"stone chisel," 1715, according to OED from a Latin ghost word (apparently a mistake of certe) in Job xix.24 in Vulgate: "stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel celte sculpantur in silice;" translated, probably correctly, in KJV as, "That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever." But assumed by others to be a genuine carving tool, partly because it was in the Bible, and thereafter adapted by archaeologists as a name for a class of prehistoric implements.
a ghost word printed in the 1934 "Webster's New International Dictionary" and defined as a noun used by physicists and chemists, meaning "density." In sorting out and separating abbreviations from words in preparing the dictionary's second edition, a card marked "D or d" meaning "density" somehow migrated from the "abbreviations" stack to the "words" stack. The "D or d" entry ended up being typeset as a word, dord, and defined as a synonym for density. The mistake was discovered in 1939.
1620s, "military stores and provisions," from French soldiers' faulty separation of French la munition, as if *l'amunition; from Latin munitionem (nominative munitio) "a fortifying" (see munition).
The mistake in the word perhaps was by influence of French a(d)monition "warning." The error was corrected in French (Modern French munition), but retained in English, with the unetymological double -m- spelling to conform to words in Latin. At first it meant all military supplies in general; in modern use it means only material used in the discharge of firearms and ordnance.
1948, shortening of bebop or rebop. The musical movement had its own lingo, which was in vogue in U.S. early 1950s. "Life" magazine [Sept. 29, 1952] listed examples of bop talk: crazy "new, wonderful, wildly exciting;" gone (adj.) "the tops—superlative of crazy;" cool (adj.) "tasty, pretty;" goof "to blow a wrong note or make a mistake;" hipster "modern version of hepcat;" dig "to understand, appreciate the subtleties of;" stoned "drunk, captivated, ecstatic, sent out of this world;" flip (v.) "to react enthusiastically."
1765, from Late Latin Scandinavia (Pliny), Skandinovia (Pomponius Mela), name of a large and fruitful island vaguely located in northern Europe, a mistake (with unetymological -n-) for Scadinavia, which is from a Germanic source (compare Old English Scedenig, Old Norse Skaney "south end of Sweden"), from Proto-Germanic *skadinaujo "Scadia island." The first element is of uncertain origin; the second element is from *aujo "thing on the water" (from PIE root *akwā- "water;" see aqua-). It might have been an island when the word was formed; the coastlines and drainage of the Baltic Sea changed dramatically after the melting of the ice caps.
"modest, bashful," 1550s, a folk-etymology alteration of shamefast, "modest, humble, virtuous," also "ashamed of one's behavior," from Old English scamfæst "bashful," literally "restrained by shame," or else "firm in modesty," from shame (n.) + -fæst, adjectival suffix (see fast (adj.)). Related: Shamefacedly; shamefacedness.
shamefaced, -fast. It is true that the second is the original form, that -faced is due to a mistake, & that the notion attached to the word is necessarily affected in some slight degree by the change. But those who, in the flush of this discovery, would revert to -fast in ordinary use are rightly rewarded with the name of pedants .... [Fowler]
1837, from Greek hoi polloi (plural) "the people," literally "the many" (plural of polys, from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill"). Used in Greek by Dryden (1668) and Byron (1822), in both cases preceded by the, even though Greek hoi means "the," a mistake repeated often by subsequent writers who at least have the excuse of ignorance of Greek. Ho "the" is from PIE *so- "this, that" (nominative), cognate with English the and Latin sic. From the adjective agoraios "pertaining to the agora; frequenting the market" Greek had hoi agoraioi "loungers in the market, loafers, common, low men."
c. 1600, "action of criticizing, discrimination or discussion of merit, character or quality; a critical remark or disquisition," from critic + -ism. Meaning "art of judging of and defining the qualities or merits of a thing," especially "estimating literary or artistic worth" is from 1670s. Meaning "inquiry into the history and authenticity of a text" (the sense in higher criticism) is from 1660s.
In the first place, I must take leave to tell them that they wholly mistake the Nature of Criticism who think its business is principally to find fault. Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant a Standard of judging well. The chiefest part of which is, to observe those Excellencies which should delight a reasonable Reader. [Dryden, preface to "State of Innocence," 1677]
"gross grammatical error" (as I done it for I did it); loosely "a small blunder in speech; any absurdity or incongruity, a violation of the conventional rules of society," 1570s, from French solécisme (16c.), from Latin soloecismus "mistake in speaking or writing," from Greek soloikismos "a speaking (Greek) incorrectly," from soloikos "speaking incorrectly, using provincialisms," also "awkward or rude in manners," said to have meant originally "speaking like the people of Soloi," a Greek colony in Cilicia (modern Mezitli in Turkey), whose dialect the Athenians considered barbarous. Related: Solecize; solecist; solecistic; solecistical.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "false, bad, wrong." The exact sense of the root remains uncertain, "since it concerns a collection of largely isolated words in different IE branches" [de Vaan].
It forms all or part of: blame; blaspheme; blasphemous; blasphemy; dismal; mal-; malady; malaise; malaria; malediction; malefactor; malefic; malevolence; malevolent; malice; malicious; malign; malison; malversation; mauvais.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Avestan mairiia‑, "treacherous;" Greek meleos "idle; unhappy;" Latin male (adv.) "badly," malus (adj.) "bad, evil;" Old Irish mell "destruction;" Armenian mel "sin;" Lithuanian melas "lie," Latvian malds "mistake," possbily also Greek blasphemein "to slander."