also oesophagus, late 14c., from Greek oisophagos "gullet, passage for food," literally "what carries and eats," from oisein, future infinitive of pherein "to carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry") + -phagos, from phagein "to eat" (from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share"). Related: Esophageal.
"food or snack," 1959, plural of munchie "snack eaten to satisfy hunger" (1917), from munch (v.); sense of "craving for food after smoking marijuana" is U.S. stoner slang attested by 1971. Munch (n.) "something to eat" is attested from 1816.
general common name of birds of the genus Corvus (the larger sort being sometimes called ravens), Old English crawe, which is held to be imitative of the bird's cry. Compare Old Saxon kraia, Dutch kraai, Old High German chraja, German Kräke.
Noted for sagacity and sociability. The British and North American species are very similar. Phrase as the crow flies "in a straight line" is from 1810; the image is attested in different form from 1800.
American English figurative phrase eat crow "do or accept what one vehemently dislikes and has opposed defiantly, accept things which, though not unbearable, are yet scarcely to be wished for," is attested by 1870 (originally often eat boiled crow), and seems to be based on the notion that the bird is edible when boiled but hardly agreeable.
There was an oft-reprinted mid-19c. joke about a man who, to settle a bet that he could eat anything, agrees to eat a boiled crow. As he with great difficulty swallows the first to mouthfuls, he says to the onlookers, "I can eat crow, but I don't hanker arter it." The joke is attested by 1854 (Walter Etecroue turns up 1361 in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London).
I tried my best to eat crow, but it was too tough for me. "How do you like it?" said the old man, as, with a desperate effort, he wrenched off a mouthful from a leg. "I am like the man," said I, "who was once placed in the same position: 'I ken eat crow, but hang me if I hanker arter it.'" "Well," says the captain, "it is somewhat hard; but try some of the soup and dumplings and don t condemn crow-meat from this trial, for you shot the grandfather and grandmother of the flock: no wonder they are tough; shoot a young one next time." "No more crow-meat for me, thank you," said I. [James G. Swan, "The Northwest Coast, or Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory," New York, 1857]
The image of a crow's foot for the wrinkles appearing with age at the corner of the eye is from late 14c. ("So longe mote ye lyve Til crowes feet be growen under youre ye." [Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, c. 1385]).
"to bite gently; eat by gnawing off small bits," c. 1500, not found in Middle English; perhaps from Low German nibbeln "to nibble, gnaw," related to Middle Low German nibbelen, Middle Dutch knibbelen "to gnaw," source of Dutch knibbelen "to cavail, squabble." Related: Nibbled; nibbling.
"chew deliberately or continuously," early 15c. variant of mocchen (late 14c.), imitative (with -n- perhaps by influence of crunch), or perhaps from or influenced by Old French mangier "to eat, bite," from Latin manducare "to chew." Related: Munched; munching.
"cannibalism," 1630s, from French anthropophagie, from Greek anthrōpophagia "an eating of men," from anthrōpophagos "man-eating; a man-eater," from anthropo- + stem of phagein "to eat" (from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share"). Related: Anthropophagic; anthropophagistic; anthropophagism. Shakespeare has Anthropophaginian.
"eat the evening meal," c. 1300, from Old French super, soper "dine, sup, dip bread in soup or wine, sop up" (Modern French souper), which probably is from soupe "broth" (see soup), until recently still the traditional evening meal of French workers.
Old English fretan "devour, feed upon, consume," from Proto-Germanic compound *fra-etan "to eat up," from *fra- "completely" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + *etan "to eat" (from PIE root *ed- "to eat"). Cognates include Dutch vreten, Old High German frezzan, German fressen, Gothic fraitan.
Used of monsters and Vikings; in Middle English used of animals' eating. Notion of "wear away by rubbing or scraping" (c. 1200) might have come to this word by sound-association with Anglo-French forms of Old French froter "to rub, wipe; beat, thrash," which is from Latin fricare "to rub" (see friction). Figurative use is from c. 1200, of emotions, sins, vices, etc., "to worry, consume, vex" someone or someone's heart or mind, from either the "eating" or the "rubbing" sense. Intransitive sense "be worried, vex oneself" is by 1550s. Modern German still distinguishes essen for humans and fressen for animals. Related: Fretted; fretting. As a noun, early 15c., "a gnawing," also "the wearing effect" of awareness of wrongdoing, fear, etc.
Old English hæt "hat, head covering" (variously glossing Latin pileus, galerus, mitra, tiara), from Proto-Germanic *hattuz "hood, cowl" (source also of Frisian hat, Old Norse hattr, höttr "a hood or cowl"), of uncertain etymology; it has been compared with Lithuanian kuodas "tuft or crest of a bird" and Latin cassis "helmet" (but this is said to be from Etruscan).
To throw (one's) hat in the ring was originally (1847) to take up a challenge in prize-fighting. To eat one's hat (1770), expressing what one will do if something he considers a sure thing turns out not to be, is said to have been originally eat Old Rowley's [Charles II's] hat.
fabulous monster mentioned by Ctesias with the body of a lion, head of a man, porcupine quills, and tail or sting of a scorpion, c. 1300, from Latin manticora, from Greek mantikhoras, corruption of martikhoras, perhaps from Iranian compound *mar-tiya-khvara "man-eater."
The first element is represented by Old Persian maritya- "man," from PIE *mar-t-yo-, from *mer- "to die," thus "mortal, human;" from PIE root *mer- "to rub away, harm" (also "to die" and forming words referring to death and to beings subject to death). The second element is represented by Old Persian kvar- "to eat," from PIE root *swel- (1) "to eat, drink" (see swallow (v.)).