Etymology
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bit (n.1)

"small piece," c. 1200; related Old English bite "act of biting," and bita "piece bitten off," which probably are the source of the modern words meaning "boring-piece of a drill" (the "biting" part, 1590s), "mouthpiece of a horse's bridle" (mid-14c.), and "a piece (of food) bitten off, morsel" (c. 1000). All from Proto-Germanic *biton (source also of Old Saxon biti, Old Norse bit, Old Frisian bite, Middle Dutch bete, Old High German bizzo "biting," German Bissen "a bite, morsel"), from PIE root *bheid- "to split."

The meaning "small piece, fragment" of anything is from c. 1600. The sense of "short space of time" is 1650s. Theatrical bit part is from 1909. The colloquial sense of "small coin" in two bits, etc. is originally from the U.S. South and the West Indies, in reference to silver wedges cut or stamped from Spanish dollars (later Mexican reals); transferred to "eighth of a dollar."

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slit (n.)

mid-13c., "long cut or rent (in clothes), incision," from slit (v.). Slang sense of "vulva" is attested from 1640s. Old English had slit (n.) with a sense of "a rending, bite; backbiting."

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munch (v.)

"chew deliberately or continuously," early 15c. variant of mocchen (late 14c.), imitative (with -n- perhaps by influence of crunch), or perhaps from or influenced by Old French mangier "to eat, bite," from Latin manducare "to chew." Related: Munched; munching.

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fission (n.)

1819, "division of a cell or organism," from Latin fissionem (nominative fissio) "a breaking up, cleaving," from past participle stem of findere "to split" (from PIE root *bheid- "to split"). Cognate with Old English bitan "to bite." Nuclear physics sense is 1939. As a verb, from 1929.

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slit (v.)

c. 1200, from or related to Old English slitan "to slit, tear, split, rend to pieces; bite, sting; back-bite," from Proto-Germanic *slitan (source also of Old Saxon slitan, Old Frisian slita, Old Norse slita, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch sliten, Dutch slijten, Old High German slizan, German schleißen "to slit"). A more violent verb in Old English than after, as in slitcwealm "death by rending." Slit skirt is attested from 1913.A slitting-mill (1660s) cut iron plates into thin rods for making nails, etc.

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smart (v.)

Old English smeortan "be painful," from Proto-Germanic *smarta- (source also of Middle Dutch smerten, Dutch smarten, Old High German smerzan, German schmerzen "to pain," originally "to bite"), from PIE *smerd- "pain," which is perhaps an extension of the root *mer- "to rub away; to harm." Related: Smarted; smarting.

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self-analysis (n.)

"analysis by or of oneself," 1860; see self- + analysis.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. [attributed to Alan Watts, who did often use the image in this sense in his talks, if not in these exact words]
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dust (v.)

c. 1200, "to rise in the air as dust;" later "to sprinkle with dust" (1590s) and "to rid of dust" (1560s); from dust (n.). Related: Dusted; dusting. Sense of "to kill" is U.S. slang first recorded 1938 (compare bite the dust under dust (n.)).

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gudgeon (n.1)

European small freshwater fish, early 15c., gojoun, from Old French gojon (14c.), from Latin gobionem (nominative gobio), alteration of gobius, from Greek kobios, a kind of fish, a word of unknown origin. They are easily caught, hence the figurative sense of "a credulous person" (one who will "bite" at "bait"), from 1580s.

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rattlesnake (n.)

venomous serpent of the Americas noted for the rattle at the end of its tail, 1620s, from rattle + snake (n.).

RATTLE-SNAKE COCKTAIL.*
*So called because it will either cure Rattlesnake bite, or kill Rattlesnakes, or make you see them.
[Harry Craddock, "The Savoy Cocktail Book," 1930]
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