"Jewish mystic philosophy," 1520s, also quabbalah, etc., from Medieval Latin cabbala, from Mishnaic Hebrew qabbalah "reception, received lore, tradition," especially "tradition of mystical interpretation of the Old Testament," from qibbel "to receive, admit, accept." Compare Arabic qabala "he received, accepted." Hence "any secret or esoteric science." Related: Cabbalist.
masc. personal name, in medieval lore the name of one of Charlemagne's peers, friend of Roland, from French Olivier, from Middle Low German Alfihar, literally "elf-host, elf-army," from alf "elf" (see elf) + hari "host, army" (see harry (v.)). It is cognate with the Anglo-Saxon name Ælfhere. The form in Old French was influenced by olivier "olive tree."
"letters of a language arranged in customary order," 1570s, from Late Latin alphabetum (Tertullian), from Greek alphabetos, from alpha + beta. Attested from early 15c. in a sense "learning or lore acquired through reading." Words for it in Old English included stæfræw, literally "row of letters," stæfrof "array of letters," and compare ABC.
It was a wise though a lazy cleric whom Luther mentions in his "Table Talk,"—the monk who, instead of reciting his breviary, used to run over the alphabet and then say, "O my God, take this alphabet, and put it together how you will." [William S. Walsh, "Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities," 1892]
Alphabet soup is attested by 1907.
The exact origin of the free- is a subject of dispute. Some [such as Klein] see a corruption of French frère "brother," from frèremaçon "brother mason;" others say it was because the masons worked on "free-standing" stones; still others see them as "free" from the control of local guilds or lords [OED]. Related: freemasonic.
one of an ancient people formerly inhabiting the Highlands of Scotland and other parts of the British Isles beyond the reach of the Romans, late 14c. (replacing Old English plural Peohtas), from Late Latin Picti (late 3c., probably a nickname given them by Roman soldiers), usually taken as derived from picti "painted," but probably ultimately from the Celtic name of the tribe, perhaps Pehta, Peihta, literally "the fighters" (compare Gaulish Pictavi, a different people, who gave the name to the French city of Poitiers). They painted and tattooed themselves, which may have suggested a Roman folk-etymology alteration of the name.
In Scottish folk-lore, the Pechts are often represented as a dark pygmy race, or an underground people; and sometimes identified with elves, brownies, or fairies. [OED]
Related: Pictish; Pictland.
1560s, "go this way and that in speech or action," a sense now obsolete; from 1680s as "start suddenly aside, shift suddenly," as to evade a blow;" 1704 as "to move to and fro, shift about;" origin and sense evolution obscure. Perhaps it is from or akin to Scottish and Northern English dodd "to jog" (1570s).
Transitive sense of "to evade (something) by a sudden shift of place" is by 1670s. It is attested from 1570s, and common from early 18c., in the figurative sense of "to swindle, to play shifting tricks (with)." Photography sense of "use artifice to improve a print" is by 1883. Related: Dodged; dodging.
Dodge City, Kansas, was laid out in 1872 and named for U.S. military man Richard I. Dodge, then commander of the nearby army fort. It later was notorious in Wild West lore as the home of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.
The right was regarded as auspicious (see left and dexterity). Also see Yemen, southpaw, and compare deasil "rightwise, turned toward the right," from Gaelic deiseil "toward the south; toward the right," from deas "right, right-hand; south." Also compare Sanskrit dakshina "right; south," and Welsh go-gledd "north," literally "left."
In reference to a favorite younger son it is from the story of Jacob's family in Genesis. With familiar forms Benjy, Benny. Slang meaning "money" (by 1999) is from the portrait of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on U.S. $100 bill. In some old uses in herb-lore, etc., it is a folk-etymology corruption of benzoin.
also Hallow-e'en, Hallow e'en, 1781, in a Scottish context, the word and the magical lore about the date were popularized by Burns' poem (1785, and he attached a footnote explaining it), but it probably dates to 17c. in Scotland and is attested as the name of a tune in 1724. The tune is mentioned again in an English-Scots songbook ("The Chearful Companion") in 1783, and Burns was not the first to describe the customs in print.
Hallow-E'en, or Holy Eve, is the evening previous to the celebration of All Saints. That it is propitious to the rites of divination, is an opinion still common in many parts of Scotland. [John Main, footnote to his poem "Hallow-E'en," Glasgow, 1783]
It is a Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even "Eve of All Saints, last night of October" (1550s), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches. A pagan holiday given a cursory baptism. Otherwise obsolete hallow (n.) "holy person, saint," is from the source of hallow (v.). Also see even (n.), and compare hallows. Hallow-day for "All-Saints Day" is from 1590s; earlier was halwemesse day (late 13c.).