early 14c., opinioun, "a judgment formed or a conclusion reached, especially one based on evidence that does not produce knowledge or certainty," from Old French opinion "opinion, view, judgements founded upon probabilities" (12c.), from Latin opinionem (nominative opinio) "opinion, conjecture, fancy, belief, what one thinks; appreciation, esteem," from stem of opinari "think, judge, suppose, opine," from PIE *op- (2) "to choose" (see option).
Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making. [Milton, "Areopagitica"]
The word always has tended toward "a judgment or view regarded as influenced more by sentiment or feeling than reason." The meaning "formal statement by a judge or other professional" is from late 15c. The specific sense of "the estimate one forms of the character or qualities of persons or things" is by c. 1500. Public opinion, "the prevailing view in a given community on any matter of general interest or concern," is by 1735.
Middle English, perhaps reflecting the era's concern for obtaining knowledge through learned disputation, had opinional "characterized by likelihood rather than certainty" and opinial "based on probable but not certain evidence" (both mid-15c.).
"reliance on direct experience and observation rather than on theory;" 1650s, originally in a medical sense, from empiric + -ism. The original medical sense was depreciative: "quackery; the pretension of an ignorant person to medical skill." The depreciative quality carried over later into the general sense of "reliance on direct observation rather than theory," especially an undue reliance on mere individual experience. In reference to a philosophical doctrine which regards experience as the only source of knowledge from 1796.
Were I obliged to give a short name to the attitude in question, I should call it that of radical empiricism, in spite of the fact that such brief nicknames are nowhere more misleading than in philosophy. I say 'empiricism' because it is contented to regard its most assured conclusions concerning matters of fact as hypotheses liable to modification in the course of future experience; and I say 'radical,' because it treats the doctrine of monism itself as an hypothesis, and, unlike so much of the half way empiricism that is current under the name of positivism or agnosticism or scientific naturalism, it does not dogmatically affirm monism as something with which all experience has got to square. The difference between monism and pluralism is perhaps the most pregnant of all the differences in philosophy. [William James, preface to "The Sentiment of Rationality" in "The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy," 1897]
1540s, "epic poem," also "a book of an epic" (suitable for recitation at one time), from French rhapsodie, from Latin rhapsodia, from Greek rhapsōidia "verse composition, recitation of epic poetry; a book, a lay, a canto," from rhapsōdos "reciter of epic poems," literally "one who stitches or strings songs together," from stem of rhaptein "to stitch, sew, weave" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend") + ōidē "song" (see ode).
According to Beekes, the notion in the Greek word is "originally 'who sews a poem together', referring to the uninterrupted sequence of epic verses as opposed to the strophic compositions of lyrics." William Mure ["Language and Literature of Antient Greece," 1850] writes that the Homeric rhapsōidia "originally applied to the portions of the poems habitually allotted to different performers in the order of recital, afterwards transferred to the twenty-four books, or cantos, into which each work was permanently divided by the Alexandrian grammarians."
The word had various specific or extended senses 16c.-17c., mostly now obsolete or archaic. Among them was "miscellaneous collection, confused mass (of things)," thus "literary work consisting of miscellaneous or disconnected pieces, a rambling composition." This, now obsolete, might be the path of the word to the meaning "an exalted or exaggeratedly enthusiastic expression of sentiment or feeling, speech or writing with more enthusiasm than accuracy or logical connection of ideas" (1630s). The meaning "sprightly musical composition" is recorded by 1850s.
"love of one's country; the passion which moves a person to serve his country, either in defending it or in protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions," 1726, from patriot + -ism.
The patriotic quip My country, right or wrong traces to a toast given by U.S. War of 1812 naval hero Stephen Decatur at a public dinner in Norfolk, Va., in April 1816, but the original seems to have been "Our country; in her intercourse with other nations may she be always right; and always successful, right or wrong." [as reported in the Pittsfield, Mass., "Sun," July 4, 1816], or similar words.
In 1823 and for a few years after, "Our Country—Right or Wrong" was printed in U.S. newspapers as the name of a song played on patriotic occasions [e.g., Pittsfield, Mass., "Sun," July 10, 1823], and by the fall of 1823 Decatur's toast was being quoted as "Our Country—right or wrong" [Hartford "Courant," Nov. 25, 1823].
The amendment often attributed to Carl Schurz in 1872, who did say it on the floor of the Senate, seems to be older:
The Hon. Israel Washburn, of Maine, gave the following felicitous sentiment at the late Bangor celebration on the Fourth:
"Our Country—Our country, right or wrong; when right, to be kept right; when wrong to be put right."
[Wheeling, W.Va., "Daily Intelligencer," July 21, 1859]
early 14c., "agreement between persons, union in opinions or sentiment, state of mutual friendship, amiability," from Old French concorde (12c.) "concord, harmony, agreement, treaty," from Latin concordia "agreement, union," from concors (genitive concordis) "of the same mind," literally "hearts together," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + cor (genitive cordis) "heart," from PIE root *kerd- "heart." Related: Concordial.
Meaning "a compact or agreement" is from late 15c. The village in Massachusetts (site of one of the opening battles of the Revolutionary War, April 19, 1775) was named in 1635, perhaps in reference to the peaceful dealings between the settlers and the local native tribes. The capital of New Hampshire was renamed for the Massachusetts town in 1763 (formerly it had been Pennycook, from a mangling of a native Algonquian word meaning "descent").
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
[Emerson, from "Concord Hymn"]
The Concord grape was so called by 1853, from the Massachusetts town, where it was bred for the local climate and promoted by farmer Ephraim Wales Bull. It is mentioned, but not named in the "New England Farmer" of Oct. 26, 1850, in its acknowledgements:
From E. W. Bull, Concord, a lot of fine seedling grapes, which he produced by a cross of the Catawba with a native grape. It is very good, and partakes of the nature of its parents, having some of the vinous flavor of the Catawba, and a little of the acid peculiar to our native fruit.
early 15c., "a playing card," from Old French carte (14c.), from Medieval Latin carta/charta "a card, paper; a writing, a charter," from Latin charta "leaf of paper, a writing, tablet," from Greek khartēs "layer of papyrus," which is probably from Egyptian. The form has been influenced by Italian cognate carta "paper, leaf of paper." Compare chart (n.). The shift in English from -t to -d is unexplained.
The sense of "playing cards" also is the oldest of the French word. The sense in English was extended by 1590s to similar small, flat, stiff pieces of paper. As "small piece of cardboard upon which is written or printed the name, address, etc. of the person presenting it," from 1795: visiting-cards for social calls, business-cards announcing one's profession. The meaning "printed ornamental greetings for special occasions" is from 1862.
Application to clever or original persons (1836, originally with an adjective, as in smart card) is from the playing-card sense, via expressions such as sure card "an expedient certain to attain an object" (c. 1560).
Card-sharper "professional cheat at cards" is from 1859. House of cards in the figurative sense "any insecure or flimsy scheme" is from 1640s, first attested in Milton, from children's play. To (figuratively) have a card up (one's) sleeve is from 1898. To play the _______ card (for political advantage) is from 1886, originally the Orange card, meaning "appeal to Northern Irish Protestant sentiment."
Cards are first mentioned in Spain in 1371, described in detail in Switzerland in 1377, and by 1380 reliably reported from places as far apart as Florence, Basle, Regensburg, Brabant, Paris, and Barcelona. References are also claimed for earlier dates, but these are relatively sparse and do not withstand scrutiny. [David Parlett, "A History of Card Games"]