"point or minute spot on a surface," Old English dott, once, "speck, head of a boil," perhaps related to Norwegian dot "lump, small knot," Dutch dot "knot, small bunch, wisp," Old High German tutta "nipple;" a word of uncertain etymology.
Known from a single source c. 1000; the word reappeared with modern meaning "mark" c. 1530; not common until 18c. Perhaps this is a different word imitative of "the mark of a mere touch with the pen" (Wedgwood). In music, the meaning "point indicating a note is to be lengthened by half" is by 1806. Morse telegraph sense is from 1838. On the dot "punctual" is 1909, in reference to a clock dial face. Dot-matrix in printing and screen display is attested by 1975.
invented 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., by druggist Dr. John S. Pemberton. So called because original ingredients were derived from coca leaves and cola nuts. It contained minute amounts of cocaine until 1909.
Drink the brain tonic and intellectual soda fountain beverage Coca-Cola. [Atlanta Evening Journal, June 30, 1887]
Coca-colanization, also Coca-colonization was coined 1950 during an attempt to ban the beverage in France, led by the communist party and the wine-growers.
France's Communist press bristled with warnings against US "Coca-Colonization." Coke salesmen were described as agents of the OSS and the U.S. State Department. "Tremble," roared Vienna's Communist Der Abend, "Coca-Cola is on the march!" [Time magazine, March 13, 1950]
Coca-colonialism attested by 1956.
Of every great and eminent character, part breaks forth into public view, and part lies hid in domestic privacy. Those qualities which have been exerted in any known and lasting performances may, at any distance of time, be traced and estimated; but silent excellencies are soon forgotten; and those minute peculiarities which discriminate every man from all others, if the are not recorded by those whom personal knowledge enabled to observe them, are irrecoverably lost. [Johnson, "Life of Sir Thomas Browne," 1756]
c. 1600, "attention to particulars," from French détail, from Old French detail "small piece or quantity," literally "a cutting in pieces," from detaillier "cut in pieces" (12c.), from de- "entirely" (see de-) + taillier "to cut in pieces" (see tailor).
French en détail "piece by piece, item by item" (as opposed to en gros), a commercial term used where we would today use retail, expanded the senses of the noun. Meaning "a minute account or narrative" is from 1690s; that of "an individual part, a particular" is from 1786. In fine arts, "a small, subordinate part," by 1823.
Military sense of "selection of an individual or body of troops for a particular service" is from 1708, from the notion of "distribution in detail of the daily orders first given in general," including assignment of specific duties.
early 15c., "written record," from Anglo-French memorie "note, memorandum, something written to be kept in mind" (early 15c., Old French memoire), from Latin memoria (from PIE root *(s)mer- (1) "to remember"). The more specific sense of "a notice or essay relating to something within the writer's own memory or knowledge" is from 17c. Meaning "person's written account of his or her life" is from 1670s. Related: Memoirist.
Biography, Memoir. When there is a difference between these words, it may be that memoir indicates a less complete or minute account of a person's life, or it may be that the person himself records his own recollections of the past, especially as connected with his own life; in the latter case memoir should be in the plural. [Century Dictionary]
former New Amsterdam (city), New Netherlands (colony), renamed after British acquisition in 1664 in honor of the Duke of York and Albany (1633-1701), the future James II, who had an interest in the territory. See York. Related: New Yorker. Latinized Noveboracensian "of or pertaining to New York" (1890) contains the Medieval Latin name of York, England, Eboracum. New York minute "very short time" attested by 1976.
Some of Mr. [Horace] Gregory's poems have merely appeared in The New Yorker; others are New Yorker poems: the inclusive topicality, the informed and casual smartness, the flat fashionable irony, meaningless because it proceeds from a frame of reference whose amorphous superiority is the most definite thing about it—they are the trademark not simply of a magazine but of a class. [Randall Jarrell, "Town Mouse, Country Mouse," The Nation, Sept. 20, 1941]
Middle English drope, from Old English dropa "a small, spherical mass of liquid," from Proto-Germanic *drupon (source also of Old Saxon dropo, Old Norse dropi, Dutch drop, Old High German tropfo, German Tropfen (n.)); see drop (v.).
Sense of "minute quantity of anything, least possible amount" is from c. 1200. Meaning "an act of dropping" is from 1630s; of immaterial things (prices, temperatures, etc.) from mid-19c. Meaning "lozenge, hard candy" is 1723, from resemblance in shape. Meaning "secret place where things can be left illicitly and picked up later" is from 1931. Theatrical meaning "painted curtain dropped between scenes to conceal the stage from the audience" is by 1779.
Drop in the bucket (late 14c.) is from Isaiah xl.15 [KJV]. At the drop of a hat "suddenly" is from 1854. To get the drop on "be prepared before one's antagonist" originally was Old West gunslinger slang (1869).
"minute parasitic fungus that appears on plants or decaying organic matter," mid-14c., a transferred sense of a word that meant originally "nectar, honeydew" (the sugar-rich sticky stuff secreted by aphids feeding on plant sap); this is from mid-13c. as mildeu, from Old English meledeaw, from a Proto-Germanic compound of *melith "honey" (from PIE root *melit- "honey") + *dawwaz "dew" (see dew). Similar formation in Old Saxon milidou, Dutch meeldauw, Old High German miltou, German Meltau "mildew." The first element in many continental Germanic languages has been assimilated to forms of meal (n.2) "ground grain."
As a kind of morbid fungus or blight, it presumably is so called from its being sticky and growing on plants. As a verb, "to taint with mildew," from 1550s. Related: Mildewed; mildewy.
"of or in the mode of James," 1875 in reference to William James (1842-1910), U.S. philosopher and exponent of pragmatism; 1905 in reference to his brother Henry James (1843-1916), U.S. expatriate novelist.
[T]he long sentences piling themselves up in elaborate phrase after phrase, the lightning incision, the pauses, the slightly shaking admonitory gesture with its ‘wu-await a little, wait a little, something will come’; blague and benignity and the weight of so many years’ careful, incessant labour of minute observation always there to enrich the talk. I had heard it but seldom, yet it is all unforgettable. […] No man who has not lived on both sides of the Atlantic can well appraise Henry James; his death marks the end of a period. [Ezra Pound, from “Henry James,” Little Review, August 1918]
as a type of tiny biting insect, 1839, American English, from midge, perhaps with diminutive suffix -et.
Dr. Webster is in error in saying the word "midge" is "not in use" at the present day. In the neighboring Green mountain districts, one or more most annoying species of Simulium that there abound, are daily designated in common conversation as the midges, or, as the name is often corrupted, the midgets. From Dr. Harris' treatise it appears that the same name is in popular use for the same insects in Maine. The term is limited in this country, we believe, exclusively to those minute insects, smaller than the musketoe, which suck the blood of other animals. ["Transactions of the New-York State Agricultural Society," vol. vi, Albany, 1847]
Transferred sense of "very small person" is attested by 1854. It is also noted mid-19c. as a pet form of Margaret.