Etymology
Advertisement
distract (v.)

late 14c., distracten, "to turn or draw (a person, the mind) aside or away from any object; divert (the attention) from any point toward another point," from Latin distractus, past participle of distrahere "draw in different directions," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Sense of "to throw into a state of mind in which one knows not how to act, cause distraction in, confuse by diverse or opposing considerations" is from 1580s. Also formerly sometimes in a stronger sense, "disorder the reason of, render frantic or mad" (1590s). Literal senses of "pull apart in different directions and separate; cut into parts or sections" are from late 16c. but are rare or obsolete in English. Related: Distracted; distracting.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
dissemble (v.)

early 15c., dissemblen, "assume a false seeming; conceal real facts, motives, intentions, etc.; mask the truth about oneself," from Old French dessembler, from Latin dissimulare "make unlike, conceal, disguise," from dis- "completely" (see dis-) + simulare "to make like, imitate, copy, represent," from stem of similis "like, resembling, of the same kind" (see similar). Related: Dissembled; dissembling.

Form altered apparently by influence of resemble, Old French resembler. Earlier was Middle English dissimule, from Old French dissimuler. Transitive meaning "make unlike, disguise" is from c. 1500; that of "give a false impression of" is from 1510s.

To dissemble is to pretend that a thing which is is not: as, to dissemble one's real sentiments. To simulate is to pretend that a thing which is not is: as, to simulate friendship. To dissimulate is to hide the reality or truth of something under a diverse contrary appearance: as, to dissimulate one's poverty by ostentation. To disguise is to put under a false guise, to keep a thing from being recognized by giving it a false appearance: as I cannot disguise from myself the fact. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more 
*pere- (1)

*perə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to produce, procure" and yielding and derived words in diverse senses; possibly related to *pere- (2) "to grant, allot."

It forms all or part of: ante-partum; apparatus; apparel; biparous; disparate; emperor; empire; heifer; imperative; imperator; imperial; juniper; multiparous; nulliparous; oviparous; para- (2) "defense, protection against; that which protects from;" Parabellum; parachute; parade; parados; parapet; parasol; pare; parent; -parous; parry; parturient; poor; post-partum; preparation; prepare; primipara; puerperal; rampart; repair (v.1) "to mend, put back in order;" repertory; separate; sever; several; spar (v.); viper; vituperation; viviparous.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit prthukah "child, calf, young of an animal;" Greek poris "calf, bull;" Latin parare "make ready, prepare," parire "produce, bring forth, give birth to;" Czech spratek "brat, urchin, premature calf;" Lithuanian periu, perėti "to brood;" Old High German farro, German Farre "bullock," Old English fearr "bull."

Related entries & more 
several (adj.)

early 15c., "existing apart, independent, not together," a sense now obsolete, also "a small number of; particular, special;" from Anglo-French several, from Old French seperalis "separate," from Medieval Latin separalis "separable," from Latin separ "separate, different," a back-formation from separare "to pull apart," from se- "apart" (see secret (n.)) + parare "make ready, prepare" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").

Compare Anglo-Latin severalis, a variant of separalis. The meaning "various, diverse, different" (as in went their several ways) is attested from c. 1500; that of "more than one" is from 1530s, growing out of legal meanings of the word, "belonging or assigned distributively to certain individuals" (mid-15c.), etc. Also used by mid-17c. as "a vague numeral" (OED), in which any notion of "different" appears to have been lost. Related: Severalty; severality; severalfold. Jocular ordinal form severalth is attested from 1902 in colloquial American English (see -th (2)).

Here we are all, by day; by night we're hurled
By dreams, each one into a several world
[Herrick, 1648]
Related entries & more 
mis- (1)

prefix of Germanic origin affixed to nouns and verbs and meaning "bad, wrong," from Old English mis-, from Proto-Germanic *missa- "divergent, astray" (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon mis-, Middle Dutch misse-, Old High German missa-, German miß-, Old Norse mis-, Gothic missa-), perhaps literally "in a changed manner," and with a root sense of "difference, change" (compare Gothic misso "mutually"), and thus possibly from PIE *mit-to-, from root *mei- (1) "to change."

Productive as word-forming element in Old English (as in mislæran "to give bad advice, teach amiss"). In 14c.-16c. in a few verbs its sense began to be felt as "unfavorably," and it came to be used as an intensive prefix with words already expressing negative feeling (as in misdoubt). Practically a separate word in Old and early Middle English (and often written as such). Old English also had an adjective (mislic "diverse, unlike, various") and an adverb (mislice "in various directions, wrongly, astray") derived from it, corresponding to German misslich (adj.). It has become confused with mis- (2).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
happy (adj.)
Origin and meaning of happy

late 14c., "lucky, favored by fortune, being in advantageous circumstances, prosperous;" of events, "turning out well," from hap (n.) "chance, fortune" + -y (2). Sense of "very glad" first recorded late 14c. Meaning "greatly pleased and content" is from 1520s. Old English had eadig (from ead "wealth, riches") and gesælig, which has become silly. Old English bliðe "happy" survives as blithe. From Greek to Irish, a great majority of the European words for "happy" at first meant "lucky." An exception is Welsh, where the word used first meant "wise."

Happy medium "the golden mean" is from 1702. Happy ending in the literary sense recorded from 1756. Happy as a clam (1630s) was originally happy as a clam in the mud at high tide, when it can't be dug up and eaten. Happy hunting ground, the reputed Native American paradise, is attested from 1840, American English. Happy day for "wedding day" is by 1739; happy hour for "early evening period of discount drinks and free hors-d'oeuvres at a bar" is by 1961, said to be 1950s. Rock-happy (1945) was U.S. Pacific theater armed forces slang for "mentally unhinged after too much time on one island." Related: Happier; happiest.

Happy family an assemblage of animals of diverse habits and propensities living amicably, or at least quietly, together in one cage. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more 
diversity (n.)
Origin and meaning of diversity

mid-14c., diversite, "variety, diverseness;" late 14c., "quality of being diverse, fact of difference between two or more things or kinds; variety; separateness; that in which two or more things differ," mostly in a neutral sense, from Old French diversete "difference, diversity, unique feature, oddness:" also "wickedness, perversity" (12c., Modern French diversité), from Latin diversitatem (nominative diversitas) "contrariety, contradiction, disagreement;" also, as a secondary sense, "difference, diversity," from diversus "turned different ways" (in Late Latin "various"), past participle of divertere (see divert).

A negative meaning, "perverseness, being contrary to what is agreeable or right; conflict, strife; perversity, evil" existed in English from late 14c. but was obsolete from 17c. Diversity as a virtue in a nation is an idea from the rise of modern democracies in the 1790s, where it kept one faction from arrogating all power (but this was not quite the modern sense, as ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, etc. were not the qualities in mind):

The dissimilarity in the ingredients which will compose the national government, and still more in the manner in which they will be brought into action in its various branches, must form a powerful obstacle to a concert of views in any partial scheme of elections. There is sufficient diversity in the state of property, in the genius, manners, and habits of the people of the different parts of the Union, to occasion a material diversity of disposition in their representatives towards the different ranks and conditions in society. ["The Federalist," No. 60, Feb. 26, 1788 (Hamilton)]

Specific focus (in a positive sense) on race, gender, etc., "inclusion and visibility of persons of previously under-represented minority identities" is by 1992.

Related entries & more 
boy (n.)

mid-13c., boie "servant, commoner, knave" (generally young and male); c. 1300, "rascal, ruffian, knave; urchin," mid-14c. as "male child before puberty" (possibly an extended sense from the "urchin" one). A word of unknown origin.

Possibly from Old French embuie "one fettered," from Vulgar Latin *imboiare, from Latin boia "leg iron, yoke, leather collar," from Greek boeiai dorai "ox hides." (Words for "boy" double as "servant, attendant" across the Indo-European map -- compare Italian ragazzo, French garçon, Greek pais, Middle English knave, Old Church Slavonic otroku -- and often it is difficult to say which meaning came first.)

But it also appears to be identical with East Frisian boi "young gentleman," and perhaps with Dutch boef "knave," from Middle Dutch boeve, perhaps from Middle Low German buobe. This suggests a gradational relationship to babe. For a different conjecture: Used slightingly of young men in Middle English, also in familiar or contemptuous use of criminal toughs or men in the armed services. In some local uses "a man," without reference to age (OED lists "in Cornwall, in Ireland, in the far West of the U.S."). Meaning "male negro slave or Asian personal servant of any age" attested from c. 1600. Extended form boyo is attested from 1870. Emphatic exclamation oh, boy is attested by 1917. Boy-meets-girl "typical of a conventional romance" is from 1945; the phrase itself is from 1934 as a dramatic formula. Boy-crazy "eager to associate with males" is from 1923.

In Old English, only the proper name Boia has been recorded. ME boi meant 'churl, servant' and (rarely) 'devil.' In texts, the meaning 'male child' does not antedate 1400. ModE boy looks like a semantic blend of an onomatopoeic word for an evil spirit (*boi) and a baby word for 'brother' (*bo). [Liberman]
A noticable number of the modern words for 'boy', 'girl', and 'child' were originally colloquial nicknames, derogatory or whimsical, in part endearing, and finally commonplace. These, as is natural, are of the most diverse, and in part obscure, origin. [Buck]
Related entries & more 

Page 3