Etymology
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gain (n.)

c. 1200, gein, "advantage, benefit; help," c. 1300, "reward, profit, that which has been acquired" (possessions, resources, wealth), from Old French gain, gaaigne "gain, profit, advantage; work, business; booty; arable land" (12c.), from Germanic, and from Old Norse (see gain (v.)). Meaning "any incremental increase" (in weight, etc.) is by 1851. Related: Gains. The French word enfolded the notions of "profit from agriculture" and "booty, prey."

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*ker- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grow."

It forms all or part of: accretion; accrue; cereal; Ceres; concrete; create; creation; creature; Creole; crescendo; crescent; crew (n.) "group of soldiers;" croissant; cru; decrease; Dioscuri; excrescence; excrescent; griot; increase; Kore; procerity; procreate; procreation; recreate; recreation; recruit; sincere.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek kouros "boy," korē "girl;" Latin crescere "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell," Ceres, goddess of agriculture, creare "to bring forth, create, produce;" Armenian serem "bring forth," serim "be born."

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pullet (n.)

late 14c., polet, "young fowl" (late 13c. as a surname), from Anglo-French pullet, Old French poulette, poilette, diminutive of poule, poille "hen," from Vulgar Latin *pulla, fem. of Latin pullus "young animal," especially "young fowl" (source also of Spanish pollo "chicken," Italian pollo "fowl;" from PIE root *pau- (1) "few, little." Compare pony.

A cockerel is a male bird under one year old, a cock over one year old. A hen is a female over one year old and a pullet under one year old. [U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Practical Poultry Production," 1920]
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hurdle (n.)
Old English hyrdel "frame of intertwined twigs used as a temporary barrier," diminutive of hyrd "door," from Proto-Germanic *hurdiz "wickerwork frame, hurdle" (source also of Old Saxon hurth "plaiting, netting," Dutch horde "wickerwork," German Hürde "hurdle, fold, pen;" Old Norse hurð, Gothic haurds "door"), from PIE *krtis (source also of Latin cratis "hurdle, wickerwork," Greek kartalos "a kind of basket," kyrtos "fishing creel"), from root *kert- "to weave, twist together" (source also of Sanskrit krt "to spin").

Used as temporary fencing in agriculture. Sense of "barrier to jump in a race" is by 1822 (hurdle-race also is from 1822); hurdles as a type of race (originally horse race) with hurdles as obstacles is attested by 1836. Figurative sense of "obstacle" is 1924.
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durum (n.)

species of hard wheat especially used in making macaroni, by 1904, from Latin durum, neuter of durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." The seeds are tough. It was introduced in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture in 1899 from Russia and 1900 from North Africa.

Previous to 1901 this wheat could not usually be sold at the elevators or mills at any price and was rarely grown—in small quantities only, for stock feed. Since its commercial value has been demonstrated the production has increased from 100,000 bushels, the largest estimate in 1901, to at least 6,000,000 bushels in 1903—an increase of sixtyfold in two years. [Flour Trade News, November 1904]
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cultural (adj.)

1813, "of or pertaining to the raising of plants or animals," from Latin cultura "tillage, a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate" (see colony). With -al (1). Figurative senses of "relating to civilizations," also "the cultivation of the mind," are attested by 1875; hence, "relating to the culture of a particular place at a particular time" (by 1909).

Cultural anthropology is attested by 1910, and cultural has been a fertile starter-word among anthropologists and sociologists, for example cultural diffusion, in use by 1912; cultural diversity, by 1935; cultural imperialism, by 1937; cultural pluralism, by 1932; cultural relativism, by 1948. China's Cultural Revolution (1966) began in 1965; the name is a shortened translation of Chinese Wuchan Jieji Wenhua Da Geming "Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution." 

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culture (n.)
Origin and meaning of culture

mid-15c., "the tilling of land, act of preparing the earth for crops," from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate" (see colony). Meaning "the cultivation or rearing of a crop, act of promoting growth in plants" (1620s) was transferred to fish, oysters, etc., by 1796, then to "production of bacteria or other microorganisms in a suitable environment" (1880), then "product of such a culture" (1884).

The figurative sense of "cultivation through education, systematic improvement and refinement of the mind" is attested by c. 1500; Century Dictionary writes that it was, "Not common before the nineteenth century, except with strong consciousness of the metaphor involved, though used in Latin by Cicero." Meaning "learning and taste, the intellectual side of civilization" is by 1805; the closely related sense of "collective customs and achievements of a people, a particular form of collective intellectual development" is by 1867.

For without culture or holiness, which are always the gift of a very few, a man may renounce wealth or any other external thing, but he cannot renounce hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge. Culture is the sanctity of the intellect. [William Butler Yeats, journal, 7 March, 1909]

Slang culture vulture "one voracious for culture" is from 1947. Culture shock "disorientation experienced when a person moves to a different cultural environment or an unfamiliar way of life" is attested by 1940. Ironic or contemptuous spelling kulchur is attested from 1940 (Pound), and compare kultur.

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boll (n.)

Old English bolla "bowl, cup, pot, round vessel for containing liquids," merged with Middle Dutch bolle "round object," borrowed 13c., both from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell." Influenced in meaning by Latin bulla "bubble, ball." Extended c. 1500 to "round seed pod of flax or cotton." Boll weevil, which damages cotton bolls, is so called from 1895, American English.

In south Texas, among Spanish-speaking people, the insect is generally known as the 'picudo,' a descriptive name which refers to the snout or beak of the insect. English-speaking planters generally referred to the insect at first as 'the sharpshooter,' a term which for many years has been applied to any insect which causes through its punctures the shedding of the squares or the rotting of the bolls. As there are several native insects that are commonly called sharpshooters and which, though injurious, are by no means to be compared with this insect, it becomes necessary to discourage in every way the use of the word sharpshooter as applied to this weevil. The adoption of the term 'Mexican cotton-boll weevil' for the new pest is recommended. [New Mexico College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 19, April 1896]

A case of entomology meddling in etymology.

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dwarf (n.)

Old English dweorh, dweorg (West Saxon), duerg (Mercian), "very short human being, person much below ordinary stature, whether of proportionate parts or not," also "supernatural being of subhuman size," from Proto-Germanic *dweraz (source also of Old Frisian dwerch, Old Saxon dwerg, Old High German twerg, German Zwerg, Old Norse dvergr), perhaps from PIE *dhwergwhos "something tiny," but with no established cognates outside Germanic.

Also used by c. 1200 of an animal or plant much below the ordinary size of its species." The use of dwarf in the Germanic mythological sense, "a diminished and generally deformed being, dwelling in rocks and hills and skilled in working metals," seems to have faded after Middle English and been revived after c. 1770 from German.

Whilst in this and other ways the dwarfs do at times have dealings with mankind, yet on the whole they seem to shrink from man; they give the impression of a downtrodden afflicted race, which is on the point of abandoning its ancient home to new and more powerful invaders. There is stamped on their character something shy and something heathenish, which estranges them from intercourse with christians. They chafe at human faithlessness, which no doubt would primarily mean the apostacy from heathenism. In the poems of the Mid. Ages, Laurin is expressly set before us as a heathen. It goes sorely against the dwarfs to see churches built, bell-ringing ... disturbs their ancient privacy; they also hate the clearing of forests, agriculture, new fangled pounding-machinery for ore. ["Teutonic Mythology," Jakob Grimm, transl. Stallybrass, 1883]

The shift of the Old English guttural at the end of the word to modern -f is typical (compare enough, draft) and begins to appear early 14c. In Middle English it also was dwerþ, dwerke. Old English plural dweorgas became Middle English dwarrows, later leveled down to dwarfs. The use of dwarves for the legendary race was popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien. As an adjective, from 1590s.

The use of giant and dwarf in reference to stars of the highest and lowest luminosity is attested by 1914, said to have been suggested by Danish astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung, (1873-1967); hence red dwarf (attested by 1922), white dwarf, black dwarf "dead and lightless star" (1966).

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