Etymology
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jack-rabbit (n.)
also jackrabbit, large prairie hare, 1863, American English, shortening of jackass-rabbit (1851; see jackass + rabbit (n.)); so called for its long ears. Proverbial for bursts of speed (up to 45 mph).
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grundyism (n.)
"social censorship of personal conduct in the name of conventional propriety," 1836, from Mrs. Grundy, prudish character in Thomas Morton's 1798 play "Speed the Plow," play and playwright otherwise now forgotten, but the line "What would Mrs. Grundy say?" became proverbial.
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streak (v.2)
1768, "to go quickly, to rush, run at full speed," respelling (probably by association with streak (v.1)) of streek "to go quickly" (late 14c.), originally "to stretch oneself" (mid-13c.), a northern Middle English variant of stretch (v.). Related: Streaked; streaking.
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knot (n.)

Old English cnotta "intertwining of ropes, cords, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *knuttan- (source also of Low German knütte, Old Frisian knotta "knot," Dutch knot, Old High German knoto, German Knoten, perhaps also Old Norse knutr "knot, knob"). For pronunciation, see kn-.

Figurative sense of "difficult problem, a perplexity" was in Old English (compare Gordian knot). Symbolic of the bond of wedlock from early 13c. As an ornament of dress, first attested c. 1400. Meaning "thickened part or protuberance on tissue of a plant" is from late 14c. As "small group or cluster of persons" late 14c.

The nautical unit of measure of speed (1630s) is from the practice of attaching knotted string to the log line at equal distances (see log (n.2)). The ship's speed can be measured by the number of knots that play out while the sand glass is running.

The distance between the knots on the log-line should contain 1/120 of a mile, supposing the glass to run exactly half a minute. [Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, "A Voyage to South America" 1760]

Hence the word knot came also to be used as the equivalent of a nautical mile (in pre-World War II use in U.S. and Britain, about 6,080 feet). A speed of 10 knots will cover ten nautical miles in an hour (equivalent to a land speed of about 11.5 mph).

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throttle (n.)
1540s, "throat;" it appears to be an independent formation from throat, perhaps a diminutive form, not derived directly from the verb. The mechanical sense is first recorded 1872, short for throttle-valve (1824). Full-throttle (allowing maximum speed) is from 1848 in reference to steam engines.
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log (v.2)
"to enter into a log-book," 1823, from log (n.2). Meaning "to attain (a speed) as noted in a log" is recorded by 1883. Meaning "to log in to a computer" is from 1963; it also sometimes is used to mean "log off" of a computer or program. Related: Logged; logging (n.2).
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velocity (n.)
early 15c., from Latin velocitatem (nominative velocitas) "swiftness, speed," from velox (genitive velocis) "swift, speedy, rapid, quick," of uncertain origin, perhaps related to vehere "carry" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"), or from PIE *weg-slo-, suffixed form of root *weg- "to be strong, be lively."
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sprint (v.)
1560s, "to spring, dart," probably an alteration of sprenten "to leap, spring" (early 14c.), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse spretta "to jump up" (cognate with Swedish spritta "to start, startle"). Meaning "to run a short distance at full speed" first recorded 1871. Related: Sprinted; sprinting.
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career (n.)

1530s, "a running (usually at full speed), a course" (especially of the sun, etc., across the sky), from French carriere "road, racecourse" (16c.), from Old Provençal or Italian carriera, from Vulgar Latin *(via) cararia "carriage (road), track for wheeled vehicles," from Latin carrus "chariot" (see car). Sense of "general course of action or movement" is from 1590s, hence "course of one's public or professional life" (1803).

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mobility (n.)

early 15c., "capacity for motion, ability to move or be moved, property of being easily movable," from Old French mobilité "changeableness, inconsistency, fickleness" and directly from Latin mobilitatem (nominative mobilitas) "activity, speed," figuratively "changeableness, fickleness, inconstancy," from mobilis "movable, easy to move" (see mobile (adj.)). Socio-economics sense of "possibility of movement between different social levels" is from 1900 in sociology writing.

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