Etymology
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mauvais 

in French terms in English, "false, worthless," from French mauvais (fem. mauvaise) "bad," 12c., from Vulgar Latin *malifatius, literally "one who has a bad lot," from Latin malum "bad" (see mal-) + fatum "fate" (see fate (n.)). Among the borrowed expressions in which it figures are mauvaise honte "false modesty" (in English by 1721); mauvais sujet "a bad fellow, a 'hard case'" (1793); mauvais quart d'heure "brief but unpleasant experience" (1864).

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back seat (n.)

also back-seat, 1832, originally of coaches, from back (adj.) + seat (n.). Used figuratively for "less or least prominent position" by 1868. Back-seat driver attested by 1923.

You know him. The one who sits on the back seat and tells the driver what to do. He issues a lot of instructions, gives advice, offers no end of criticism and doesn't do a bit of work. ["The Back Seat Driver," Wisconsin Congregational Church Life, May 1923]
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decimate (v.)

c. 1600, "to select by lot and put to death every tenth man," from Latin decimatus, past participle of decimare "the removal or destruction of one-tenth," from decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten").

The killing of one in ten, chosen by lots, from a rebellious city or a mutinous army was a punishment sometimes used by the Romans. The word has been used (loosely and unetymologically, to the irritation of pedants) since 1660s for "destroy a large but indefinite number of." Related: Decimated; decimating.

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portion (n.)

early 14c., porcioun, "allotted part, part assigned or attributed, share," also "lot, fate, destiny," from Old French porcion "part, portion" (12c., Modern French portion) and directly from Latin portionem (nominative portio) "share, part," accusative of the noun in the phrase pro portione "according to the relation (of parts to each other)," ablative of *partio "division," related to pars "a part, piece, a share, a division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").

Meaning "a part of a whole" is from mid-14c. From late 14c. in the general sense of "section into which something is divided."

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event (n.)

1570s, "the consequence of anything" (as in in the event that); 1580s, "that which happens;" from French event, from Latin eventus "occurrence, accident, event, fortune, fate, lot, issue," from past participle stem of evenire "to come out, happen, result," from assimilated form of ex- "out" (see ex-) + venire "to come" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come"). Meaning "a contest or single proceeding in a public sport" is from 1865. Events as "the course of events" is attested from 1842. Event horizon in astrophysics is from 1969.

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pound (n.2)

"enclosed place for animals," especially an enclosure maintained by authorities for confining cattle or other beasts when at large or trespassing, late 14c., from a late Old English word attested in compounds (such as pundfald "penfold, pound"), related to pyndan "to dam up, enclose (water)," and thus from the same root as pond. Ultimate origin unknown. Also used as a storage place for other goods seized; as a lot for impounded motor vehicles by 1970.

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decimation (n.)

mid-15c., decimacioun, "the paying of tithes, a tithing, a tax of 10% on income," from Old French decimacion and directly from Late Latin decimationem (nominative decimatio) "the taking of a tenth," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin decimare "the removal or destruction of one-tenth," from decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten").

As "punishment by capital execution of every tenth man, chosen by lot," from 1580s; loose or transferred sense of "destruction of a great but indefinite number, severe loss" is attested by 1680s.

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cremation (n.)

"act or custom of burning of the dead," 1620s, from Latin cremationem (nominative crematio), noun of action from past-participle stem of cremare "to burn, consume by fire" (also used of the dead), from PIE *krem-, extended form of root *ker- (3) "heat, fire."

The adoption of cremation would relieve us of a muck of threadbare burial-witticisms; but, on the other hand, it would resurrect a lot of mildewed old cremation-jokes that have had a rest for two thousand years. ["Mark Twain," "Life on the Mississippi," 1883]
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sorcerer (n.)

early 15c., "conjurer of evil spirits," displacing earlier sorcer (late 14c.), from Old French sorcier, from Medieval Latin sortarius "teller of fortunes by lot; sorcerer" (also source of Spanish sortero, Italian sortiere; see sorcery). With superfluous -er, as in poulterer, upholsterer; perhaps the modern form of the word is back-formed from sorcery.

Sorcerer's apprentice translates l'apprenti sorcier, title of a symphonic poem by Paul Dukas (1897) based on a Goethe ballad ("Der Zauberlehrling," 1797), but the common figurative use of the term (1952) comes after Disney's "Fantasia" (1940).

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rhapsodomancy (n.)

"divination by means of verses," by 1738, from French rhapsodomancie, from Greek rhapsodos "a rhapsodist" (see rhapsody) + -manteia (see -mancy). Also compare sortes under bibliomancy.

There were various methods of practicing rhapsodomancy—Sometimes they wrote several verses or sentences of a poet, on so many pieces of wood, paper, or the like; shook them together in an urn; and drew out one, which was accounted the lot. Sometimes they cast dice on a table, whereon verses were wrote; and that whereon the dye lodged, contained the prediction. [Chambers' "Cyclopædia," London, 1738]
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