Etymology
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firn (n.)
"consolidated snow, the raw material of glaciers," 1839, literally "last year's snow, névé," from German Firn, from Swiss dialectal firn "of last year," from Middle High German virne "old," from Old High German firni, related to Old English fyrn "old," Gothic fairns "of last year," from Proto-Germanic *fur- "before" (see fore (adv.)).

The only living English relic of a useful word meaning "of last year" that was widespread in Indo-European languages (cognates: Lithuanian pernai "last year" (adv.), Greek perysi "a year ago, last year," Sanskrit parut "of last year;" also German Firnewein "wine of last year"). Old English had fyrngemynd "ancient history," more literally, "memory of long ago;" fyrnmann "man of old times;" fyrnnes "antiquity;" fyrnsægen "old saying." Middle English retained fern "long ago, formerly, of old," fern-days "days of old, former year, a year past."
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hedge (n.)

Old English hecg "hedge," originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *hagjo (source also of Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from a verb *hagjanan, from PIE root *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (source also of Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw (n.)).

Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. As hedges were "often used by vagabonds as places of shelter or resort" [Century Dictionary], the word, compounded, "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s. The noun in the betting sense is from 1736 (see hedge (v.)).

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phrenology (n.)

"the theory that the mental powers of the individual consist of independent faculties, each of which has its seat in a different brain region, whose size is commensurate with the power of the faculty," 1815, literally "mental science," from phreno- "mind" (q.v.) + -logy "study of." Applied to the theory of mental faculties originated by Gall and Spurzheim that led to the 1840s mania for reading personality clues in the shape of a subject's skull and the "bumps" of the head. It was most popular from about 1810 to 1840. Related: Phrenological; phrenologist.

This theory, which originated at the close of the eighteenth century, assumes, moreover, as an essential part, the plasticity of the cranial envelop, by which the skull conforms externally, in the normal subject, to the shape and configuration of the brain within, so that its form and faculties may be determined, with sufficient exactness, from the skull itself, whether in the skeleton or in the living person. [Century Dictionary]
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dedicated (adj.)

"set apart and consecrated to a deity or to a sacred purpose by a solemn act or by religious ceremonies; devoted with earnest purpose, as to some person or end," c. 1600, usually of things, writings, property, etc., past-participle adjective from dedicate (v.).

Of persons, "devoted to one's aims or vocation," attested clearly by 1936, but the sense shift can be felt in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which opens talking of "a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," and a few lines later reintroduces the word personally: "It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ...."

Of things, "made to be available only for a particular purpose or class of user," by 1969. Related: Dedicatedly

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pentagon (n.)

1560s, "plane figure with five angles and five sides," from French pentagone (13c.) or directly from Late Latin pentagonum "pentagon," from Greek pentagōnon, a noun use of the neuter of the adjective pentagōnos "five-angled," from pente "five" (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") + gōnia "angle, corner" (from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle"). The U.S. military headquarters known as the Pentagon was completed in 1942, and so called for its shape; used allusively for "U.S. military leadership" from 1945; Pentagonese "U.S. official military jargon" is by 1951. Related: Pentagonal.

In nature, pentagonal symmetry is rare in inanimate forms. Packed soap bubbles seem to strive for it but never quite succeed, and there are no mineral crystals with true pentagonal structures. But pentagonal geometry is basic to many living things, from roses and forget-me-nots to sea urchins and starfish. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style," 1992]
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threshold (n.)

Old English þrescold, þærscwold, þerxold, etc., "door-sill, point of entering," a word of uncertain origin and probably much altered by folk-etymology.

The first element probably is related to Old English þrescan (see thresh), either in its current sense of "thresh" or with its original sense of "to tread, trample." The second element has been much transformed in all the Germanic languages, suggesting its literal sense was lost even in ancient times. In English it probably has been altered to conform to hold.

Liberman (Oxford University Press blog, Feb. 11, 2015) revives an old theory that the second element is the Proto-Germanic instrumental suffix *-thlo and the original sense of threshold was a threshing area adjacent to the living area of a house. Cognates of the compound include Old Norse þreskjoldr, Swedish tröskel, Old High German driscufli, German dialectal drischaufel. The figurative use was present in Old English.

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armistice (n.)

"temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement of the parties," 1707, from French armistice (1680s), coined on the model of Latin solstitium (see solstice), etc., from Latin arma "arms" (see arm (n.2)) + -stitium (used only in compounds), from PIE *ste-ti-, suffixed form of root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

The word is attested in English from 1660s in the Latin form armistitium. German Waffenstillstand is a loan-translation from French. Armistice Day (1919) commemorated the end of the Great War of 1914-18 on Nov. 11, 1918, and memorialized the dead in that war. In Britain, after World War II, it merged with Remembrance Day. In U.S. (which suffered fewer casualties and had already a Memorial Day for the dead), Armistice Day became a national holiday in 1926; in 1954, to also honor living World War II and Korean War veterans, it was re-dubbed Veterans Day.

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evolution (n.)
1620s, "an opening of what was rolled up," from Latin evolutionem (nominative evolutio) "unrolling (of a book)," noun of action from past participle stem of evolvere "to unroll" (see evolve).

Used in medicine, mathematics, and general writing in various senses including "growth to maturity and development of an individual living thing" (1660s). Modern use in biology, of species, first attested 1832 in works of Scottish geologist Charles Lyell. Charles Darwin used the word in print once only, in the closing paragraph of "The Origin of Species" (1859), and preferred descent with modification, in part because evolution already had been used in the discarded 18c. homunculus theory of embryological development (first proposed under this name by Bonnet, 1762) and in part because it carried a sense of "progress" not present in Darwin's idea. But Victorian belief in progress prevailed (and the advantages of brevity), and Herbert Spencer and other biologists after Darwin popularized evolution.
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kitsch (n.)

1926, from German kitsch, literally "gaudy, trash," from dialectal kitschen "to smear." Earlier as a German word in English.

What we English people call ugliness in German art is simply the furious reaction against what Germans call süsses Kitsch, the art of the picture postcard, and of what corresponds to the royalty ballad. It has for years been their constant reproach against us that England is the great country of Kitsch. Many years ago a German who loved England only too well said to me, 'I like your English word plain; it is a word for which we have no equivalent in German, because all German women are plain.' He might well have balanced it by saying that English has no equivalent for the word Kitsch. [Edward J. Dent, "The Music of Arnold Schönberg," "The Living Age," July 9, 1921]
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rural (adj.)

early 15c., of persons, "living in the countryside," from Old French rural (14c.), from Latin ruralis "of the countryside," from rus (genitive ruris) "open land, country" (from PIE *reue- (1) "to open; space;" see room (n.)).

In early examples there is usually little or no difference between the meanings of rural and rustic, but in later use the tendency is to employ rural when the idea of locality (country scenes, etc.) is prominent, and rustic when there is a suggestion of the more primitive qualities or manners naturally attaching to country life. [OED]

By 1510s as "characteristic of country life generally, rustic. Extended senses in 15c. included "lowly, unlearned, uncouth, unpretentious, unpolished;" the overal sense of "characteristic of the country, as opposed to the town," is by 1580s.

As a noun, "a country person, a peasant" mid-15c. Related: Rurally; ruralism; rurality. Wordsworth uses ruralize "give a rural character to," but ruralization was used from 1859, of persons, in the sense of "a going into the country."

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