Etymology
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heyday (n.)
also hey-day, late 16c. as an exclamation, an alteration of heyda (1520s), an exclamation of playfulness, cheerfulness, or surprise something like Modern English hurrah; apparently it is an extended form of the Middle English interjection hey or hei (see hey). Compare Dutch heidaar, German heida, Danish heida. Modern sense of "stage of greatest vigor" first recorded 1751 (perhaps from a notion that the word was high-day), and it altered the spelling.
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orgasm (n.)

1680s, "sexual climax, the acme of venereal excitement," from French orgasme or Modern Latin orgasmus, from Greek orgasmos "excitement, swelling," from organ "be in heat, become ripe for," literally "to swell, be excited," related to orge "impulse, excitement, anger," from PIE root *wrog- "to burgeon, swell with strength" (source also of Sanskrit urja "a nourishment, sap, vigor," Old Irish ferc, ferg "anger"). Also used 17c. of other violent excitements of emotion or other bodily functions; broader sense of "immoderate excitement or action" is from 1763.

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jollity (n.)
early 14c., jolyfte, iolite, "merrymaking, revelry," also "agreeableness, attractiveness, beauty, elegance;" from Old French jolivete "gaity, cheerfulness; amorous passion; life of pleasure," from jolif "festive, merry" (see jolly).

From late 14c. as "lightheartedness, cheerfulness." A word with more senses in Middle and early Modern English than recently: "sexual pleasure or indulgence, lust" (mid-14c.); "insolent presumptuousness, impudence" (mid-14c.); "vigor, strength" (mid-14c.); "love; a love affair" (c. 1300, hence in jollity "by fornication, out of wedlock"); "gallantry" (1530s); "state of splendor" (1540s).
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pith (n.)

Old English piþa "central cylinder of the stems of plants," also, figuratively, "essential part, quintessence, condensed substance," from West Germanic *pithan- (source also of Middle Dutch pitte, Dutch pit, East Frisian pit), a Low German root of uncertain origin. Figurative sense of "energy, concentrated force, closeness and vigor of thought and style" is by 1520s. The pith helmet (1889, earlier pith hat, 1884) was so called because it is made from the dried pith of the Bengal spongewood.

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virtuous (adj.)
c. 1300, "characterized by vigor or strength; having qualities befitting a knight; valiant, hardy, courageous;" from Old French vertuos "righteous; potent; of good quality; mighty, valiant, brave" (12c.), from Late Latin virtuosus "good, virtuous," from Latin virtus "moral strength, high character, goodness; manliness; valor, bravery, courage (in war); excellence, worth," from vir "man" (from PIE root *wi-ro- "man").

From mid-14c. in English as "having beneficial or efficacious properties;" late 14c. (of persons) as "having excellent moral qualities; conforming to religious law." Related: Virtuously; virtuousness.
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pick up (v.)

early 14c. as a verbal phrase, "lift and take with the fingers," from pick (v.) + up (adv.). From 1510s as "take or get casually, obtain or procure as opportunity offers." Meaning "take (a person found or overtaken) into a vehicle or vessel," is from 1690s, also, of persons, "make acquaintance or take along" (especially for sexual purposes). Intransitive meaning "improve gradually, reacquire vigor or strength" is by 1741. Sense of "tidy up" is from 1861; that of "arrest" is from 1871; meaning "gain speed" is from 1922; meaning "to pay" (a check, tab, etc.) is from 1945. Pick-me-up "stimulating alcoholic drink" is attested from 1867.

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racy (adj.)

1650s, "having a characteristic agreeable taste; having a flavor supposed to be imparted by the soil" (of wines, fruits, etc.), from race (n.2) in its older meaning "flavor" or in the sense "class of wines" + -y (2).

The extended meaning "having a quality of vigor" (1660s) led to that of "improper, risqué," attested by 1901, which probably was reinforced by the phrase racy of the soil "earthy" (1870). Related: Racily; raciness.

Figuratively, that is racy which is agreeably fresh and distinctive in thought and expression ; that is spicy which is agreeably pungent to the mind, producing a sensation comparable to that which spice produces in taste. [Century Dictionary]
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nip (v.)

late 14c., nippen, "to pinch sharply; to bite suddenly," probably from or related to Middle Low German nipen "to nip, to pinch," German nippen, Middle Dutch nipen "to pinch," Dutch nijpen, Old Norse hnippa "to prod," but the exact evolution of the stem is obscure. Related: Nipped; nipping.

Meaning "break off the tip by pinching" is from c. 1400. Sense of "blast as by frost, check the growth or vigor of" is from 1580s. To nip (something) in the bud in the figurative sense of "kill or destroy in the first stage of growth" is recorded from c. 1600. Slang nip in, nip out, etc., in which the sense of the verb is "move rapidly or nimbly" is attested from 1825.

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go (n.)

1727, "action of going," from use of go (v.) to start a race, etc. Meaning "an incident, an occurrence, affair, piece of business" is from 1796. Meaning "power of going, dash, vigor" is from 1825, colloquial, originally of horses. The sense of "an attempt, a try or turn at doing something" (as in give it a go, have a go at) is from 1825 (earlier it meant "a delivery of the ball in skittles," 1773). Meaning "something that goes, a success" is from 1876. Phrase on the go "in constant motion" is from 1843. Phrase from the word go "from the beginning" is by 1834. The go "what is in fashion" is from 1793. No go "of no use" is from 1825.

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brace (v.)
mid-14c., "to seize, grasp, hold firmly," also "wrap, enshroud; tie up, fetter," from Old French bracier "to embrace," from brace "arms" (see brace (n.)). Meaning "make tense, render firm or steady by tensing" is mid-15c., earlier in figurative sense "strengthen or comfort" (someone), early 15c., with later extension to tonics, etc. that "brace" the nerves (compare bracer "stiff drink"). To brace oneself "place oneself in the position of a brace" (in anticipation of some shock or impact) is by 1805, perhaps c. 1500. To brace up "increase the tension or vigor of" is from 1809. Related: Braced; bracing.
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