Etymology
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frigid (adj.)
1620s, "intensely cold," from Latin frigidus "cold, chill, cool," figuratively "indifferent," also "flat, dull, trivial," from stem of frigere "be cold;" related to noun frigus "cold, coldness, frost," from Proto-Italic *srigos-, from PIE root *srig- "cold" (source also of Greek rhigos "cold, frost"). The meaning "wanting in sexual heat" is attested from 1650s, originally of males. Related: Frigidly; frigidness.
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sadden (v.)

"to make sorrowful," 1620s, from sad (adj.) + -en (1); earlier "to make solid or firm" (c. 1600). The earlier verb was simply sad, from Middle English saden "become weary or indifferent," also "make (something) hard or stiff," from Old English sadian, which also could be the source of the modern verb. The intransitive meaning "to become sorrowful" is from 1718. Related: Saddened; saddening.

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neglect (v.)

1520s, "omit to do or perform;" 1530s, "treat carelessly or heedlessly, treat with disrespect or without proper attention or care;" from Latin neglectus, past participle of neglegere "to make light of, disregard, be indifferent to, not heed, not trouble oneself about," literally "not to pick up," variant of neclegere, from Old Latin nec "not" (from PIE root *ne- "not") + legere "pick up, select," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather." Related: Neglected; neglecting.

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infect (v.)
late 14c., "fill with disease, render pestilential; pollute, contaminate; to corrupt morally," from Latin infectus, past participle of inficere "to stain, tinge, dye," also "to corrupt, stain, spoil," literally "to put in to, dip into," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + facere "to make, do, perform" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). In Middle English occasionally in a neutral sense "tinge, darken," but typically used of things indifferent or bad, and especially of disease. Related: Infected; infecting.
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backwoods (n.)

"wooded or partially uncleared and unsettled districts in remote regions," 1709, North American English; see back (adj.) + wood (n.) in the sense "forested tract." As an adjective, from 1784.

BACKWOODSMEN. ... This word is commonly used as a term of reproach (and that, only in a familiar style,) to designate those people, who, being at a distance from the sea and entirely agricultural, are considered as either hostile or indifferent to the interests of the commercial states. [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
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disinterested (adj.)

1610s, "unconcerned" (the sense that now would go with uninterested), from dis- "opposite of" + interested. The sense of "impartial" originally was in disinteressed (c. 1600), from Old French desinteresse, and subsequently passed to uninterested. The modern sense of disinterested, "impartial, free from self-interest or personal bias, acting from unselfish motives," is attested by 1650s.

By late 18c. the words had sorted themselves out, and as things now stand, disinterested means "impartial," uninterested means "caring nothing for the matter in question," and disinteressed has fallen by the wayside. Related: Disinterestedly; disinterestedness.

Disinterested and uninterested are sometimes confounded in speech, though rarely in writing. A disinterested person takes part in or concerns himself about the affairs of others without regard to self interest, or to any personal benefit to be gained by his action; an uninterested one takes no interest in or is indifferent to the matter under consideration .... [Century Dictionary]
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open-minded (adj.)

also openminded, "having an unreserved mind; frank, candid," also "having a mind accessible to new views, not narrow-minded, unprejudiced," 1828, first recorded in Carlyle; from open (adj.) + -minded. Figurative use of open (adj.) with reference to hearts, hands, etc. is from early 15c. Related: Open-mindedly; open-mindedness.

Could we hope that, in its present disjointed state, this emblematic sketch ["Wanderjahre"] would rise before the minds of our readers, in any measure as it stood before the mind of the writer; that, in considering it, they might seize only an outline of those many meanings which, at less or greater depth, lie hidden under it, we should anticipate their thanks for having, a first or a second time, brought it before them. As it is, believing that to open-minded, truth-seeking men, the deliberate words of an open-minded, truth-seeking man can in no case be wholly unintelligible, nor the words of such a man, as Goethe, indifferent, we have transcribed it for their perusal. [Carlyle, "Goethe," 1828]
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cleaver (n.)

late 15c., "one who splits," agent noun from cleave (v.1). Originally "one who splits boards with a wedge instead of sawing;" attested as part of a surname from mid-14c. Meaning "butcher's long-bladed chopper" is from mid-15c. Marrow-bones and cleavers as instruments of "rough music" is from 1716.

This last ["Marrowbones and Cleaver"] is a sign in Fetter Lane, originating from a custom, now rapidly dying away, of the butcher boys serenading newly married couples with these professional instruments. Formerly, the band would consist of four cleavers, each of a different tone, or, if complete, of eight, and by beating their marrowbones skilfully against these, they obtained a sort of music somewhat after the fashion of indifferent bell-ringing. When well performed, however, and heard from a proper distance, it was not altogether unpleasant. ... The butchers of Clare market had the reputation of being the best performers. ... This music was once so common that Tom Killigrew called it the national instrument of England. [Larwood & Hotten, "The History of Signboards from the Earliest Times to the Present Day," London, 1867]
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contrary (adj.)

mid-14c., "opposite, opposed, at the opposite point or in the opposite direction; extremely unlike, most unlike," from Anglo-French contrarie, Old French contrarie, and directly from Latin contrarius "opposite, opposed; contrary, reverse," from contra "against" (see contra). Meaning "given to contradiction, perverse, intractable" is from late 14c.; sense of "adverse, unfavorable" is from late 14c. Related: Contrarily.

As a noun from late 13c., "one of a pair of characters, propositions, terms, etc., the most different possible within the same class." The phrase on the contrary "in precise or extreme opposition to what has been said" is attested from c. 1400 as in the contrary.

If we take the statement All men are mortal, its contrary is Not all men are mortal, its converse is All mortal beings are men, & its opposite is No men are mortal. The contrary, however, does not exclude the opposite, but includes it as its most extreme form. Thus This is white has only one opposite, This is black, but many contraries, as This is not white, This is coloured, This is dirty, This is black; & whether the last form is called the contrary, or more emphatically the opposite, is usually indifferent. But to apply the opposite to a mere contrary (e.g. to I did not hit him in relation to I hit him, which has no opposite), or to the converse (e.g. to He hit me in relation to I hit him, to which it is neither contrary nor opposite), is a looseness that may easily result in misunderstanding; the temptation to go wrong is intelligible when it is remembered that with certain types of sentence (A exceeds B) the converse & the opposite are identical (B exceeds A). [Fowler]
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witch (n.)

Old English wicce "female magician, sorceress," in later use especially "a woman supposed to have dealings with the devil or evil spirits and to be able by their cooperation to perform supernatural acts," fem. of Old English wicca "sorcerer, wizard, man who practices witchcraft or magic," from verb wiccian "to practice witchcraft" (compare Low German wikken, wicken "to use witchcraft," wikker, wicker "soothsayer").

OED says of uncertain origin; Liberman says "None of the proposed etymologies of witch is free from phonetic or semantic difficulties." Klein suggests connection with Old English wigle "divination," and wig, wih "idol." Watkins says the nouns represent a Proto-Germanic *wikkjaz "necromancer" (one who wakes the dead), from PIE *weg-yo-, from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively."

That wicce once had a more specific sense than the later general one of "female magician, sorceress" perhaps is suggested by the presence of other words in Old English describing more specific kinds of magical craft. In the Laws of Ælfred (c. 890), witchcraft was specifically singled out as a woman's craft, whose practitioners were not to be suffered to live among the West Saxons:

Ða fæmnan þe gewuniað onfon gealdorcræftigan & scinlæcan & wiccan, ne læt þu ða libban.

The other two words combined with it here are gealdricge, a woman who practices "incantations," and scinlæce "female wizard, woman magician," from a root meaning "phantom, evil spirit."

Another word that appears in the Anglo-Saxon laws is lyblæca "wizard, sorcerer," but with suggestions of skill in the use of drugs, because the root of the word is lybb "drug, poison, charm" (see leaf (n.)). Lybbestre was a fem. word meaning "sorceress," and lybcorn was the name of a certain medicinal seed (perhaps wild saffron). Weekley notes possible connection to Gothic weihs "holy" and German weihan "consecrate," and writes, "the priests of a suppressed religion naturally become magicians to its successors or opponents." Whatever the English word's origin, the use of a "poisoner" word for "witch, sorceress" parallels that of the Hebrew word used for "witch, sorceress" in the Levitical condemnation.

In Anglo-Saxon glossaries, wicca renders Latin augur (c. 1100), and wicce stands for "pythoness, divinatricem." In the "Three Kings of Cologne" (c. 1400) wicca translates Magi:

Þe paynyms ... cleped þe iij kyngis Magos, þat is to seye wicchis.

The glossary translates Latin necromantia ("demonum invocatio") with galdre, wiccecræft. The Anglo-Saxon poem called "Men's Crafts" (also "The Gifts of Men") has wiccræft, which appears to be the same word, and by its context means "skill with horses." In a c. 1250 translation of "Exodus," witches is used of the Egyptian midwives who save the newborn sons of the Hebrews: "Ðe wicches hidden hem for-ðan, Biforen pharaun nolden he ben."

Witch in reference to a man survived in dialect into 20c., but the fem. form was so dominant by 1601 that men-witches or he-witch began to be used. Extended sense of "old, ugly, and crabbed or malignant woman" is from early 15c; that of "young woman or girl of bewitching aspect or manners" is first recorded 1740. Witch doctor is from 1718; applied to African magicians from 1836.

At this day it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, 'she is a witch,' or 'she is a wise woman.' [Reginald Scot, "The Discoverie of Witchcraft," 1584]
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