Etymology
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spate (n.)

early 15c., originally Scottish and northern English, "a sudden flood, especially one caused by heavy rains or a snowmelt," of unknown origin. Perhaps from Old French espoit "flood," from Dutch spuiten "to flow, spout;" related to spout (v.). Figurative sense of "unusual quantity" is attested from 1610s.

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newt (n.)

"small, tailed, salamander-like amphibian," early 15c., neute, newte, a misdivision of an ewte (see N for other examples), a variation of Middle English evete (see eft). "Eft, though now only provincial, is strictly the correct form" [Century Dictionary]. OED notes that "the change of v to w is unusual."

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salivate (v.)

1650s, transitive, "cause to produce an unusual or excess secretion of saliva" (implied in salivating); intransitive sense "produce an abnormally abundant flow of saliva" is from 1660s, from Latin salivatus, past participle of salivare, from saliva (see saliva). Figurative use in reference to anticipation is by 1951. Related: Salivated.

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bibliomaniac (n.)

"one mad for books, an enthusiastic collector of rare or unusual books," 1811; see bibliomania. Earlier was bibliomane (1777), from French.

A bibliomaniac must be carefully distinguished from a bibliophile. The latter has not yet freed himself from the idea that books are meant to be read. [Walsh]
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knead (v.)

Old English cnedan "to knead, manipulate by squeezing or pressing," from Proto-Germanic *knedan (source also of Old Saxon knedan, Middle Dutch cneden, Dutch kneden, Old High German knetan, German kneten, Old Norse knoða "to knead"). Originally a strong verb (past tense cnæd, past participle cneden). For pronunciation, see kn-. The evolution of the vowel is unusual. Related: Kneaded; kneading.

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ajar (adv.)

"slightly open, neither open nor shut," 1718, also on a jar, on the jar, perhaps from Scottish dialectal a char "turned a little way," earlier on char (mid-15c.) "on the turn (of a door or gate)," from Middle English char "a turn," from Old English cier "a turn" (see chore). For first element see a- (1). For unusual change of ch- to j-, compare jowl.

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rarity (n.)

early 15c., rarite, "thinness, porosity, condition of being not dence;" 1550s, "fewness, state of being uncommon," from French rarité and directly from Latin raritas "thinness, looseness of texture; fewness," from rarus (see rare (adj.1)). Sense of "a rare thing or event, thing valued for its scarcity or unusual excellence" is from 1590s.

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fridge (n.)

shortened and altered form of refrigerator, 1926, an unusual way of word-formation in English; perhaps influenced by Frigidaire (1919), name of a popular early brand of self-contained automatically operated iceless refrigerator (Frigidaire Corporation, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.), a name suggesting Latin frigidarium "a cooling room in a bath." Frigerator as a colloquial shortening is attested by 1886.

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infrequency (n.)

1670s, fact of being infrequent," from Latin infrequentia "a small number, thinness, scantiness," abstract noun from infrequentem (nominative infrequens) "occurring seldom, unusual; not crowded, absent," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + frequens (see frequent). Older in this sense is infrequence (1640s). Earlier infrequency was used in a now-obsolete sense of "state of being unfrequented" (c. 1600).

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former (adj.)

"earlier in time," mid-12c., comparative of forme "first, earliest in time or order," from Old English forma "first," from Proto-Germanic *fruma-, *furma-, from PIE *pre-mo-, suffixed (superlative) form of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first." Probably patterned on formest (see foremost); it is an unusual case of a comparative formed from a superlative (the Old English -m is a superlative suffix). As "first of two," 1580s.

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