Etymology
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speculation (n.)

late 14c., "intelligent contemplation, consideration; act of looking," from Old French speculacion "close observation, rapt attention," and directly from Late Latin speculationem (nominative speculatio) "contemplation, observation," noun of action from speculatus, past participle of Latin speculari "observe," from specere "to look at, view" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").

The meaning "pursuit of the truth by means of thinking" is from mid-15c. The disparaging sense of "mere conjecture" is recorded from 1570s. The meaning "buying and selling in search of profit from rise and fall of market value" is recorded from 1774; its short form spec is attested from 1794.

Protestant clergy were at least as bigoted as Catholic ecclesiastics, nevertheless there soon came to be much more liberty of speculation in Protestant than in Catholic countries, because in Protestant countries the clergy had less power. The important aspect of Protestantism was schism, not heresy, for schism led to national Churches were not strong enough to control the lay government. This was wholly a gain, for the Churches, everywhere, opposed as long as they could practically every invention that made for an increase of happiness or knowledge here on earth.  [Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy," 1945]
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cosmos (n.)

c. 1200, "the universe, the world" (but not popular until 1848, when it was taken as the English equivalent to Humboldt's Kosmos in translations from German), from Latinized form of Greek kosmos "order, good order, orderly arrangement," a word with several main senses rooted in those notions: The verb kosmein meant generally "to dispose, prepare," but especially "to order and arrange (troops for battle), to set (an army) in array;" also "to establish (a government or regime);" "to deck, adorn, equip, dress" (especially of women). Thus kosmos had an important secondary sense of "ornaments of a woman's dress, decoration" (compare kosmokomes "dressing the hair," and cosmetic) as well as "the universe, the world."

Pythagoras is said to have been the first to apply this word to "the universe," perhaps originally meaning "the starry firmament," but it later was extended to the whole physical world, including the earth. For specific reference to "the world of people," the classical phrase was he oikoumene (ge) "the inhabited (earth)." Septuagint uses both kosmos and oikoumene. Kosmos also was used in Christian religious writing with a sense of "worldly life, this world (as opposed to the afterlife)," but the more frequent word for this was aiōn, literally "lifetime, age."

The word cosmos often suggested especially "the universe as an embodiment of order and harmony."

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empire (n.)

mid-14c., "territory subject to an emperor's rule;" in general "realm, dominion;" late 14c. as "authority of an emperor, supreme power in governing; imperial power," in Middle English generally of the Roman Empire.

From Old French empire "rule, authority, kingdom, imperial rule" (11c.), from Latin imperium "a rule, a command; authority, control, power; supreme power, sole dominion; military authority; a dominion, realm," from imperare "to command," from assimilated form of in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + parare "to order, prepare" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").

Not etymologically restricted to "territory ruled by an emperor," but used that way. The Empire, meaning "the British Empire," first recorded 1772 (it officially devolved into "The Commonwealth" in 1931); before that it meant the Holy Roman Empire (1670s).

[P]roperly an empire is an aggregate of conquered, colonized, or confederated states, each with its own government subordinate or tributary to that of the empire as a whole. [Century Dictionary] 

Empire as the name of a style (especially in reference to a style of dresses with high waistlines) is by 1860, in reference to the affected classicism prevailing in France during the reign of Napoleon I (1804-15). Second Empire is in reference to the rule of Napoleon III of France (1852-70). New York has been called the Empire State since 1834.

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every (adj.)

"each, considered indefinitely as a unitary part of an aggregate; all, of a collective or aggregate number, taken one by one;" early 13c., contraction of Old English æfre ælc "each of a group," literally "ever each" (Chaucer's everich), from each with ever added before it for emphasis. The word still is felt to want emphasis; as in Modern English every last ..., every single ..., etc.

Also a pronoun to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, "each of any number of persons or things; every one." Compare everybody, everything, etc. The word everywhen is attested from 1843 but never caught on; neither did everyhow (1837).

Every now and then "repeatedly, at short intervals" is from 1660s. Every once in a while, U.S. colloquial, "now and then, from time to time," is attested from 1814 (Bartlett calls it "A singular though very common expression"). Slang phrase every Tom, Dick, and Harry "every man, everyone" dates from at least 1723, from the common English given names.

That is to ſay, they affirm, that once upon a Time (tho' they never yet could tell when) all Mankind were upon a Level, and that there was no ſuch Thing as Government in the World; and that Tom, Dick, and Harry, ay, every individual Man, Woman, and Child, had a Right to the whole World. [Charles Leslie, "A Short and Eaſie Method with the Deists," London, 1723]
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custom (n.)

c. 1200, custume, "habitual practice," either of an individual or a nation or community, from Old French costume "custom, habit, practice; clothes, dress" (12c., Modern French coutume), from Vulgar Latin *consuetumen, from Latin consuetudinem (nominative consuetudo) "habit, usage, way, practice, tradition, familiarity," from consuetus, past participle of consuescere "accustom," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + suescere "become used to, accustom oneself," related to sui, genitive of suus "oneself," from PIE *swe- "oneself" (see idiom).

Custom implies continued volition, the choice to keep doing what one has done; as compared with manner and fashion, it implies a good deal of permanence. [Century Dictionary]

A doublet of costume. An Old English word for it was þeaw. Meaning "the practice of buying goods at some particular place" is from 1590s. Sense of a "regular" toll or tax on goods is early 14c. The native word here is toll (n.).

Custom-house "government office at a point of import and export for the collection of customs" is from late 15c. Customs "area at a seaport, airport, etc., where baggage is examined" is by 1921.

Old customs! Oh! I love the sound,
  However simple they may be:
Whate'er with time has sanction found,
  Is welcome, and is dear to me.
Pride grows above simplicity,
  And spurns it from her haughty mind,
And soon the poet's song will be
  The only refuge they can find.
[from "December," John Clare, 1827]
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seat (n.1)

c. 1200, sete, "thing to sit on; place one sits," from Old Norse sæti "seat, position," both from Proto-Germanic *sæt- (source also of Old High German saze, Middle Dutch gesaete "seat," Old High German gisazi, German Gesäß "buttocks"), from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." Old English had sæt "place where one sits in ambush," which also meant "residents, inhabitants," and is the source of the -set in Dorset and Somerset.  

The sense of "part of a thing (a saddle, etc.) on which one sits" is from c. 1400. The meaning "posterior of the body" (the sitting part) is from c. 1600; the sense of "part of a garment which covers the buttocks" is from 1835. Seat belt "safety restraint when sitting" is from 1915, originally in airplanes.

By late 14c. as "part of the body in which a humor arises;" from 1550s as "site, situation, location" generally.

The word in the sense of "residence, abode, established place" (late 13c.) is an extended use of this, influenced by Old French siege "seat, established place," and Latin sedes "seat." It is perhaps from the notion of a chair set apart for the holder of some position of dignity or authority (a sense attested in English seat from c. 1200). The meaning "city in which a government sits" is attested from c. 1400. The sense of "right of taking a place in a parliament or other legislative body" is attested from 1774.

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bread (n.)

"kind of food made from flour or the meal of some grain, kneaded into a dough, fermented, and baked," Old English bread "bit, crumb, morsel; bread," cognate with Old Norse brauð, Danish brød, Old Frisian brad, Middle Dutch brot, Dutch brood, German Brot.

According to one theory [Watkins, etc.] from Proto-Germanic *brautham, from PIE root *bhreu- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn," in reference to the leavening. But OED argues at some length for the basic sense being not "cooked food" but "piece of food," and the Old English word deriving from a Proto-Germanic *braudsmon- "fragments, bits" (cognate with Old High German brosma "crumb," Old English breotan "to break in pieces") and being related to the root of break (v.). It cites Slovenian kruh "bread," literally "a piece."

Either way, by c. 1200 it had replaced the usual Old English word for "bread," which was hlaf (see loaf (n.)).

The extended sense of "food, sustenance in general" (late 12c.) is perhaps via the Lord's Prayer. The slang meaning "money" dates from 1940s, but compare breadwinner, and bread as "one's livelihood" dates to 1719. Bread and circuses (1914) is from Latin, in reference to food and entertainment provided by the government to keep the populace content. "Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses" [Juvenal, Sat. x.80].

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boondoggle (n.)

"wasteful expenditure," especially by the government under guise of public good, April 1935, American English; earlier it was a name for a kind of braided leather lanyard made by Boy Scouts and worn by them around the neck or hat. In this sense it is attested from 1930, and according to contemporary accounts the thing and the word were invented around 1928 by the Order of the Arrow of Scouts in Rochester, N.Y. The name might be arbitrary; once it became a vogue word, some newspapers claimed it had been a pioneer word for "gadget," but evidence for that is wanting.

The Prince of Wales was given one by the Rochester Scouts at the Jamboree in the summer of 1929, and wore it, and the boondoggle first came to public attention. In early April 1935, a dispute erupted in New York City over wastefulness in New Deal white-collar relief work programs, including one where men made boondoggles all day. Headline writers picked up the word, and it became at once a contemptuous noun or adjective for make-work projects for the unemployed.

What is all this boondoggling anyhow? If we don't know, it isn't because we haven't been trying to find out. First used by a witness in a Federal relief investigation, the word has swept the country. [Frances Shattuck Nyberg, "Getting Around" column, Baltimore Evening Sun, May 10, 1935]
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municipal (adj.)

"of or pertaining to the local self-government or corporation of a city or town," 1540s, from French municipal, from Latin municipalis "pertaining to a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "community, municipality, free town, city whose citizens have the privileges of Roman citizens but are governed by their own laws," from municeps "native, citizen, inhabitant of a free town."

The second element is -cipere, combining form of capere "assume, take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." The first element is from munus (plural munia) "service performed for the community, duty, work," also "public spectacle paid for by the magistrate, (gladiatorial) entertainment, gift," from Old Latin moenus "service, duty, burden," from Proto-Italic *moini-, *moinos- "duty, obligation, task," from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move," with derivatives referring to the exchange of goods and functions or obligations within a society as regulated by custom or law.

As cognates in related senses, de Vaan lists Sanskrit meni- "revenge," Avestan maeini- "punishment, castigation," Old Persian yau-maini- "power of revenge," Middle Welsh tramwy, tremynu "to cross, pass," Old Irish moin "value, treasure," Welsh mwyn "value," Lithuanian mainas "exchange," Old Church Slavonic mena "exchange, substitution," Gothic gamains, Old High German gimeins "common." "A municeps is one who 'takes an obligation,' communis 'who partakes in the duties'" [de Vaan]

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nation (n.)
Origin and meaning of nation

c. 1300, nacioun, "a race of people, large group of people with common ancestry and language," from Old French nacion "birth, rank; descendants, relatives; country, homeland" (12c.) and directly from Latin nationem (nominative natio) "birth, origin; breed, stock, kind, species; race of people, tribe," literally "that which has been born," from natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci), from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.

The word is used in English in a broad sense, "a race of people an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family and speaking the same language," and also in the narrower sense, "a political society composed of a government and subjects or citizens and constituting a political unit; an organized community inhabiting a defined territory within which its sovereignty is exercised."

In Middle English it is not easy to distinguish them, but the "political society" sense emerged by 16c., perhaps late 14c. and it has gradually predominated. The older sense is preserved in the application of nation to the native North American peoples (1640s). Nation-building "creation of a new nation" is attested by 1907 (implied in nation-builder). Nation-state "sovereign country the inhabitants of which are united by language, culture, and common descent" is from 1918.

A nation is an organized community within a certain territory; or in other words, there must be a place where its sole sovereignty is exercised. [Theodore D. Woolsey, "Introduction to the Study of International Law," 1864] 
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