"a revolving machine consisting of wooden horses or seats mounted on a circular platform," 1729, from merry (adj.) + go-round. Figurative use by 1838. Merry-totter (mid-15c.) was a Middle English name for a swing or see-saw. Also compare merry-go-down "strong ale" (c. 1500); merry-go-sorry "a mix of joy and sorrow" (1590s).
Meaning "place of standing, position" is from early 14c.; figurative sense is from 1590s. Meaning "raised platform for a hunter or sportsman" is attested from c. 1400. Meaning "raised platform for spectators at an open-air event" is from 1610s; meaning "piece of furniture on which something is to be set" is from 1690s. Sense of "stall or booth" is first recorded c. 1500. Military meaning "complete set" (of arms, colors, etc.) is from 1721, often a collective singular. Sense of "standing growth" (usually of of trees) is 1868, American English. Theatrical sense of "each stop made on a performance tour" is from 1896. The word formerly also was slang for "an erection" (1867).
"raised open platform at the entrance of a house," 1755, American and Canadian, from Dutch stoep "flight of steps, doorstep, threshold," from Middle Dutch, from Proto-Germanic *stap- "step" (see step (v.)).
This, unlike most of the words received [in American English] from the Dutch, has extended, in consequence of the uniform style of building that prevails throughout the country, beyond the bounds of New York State, as far as the backwoods of Canada. [Bartlett]
Also in South African English as stoep.
synonymous with "do anal intercourse" by 1949, said to be by 1930s and said to be a reference is to a game played in the farming regions of the Ohio Valley in the U.S. from 19c., in which players take turns throwing a small bag full of feed corn at a raised platform with a hole in it, but references to this are wanting. From corn (n.1) + hole (n.). It also was the name of a kind of corn silo or underground storage pit for corn.
c. 1600, Dolly, a fem. nickname, extended form of Doll, short for Dorothy (see doll (n.)). In 17c. slang "a female pet or favorite." Modern slang sense of "young, attractive woman" is from 1906.
From 1790 as "a child's doll;" applied from 1792 to any contrivance fancied to resemble a dolly in some sense, especially "a small platform on rollers" (1901). Doesn't look like one to me, either, but that's what they say. Compare jack, jenny, jimmy, etc., generic proper names applied to various mechanical contrivances.
1510s, "gallery, portico, balcony," later "flat, raised place for walking" (1570s), from French terrace (Modern French terasse), from Old French terrasse (12c.) "platform (built on or supported by a mound of earth)," from Vulgar Latin *terracea, fem. of *terraceus "earthen, earthy," from Latin terra "earth, land" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry").
As a natural formation in geology, attested from 1670s. In street names, originally in reference to a row of houses along the top of a slope, but lately applied arbitrarily as a fancy name for an ordinary road. As a verb from 1610s, "to form into a terrace." Related: Terraced.
"principal article grown or made in a country or district," early 15c., "official market for some class of merchandise," from Anglo-French estaple (14c.), Old French estaple "counter, stall; regulated market, depot," from a Germanic source akin to Middle Low German stapol, Middle Dutch stapel "market," literally "pillar, foundation," from the same source as staple (n.1), the notion perhaps being of market stalls behind pillars of an arcade, or else of a raised platform where the king's deputies administered judgment.
The sense of "principal article grown or made in a place" is 1610s, short for staple ware "wares and goods from a market" (early 15c.). Meaning "principle element or ingredient in anything" is from 1826. Meaning "fiber of any material used for spinning" is late 15c., of uncertain origin, and perhaps an unrelated word.
"a public address; a formal, vehement, or passionate address;" also "any formal or pompous speech; a declamation; a tirade," mid-15c., arang, Scottish (in English from c. 1600), from French harangue "a public address" (14c.), from Old Italian aringo "public square, platform; pulpit; arena," from a Germanic source such as Old High German hring "circle" (see ring (n.1)) on the notion of "circular gathering," with an -a- inserted to ease Romanic pronunciation of Germanic hr- (compare hamper (n.1)).
But Watkins and Barnhart suggest a Germanic compound, *harihring "circular gathering, assembly," literally "host-ring, army-ring," with first element *hari- "war-band, host" (see harry (v.)). From the same Germanic "ring" root via Romanic come rank (n.), range (v.), arrange.
"to deprive (a word or phrase) of its meaning," 1900, from weasel (n.); so used because the weasel sucks out the contents of eggs, leaving the shell intact. Both this and weasel-word are first attested in "The Stained-Glass Political Platform," a short story by Stewart Chaplin, first printed in Century Magazine, June 1900:
"Why, weasel words are words that suck all the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks an egg and leaves the shell. If you heft the egg afterward it's as light as a feather, and not very filling when you're hungry; but a basketful of them would make quite a show, and would bamboozle the unwary."
They were picked up at once in American political slang. The sense of "extricate oneself (from a difficult place) like a weasel" is first recorded 1925; that of "to evade and equivocate" is from 1956. Related: Weasled; weasling.