1550s, "slowness, a making slower, retardation," from French retardance, from retarder (see retard (v.)). It seems to persist in reference to resistance to fire, in which sense it dates from 1921. Related: Retardancy.
c. 1300, "brothel," from Old French bordel (see bordello, which has replaced it).
1530s, abbreviation of videlicet "that is to say, to wit, namely" (mid-15c.), from Latin videlicet, contraction of videre licet "it is permissible to see," from videre "to see" (see vision) + licet "it is allowed," third person singular present indicative of licere "be allowed" (see licence). The -z- is not a letter, but originally a twirl, representing the usual Medieval Latin shorthand symbol for the ending -et. "In reading aloud usually rendered by 'namely.' " [OED]
"confident of performance," by 1952, from expression can do "it is possible" (1903), literally "(I or we) can do (it)," which is perhaps based on earlier no can do (see no).
colorless, odorless gaseous element, 1794, from French nitrogène, coined 1790 by French chemist Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832), from Greek nitron "sodium carbonate" (see nitro-) + French gène "producing," from Greek -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen). The gas was identified in part by analysis of nitre. An earlier name for it was mephitic air (1772), and Lavoisier called it azote (see azo-). It forms about 78% of the weight of the Earth's atmosphere. Related: Nitrogenic; nitrogenous.