The Cucking-stool was a means adopted for the punishment of scolds and incorrigible women by ducking them in the water, after having secured them in a chair or stool, fixed at the end of a long pole, serving as a lever by which they were immersed in some muddy or stinking pond. [Willis's Current Notes, February 1851]
early 13c., from verbal noun from cuck "to void excrement," from Old Norse kuka "feces," from PIE root *kakka- "to defecate." So called because they sometimes resembled the old close stool of the pre-plumbing days, a portable indoor toilet that looked like a chair with a box under the seat. Old folk etymology made the first element a corruption of cotquean. For second element, see stool. Also known as trebucket and castigatory, it was used on fraudulent tradesmen, in addition to disorderly women, either for public exposure to ridicule or for ducking.
"execution by electricity," 1889, American English; noun of action from electrocute. Meaning "any death by electricity" is from 1897.
Electrocution, unless better performed than in the first instance, is a retrograde step rather than the contrary. The preliminary arrangements: the shaving of the head, the cutting of the clothing, the strapping in a chair, add much to the horror of the occasion. It is safe to say that electrocution is not the coming method of execution. [The Medical Era, vol. vii, no. 9, Sept. 1890]
The Romans began to cut the hair about A.U.C. 454, when Ticinius Maenas introduced Barbers from Sicily. Then they began to cut, curl, and perfume it. The glass was consulted as now upon rising from the barber's chair. [Rev. Thomas Dudley Fosbroke, "Encyclopædia of Antiquities," London, 1825]
Related: Haircutter; haircutting.
c. 1200, trone, "the seat of God or a saint in heaven;" c. 1300 as "seat occupied by a sovereign," from Old French trone (12c., Modern French trône), from Latin thronus, from Greek thronos "elevated seat, chair, throne," from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support" (source also of Latin firmus "firm, steadfast, strong, stable," Sanskrit dharma "statute, law"). From late 14c. as a symbol of royal power. Colloquial meaning "toilet" is recorded from 1922. The classical -h- begins to appear in English from late 14c.
"long seat or bench with a high back and arms," 1550s, now archaic or obsolete (but compare settee), from Middle English setle "a seat," from Old English setl "a seat, stall; position, abode; setting of a heavenly body," related to sittan "to sit," from Proto-Germanic *setla- (source also of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch setel, Dutch zetel, German Sessel, Gothic sitls), from PIE *sedla- (source also of Latin sella "seat, chair," Old Church Slavonic sedlo "saddle," Old English sadol "saddle"), from root *sed- (1) "to sit."
late 13c., "cook (something) in a shallow pan over a fire," from Old French frire "to fry" (13c.), from Latin frigere "to roast or fry," from PIE *bher- "to cook, bake" (source also of Sanskrit bhrjjati "roasts," bharjanah "roasting;" Persian birishtan "to roast;" perhaps also Greek phrygein "to roast, bake"). Intransitive sense is from late 14c. U.S. slang meaning "execute in the electric chair" is U.S. slang from 1929. As a noun, "fried meat," from 1630s. Related: Fried; frying. Frying pan is recorded from mid-14c. (friing panne).
"the outline of a figure," 1660s, a term in painting and sculpture, from French contour "circumference, outline," from Italian and Medieval Latin contornare "to go around," from assimilated form of Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + tornare "to turn (on a lathe);" see turn (v.).
Application to topography is from 1769. Earlier the word was used to mean "bedspread, quilt" (early 15c.) in reference to its falling over the sides of the mattress. Contour line in geography is from 1844. Contour-chair, one designed to fit the curves of the body, is from 1949.
As a verb, "mark with contour lines; form to the contours of," 1871. Related: Contoured.
c. 1300, "throne of a bishop, archbishop, or pope," also "throne of a monarch, a goddess, the Antichrist, etc.," from Old French sie "seat, throne; town, capital; episcopal see," from Latin sedem (nominative sedes) "seat, throne, abode, temple," related to sedere "to sit" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit").
Attested by early 14c. as "administrative center of a bishopric;" c. 1400 as "province under the jurisdiction of a bishop." In Middle English also sometimes simply "place to sit, a chair" (late 14c.).
It differs from diocese, however, in that diocese represents the territorial province for the care of which the bishop is responsible (that is, where his duties lie), whereas see is the local seat of his authority, dignity, and episcopal privileges. [Century Dictionary]
1786, "decorative chest of drawers for holding clothes, handy articles, etc.," earlier (1680s) name of a type of fashionable ladies' large, high headdress mounted on a wire frame, from French commode, noun use of adjective meaning "convenient, suitable," from Latin commodus "proper, fit, appropriate, convenient, satisfactory," from com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + modus "measure, manner" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). Meaning "chair housing a chamber pot," usually kept in a bedroom, is first attested 1851 from notion of "convenience."
I wash'd and patch'd, to make me look provoking,
Snares that they told me wou'd catch the men;
And on my head a huge commode sat cocking,
Which made me shew as Tall agen:
[from a song in "Wit and Mirth," 1719]