Etymology
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nip (n.2)

"a pinch; a sharp bite," 1540s, from nip (v.). Sense of "a small bit of anything, fragment or bit pinched off" is from c. 1600. Meaning "a chill in the weather" is from 1610s, probably so called for its effect on vegetation. Nip and tuck "a close thing," especially a close approach to equality in the results of a horse race or any competition, is recorded by 1847, American English, perhaps an image from sailing or tailoring.

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bait (n.)

"food put on a hook or trap to attract prey," c. 1300, from Old Norse beita "food, bait," especially for fish, from beita "cause to bite," from Proto-Germanic *baitjan, causative of *bitan, from PIE root *bheid- "to split," with derivatives in Germanic referring to biting.

The noun is cognate with Old Norse beit "pasture, pasturage," Old English bat "food." The figurative sense "means of enticement" is from c. 1400.

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champ (v.)

1520s, "to chew noisily, crunch;" 1570s (of horses) "to bite repeatedly and impatiently," probably echoic; OED suggests a connection with jam (v.). Earlier also cham, chamb, etc. (late 14c.). To champ on (or at) the bit, as an eager horse will, is attested in the figurative sense by 1640s. Related: Champed; champing. As a noun, "act of biting repeatedly, action of champing," from c. 1600.

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scrunch (v.)

1825, "to bite, crush with or as with the teeth," intensive form of crunch (v.); ultimately imitative (see scr-). The colloquial meaning "to squeeze, crush" is by 1835 (implied in scrunched). The intransitive sense of "contract oneself into a more compact shape" is by 1884. Related: Scrunching. As a noun, "noise made by scrunching," by 1857; as an adjective, scrunchy is attested by 1905. 

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ravioli (n.)

bite-sized square pasta packet containing various food, a classic Italian dish, 1610s, from Middle English raffyolys, also rafyols (late 14c.). The word probably was re-borrowed several times, most recently in 1841, from Italian ravioli, a dialectal plural of raviolo, a diminutive of an unidentified noun, perhaps of rava "turnip" (presuming they were among the original ingredients) or Genoese dialect rabiole "leftovers, odds and ends."

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tarantula (n.)

1560s, "wolf spider," (Lycos tarantula), from Medieval Latin tarantula, from Italian tarantola, from Taranto "Taranto," seaport city in southern Italy in the region where the spiders are frequently found, from Latin Tarentum, from Greek Taras (genitive Tarantos; perhaps from Illyrian darandos "oak"). Its bite is only slightly venomous. Popularly applied to other great hairy spiders, especially the genus Mygale, native to the warmer regions of the Americas (first so called in 1794).

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jam (v.)

"to press tightly" (trans.), 1719; "to become wedged" (intrans.), 1706, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of Middle English cham "to bite upon something; gnash the teeth" (late 14c.; see champ (v.)). Of a malfunction in the moving parts of machinery by 1851. Sense of "cause interference in radio signals" is from 1914. Meaning "play in a jam session" is from 1935. Related: Jammed; jamming. The adverb is recorded from 1825, from the verb; jam-packed is from 1901, earlier jam-full (1830).

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zinc (n.)

1650s, zinke, from German Zink, perhaps related to Zinke "prong, point;" said to have been used first by Paracelsus (c. 1526) on analogy of the form of its crystals after smelting. Zinke is from Old High German zint "a point, jag," from Proto-Germanic *teng- "tine" (source also of Old Norse tindr "point, top, summit," Old English tind "prong, spike"), from PIE *denk- "to bite." Spelling with -c- is from 1813, from French influence.

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rankle (v.)

c. 1300, ranclen, of a sore, wound, etc., "to fester," from Old French rancler, earlier raoncler, draoncler "to suppurate, run," from draoncle "abscess, festering sore," from Medieval Latin dracunculus, literally "little dragon," diminutive of Latin draco "serpent, dragon" (see dragon). According to OED (citing Skeat and also Godefroy's "Dictionnaire De L'ancienne Langue Française"), the notion is of an ulcer caused by a snake's bite. Transitive meaning "cause to fester" is from c. 1400. Figurative use, of feelings, etc., is from 16c. Related: Rankled; rankling.

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gnaw (v.)

Old English gnagan "to gnaw, bite off little by little" (past tense *gnog, past participle gnagan), from Proto-Germanic *gh(e)n- "to gnaw" (source also of Old Saxon gnagan, Old Norse, Swedish gnaga, Middle Dutch, Dutch knagen, Old High German gnagan, German nagen "to gnaw"), probably imitative of gnawing. Figurative sense "wear away as if by continued biting" is from early 13c. Related: Gnawed; gnawing.

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