Jobber — A performer who regularly loses on television and doesn't receive much if any push. A comparable term for such a performer is jabroni, which is a favorite catch-phrase of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. To soften the blow of such labels, some wrestling promotions refer to jobbers as enhancement talent. Carpenter was the phrase used by earlier generations. ["The Professional Wrestlers' Instructional and Workout Guide," 2005]
mid-15c., "the weighting of a fishing line," verbal noun from plumb (v.). In early Modern English "the art of casting and working in lead." Specific meaning "water and drainage pipes and other apparatus used for conveying water through a building" is recorded by 1875, American English.
THE apparatus by which the water from a reservoir is carried about over a building and delivered at points convenient for use, is called by the general name of plumbing. The word "plumbing" means lead-work; and it is used to signify this water apparatus of a house because the pipes of which it largely consists are usually made of lead. [Edward Abbott, "Long Look House: A Book for Boys and Girls," Boston, 1877]
Alternative plumbery for "lead-work" (also "a building in which lead-work is done") also is mid-15c. The slang meaning "a person's reproductive organs" is attested by 1975.
Among words for this concept, ugly is unusual in being formed from a root for "fear, dread." More common is a compound meaning "ill-shaped" (such as Greek dyseides, Latin deformis, Irish dochrud, Sanskrit ku-rupa). Another Germanic group has a root sense of "hate, sorrow" (see loath). Ugly duckling (1877) is from the story by Hans Christian Andersen, first translated from Danish to English 1846. Ugly American "U.S. citizen who behaves offensively abroad" is first recorded 1958 as a book title.
mid-13c., honuren, "to do honor to, show respect to," from Old French onorer, honorer "respect, esteem, revere; welcome; present" (someone with something), from Latin honorare "to honor," from honor "honor, dignity, office, reputation" (see honor (n.)). From c. 1300 as "confer honors on." From c. 1300 as "to respect, follow" (teachings, etc.). In the commercial sense of "accept a bill due, etc.," it is recorded from 1706, via the notion of "perform a duty of respect toward." Related: Honored; honoring.
A custom more honoured in the breach than the observance. Whoever will look up the passage (Hamlet I. iv. 16) will see that it means, beyond a doubt, a custom that one deserves more honour for breaking than for keeping: but it is often quoted in the wrong & very different sense of a dead letter or rule more often broken than kept. [Fowler]