also red-line, "mark in red ink," 1820, from red (adj.1) + line (v.). Specific sense of "deny loans to certain neighborhoods based on ethnicity" is from 1973, on notion of lines drawn on maps. Used earlier in reference to insurance company practices (by 1956) and in World War II military slang in reference to a red line drawn through a soldier's name for some infraction, thus denying his pay. Related: Redlined; redlining.
Reports have been increasing here in the last few days to the effect that the American Automobile Association is "red lining" Warren County as a speed trap. [Park City Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky., March 9, 1956]
"two-wheeled, two-person, one-horse cab or carriage with the driver's seat above and behind," 1847, from James A. Hansom (1803-1882), English architect who designed such a vehicle c. 1834. The surname is from 17c., originally a nickname, handsome.
The fashionable form of the cab. The original design placed the driver at the side. The popular form was a type "with two big wheels, of very uncertain equilibrium and dangerous character, in which the driver was perched in a dicky placed high up at the back of the vehicle and took his instructions through a small trap-door in the roof. It was difficult to enter a hansom without soiling one's clothes." [Encyclopedia Britannica, 1929]
1830, "a decisive blow" (also, figuratively "a conclusive argument"), fanciful formation from sock (v.1) "hit hard," perhaps via a comical mangling of doxology, on a notion of "finality." The meaning "something exceptional" is attested from 1838.
Sockdologizing likely was nearly the last word President Abraham Lincoln heard. During the performance of Tom Taylor's "Our American Cousin," assassin John Wilkes Booth (who knew the play well) waited for the laugh-line:
Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal—you sockdologizing old man-trap.
Amid the noise as the audience responded, Booth fired the fatal shot.
Applied by the Romans to Greek Aphrodite, Egyptian Hathor, etc. Applied in English to any beautiful, attractive woman by 1570s. As the name of the most brilliant planet from late 13c., from this sense in Latin (Old English called it morgensteorra and æfensteorra). The venus fly-trap (Dionæa muscipula) was discovered 1760 by Gov. Arthur Dobbs in North Carolina and description sent to Collinson in England. The Central Atlantic Coast Algonquian name for the plant, /titipiwitshik/, yielded regional American English tippity wichity.
c. 1200, "a falling to the ground; a dropping from a height, a descent from a higher to a lower position (as by gravity); a collapsing of a building," from Proto-Germanic *falliz, from the source of fall (v.). Old English noun fealle meant "snare, trap."
Of the coming of night from 1650s. Meaning "downward direction of a surface" is from 1560s, of a value from 1550s. Theological sense, "a succumbing to sin or temptation" (especially of Adam and Eve) is from early 13c.
The sense of "autumn" (now only in U.S. but formerly common in England) is by 1660s, short for fall of the leaf (1540s). Meaning "cascade, waterfall" is from 1570s (often plural, falls, when the descent is in stages; fall of water is attested from mid-15c.). The wrestling sense is from 1550s. Of a city under siege, etc., 1580s. Fall guy is attested by 1906.
Old English net "open textile fabric tied or woven with a mesh for catching fish, birds, or wild animals alive; network; spider web," also figuratively, "moral or mental snare or trap," from Proto-Germanic *natjo- (source also of Old Saxon net, Old Frisian nette, Old Norse, Dutch net, Swedish nät, Old High German nezzi, German Netz, Gothic nati "net"), perhaps originally "something knotted," from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie." But Boutkan says it has no clear IE etymology and implies it might be a substrate word.
From late Old English as "light, open woven fabric used as protection from annoying insects." From late 15c. as "light, open mesh bag for the hair."
Old English springan "to leap, burst forth, fly up; spread, grow," (class III strong verb; past tense sprang, past participle sprungen), from Proto-Germanic *sprengan (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian springa, Middle Dutch springhen, Dutch Related: springen, Old Saxon and Old High German springan, German springen), from PIE *sprengh-, nasalized form of root *spergh- "to move, hasten, spring" (source also of Sanskrit sprhayati "desires eagerly," Greek sperkhesthai "to hurry").
In Middle English, it took on the role of causal sprenge, from Old English sprengan (as still in to spring a trap, etc.). Meaning "to cause to work or open," by or as by a spring mechanism, is from 1828. Meaning "to announce suddenly" (usually with on) is from 1876. Meaning "to release" (from imprisonment) is from 1900. Slang meaning "to pay" (for a treat, etc.) is recorded from 1906.
1590s, "engine of war consisting of a small, attachable bomb used to blow in doors and gates and breach walls," from French pétard (late 16c.), from French péter "break wind," from Old French pet "a fart," from Latin peditum, noun use of neuter past participle of pedere "to break wind," from PIE root *pezd- "to fart" (see feisty). Surviving in figurative phrase hoist with one's own petard (or some variant) "caught in one's own trap, involved in the danger one meant for others," literally "blown up with one's own bomb," which is ultimately from Shakespeare (1605):
For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petar ["Hamlet" III.iv.207].
For the verb, see hoist. The thing itself was rendered obsolete by the development of bombs; it seems to have had a reputation for backfiring. Related: Petardier.
"stupid person," 1590s, from Spanish bobo "stupid person," also used of various ungainly seabirds, probably from Latin balbus "stammering," from an imitative root (see barbarian).
Specific sense "dunce in a school class" is by 1825. Booby prize "object of little value given to the loser of a game," is by 1884:
At the end of every session the dominie had the satirical custom of presenting his tawse [a corporal punishment implement used for educational discipline] as a "booby-prize" to some idle or stupid lout whom he picked out as meriting this distinction so that next time they met he might start fresh and fair with new pair for a new set of classes. [Ascott R. Hope, "Dumps," Young England magazine, Sept. 1884]
Booby trap is by 1850, originally a schoolboy prank; the more lethal sense developed during World War I. Booby-hatch "wooden framework used to cover the after-hatch on merchant vessels" is from 1840; as "insane asylum" by 1936.
late 12c., poverte, "destitution, want, need or insufficiency of money or goods," from Old French poverte, povrete "poverty, misery, wretched condition" (Modern French pauvreté), from Latin paupertatem (nominative paupertas) "poverty," from pauper "poor" (see poor (adj.)).
From early 13c. in reference to deliberate poverty as a Christian act. Figuratively from mid-14c., "dearth, scantiness;" of the spirit, "humility," from the Beatitudes.
Seeing so much poverty everywhere makes me think that God is not rich. He gives the appearance of it, but I suspect some financial difficulties. [Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables," 1862]
Poverty line "estimated minimum income for maintaining the necessities of life" is attested from 1891; poverty trap "situation in which any gain in income is offset by a loss of state benefits" is from 1966; poverty-stricken "reduced to a state of poverty" is by 1778.
Poverty is a strong word, stronger than being poor; want is still stronger, indicating that one has not even the necessaries of life ; indigence is often stronger than want, implying especially, also, the lack of those things to which one has been used and that befit one's station ; penury is poverty that is severe to abjectness ; destitution is the state of having absolutely nothing .... [Century Dictionary]