1520s, partial translation of Middle Dutch klapholt (borrowed into English late 14c. as clapholt), from klappen "to fit" + Low German holt "wood, board" (see holt). Compare German Klappholz.
Originally small boards of split oak imported from northern Germany and cut by coopers to make barrel staves; the meaning "long, thin board, usually about 6 or 8 inches wide, used for roofing or to cover the exterior of wooden buildings" is from 1630s, American English.
early 13c., scrapen, "make erasures (with a knife), erase" (a sense now obsolete); by late 14c. as "to remove (an outer layer) with a sharp or rough instrument," probably in part from Old Norse skrapa "to scrape, erase" and in part from cognate Old English scrapian "to scrape," both from Proto-Germanic *skrapojan (source also of Dutch schrapen, German schrappen), from PIE *skerb- (an extension of the root *sker- (1) "to cut").
The meaning "gather by great effort, collect with difficulty or by small savings" is from 1540s. From 1640s as "draw back the foot as a gesture of obeisance." By 1741 in the transitive sense of "rub harshly on (a surface) in passing along it so as to cause an abrasion or noise." Related: Scraped; scraping.
To scrape acquaintance "get on terms of acquaintance with by careful effort" is from c. 1600. To scrape the bottom of the barrel in the figurative sense of "make do with the most inferior or defective examples of what is wanted for want of any others" is by 1942, in reference to U.S. employers facing worker shortages during the war (the figurative bottom of the (cracker) barrel is by 1938).
"large cask or barrel," late 14c., presumably on some perceived resemblance or some mark formerly borne by the casks. The liquid measure was fixed at 63 (old) wine gallons (by a statute of 1423); later and for other liquids anywhere from 100 to 140 gallons. Borrowed into other Germanic languages, inexplicably, as ox-head (Dutch okshoofd, German oxhoft, Swedish oxhufvud). English might have gotten the word from them, but the forms of the Continental words suggest the reverse. English pig "container for wine" is attested from mid-15c., perhaps from the hide of a pig used as a wineskin, but the connection is obscure.
1590s, "a disordered state, more or less temporary, of the mind, often occurring during fever or illness," from Latin delirium "madness," from deliriare "be crazy, rave," literally "go off the furrow," a plowing metaphor, from phrase de lire, from de "off, away" (see de-) + lira "furrow, earth thrown up between two furrows," from PIE root *lois- "track, furrow." Meaning "violent excitement, mad rapture" is from 1640s.
Delirium tremens (1813) is medical Latin, literally "trembling delirium," introduced 1813 by British physician Thomas Sutton for "that form of delirium which is rendered worse by bleeding, but improved by opium. By Rayer and subsequent writers it has been almost exclusively applied to delirium resulting from the abuse of alcohol" ["The New Sydenham Society's Lexicon of Medicine and the Allied Sciences," London, 1882]. As synonyms, Farmer lists barrel-fever, gallon distemper, blue Johnnies, bottle ache, pink spiders, quart-mania, snakes in the boots, triangles, uglies, etc.
in architecture, a type of vault or small dome, 1540s, from Italian cupola, from Late Latin cupula "a little tub," diminutive of Latin cupa "cask, barrel" (see cup (n.)). Hence "the rounded top of any structure."
The Italian word signifies a hemispherical roof which covers a circular building, like the Pantheon at Rome or the temple of Vesta at Tivoli. Most modern cupolas are semi-elliptical, cut through their shortest diameter; but the greater number of ancient cupolas were hemispherical. In colloquial use, the cupola is often considered as a diminutive dome, or the name is specifically applied to a small structure rising above a roof and often having the character of a tower or lantern, and in no sense that of a dome. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
c. 1300, "figure of a circle, a plane figure whose periphery is everywhere equidistant from its center point," from Old French cercle "circle, ring (for the finger); hoop of a helmet or barrel" (12c.), from Latin circulus "circular figure; small ring, hoop; circular orbit" (also source of Italian cerchio), diminutive of circus "ring" (see circus).
Replaced Old English trendel and hring. Late Old English used circul, from Latin, but only in an astronomical sense. Also used of things felt to be analogous to a circle: The meaning "group of persons surrounding a center of interest" is from 1714 (it also was a secondary sense of Latin circulus); that of "coterie" is from 1640s (a sense also found in Latin circulus).
To come full circle is in Shakespeare. Sense in logic, "inconclusive argument in which unproved statements are used to prove each other" is from 1640s. Meaning "dark mark around or beneath the eyes" is from 1848.
"rectangular wooden container," usually with a lid, Old English box, also the name of a type of shrub, from Late Latin buxis, from Greek pyxis "boxwood," pyxion "writing table, box," made of boxwood, from pyxos "box tree," which is of uncertain origin. Beekes suggests a loan-word from Italy, as that is where the tree is native. Dutch bus, German Büchse "box; barrel of a gun," also are Latin loan-words.
Meaning "compartment at a theater" is from c. 1600 (box seat in the theatrical sense is by 1850). Meaning "pigeon-hole at a post office" is from 1832. Meaning "television" is from 1950 (earlier "gramophone player," 1924). Meaning "station of a player in baseball" is from 1881. Graphics sense "space enclosed within borders and rules" is from 1929. Slang meaning "vulva" is attested 17c., according to "Dictionary of American Slang;" modern use seems to date from c. World War II, perhaps originally Australian, on notion of "box of tricks." Box lunch (n.) attested from 1899. The box set "multiple-album, CD or cassette issue of the work of an artist" is attested by 1955. To think or act outside the box "contrary to convention" is attested by 1994.
fusion of late Old English organe, and Old French orgene (12c.), both meaning "musical instrument," both from Latin organa, plural of organum "a musical instrument," from Greek organon "implement, tool for making or doing; musical instrument; organ of sense, organ of the body," literally "that with which one works," from PIE *werg-ano-, from root *werg- "to do."
Applied vaguely in late Old English to musical instruments; by late 14c. the sense of the word (used in both singular and plural form) narrowed to the large, complicated musical instrument now known by that name (involving pipes sounded by means of compressed air supplied by a bellows and worked by means of keys), though Augustine (c. 400) knew this as a specific sense of Latin organa.
The biological meaning "body part of a human or animal adapted to a certain function" is attested from late 14c., from a Medieval Latin sense of Latin organum. From early 15c. as "a tool, an instrument." The broad, etymological sense of "that which performs some function" is attested in English from 1540s. By 1788 as "a medium, an instrument of communication." Organ-grinder, "strolling musician who 'grinds' music on a barrel-organ" is attested by 1803.
"inside diameter of a gun barrel," 1580s, from French calibre (by mid-16c., perhaps late 15c.), often said to be ultimately from Arabic qalib "a mold for casting." Barnhart remarks that Spanish calibre, Italian calibro "appear too late to act as intermediate forms" between the Arabic word and the French.
But English Words of Arabic Ancestry finds that the idea of an Arabic source "comes with no evidence and no background historical context to support it. It is far more likely that the word was formed in French" from Medieval Latin qua libra "of what weight" (a theory first published 19c. by Mahn), from fem. ablative of quis (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns) + ablative of libra "balance" (see Libra).
In U.S., expressed in decimal parts of an inch (.44-caliber = ".44-inch caliber"). The earliest sense in English is a figurative one, "degree of merit or importance" (1560s), from French. Later, figuratively, "the capacity of one's mind, one's intellectual endowments."