Etymology
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palomino (n.)

"horse with a light brown or cream coat and a pale mane and tail," 1899, (earlier palomino horse), from American Spanish palomino "cream-colored horse," from Spanish, literally "young dove," perhaps from Italian palombino "dove-colored," from Latin palumbinus "of wood pigeons," from palumba "wood pigeon" (from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale"). The type of horse was so called because of its dove-like coloring.

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triathlon (n.)

1970, from tri- "three" + Greek athlon "contest;" formed on model of decathlon, biathlon, etc. Originally of various combinations of events; one of the earliest so called combined clay-pigeon shooting, fly-fishing, and horse-jumping; another was cross-country skiing, target shooting, and a giant slalom run; and a third connected to the U.S. Army involved shooting, swimming, and running. Applied to the combination of a long swim, a bicycle-race, and a marathon by 1981.

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thimble (n.)

Old English þymel "sheath or covering for the thumb," from thuma (see thumb (n.)) + instrumental suffix -el (1), used in forming names of tools (compare handle (n.)). The unetymological -b- appears mid-15c. (compare humble, nimble, etc.). Originally of leather, metal ones came into use 17c. Related: Thimbleful. Thimblerig, con game played with three thimbles and a pea or button, is attested from 1825 by this name, though references to thimble cheats, probably the same swindle, date back to 1716 (see rig (v.)).

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liver (n.1)

secreting organ of the body, Old English lifer, from Proto-Germanic *librn (source also of Old Norse lifr, Old Frisian livere, Middle Dutch levere, Dutch lever, Old High German lebara, German Leber "liver"), perhaps from PIE root *leip- "to stick, adhere," also used to form words for "fat."

Formerly believed to be the body's blood-producing organ; in medieval times it rivaled the heart as the supposed seat of love and passion. Hence lily-livered, a white (that is, bloodless) liver being supposed a sign of cowardice, Shakespeare's pigeon-livered, etc. Liver-spots, once thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the organ, is attested from 1730.

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pig Latin (n.)

childish deformed language (there are many different versions), by 1889 (hog Latin in same sense is attested by 1807).

The animals play quite an important part in the naming [of children's languages], as the hog, dog, fly, goose, pigeon, pig, all give names, with Mr. Hog leading. Among the names the Latins take the lead, and Hog Latin leads the list, being accredited as naming nearly as many languages as all the other names combined. Besides Hog Latin, there is Dog Latin, Pig Latin, Goose Latin, and Bum Latin. Then there is Greekish and Peddlers' French and Pigeon English. ... Very few can give any reason for the naming of the languages. In fact, no one can fully say where the great majority of names came from, for in most cases in the naming the following pretty well expresses the difficulty: "It was born before I was. I can't tell how young I was when I first heard of it." ["The Secret Language of Children," in The North Western Monthly, October 1897]

For the language itself, compare loucherbem, a 20c. French slang similar to pig Latin, which takes its name from the form of the word boucher in that language (which is said to have originated among the Paris butchers).

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*pel- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "pale."

It forms all or part of: appall; falcon; fallow (adj.) "pale yellow, brownish yellow;" Fauvist; Lloyd; pale (adj.); pallid; pallor; palomino; Peloponnesus; polio; poliomyelitis.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit palitah "gray," panduh "whitish, pale;" Greek pelios "livid, dark;" polios "gray" (of hair, wolves, waves); Latin pallere "to be pale," pallidus "pale, pallid, wan, colorless;" Old Church Slavonic plavu, Lithuanian palvas "sallow;" Welsh llwyd "gray;" Old English fealo, fealu "dull-colored, yellow, brown." It also forms the root of words for "pigeon" in Greek (peleia), Latin (palumbes), and Old Prussian (poalis).

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eccentric (n.)

early 15c., "eccentric circle or orbit," originally a term in Ptolemaic astronomy, "circle or orbit not having the Earth precisely at its center," from French eccentrique and directly from Medieval Latin eccentricus (noun and adjective), from Greek ekkentros "out of the center" (as opposed to concentric), from ek "out" (see ex-) + kentron "center" (see center (n.)). Meaning "odd or whimsical person" is attested by 1817 (S.W. Ryley, "The Itinerant, or Memoirs of an Actor").

June 4 [1800].—Died in the streets in Newcastle, William Barron, an eccentric, well known for many years by the name of Billy Pea-pudding. [John Sykes, "Local Records, or Historical Register of Remarkable Events which have Occurred Exclusively in the Counties of Durham and Northumberland, Town and County of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and Berwick Upon Tweed," Newcastle, 1824]
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shrub (n.)

"low-growing bush, a woody plant with stems branched from or near the ground," Middle English shrubbe, from Old English scrybb "brushwood, shrubbery," a rare and late word (but preserved also, perhaps, in Shrewsbury), possibly from a Scandinavian source (compare dialectal Danish skrub "brushwood," Norwegian skrubba "dwarf tree"). OED says it is presumably related to North Frisian skrobb "broom plant, brushwood;" West Flemish schrobbe "climbing wild pea," with a base notion of "rough plant." Watkins has this as ultimately from PIE *(s)kerb-, an extended form of root *sker- (1) "to cut."

The line which divides trees from shrubs is to a large extent arbitrary, and is often very unsatisfactory in application, but in general the name shrub may be applied to a woody plant of less size than a tree, with several permanent woody stems dividing from the bottom, more slender and lower than in a tree. [Century Dictionary]
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hoedown (n.)

"noisy dance," 1841, Southern U.S., apparently originally the name of a specific dance, perhaps from perceived similarity of dance motions to those of farm chores, hence from hoe (n.).

The step of every negro dance that was ever known, was called into requisition and admirably executed. They performed the "double shuffle," the "Virginny break-down," the "Kentucky heeltap," the "pigeon wing," the "back balance lick," the "Arkansas hoe down," with unbounded applause and irresistible effect. ["Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas Rangers," 1848]

"Hoe corn, hill tobacco" is noted as a line in the chorus of a slave song in 1838, and Washington Irving writes of a dance called "hoe corn and dig potatoes" in 1807.

The same precedence is repeated until all the merchandise is disposed of, the table is then banished the room, and the whole party hoe it down in straight fours and set dances, till the hour when "ghosts wandering here and there, troop home to church-yards." This is what we kintra folk call a strauss. ["Der Teufelskerl. A Tale of German Pennsylvania," in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, January 1840]
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catbird (n.)

also cat-bird, 1731, common name for the North American thrush (Dumetella Carolinensis), related to the mockingbird, so called from its warning cry, which resembles the meowling of a cat; from cat (n.) + bird (n.1). "Its proper song is voluble, varied, and highly musical" [Century Dictionary].

Catbird seat is a late 19c. Dixieism, popularized by Brooklyn Dodgers baseball announcer Walter "Red" Barber (1908-1992) and by author James Thurber:

"She must be a Dodger fan," he had said. "Red Barber announces the Dodger games over the radio and he uses those expressions—picked 'em up down South." Joey had gone on to explain one or two. "Tearing up the pea patch" meant going on a rampage; "sitting in the catbird seat" means sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. [Thurber, "The Catbird Seat," The New Yorker, Nov. 14, 1942]
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