generic for "miser," by 1905, from curmudgeonly employer in Dickens' 1843 story "A Christmas Carol." It does not appear to be a genuine English surname; in old dictionaries it is an 18c. variant of scrouge "to squeeze, press, crowd (someone)," also scrudge, etc., an 18c. provincial word that is the source of scrounge.
early 14c., pressen, "to clasp, hold in embrace;" mid-14c. "to squeeze out;" also "to cluster, gather in a crowd;" late 14c., "to exert weight or force against, exert pressure," also "assault, assail;" also "forge ahead, push one's way, move forward," from Old French presser "squeeze, press upon; torture" (13c.), from Latin pressare "to press," frequentative formation from pressus, past participle of premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress," from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike." Related: Pressed; pressing.
Sense of "to reduce to a particular shape or form by pressure" is from early 15c. Figurative sense is from late 14c. ("to attack"); meaning "to urge, beseech, argue for" is from 1590s. To press the flesh "shake hands" is by 1926.
early 15c., "to pour in, introduce, soak (something in liquid)," from Latin infusus, past participle of infundere "to pour into, pour out; press in, crowd in; mix, mingle," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + fundere "to pour, melt" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour"). Related: Infused; infusing; infusory; infusorial.
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
[Eliot, from "The Waste Land," 1922]
c. 1400, "costiveness, bowel condition in which evacuations are obstructed or difficult" (more fully, constipacioun of þe wombe), from Late Latin constipationem (nominative constipatio), noun of state from past-participle stem of Latin constipare "to press or crowd together," from assimilated form of com- "together" (see con-) + stipare "to cram, pack" (see stiff (adj.)).
"to heap (up), lay or throw in a heap," c. 1400, from pile (n.1). Related: Piled; piling. Figurative verbal phrase pile on "attack vigorously, attack en masse," is attested by 1894, American English. To pile in "climb or go on or into in a crowd" is by 1841; hence, for the reverse process, pile out, by 1896.
1630s, "a seal," Scottish borrowing of French cachet "seal affixed to a letter or document" (16c.), from Old French dialectal cacher "to press, crowd," from Latin coactare "constrain" (see cache). The meaning evolved 18c. (via French lettre de cachet "letter under seal of the king") to "(letter under) personal stamp (of the king)," thence to "symbol of prestige" (1840).
1550s, "state of being crowded" (now obsolete); 1640s, "fact of occurring often;" from Latin frequentia "an assembling in great numbers, a crowding; crowd, multitude, throng," from frequentem (see frequent). Sense in physics, "rate of recurrence," especially of a vibration, is from 1831. In radio electronics, frequency modulation (1922, abbreviated F.M.) as a system of broadcasting is distinguished from amplitude modulation (or A.M.).
1570s, "to heap or crowd together," probably from Low German hudern "to cover, to shelter" (of hens on chicks or nurses with children), from Middle Low German huden "to cover up," which is probably a frequentative form from Proto-Germanic *hud-, from PIE *keudh-, extended form of root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal." Compare also Middle English hoderen "heap together, huddle" (c. 1300). Related: Huddled; huddling. The noun is from 1580s. U.S. football sense is from 1928.