c. 1300, "man consecrated to service in the Christian Church, an ecclesiastic;" also "an agent acting for a superior, one who acts upon the authority of another," from Old French menistre "servant, valet, member of a household staff, administrator, musician, minstrel" (12c.) and directly from Latin minister (genitive ministri) "inferior, servant, priest's assistant" (in Medieval Latin, "priest"), from minus, minor "less," hence "subordinate" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small") + comparative suffix *-teros. Formed on the model of magister (see master (n.)).
Minister views a man as serving a church; pastor views him as caring for a church as a shepherd cares for sheep; clergyman views him as belonging to a certain class; divine is properly one learned in theology, a theologian; parson, formerly a respectful designation, is now little better than a jocular name for a clergyman; priest regards a man as appointed to offer sacrifice. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
The political sense of "high officer of the state, person appointed by a sovereign or chief magistrate of a country as the responsible head of a department of the government" is attested from 1620s, from notion of "one who renders official service service to the crown." From 1709 as "a diplomatic representative of a country abroad." A minister without portfolio (1841, in a French context) has cabinet status but is not in charge of a specific department.
early 14c., an ecclesiastical title, etymologically "head of a group of ten," from Old French deien (12c., Modern French doyen), from Late Latin decanus "head of a group of 10 monks in a monastery," from earlier secular meaning "commander of 10 soldiers" (which was extended to civil administrators in the late empire), from Greek dekanos, from deka "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten"). It replaced Old English teoðingealdor.
Sense of "president of a faculty or department in a university" is by 1520s (in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.). Extended meaning "oldest member in length of service in any constituted body" is from mid-15c. Related: Deanery.
species of hard wheat especially used in making macaroni, by 1904, from Latin durum, neuter of durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." The seeds are tough. It was introduced in the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture in 1899 from Russia and 1900 from North Africa.
Previous to 1901 this wheat could not usually be sold at the elevators or mills at any price and was rarely grown—in small quantities only, for stock feed. Since its commercial value has been demonstrated the production has increased from 100,000 bushels, the largest estimate in 1901, to at least 6,000,000 bushels in 1903—an increase of sixtyfold in two years. [Flour Trade News, November 1904]
1610s as the name of an Italian and Turkish gold coin, from French sequin (17c.), from Italian zecchino, the name of a gold coin minted by the Venetian Republic, from zecca "a mint" (13c.), which is from Arabic sikka "a minting die," hence, by extension, "coined money, coinage."
The meaning "ornamental disc or spangle" is by 1852 in fashion articles, also in descriptions of the attire of women in the Orient, who wore the Venetian coins perforated as earrings or necklaces. The Ladies' Department of "The Genesee Farmer" reports in November 1865 that "Head dresses are all in the Greek style, either fillets of velvet studded with beads, or stars of gilt silver, silver, or steel, or else they are hung with chains of gilt sequins." The past-participle adjective sequined is by 1889.
c. 1300, "a chessboard, checkerboard," from Anglo-French escheker "a chessboard," from Old French eschequier, from Medieval Latin scaccarium "chess board" (see check (n.1); also see checker (n.2)). The governmental sense of "department of the royal household concerned with the receipt, custody, and disbursement of revenue and with judicial determination of certain causes affecting crown revenues" began under the Norman kings of England and refers to a cloth divided in squares that covered a table on which accounts of revenue were reckoned by using counters, and which reminded people of a chess board. Respelled with an -x- based on the mistaken belief that it originally was a Latin ex- word.
c. 1300; "wasted, ruined, spent in vain," c. 1500; also "no longer to be found, gone astray" (1520s), past-participle adjectives from lose. Meaning "spiritually ruined, inaccessible to good influence" is from 1640s. Related: Lostness.
Of battles, games, etc. in which one has been defeated, 1724; hence Lost Cause in reference to the bid for independence by the southern states of the U.S., first as the title of the 1866 pro-Southern history of the CSA and the rebellion written by Virginia journalist E.A. Pollard (1832-1872). Lost Generation in reference to the youth that came of age when World War I broke is first attested 1926 in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," where he credits it to Gertrude Stein. Lost-and-found as the name of a department where misplaced articles are brought or sought is by 1907.
1949, American English, apparently coined from V.P., abbreviation of vice president, perhaps modeled on jeep, which was then in vogue. Introduced by Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), Harry Truman's vice president. According to the "Saturday Evening Post," "his grandchildren, finding Vice-President too long, call him that." The magazines quickly picked it up, especially when the 71-year-old Barkley married a 38-year-old widow (dubbed the Veepess).
Barkley says word "Veep" is not copyrighted, and any vice president who wants to can use it. But he hopes not many will. [U.S. Department of State wireless bulletin, 1949]
Time magazine, tongue in cheek, suggested the president should be Peep, the Secretary of State Steep, and the Secretary of Labor Sleep.
mid-14c., "table especially adapted for convenience in reading or writing," from Medieval Latin desca "table to write on" (mid-13c.), ultimately from Latin discus "quoit, platter, dish," from Greek diskos (see disk (n.)).
The Medieval Latin word is perhaps via Italian desco. Used figuratively of office or clerical work since 1797. Meaning "a department responsible for a particular subject or operation at a large organization" is by 1918, probably earlier, though it is not always possible tell whether a literal desk is meant or not. Sense of "reception desk at a hotel, etc." is by 1963. Desk job, one that is done at a desk as opposed to at a work-bench or in the field, is attested by 1900; desk-work "work done at a desk" is by 1826.
invented 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., by druggist Dr. John S. Pemberton. So called because original ingredients were derived from coca leaves and cola nuts. It contained minute amounts of cocaine until 1909.
Drink the brain tonic and intellectual soda fountain beverage Coca-Cola. [Atlanta Evening Journal, June 30, 1887]
Coca-colanization, also Coca-colonization was coined 1950 during an attempt to ban the beverage in France, led by the communist party and the wine-growers.
France's Communist press bristled with warnings against US "Coca-Colonization." Coke salesmen were described as agents of the OSS and the U.S. State Department. "Tremble," roared Vienna's Communist Der Abend, "Coca-Cola is on the march!" [Time magazine, March 13, 1950]
Coca-colonialism attested by 1956.