Etymology
Advertisement
manners (n.)

"external behavior (especially polite behavior) in social intercourse," late 14c., plural of manner in a specific sense of "proper behavior, commendable habits of conduct" (c. 1300).

Under bad manners, as under graver faults, lies very commonly an overestimate of our special individuality, as distinguished from our generic humanity. [Oliver W. Holmes, "The Professor at the Breakfast Table," 1858]

Earlier it meant "moral character" (early 13c.).

MANNERS-BIT, a portion of a dish left by the guests that the host may not feel himself reproached for insufficient preparation. [Rev. Joseph Hunter, "The Hallamshire Glossary," 1829]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
smooth (adj.)
Old English smoð "smooth, serene, calm," variant of smeðe "free from roughness, not harsh, polished; soft; suave; agreeable," of unknown origin and with no known cognates. Of words, looks, "pleasant, polite, sincere" late 14c., but later "flattering, insinuating" (mid-15c.). Slang meaning "superior, classy, clever" is attested from 1893. Sense of "stylish" is from 1922.

Smooth-bore in reference to guns is from 1812. smooth talk (v.) is recorded from 1950. A 1599 dictionary has smoothboots "a flatterer, a faire spoken man, a cunning tongued fellow." The usual Old English form was smeðe, and there is a dialectal smeeth found in places names, such as Smithfield, Smedley.
Related entries & more 
pregnant (adj.1)

"with child, impregnated, that has conceived in the womb," early 15c., from Latin praegnantem (nominative praegnans, originally praegnas) "with child," literally "before birth," probably from prae- "before" (see pre-) + root of gnasci "be born" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget").

The word tended to be avoided in polite conversation until c. 1950; modern euphemisms include anticipating, enceinte, expecting, in a family way, in a delicate (or interesting) condition. Old English terms included mid-bearne, literally "with child;" bearn-eaca, literally "child-adding" or "child-increasing;" and geacnod "increased." Among c. 1800 slang terms for "pregnant" was poisoned (in reference to the swelling).

Related entries & more 
must (v.)

auxiliary of prediction, "be obliged, be necessarily impelled," from Old English moste, past tense of motan "have to, be able to," from Proto-Germanic *motanan (source also of Old Saxon motan "to be obliged to, have to," Old Frisian mota, Middle Low German moten, Dutch moeten, German müssen "to be obliged to," Gothic gamotan "to have room to, to be able to"), perhaps from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures," but this old suggestion lately has been doubted. Used as present tense from c. 1300, eventually displacing motan, from the custom of using past subjunctive as a moderate or polite form of the present.

Related entries & more 
lie (n.1)

"an untruth; conscious and intentional falsehood, false statement made with intent to deceive," Old English lyge, lige "lie, falsehood," from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (source also of Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn "a lie"), from the root of lie (v.1).

To give the lie to "accuse directly of lying" is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector is recorded by 1909.

In mod. use, the word is normally a violent expression of moral reprobation, which in polite conversation tends to be avoided, the synonyms falsehood and untruth being often substituted as relatively euphemistic. [OED]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
jape (v.)
late 14c., "to trick, beguile, jilt; to mock," also "to act foolishly; to speak jokingly, jest pleasantly," perhaps from Old French japer "to howl, bawl, scream" (Modern French japper), of echoic origin, or from Old French gaber "to mock, deride." Phonetics suits the former, but sense the latter explanation. Chaucer has it in the full range of senses. Around mid-15c. the Middle English word took on a slang sense of "have sex with" and subsequently vanished from polite usage. It was revived in the benign sense of "say or do something in jest" by Scott, etc., and has limped along since in stilted prose. Related: Japed; japing.
Related entries & more 
mistress (n.)

c. 1300, "female teacher, governess; supervisor of novices in a convent," from Old French maistresse "mistress (lover); housekeeper; governess, female teacher" (Modern French maîtresse), fem. of maistre "master," from Latin magister "chief, head, director, teacher" (see master (n.)).

Sense of "a woman who employs others or has authority over a household and servants" is from early 15c. Meaning "woman who has mastered an art or branch of study" is from mid-15c. Sense of "kept woman of a married man" is from early 15c. As a polite form of address to a woman, mid-15c. Meaning "woman who is beloved and courted, one who has command over a lover's heart" is from c. 1500.

Related entries & more 
genteel (adj.)

1590s, "fashionably elegant; suitable to polite society, characteristic of a lady or gentleman; decorous in manners or behavior," from French gentil "stylish, fashionable, elegant; nice, graceful, pleasing," from Old French gentil "high-born, noble" (11c.); a reborrowing (with evolved senses) of the French word that had early come into English as gentle (q.v.), with French pronunciation and stress preserved to emphasize the distinction. The Latin source of the French word is the ancestor of English gentile, but the main modern meaning of that word is from a later Scriptural sense in Latin. See also jaunty. OED 2nd ed. reports genteel "is now used, except by the ignorant, only in mockery" (a development it dates from the 1840s).

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

mid-15c., humain, humaigne, "human," from Old French humain, umain (adj.) "of or belonging to man" (12c.), from Latin humanus "of man, human," also "humane, philanthropic, kind, gentle, polite; learned, refined, civilized." This is in part from PIE *(dh)ghomon-, literally "earthling, earthly being," as opposed to the gods (from root *dhghem- "earth"), but there is no settled explanation of the sound changes involved. Compare Hebrew adam "man," from adamah "ground." Cognate with Old Lithuanian žmuo (accusative žmuni) "man, male person."

Human interest is from 1824. Human rights attested by 1680s; human being by 1690s. Human relations is from 1916; human resources attested by 1907, American English, apparently originally among social Christians and based on natural resources. Human comedy "sum of human activities" translates French comédie humaine (Balzac); see comedy.

Related entries & more 
respect (n.)
Origin and meaning of respect

late 14c., "relationship, relation; regard, consideration" (as in in respect to), from Old French respect and directly from Latin respectus "regard, a looking at," literally "act of looking back (or often) at one," noun use of past participle of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" (see re-) + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").

Meanings "feeling of esteem excited by actions or attributes of someone or something; courteous or considerate treatment due to personal worth or power." From late 15c. as "an aspect of a thing, a relative property or quality," hence "point, detail, particular feature" (1580s). With all due respect as a polite phrase introducing deferential disagreement is attested by 1670s.

Related entries & more 

Page 3