billingsgate (n.)

1670s, coarse, abusive language of the sort once used by women in the Billingsgate market on the River Thames below London Bridge.

Billingsgate is the market where the fishwomen assemble to purchase fish; and where, in their dealings and disputes they are somewhat apt to leave decency and good manners a little on the left hand. [Grose, "A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1788]

The place name is Old English Billingesgate, "gate of (a man called) Billing;" the "gate" probably being a gap in the Roman river wall. The market is from mid-13c.; it was not exclusively a fish market until late 17c.

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concourse (n.)

late 14c., "a moving, running, or flowing together; a gathering or accumulation," from Old French concours and directly from Latin concursus "a running together," from past participle of concurrere "to run together, assemble hurriedly; clash, fight," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + currere "to run" (from PIE root *kers- "to run").

From early 15c. as "an assembly, a throng." Sense of "open space in a built-up place," especially a gathering place in a railway station, etc., is American English, 1862. From French, English took concours d'lgance"a parade of vehicles in which the entrants are judged according to the elegance of their appearance" [OED], by 1923.

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rely (v.)

mid-14c., relien, "to gather, assemble" an army, followers, a host, etc. (transitive and intransitive), from Old French relier "assemble, put together; fasten, fasten again, attach, rally, oblige," from Latin religare "fasten, bind fast," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + ligare "to bind" (from PIE root *leig- "to tie, bind").

The older sense now are obsolete. The meaning "depend on with full trust and confidence, attach one's faith to" a person or thing is from 1570s, perhaps via the notion of "rally to, fall back on." Typically used with on, perhaps by influence of unrelated lie (v.2) "rest horizontally." Related: Relied; relying.

The verb rely, in the orig. sense 'fasten, fix, attach,' came to be used with a special reference to attaching one's faith or oneself to a person or thing (cf. 'to pin one's faith to a thing,' 'a man to tie to,' colloquial phrases containing the same figure); in this use it became, by omission of the object, in transitive, and, losing thus its etymological associations (the other use, 'bring together again, rally,' having also become obsolete), was sometimes regarded, and has been by some etymologists actually explained, as a barbarous compound of re- + E. lie (1) rest, .... But the pret. would then have been *relay, pp. *relain. [Century Dictionary]
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conventicle (n.)

late 14c., "an assembly or gathering," from Latin conventiculum "a small assembly," diminutive of conventus "assembly," originally past participle of convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + venire "to come" (from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").

Conventiculum in Church Latin was used of Christian meetings for worship, but in Medieval Latin and later in Middle English the equivalent word took on a pejorative sense, "illicit meeting," of Lollards, malcontents, etc. (late 14c.) and was used disparagingly of a church or religious house; in Protestant England the meaning "a meeting of dissenters for religious worship" dates to 1590s.

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convenience (n.)

late 14c., "agreement, conformity, resemblance, similarity," also "state or condition of being suitable, adaptation to existing conditions," from Latin convenientia "a meeting together, agreement, harmony," from convenien-, present-participle stem of convenire "to come together, meet together, assemble; unite, join, combine; agree with, accord; be suitable or proper (to)," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + venire "to come" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").

Meaning "that which gives ease or comfort; a convenient article or appliance" is from 1670s. Sense of "quality of being personally not difficult" is from 1703. Convenience store attested by 1965.

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synagogue (n.)
late 12c., "the regular public worship of the Jews," also the building in which this is done, from Old French sinagoge "synagogue, mosque, pagan temple" (11c., Modern French synagogue), from Late Latin synagoga "congregation of Jews," from Greek synagoge "place of assembly, synagogue; meeting, assembly," literally "a bringing together," from synagein "to gather, bring together, assemble," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + agein "put in motion, move," from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move."

Used by Greek translators of the Old Testament as a loan-translation of late Hebrew keneseth "assembly" (as in beth keneseth "synagogue," literally "house of assembly;" compare Knesset). Related: Synagogical; synagogal.
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adjust (v.)
Origin and meaning of adjust

late 14c., ajusten, "to correct, remedy," from Old French ajuster, ajoster "add; assemble; calibrate, gauge, regulate," from Late Latin adiuxtare "to bring near," from ad "to" (see ad-) + Latin iuxta "next, close by," from suffixed form of PIE root *yeug- "to join."

In 16c. French corrected to adjuster, but the pedantic effort was rejected and Modern French has ajouter. Influenced in form and sense by folk-etymology, as if from ad- + iustus "just, equitable, fair." English reborrowed the word by c. 1600 in sense "arrange, settle, compose," from French adjuster "fit (things together) properly, put things in order." Meaning "to arrange (something) so as to conform with (a standard or another thing)" is from 1660s. Insurance sense is from 1755 (see adjuster). To adjust to "get used to" is attested by 1924. Related: Adjusted; adjusting.

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blackmail (n.)
1550s, "tribute paid to men allied with criminals as protection against pillage, etc.," from black (adj.) + Middle English male "rent, tribute," from Old English mal "lawsuit, terms, bargaining, agreement," from Old Norse mal "speech, agreement;" related to Old English mæðel "meeting, council," mæl "speech," Gothic maþl "meeting place," from Proto-Germanic *mathla-, from PIE *mod- "to meet, assemble" (see meet (v.)).

The word comes from the freebooting clan chieftains who ran protection rackets against farmers in Scotland and northern England. The custom persisted until mid-18c. Black from the evil of the practice. The sense expanded by 1826 to mean any extortion by means of intimidation, especially by threat of exposure or scandal. Compare silver mail "rent paid in money" (1590s); buttock-mail (Scottish, 1530s) "fine imposed for fornication."
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agony (n.)
late 14c., "mental suffering" (especially that of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane), from Old French agonie, agoine "anguish, terror, death agony" (14c.), and directly from Late Latin agonia, from Greek agonia "a struggle for victory" (in wrestling, etc.), in a general sense "exercise, gymnastics;" also of mental struggles, "agony, anguish." This is from agon "assembly, mass of people brought together," especially to watch the games, hence, "a contest," then, generally, "any struggle or trial;" from the verb agein "put in motion, move" (here specifically as "assemble, bring together"), from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move."

Specifically of the struggle that precedes natural death (mortal agony) from 1540s. The sense development perhaps involves "pain so severe as to cause struggling." Sense of "extreme bodily suffering" first recorded c. 1600.
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convent (n.)

c. 1200, covent, cuvent, "association or community of persons devoted to religious life," from Anglo-French covent, from Old French convent, covent "monastery, religious community," from Latin conventus "assembly," used in Medieval Latin for "religious house," originally past participle of convenire "to come together, meet together, assemble; unite, join, combine; agree with, accord; be suitable or proper (to)," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + venire "to come" (from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").

Meaning "a house or set of buildings occupied by a community devoted to religious life" is from mid-15c. Not exclusively feminine until 18c. The form with restored Latin -n- emerged early 15c. The Middle English form lingers in London's Covent Garden district (notorious late 18c. for brothels), so called because it had been the garden of a defunct monastery.

COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal diſeaſe.
["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]

Related: Conventual.

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