Etymology
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thicket (n.)
"close-set growth of shrubs, bushes, trees, etc.," late Old English þiccet, from þicce (see thick) + denominative suffix -et. Absent in Middle English, reappearing early 16c., perhaps a dialectal survival or a re-formation.
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bric-a-brac (n.)
deprecative term for objects having a certain interest from being old, pretty, or curious, but no claim to art, 1840, from obsolete French à bric et à brac (16c.) "at random, any old way," a nonsense phrase.
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in medias res 

Latin, literally "in the midst of things," from medias, accusative fem. plural of medius "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + accusative plural of res "a thing" (see re). From Horace, in reference to narrative technique:

Semper ad eventum festinat, et in medias res,
Non secus ac notas auditorem rapit (etc.)
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Hyrcania 
ancient region southeast of the Caspian Sea, from Greek Hyrkania, said to be from an Indo-European *verkana "country of wolves" [Zonn, I., et al., "The Caspian Sea Encyclopedia," 2010]. "Hyrcania was the wild region par excellence to the ancients" [OED]. Related: Hyrcanian.
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art deco (n.)

decorative and architectural style popular from 1925-1940, the name attested from 1966, from shortening of French art décoratif, literally "decorative art" (see decorative); the French phrase is from the title of L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925.

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micron (n.)

"one millionth of a meter," by 1883, coined in French from Greek mikron, neuter of mikros "small" (see micro-) and formally adopted Oct. 2, 1879, by the Comité International des Poids et Mesures. It was replaced 1968 by the micrometre.

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riffraff (n.)

also riff-raff, late 15c., "persons of disreputable character or low degree," from earlier rif and raf (Anglo-French rif et raf) "one and all, everybody; every scrap, everything," also "sweepings, refuse, things of small value" (mid-14c.), from Old French rif et raf, from rifler "to spoil, strip" (see rifle (v.)). Second element from raffler "carry off," related to rafle "plundering," or from raffer "to snatch, to sweep together" (see raffle (n.)); the word presumably made more for suggestive half-rhyming alliteration than for sense.

The meaning "refuse, scum, or rabble of a community" is by 1540s. In 15c. collections of terms of association, a group of young men or boys was a raffle of knaves.

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polka (n.)

kind of lively round-dance which originated in Bohemia, 1844, from French polka, German Polka, probably from Czech polka, the dance, literally "Polish woman" (Polish Polka), fem. of Polak "a Pole" (see Pole). The word might also be an alteration of Czech pulka "half," for the half-steps of Bohemian peasant dances. Or it could be a merger of the two. The dance was in vogue first in Prague, 1835; it reached London by the spring of 1842.

Vous n'en êtes encore qu'au galop, vieil arriéré, et nous en sommes à la polka! Oui, c'est la polka que nous avons dansée à ce fameux bal Valentino. Vous demandez ce que c'est que la polka, homme de l année dernière! La contredanse a vécu; le galop, rococo; la valse à deux temps, dans le troisième dessous; il n'y a plus que la polka, la sublime, l'enivrante polka, dont les salons raffolent, que les femmes de la haute, les banquiéres les plus cossues et les comtesses les plus choenosophoses étudient jour et nuit. ["La France Dramatique," Paris, 1841]

As a verb by 1846 (polk also was tried).

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sarsenet (n.)

also sarcenet, type of fine silk fabric valued for its softness, late 14c., sarsinet, from Anglo-French sarzinett (Old French sarrasinet), probably a diminutive (with -et) of Sarasin, Sarazin "Saracen," meaning Turkish or Arab (see Saracen). Compare Old French drap sarrasinois, Medieval Latin pannus saracenius.

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pro (n.2)

"a consideration or argument in favor," c. 1400, from Latin pro (prep.) "on behalf of, in place of, before, for, in exchange for, just as" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first, chief"). Pro and con is short for pro and contra (c. 1400) "for and against" (Latin pro et contra).

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