also eery, c. 1300, "timid, affected by superstitious fear," north England and Scottish variant of Old English earg "cowardly, fearful, wretched; slow, indolent, useless," from Proto-Germanic *arh- (source also of Old Frisian erg "evil, bad," Middle Dutch arch "bad," Dutch arg, Old High German arg "cowardly, worthless," German arg "bad, wicked," Old Norse argr "unmanly, voluptuous," Swedish arg "malicious"). Sense of "causing fear because of strangeness" is first attested 1792. Finnish arka "cowardly" is a Germanic loan-word.
c. 1600 as an architectural term, "the top or cover of a wall, usually sloped to shed water," a specialized use of cope (n.), the cape-like vestment worn by priests, which is a a variant of cape (n.1). Cope (v.) "to provide (someone) with a cope or cloak" is attested from late 14c., and in the architectural sense of "to form a cope, bend as an arch or vault" it is recorded from 1660s. Coping saw, used for cutting curved patterns, is attested by 1887.
The meaning "to encircle with the hand(s)" is from 1781; in the sense of "to form an arch over (something)" it is first recorded 1630s. Related: Spanned; spanning.
c. 1600, "records or documents preserved as evidence," from French archif (16c., Modern French archives), from Late Latin archivum (plural archiva) "written records," also the place where they are kept, from Greek ta arkheia "public records," plural of arkheion "town hall, public building," from arkhē "government," literally "beginning, origin, first place" (verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first;" see archon). The sense of "place where public records and historical documents are kept" in English is from 1640s.