1510s, "a talk," from Latin sermocinationem (nominative sermocinatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of sermonari "talk, discourse, harangue," from sermo (see sermon). From 1753 in rhetoric. Related: Sermocinator, agent noun; sermocinatrix "a female talker" (1620s); sermocinate (1620s).
A form of prosopopoeia in which the speaker, having addressed a real or imaginary hearer with a remark or especially a question, immediately answers for the hearer: as, "Is a man known to have received foreign money? People envy him. Does he own it? They laugh. Is he formally convicted? They forgive him." [Century Dictionary]
In the sense of "person liberally and excessively sympathetic" (especially toward those the speaker or writer deems not to deserve it) is attested by 1951, but said by many to have been popularized with reference to liberals (especially Eleanor Roosevelt) in 1930s by newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler (1894-1969), though quotations are wanting; bleeding in a figurative sense of "generous" is from late 16c., and the notion of one's heart bleeding as a figure of emotional anguish is from late 14c.; the exact image here may be the "bleeding heart of Jesus."
"aware, up-to-date," first recorded 1908 in "Saturday Evening Post," but said to be underworld slang, of unknown origin. Variously said to have been the name of "a fabulous detective who operated in Cincinnati" [Louis E. Jackson and C.R. Hellyer, "A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang," 1914] or a saloonkeeper in Chicago who "never quite understood what was going on ... (but) thought he did" [American Speech, XVI, 154/1]. Taken up by jazz musicians by 1915. With the rise of hip (adj.) by the 1950s, the use of hep ironically became a clue that the speaker was unaware and not up-to-date.
"bottom of a sleeve," mid-14c., cuffe "hand covering, mitten, glove," perhaps from Medieval Latin cuffia, cuphia "head covering," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps ultimately from Greek.
Sense of "band around the sleeve" is first attested 1520s; sense of "turned-up hem of trousers" is by 1896. Meaning "a fetter for the wrist" is from 1660s. Adverbial phrase off the cuff "extemporaneously" is attested by 1938, American English colloquial, suggesting an actor or speaker reading from notes jotted on his shirt sleeves rather than reciting learned lines. Cuff-links (also cufflinks) is from 1887.
1630s, "to mark out, distinguish," a sense now obsolete, modeled on French remarquer "to mark, note, heed," formed in French from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see re-), + marquer "to mark," which probably is from Frankish or another Germanic source such as Old High German marchon "to delimit" (see mark (n.1)).
Meaning "take notice of, mark out in the mind" is from 1670s; that of "make a comment, express, as a thought that has occurred to the speaker or writer" is attested from 1690s, from the notion of "make a verbal observation" or "call attention to specific points." Related: Remarked; remarking.
"a word that asserts or declares; that part of speech of which the office is predication, and which, either alone or with various modifiers or adjuncts, combines with a subject to make a sentence" [Century Dictionary], late 14c., from Old French verbe "word; word of God; saying; part of speech that expresses action or being" (12c.) and directly from Latin verbum "verb," originally "a word," from PIE root *were- (3) "to speak" (source also of Avestan urvata- "command;" Sanskrit vrata- "command, vow;" Greek rhētōr "public speaker," rhetra "agreement, covenant," eirein "to speak, say;" Hittite weriga- "call, summon;" Lithuanian vardas "name;" Gothic waurd, Old English word "word").
"person felt by the writer or speaker to be deficient in liberal culture," 1827, originally in Carlyle, popularized by him and Matthew Arnold, from German Philister "enemy of God's word," literally "Philistine," inhabitants of a Biblical land, neighbors (and enemies) of Israel (see Philistine).
Popularized in German student slang (supposedly first at Jena, late 17c.) as a contemptuous term for "townies," and hence, by extension, "any uncultured person." Philistine had been used in a humorous figurative sense of "an unfeeling enemy" in English from c. 1600. Related: Philistinism.
The people who believe most that our greatness and welfare are proved by our being very rich, and who most give their lives and thoughts to becoming rich, are just the very people whom we call Philistines. [Matthew Arnold, "Sweetness and Light," 1869]
1812, "dullness, insipidity of thought, triteness," from French platitude "flatness, vapidness" (late 17c.), from Old French plat "flat" (see plateau (n.)); formed on analogy of latitude, etc. Meaning "a flat, dull, trite, or commonplace remark," especially a truism uttered as if it were a novelty, is recorded from 1815. Related: Platitudinous (1862). Hence platitudinarian (n.) "one who indulges in platitudes," 1855; platitudinize (1867).
A commonplace is a thing that, whether true or false, is so regularly said on certain occasions that the repeater of it can expect no credit for originality ; but the commonplace may be useful.
A platitude is a thing the stating of which as though it were enlightening or needing to be stated convicts the speaker of dullness ; a platitude is never valuable. [Fowler]