a negative present participle used as a quasi-preposition, originally and properly two words, late 14c., notwiþstondynge "in spite of, despite," from not + present participle of the verb withstand. It has the old "against" sense of with. A loan-translation of Medieval Latin non obstante "being no hindrance," literally "not standing in the way," from ablative of obstans, present participle of obstare "stand opposite to" (see obstacle). As an adverb, "nevertheless, however," and as a conjunction, "in spite of the fact that," from early 15c.
Notwithstanding ... calls attention with some emphasis to an obstacle: as, notwithstanding his youth, he made great progress. In spite of and despite, by the strength of the word spite, point primarily to active opposition: as, in spite of his utmost efforts, he was defeated; and, figuratively, to great obstacles of any kind: as, despite all hindrances, he arrived at the time appointed. [Century Dictionary]
Old English near "closer, nearer," comparative of neah, neh"nigh." Partially by the influence of Old Norse naer "near," it came to be used in English as a positive form mid-13c., and new comparative nearer developed in the 1500s (see nigh). Originally an adverb but now supplanted in most such senses by nearly; it has in turn supplanted correct nigh as an adjective.
The adjectival use dates from c. 1300, "being close by, not distant;" from late 14c. as "closely related by kinship;" 1610s as "economical, parsimonious." Colloquial use for "so as to barely escape injury or danger" (as in a near thing, near miss) is by 1751. As a preposition, "close to, close by, near in space or time," from mid-13c. Related: Nearness. In near and dear (1620s) it refers to nearness of kinship. Near East is by 1894 (probably based on Far East). Near beer "low-alcoholic brew" is from 1908.
Old English up, uppe, from Proto-Germanic *upp- "up" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon up "up, upward," Old Norse upp; Danish, Dutch op; Old High German uf, German auf "up"; Gothic iup "up, upward," uf "on, upon, under;" Old High German oba, German ob "over, above, on, upon"), from PIE root *upo "under," also "up from under," hence also "over."
As a preposition, "to a higher place" from c. 1500; also "along, through" (1510s), "toward" (1590s). Often used elliptically for go up, come up, rise up, etc. Up the river "in jail" first recorded 1891, originally in reference to Sing Sing, which is up the Hudson from New York City. To drive someone up the wall (1951) is from the notion of the behavior of lunatics or caged animals. Insulting retort up yours (scil. ass) is attested by late 19c.
c. 1200, "to deliver from some danger; rescue from peril, bring to safety," also "prevent the death of;" also theological, "to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation," from Old French sauver "keep (safe), protect, redeem," from Late Latin salvare "make safe, secure," from Latin salvus "safe" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").
From c. 1300 as "reserve for future use, hold back, store up instead of spending;" hence "keep possession of" (late 14c.). As a quasi-preposition from c. 1300, "without prejudice or harm to," on model of French and Latin cognates.
To save face (1898) first was used among the British community in China and is said to be from Chinese; it has not been found in Chinese, but tiu lien "to lose face" does occur. To not (do something) to save one's life is recorded from 1848. To save (one's) breath "cease talking or arguing" is from 1926.
late Old English agan, from earlier ongean (prep.) "toward; opposite, against, contrary to; in exchange for," as an adverb "in the opposite direction, back, to or toward a former place or position," from on "on" (see on (prep.) and compare a- (1)) + -gegn "against, toward," from Germanic root *gagina (source also of Old Norse gegn "straight, direct;" Danish igen "against;" Old Frisian jen, Old High German gegin, German gegen "against, toward," entgegen "against, in opposition to")
In Old English, eft (see eftsoons) was the main word for "again," but this often was strengthened by ongean, which became the principal word by 13c. Norse influence is responsible for the hard -g-. Differentiated from against (q.v.) 16c. in southern writers, again becoming an adverb only, and against taking over as preposition and conjunction, but again clung to all senses in northern and Scottish dialect (where against was not adopted). Of action, "in return," early 13c.; of action or fact, "once more," late 14c.
1570s, the oral rendering of the arithmetical sign +, also "more by a certain amount" (correlative to minus), from Latin plus "more, in greater number, more often" (comparative of multus "much"), altered (by influence of minus) from *pleos, from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill" (see poly-). The plus sign itself has been well-known at least since late 15c. and is perhaps an abbreviation of Latin et (see et cetera).
As a preposition, between two numbers to indicate addition, from 1660s. [Barnhart writes that this sense "did not exist in Latin and probably originated in commercial language of the Middle Ages;" OED writes that "the words plus and minus were used by Leonardo of Pisa in 1202."] Placed after a whole number to indicate "and a little more," it is attested by 1902. As a conjunction, "and, and in addition," it is American English colloquial, attested by 1968. As a noun meaning "an advantage" from 1791. Plus fours "distinctive style of long, wide knickerbockers" (1921) were four inches longer in the leg than standard knickerbockers, to produce an overhang, originally a style associated with golfers.
In Latin assimilated to following -c-, -f-, -g-, -p-, and often -r- and -m-. In Old French the prefix appears in the full Latin form only "in learned adoptions of old Latin compounds" [OED], and in popular use it was represented by sous-, sou-; as in French souvenir from Latin subvenire, souscrire (Old French souzescrire) from subscribere, etc.
The original meaning is now obscured in many words from Latin (suggest, suspect, subject, etc.). The prefix is active in Modern English, sometimes meaning "subordinate" (as in subcontractor); "inferior" (17c., as in subhuman); "smaller" (18c.); "a part or division of" (c. 1800, as in subcontinent).
verb ("to ejaculate") and noun ("semen"), by 1973, apparently a variant of come in the sexual sense that originated in pornographic writing, perhaps first in the noun. This "experience sexual orgasm" slang meaning of come (perhaps originally come off) is attested by 1650, in "Walking In A Meadowe Greene," in a folio of "loose songs" collected by Bishop Percy.
They lay soe close together,
they made me much to wonder;
I knew not which was wether,
vntill I saw her vnder.
then off he came & blusht for shame
soe soone that he had endit;
yet still shee lyes, & to him cryes,
"Once More, & none can mend it."
It probably is older and disguised in puns, e.g. "I come, I come, sweet death, rock me a-sleep!" ["Nashe His Dildo," 1590s]
As a noun meaning "semen or other product of orgasm" come is attested by the 1920s.
The sexual cum seems to have no connection with Latin cum, the preposition meaning "with, together with, in connection with" (an archaic form of com; see com-) which English uses on occasion in names of combined parishes or benefices (such as Chorlton-cum-Hardy), in popular Latin phrases (such as cum laude), or as a combining word to indicate a dual nature or function (such as slumber party-cum-bloodbath).
Old English ordel, ordal, "trial by physical test," literally "judgment, verdict," from Proto-Germanic noun *uz-dailjam "a portioning out, judgment" (source also of Old Saxon urdeli, Old Frisian urdel, Dutch oordeel, German urteil "judgment"), literally "that which is dealt out" (by the gods), from *uzdailijan "to share out," related to Old English adælan "to deal out," from *uz‑ "out" + PIE *dail- "to divide," Northern Indo-European extended form of root *da- "to divide." It is rare in Middle English, and perhaps the modern word is a 16c. reborrowing from Medieval Latin or French, both of which got it from Germanic.
The notion is of the kind of arduous physical test (such as walking blindfolded and barefoot between red-hot plowshares) that was believed to determine a person's guilt or innocence by immediate judgment of the deity, an ancient Teutonic mode of trial. They were abolished in England in the reign of Henry III. English retains a more exact sense of the word; its cognates in German, etc., have been generalized as "judicial decision."
Metaphoric extension to "severe trial, test of courage or patience, anything which tests character or endurance" is attested from 1650s. The prefix or- survives in English only in this word, but was common in Old English and other Germanic languages (Gothic ur-, Old Norse or-, etc.) and originally was an adverb and preposition meaning "out."
Old English under (prep.) "beneath, among, before, in the presence of, in subjection to, under the rule of, by means of," also, as an adverb, "beneath, below, underneath," expressing position with reference to that which is above, from Proto-Germanic *under- (source also of Old Frisian under, Dutch onder, Old High German untar, German unter, Old Norse undir, Gothic undar), from PIE *ndher- "under" (source also of Sanskrit adhah "below;" Avestan athara- "lower;" Latin infernus "lower," infra "below").
Productive as a prefix in Old English, as in German and Scandinavian (often forming words modeled on Latin ones in sub-). Notion of "inferior in rank, position, etc." was present in Old English. With reference to standards, "less than in age, price, value," etc., late 14c. As an adjective, "lower in position; lower in rank or degree" from 13c. Also used in Old English as a preposition meaning "between, among," as still in under these circumstances, etc. (though this may be an entirely separate root; see understand).
Under the weather "indisposed" is from 1810. Under the table is from 1913 in the sense of "very drunk," 1940s in sense of "illegal" (under-board "dishonest" is from c. 1600). To keep something under (one's) hat "secret" is from 1885; to have something under (one's) nose "in plain sight" is from 1540s; to speak under (one's) breath "in a low voice" is attested from 1832.