Etymology
Advertisement
bell (n.)

"hollow metallic instrument which rings when struck," Old English belle, which has cognates in Middle Dutch belle, Middle Low German belle but is not found elsewhere in Germanic (except as a borrowing); apparently from PIE root *bhel- (4) "to sound, roar" (compare Old English bellan "to roar," and see bellow).

As a division of daily time aboard a ship, by 1804, from its being marked by bells struck every half hour. Statistical bell curve is by 1920, said to have been coined was coined 1870s in French. Of glasses in the shape of a bell from 1640s. Bell pepper is from 1707, so called for its shape. Bell, book, and candle is a reference to a form of excommunication (the bells were rung out of order and all together to signify the loss of grace and order in the soul of the excommunicated).

To ring a bell "awaken a memory" (1934) is perhaps a reference to Pavlovian experiments; it also was a signal to summon a servant (1782).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
aisle (n.)

late 14c., ele, "lateral division of a church" (usually separated from the nave or transept by a row of pillars), from Old French ele "wing (of a bird or an army), side of a ship" (12c., Modern French aile), from Latin ala, related to or contracted from axilla "wing, upper arm, armpit; wing of an army," from PIE *aks-la-, suffixed form of root *aks- "axis" (see axis). The notion is of "turning," which also connects it with axle.

It was confused from 15c. with unrelated Middle English ile "island" (perhaps from notion of a "detached" part of a church), and so it took an unetymological -s- c. 1700 when isle did; by 1750 it had acquired an a-, on the model of French cognate aile. English aisle perhaps also was confused with alley, which helped give it the sense of "passage between rows of pews or seats" (1731), which subsequently was extended to railway cars, theaters, Congress, etc.

Related entries & more 
commencement (n.)

late 13c., "a beginning, act or fact of coming into existence," from Old French comencement "beginning, start" (Modern French commencement), from comencier "to begin, to start" (see commence).

Meaning "school graduation ceremony" attested by 1850, American English, originally in colleges, in reference to the ceremonies by which members of the graduating class are made ("begin to be") bachelors, masters, etc. (commencement in the sense of "entrance upon the privileges of a master or doctor in a university" is from late 14c.) ; thence extended to graduation ceremonies of academies and lower schools.

I know what you are thinking of — the class members grouped in a semicircle on the stage, the three scared boys in new ready-made black suits, the seventeen pretty girls in fluffy white dresses (the gowns of the year), each senior holding a ribbon-tied manuscript bulging with thoughts on "Beyond the Alps Lies Italy," "Our Ship is Launched — Whither Shall it Sail?" and similar topics. [Charles Moreau Harger, "The Real Commencement," New Outlook, May 8, 1909]
Related entries & more 
fulfill (v.)

Old English fullfyllan "fill up" (a room, a ship, etc.), "make full; take the place of (something)," from full (adj.), here perhaps with a sense of "completion" + fyllan (see fill (v.), which is ultimately from the same root).

It was used from mid-13c. in reference to prophecy (probably translating Latin implere, adimplere). From mid-13c. as "do, perform; carry out, consummate, carry into effect;" from c. 1300 as "complete, finish; satiate, satisfy, gratify." Related: Fulfilled; fulfilling.

Modern English combinations with full tend to have it at the end of the word (as -ful), but this is a recent development and in Old English it was more common at the start, but this word and fulsome appear to be the only survivors.

Self-fulfilling prophecy is attested by 1949, associated with and popularized by U.S. sociologist Robert K. Merton, in writings on racial prejudices, who described it as a false definition of a situation at the outset that evokes a behavior which seems to validate the false concept.

Related entries & more 
lumber (n.)

"timber sawn into rough planks for use," 1660s, American English (Massachusetts), earlier "disused bit of furniture; heavy, useless objects" (1550s), of uncertain origin. It is said to be probably from lumber (v.1) on the notion of "awkward to move," and perhaps to have been influenced by or associated with Lombard (q.v.), the Italian immigrant class famous as pawnbrokers (and money-lenders) in old England. Lumbar and Lumbard were old alternative forms of Lombard in English.

The evolution of sense then would be because a lumber-house ("pawn shop; place where thieves stash stolen property") naturally accumulates odds and ends of furniture. The 19th century guess was that it comes directly from lumber-house or lumber-room in the pawn shop sense, but these are not attested before lumber (n.). Lumber camp is from 1841; lumber-mill is from 1830; lumber-yard is from 1777.

Live Lumber, soldiers or passengers on board a ship are so called by the sailors. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
steward (n.)

Old English stiward, stigweard "house guardian, housekeeper," from stig "hall, pen for cattle, part of a house" (see sty (n.1)) + weard "guard" (from Proto-Germanic *wardaz "guard," from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for").

Used after the Conquest as the equivalent of Old French seneschal (q.v.). Meaning "overseer of workmen" is attested from c. 1300. The sense of "officer on a ship in charge of provisions and meals" is first recorded mid-15c.; extended to trains 1906. This was the title of a class of high officers of the state in early England and Scotland, hence meaning "one who manages affairs of an estate on behalf of his employer" (late 14c.). Meaning "person who supervises arrangements" at a meeting, dinner, etc., is from 1703.

The Scottish form (with terminal -t attested from late 14c.) is reflected in Stewart, name of the royal house descended from Walter (the) Steward, who married (1315) Marjorie de Bruce, daughter of King Robert. Stuart is a French spelling, attested from 1429 and adopted by Mary, Queen of Scots.

Related entries & more 
marine (n.)

late 14c., "seacoast;" see marine (adj.). Meaning "collective shipping of a country" is from 1660s. Meaning "soldier who serves on a ship" is from 1670s, a separate borrowing from French marine, from the French adjective. Phrase tell that to the marines (1805) originally was the first half of a retort expressing disbelief in some statement made or story told:

"Upon my soul, sir," answered the lieutenant, "when I thought she scorned my passion, I wept like a child."
"Belay there!" cried the captain; "you may tell that to the marines, but I'll be d----d if the sailors will believe it." ["John Moore," "The Post-Captain; or, the Wooden Walls Well Manned," 1805]

The book, a rollicking sea romance/adventure novel, was popular in its day and the remark is a recurring punch line in it (repeated at least four times). It was written by naval veteran John Davis (1774-1854) but published under the pseudonym "John Moore." Walsh records that, among sailors, marines are "a proverbially gullible lot, capable of swallowing any yarn, in size varying from a yawl-boat to a full-rigged frigate."

Related entries & more 
typhus (n.)

acute infectious fever, usually accompanied by prostration, delirium, and small reddish spots, 1785, from medical Latin, from Greek typhos "stupor caused by fever," literally "smoke," from typhein "to smoke," related to typhos "blind," typhon "whirlwind," from PIE *dheubh-, perhaps an extended form of PIE root *dheu- (1) "dust, vapor, smoke." 

The Greek term [typhos] (smoke, mist, fog) was employed by Hippocrates to define a confused state of the intellect, with a tendency to stupor (stupor attonitus); and in this sense it is aptly applied to typhus fever with its slow cerebration and drowsy stupor. Boissier de Sauvages first (in 1760) called this fever "typhus," and the name was adopted by Cullen of Edinburgh in 1769. Previous to the time of de Sauvages typhus was known as "Pestilential" or "Putrid Fever," or by some name suggested by the eruption, or expressive of the locality in which it appeared, as "Camp," "Jail," "Hospital," or "Ship Fever" (Murchison). [Thomas Clifford, ed., "A System of Medicine," New York, 1897]

Related: typhous (adj.).

Related entries & more 
loath (adj.)

Old English lað "hated; hateful; hostile; repulsive," from Proto-Germanic *laitha- (source also of Old Saxon leth, Old Frisian leed "loathsome," Old Norse leiðr "hateful, hostile, loathed;" Middle Dutch lelijc, Dutch leelijk "ugly;" Old High German leid "sorrowful, hateful, offensive, grievous," German leid "hateful, painful"), from PIE root *leit- (1) "to detest."

And niðful neddre, loð an liðer, sal gliden on hise brest neðer [Middle English Genesis and Exodus, c. 1250]

Weakened meaning "averse, disinclined" is attested from late 14c. "Rare in 17th and 18th cents.; revived in the 19th c. as a literary word" [OED]. Loath to depart, a line from some long-forgotten song, is recorded since 1580s as a generic term expressive of any tune played at farewells, the sailing of a ship, etc. French laid, Italian laido "ugly" are from the same Germanic source. The sense "ugly" persisted in English into 15c. in the marriage service, where a man took his wife for fayrer, for layther. Related: Loathness.

Related entries & more 
room (n.)

Middle English roum, from Old English rum "space, extent; sufficient space, fit occasion (to do something)," from Proto-Germanic *ruman (source also of Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic rum, German Raum "space," Dutch ruim "hold of a ship, nave"), nouns formed from Germanic adjective *ruma- "roomy, spacious," from PIE root *reue- (1) "to open; space" (source also of Avestan ravah- "space," Latin rus "open country," Old Irish roi, roe "plain field," Old Church Slavonic ravinu "level," Russian ravnina "a plain").

Old English also had a frequent adjective rum "roomy, wide, long, spacious," also an adverb, rumlice "bigly, corpulently" (Middle English roumli).

The meaning "chamber, cabin" is recorded by early 14c. as a nautical term; applied by mid-15c. to interior division of a building separated by walls or partitions; the Old English word for this was cofa, ancestor of cove. The sense of "persons assembled in a room" is by 1712.

Make room "open a passage, make way" is from mid-15c.  Room-service is attested from 1913; room-temperature, comfortable for the occupants of a room, is so called from 1879. Roomth "sufficient space" (1530s, with -th (2)) now is obsolete.

Related entries & more 

Page 40