"large marsupial mammal of Australia," 1770, used by Capt. Cook and botanist Joseph Banks (who first reported the species to Europeans), supposedly representing a native word from northeast Queensland, Australia, but often said to be unknown now in any native language. However, according to Australian linguist R.M.W. Dixon ("The Languages of Australia," Cambridge, 1980), the word probably is from Guugu Yimidhirr (Endeavour River-area Aborigine language) /gaNurru/ "large black kangaroo."
In 1898 the pioneer ethnologist W.E. Roth wrote a letter to the Australasian pointing out that gang-oo-roo did mean 'kangaroo' in Guugu Yimidhirr, but this newspaper correspondence went unnoticed by lexicographers. Finally the observations of Cook and Roth were confirmed when in 1972 the anthropologist John Haviland began intensive study of Guugu Yimidhirr and again recorded /gaNurru/. [Dixon]
Kangaroo court is American English, first recorded 1850 in a Southwestern context (also mustang court), from notion of proceeding by leaps.
early 15c., reprisail, "the seizing of property or citizens of another nation in equivalent retaliation for loss inflicted on one's own," from Anglo-French reprisaille (mid-14c.), Old French reprisaille (Modern French représaille), from early Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere "to take back," from Latin reprendere, earlier reprehendere "to seize, restrain," literally "pull back, hold back" (see reprehend).
First in letters of mark and reprisal, the official warrant authorizing it. The general sense of "act of retaliation" is from 1710.
Reprisals differ from retorsion in this, that the essence of the former consists in seizing the property of another nation by way of security, until it shall have listened to the just reclamations of the offended party, while retorsion includes all kinds of measures which do an injury to another, similar and equivalent to that which we have experienced from him. Embargo, therefore, is a species of reprisals. [Theodore Dwight Woolsey, "Introduction to the Study of International Law," Boston: 1860]
"the science of the inward and essential nature of things," 1560s, plural of Middle English metaphisik, methaphesik (late 14c.), "branch of speculation which deals with the first causes of things," from Medieval Latin metaphysica, neuter plural of Medieval Greek (ta) metaphysika, from Greek ta meta ta physika "the (works) after the Physics," title of the 13 treatises which traditionally were arranged after those on physics and natural sciences in Aristotle's writings. See meta- + physics.
The name was given c.70 B.C.E. by Andronicus of Rhodes, and was a reference to the customary ordering of the books, but it was misinterpreted by Latin writers as meaning "the science of what is beyond the physical." The word originally was used in English in the singular; the plural form predominated after 17c., but singular made a comeback late 19c. in certain usages under German influence. From 17c. also sometimes "philosophy in general," especially "the philosophical study of the mind, psychology."
1540s, "secret storehouse, treasure chamber; case for valuables," from French cabinet "small room" (16c.), diminutive of Old French cabane "cabin" (see cabin); perhaps influenced by (or rather, from) Italian gabbinetto, diminutive of gabbia, from Latin cavea "stall, stoop, cage, den for animals" (see cave (n.)).
Meaning "case for safe-keeping" (of papers, liquor, etc.) is from 1540s, gradually shading to mean a piece of furniture that does this. Sense of "private room where advisers meet" (c. 1600) led to modern political meaning "an executive council" (1640s); perhaps originally short for cabinet council (1620s); compare board (n.1) in its evolution from place where some group meets to the word for the group that meets there. From 1670s also "building or part of a building set aside for the conservation and study of natural specimens, art, antiquities, etc."
late 13c., "younger, not as old as another," from Latin iunior "younger, more young," comparative of iuvenis "young; a young man," etymologically "one who possesses vital force" (from PIE root *yeu- "vital force, youthful vigor;" see young (adj.)).
Used after a person's name to mean "the younger of two" from late 13c. Abbreviation Jr. is attested from 1620s. Meaning "of lesser standing, more recent" is from 1766. That of "meant for younger people, of smaller size" is from 1860. Junior miss "young teenage girl" is from 1907. In U.S. colleges, "pertaining to the third-year." Junior college is attested by 1896; junior high school is from 1909.
The junior high school is rapidly becoming the people's high school. The percentage of pupils completing the ninth year is constantly rising where junior high schools have been established. [Anne Laura McGregor, "Supervised Study in English for Junior High School Grades," New York, 1921]
1540s, "belief, faith," from French crédit (15c.) "belief, trust," from Italian credito, from Latin creditum "a loan, thing entrusted to another," neuter past participle of credere "to trust, entrust, believe" (see credo).
The commercial sense of "confidence in the ability and intention of a purchaser or borrower to make payment at some future time" was in English by 1570s (creditor is mid-15c.); hence "sum placed at a person's disposal" by a bank, etc., 1660s. From 1580s as "one who or that which brings honor or reputation to." Meaning "honor, acknowledgment of merit," is from c. 1600.
Academic sense of "point awarded for completing a course of study" is by 1904 (short for hour of credit (1892), given for satisfactory completion of one lecture, etc., a week, usually one hour in length). Movie/broadcasting sense "acknowledgement and naming of the individual contributors" (in plural, credits) is by 1914.
Credit rating is from 1958; credit union "cooperative banking society" is 1881, American English.
OED points out that "the context shows that [Aschenwall] did not regard the term as novel," but current use of it seems to trace to him. Sir John Sinclair is credited with introducing it in English use. Meaning "numerical data collected and classified" is from 1829; hence the study of any subject by means of extensive enumeration. Abbreviated form stats first recorded 1961.
*gnō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to know."
It forms all or part of: acknowledge; acquaint; agnostic; anagnorisis; astrognosy; can (v.1) "have power to, be able;" cognition; cognizance; con (n.2) "study;" connoisseur; could; couth; cunning; diagnosis; ennoble; gnome; (n.2) "short, pithy statement of general truth;" gnomic; gnomon; gnosis; gnostic; Gnostic; ignoble; ignorant; ignore; incognito; ken (n.1) "cognizance, intellectual view;" kenning; kith; know; knowledge; narrate; narration; nobility; noble; notice; notify; notion; notorious; physiognomy; prognosis; quaint; recognize; reconnaissance; reconnoiter; uncouth; Zend.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit jna- "know;" Avestan zainti- "knowledge," Old Persian xšnasatiy "he shall know;" Old Church Slavonic znati "recognizes," Russian znat "to know;" Latin gnoscere "get to know," nobilis "known, famous, noble;" Greek gignōskein "to know," gnōtos "known," gnōsis "knowledge, inquiry;" Old Irish gnath "known;" German kennen "to know," Gothic kannjan "to make known."
c. 1200, "a mother," also "a woman of rank or high social position; superior of a convent," and an address for a woman of rank or position, used respectfully to other ladies, from Old French dame "lady, mistress, wife," from Late Latin domna, from Latin domina "lady, mistress of the house," from Latin domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
From early 14c. as "a woman" in general, particularly a mature or married woman or the mistress of a household. Used in Middle English with personifications (Study, Avarice, Fortune, Richesse, Nature, Misericordie). In later use the legal title for the wife of a knight or baronet.
Slang sense of "woman" in the broadest sense, without regard to rank or anything else, is attested by 1902 in American English.
We got sunlight on the sand
We got moonlight on the sea
We got mangoes and bananas
You can pick right off the tree
We got volleyball and ping-pong
And a lot of dandy games!
What ain't we got?
We ain't got dames!
[Richard Rodgers, "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame," 1949]
Old English findan "come upon, meet with; discover; obtain by search or study" (class III strong verb; past tense fand, past participle funden), from Proto-Germanic *findan "to come upon, discover" (source also of Old Saxon findan, Old Frisian finda, Old Norse finna, Middle Dutch vinden, Old High German findan, German finden, Gothic finþan), originally "to come upon."
The Germanic word is from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go" (source also of Old High German fendeo "pedestrian;" Sanskrit panthah "path, way;" Avestan panta "way;" Greek pontos "open sea," patein "to tread, walk;" Latin pons (genitive pontis) "bridge;" Old Church Slavonic pǫti "path," pęta "heel;" Russian put' "path, way;" Armenian hun "ford," Old Prussian pintis "road"). The prehistoric sense development in Germanic would be from "to go" to "to find (out)," but Boutkan has serious doubts about this.
Germanic *-th- in English tends to become -d- after -n-. The change in the Germanic initial consonant is from Grimm's Law. To find out "to discover by scrutiny" is from 1550s (Middle English had a verb, outfinden, "to find out," c. 1300).