[The bed bug] is supposed to have been first introduced to this country in the fir timber that was brought over to rebuild London after it had suffered by the great fire; for it is generally said that Bugs were not known in England before that time, and many of them were found almost immediately afterwards in the new-built houses. [the Rev. W. Bingley, "Animal Biography; or Anecdotes of the Lives, Manners, and Economy of the Animal Creation," London, 1803]
"instrument by which a ship is steered," from Old English helma "rudder; position of guidance, control," from Proto-Germanic *helmaz (source also of Old Norse hjalm, Old High German helmo, German Helm "handle"), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp" (see helve).
Helm - the handle or tiller, in large ships the wheel, by which the runner is managed; the word is sometimes used with reference to the whole stearing [sic]-gear.
Rudder - that part of the helm which consists of a broad piece of timber, enters the water, and is governed by means of the wheel or tiller.
Tiller - the bar or lever by means of which the rudder of a ship or boat is turned.
[J.H.A. Günther, "English Synonyms Explained & Illustrated," Groningen, 1904]
c. 1200, "broken ground, a rough surface," from rough (adj.). From 1640s as "the disagreeable side of anything." The meaning "a rowdy" is attested by 1837, but Century Dictionary calls this perhaps rather an abbreviation of ruffian conformed in spelling to rough. The specific sense in golf, in reference to the ground at the edge of the greens, is by 1901.
Phrase in the rough "in an unfinished or unprocessed condition" (of timber, etc.) is from 1620s, in rough diamond "diamond in its natural state," which was used figuratively, of persons, by 1700, hence diamond in the rough (by 1874 of persons, in the figurative sense "one whose good character is somewhat masked by rough manners and want of education or style").
also kelson, "line of jointed timbers in a ship laid on the middle of the floor-timbers over the keel, binding the floor-timbers to the keel," 1620s, altered (by influence of keel (n.)) from Middle English kelsyng (late 13c.), which probably is of Scandinavian origin (compare Swedish kölsvin, Danish and Norwegian kjølsvin), from a compound of words such as Old Norse kjölr (see keel (n.)) + swin "swine," which was used of timber (see swine), or perhaps the second element is a folk-etymology alteration of another word (such as Norwegian svill "sill"). Or else the whole is from a similarly formed Low German source (kielschwin).
An extensive bridge consisting, strictly of a series of arches of masonry, erected for the purpose of conducting a road or a railway a valley or a district of low level, or over existing channels of communication, where an embankment would be impracticable or inexpedient; more widely, any elevated roadway which artificial constructions of timber, iron, bricks, or stonework are established. [Century Dictionary]
But the word apparently was coined by English landscape gardener Humphry Repton (1752-1818) for an architectural feature, "a form of bridge adapted to the purposes of passing over, which may unite strength with grace, or use with beauty ...."
1540s, of persons, "having or indicating great strength, muscular, vigorous," from French robuste (14c.) and directly from Latin robustus "strong and hardy," literally "as strong as oak," originally "oaken," from robur, robus "hard timber, strength," also "a special kind of oak," named for its reddish heartwood, from Latin ruber "red" (related to robigo "rust"), from PIE root *reudh- "red, ruddy." Related: Robustly; robustness; robusticity.
Robustious (1540s) was an elaborated form common in 17c. (see "Hamlet" iii.2), with more of a sense of "rough, violent, rude;" according to OED it fell from use by mid-18c., but was somewhat revived by mid-19c. antiquarian writers. Related: Robustiously; robustiousness.
"horizontal bar passing from one post or support to another," c. 1300, from Old French raille, reille "bolt, bar," from Vulgar Latin *regla, from Latin regula "rule, straight piece of wood," diminutive form related to regere "to straighten, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line").
In U.S. use, "A piece of timber, cleft, hewed, or sawed, inserted in upright posts for fencing" [Webster, 1830]. Used figuratively for thinness from 1872. By 1830s as "iron or steel bar or beam used on a railroad to support and guide the wheels." To be off the rails "out of the normal or proper condition" in a figurative sense is from 1848, an image from railroads.
early 15c., explanen, "make (something) clear in the mind, to make intelligible," from Latin explanare "to explain, make clear, make plain," etymologically "make level, flatten out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").
The spelling was altered by influence of plain. Also see plane (v.2). In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that "explain into leaves" ["Sylva, or, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesties dominions," 1664]. Related: Explained; explaining; explains. To explain (something) away "to deprive of significance by explanation, nullify or get rid of the apparent import of," generally with an adverse implication, is from 1709.
"type of coniferous tree noted for its slow growth and hard timber," late Old English ceder, blended in Middle English with Old French cedre, both from Latin cedrus, from Greek kedros "cedar, juniper," a word of uncertain origin.
True cedars are those native to Lebanon and the Levant, western North Africa, and the Himalayas, but the name has been applied to many more or less similar trees in North America and the tropics. Cedar oil was used by the Egyptians in embalming as a preservative against decay and the word for it was used figuratively for "immortality" by the Romans. Cedar chest, one made of cedar wood to protect contents from moths and other insects, is attested from 1722. Related: Cedrine.