1650s, "having white and brown (or some other color) patches, spotted in an irregular manner" (used especially of horses), from skued "skewbald" (mid-15c.), of unknown origin, + bald "having white patches" (see bald). First element said to be unconnected with skew (v.) (but Klein's sources say it is); OED suggests perhaps from Old French escu "shield," but also notes a close resemblance in form and sense with Icelandic skjottr, "the history of which is equally obscure." Watkins says it is Scandinavian and akin to Old Norse sky "cloud" on the resemblance of the markings to cloud cover.
When the white is mixed with black it is called 'pie-bald,' with bay the name of 'skew-bald' is given to it. ["Youatt's 'The Horse,' " 1866]
As a noun meaning "skewbald horse" from 1863.
early 15c., obscuren, "to cover (something), cloud over," from obscure (adj.) or else from Old French obscurer, from Latin obscurare "to make dark, darken, obscure," from obscurus. Meaning "to conceal from knowledge or observation, disguise" is from 1520s; that of "to overshadow or outshine" is from 1540s. Related: Obscured; obscuring.
"promontory, piece of land jutting into a sea or lake," late 14c., from Old French cap "cape; head," from Latin caput "headland, head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head"). The Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa has been the Cape since 1660s. Old sailors called low cloud banks that could be mistaken for landforms on the horizon Cape fly-away (1769).
late 14c., "cloudy, misty, hazy" (of the eye, fire-smoke, etc.), from Latin nebulosus "cloudy, misty, foggy, full of vapor," from nebula "mist, vapor" (from PIE root *nebh- "cloud"). The figurative sense of "hazy, vague, formless" is attested by 1831. Astronomical sense, in reference to stars or star clusters surrounded by luminous haze, is from 1670s. Related: Nebulously; nebulousness.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cover, conceal."
It forms all or part of: chiaroscuro; cunnilingus; custody; cutaneous; cuticle; -cyte; cyto-; hide (v.1) "to conceal;" hide (n.1) "skin of a large animal;" hoard; hose; huddle; hut; kishke; lederhosen; meerschaum; obscure; scum; skewbald; skim; sky.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kostha "enclosing wall," skunati "covers;" Greek kytos "a hollow, vessel," keutho "to cover, to hide," skynia "eyebrows;" Latin cutis "skin," ob-scurus "dark;" Lithuanian kiautas "husk," kūtis "stall;" Armenian ciw "roof;" Russian kishka "gut," literally "sheath;" Old English hyd "a hide, a skin," hydan "to hide, conceal; Old Norse sky "cloud;" Old English sceo "cloud;" Middle High German hode "scrotum;" Old High German scura, German Scheuer "barn;" Welsh cuddio "to hide."
[clouds driven before the wind], c. 1300, rak, "movement, rapid movement," also "rush of wind, collision, crash," originally a northern word, possibly from Old English racu "cloud, storm" (or an unrecorded Scandinavian cognate of it), reinforced by Old Norse rek, *rak "wreckage, jetsam," or Old English wræc "something driven," both of which would be from Proto-Germanic *wrakaz, from PIE root *wreg- "to push, shove, drive" (see urge (v.)).
From late 14c. as "rain cloud." Often confused with wrack (n.) "destruction," especially in the phrase rack and ruin (1590s), which perhaps is encouraged in that case by the visual alliteration. Rack is "fragments of raggy clouds;" wrack is, in its secondary sense, "seaweed cast up on shore." Both probably come, ultimately, from the same PIE root, as does wreak.