Etymology
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aperitif (n.)

"alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite," 1890, from French apéritif "laxative, laxative liqueur," literally "opening," from Latin aperitivus, from aperire "to open, uncover," from PIE compound *ap-wer-yo- from *ap- "off, away" (see apo-) + root *wer- (4) "to cover." A doublet of apertive.

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prandial (adj.)

"pertaining to dinner" or other meal, 1820, from Latin prandium "late breakfast, luncheon," from *pram "early" (from PIE *pre-, variant of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first") + edere "to eat" (from PIE root *ed- "to eat") + -al (1). OED reports it as "affected or jocose." Compare postprandial.

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barley (n.)

hardy cereal plant, Old English bærlic, apparently originally an adjective, "of barley," from bere "barley" (from Proto-Germanic *bariz, *baraz) + -lic "body, like." First element is related to Old Norse barr "barley," and cognate with Latin far (genitive farris) "coarse grain, meal" (see farina).

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muesli (n.)

breakfast dish of oats, fruit, and nuts, eaten with milk or yogurt, 1926, from Swiss-German, from Old High German muos "meal, mush-like food," from Proto-Germanic *mod-sa-, from PIE root *mad- "moist, wet," with derivatives referring to various qualities of food (see mast (n.2)).

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dessert (n.)

"a service of fruits and sweets at the close of a meal," c. 1600, from French dessert (mid-16c.) "last course," literally "removal of what has been served," from desservir "clear the table," literally "un-serve," from des- "remove, undo" (see dis-) + Old French servir "to serve" (see serve (v.)). Dessert-wine is from 1733; dessert-spoon from 1776.

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breakfast (n.)

"first meal of the day," mid-15c., from the verbal phrase; see break (v.) + fast (n.). For vowel shift, see below. An Old English word for it was undernmete (see undern), also morgenmete "morning meal."

Spanish almuerzo "lunch," but formerly and still locally "breakfast," is from Latin admorsus, past participle of admordere "to bite into," from ad "to" + mordēre "to bite" (see mordant). German Frühstück is from Middle High German vruostücke, literally "early bit."

In common with almuerzo, words for "breakfast" tend over time to shift in meaning toward "lunch;" compare French déjeuner "breakfast," later "lunch" (cognate of Spanish desayuno "breakfast"), from Vulgar Latin *disieiunare "to breakfast," from Latin dis- "apart, in a different direction from" + ieiunare, jejunare "fast" (see jejune; also compare dine). Greek ariston in Homer and Herodotus was a meal at the break of day but in classical times taken in the afternoon.

The long/short vowel contrast in break/breakfast represents a common pattern where words from Old English have a long vowel in their modern form but a short vowel as the first element of a compound: Christ/Christmas, holy/holiday, moon/Monday, sheep/shepherd, wild/wilderness, etc.

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seconds (n.)

c. 1600, "articles below the first quality," plural of second (n.) in the sense of "that which is after the first" (fingers, sons, Commandments, etc., early 14c.), from second (adj.). First attested in this sense in a Shakespeare sonnet. Meaning "second helping of food at a meal" is recorded from 1792.

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spread (n.)
1620s, "act of spreading;" 1690s, "extent or expanse of something," from spread (v.). Meaning "copious meal" dates from 1822; sense of "food for spreading" (butter, jam, etc.) is from 1812. Sense of "bed cover" is recorded from 1848, originally American English. Meaning "degree of variation" is attested from 1929. Meaning "ranch for raising cattle" is attested from 1927.
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poultice (n.)

soft and usually warm mass of meal, etc., and herbs, applied to sores or inflammations on the body," a 17c. alteration of Middle English pultes (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin pultes, ultimately from Latin pultes, plural of puls "porridge" (see pulse (n.2)). The modern form in English predominated from mid-18c.

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kernel (n.)
"edible substance in a nut or the stone of a fruit," Old English cyrnel "seed, kernel, pip," from Proto-Germanic *kurnilo- (source also of Middle High German kornel "a grain," Middle Dutch cornel "coarse meal"), from the root of corn "seed, grain" (from PIE root *gre-no- "grain") + -el, diminutive suffix. Figurative sense of "core or central part of anything" is from 1550s.
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