Etymology
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since (adv.)
early 15c., synnes, from sithenes "since," from sithen (plus adverbial genitive -es), from Old English siððan "afterward, from now on, hereafter, further, later, as soon as, after that," originally sið ðan "after that," from sið "after" (see sith) + ðan, weakened form of ðam, dative of ðæt (see that).

As a conjunction from late 14c.; as a preposition from 1510s; "from the time when," hence "as a consequence of the fact that." Modern spelling replaced syns, synnes 16c. to indicate voiceless final -s- sound. Since when? often expressing incredulity, is from 1907.
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amid (adv., prep.)
late 14c., from amidde (c. 1200), from Old English on middan "in the middle," from dative singular of midde "mid, middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle"); also see a- (1). The phrase evidently was felt as "in (the) middle" and thus followed by a genitive case, and if this had endured we would follow it today with of. (See amidst for further evolution along this line).

The same applies to equivalents in Latin (in medio) and Greek (en meso), both originally adjective phrases which evolved to take the genitive case. But in later Old English on middan also was treated as a preposition and followed by dative. Used in compounds from early 13c.
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afore (adv.)
Middle English, from Old English onforan, contraction of prepositional phrase on foran "before in place, at the beginning of, in front of," from on (prep.), see a- (1), + foran (adv.) "in front," dative of for. In some cases probably it represents Old English ætforan "at-fore."

Early 14c. as a preposition, "before in time," and as a conjunction, "earlier than the time when, before." Once the literary equivalent of before, it now has been replaced by that word except in nautical use, colloquial dialects, and in combinations such as aforesaid, aforethought.
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opposite (adj.)

late 14c., "placed or situated on the other side of (something)," from Old French opposite, oposite "opposite, contrary" (13c.), from Latin oppositus "standing against, opposed, opposite," past participle of opponere "set against," from assimilated form of ob "in front of, in the way of" (see ob-) + ponere "to put, set, place" (see position (n.)).

The meaning "contrary in character, of a totally different nature" is from 1570s. As a noun from late 14c., "the opposite side of" (a place, the body, etc.), "an opposite position or condition." From early 15c. as "that which is opposite in character or quality;" also "an opponent." As a preposition from 1758. As an adverb from 1817. Related: Oppositely.

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mid (adj.)

"middle; being the middle part or midst; being between, intermediate," Old English mid, midd from Proto-Germanic *medja- (source also of Old Norse miðr, Old Saxon middi, Old Frisian midde, Middle Dutch mydde, Old High German mitti, German mitte, Gothic midjis "mid, middle"), from PIE root *medhyo- "middle."

By late Middle English probably felt as a prefix only, and now surviving in English only as a prefix (mid-air, midstream, etc.). Prefixed to months, seasons, etc. from late Old English. As a preposition, "in the middle of, amid" (c. 1400) it is from in midde or a shortened form of amid (compare midshipman) and sometimes is written 'mid.

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nigh (adv.)

"near, nearby, close together, adjacent," Middle English neigh, from Old English neah (West Saxon, Kentish), neh (Anglian), from Proto-Germanic *naehwa- (source also of Old Saxon nah, Old Frisian nei, Middle Dutch, Dutch na, Old High German nah, German nah, Gothic nehwa), of uncertain origin, with no cognates outside Germanic. The Old English progression was neah - near - niehsta, for "nigh - nigher - nighest." But the comparative near and the superlative nehst (see next) gradually evolved into separate words that were no longer felt as related to nigh. New comparative and superlative forms nigher, nighest developed 14c. as phonetic changes obscured the original relationships. As an adjective and preposition in Middle English.

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below (adv.)
"in a lower position," early 14c., biloogh, from be- "by, about" + logh, lou, lowe "low" (see low (adj.)). Apparently a variant of earlier a-lowe (influenced by other adverbs in be-; see before), the parallel form to an-high (now on high).

Beneath was the usual word; below was very rare in Middle English and gained currency only in 16c. It is frequent in Shakespeare. As a preposition from 1570s. In nautical use, "off-duty," in contradistinction to "on deck." Meaning "inferior in rank or dignity" is from c. 1600. According to Fowler, below is the opposite of above and concerns difference of level and suggests comparison of independent things. Under is the opposite of over and is concerned with superposition and subjection and suggests some interrelation.
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outside (n.)

c. 1500, "outer side, the exterior part or surface of a thing," from out- + side (n.). Meaning "the part or place that lies without or beyond an enclosure or barrier" is from 1610s. In isolated regions of the globe it tends to mean "the world of civilization and settlement" (1827); in prison (and army) slang, "the world outside prison (or the army)," by 1903.

The adjective is attested from 1630s, "being on the outside; to the outer surface or boundary;" as "situated or operating outside (the house, the system, etc.) by 1841; as "not directly concerned or interested" by 1881. As an adverb from 1813 "on the outside, on or to the exterior;" as a preposition from 1826. Colloquial phrase outside of "with exception of" is from 1859. Outside chance "very unlikely chance" is by 1845, originally in horse racing (see outsider).

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too (adv.)
"in addition; in excess," a variant of to (prep.) originally used when the word was stressed in pronunciation. In Old English, the preposition (go to town) leveled with the adverb (the door slammed to). Most of the adverbial uses of to since have become obsolete or archaic except the senses "in addition, besides" (Old English), "more than enough" (c. 1300). As this often fell at the end of a phrase (tired and hungry too), it retained stress and the spelling -oo became regular from 16c.

Use after a verb, for emphasis (as in did, too!) is attested from 1914. Slang too-too "excessive in social elegance" first recorded 1881. Too much is from 1530s as "more than can be endured;" sense of "excellent" first recorded 1937 in jazz slang. German zu unites the senses of English to and too.
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down (adv.)

"in a descending direction, from a higher to a lower place, degree, or condition," late Old English shortened form of Old English ofdune "downwards," originally of dune "off from (the) hill," from dune "from the hill," dative of dun "hill" (see down (n.2)). The "hill" word is general in Germanic, but this sense development is peculiar to English. As a preposition, "in a descending direction upon or along,"  from late 14c.

To be down on "express disapproval of" is by 1851. Down home is from 1828 as "in one's home region," as an adjective phrase meaning "unpretentious" by 1931, American English. Down the hatch as a toast is from 1931. Down to the wire is 1901, from horse-racing.

Down Under "Australia and New Zealand" attested from 1886; Down East "Maine" is from 1825; Down South "in the Southern states of the U.S." is attested by 1834. Down the road "in the future" is by 1964, U.S. colloquial. Down-to-earth "everyday, ordinary, realistic" is by 1932.

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