1580s, "system of military discipline," from Latin militia "military service, warfare," from miles "soldier" (see military (adj.)). The sense of "citizen army" (as distinct from professional soldiers) is first recorded 1690s, perhaps from a sense in French cognate milice. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon forces that resisted the Vikings were militias, raised by counties. In U.S. history, by 1777 as "the whole body of men declared by law amenable to military service, without enlistment, whether armed and drilled or not" [Century Dictionary]. In early 19c. they were under control of the states, enrolled and drilled according to military law but not as regular soldiers, and called out periodically for drill and exercise and in emergency for actual service.
Mr. W.D. Spanton (Leeds) considered that the most prominent causes of physical degeneration were—efforts to rear premature and diseased infants, absurd educational high pressure, cigarette smoking in the younger generation, and late hours at night; in fact, the love of pleasure and ergophobia in all classes of society. He considered that there was too much cheap philanthropy, that life was made too easy for the young poor, and that by modern educational methods proper parental discipline was rendered almost impossible. [report on the 73rd annual meeting of the British Medical Association, in Nature, Aug. 3, 1905]
"person devoted to religious work," especially "child dedicated by his or her parents to monastic life and raised and trained in a monastery and held in monastic discipline," 1756, from Medieval Latin oblatus, noun use of Latin oblatus, variant past participle of offerre "to offer, to bring before," from ob- (see ob-) + lātus "carried, borne," used as past participle of the irregular verb ferre "to bear."
Presumably lātus was taken (by a process linguists call suppletion) from a different, pre-Latin verb. By the same process, in English, went became the past tense of go. Latin lātus is said by Watkins to be from *tlatos, from PIE root *tele- "to bear, carry" (see extol), but de Vaan says "No good etymology available."
mid-14c., "to set (someone) right by punishing for a fault or error, to discipline;" late 14c., of texts, "to bring into accordance with a standard or original," from Latin correctus, past participle of corrigere "to put straight, attempt to make (a crooked thing) straight, reduce to order, set right;" in transferred use, "to reform, amend," especially of speech or writing, from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + regere "to lead straight, rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").
Meaning "to remove or counteract the operation of" is from late 14c. Related: Corrected; correcting.
mid-14c., "sternness, harshness," from Old French austerite "harshness, cruelty" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin austeritatem (nominative austeritas), from austerus "severe, rigid," a figurative use, in classical Latin "harsh, sour" (see austere).
From 1580s as "severe self-discipline, ascetic practices;" hence "severe simplicity, absence of adornment or luxuries," applied during World War II to national policies limiting non-essentials as a wartime economy.
[Austerity] stands just at the edge of that frame of mind which regards self-denial as good for its own sake ; it pushes simplicity of living and the refusal of pleasure beyond what is deemed necessary or helpful to right living by the great mass of those who are equally earnest with the austere in trying to live rightly. [Century Dictionary]
"stupid person," 1590s, from Spanish bobo "stupid person," also used of various ungainly seabirds, probably from Latin balbus "stammering," from an imitative root (see barbarian).
Specific sense "dunce in a school class" is by 1825. Booby prize "object of little value given to the loser of a game," is by 1884:
At the end of every session the dominie had the satirical custom of presenting his tawse [a corporal punishment implement used for educational discipline] as a "booby-prize" to some idle or stupid lout whom he picked out as meriting this distinction so that next time they met he might start fresh and fair with new pair for a new set of classes. [Ascott R. Hope, "Dumps," Young England magazine, Sept. 1884]
Booby trap is by 1850, originally a schoolboy prank; the more lethal sense developed during World War I. Booby-hatch "wooden framework used to cover the after-hatch on merchant vessels" is from 1840; as "insane asylum" by 1936.
early 14c., "area outside a town or city," whether agricultural or residential but most frequently residential, from Old French suburbe "suburb of a town," from Latin suburbium "an outlying part of a city" (especially Rome), from sub "below, near" (see sub-) + urbs (genitive urbis) "city" (see urban). Glossed in Old English as underburg. Just beyond the reach of municipal jurisdiction, suburbs had a bad reputation in 17c. England, especially those of London, and suburban had a sense of "inferior, debased, licentious" (as in suburban sinner, slang for "loose woman, prostitute"). By 1817, the tinge had shifted to "of inferior manners and narrow views." Compare also French equivalent faubourg.
[T]he growth of the metropolis throws vast numbers of people into distant dormitories where ... life is carried on without the discipline of rural occupations and without the cultural resources that the Central District of the city still retains. [Lewis Mumford, 1922]
early 15c., practise, "practical aspect or application," originally especially of medicine but also alchemy, education, etc.; from Old French pratiser, from Medieval Latin practicare (see practice (v.)). It largely displaced the older word, practic, which survived in parallel into 19c. From early 15c. it began to be assimilated in spelling to nouns in -ice.
Sense of "habit, frequent or customary performance" is from c. 1500. Meaning "exercise for instruction or discipline" is from 1520s. Sense of "action, the process of accomplishing or carrying out" (opposed to speculation or theory) is from 1530s. The meaning "regular pursuit of some employment or business" is from 1570s. In 16c.-17c. it also was used in an evil sense, "conspiracy, a scheme."
Practice is sometimes erroneously used for experience, which is a much broader word. Practice is the repetition of an act : as, to become a skilled marksman by practice. Experience is, by derivation, a going clear through, and may mean action, but much oftener views the person as acted upon, taught, disciplined, by what befalls him. [Century Dictionary]
late Old English horsian "to provide with a horse or horses," from horse (n.). Related: Horsed; horsing. Sense of "to play excessive jokes on" is by 1893, mostly in formation horse around (1928), perhaps from horse-play, or from earlier nautical jargon use of the verb in reference to men, "drive or urge to work unfairly and tyrannically" (1867). But also consider the vulgar expressions arsing about (1660s), arsing around (1922).
[A] favorite pastime for many men is to "horse" or guy a friend who has shown himself susceptible to ridicule or fun making. "Horsing" is extremely wholesome mental discipline for over sensitive or super-conceited young men. "Horsing" always implies a joke at another's expense. As to how it came into use there is no satisfactory theory to offer. [Yale Literary Magazine, December 1893]
As a verb, horse also meant "to mount on horseback" (early 14c., horsen), "to spank" as one does a horse to get it to go (1825), also "to copulate, mount" (as a stallion does a mare), hence figuratively, of men, "copulate with" a woman (mid-15c.).
late 14c., "origin, source, beginning" (a sense now obsolete), also "rule of conduct; axiom, basic assumption; elemental aspect of a craft or discipline," from Anglo-French principle, Old French principe "origin, cause, principle," from Latin principium (plural principia) "a beginning, commencement, origin, first part," in plural "foundation, elements," from princeps (genitive principis) "first man, chief leader; ruler, sovereign," noun use of adjective meaning "that takes first," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + root of capere "to take" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp").
The English -l- apparently is by analogy of participle, manciple, etc., also principal. From the notion of "one of the fundamental tenets or doctrines of a system, a law or truth on which others are founded" comes the sense of "a right rule of conduct" (1530s).
It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. [Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, Aug. 27, 1952]
Scientific sense of "general law of nature," by virtue of which a machine or instrument operates, is recorded from 1802.