early 15c., proscriben, "write before or in front, prefix," from Latin proscribere "publish in writing" (literally "write in front of"), including "publish as having forfeited one's property; condemn, outlaw before the world," from pro "before" (see pro-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").
From mid-15c. as "to exile, put out of the protection of the law" (implied in proscribed). By 1550s as "publish the name of as condemned to death and liable to confiscation of property." The meaning "denounce and prohibit (something) as wrong or dangerous" is recorded by 1620s.
Old English deman "to judge, decide on consideration, condemn;, think, judge, hold as an opinion," from Proto-Germanic *domjanan(source also of Old Frisian dema"to judge," Old Saxon adomian, Middle Dutch doemen, Old Norse dma, Old High German tuomen, Gothic domjan "to deem, judge"), denominative of *domaz, from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put" (compare doom). Related: Deemed; deeming. Originally "to pronounce judgment" as well as "to form an opinion." Compare Old English, Middle English deemer "a judge." The two judges of the Isle of Man were called deemsters in 17c., a title formerly common throughout England and Scotland and preserved in the surname Dempster.
1580s, "to judge, adjudge" (now obsolete); 1590s, "to criticize adversely, find fault with and condemn," from censure (n.) or else from French censurer, from censure (n.). Related: Censured; censuring.
Such men are so watchful to censure, that the have seldom much care to look for favourable interpretations of ambiguities, to set the general tenor of life against single failures, or to know how soon any slip of inadvertency has been expiated by sorrow and retractation; but let fly their fulminations, without mercy or prudence, against slight offences or casual temerities, against crimes never committed, or immediately repented. [Johnson, "Life of Sir Thomas Browne," 1756]
c. 1300, "to condemn, curse," also "to destroy utterly;" from Anglo-French confoundre, Old French confondre (12c.) "crush, ruin, disgrace, throw into disorder," from Latin confundere "to confuse, jumble together, bring into disorder," especially of the mind or senses, "disconcert, perplex," properly "to pour, mingle, or mix together," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").
From mid-14c. as "to put to shame, disgrace." The figurative sense of "confuse the mind, perplex" emerged in Latin, passed into French and thence to English by late 14c. The Latin past participle confusus, meanwhile, became confused (q.v.). The meaning "treat or regard erroneously as identical" is from 1580s.
1927 as "phony remedy," American English, from the use of oil derived from the fat of snakes (especially the rattlesnake) as a folk remedy in the rural regions of the U.S. Snake oil in this sense is attested by 1858. It was a folk remedy for rheumatism and gout in Georgia, but a cure for deafness in rural Pennsylvania. Professional pharmacy journals began to condemn it early 20c., not because it was quackery but because products sold under the name had no real snake oil in them.
What is known as snake oil is usually a combination which is handed out by the dealer to satisfy the demand of some credulous customer. A genuine oil of course is that which is obtained by "trying out" the fat of a snake, usually the rattlesnake, and to preserve their faces druggists sometimes employ a small proportion of such oil in preparing the weird mixtures dispensed by them. [The Practical Druggist, July 1912]
late 14c., banischen, "to condemn (someone) by proclamation or edict to leave the country, to outlaw by political or judicial authority," from banniss-, extended stem of Old French banir "announce, proclaim; levy; forbid; banish, proclaim an outlaw" (12c., Modern French bannir), from a Germanic source (perhaps Frankish *bannjan "to order or prohibit under penalty"), from Proto-Germanic *bannan (see ban (v.)). The French word might be by way of Medieval Latin bannire, also from Germanic (compare bandit). The general sense of "send or drive away, expel" is from c. 1400. Related: Banished; banishing.
To banish is, literally, to put out of a community or country by ban or civil interdict, and indicates a complete removal out of sight, perhaps to a distance. To exile is simply to cause to leave one's place or country, and is often used reflexively: it emphasizes the idea of leaving home, while banish emphasizes rather that of being forced by some authority to leave it .... [Century Dictionary]
"banal or excessive sentimentalism," 1935, from Yiddish shmalts, literally "melted fat," from Middle High German smalz, from Old High German smalz "animal fat," related to smelzan "to melt" (see smelt (v.)). Modern German Schmalz "fat, grease" has the same figurative meaning.
Hot musicians look down on sweet bands, which faithfully follow the composer's arrangements. They condemn the monotony of such music, repeated by thousands of bands on dance and radio programs. Being themselves improvisers, they feel superior to those musicians who follow unrebelliously the notes before them and their conductor's wand. Schmaltz (cf. the German schmalz, meaning grease) is derogatory term used to straight jazz. [E.J. Nichols and W.L. Werner, "Hot Jazz Jargon," in Vanity Fair, November 1935]
Also in Jewish-American cookery, in schmaltz herring (by 1914).
The boss herring, at least for Yiddish speakers and their descendants, is the schmaltz herring, possibly because of its name. There is no schmaltz in schmaltz herring, just plenty of fish fat. [Michael Wex, "Rhapsody in Schmaltz," 2016]
also sceptic, 1580s, "member of an ancient Greek school that doubted the possibility of real knowledge," from French sceptique and directly from Latin scepticus "the sect of the Skeptics," from Greek skeptikos (plural Skeptikoi "the Skeptics, followers of Pyrrho"), noun use of adjective meaning "inquiring, reflective" (the name taken by the disciples of the Greek philosopher Pyrrho, who lived c. 360-c. 270 B.C.E.). This is related to skeptesthai "to reflect, look, view" (from a metathesized form of PIE root *spek- "to observe").
Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. [Miguel de Unamuno, "Essays and Soliloquies," 1924]
There is one word of caution, however, to be given to those who renounce inquiry; it is that they cannot retain the right to condemn inquirers. [Benjamin Jowett, "On the Interpretation of Scripture," in "Essays and Reviews," 1860]
The extended sense of "one with a doubting attitude" first recorded 1610s. The sk- spelling is an early 17c. Greek revival and is preferred in U.S. As a verb, scepticize (1690s) failed to catch on.
Old English bannan "to summon, command, proclaim," from Proto-Germanic *bannan "to speak publicly" (used in reference to various sorts of proclamations), "command; summon; outlaw, forbid" (source also of Old Frisian bonna "to order, command, proclaim," Old High German bannan "to command or forbid under threat of punishment," German bannen "banish, expel, curse"), apparently a Germanic specialization from a suffixed form of PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (source also of Old Irish bann "law," Armenian ban "word").
From mid-12c. as "to curse, condemn, pronounce a curse upon;" from late 14c. as "to prohibit;" these senses likely are via the Old Norse cognate banna "to curse, prohibit," and probably in part from Old French banir "to summon, banish" (see banish) and was a borrowing from Germanic. The sense evolution in Germanic was from "speak" to "proclaim a threat" to (in Norse, German, etc.) "to curse, anathematize."
The Germanic root, borrowed in Latin and French, has been productive: banal, bandit, contraband, etc. Related: Banned; banning. Banned in Boston dates from 1920s, in allusion to the excessive zeal and power of that city's Watch and Ward Society. Ban the bomb as a slogan of the nuclear disarmament movement is from 1955.
general common name of birds of the genus Corvus (the larger sort being sometimes called ravens), Old English crawe, which is held to be imitative of the bird's cry. Compare Old Saxon kraia, Dutch kraai, Old High German chraja, German Kräke.
Noted for sagacity and sociability. The British and North American species are very similar. Phrase as the crow flies "in a straight line" is from 1810; the image is attested in different form from 1800.
American English figurative phrase eat crow "do or accept what one vehemently dislikes and has opposed defiantly, accept things which, though not unbearable, are yet scarcely to be wished for," is attested by 1870 (originally often eat boiled crow), and seems to be based on the notion that the bird is edible when boiled but hardly agreeable.
There was an oft-reprinted mid-19c. joke about a man who, to settle a bet that he could eat anything, agrees to eat a boiled crow. As he with great difficulty swallows the first to mouthfuls, he says to the onlookers, "I can eat crow, but I don't hanker arter it." The joke is attested by 1854 (Walter Etecroue turns up 1361 in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London).
I tried my best to eat crow, but it was too tough for me. "How do you like it?" said the old man, as, with a desperate effort, he wrenched off a mouthful from a leg. "I am like the man," said I, "who was once placed in the same position: 'I ken eat crow, but hang me if I hanker arter it.'" "Well," says the captain, "it is somewhat hard; but try some of the soup and dumplings and don t condemn crow-meat from this trial, for you shot the grandfather and grandmother of the flock: no wonder they are tough; shoot a young one next time." "No more crow-meat for me, thank you," said I. [James G. Swan, "The Northwest Coast, or Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory," New York, 1857]
The image of a crow's foot for the wrinkles appearing with age at the corner of the eye is from late 14c. ("So longe mote ye lyve Til crowes feet be growen under youre ye." [Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, c. 1385]).