1590s, an abusive term for a person, perhaps meaning "a pedant;" c. 1600, "a whim;" 1640s, "pun or word-play," a word of unknown origin, said in 17c. to be Oxford University slang. Perhaps the sort of ponderous mock-Latin word that was once the height of humor in learned circles; Skeat suggests Latin conandrum "a thing to be attempted" as the source. Also spelled quonundrum.
From 1745 as "a riddle in which some odd resemblance is proposed between things quite unlike, the answer often involving a pun." (An example from 1745: "Why is a Sash-Window like a Woman in Labour? because 'tis full of Panes").
"bar or bolt used to fasten a door, window, etc.," c. 1300, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German slot (compare Old Norse slot, Old High German sloz, German Schloss "bolt, bar, lock, castle;" Old Saxon slutil "key," Dutch slot "a bolt, lock, castle"), from Proto-Germanic stem *slut- "to close" (source also of Old Frisian sluta, Dutch sluiten, Old High German sliozan, German schliessen "to shut, close, bolt, lock"), from PIE root *klau- "hook," also "peg, nail, pin," all things used as locks or bolts in primitive structures.
"light carriage with low wheels either open or covered with a folding top," 1660s, from French calèche, from German kalesche, from Bohemian koleska, diminutive of kolesa "wheel-carriage," from kolo "wheel," from PIE root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round." Also the name of the folding hood or top fitted to it (1856).
The Caleche is of French origin; a carriage with leather top, and portable glass shutters on the sides, and a panelled front, with sliding window. The whole front may be removed in a few minutes, making it an elegant open Barouche, with a half-top over the back seat. [Henry William Herbert ("Frank Forester"), "Hints to Horse-Keepers," New York, 1859]
c. 1300, parlur, "apartment in a monastery for conversations with outside persons," earlier "window through which confessions were made" (c. 1200), from Old French parleor "courtroom, judgment hall, auditorium" (12c., Modern French parloir), from parler "to speak" (see parley (n.)).
The sense developed by late 14c. to "room off a main hall offering some privacy," by early 15c. to "public room of a private house," by 16c. to "the ordinary sitting room of a family." The meaning "show room for a business" (as in ice cream parlor) is by 1884. As an adjective, "advocating radical views from a position of comfort" (as in parlor socialist) is by 1900.
mid-13c., "garment, cloak, mantle; a part of a garment;" later "side of a building, section of a wall," from Old French pan "section, piece, panel" (11c.) and directly from Latin pannum (nominative pannus) "piece of cloth, garment," possibly from PIE root *pan- "fabric" (source also of Gothic fana "piece of cloth," Greek pēnos "web," Old English fanna "flag"). De Vaan writes, "If the Gr. and Gm. words listed are related, they probably represent loanwords from an unknown source."
From late 14c. as "section of a wall," also "ornamental hanging, coverlet," and c. 1400 as "a bedspread." The general notion in the word is "distinct part or piece of a surface." Sense of "piece of glass inserted in a window" is attested by mid-15c.
"cotton cloth printed with flowers or other colorful patterns," 1719, plural of chint (1610s), from Hindi chint, from Sanskrit chitra-s "clear, bright" (compare cheetah). The plural (the more common form of the word in commercial use) came to be regarded as singular by late 18c., and for unknown reason shifted -s to -z; perhaps after quartz. Disparaging sense, from the commonness of the fabric, is first suggested by 1851 (in George Eliot's use of chintzy).
The term chintz-work is descriptive of that kind of calico-printing which is employed for beds, window-curtains, and other furniture, and it differs more in the richness and variety of the colours, than in any other circumstance. [Abraham Rees, "Cyclopaedia," 1819]
Storm-wind is from 1798. Storm-door first recorded 1872; storm-water is from 1847; storm-window is attested from 1824. Storm surge attested from 1872. Adverbial phrase _______ up a storm is from 1946.
"morbid fear of heights," 1887, medical Latin, from Greek akros "at the end, topmost" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + -phobia "fear." Coined by Italian physician Dr. Andrea Verga in a paper describing the condition, from which Verga himself suffered.
In this paper, read somewhat over a year ago at the congress of alienists at Pavia, the author makes confession of his own extreme dread of high places. Though fearless of the contagion of cholera, he has palpitations on mounting a step-ladder, finds it unpleasant to ride on the top of a coach or to look out of even a first-story window, and has never used an elevator. [abstract of Verga's report in American Journal of Psychology, November 1888]
Meaning "overlapping strips in a window" (to let in air but keep out rain) first recorded 1550s. The form has been influenced by apparently unrelated French Louvre, the name of the palace in Paris, which is said to be so named because its builder, Philip Augustus, intended it as a wolf kennel. Related: Louvered, louvred.
Middle English rop, from Old English rap "strong, heavy cord of considerable thickness," from Proto-Germanic *raipaz (source also of Old Norse reip, West Frisian reap, Middle Dutch, Dutch reep "rope," Old Frisian silrap "shoe-thong," Gothic skauda-raip "shoe-lace," Old High German, German reif "ring, hoop"). Technically, only cordage above one inch in circumference and below 10 (bigger-around than that is a cable). Nautical use varies. Finnish raippa "hoop, rope, twig" is a Germanic loan-word.
It is attested by early 14c. as "a noose, a snare." Rope of sand (1620s) was an old figure for anything lacking coherence or binding power.
To know the ropes "understand the way to do something" (1840, Dana) originally was a seaman's term. The phrase on the ropes "about to be defeated" is attested from 1924, a figurative extension from the fight ring, where being in or on the ropes was a figure by 1829.
To be at the end of (one's) rope "out of resources and options" is attested by 1680s. An earlier expression was have too long rope "have too much freedom" (late 15c.).
Rope formerly also figured in slang and extended-sense expressions related to punishment by hanging, such as John Roper's window "a noose," rope-ripe "deserving to be hanged," both 16c. The figurative phrase give someone (enough) rope (to hang himself) is by 1680s.