Also in Middle English "a jest, prank, trick" (late 14c.); "a deception, fraud, artifice" (mid-14c.). As a verb, "to furnish with gauds," from late 14c. Related: Gauded; gauding; gaudful; gaudless.
1580s, "person skilled in politics;" see politics + -ian. Especially "one engaged in party politics, especially as a trade; one who promotes the interests of a political party," and thus it quickly took on overtones, not typically good ones: "one concerned with public affairs for the sake of profit or of a clique." Johnson defines it as "A man of artifice; one of deep contrivance."
The notion of enlightened, disinterested, and high-minded service to the state goes with statesman (Century Dictionary notes that "A man, however, would not properly be called a statesman unless he were also of eminent ability in public affairs"). For "student of political science," by way of distinction, politicist (1869) has been used.
early 15c., "the dodging movements of a hunted animal" (a sense now obsolete); 1620s as "a trick, a stratagem, an artifice," from Old French ruse, reuse "diversion, switch in flight; trick, jest" (14c.), a noun from reuser "to dodge, repel, retreat; deceive, cheat," which is from Latin recusare "make an objection against; decline, refuse, reject; be reluctant to" (see recuse; also compare rush (v.)).
It also has been proposed that the French word may be from Latin rursus "backwards," or a Vulgar Latin form of refusare. Johnson calls it, "A French word neither elegant nor necessary."
The verb ruse was in Middle English (rusen), mid-14c. as "drive (someone) back in battle," also "retreat, give ground, withdraw;" late 14c., of game animals "travel so as to elude pursuit." The noun also was used in Middle English in the sense of "roundabout course taken by a hunter in pursuit of prey."
1560s, "go this way and that in speech or action," a sense now obsolete; from 1680s as "start suddenly aside, shift suddenly," as to evade a blow;" 1704 as "to move to and fro, shift about;" origin and sense evolution obscure. Perhaps it is from or akin to Scottish and Northern English dodd "to jog" (1570s).
Transitive sense of "to evade (something) by a sudden shift of place" is by 1670s. It is attested from 1570s, and common from early 18c., in the figurative sense of "to swindle, to play shifting tricks (with)." Photography sense of "use artifice to improve a print" is by 1883. Related: Dodged; dodging.
Dodge City, Kansas, was laid out in 1872 and named for U.S. military man Richard I. Dodge, then commander of the nearby army fort. It later was notorious in Wild West lore as the home of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.
Old English weorc, worc "something done, discrete act performed by someone, action (whether voluntary or required), proceeding, business; that which is made or manufactured, products of labor," also "physical labor, toil; skilled trade, craft, or occupation; opportunity of expending labor in some useful or remunerative way;" also "military fortification," from Proto-Germanic *werka- "work" (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch werk, Old Norse verk, Middle Dutch warc, Old High German werah, German Werk, Gothic gawaurki), from PIE *werg-o-, suffixed form of root *werg- "to do."
Meaning "physical effort, exertion" is from c. 1200; meaning "scholarly labor" or its productions is from c. 1200; meaning "artistic labor" or its productions is from c. 1200. Meaning "labor as a measurable commodity" is from c. 1300. Meaning "embroidery, stitchery, needlepoint" is from late 14c.
Work of art attested by 1774 as "artistic creation," earlier (1728) "artifice, production of humans (as opposed to nature)." Work ethic recorded from 1959. To be out of work "unemployed" is from 1590s. To make clean work of is from c. 1300; to make short work of is from 1640s.
Proverbial expression many hands make light work is from c. 1300. To have (one's) work cut out for one is from 1610s; to have it prepared and prescribed, hence, to have all one can handle. Work in progress is from 1930 in a general sense, earlier as a specific term in accountancy and parliamentary procedure.
Work is less boring than amusing oneself. [Baudelaire, "Mon Coeur mis a nu," 1862]
Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions. [attributed to Mark Twain]