late 13c., "long but indefinite period in human history," from Old French aage, eage (12c., Modern French âge) "age; life, lifetime, lifespan; maturity," earlier edage (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *aetaticum (source also of Spanish edad, Italian eta, Portuguese idade "age"), extended form of Latin aetatem (nominative aetas), "period of life, age, lifetime, years," from aevum "lifetime, eternity, age" (from PIE root *aiw- "vital force, life; long life, eternity").
Expelled native eld (Old English eald) "old age; an age; age as a period of life." The meaning "time something has lived, particular length or stage of life" is from early 14c. Used especially for "old age" since early 14c.; the meaning "effects of old age" (feebleness, senility, etc.) is from mid-15c.
In geology, in reference to great periods in the history of the earth, by 1855; in archaeology, from 1865 (Stone Age, etc.) naming periods for the materials used to make weapons and tools. Sometimes in early modern English "a century" (similar to French siècle "century," literally "an age"), hence plural use in Dark Ages, Middle Ages. To act (one's) age "behave with appropriate maturity" is attested by 1927.
mid-14c., "doing no evil; free from sin, guilt, or moral wrong," from Old French inocent "harmless; not guilty; pure" (12c.), from Latin innocentem (nominative innocens) "not guilty, blameless; harmless; disinterested," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + nocentem (nominative nocens), present participle of nocere "to harm," from *nok-s-, suffixed form of PIE root *nek- (1) "death."
Meaning "free from guilt of a specific crime or charge" is from late 14c., as is the meaning "with childlike simplicity or artlessness." Humorous sense "free, devoid of" is from 1706. The noun meaning "person who is innocent of sin or evil, artless or simple person" is from c. 1200, especially a young child (who presumably has not yet sinned actively). The Holy Innocents (early 14c.) were the young children slain by Herod after the birth of Jesus (Matthew ii.16), hence Innocents day (Dec. 28).
Indo-European words for "innocent" are generally negative compound of the word for "guilty." An exception is the Germanic group represented by Gothic swikns (also "pure, chaste"), Old Norse sykn "free from guilt, innocent" (especially as a law term), Old English swicn "clearance from a charge," also "cleansing," but these are of uncertain origin.
mid-15c., "legal claim or right; a concern; a benefit, advantage, a being concerned or affected (advantageously)," from Old French interest "damage, loss, harm" (Modern French intérêt), from noun use of Latin interest "it is of importance, it makes a difference," third person singular present of interresse "to concern, make a difference, be of importance," literally "to be between," from inter "between" (see inter-) + esse "to be" (from PIE root *es- "to be"). The sense development to "profit, advantage" in French and English is not entirely clear.
The earlier Middle English word was interesse (late 14c.), from Anglo-French interesse "what one has a legal concern in," from Medieval Latin interesse "compensation for loss," noun use of Latin interresse (compare German Interesse, from the same Medieval Latin source).
Financial sense of "money paid for the use of money lent" (1520s) earlier was distinguished from usury (illegal under Church law) by being in reference to "compensation due from a defaulting debtor." Sense of "personal or selfish consideration" is from 1620s. Meaning "business in which several people are interested" is from 1670s. Meaning "curiosity, feeling that something concerns one, appreciative or sympathetic regard" is first attested 1771. Interest group is attested from 1907; interest rate by 1868.
c. 1200, "sound of a musical instrument;" mid-13c., "loud speech, outcry, clamor, shouting;" c. 1300, "a sound of any kind from any source," especially a loud and disagreeable sound, from Old French noise "din, disturbance, uproar, brawl" (11c., in modern French only in phrase chercher noise "to pick a quarrel"), also "rumor, report, news," a word of uncertain origin, replacing Replaced native gedyn (see din).
According to some, it is from Latin nausea "disgust, annoyance, discomfort," literally "seasickness" (see nausea). According to others, it is from Latin noxia "hurting, injury, damage." OED considers that "the sense of the word is against both suggestions," but nausea could have developed a sense in Vulgar Latin of "unpleasant situation, noise, quarrel" (compare Old Provençal nauza "noise, quarrel"). Confusion with annoy, noisome, and other similar words seems to have occurred.
From c. 1300 as "a disturbance; report, rumor, scandal." In Middle English sometimes also "a pleasant sound." In 16c.-17c. "a band or company of musicians." Noises off, as a stage instruction in theater, "sound effects, usually loud and confused, made off stage but to be heard by the audience as part of the play," is by 1908.
Old English disc "plate, bowl, platter," from Latin discus "dish, platter, quoit," in Medieval Latin "a table, dais, desk, pulpit," from Greek diskos "disk, platter" (see disk (n.)).
A common West Germanic borrowing; Old High German took the word as tisc "plate," but German Tisch now means "table," in common with some other later Romanic forms of Latin discus (such as Italian desco, French dais); compare desk (n.), dais.
Meaning "particular variety of food served in a dish" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "what one likes, what is suited to one's taste" is by 1918; that of "attractive woman" is 1920s. Meaning "concave reflector or antenna" attested from 1948.
Originally applied to very shallow or flat vessels, as plates and platters, the term now usually includes any large open vessel, more or less deep, and with or without a cover, used to contain food or table-drink such as tea, coffee, or chocolate. The use of the term to include drinking-vessels, as bowls and cups, is less common, and seems to be obsolescent, except as such vessels are included in the collective plural dishes. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), Anglo-French ivorie, from Old North French ivurie (12c.), from Medieval Latin eborium "ivory," noun use of neuter of Latin eboreus "of ivory," from ebur (genitive eboris) "ivory," probably via Phoenician from an African source (compare Egyptian ab "elephant," Coptic ebu "ivory").
It replaced Old English elpendban, literally "elephant bone." Applied in slang to articles made from it, such as dice (1830) and piano keys (1818). As a color, especially in reference to human skin, it is attested from 1580s. Ivories as slang for "teeth" dates from 1782. Black ivory was ivory burnt and powdered, used as a pigment (1810); the sense "African slaves as an article of commerce" is attested from 1834.
Mr. Dunlap then asked the witness what he himself traded in, when on the African coast, and he replied "sometimes in black ivory;" but, being more closely pressed to explain what he meant by "black ivory," he admitted that when he could not get a cargo of real ivory, he took one of slaves. ["Trial of the Twelve Spanish Pirates," Boston, 1834]
Related: Ivoried; ivorine.
"domesticated or tamed animal kept as a favorite," 1530s, originally in Scottish and northern England dialect (and exclusively so until mid-18c.), a word of unknown origin. Sense of "indulged or favorite child" (c. 1500) is recorded slightly earlier than that of "animal kept as a favorite" (1530s), but the latter may be the primary meaning. Probably associated with or influenced by petty.
Know nature's children all divide her care;
The fur that warms a monarch warm'd a bear.
While man exclaims, 'See all things for my use!'
'See man for mine!' replies a pamper'd goose:
[Alexander Pope, "Essay on Man"]
It is an amiable part of human nature, that we should love our animals; it is even better to love them to the point of folly, than not to love them at all. [Stevie Smith, "Cats in Colour," 1959]
In early use typically a lamb brought up by hand (compare cade); but the earliest surviving reference lists "Parroquets, monkeys, peacocks, swans, &c., &c." As a term of endearment by 1849. Teacher's pet as a derogatory term for a teacher's favorite pupil is attested by 1854, American English. Pet-shop "shop selling animals to be kept as pets" is from 1928.
"fabled marine or amphibian creature having the upper body in the form of a woman and the lower in the form of a fish, with human attributes," "usually working harm, with or without malignant intent, to mortals with whom she might be thrown into relation" [Century Dictionary]; mid-14c., meremayde, literally "maid of the sea," from Middle English mere "sea, lake" (see mere (n.1)) + maid.
Old English had equivalent merewif "water-witch" (see wife), meremenn "mermaid, siren" (compare Middle Dutch meer-minne, Old High German meri-min), which became Middle English mere-min (c. 1200) and was shortened to mere "siren, mermaid" (early 13c.); the later mermaid might be a re-expansion of this. Tail-less in northern Europe; the fishy form is a medieval influence from the classical siren, and mermaids sometimes were said to lure sailors to destruction with song.
A favorite sign of taverns and inns at least since early 15c. (in reference to the inn on Bread Street, Cheapside, London). Mermaid pie (1660s) was "a sucking pig baked whole in a crust." Mermaid's purse for "egg-case of a skate, ray, or shark" is by 1825, perhaps originally Scottish, as it is first attested in Jamieson.
late 14c., drogge (early 14c. in Anglo-French), "any substance used in the composition or preparation of medicines," from Old French droge "supply, stock, provision" (14c.), which is of unknown origin. Perhaps it is from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German droge-vate "dry barrels," or droge waere, literally "dry wares" (but specifically drugs and spices), with first element mistaken as indicating the contents, or because medicines mostly consisted of dried herbs.
Compare dry goods(1708), so called because they were measured out in dry (not liquid) measure, and Latin species, in Late Latin "wares," then specialized to "spices" (French épice, English spice). The same source produced Italian and Spanish droga, Swedish drog.
Specific application to "narcotics and opiates" is by late 19c., though the association of the word with "poisons" is from 1500s. Druggie "drug addict" is recorded by 1968. Phrase a drug on (or in) the market "thing which has lost its value and is no longer wanted" (mid-17c.) is of doubtful connection and may be a different word, perhaps a play on drag, which was sometimes written drug c. 1240-1800.
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]