"1 more than nine, twice five; the number which is one more than nine; a symbol representing this number;" Old English ten (Mercian), tien (West Saxon), adjective and noun, from Proto-Germanic *tehun (source also of Old Saxon tehan, Old Norse tiu, Danish ti, Old Frisian tian, Old Dutch ten, Dutch tien, Old High German zehan, German zehn, Gothic taihun "ten"), from PIE root *dekm- "ten."
Meaning "ten o'clock" is from 1712. Tenner "ten-pound note" is slang first recorded 1861; as "ten-dollar bill," 1887 (ten-spot in this sense dates from 1848). The Texan's exaggerated ten-gallon hat is from 1919. The ten-foot pole that you wouldn't touch something with (1909) was originally a 40-foot pole; the notion is of keeping one's distance, as in the advice to use a long spoon when you dine with the devil.
From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away. [Raymond Chandler, "The High Window," 1942]
Ten-four "I understand, message received," is attested in popular jargon from 1962, from citizens band and emergency dispatch radio 10-code (in use in U.S. by 1950).
"ten-dollar bill or note," also saw-buck, American English slang, 1850 (implied in double-sawbuck), so called from the resemblance of X (the Roman numeral 10, prominent in the design of many mid-19c. U.S. bank notes) to the ends of a sawhorse. Sawbuck in the sense of "sawhorse" is attested by 1837 (see saw (n.1) + buck (n.3)).
At the foot of the flag staff four saplings were erected, somewhat after the form of the two ends of a "saw-buck," and not very unlike the characters that denote the value of a ten dollar bill .... [Maumee Express, Maumee City, Ohio, Oct. 21, 1837]
"the purloining or wrongful appropriation of another's ideas, writing, artistic designs, etc., and giving them forth as one's own," 1620s, from -ism + plagiary (n.) "plagiarist, literary thief" (c. 1600), from Latin plagiarius "kidnapper, seducer, plunderer, one who kidnaps the child or slave of another," used by Martial in the sense of "literary thief," from plagiare "to kidnap," plagium "kidnapping," from plaga "snare, hunting net" (also "open expanse, territory"), which is perhaps from PIE *plag- (on notion of "something extended"), variant form of root *plak- (1) "to be flat." De Vaan tentatively compares Greek plagia "sides, flanks," Old High German flah "flat," Old Saxon flaka "sole of the foot."
"smoked herring" early 15c. (they turn red when cured), as opposed to white herring "fresh herring." Supposedly used by fugitives to put bloodhounds off their scent (1680s), hence metaphoric sense (1864) of "something used to divert attention from the basic issue;" earlier it simply meant "a false lead":
Though I have not the honour of being one of those sagacious country gentlemen, who have so long vociferated for the American war, who have so long run on the red-herring scent of American taxation before they found out there was no game on foot; (etc.) [Parliamentary speech dated March 20, 1782, reprinted in "Beauties of the British Senate," London, 1786]
1520s, "footman, running footman, valet," from French laquais "foot soldier, footman, servant" (15c.), a word of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Provençal lacai, from lecai "glutton, covetous," from lecar "to lick." The alternative etymology is that it comes via Old French laquay, from Catalan alacay, from Arabic al-qadi "the judge." Yet another guess traces it through Spanish lacayo, from Italian lacchè, from Modern Greek oulakes, from Turkish ulak "runner, courier." This suits the original sense better, but OED says Italian lacchè is from French. Sense of "servile follower" appeared 1580s. As a political term of abuse it dates from 1939 in communist jargon.
"a small jump, a leap on one foot," c. 1500, from hop (v.). Slang sense of "informal dancing party" is from 1731 (defined by Johnson as "a place where meaner people dance"). Meaning "short flight on an aircraft" is from 1909. Hop, skip, and jump (n.) is recorded from 1760 (hop, step, and jump from 1719).
This word [hop] has always been used here as in England as a familiar term for dance; but of late years it has been employed among us in a technical sense, to denote a dance where there is less display and ceremony than at regular balls. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
early 14c., clogge "a lump of wood," origin unknown. Also used in Middle English of large pieces of jewelry and large testicles. Compare Norwegian klugu "knotty log of wood." Meaning "anything that impedes action" is from 1520s, via the notion of "block or mass constituting an encumbrance."
The sense of "wooden-soled shoe" is first recorded late 14c.; they were used as overshoes until the introduction of rubbers c. 1840. Originally all of wood (hence the name), later wooden soles with leather uppers for the front of the foot only. Later revived in fashion (c. 1970), primarily for women. Clog-dancing "dancing performed in clogs" is attested from 1863.
unit of measure, Old English eln, originally "forearm, length of the arm" (as a measure, anywhere from a foot and a half to two feet), from PIE root *el- "elbow, forearm." The exact distance varied, in part depending on whose arm was used as the base and whether it was measured from the shoulder to the fingertip or the wrist: the Scottish ell was 37.2 inches, the Flemish 27 inches. Latin ulna also was a unit of linear measure, and compare cubit. The modern English unit of 45 inches seems to have been set in Tudor times.
Whereas shee tooke an inche of liberty before, tooke an ell afterwardes [Humfrey Gifford, "A Posie of Gilloflowers," 1580].
Meaning "move along, pass over" (a path, etc.) is attested from c. 1400; that of "track down, follow the trail of" is early 15c. Meaning "copy a drawing on a transparent sheet laid over it" is recorded from 1762. Related: Traced; tracing.
also sabbaton, mid-14c., sabatoun, a type of armored foot-covering, in 15c. also the name of a shoe or half-shoe worn by persons of wealth, from Old French sabot "wooden shoe" made of one piece hollowed out by boring tools and scrapers, worn by the peasants (13c.), altered (by association with Old French bot "boot") from earlier savate "old shoe," ultimately from the same source (perhaps Persian ciabat) that also produced similar words in Old Provençal (sabato), Portuguese, Spanish (zapata), Italian (ciabatta), Arabic (sabbat), and Basque (zapata). French sabot has been borrowed directly into English from c. 1600.