Etymology
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undercut (v.)
late 14c., "to cut down or off," from under + cut (v.). In the commercial sense of "sell at lower prices" (or work at lower wages) it is first attested 1884. Figurative sense of "render unstable, undermine" is recorded from 1955, from earlier literal meaning "cut so as to leave the upper portion larger than the lower" (1874).
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canard (n.)
"absurd or fabricated story intended as an imposition," 1851, perhaps 1843, from French canard "a hoax," literally "a duck" (from Old French quanart, probably echoic of a duck's quack); said by Littré to be from the phrase vendre un canard à moitié "to half-sell a duck," thus, perhaps from some long-forgotten joke, "to cheat." But also compare quack (n.1).
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fair (n.)
"a stated market in a town or city; a regular meeting to buy, sell, or trade," early 14c., from Anglo-French feyre (late 13c.), from Old French feire, faire "fair, market; feast day," from Vulgar Latin *feria "holiday, market fair," from Latin feriae "religious festivals, holidays," related to festus "solemn, festive, joyous" (see feast (n.)).
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hawk (v.1)
"to sell in the open, peddle," late 15c., back-formation from hawker "itinerant vendor" (c. 1400), agent noun from Middle Low German höken "to peddle, carry on the back, squat," from Proto-Germanic *huk-. Related: Hawked; hawking. Despite the etymological connection with stooping under a burden on one's back, a hawker is technically distinguished from a peddler by use of a horse and cart or a van.
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franchise (n.)
c. 1300, fraunchise, "a special right or privilege (by grant of a sovereign or government);" also "national sovereignty; nobility of character, generosity; the king's authority; the collective rights claimed by a people or town or religious institution," also used of the state of Adam and Eve before the Fall, from Old French franchise "freedom, exemption; right, privilege" (12c.), from variant stem of franc "free" (see frank (adj.)).

From late 14c. as "freedom; not being in servitude; social status of a freeman;" early 15c. as "citizenship, membership in a community or town; membership in a craft or guild." The "special right" sense narrowed 18c. to "particular legal privilege," then "right to vote" (1790). From mid-15c. as "right to buy or sell," also "right to exclude others from buying or selling, a monopoly;" meaning "authorization by a company to sell its products or services" is from 1959.
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retail (v.)

early 15c., retailen, "sell in small quantities or parcels," from the noun or from Old French retaillier "cut back, cut off, pare, clip, reduce, circumcise," from re- "back" (see re-) + taillier "to cut, trim" (see tailor (n.)). Sometimes also "to deal out (information, etc.) in small quantities; hand down by report; recount, tell over again" (1590s). Related: Retailed; retailing.

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sulky (adj.)
"quietly sullen," 1744, of uncertain origin. Connection has been suggested to obsolete, rare sulke "hard to sell" (1630s) and to Old English asolcen "idle, lazy, slow," past-participle adjective from aseolcan "become sluggish, be weak or idle" (related to besylcan "be languid"), from Proto-Germanic *seklan (source also of Middle High German selken "to drop, fall"). But words of similar meaning often are held to be imitative (compare miff, mope, boudoir). Related: Sulkily; sulkiness.
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divest (v.)
Origin and meaning of divest

1560s, devest (modern spelling is c. 1600), "strip of possessions," from French devester "strip of possessions" (Old French desvestir), from des- "away" (see dis-) + vestir "to clothe," from Latin vestire "to clothe" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress").

The etymological sense of "strip of clothes, arms, or equipage" is from 1580s. Meaning "strip by some definite or legal process" is from 1570s. Economic sense "sell off (a subsidiary company, later an investment) is by 1961. Related: Divested; divesting.

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sutler (n.)
formerly also suttler, "person who follows an army to sell food to soldiers," 1580s, from Middle Dutch soeteler "small tradesman, peddler, victualer, camp cook" (Dutch zoetelaar), cognate with Middle Low German suteler, sudeler "person who performs dirty tasks," Middle High German sudelen "to cook badly," Middle Dutch soetelen "to cook badly." Probably also related to Dutch zieder, German sieden "to seethe," from Proto-Germanic *suth-, from PIE root *seut- "to seethe, boil" (see seethe).
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bawdy (adj.)

late 14c., "soiled, dirty, filthy," from bawd + -y (2). Perhaps influenced by Middle English bauded, bowdet "soiled, dirty," from Welsh bawaidd "dirty," from baw "dirt, filth." Meaning "lewd, obscene, chaste" is from 1510s, from notion of "pertaining to or befitting a bawd;" usually of language (originally to talk bawdy).

Bawdy Basket, the twenty-third rank of canters, who carry pins, tape, ballads and obscene books to sell. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]

Related: Bawdily; bawdiness. Bawdy-house "house of prostitution" is from 1550s.

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