"pilgrim; itinerant monk going from shrine to shrine under a perpetual vow of poverty;" originally "pilgrim who has returned from the Holy Land," c. 1300, palmere (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French palmer (Old French palmier), from Medieval Latin palmarius, from Latin palma "palm tree" (see palm (n.2)). So called because they wore palm branches in commemoration of the journey. "The distinction between pilgrim and palmer seems never to have been closely observed" [Century Dictionary].
early 15c., "physical weakness," also "poverty," from Old French impotence "weakness" (13c.), from Latin impotentia "lack of control or power," from impotentem "lacking control, powerless" (see impotent). In reference to a complete want of (male) sexual potency, from c. 1500. The figurative senses of the word in Latin were "violence, fury, unbridled passion," via the notion of "want of self-restraining power," and these sometimes were used in English. Related: Impotency.
"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.
Old English nunne "woman devoted to religious life under vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience to a superior," also "vestal, pagan priestess," from Late Latin nonna "nun, tutor," originally (along with masc. nonnus) a term of address to elderly persons, perhaps from children's speech, reminiscent of nana (compare Sanskrit nona, Persian nana "mother," Greek nanna "aunt," Serbo-Croatian nena "mother," Italian nonna, Welsh nain "grandmother;" see nanny).
c. 1600, "a fence of strong stakes," from French palissade (15c.), from Provençal palissada, from palissa "a stake or paling," from Gallo-Roman *palicea, from Latin palus "stake" (from PIE *pakslo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten"). Earlier in Italian form palisado (1580s). Compare pale (n.). Palisades in the military sense of "close rows of strong pointed wooden stakes fixed in the ground as a defensive fortification" is attested from 1690s. The Palisades for the trap-rock precipices along the Hudson River opposite New York City is by 1823.
mid-14c., mortalite, "condition of being subject to death or the necessity of dying," from Old French mortalite "massacre, slaughter; fatal illness; poverty; destruction" (12c.) and directly from Latin mortalitem (nominative mortalitas) "state of being mortal; subjection to death," from mortalis "subject to death, mortal," from PIE root *mer- "to rub away, harm" (also "to die" and forming words referring to death and to beings subject to death).
The meaning "widespread death, numerousness of deaths; plague" is from c. 1400; the sense of "number of deaths from some cause or in a given period" is from 1640s, later especially in proportion to population.
early 13c., "a watcher, onlooker," from Old North French wait (Old French gait "look-out, watch, sentry"), from Old North French waitier (Old French gaitier; see wait (v.)). Compare Old High German wahta, German Wacht "a watchman." From late 14c. as "an ambush, a trap" (as in lie in wait). From 1855 as "time occupied in waiting;" 1873 as "an act of waiting." From the sense "civic employee responsible for signaling the hour or an alarm by sounding on a trumpet, etc." comes the old sense "town musicians" (mid-15c.).
late 14c., necessite, "constraining power of circumstances; compulsion (physical or moral), the opposite of liberty; a condition requisite for the attainment of any purpose," from Old French necessité "need, necessity; privation, poverty; distress, torment; obligation, duty" (12c.), from Latin necessitatem (nominative necessitas) "compulsion, need for attention, unavoidableness, destiny," from necesse (see necessary). Meaning "condition of being in need, want of the means of living" in English is from late 14c.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. [Richard Franck, c. 1624-1708, English author and angler, "Northern Memoirs," 1658]
To maken vertu of necessite is in Chaucer. Related: Necessities.
U.S. territory organized 1854, admitted as a state 1867, from a native Siouan name for the Platte River, either Omaha ni braska or Oto ni brathge, both literally "water flat." The modern river name is from French rivière platte, which means "flat river." Related: Nebraskan.
Bug eaters, a term applied derisively to the inhabitants of Nebraska by travellers on account of the poverty-stricken appearance of many parts of the State. If one living there were to refuse to eat bugs, he would, like Polonius, soon be "not where he eats but where he is eaten." [Walsh, 1892]