Etymology
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amend (v.)

early 13c., amenden, "to free from faults, rectify," from Old French amender "correct, set right, make better, improve" (12c.), from Latin emendare "to correct, free from fault," from ex "out" (see ex-) + menda, mendum "fault, physical blemish; error," from PIE *mend- "physical defect, fault" (source also of Sanskrit minda "physical blemish," Old Irish mennar "stain, blemish," Welsh mann "sign, mark;" Hittite mant- "something harming").

The spelling with a- is unusual but early and also is found in Provençal and Italian. In English, the word has been supplanted in senses of "repair; cure" by its shortened offspring mend (v.). The meaning "to add to legislation" (ostensibly to correct or improve it) is recorded from 1777. Related: Amended; amending.

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inner (adj.)

c. 1400, from Old English inra, comparative of inne (adv.) "inside" (see in (adv.)). Similar formation in Old High German innaro, German inner. The original order of comparison was in/inner/inmost; the evolution has been unusual for a comparative, and inner has not been used with than since Middle English.

Inner man "the soul" is from late Old English; as "the spiritual part of man" by late 14c. The Quaker inner light is attested by that name from 1833. Inner tube in the pneumatic tire sense is from 1894. Inner city is attested from 1690s; as a euphemism for "urban poverty and crime," from 1963.

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grateful (adj.)

1550s, "pleasing to the mind," also "full of gratitude, disposed to repay favors bestowed," from obsolete adjective grate "agreeable, pleasant," from Latin gratus "pleasing" (from suffixed form of PIE root *gwere- (2) "to favor"). "A most unusual formation" [Weekley]. A rare, irregular case of English using -ful to make an adjective from an adjective (the only other one I can find is direful "characterized by or fraught with something dreadful," 1580s). Related: Gratefully (1540s); gratefulness.

Grateful often expresses the feeling and the readiness to manifest the feeling by acts, even a long time after the rendering of the favor; thankful refers rather to the immediate acknowledgment of the favor by words. [Century Dictionary]
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scare (v.)

1590s, "frighten, terrify suddenly," an unusual alteration of Middle English skerren "to frighten" someone (late 12c.), from Old Norse skirra "to frighten; to shrink from, shun; to prevent, avert," which is related to skjarr "timid, shy, afraid of," but of unknown origin.

In Scottish also skair, skar, which seem to track closer to the word's expected development, and in dialect skeer, skear. Intransitive meaning "become frightened, be scared" is from 14c.; the specific sense of "be alarmed by rumor" is from 1900.

To scare away "drive off by frightening" is from 1650s. To scare up "procure, obtain, find, bring to light" is recorded by 1846, American English, from notion of rousing game from cover. Related: Scared; scaring.

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diploma (n.)

1640s, "state paper, official document," from Latin diploma (plural diplomata) "a state letter of recommendation," given to persons travelling to the provinces, "a document drawn up by a magistrate," from Greek diploma "licence, chart," originally "paper folded double," from diploun "to double, fold over," from diploos "double" (see diplo-) + -oma, suffix forming neuter nouns and nouns that indicate result of verbal action (see -oma).

The main modern use is a specialized one, "a writing under seal from competent authority conferring some honor or privilege," especially that given by a college conferring a degree or authorizing the practice of a profession (1680s in English).

The plural is always -mas in the ordinary sense (certificate of degree &c.), though -mata lingers in unusual senses (state paper &c.) as an alternative. [Fowler]

Compare diplomacy, diplomatic.

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blab (v.)

mid-15c., blabben, "to talk idly and foolishly, talk too much," apparently from Middle English noun blabbe "one who does not control his tongue" (late 13c.), which probably is echoic (compare Old Norse blabbra, Danish blabbre "babble," German plappern "to babble"). It is attested from c. 1600 as "to talk indiscreetly." Related: Blabbed; blabbing.

The exact relationship between the noun and verb blab and blabber is difficult to determine. The noun was "[e]xceedingly common in 16th and 17th c.; unusual in literature since c 1750" [OED]. Middle English also had lab (v.) "talk foolishly, let out a secret" (late 14c.), which is said to be from Low German; hence also labster (Middle English labestere, late 13c.) "female gossip, a scold."

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singularity (n.)

early 13c., singularite, "unusual or exceptional behavior;" mid-14c as "singleness of aim or purpose, devotion to a single thing;" late 14c. as "individual or particular things," from Old French singulerte "peculiarity" (12c., Modern French singularité) and directly from Late Latin singularitatem (nominative singularitas) "a being alone," from singularis "single, solitary, one by one, one at a time; peculiar, remarkable," from singulus "one, one to each, individual, separate" (see single (adj.)).

The meaning "fact of being different from others" is attested from c. 1500. The mathematical sense of "point at which a function takes an infinite value" is from 1893. Astrophysics sense, "point of space where the density of matter or the curvature of space-time becomes infinite" (as in a black hole), is attested from 1965.

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exotic (adj.)

1590s, "belonging to another country," from French exotique (16c.) and directly from Latin exoticus, from Greek exotikos "foreign," literally "from the outside," from exo "outside" (see exo-). Sense of "unusual, strange" in English first recorded 1620s, from notion of "alien, outlandish." In reference to strip-teasers and dancing girls, it is attested by 1942, American English.

Exotic dancer in the nightclub trade means a girl who goes through a few motions while wearing as few clothes as the cops will allow in the city where she is working ... [Life magazine, May 5, 1947]

As a noun from 1640s, "anything of foreign origin," originally plants.

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Pittsburgh 

city in Pennsylvania, U.S., founded 1754 by the French and called Fort Duquesne in honor of Michel-Ange Duquesne (1702-1778), governor of New France; captured by the British 1758 and renamed in honor of British statesman William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778). The Scottish -burgh is unusual in the U.S. (compare Edinburgh) and may be from the Scottish officers who led its capture in the Seven Years War. The spelling varied with -burg in 19c., but when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names regularized all -burgh spellings to -burg, the Pittsburghers protested, and the -h officially was restored in 1911

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racket (n.1)

"loud, disorderly, confusing noise," 1560s, probably imitative. Klein and Century Dictionary compare Gaelic racaid "noise, disturbance," but OED says this "is no doubt from Eng."

Meaning "dishonest activity" (1785) is perhaps an extended sense, from the notion of "something going on" or "noise or disturbance made to distract a pick-pocket's victim." Or it might be from racquet, via the notion of "a game," or from or reinforced by rack-rent "extortionate rent." There also was a verb racket "carry on eager or energetic action" (1753), and the gangster sense might be via the notion of "exciting and unusual." Weakened sense of "way of life, one's line of business" is by 1891.

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