Etymology
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quiff (n.)

"curl or lock of hair over the forehead," by 1890, originally a style among soldiers, a word of unknown origin. Perhaps connected with quiff "a puff or whiff of tobacco smoke" (1831, originally Southern U.S.), which is held to be a variant of whiff (n.).

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tress (n.)
c. 1300, "long lock of hair," from Old French tresse "a plait or braid of hair" (12c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *trichia "braid, rope," from Greek trikhia "rope," from thrix (genitive trikhos) "hair." Related: Tresses.
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cirrus (n.)

1708, "curl-like fringe or tuft," from Latin cirrus "a lock of hair, tendril, curl, ringlet of hair; the fringe of a garment." In meteorology, in reference to light, fleecy clouds, attested from 1803; so called from fancied resemblance of shape.

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combination (n.)

late 14c., combinacyoun, "act of uniting (two things) in a whole; state of being so united," from Old French combination (14c., Modern French combinaison), from Late Latin combinationem (nominative combinatio) "a joining two by two," noun of action from past participle stem of combinare "to unite, yoke together," from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + bini "two by two," adverb from bi- "twice" (from PIE root *dwo- "two").

Sense of "a whole formed by uniting" is from 1530s; specific sense of "union or association of persons for the attainment of some common end" is from 1570s. Meaning "series of moves required to open a combination lock" is from 1880; combination lock, one requiring a certain combination of moves to open it, is from 1851. Related: Combinational.

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flood-gate (n.)
early 13c. in the figurative sense "opportunity for a great venting" (especially with reference to tears or rain); literal sense is mid-15c. (gate designed to let water in or keep it out as desired, especially the lower gate of a lock); from flood (n.) + gate (n.).
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spanner (n.)
1630s, a tool for winding the spring of a wheel-lock firearm, from German Spanner, from spannen "to join, fasten, extend, connect," from Proto-Germanic *spannan, from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin" (source also of spin (v.)). Meaning "wrench" is from 1790. Figurative phrase spanner in the works attested from 1921 (Wodehouse).
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gadget (n.)
1886, gadjet (but said by OED corespondents to date from 1850s), sailors' slang word for any small mechanical thing or part of a ship for which they lacked, or forgot, a name; perhaps from French gâchette "catch-piece of a mechanism" (15c.), diminutive of gâche "staple of a lock." OED says derivation from gauge is "improbable."
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hootenanny (n.)

"informal session of folk musicians," 1940, American English, earlier "a gadget" (1927), of unknown origin, perhaps a nonsense word.

Another device used by the professional car thief, and one recently developed to perfection, according to a large Chicago lock-testing laboratory, is a "hootenanny," so-called by the criminals using it. [Popular Mechanics, February 1931]
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arcane (adj.)
1540s, from Latin arcanus "secret, hidden, private, concealed," from arcere "to close up, enclose, contain," from arca "chest, box, place for safe-keeping," from PIE root *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (source also of Greek arkos "defense," arkein "to ward off;" Armenian argel "obstacle;" Lithuanian raktas "key," rakinti "to shut, lock").
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detector (n.)

1540s, "one who detects," from Latin detector "uncoverer, revealer," agent noun from detectus, past participle of detegere "to uncover, expose," figuratively "discover, reveal, disclose" (see detect). From 1833 as "instrument or device for indicating the presence or state of a thing," originally an arrangement in a lock supposed to indicate attempts to tamper with it.

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