Etymology
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mulatto (n.)

1590s, "one who is the offspring of a European and a black African," from Spanish or Portuguese mulato "of mixed breed," literally "young mule," from mulo "mule," from Latin mulus (fem. mula) "mule" (see mule (n.1)); possibly in reference to hybrid origin of mules (compare Greek hēmi-onos "a mule," literally "a half-ass;" as an adjective, "one of mixed race"). As an adjective from 1670s. Fem. mulatta is attested from 1620s; mulattress from 1805.

American culture, even in its most rigidly segregated precincts, is patently and irrevocably composite. It is, regardless of all the hysterical protestations of those who would have it otherwise, incontestibly mulatto. Indeed, for all their traditional antagonisms and obvious differences, the so-called black and so-called white people of the United States resemble nobody else in the world so much as they resemble each other. [Albert Murray, "The Omni-Americans: Black Experience & American Culture," 1970]

Old English had sunderboren "born of disparate parents."

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sphere (n.)
mid-15c., Latinized spelling of Middle English spere (c. 1300) "cosmos; space, conceived as a hollow globe about the world," from Anglo-French espiere, Old French espere (13c., Modern French sphère), from Latin sphaera "globe, ball, celestial sphere" (Medieval Latin spera), from Greek sphaira "globe, ball, playing ball, terrestrial globe," a word of unknown origin.

From late 14c. in reference to any of the supposed concentric, transparent, hollow, crystalline globes of the cosmos believed to revolve around the earth and contain the planets and the fixed stars; the supposed harmonious sound they made rubbing against one another was the music of the spheres (late 14c.). Also from late 14c. as "a globe; object of spherical form, a ball," and the geometric sense "solid figure with all points equidistant from the center." Meaning "range of something, place or scene of activity" is first recorded c. 1600 (as in sphere of influence, 1885, originally in reference to Anglo-German colonial rivalry in Africa).
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pogo (n.)

1921, originally a registered trademark (Germany, 1919), of unknown origin, perhaps formed from elements of the names of the designers.

Hopping Stilts Are the New French Playthings. ... For France and especially Paris has taken to the "pogo" stick, a stick equipped with two rests for the feet. Inside of the stick is a strong spring so that the "pogoer" may take a series of jumps without straining his powers. The doctors claim that the jarring produced by the successive jumps do not serve to injure the spine, as one might at first suppose. This jumping habit is spreading through France and England and the eastern part of the United States. ["Illustrated World," Sept., 1921]

The fad periodically returned in U.S., but with fading intensity. As a leaping style of punk dance, attested from 1977. The newspaper comic strip of the same name, featuring Pogo Possum ("We have met the enemy and he is us"), by Walt Kelly, debuted in 1948 and ran daily through 1975.

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beaker (n.)

"open large-mouthed vessel," mid-14c., from Old Norse bikarr or Middle Dutch beker "goblet," probably (with Old Saxon bikeri, Old High German behhari, German Becher) from Medieval Latin bicarium, which is probably a diminutive of Greek bikos "earthenware jug, wine jar, vase with handles," also a measure, of uncertain origin. Sometimes said to be a Semitic word, perhaps a borrowing from Syrian buqa "a two-handed vase or jug," or from Egyptian b:k.t "oil flask." Form assimilated in English to beak. Originally a drinking vessel; the word is used from 1877 in reference to a similar glass vessel used in scientific laboratories.

O for a beaker full of the warm South,
  Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
    With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
      And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
  And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
[Keats, from "Ode to a Nightingale"]
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pecuniary (adj.)

c. 1500, "consisting of money;" 1620s, "relating to money," from Latin pecuniarius "pertaining to money," from pecunia "money, property, wealth," from pecu "cattle, flock," from PIE root *peku- "wealth, movable property, livestock" (source of Sanskrit pasu- "cattle," Gothic faihu "money, fortune," Old English feoh "cattle, money").

Livestock was the measure of wealth in the ancient world, and Rome was essentially a farmer's community. That pecunia was literally "wealth in cattle" was still apparent to Cicero. For a possible parallel sense development in Old English, see fee, and compare, evolving in the other direction, cattle. Compare also Welsh tlws "jewel," cognate with Irish tlus "cattle," connected via the notion of "valuable thing," and, perhaps emolument.

An earlier adjective in English was pecunier (early 15c.; mid-14c. in Anglo-French), from Old French; also pecunial (late 14c.).

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circus (n.)

late 14c., in reference to the large, oblong, unroofed enclosures used for races, etc., in ancient Rome, from Latin circus "ring, circular line," which was applied by Romans to circular arenas for performances and contests and oval courses for racing (especially the Circus Maximus), from or cognate with Greek kirkos "a circle, a ring," perhaps from PIE *kikro-, reduplicated form of root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend." The adjective form is circensian.

In reference to modern large arenas for performances of feats of horsemanship, acrobatics, etc., from 1791, sense then extended to the performing company itself and the entertainment given, hence "traveling show" (originally traveling circus, 1838). Extended in World War I to squadrons of military aircraft. Meaning "lively uproar, chaotic hubbub" is from 1869.

Sense in Picadilly Circus and other place names is from early 18c. sense "buildings arranged in a ring," also "circular road."

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project (v.)

late 15c. (Caxton), "to plan, to scheme," from Late Latin projectare "to thrust forward," from Latin  proiectus, past participle of proicere "stretch out, throw forth; hold in front; fling away; drive out," from pro- "forward" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + combining form of iacere (past participle iactus) "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). The notion is to "cast forward in the mind."

Meaning "to throw out or forward" physically is from 1590s. Intransitive sense of "to stick out, protrude beyond the adjacent parts, extend beyond something" is from 1718 (also an architectural sense in the Latin verb). Meaning "to cast an image on a screen" is recorded from 1865. Psychoanalytical sense, "attribute to another (unconsciously)" is from 1895 (implied in a use of projective), probably a figurative use from the meaning "throw the mind into the objective world" (1850). Meaning "convey to others by one's manner" is recorded by 1955. Related: Projected; projecting.

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SWAK 

acronym for sealed with a kiss, attested from 1911, in a legal publication quoting a letter from 1909:

"... Well Kid I don't know nothing else to say only that I hope to see your sweet face Sat. Good by from your Dear Husban to his sweet little wife. P. S. excuse bad writing and mispelled words take all mistakes as kisses. S.W.A.K. * * *" This letter was postmarked at Des Moines October 20, 1909, addressed to Carrie Sprague at Jefferson, Iowa, and reached the latter place October 21, 1909. [State v. Manning (a conspiracy-to-lure-women-to-prostitution case), Supreme Court of Iowa, Nov. 16, 1910, reported in Northwestern Reporter, vol. cxxviii, 1911]

Popularized in soldiers' letters home in World War I. It probably is meant also to echo the sound of a kiss. Compare Middle English swack "a hard blow" (late 14c.).

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ration (n.)

1550, "the mental process of reasoning," later, "the relation of one number to another" (1660s), then "fixed allowance of food or other means of subsistence for a fixed period of time" (1702, often rations, from French ration in this sense).

All are from Latin rationem (nominative ratio) "reckoning, numbering, calculation; business affair, procedure," also "reason, reasoning, judgment, understanding," in Medieval Latin "a computed share or allowance of food." This is from rat-, past participle stem of reri "to reckon, calculate," also "think" (from PIE root *re- "to reason, count").

The first sense listed for the English word is obsolete; the second has gone with ratio. The military pronunciation (rhymes with fashion) took over in English from the preferred civilian pronunciation (rhymes with nation) during World War I. That war also gave the word a specific sense of "officially limited allowance for civilians in times of war or dearth" (by 1917).

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peel (v.)

"to strip off" the skin, bark, or rind from, developed from Old English pilian "to peel, skin, decorticate, strip the skin or ring," and Old French pillier, both from Latin pilare "to strip of hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Probably also influenced by Latin pellis "skin, hide." Related: Peeled; peeling. Intransitive sense of "to lose the skin or rind" is from 1630s.

The figurative expression keep (one's) eyes peeled "be observant, be on the alert" is by 1852, American English, perhaps a play on the potato "eye," which is peeled by stripping off the skin. Peel out "speed away from a place in a car, on a motorcycle, etc.," is hot-rodders' slang, attested by 1952, perhaps from the notion of leaving behind a "peel" of rubber from the tire as it skids. Aircraft pilot phrase peel off "veer away from formation" is from World War II; earlier American English had slang peel it "run away at full speed" (1860). 

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