Etymology
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shortstop (n.)
1837, from short (adj.) + stop (n.). In cricket, there also is a longstop.
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shortness (n.)
Old English scortnes; see short (adj.) + -ness. Shortness of breath is from 1570s.
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shortcut (n.)
also short-cut, "path not as long as the ordinary way," 1610s, from short (adj.) + cut (n.). Figurative use is attested earlier (1580s).
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shorten (v.)
1510s, "make shorter;" 1560s, "grow shorter," from short (adj.) + -en (1); the earlier form of the verb was simply short, from Old English sceortian "to grow short, become short; run short, fail," gescyrtan "to make short."
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shortening (n.)
1540s, "action of making short," verbal noun from shorten. Meaning "butter or other fat used in baking" (1796) is from shorten in the sense "make crumbly" (1733), from short (adj.) in the secondary sense of "easily crumbled" (early 15c.), which perhaps arose via the notion of "having short fibers." This is the short in shortbread and shortcake.
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curt (adj.)

mid-14c., court, "short, concise, compressed," from Latin curtus "(cut) short, shortened, incomplete," from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut." Sense of "rude, tartly abrupt" is attested by 1831.

The Latin word was adopted early into most Germanic languages (compare Icelandic korta, German kurz, etc.) and drove out the native words based on Proto-Germanic *skurt-, but English retains short (adj.), which also has a secondary sense of "rudely abrupt." Related: Curtal.

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*sker- (1)

also *ker-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cut."

It forms all or part of: bias; carnage; carnal; carnation; carnival; carnivorous; carrion; cenacle; charcuterie; charnel; corium; cortex; crone; cuirass; currier; curt; decorticate; excoriate; incarnadine; incarnate; incarnation; kirtle; scabbard; scar (n.2) "bare and broken rocky face of a cliff or mountain;" scaramouche; scarf (n.2) "connecting joint;" scarp; score; scrabble; scrap (n.1) "small piece;" scrape; screen; screw; scrimmage; scrofula; scrub (n.1) "low, stunted tree;" scurf; shard; share (n.1) "portion;" share (n.2) "iron blade of a plow;" sharp; shear; shears; sheer (adj.) "absolute, utter;" shirt; shore (n.) "land bordering a large body of water;" short; shrub; skerry; skirmish; skirt.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit krnati "hurts, wounds, kills," krntati "cuts;" Hittite karsh- "to cut off;" Greek keirein "to cut, shear;" Latin curtus "short;" Lithuanian skiriu, skirti "to separate;" Old English sceran, scieran "to cleave, hew, cut with a sharp instrument;" Old Irish scaraim "I separate;" Welsh ysgar "to separate," ysgyr "fragment."

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shortbread (n.)
also short-bread, 1755, from short (see shortening) + bread (n.).
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shortcake (n.)
also short-cake, 1590s, from short (see shortening) + cake (n.).
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shortlist (v.)
"to place (someone) on the 'short list' " for advancement or preferment, 1955, from short list (n.) in this sense, which is attested by 1927.
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