1794, "extremely minute particle," from French molécule (1670s), from Modern Latin molecula, diminutive of Latin moles "mass, barrier" (see mole (n.3)). For ending see -cule. It has a vague meaning at first; the vogue for the word (used until late 18c. only in Latin form) can be traced to the philosophy of Descartes. First used of Modern Latin molecula in modern scientific sense ("smallest part into which a substance can be divided without destroying its chemical character") is by Amedeo Avogadro (1811).
Meaning "what one feels about something" (1630s) and modern spelling seem to be a re-introduction from French (where it was spelled sentiment by 17c.). A vogue word mid-18c. with wide application, commonly "a thought colored by or proceeding from emotion" (1762), especially as expressed in literature or art. The 17c. sense is preserved in phrases such as my sentiments exactly.
suffragette. A more regrettable formation than others such as leaderette & flannelette, in that it does not even mean a sort of suffrage as they mean a sort of leader & of flannel, & therefore tends to vitiate the popular conception of the termination's meaning. The word itself may now be expected to die, having lost its importance; may its influence on word-making die with it! [Fowler, 1926]
Flare up! flare up! is all the cry, in every square and street —
No other sound salutes your ear, whoe'er you chance to meet
Where'er you ride, or walk, or sit, or breakfast, dine, or sup,
They welcome you or quiz you with "Flare up, my boy! flare up!"
[Fraser's Magazine, April 1834]
"irritable, short-tempered," 1906, from snark (v.) "to find fault with, nag" (1882), literally "to snort" (1866), from an imitative source akin to Low German snarken, North Frisian snarke, Swedish snarka; and compare snarl (v.2), sneer (v.). Also compare narky "bad-tempered, sarcastic" (1895), British slang from earlier nark "annoying, quarrelsome, or unpleasant person" (1846), from nark (q.v.).
It seems to have emerged anew as a vogue word c. 1997 to indicate a "hostile, knowing, bitter tone of contempt." The back-formation snark (n.) "caustic, opinionated, and critical rhetoric" is by c. 2002 (compare snark (n.)). Related: Snarkily; snarkiness.
a slang shortening of proper respects (or something similar), c. 1999; see proper. As the nickname of the properties manager of a theater by 1831 (see prop (n.2)). Also the name of a gambling game played with shells in vogue in the 1850s, especially in Boston.
It was, in effect, a crude sort of dice-throwing. Small shells were partially ground down and their hollows filled with sealing-wax. Four of these shells were shaken in the hand and thrown on a table, the stake being won or lost according to the number of red or white sides coming up. [Century Dictionary]
With haruspication may be classed the art of divining by bones, as where North American Indians would put in the fire a certain flat bone of a porcupine, and judge from its colour if the porcupine-hunt would be successful. The principal art of this kind is divination by a shoulder-blade, technically called scapulimancy or omoplatoscopy. This is especially found in vogue in Tartary, where it is ancient, and whence it may have spread into all other countries where we hear of it. [Edward B. Tylor, "Primitive Culture," 1871]
"attack with good-humored jokes and jests," 1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun, "good-humored ridicule," is from 1680s.
The third refinement observable in the letter I send you, consists in the choice of certain words invented by some pretty fellows; such as banter, bamboozle, country put, and kidney, as it is there applied; some of which are now struggling for the vogue, and others are in possession of it. I have done my utmost for some years past to stop the progress of mobb and banter, but have been plainly borne down by numbers, and betrayed by those who promised to assist me. [Swift, "The Tatler," No. 230, 1710]
1949, American English, apparently coined from V.P., abbreviation of vice president, perhaps modeled on jeep, which was then in vogue. Introduced by Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), Harry Truman's vice president. According to the "Saturday Evening Post," "his grandchildren, finding Vice-President too long, call him that." The magazines quickly picked it up, especially when the 71-year-old Barkley married a 38-year-old widow (dubbed the Veepess).
Barkley says word "Veep" is not copyrighted, and any vice president who wants to can use it. But he hopes not many will. [U.S. Department of State wireless bulletin, 1949]
Time magazine, tongue in cheek, suggested the president should be Peep, the Secretary of State Steep, and the Secretary of Labor Sleep.
1680s, "of or pertaining to the mind as a subject of study;" see psychology + -ical. In early 20c. the sense gradually shifted toward "affecting or pertaining to a person's mental or emotional state." Related: Psychologically. Psychological warfare "use of propaganda, etc., to undermine an enemy's morale or resolve" is recorded from 1940. Psychological moment was in vogue from 1871, from French moment psychologique "moment of immediate expectation of something about to happen."
The original German phrase, misinterpreted by the French & imported together with its false sense into English, meant the psychic factor, the mental effect, the influence exerted by a state of mind, & not a point of time at all, das Moment in German corresponding to our momentum, not our moment. [Fowler]