As a conjunction, "previous to the time when," from c. 1200. Contrasting before and after in illustrations is from Hogarth (1768). Before the mast in old sailing ship jargon in reference to the life of a common sailor is from the place of their berths, in front of the fore-mast.
1957, trademark registered 1959 by Wham-O Company; the prototype was modeled on pie tins from Mrs. Frisbie's Pies, made by the Frisbie Bakery of Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S. Middlebury College students began tossing them around in the 1930s (though Yale and Princeton also claim to have discovered their aerodynamic qualities).
Thirteen years ago the Wham-O Manufacturing Company of San Gabriel, Calif., ... brought out the first Frisbee. Wham-O purchased the rights from a Los Angeles building inspector named Fred Morrison, who in turn had been inspired by the airworthy pie tins of the Frisbie Bakery in Bridgeport, Conn. (which went out of business in March of 1958). He changed the spelling to avoid legal problems. [Sports Illustrated, Aug. 3, 1970]
The family name is attested in English records from 1226, from a place name in Leicestershire (Frisby on the Wreak), attested from 1086, from Old Danish, meaning "farmstead or village of the Frisians" (Old Norse Frisa, genitive plural of Frisr; see Frisian). Also see by (prep.).
word-forming element of verbs and nouns from verbs, with a wide range of meaning: "about, around; thoroughly, completely; to make, cause, seem; to provide with; at, on, to, for;" from Old English be- "about, around, on all sides" (the unstressed form of bi "by;" see by (prep.)). The form has remained by- in stressed positions and in some more modern formations (bylaw, bygones, bystander).
The Old English prefix also was used to make transitive verbs and as a privative prefix (as in behead). The sense "on all sides, all about" naturally grew to include intensive uses (as in bespatter "spatter about," therefore "spatter very much," besprinkle, etc.). Be- also can be causative, or have just about any sense required. The prefix was productive 16c.-17c. in forming useful words, many of which have not survived, such as bethwack "to thrash soundly" (1550s) and betongue "to assail in speech, to scold" (1630s).
Old English betweonum, Mercian betwinum, "in the space which separates, midway, in the midst, among; by turns," from bi- "by" (see by) + tweonum dative plural of *tweon "two each" (compare Gothic tweih-nai "two each;" from PIE root *dwo- "two").
Between is literally applicable only to two objects; but it may be and commonly is used of more than two where they are spoken of distributively, or so that they can be thought of as divided into two parts or categories, or with reference to the action or being of each individually as compared with that of any other or all the others. When more than two objects are spoken of collectively or in divisibly, among is the proper word. [Century Dictionary]
In all senses, between has been from its earliest appearance, extended to more than two. [OED]
Between a rock and a hard place "caught in a dilemma, in a difficult situation" is from 1940s, originally cowboy slang (earlier was between the beetle (hammer) and the block, late 19c.). Between-whiles "at intervals" is from 1670s.
salutation in parting, also goodbye, good bye, good-by, 1590s, from godbwye (1570s), a contraction of God be with ye (late 14c.), influenced by good-day, good evening, etc. As a noun from 1570s. Intermediate forms in 16c. include God be wy you, God b'uy, God buoye, God buy, etc.