1733 (implied in palavering), "a long talk, a conference, a tedious discussion," sailors' slang, from Portuguese palavra "word, speech, talk," from a metathesis of Late Latin parabola "speech, discourse," from Latin parabola "comparison" (see parable). A doublet of parole.
In West Africa the Portuguese word became a traders' term for "negotiating with the natives," and apparently English picked up the word there. (The Spanish cognate, palabra, appears 16c.-17c. in Spanish phrases used in English.) The meaning "idle profuse talk" is recorded by 1748. The verb, "indulge in palaver," is by 1733, from the noun. Related: Palavering.
Sense of "leniency, forbearance of restraint or control of another, gratification of desire or humor" is attested from late 14c. That of "yielding to one's inclinations" (technically self-indulgence) in English is from 1630s. In British history, Indulgence also refers to grants of certain liberties to Nonconformists under Charles II and James II, as special favors rather than legal rights. The sale of indulgences in the original Church sense was done at times merely to raise money and was widely considered corrupt; the one in 1517 helped to spark the Protestant revolt in Germany.
1590s, "to entice, seduce, lead astray" (from allegiance, family, etc.), from French débaucher "entice from work or duty," from Old French desbaucher "to lead astray," a word of uncertain origin.
Supposedly it is literally "to trim (wood) to make a beam" (from bauch "beam," from Frankish balk or some other Germanic source akin to English balk (n.)). The notion of "shaving" something away, perhaps, but the root is also said to be a word meaning "workshop," which gets toward the notion of "to lure someone off the job;" either way the sense evolution is unclear.
The more specific meaning "seduce from virtue or morality, corrupt the morals or principles of" is from c. 1600, especially "to corrupt with lewdness, seduce sexually," usually in reference to women. Intransitive sense "indulge in excess in sensual enjoyment" is from 1640s. As a noun, "a bout of excessive sensual pleasure," c. 1600.
"to tear with the teeth, maul," 1838, originally of animals (a bull, here "to gore with the horns"), from savage (adj.) or savage (n.). In late 19c. especially of horses, in reference to attacks on a person or other horse or animal.
He was up a second or so before me, and rushed at me open-mouthed ; but, on my getting on my legs, he stopped. No doubt, had I remained prostrate, he would have savaged me. I never liked a bad countenance before this, but I then resolved I would never buy another ; and I have kept my word. ["Harry Hieover," "Things Worth Knowing about Horses," London, 1859]
Earlier in a now-obsolete sense of "to act the savage, indulge in barbarism or cruelty" (1560s), also "to make savage" (1610s). Related: Savaged; savaging.
Meaning "to frequent (a place)" is from c. 1300 in English. In Middle English to haunte scole was "attend school," and in Middle English as in Old French the verb had a secondary sense of "have sexual intercourse with." Use in reference to a spirit or ghost returning to the house where it had lived perhaps was in Proto-Germanic, but if so it was lost or buried; revived by Shakespeare's plays, it is first recorded 1590 in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Old French had a noun derivative, hantise "obsession, obsessive fear" (14c.).
c. 1300, "to strip (someone) of clothes, strip a slain enemy," from Old French espillier "to strip, plunder, pillage," from Latin spoliare "to strip, uncover, lay bare; strip of clothing, rob, plunder, pillage," from spolia, plural of spolium "arms taken from an enemy, booty;" originally "hide, skin stripped from a killed animal," from Proto-Italic *spolio- "skin, hide," from PIE *spol-yo-, probably from a root *spel- (1) "to split, to break off" (see spill (v.)) on the notion of "what is split off."
From late 14c. in English as "strip with violence, rob, pillage, plunder, dispossess; impoverish with excessive taxation." Used c. 1400 as the verb to describe Christ's harrowing of Hell. Sense of "destroy, ruin, damage so as to render useless" is from 1560s; that of "to over-indulge" (a child, etc.) is from 1640s (implied in spoiled). Intransitive sense of "become tainted, go bad, lose freshness" is from 1690s. To be spoiling for (a fight, etc.) is from 1865, from notion that one will "spoil" if he doesn't get it.
1857, American English, a Midwestern word for "to talk aimlessly and boastingly; to indulge in 'high falutin'," according to Farmer (1890), who seems to have been the only British lexicographer to notice it. He says it was based on blow (v.1) on the model of deviate, etc.
It seems to have been felt as outdated slang already by late 19c. ("It was a pleasure for him to hear the Doctor talk, or, as it was inelegantly expressed in the phrase of the period, 'bloviate' ...." ["Overland Monthly," San Francisco, 1872, describing a scene from 1860]), but it enjoyed a revival early 1920s during the presidency of Warren G. Harding, who wrote a notoriously ornate and incomprehensible prose (e.e. cummings eulogized him as "The only man, woman or child who wrote a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical errors") at which time the word took on its connection with political speech; it faded again thereafter, but, with its derivative, bloviation, it enjoyed a revival in the 2000 U.S. election season that continued through the era of blogging.