fem. proper name, from Greek Kasandra, Kassandra, daughter of Priam and Hecuba of Troy, seduced by Apollo who gave her the gift of prophecy, but when she betrayed him he amended it so that, though she spoke truth, none would believe her. Used figuratively since 1660s.
The name is of uncertain origin, though the second element looks like a fem. form of Greek andros "of man, male human being." Watkins suggests PIE *(s)kand- "to shine" as source of second element. The name also has been connected to kekasmai "to surpass, excel," and Beekes suggests a source in PIE *(s)kend- "raise."
late 14c., "group of people, animals, etc.; kind or variety of person or animal," from Old French sorte "class, kind," from Latin sortem (nominative sors) "lot; fate, destiny; share, portion; rank, category; sex, class, oracular response, prophecy," from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up."
The sense evolution in Vulgar Latin is from "what is allotted to one by fate," to "fortune, condition," to "rank, class, order." Later (mid-15c.) "group, class, or category of items; kind or variety of thing; pattern, design." Out of sorts "not in usual good condition" is attested from 1620s, with literal sense of "out of stock."
There are many theories to explain the Latin sense development, but none has yet been generally accepted; de Vaan suggests the sense is "cause to remain in existence." Originally in English especially of religion; sense of "unreasonable notion" is from 1794.
late 13c., auys "opinion," from Old French avis "opinion, view, judgment, idea" (13c.), from phrase ço m'est à vis "it seems to me," or from Vulgar Latin *mi est visum "in my view," ultimately from Latin visum, neuter past participle of videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Meaning "opinion offered as worthy to be followed, counsel" is from late 14c.
The unetymological -d- (on model of Latin words in ad-) was inserted occasionally in French by scribes 14c.-16c. and was made regular in English 15c. by Caxton. Substitution of -c- for -s- is 18c., to preserve the breath sound and to distinguish from advise. Early Modern English tended to alternate -ce and -se endings in otherwise confusable noun-verb pairs, using -se for the verb and -ce for the noun: devise/device, peace/appease, practice/practise, license/licence, prophecy/prophesy.
1875, "special spiritual gift or power divinely conferred, talent from God" (as on the early Christians in "Acts," etc.), Latinized form of Greek kharisma "favor, divine gift," from kharizesthai "to show favor to," from kharis "grace, beauty, kindness" (Charis was the name of one of the three attendants of Aphrodite), which is related to khairein "to rejoice at," from PIE root *gher- (2) "to like, want."
In the form charism (plural charismata) it is attested in the "special spiritual gift from god" sense from 1640s. Middle English, meanwhile, had karisme "spiritual gift, divine grace" (c. 1500).
These gifts were of two classes, the gift of healing and gift of teaching, the latter again being of two kinds, the gift of prophecy and the gift of tongues. Such gifts have been claimed in later ages by certain teachers and sects in the church, as the Montanists and the Irvingites, and in recent times by some of those who practise the so-called faith-cure. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
Meaning "gift of leadership, power of authority" is from c. 1930, from German, used in this sense by Max Weber (1864-1920) in "Wirtschaft u. Gesellschaft" (1922). More mundane sense of "personal charm" recorded by 1959.
1580s, "pertaining to or constituting a lengthy heroic poem," via French épique or directly from Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos "a word; a tale, story; promise, prophecy, proverb; poetry in heroic verse" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak").
Extended sense of "grand, heroic" is recorded in English by 1731. From 1706 as a noun in reference to an epic poem, "A long narrative told on a grand scale of time and place, featuring a larger-than-life protagonist and heroic actions" [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry"]. Earlier as "an epic poet" (1630s).
I believe the word 'epic' is usually understood by English readers to mean merely a long and grand poem instead of a short slight one—at least, I know that as a boy I remained long under that impression myself. It really means a poem in which story-telling, and philosophical reflection as its accompaniment, take the place of dramatic action, and impulsive song. [Ruskin, "Elements of English Prosody, for use in St. George's Schools," 1880]
"small sack," c. 1200, bagge, probably from Old Norse baggi "pack, bundle," or a similar Scandinavian source. OED rejects connection to other Germanic words for "bellows, belly" as without evidence and finds a Celtic origin untenable. In some senses perhaps from Old French bague, which is also from Germanic.
As disparaging slang for "woman" it dates from 1924 in modern use (but various specialized senses of this are much older, and compare baggage). Meaning "person's area of interest or expertise" is 1964, from African-American vernacular, from jazz sense of "category," probably via notion of putting something in a bag. Meaning "fold of loose skin under the eye" is by 1867. Related: bags.
To be left holding the bag (and presumably nothing else), "cheated, swindled" is attested by 1793. Many figurative senses, such as the verb meaning "to kill game" (1814) and its colloquial extension to "catch, seize, steal" (1818) are from the notion of the game bag (late 15c.) into which the product of the hunt was placed. This also probably explains modern slang in the bag "assured, certain" (1922, American English).
To let the cat out of the bag "reveal the secret" is from 1760. The source is probably the French expression Acheter chat en poche "buy a cat in a bag," which is attested in 18c. French and explained in Bailey's "Universal Etymological English Dictionary" (1736), under the entry for To buy a pig in a poke as "to buy a Thing without looking at it, or enquiring into the Value of it." (Similar expressions are found in Italian and German; and in English, Wyclif (late 14c.) has To bye a catte in þo sakke is bot litel charge). Thus to let the cat out of the bag would be to inadvertently reveal the hidden truth of a matter one is attempting to pass off as something better or different, which is in line with the earliest uses in English.
Sir Joseph letteth the cat out of the bag, and sheweth principles inimical to the cause of true philosophy, by wishing to make great men Fellows, instead of wise men ["Peter Pindar," "Peter's Prophecy," 1788]
mid-13c., "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from Anglo-French spirit, Old French espirit "spirit, soul" (12c., Modern French esprit) and directly from Latin spiritus "a breathing (respiration, and of the wind), breath; breath of a god," hence "inspiration; breath of life," hence "life;" also "disposition, character; high spirit, vigor, courage; pride, arrogance," related to spirare "to breathe," perhaps from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (source also of Old Church Slavonic pisto "to play on the flute"). But de Vaan says "Possibly an onomatopoeic formation imitating the sound of breathing. There are no direct cognates."
Meaning "supernatural immaterial creature; angel, demon; an apparition, invisible corporeal being of an airy nature" is attested from mid-14c.; from late 14c. as "a ghost" (see ghost (n.)). From c. 1500 as "a nature, character"; sense of "essential principle of something" (in a non-theological context, as in Spirit of St. Louis) is attested from 1680s, common after 1800; Spirit of '76 in reference to the qualities that sparked and sustained the American Revolution is attested by 1797 in William Cobbett's "Porcupine's Gazette and Daily Advertiser."
From late 14c. in alchemy as "volatile substance; distillate;" from c. 1500 as "substance capable of uniting the fixed and the volatile elements of the philosopher's stone." Hence spirits "volatile substance;" sense narrowed to "strong alcoholic liquor" by 1670s. This also is the sense in spirit level (1768). Also from mid-14c. as "character, disposition; way of thinking and feeling, state of mind; source of a human desire;" in Middle English freedom of spirit meant "freedom of choice." From late 14c. as "divine substance, divine mind, God;" also "Christ" or His divine nature; "the Holy Ghost; divine power;" also, "extension of divine power to man; inspiration, a charismatic state; charismatic power, especially of prophecy." Also "essential nature, essential quality." From 1580s in metaphoric sense "animation, vitality."
According to Barnhart and OED, originally in English mainly from passages in Vulgate, where the Latin word translates Greek pneuma and Hebrew ruah. Distinction between "soul" and "spirit" (as "seat of emotions") became current in Christian terminology (such as Greek psykhe vs. pneuma, Latin anima vs. spiritus) but "is without significance for earlier periods" [Buck]. Latin spiritus, usually in classical Latin "breath," replaces animus in the sense "spirit" in the imperial period and appears in Christian writings as the usual equivalent of Greek pneuma. Spirit-rapping is from 1852.