thin linen fabric, originally imported from the East, 1722, from Hindi sirsakar, said to be an East Indian corruption of Persian shir o shakkar "striped cloth," literally "milk and sugar," a reference to the alternately smooth and puckered surfaces of the stripes. This would be from Persian shir (cognate with Sanskrit ksiram "milk") + shakar (cognate with Pali sakkhara, Sanskrit sarkara "gravel, grit, sugar;" see sugar (n.)).
Old English near "closer, nearer," comparative of neah, neh"nigh." Partially by the influence of Old Norse naer "near," it came to be used in English as a positive form mid-13c., and new comparative nearer developed in the 1500s (see nigh). Originally an adverb but now supplanted in most such senses by nearly; it has in turn supplanted correct nigh as an adjective.
The adjectival use dates from c. 1300, "being close by, not distant;" from late 14c. as "closely related by kinship;" 1610s as "economical, parsimonious." Colloquial use for "so as to barely escape injury or danger" (as in a near thing, near miss) is by 1751. As a preposition, "close to, close by, near in space or time," from mid-13c. Related: Nearness. In near and dear (1620s) it refers to nearness of kinship. Near East is by 1894 (probably based on Far East). Near beer "low-alcoholic brew" is from 1908.
"swelling on the foot caused by inflammation of a bursa," 1718, apparently from East Anglian dialectic bunny "lump, swelling" (16c.), which is probably from French buigne "bump on the head, swelling from a blow" (see bun).
1590s, "duly," from due (adj.). In reference to points of the compass, "directly, exactly" (as in due east) it is attested from c. 1600, originally nautical, from notion of "fitting, rightful."