Etymology
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delete (v.)

"destroy, eradicate," 1530s, from Latin deletus, past participle of delere "destroy, blot out, efface," from delevi, originally perfective tense of delinere "to daub, erase by smudging" (as of the wax on a writing table), from de "from, away" (see de-) + linere "to smear, wipe," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (see slime (n.)). In English, specifically in reference to written matter from c. 1600. Related: Deleted; deleting.

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torch (n.)
mid-13c., from Old French torche "torch," also "handful of straw" (for wiping or cleaning, hence French torcher "to wipe, wipe down"), originally "twisted thing," then "torch formed of twisted tow dipped in wax," probably from Vulgar Latin *torca, alteration of Late Latin torqua, from Latin torquere "to twist" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist").

In Britain, also applied to the battery-driven version (in U.S., a flashlight). To pass the torch is an ancient metaphor from the Greek torch-races (lampadedromia) where the goal was to reach the finish line with the torch still burning. Torch-bearer "leader of a cause" is from 1530s. Torch song is 1927 ("My Melancholy Baby," performed by Tommy Lyman, is said to have been the first so called), from carry a torch "suffer an unrequited love" (also 1927), Broadway slang, but the sense is obscure.
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terse (adj.)

1590s (implied in tersely), "clean-cut, burnished, neat," from French ters "clean," and directly from Latin tersus "wiped off, clean, neat," from past participle of tergere "to rub, polish, wipe," which is of uncertain origin. Sense of "concise or pithy in style or language" is from 1777, which led to a general sense of "neatly concise." The pejorative meaning "brusque" is a fairly recent development. Related: Terseness.

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dry (v.)

Middle English drien, from Old English drygan, "make dry, free from water or moisture of any kind," also intransitive, "lose moisture," cognate with Dutch droogen, Low German drügen, from the source of dry (adj.). Related: Dried; drying. Of liquids, "to evaporate," early 14c. Meaning "to wipe (dishes, etc.) dry after washing up" is by 1935. Dry out in the drug addiction sense is from 1967. Dry up "stop talking" is by 1853.

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liquidate (v.)
1570s, of accounts, "to reduce to order, to set out clearly" (a sense now obsolete), from Late Latin or Medieval Latin liquidatus, past participle of liquidare "to melt, make liquid, make clear, clarify," from Latin liquidus "fluid, liquid, moist" (see liquid (adj.)). Sense of "clear away" (a debt) first recorded 1755. The meaning "wipe out, kill" is from 1924, possibly from Russian likvidirovat, ultimately from the Latin word. Related: Liquidated; liquidating.
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obliterate (v.)

"blot out, cause to disappear, remove all traces of, wipe out," c. 1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out (a writing), erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten, blot out a remembrance," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)). The verb was abstracted from the phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.

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kerchief (n.)
"square piece of fabric folded and worn about the head," early 13c., kovrechief "piece of cloth used to cover part of the head," especially a woman's head-cloth or veil, from Anglo-French courchief, Old French couvrechief "a kerchief," literally "cover head," from couvrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)) + chief "head" (from Latin caput "head," from PIE root *kaput- "head"). From late 14c. as "piece of cloth used about the person" generally, for purposes other than covering the head; and from c. 1400 as "piece of cloth carried in the hand" to wipe the face, etc. (compare handkerchief).
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plane (v.1)

"to make smooth," early 14c., originally in a figurative sense, "to gloss over, explain away;" mid-14c. as "to make smooth or even" (especially by use of a plane (n.3)), from Old French planer "to smooth, level off; wipe away, erase" (12c.) and directly from Late Latin planare "make level," from Latin planus "level, flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"). In early use in English often plain. Related: Planed; planing.

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napkin (n.)

late 14c., "a table napkin, small square piece of cloth used to wipe the lips and hands and protect the clothes at table," a diminutive of nape "a tablecloth" (from Old French nape "tablecloth, cloth cover, towel," from Latin mappa; see map (n.)) + Middle English -kin "little." No longer felt as a diminutive. The Old French diminutive was naperon (see apron). The shift of Latin -m- to -n- was a tendency in Old French (conter from computare, printemps from primum, natte "mat, matting," from matta). Middle English also had naperie "linen objects; sheets, tablecloths, napkins, etc.;" also, "place where the linens are kept." Napkin-ring is from 1680s.

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doomsday (n.)

"day of the last judgment," Middle English domesdai, from Old English domes dæg, from domes, genitive of dom (see doom (n.)) + dæg "day" (see day (n.)).

In medieval England doomsday was expected when the world's age had reached 6,000 years from the creation, which was thought to have been in 5200 B.C.E. Bede, c. 720, complained of being pestered by rustici asking him how many years till the sixth millennium ended. However there is no evidence for the story of a general panic in Christian Europe in the year 1000 C.E.

Doomsday machine as the name of a hypothetical nuclear bomb powerful enough to wipe out human life (or all life) on earth is from 1960.

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