1520s, "mistress of a household, housewife," deformed contraction of Middle English husewif (see housewife). Evidence of the shortening of the two vowels is throughout Middle English. Traditionally pronounced "huzzy," in 20c. the pronunciation shifted to match the spelling. The sense gradually broadened colloquially to mean "any woman or girl." By 1650 the word was especially applied to "a woman or girl who shows casual or improper behavior" (short for pert hussy, etc.), and it had lost all but its derogatory sense by mid-18c.
"post-larval stage of a metamorphosizing insect," 1773, a special use by Linnæus (1758) of Latin pupa "girl, doll, puppet" (see pupil (n.1)) on notion of "undeveloped creature." Related: Pupal; pupiform.
fem. proper name, German diminutive of Greta, a German and Swedish pet form of Margaret. Sometimes used as a typical German female name, also sometimes in reference to the name of the simple girl seduced by Faust.
"center of the eye, orifice of the iris," early 15c. pupille (the word is in English in Latin form from late 14c.), from Old French pupille (14c.) and directly from Latin pupilla, originally "little girl-doll," diminutive of pupa "girl; doll" (see pupil (n.1)).
The eye region was so called from the tiny image one sees of oneself reflected in the eye of another. Greek used a single word, korē (literally "girl;" see Kore), to mean both "doll" and "pupil of the eye;" and compare obsolete English baby "small image of oneself in another's pupil" (1590s), source of 17c. colloquial expression to look babies "stare lovingly into another's eyes."
Self-knowledge can be obtained only by looking into the mind and virtue of the soul, which is the diviner part of a man, as we see our own image in another's eye. [Plato, Alcibiades, I.133]
1837, from French Roi Charmant, name of the hero of Comtesse d'Aulnoy's "L'Oiseau Bleu" (1697). In English he was adopted into native fairy tales, such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella."
As for me, I have always agreed with the fairy books that the moment when Prince Charming arrives is the perfect climax. Everything that goes before in the life of a girl simply leads up to that moment, and everything that comes after dates from it; and while the girl of the twentieth century, sallying forth in search of adventure, may not hope to meet at the next turn a knight in shining armor, or a sighing troubadour, she does hope, if she is normal and has the normal dreams of a girl, to find her hero in some of the men who pass her way. [Temple Bailey, "Adventures in Girlhood," Philadelphia, 1919]