c. 1300, "bondsman; common man, man of low birth," from Old Norse karl "man" (as opposed to "woman"), "male, freeman," from Proto-Germanic *karlon- (source also of Dutch karel "a fellow," Old High German karl "a man, husband"). The same Proto-Germanic source produced Old English ceorl "man of low degree" (see churl) and the masc. proper name Carl and, via French and Latin, Charles.
The Mellere was a stout carle for the nones [Chaucer]
word-forming element in science meaning "thick, large, massive," from Latinized form of Greek pakhys "thick, fat, well-fed, dense, stout," from PIE *bhengh- "thick, fat" (source also of Sanskrit bahu- "much, numerous;" Avestan bazah- "height, depth;" Armenian bazum "much;" Hittite pankush "large," panku- (adj.) "total;" Old Norse bingr "heap," Old High German bungo "a bulb;" Latvian biezs "thick").
"large and thriving," 1560s, present-participle adjective from chop (v.). Compare strapping, whopping in similar sense. Chopper "a stout, lusty child" is colloquial from c. 1600.
chopping. An epithet frequently applied to infants, by way of ludicrous commendation: imagined by Skinner to signify lusty, from cas Sax. by others to mean a child that would bring money at a market. Perhaps a greedy, hungry child, likely to live. [Johnson]
familiar form of masc. proper name Tobias, in various colloquial usages, such as "jug" (1840), "drinking mug in the form of a stout old man;" as a type of collar (1882) it refers to that worn by the dog Toby in 19c. Punch and Judy shows. Also in Toby show (by 1942, American English) "comedy act based on the stock character of a boisterous, blundering yokel."
c. 1300, borlich, "excellent, noble; handsome, beautiful," probably from Old English borlice "noble, stately," literally "bowerly," that is, fit to frequent a lady's apartment (see bower). The sense descended through "stout, sturdy" (c. 1400) to "heavily built." Another theory connects the Old English word to Old High German burlih "lofty, exalted," related to burjan "to raise, lift." In Middle English also of things; now only of persons. Related: Burliness.
1540s, "a staff used as a weapon," from French bâton "stick, walking stick, staff, club, wand," from Old French baston (12c.) "stick, staff, rod," from Late Latin bastum "stout staff," which probably is of Gaulish origin or else from Greek *baston "support," from bastazein "to lift up, raise, carry." The meaning "staff carried as a symbol of office" is from 1580s; the musical sense of "conductor's wand" is by 1823, from French. Often Englished 17c.-18c. as batoon.
type of Celtic accent, 1705, perhaps from the meaning "rough, stout shoe" (made of rawhide and tied with thongs), of the type worn by rural Irish and Scottish highlanders (1580s), via Gaelic or Irish, from Old Irish broce "shoe." The footwear was "characteristic of the wilder Irish" [Century Dictionary], thus the noun might mean something like "speech of those who call a shoe a brogue." Or perhaps it is from Old Irish barrog "a hold" (on the tongue).
late-14c., draie, "strong wheeled or wheel-less cart," from Old English dræge or some other noun derivative from dragan "to draw" and originally meaning a cart without wheels that has to be "dragged" (compare Old Norse draga "timber dragged behind a horse;" Middle Low German drage, Middle High German trage "a litter"); see drag (v.). Modern sense of "low, strong cart with stout wheels and without sides, used for carrying heavy loads" is from 1580s.
mid-15c., "fortified place, stronghold," from Old French fort "fort, fortress; strong man," noun use of adjective meaning "strong, stout, sturdy; hard, severe, difficult; hard to understand; dreadful, terrible; fortified" (10c.), from Latin fortis "strong, mighty; firm, steadfast; brave, spirited," from Old Latin forctus, which is of unknown etymology. Possibly from PIE root *bhergh- (2) "high, elevated," with derivatives referring to hills and hill-forts, or possibly from *dher- "to hold firmly, support." Figurative use of hold the fort attested from 1590s.
"exceedingly fat," 1650s, back-formation from obesity and in part from Latin obesus "fat, stout, plump," literally "that has eaten itself fat," past participle of obedere "to eat all over, devour," from ob "about; because of" (see ob-) + edere "eat" (from PIE root *ed- "to eat"). According to OED, "Rare before 19th c." Related: Obeseness. Latin obesus was translated in Old English as oferfæt "overfat." As Latin obesus also could be read as "eaten up," it also was used in a passive sense, "wasted away, lean."