Etymology
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adroit (adj.)

1650s, "dexterous," originally "rightly," from French adroit, which by Old French had senses "upright (physically and morally); able, clever, skillful; well-formed, handsome; on the right-hand side; veritable," from adverbial phrase à droit "according to right."

This is from Old French à "to" (see ad-) + droit, dreit "right," from Medieval Latin directum (contracted drictum) "right, justice, law," neuter or accusative of Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). It expresses prominently the idea of a trained hand. Related: Adroitly; adroitness.

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bughouse (adj.)

1895, "crazy, insane," from bug (n.) + house (n.); probably originally tramps' jargon. As a noun, from 1891 as "insanity," 1898 as "insane asylum."

IT is often the case in the Penitentiary, as well as in the out side world, that men get "wheels in their head," and "talk through their hats." When a "boy" gets in this "offish" state the prisoners call him "buggy" he becomes a bug-a-boo, and to keep him safe so that he can hurt no one, nor destroy himself, he is duly examined, and when adjudged "bugy" is placed for safe keeping in the "Bug House." [Dan J. Morgan, "Historical Lights and Shadows of the Ohio Penitentiary," 1898]
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scythe (n.)

"long, curving blade made fast to a handle, convenient for swinging, and used in mowing or reaping," Middle English sithe, sythe, from Old English siðe, sigði, from Proto-Germanic *segitho "sickle" (source also of Middle Low German segede, Middle Dutch sichte, Old High German segensa, German Sense), from PIE root *sek- "to cut."

The sc- spelling began by early 15c. (earliest surviving use of it is in an English word in a document written in Latin), from influence of Latin scissor "carver, cutter" and scindere "to cut." Compare French scier "saw," a false spelling from sier. Since the Middle Ages, it was carried by personifications of Time and Death.

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wall (n.)

Old English weall, Anglian wall "rampart, dike, earthwork" (natural as well as man-made), "dam, cliff, rocky shore," also "defensive fortification around a city, side of a building," an Anglo-Frisian and Saxon borrowing (Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wal) from Latin vallum "wall, rampart, row or line of stakes," apparently a collective form of vallus "stake," from PIE *walso- "a post." Swedish vall, Danish val are from Low German.

Meaning "interior partition of a structure" is mid-13c. In this case, English uses one word where many languages have two, such as German Mauer "outer wall of a town, fortress, etc.," used also in reference to the former Berlin Wall, and wand "partition wall within a building" (compare the distinction, not always rigorously kept, in Italian muro/parete, Irish mur/fraig, Lithuanian mūras/siena, etc.). The Latin word for "defensive wall" was murus (see mural).

Anatomical use from late 14c. To give (someone) the wall "allow him or her to walk on the (cleaner) wall side of the pavement" is from 1530s. To turn (one's) face to the wall "prepare to die" is from 1570s. Phrase up the wall "angry, crazy" is from 1951; off the wall "unorthodox, unconventional" is recorded from 1966, American English student slang. To go over the wall "escape" (originally from prison) is from 1933. Wall-to-wall (adj.) recorded 1939, of shelving, etc.; metaphoric use (usually disparaging) is from 1967.

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crane (n.)

large grallatorial bird with very long legs, beak, and neck, Old English cran, common Germanic (cognates: Old Saxon krano, Old High German krano, German Kranich, and, with unexplained change of consonant, Old Norse trani, Danish trane), from PIE *gere-no-, suffixed form of root *gere- (2) "to cry hoarsely," also the name of the crane (cognates: Greek geranos, Latin grus, Welsh garan, Lithuanian garnys "heron, stork"). Thus the name is perhaps an echo of its cry in ancient ears.

Misapplied to herons and storks. The gray European crane was "formerly abundant in marshy places in Great Britain, and prized as food" [OED], but was extinct there through much of 20c.

Use for "machine with a long arm for moving weights" is attested from late 13c. (a sense also in equivalent words in German, French, and Greek). The constellation was one of the 11 added to Ptolemy's list in the 1610s by Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius after Europeans began to explore the Southern Hemisphere.

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shield (n.)

Middle English sheld, "frame or rounded plate of wood, metal, etc., carried by an warrior on the arm or in the hand as defense," from Old English scield, scild "shield; protector, defender," originally "board," from Proto-Germanic *skelduz (source also of Old Norse skjöldr, Old Saxon skild, Middle Dutch scilt, Dutch schild, German Schild, Gothic skildus), from *skel- "divide, split, separate," from PIE root *skel- (1) "to cut."

The IE sense evolution of that proposal is uncertain; the ancient notion is perhaps a flat piece of wood made by splitting a log, but Boutkan writes, "it seems more probable to me that the word designated a means of protection, i.e. a separation between the fighter and the enemy."

Shield usually meant a larger defensive device, covering much of the body, as opposed to a buckler. Shield volcano (1911) translates German Schildvulkan (1910). The plate tectonics sense of shield as "large, stable mass of Achaean rock forming a continental nucleus" is by 1906, translating Suess (1888).

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today (adv.)
Old English todæge, to dæge "on (this) day," from to "at, on" (see to) + dæge, dative of dæg "day" (see day). Meaning "in modern times" is from c. 1300. As a noun from 1530s. Generally written as two words until 16c., after which it usually was written to-day until early 20c.

Similar constructions exist in other Germanic languages, such as Dutch van daag "from-day," Danish and Swedish i dag "in day." German heute is from Old High German hiutu, from Proto-Germanic *hiu tagu "on (this) day," with first element from PIE pronominal stem *ki-, represented by Latin cis "on this side."
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mullet (n.2)

"hairstyle short the sides and long in back," 1996, perhaps from mullet-head "stupid, dull person" (1857). Mullet-head also was a name of a type of North American freshwater fish with a large, flat head (1866) with a reputation for stupidity. The term in reference to the haircut seems to have emerged into pop culture with the Beastie Boys song "Mullet Head."

#1 on the side and don't touch the back
#6 on the top and don't cut it wack, Jack
[Beastie Boys, "Mullet Head"]

As a surname, Mullet is attested from late 13c., thought to be a diminutive of Old French mul "mule." Compare also mallet-headed, in reference to the flat tops of chisels meant to be struck with a mallet.

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provide (v.)

early 15c., providen, "make provision for the future; arrange, plan; take care, relieve of needs, supply the needs of," from Latin providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro "ahead" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Related: Provided; providing. Earlier in same sense was its doublet purvey, which is from the same Latin verb, deformed in Old French (pourvoir).

No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard,
Or keeps the end from being hard.
Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!
[Robert Frost, from "Provide, Provide"]
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creek (n.)

mid-15c., creke "narrow inlet in a coastline," altered from kryk (early 13c.; in place names from 12c.), probably from Old Norse kriki "corner, nook," perhaps influenced by Anglo-French crique, itself from a Scandinavian source via Norman. Perhaps ultimately related to crook and with an original notion of "full of bends and turns" (compare dialectal Swedish krik "corner, bend; creek, cove").

Extended to "inlet or short arm of a river" by 1570s, which probably led to use for "small stream, brook" in American English (1620s). In U.S. commonly pronounced and formerly sometimes spelled crick. Also used there and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand for "branch of a main river," possibly from explorers moving up main rivers and seeing and noting mouths of tributaries without knowing they often were extensive rivers of their own.

Slang phrase up the creek "in trouble" (often especially "pregnant") is attested by 1941, perhaps originally armed forces slang for "lost while on patrol," or perhaps a cleaned-up version of the older up shit creek in the same sense.

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