butter substitute, 1873, from French margarine (see margarin). Invented 1869 by French scientist Hippolyte Mège-Mouries and made in part from edible fats and oils.
The "enterprising merchant" of Paris, who sells Margarine as a substitute for Butter, and does not sell his customers by selling it as Butter, and at Butter's value, has very likely found honesty to be the best policy. That policy might perhaps be adopted with advantage by an enterprising British Cheesemonger. ["Punch," Feb. 21, 1874]
1650s as a type of surgical instrument; 1760 as "one who takes or removes scalps," agent noun from scalp (v.).
The meaning "person who re-sells tickets at unauthorized prices for a profit" is by 1869 in American English; the earliest reference is to theater tickets, but it more often was used late 19c. of brokers who sold unused portions of railway tickets. [Railways charged less per mile for longer-distance tickets; therefore someone traveling from New York to Chicago could buy a ticket all the way to San Francisco, get out at Chicago and sell it to a scalper, and come away with more money than if he had simply bought a ticket to Chicago; the Chicago scalper would hold the ticket till he found someone looking for a ticket to San Francisco, then sell it to him at a slight advance, but for less than the official price.]
Perhaps from scalp (v.) in some sense; scalper was a generic term for "con man, cheater" in late 19c. Or perhaps the connecting sense is the bounty offered for scalps of certain destructive animals (attested in New England from 1703) and the notion is "one who holds only part of something, but still gets a reward." Some, though, see a connection rather to scalpel, the surgical instrument.
"ask advice of, seek the opinion of as a guide to one's own judgment," 1520s, from French consulter (16c.), from Latin consultare "consult, take the advice of," frequentative of consulere "to take counsel, meet and consider," originally probably "to call together," as in consulere senatum "to gather the senate" (to ask for advice), from Proto-Italic *kom-sel-e-, from *kom- "with, together" (see con-) + *sel-e- "take, gather together," from PIE root *s(e)lh- "to take" (said to be also the source of Middle Welsh dyrllid "to earn," Gothic saljan "to sacrifice," Old Norse selja "to sell, hand over"). Related: Consulted; consulting.
c. 1400, "engage in business transactions, discuss or arrange terms of a transaction; to vend or sell," from Old French bargaignier "to haggle over the price" (12c., Modern French barguigner), perhaps from Frankish *borganjan "to lend" or some other Germanic source, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *borgan "to pledge, lend, borrow" (source also of Old High German borgen; Old English borgian; from PIE root *bhergh- (1) "to hide, protect;" compare borrow).
Diez and others suggest that the French word comes from Late Latin barca "a barge," because it "carries goods to and fro." There are difficulties with both suggestions. Related: Bargained; bargaining. To bargain for "arrange for beforehand" is from 1801.
c. 1300, "genealogical extraction from an original or progenitor," from Old French descente "descent, descendance, lineage," formed from descendre "to come down" (see descend) on analogy of French nouns such as attente from attendre "to expect," vente "sale" from vendre "to sell," pente "slope" from pendre "to hang" (the etymological English word from Latin would be *descence).
Meanings "action of descending" (on); "act of passing from a higher to a lower place" in any way are from late 14c.; that of "a downward slope" is from 1590s. From c. 1600 as "a sudden invasion or attack." Biological sense "evolution" is from 1859 in Darwin, though there are uses which suggest essentially the same thing going back to 1630s.
"regular race between two or more boats for prizes," 1650s, originally the name of a boat race among gondoliers held on the Grand Canal in Venice, from Italian (Venetian dialect) regatta, literally "contention for mastery," from rigattare "to compete, haggle, sell at retail," a word of uncertain origin. [Klein's sources, however, suggest a source in Italian riga "row, rank," from a Germanic source and related to English row (v.).]
The general meaning of "boat race, yacht race" is usually considered to have begun with a race on the Thames by that name June 23, 1775 (see OED), but there is evidence that the word was used in English as early as 1768.
As shorthand for a royalty reference book, it represents "A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom," first issued 1826, compiled by John Burke (1787-1848). As a verb meaning "murder by smothering," it is abstracted from William Burk, executed in Edinburgh 1829 for murdering several persons to sell their bodies for dissection (the method was chosen because it left no marks on the victims). Related: Burking.