Etymology
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prosecute (v.)

early 15c., prosecuten, "to follow up, pursue with a view to carry out or obtain" (some course or action), from Latin prosecutus, past participle of prosequi "follow after, accompany; chase, pursue; attack, assail, abuse," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Meaning "bring to a court of law, seek to obtain by legal process" is recorded from 1570s. The Latin verb in Old French became prosequer, vulgarly porsuir, which passed to English as pursue.

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revisionism (n.)

1903, from revision + -ism. Originally in reference to a policy of introducing socialism gradually, by evolution rather than revolution, used as a term of abuse by Marxists. The general sense of "revised attitude toward some situation, doctrine, etc." is by 1921. Revisionist (adj.) "favoring or supporting revision" (of a creed, law, etc.) is from 1850; as a noun from 1854 in reference to one who favors or supports revision; specifically in reference to historical narratives by 1934, originally of the causes of World War I.

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huff (v.)
mid-15c., apparently imitative of forcible exhaling. Extended sense of "to bluster with arrogance or indignation" is attested from 1590s. Related: Huffed; huffing. As a slang term for a type of narcotics abuse, by 1996. Huff cap was 17c. slang for "swaggerer, blusterer" (i.e., one with an inflated head), and was noted in 1577 among the popular terms for "strong beer or ale" (with mad dog and dragon's milk), probably because it goes to the head and huffs one's cap.
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communism (n.)

1843, "social system based on collective ownership," from French communisme (c. 1840), from commun (Old French comun "common, general, free, open, public;" see common (adj.)) + -isme (see -ism).

Originally a theory of society. As the name of a political or economic  theory which rests upon the abolition of the right of private property, especially the means of production and distribution, and seeks the overthrow of capitalism by revolutions, it is attested from 1850, a translation of German Kommunismus (itself from French), in Marx and Engels' "Manifesto of the Communist Party." Compare communist

By 1919 and through mid-20c. it was a general a term of abuse for revolutionaries, implying anti-social criminality without regard to political theory.

Each [i.e. socialism, communism, anarchism] stands for a state of things, or a striving after it, that differs much from that which we know; & for many of us, especially those who are comfortably at home in the world as it is, they have consequently come to be the positive, comparative, & superlative, distinguished not in kind but in degree only, of the terms of abuse applicable to those who would disturb our peace. [Fowler]
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pillory (n.)

"frame of wood erected on a post or pole with holes into which were put the head and hands of an offender who was thus exposed for public derision and abuse," mid-14c., pillorie (attested in Anglo-Latin from late 12c., in surnames from mid-13c.), from Old French pilori "pillory" (mid-12c.), which is related to Medieval Latin pilloria, but all are of uncertain origin. Perhaps a diminutive of Latin pila "pillar, stone barrier" (see pillar), but OED finds this proposed derivation "phonologically unsuitable."

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despotism (n.)

1751, "absolute power, unrestricted and unlimited authority," from French despotisme; see despot + -ism. By 1794 as "a political system based on an arbitrary government."

Tyranny is the abuse of absolute power, legal or usurped, and implies oppression. Despotism, in its earlier and still frequent meaning, does not necessarily imply either regard or disregard for the welfare of the subject; but there is also a tendency to give it essentially the same meaning as tyranny, using absolutism or autocracy where an unfavorable meaning is not intended. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
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mugwump (n.)

a jocular word for "great man, boss, important person," 1832, American English (originally New England), from Algonquian (Natick) mugquomp "important person" (derived from mugumquomp "war leader"). By 1840 it was in satirical use as "one who thinks himself important." It was revived from 1884 in reference to Republicans who refused to support James G. Blaine's presidential candidacy, originally as a term of abuse but the independents embraced it. Hence "one who holds himself aloof from party politics."

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scorn (n.)

late 12c., scorn, skarn, "feeling or attitude of contempt; contemptuous treatment, mocking abuse," a shortening of Old French escarn "mockery, derision, contempt," a common Romanic word (Spanish escarnio, Italian scherno) of Germanic origin (source also of Old High German skern "mockery, jest, sport;" see scorn (v.)).

The vowel is perhaps influenced by Old French escorne "affront, disgrace," which is a back-formation from escorner, literally "to break off (someone's) horns" (see the verb). To laugh (someone) to scorn is from c. 1300 ("Sir Bevis").

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minion (n.)

c. 1500, "a favorite; a darling, one who or that which is beloved" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French mignon "a favorite, darling" (n.), also a term of (probably homosexual) abuse; as an adjective, "dainty, pleasing, favorite," from mignot "pretty, attractive, dainty, gracious, affectionate." The French word is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic (compare Old Irish min "tender, soft"), or from Old High German minnja, minna "love, memory" (see minnesinger).

Used 16c.-17c. without disparaging overtones, but also from c. 1500 as "a favorite of a sovereign prince," especially "an intriguing favorite, a low or servile dependent." It also was used from 16c. for "a pert or saucy girl."

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batter (v.)
"strike repeatedly, beat violently and rapidly," early 14c., from Old French batre "to beat, strike" (11c., Modern French battre "to beat, to strike"), from Latin battuere, batuere "to beat, strike," a rare word in literary Latin but evidently an old one and popular in Vulgar Latin. Probably borrowed from Gaulish (compare Welsh bathu "beat," Irish and Gaelic bat, bata "staff, cudgel") and perhaps from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." (source also of Welsh bathu "beat;" Old English beadu "battle," beatan "to beat," bytl "hammer, mallet").

The word began to be widely used in reference to domestic abuse in 1962. Related: Battered; battering. Battering-ram is an ancient weapon (Latin aries), but the phrase is attested only from 1610s.
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