Etymology
Advertisement
may (v.1)

Old English mæg "am able" (infinitive magan, past tense meahte, mihte), from Proto-Germanic root *mag-, infinitive *maganan (Old Frisian mei/muga/machte "have power, may;" Old Saxon mag/mugan/mahte; Middle Dutch mach/moghen/mohte; Dutch mag/mogen/mocht; Old High German mag/magan/mahta; German mag/mögen/mochte; Old Norse ma/mega/matte; Gothic mag/magan/mahte "to be able"), from PIE root *magh- "to be able, have power." A present-preterit verb (with can, shall, etc.). Also used in Old English as a "auxiliary of prediction."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
aluminum (n.)

1812, coined by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy, from alumina, alumine, the name given by French chemists late 18c. to aluminum oxide, from Latin alumen "alum" (see alum). Davy originally called it alumium (1808), then amended this to aluminum, which remains the U.S. word. British editors in 1812 further amended it to aluminium, the modern preferred British form, to better harmonize with other metallic element names (sodium, potassium, etc.).

Aluminium, for so we shall take the liberty of writing the word, in preference to aluminum, which has a less classical sound. [Quarterly Review, September 1812]

Aluminum foil attested by 1859; popularized in food packaging from c. 1950.

Related entries & more 
sleazy (adj.)

1640s, "downy, fuzzy," later "flimsy, unsubstantial" (1660s), of unknown origin; one theory is that it is a corruption of Silesia, the German region, where thin linen or cotton fabric was made for export. Silesia in reference to cloth is attested in English from 1670s; and sleazy as an abbreviated form is attested from 1670), but OED is against this. Sense of "sordid" is from 1941. Related: Sleazily; sleaziness.

A day is a more magnificent cloth than any muslin, the mechanism that makes it is infinitely cunninger, and you shall not conceal the sleazy, fraudulent, rotten hours you have slipped into the piece, nor fear that any honest thread, or straighter steel, or more inflexible shaft, will not testify in the web. [Emerson, "The Conduct of Life," 1860]
Related entries & more 
farthing (n.)

Old English feorðing (Old Northumbrian feorðung) "quarter of a penny; a fourth part," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four;" from PIE root *kwetwer- "four") + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjorðungr, Old Danish fjerdung "a fourth part of anything."

In late Old English also a division of land, probably originally a quarter of a hide. The modern English coin first was minted under Edward I and abolished 1961. The word was used in biblical translations for Latin quadrans "quarter of a denarius."

I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him. [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1562]
Related entries & more 
clean-living (adj.)

"of upright character and healthful habits, mentally and morally healthy," 1874, from the noun phrase; see clean (adj.) + living (n.).

Clean Living is opposed to anything and everything which speaks for physical and mental disorder, dirt, disease, distress and discontent. Clean Living stands for babies, better born and better bred, better clothed and better fed; happier, healthier babies with normal play, normal environment and a normal chance to live and develop. Clean Living stands for youth, the critical time, the unfolding time, the time when muscle, mind, morals and manners of the boy and girl shall start right or wrong, for health and success or disease and failure. [Clean Living, vol. I, no. 1, April 1916, Chicago]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
toadstone (n.)

"stone or stone-like object, supposedly magical (with healing or protective power) and found in the heads of certain toads," 1550s, from toad + stone (n.). Translating Greek batrakhites, Medieval Latin bufonites; compare also French crapaudine (13c.), German krötenstein.

The Crapadine or Toadstone, we speak of before, you shall prove to be a true one, if the Toad lift himself so up against it, when it is shew'd or held to him, as if he would come at it, and leap to catch it away: he doth so much envy that Man should have that stone. ["Eighteen Books of the Secrets of Art & Nature," 1661]
Related entries & more 
gallivant (v.)

"gad about, spend time in frivolous pleasure-seeking, especially with the opposite sex," 1809, of uncertain origin, perhaps a playful elaboration of gallant in an obsolete verbal sense of "play the gallant, flirt, gad about." Related: Gallivanted; gallivanting.

Young Lobski said to his ugly wife,
"I'm off till to-morrow to fish, my life;"
Says Mrs. Lobski, "I'm sure you a'nt",
But you brute you are going to gallivant."
What Mrs. Lobski said was right,
Gay Mr. Lobski was out all night.
He ne'er went to fish, 'tis known very well
But where he went I shall not tell.
["Songs from the Exile," in "Literary Panorama," London, 1809]
Related entries & more 
gin (v.1)

in slang phrase gin up "enliven, make more exciting," 1887 (ginning is from 1825), perhaps a special use of the verb associated with gin (n.2) "engine," but perhaps rather or also from ginger up in the same sense (1849), which is from ginger in sense of "spice, pizzazz;" specifically in reference to the treatment described in the 1796 edition of Grose's slang dictionary under the entry for feague:

... to put ginger up a horse's fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well; it is said, a forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer's servant, who shall shew a horse without first feaguing him. Feague is used, figuratively, for encouraging or spiriting one up.
Related entries & more 
overcome (v.)

Old English ofercuman "to reach, overtake, move or pass over," also "to conquer, prevail over, defeat in combat" (the Devil, evil spirits, sin, temptation, etc.), from ofer (see over) + cuman "to come" (see come (v.)). A common Germanic compound (Middle Dutch overkomen, Old High German ubarqueman, German überkommen).

In reference to mental or chemical force, "to overwhelm, render helpless," it is in late Old English. Meaning "to surmount (a difficulty or obstacle); succeed, be successful" is from c. 1200. The Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" was put together c. 1950s from the lyrics of Charles Tindley's spiritual "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1901) and the melody from the pre-Civil War spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me." Related: Overcame; overcoming.

Related entries & more 
quorum (n.)

early 15c., in law, "the senior justices of the peace," whose presence was necessary to constitute a court, from Latin quorum "of whom," genitive plural (masc. and neuter; fem. quarum) of qui "who" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns).

The traditional wording of the commission appointing justices of the peace translates as, "We have also assigned you, and every two or more of you (of whom [quoram vos] any one of you the aforesaid A, B, C, D, etc. we will shall be one) our justices to inquire the truth more fully." The justices so-named usually were called the justices of the quorum.

Meaning "fixed number of members of any constituted body whose presence at a particular meeting is necessary to transact business" is recorded by 1610s.

Related entries & more 

Page 5