Etymology
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tapster (n.)
"person employed to tap liquors," Old English tæppestre "female tavern-keeper, hostess at an inn, woman employed to tap liquors," fem of tæppere, from tæppa "tap" (see tap (n.1)) + fem. ending -ster. The distinction of gender in the word was lost by 15c., and by 1630s re-feminized tapstress is attested.
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homogeneous (adj.)
1640s, from Medieval Latin homogeneus, from Greek homogenes "of the same kind," from homos "same" (see homo- (1)) + genos "kind, gender, race, stock" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups). Earlier in this sense was homogeneal (c. 1600). Related: Homogeneously; homogeneousness.
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simon-pure (adj.)

1815, from the true Simon Pure "the genuine person or thing" (1795), from Simon Pure, name of a Quaker who is impersonated by another character (Colonel Feignwell) in part of the comedy "A Bold Stroke for a Wife" (1717) by Susannah Centlivre, English dramatist and actress. The real Simon Pure is dealt with as an impostor in the play and is believed only after he has proved his identity.

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difference (n.)
Origin and meaning of difference

mid-14c., "condition or relation of being other or different," also "any special mode of non-identity," from Old French difference"difference, distinction; argument, dispute" (12c.) and directly from Latin differentia "diversity, difference," from differentem (nominative differens), present participle of differre "to set apart,"  from assimilated form of dis- "apart, away from" (see dis-) + ferre "to bear, carry," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry." Sense of "controversy, dispute, a quarrel" is from late 14c.

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its (pron.)
neuter possessive pronoun; late 16c., from it + genitive/possessive ending 's (q.v.). "[A]t first commonly written it's, a spelling retained by some to the beginning of the 19c." [OED]. The apostrophe came to be omitted, perhaps because it's already was established as a contraction of it is, or by general habit of omitting apostrophes in personal pronouns (hers, yours, theirs, etc.).

The neuter genitive pronoun in Middle English was his, but the clash between grammatical gender and sexual gender, or else the application of the word to both human and non-human subjects, evidently made users uncomfortable. Restriction of his to the masculine and avoidance of it as a neuter pronoun is evidenced in Middle English, and of it and thereof (as in KJV) were used for the neuter possessive. In literary use, his as a neuter pronoun continued into the 17c. In Middle English, simple it sometimes was used as a neuter possessive pronoun (c. 1300).
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epicene (adj.)
"belonging to or including both sexes," mid-15c., epycen, originally a grammatical term for nouns that may denote either gender, from Latin epicoenus "common," from Greek epikoinos "common to many, promiscuous," from epi "on" (see epi-) + koinos "common" (see coeno-). English has no need of it in its grammatical sense. Extended sense of "characteristic of both sexes" first recorded in English c. 1600; that of "effeminate" is from 1630s.
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themselves (pron.)
mid-15c. in northern dialect, standard from 1540s, alteration of Middle English tham-self, emphatic plural pronoun, also reciprocal pronoun (14c.); see them + self, with self, originally an inflected adjective, treated as a noun with a meaning "person" and pluralized. Displacing Old English heom selfum (dative). Themself returned late 20c. as some writers took to replacing himself with gender-neutral everyone, anyone, etc.
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masquerade (n.)

1590s, "assembly of persons wearing masks and usually other disguises," from French mascarade or Spanish mascarada "masked party or dance," from Italian mascarata "a ball at which masks are worn," variant of mascherata "masquerade," from maschera (see mask (n.)).

Extended sense of "disguise in general, concealment or apparent change of identity by any means" is from 1660s; figurative sense of "false outward show" is from 1670s.

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Martha 

fem. proper name, from Aramaic (Semitic) Maretha, literally "lady, mistress," fem. of mar, mara "lord, master." As the type name of one concerned with domestic affairs, it is from Luke x.40-41. Martha's Vineyard was discovered 1602 by English explorer Gabriel Archer and apparently named by him, but the identity of the Martha he had in mind is unknown now.

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sloven (n.)

late 15c., "immoral woman," later (16c.) also "rascal, knave" (regardless of gender); probably from a continental Germanic source, compare Middle Flemish sloovin "a scold," sloef "untidy, shabby," Dutch slof "careless, negligent," Middle Low German sloven "put on clothes carelessly," from Proto-Germanic *slaubjan, from PIE root *sleubh- "to slide, slip." Meaning "person careless of dress or negligent of cleanliness" is from 1520s. Also see slut.

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