mid-15c., "hard wafer," but the specific application to a thin, crisp biscuit is by 1739; literally "that which cracks or breaks," agent noun from crack (v.). Meaning "instrument for crushing or cracking" is from 1630s.
Coal-cracker is from 1853 of persons, 1857 of machinery that breaks up mined coal. Cracker-barrel (1861) "barrel full of soda-crackers for sale" was such a common feature of old country stores that the phrase came to be used by 1905 as an adjective, "emblematic of down-home ways and views."
"detached, kept apart, divided from the rest," c. 1600, from separate (v.) or from Latin separatus. Separate also was used as a past-participle adjective in Middle English, "cut off from the main body," also, of a spouse, "estranged." The meaning "individual, particular" is from 1670s, on the notion of "withdrawn or divided from something else," hence "peculiar to one but not others."
Separate but equal in reference to U.S. segregation policies on railroads, etc. is attested by 1890 (Henry W. Grady); it was used in 1870s of medical courses for women at universities. Separate development, official name of apartheid in South Africa, is from 1955. Related: Separately (1550s); separateness.
Frequently the colored coach is little better than a cattle car. Generally one half the smoking car is reserved for the colored car. Often only a cloth curtain or partition run half way up separates this so-called colored car from the smoke, obscene language, and foul air of the smokers' half of the car. All classes and conditions of colored humanity, from the most cultured and refined to the most degraded and filthy, without regard to sex, good breeding or ability to pay for better accommodation, are crowded into this separate, but equal (?) half car. [Rev. Norman B. Wood, "The White Side of a Black Subject," 1897]
"fuel residue, solid product of the carbonization of coal,"an important substance in metallurgy, 1660s, a northern England dialect word, perhaps a variant of Middle English colke "core (of an apple), heart of an onion" (c. 1400), also "charcoal" (early 15c.), a word of uncertain origin. It seems to have cognates in Old Frisian and Middle Dutch kolk "pothole," Old English -colc, in compounds, "pit, hollow," Swedish dialectal kälk "pith." Perhaps the notion is the "core" of the coal, or "what is left in the pit after a fire."
c. 1400, "feasting, a feast," verbal noun from dine (v.). Dining-room "room in which principal meals are eaten" is attested from c. 1600. The railroad dining-car is from 1838.
Originally of rubies, garnets, and other red jewels. In English the word was used of red, eruptive subcutaneous inflammations and tumors from late 14c. Also "red spot on the nose or face caused by intemperance" (1680s).
British sports car manufacturer, 1923; it stands for Morris Garages, which was founded by William R. Morris (1877-1963).
Middle English scutel "dish; basket, winnowing basket," from late Old English scutel "broad, shallow dish; platter," from Latin scutella "serving platter" (source also of Old French escuelle, Modern French écuelle, Spanish escudilla, Italian scudella "a plate, bowl"), diminutive of scutra "flat tray, dish," which is perhaps related to scutum "shield" (see escutcheon).
A common Germanic borrowing from Latin (Old Norse skutill, Middle Dutch schotel, Old High German scuzzila, German Schüssel "a dish"). The meaning "basket for sifting grain" is attested from mid-14c.; the sense of "deep, sheet-metal bucket for holding small amounts of coal" is by 1849, short for coal-scuttle. An Arnaldus Scutelmuth turns up in a roll from 1275.