1795 as "science of the past and present condition of the Earth's crust," from Modern Latin geologia "the study of the earth," from geo- "earth" + logia (see -logy). German Geologie is attested by 1785. In Medieval Latin, geologia (14c.) meant "study of earthly things," i.e. law, as distinguished from arts and sciences, which concern the works of God. Darwin used geologize as a verb.
There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.
The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.
[from "In Memoriam," 1850]
Old English bosm "breast; womb; surface; ship's hold," from West Germanic *bōsmaz (source also of Old Frisian bosm, Old Saxon bosom, Middle Dutch boesem, Dutch boezem, Old High German buosam, German Busen "bosom, breast"), which is perhaps from PIE root *bhou- "to grow, swell," or *bhaghus "arm" (in which case the primary notion would be "enclosure formed by the breast and the arms"), or possibly a word from a substrate language.
Bosoms in the narrowed or euphemistic meaning "a woman's breasts" is from 1959; bosomy "big-breasted" is from 1928 (earlier of rolling hills, etc.). Bosom-friend is attested 1580s; bosom buddy from 1924. Abraham's bosom "the abode of the blessed" is from Luke xvi.19-31.
c. 1400, "wooden siege tower on wheels" (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin with a sense "bell tower"), from Old North French berfroi "movable siege tower" (Modern French beffroi), from Middle High German bercfrit "protecting shelter," from Proto-Germanic compound *berg-frithu, literally "high place of security," or that which watches over peace." From bergen "to protect" (from PIE root *bhergh- (1) "to hide, protect") or [Watkins] *bergaz "mountain, high place" (from PIE root *bhergh- (2) "high," with derivatives referring to hills and hill-forts) + *frithu- "peace; personal security" (see affray).
The etymological meaning was forgotten, which led to folk-etymologies and a great diversity of spellings. It came to be used for bell towers (mid-15c.), which at first often were detached from church buildings (as the "Leaning Tower" of Pisa and the Campanile on Plaza San Marco in Venice), and the spelling was altered by dissimilation or by association with bell (n.).
"natural elevation rising more or less abruptly and attaining a conspicuous height," c. 1200, from Old French montaigne (Modern French montagne), from Vulgar Latin *montanea "mountain, mountain region," noun use of fem. of *montaneus "of a mountain, mountainous," from Latin montanus "mountainous, of mountains," from mons (genitive montis) "mountain" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project").
Until 18c., applied to a fairly low elevation if it was prominent (such as Sussex Downs or the hills around Paris); compare hill (n.). As an adjective, "of or situated on a mountain," from late 14c.
Mountain dew "raw and inferior whiskey" is attested by 1839; earlier a type of Scotch whiskey (1816); Jamieson's 1825 "Supplement" to his Scottish dictionary defines it specifically as "A cant term for Highland whisky that has paid no duty." Mountain-climber is recorded from 1839; mountain-climbing from 1836. Mountain laurel is from 1754; mountain-lion "puma" is from 1849, American English; the mountain goat of the Western U.S. is so called by 1841 (by 1827 as Rocky Mountain goat).
1560s, "of or pertaining to the French middle class," from French bourgeois, from Old French burgeis, borjois "town dweller" (as distinct from "peasant"), from borc "town, village," from Frankish *burg "city" (via Germanic from PIE root *bhergh- (2) "high," with derivatives referring to hills and hill-forts).
The word was later extended to tradespeople or citizens of middle rank in other nations. The sense of "socially or aesthetically conventional; middle-class in manners or taste" is from 1764. Also (from the position of the upper class) "wanting in dignity or refinement, common, not aristocratic." As a noun, "citizen or freeman of a city," 1670s. In communist and socialist writing, "a capitalist, anyone deemed an exploiter of the proletariat" (1883).
"Bourgeois," I observed, "is an epithet which the riff-raff apply to what is respectable, and the aristocracy to what is decent." [Anthony Hope, "The Dolly Dialogues," 1907]
"But after all," Fanning was saying, "it's better to be a good ordinary bourgeois than a bad ordinary bohemian, or a sham aristocrat, or a secondrate intellectual ...." [Aldous Huxley, "After the Fireworks," 1930]
Old English burg, burh "a dwelling or dwellings within a fortified enclosure," from Proto-Germanic *burgs "hill fort, fortress" (source also of Old Frisian burich "castle, city," Old Norse borg "wall, castle," Old High German burg, buruc "fortified place, citadel," German Burg "castle," Gothic baurgs "city"), which Watkins derives from from PIE root *bhergh- (2) "high," with derivatives referring to hills, hill forts, and fortified elevations.
In German and Old Norse, chiefly as "fortress, castle;" in Gothic, "town, civic community." The meaning shifted in Old English from "fortress," to "fortified town," then simply "town" (16c., especially one possessing municipal organization or sending representatives to Parliament). In some U.S. states (originally Pennsylvania, 1718) often an incorporated town; in Alaska, however, it is the equivalent of a county. As "one of the five administrative divisions of New York City," it dates from the consolidation of 1898; in London, its use dates from the London Government Act of 1899.
The Scottish form is burgh. The Old English dative singular byrig survives in many place names as -bury.
I would hate to see some old railroad man come here and take my job, and then, I don't think it is right to hire some Hill Billy and give him the same right as I just because he was hired the same time I was. [The Railroad Trainmen's Journal, vol. ix, July 1892]
In short, a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammelled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires of his revolver as the fancy takes him. [New York Journal, April 23, 1900]
In Scott's collection of Border ballads, billie is a frequent term of address or intimacy, "comrade, companion, a brother in arms," "a term expressive of affection and familiarity" also "a brother; a wooer of a woman," and generally "a young man" [Jamieson, 2nd edition]. It is said to be a variant of bully (n.) in its old sense of "sweetheart," also "fine fellow."
late 14c., "to skirt, to go around the sides, to go along the border" of something (as a ship does the coastline), from Anglo-French costien, from the French source of coast (n.).
The meaning "sled downhill," first attested 1834 in American English, is a separate borrowing or a new development from the noun. In bicycle-riding, "descend a hill with the feet off the pedals," from 1879. Of motor vehicles, "to move without thrust from the engine," from 1896; figurative use, of persons, "not to exert oneself," by 1934. Related: Coasted; coasting.
"Coasting" consists in throwing the legs up over the handles and allowing the bicycle to rush of its own impetus down hill. It can only be done with safety where the road is perfectly smooth, hard, and free from obstructions; but, under such conditions, bicycle coasting affords one of the most glorious and exhilarating of sensations, and, next to ballooning, its motion most nearly resembles the flight of a bird. [Harper's Weekly, Dec. 20, 1879]
The reckless coasting down the long hills on the route was scarcely more defensible. Speeds of 25 to 30 miles an hour were reached in some instances. The common road is not the proper place for such exhibitions, especially in populous centres. The risk is altogether too great, both for occupants of the vehicle and for other frequenters of the highway. [account of an automobile race on the streets of New York in The Horseless Age, June 1896]
Middle English rigge, from Old English hrycg "back of a man or beast," probably reinforced by Old Norse hryggr "back, ridge," from Proto-Germanic *hruggin (source also of Old Frisian hregg, Old Saxon hruggi, Dutch rug, Old High German hrukki, German Rücken "the back"). OED says "of uncertain relationship;" Pokorny, Boutkan, and Watkins have it from PIE *kreuk-, extended form of root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."
The original "back" sense, predominant in Middle English, seems to have become archaic 17c. Also in Old English, "the top or crest of anything," especially when long and narrow, based on resemblance to the projecting part of the back of a quadruped, the "ridge" of the backbone. Probably also in late Old English "a long elevation of land, a long, narrow range of hills," implied in place-names. From late 14c. of the highest part of the roof of a building, also the strip of ground thrown up between two plowed furrows. The spelling with -dg- is from late 15c.
Ridge-runner, somewhat derisive term for "Southern Appalachian person, hillbilly," especially an upland white farmer of the Ozarks region, is recorded by 1917 (it later came into use in other regions). Also "person who wanders from place to place," often with a suggestion of illicit intent (1930).
Southern U.S. derogatory term for "poor, white trash" (1766), probably an agent noun from crack (v.) in the sense "to boast" (as in not what it's cracked up to be). Cracker "a boaster, a braggart" is attested from c. 1500; also see crack (n.). Compare Latin crepare "to rattle, crack, creak," with a secondary figurative sense of "boast of, prattle, make ado about."
I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas and Georgia, who often change their places of abode. [letter from colonial officer Gavin Cochrane to the Earl of Dartmouth, June 27, 1766]
But DARE compares corn-cracker "Kentuckian," also "poor, low-class white farmer of Georgia and North Carolina" (1835, U.S. Midwest colloquial).
The word was used especially of Georgians by 1808, though often extended to residents of northern Florida. Another name in mid-19c. use was sand-hiller "poor white in Georgia or South Carolina."
Not very essentially different is the condition of a class of people living in the pine-barrens nearest the coast [of South Carolina], as described to me by a rice-planter. They seldom have any meat, he said, except they steal hogs, which belong to the planters, or their negroes, and their chief diet is rice and milk. "They are small, gaunt, and cadaverous, and their skin is just the color of the sand-hills they live on. They are quite incapable of applying themselves steadily to any labor, and their habits are very much like those of the old Indians." [Frederick Law Olmsted, "A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States," 1856]