early 13c., "store room," from Anglo-French celer, Old French celier "cellar, underground passage" (12c., Modern French cellier), from Latin cellarium "pantry, storeroom," literally "group of cells;" which is either directly from cella "small room, store-room" (from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save"), or from noun use of neuter of adjective cellarius "pertaining to a storeroom," from cella. The sense "room under a house or other building, mostly underground and used for storage" gradually emerged in late Middle and early Modern English. Related: Cellarer. Cellar-door attested by 1640s.
"underground burial place," usually catacombs, from Old English catacumbas, from Late Latin catacumbae (plural) "sepulchral vaults," originally the region of underground tombs between the 2nd and 3rd milestones of the Appian Way (where the bodies of apostles Paul and Peter, among others, were said to have been laid) near Rome; the word is of obscure origin, perhaps once a proper name, or dissimilation from Latin cata tumbas "at the graves," from cata- "among" + tumbas, accusative plural of tumba "tomb" (see tomb).
If so, the word perhaps was altered by influence of Latin -cumbere "to lie." From the same source are French catacombe, Italian catacomba, Spanish catacumba. Extended by 1836 in English to any subterranean receptacle of the dead (as in Paris). Related: Catacumbal.
early 15c., "belonging to an (ecclesiastical) metropolis," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolites "resident of a city," from metropolis (see metropolitan (n.)). Meaning "residing in or connected with a chief or capital city" is from 1550s. In reference to underground city railways, it is attested from 1867.
type of edible underground fungus, 1590s, from French trufle (14c.), probably from Old Provençal trufa, metathesized from Late Latin tufera (plural), cognate of Latin tuber "edible root." Another theory notes Italian tartuffo (Milanese tartuffel) "potato," supposedly from terræ tuber. Extended 1926 to powdered, round chocolates that look like truffles.
late Old English dung "manure, decayed matter used to fertilize soil," from Proto-Germanic *dungō (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon dung "manure;" Old High German tunga "manuring," tung "underground room covered with manure;" German Dung; Old Norse dyngja "heap of manure, women's apartment;" Swedish dynga "dung, muck;" Danish dynge "heap, mass, pile"), perhaps from a PIE *dhengh- "covering" (source also of Lithuanian dengti "to cover," Old Irish dingim "I press").
The word recalls the ancient Germanic custom (reported by Tacitus) of covering underground shelters with manure to keep in warmth in winter. The meaning "animal excrement," whether used as fertilizer or not, is from late 13c.
It appears that the whole body of journeymen tailors is divided into two classes, denominated Flints and Dungs: the former work by the day and receive all equal wages; the latter work generally by the piece ["The Annual Register for the Year 1824," London, 1825].
Dung beetle, common name of the beetles which roll up balls of dung," is attested by 1630s. In colloquial American English, tumble-bug. An Old English word for it was tordwifel "turd weevil."
Specifically of underground channels for wastewater from c. 1600; figurative use of this is from 1640s.
c. 1300, "great tower of a castle," from Old French donjon "great tower of a castle" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *dominionem, from Late Latin dominium, from Latin dominus "master" (of the castle), from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household"), so called probably for its commanding position or strength. Sense of "castle keep" led to that of "strong (underground) cell" in English early 14c. The original sense went with the variant donjon.
early 15c., tonel, "funnel-shaped net for catching birds," from Old French tonnelle "net," or tonel "cask," diminutive of Old French tonne "tun, cask for liquids," possibly from the same source as Old English tunne (see tun).
Sense of "tube, pipe" (1540s) developed in English and led to sense of "underground passage" (1660s). This sense subsequently has been borrowed into French (1878). The earlier native word for this was mine (n.). Meaning "burrow of an animal" is from 1873. Tunnel vision is attested from 1912. The amusement park tunnel of love is attested from 1911 (in reference to New York's Luna Park). The figurative light at the end of the tunnel has been seen since 1882.
The "Tunnel of Love," an attraction found at many amusement parks, has been responsible for a surprising number of proposals. In this and similar devices, couples are allowed to drift through dark or semi-dark underground caverns, usually in a boat or gondola borne on an artificial stream of water. ... Their dim interiors often give a bashful young man the opportunity to propose. [The American Magazine, July 1922]
1650s, euphemism for "underground sewer," from Latin cloaca "public sewer, drain," from cluere "to cleanse," probably from PIE root *kleu- "to wash, clean" (source also of Greek klyzein "to dash over, wash off, rinse out," klysma "liquid used in a washing;" Lithuanian šluoju, šluoti "to sweep;" Old English hlutor, Gothic hlutrs, Old High German hlutar, German lauter "pure, clear"). Use in biology, in reference to eliminatory systems of lower animals, is from 1834. Related: Cloacal (1650s); cloacinal (1857).
synonymous with "do anal intercourse" by 1949, said to be by 1930s and said to be a reference is to a game played in the farming regions of the Ohio Valley in the U.S. from 19c., in which players take turns throwing a small bag full of feed corn at a raised platform with a hole in it, but references to this are wanting. From corn (n.1) + hole (n.). It also was the name of a kind of corn silo or underground storage pit for corn.