Etymology
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concubine (n.)

c. 1300, "a paramour, a woman who cohabits with a man without being married to him;" also, in reference to Hebrew, Greek, Roman and other civilizations where the position was recognized by law, "a wife of inferior condition, a secondary wife," from Latin concubina (fem.), concubinus (masc.) "one who lives unmarried with a married man or woman." Usually the concubine was of a lower social order, but the institution, though below matrimonium, was less reproachful than adulterium or stuprum. The word itself is from concumbere "to lie with, to lie together, to cohabit," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + cubare "to lie down" (see cubicle).

Such concubines were allowed by the Greek and Roman laws, and for many centuries they were more or less tolerated by the church, for both priests and laymen. The concubine of a priest was sometimes called a priestess. [Century Dictionary]

In Middle English, as in Latin, sometimes used of a man who cohabits with a woman without marriage. Related: Concubinary; concubinal.

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congress (n.)

c. 1400, "a body of attendants; also "meeting of armed forces" (mid-15c.); sense of "a coming together of people, a meeting of individuals" is from 1520s; from Latin congressus "a friendly meeting; a hostile encounter," past participle of congredi "to meet with; to fight with," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + gradi "to walk," from gradus "a step" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go").

Meaning "sexual union" is from 1580s. Specific sense of "a meeting of delegates, formal meeting of persons having a representational character" is first recorded 1670s. Used in reference to the national legislative body of the American states (with a capital C-) since 1775 (from 1765 in America as a name for proposed bodies).

The three sittings of the Continental Congress, representing the 13 rebellious American colonies, met 1774, 1775-6, and 1776-81. The Congress of the Confederation met from 1781-89, and the Congress of the United States met from March 4, 1789. The Congress of Vienna met Nov. 1, 1814, to June 8, 1815, and redrew the map of Europe with an eye to creating a balance of powers after the disruptions of Napoleon.

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convent (n.)

c. 1200, covent, cuvent, "association or community of persons devoted to religious life," from Anglo-French covent, from Old French convent, covent "monastery, religious community," from Latin conventus "assembly," used in Medieval Latin for "religious house," originally past participle of convenire "to come together, meet together, assemble; unite, join, combine; agree with, accord; be suitable or proper (to)," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + venire "to come" (from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").

Meaning "a house or set of buildings occupied by a community devoted to religious life" is from mid-15c. Not exclusively feminine until 18c. The form with restored Latin -n- emerged early 15c. The Middle English form lingers in London's Covent Garden district (notorious late 18c. for brothels), so called because it had been the garden of a defunct monastery.

COVENT GARDEN ABBESS. A bawd.
COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal diſeaſe.
["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]

Related: Conventual.

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cost (n.)

c. 1200, "price, value," from Old French cost "cost, outlay, expenditure; hardship, trouble" (12c., Modern French coût), from Vulgar Latin *costare, from Latin constare, literally "to stand at" (or with), with a wide range of figurative senses including "to cost," from an assimilated form of com "with, together" (see co-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."

The idiom is the same one used in Modern English when someone says something stands at X dollars to mean it "sells for X dollars." The meaning "equivalent price given for a thing or service rendered, outlay of money" is from c. 1300. Cost of living is from 1889. To count the cost "consider beforehand the probable consequences" is attested by 1800.

In phrases such as at all costs there may be an influence or echo of obsolete cost (n.) "manner, way, course of action," from Old English cyst "choice, election, thing chosen." Compare late Old English alre coste "in any way, at all."

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ass-kissing (adj.)

"currying favor," by 1946 (as arse-kissing), apparently from or popularized by military slang in World War II. Ass-kisser is by 1943. Grose's 1788 "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" has "A kiss mine arse fellow," defined as "a sycophant." As for the verbal phrase, the Towneley Plays, c. 1460, has Cain telling off Abel with "Com kis myne ars." A 1668 book of "Songs Alamode, Composed by the most Refined Wits of this Age" has a song with the line "And thou maist kiss mine Arse," and of course the Miller's Tale.

In early 20c. American-English ass-licker may have been more common than ass-kisser, at least in print sources, perhaps from German influence. "Leck mich im Arsch" is at least 18c., the title of a Mozart party song, the phrase having been branded into the minds of German readers by Goethe in "Götz von Berlichingen" (1773), where it is the hero's dramatic reply to a call to surrender. (E.g. the reply of Tjaden to the bullying NCO in "All Quiet on the Western Front," where Remarque euphemistically describes it as "dem bekanntesten Klassikerzitat.")

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congregation (n.)

late-14c., congregacioun, "a gathering, assembly, a crowd; an organized group, as of a religious order or body of scholars; act of congregating," from Old French congregacion (12c., Modern French congrégation) and directly from Latin congregationem (nominative congregatio) "an assembling together, union, society," noun of action from past-participle stem of congregare "to herd together, collect in a flock, swarm; assemble," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + gregare "to collect into a flock, gather," from grex (genitive gregis) "a flock" (from PIE root *ger- "to gather").

Used by Tyndale (1520s) to translate Greek ekklesia in New Testament in the sense "an assembly of persons for religious worship and instruction," also "the Christian church in general." The word also was used by Wycliffe and other Old Testament translators in place of synagoge on the notion of "the whole body of the Hebrews, as a community, gathered and set apart for the service of God. (Vulgate uses a variety of words in these cases, including congregatio but also ecclesia, vulgus, synagoga, populus.) Protestant reformers in 16c. used it in place of church; hence the word's main modern sense of "local society of believers" (1520s).

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confederacy (n.)

late 14c., "contract between two or more persons, states, etc., for mutual support or joint action," from Anglo-French confederacie (Old French confederacie), from stem of Latin confoederare "to unite by a league," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + foederare, from foedus "a league" (from suffixed form of PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade").

Also late 14c. as "an aggregation of persons, states, etc., united by a league, a confederation. At first in reference to leagues of classical Greek states (Aetolian, Delian, Achaean, etc.), later of the Netherlands. In 17c.-18c. often in a bad sense, especially "a conspiracy against a superior."

The word was used of the United States of America under (and in) the Articles of Confederation (1777-1788). In reference to the national organization of the seceding Southern states (1861-1865, also Southern Confederacy) from 1861, in the constitution of the Confederate States of America, formed by constitutional convention at Montgomery, Alabama, March 11, 1861.

Confederacy now usually implies a looser or more temporary association than confederation, which is applied to a union of states organized on an intentionally permanent basis. [OED]
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consort (n.1)

early 15c., "partner" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French consort "colleague, partner," consorte "wife" (14c.), from Latin consortem (nominative consors) "partner, comrade; brother, sister," in Medieval Latin, "a wife," noun use of adjective meaning "having the same lot, of the same fortune," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + sors "a share, lot" (from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up").

Sense of "husband or wife" ("partner in marriage") is from 1630s in English. A prince consort (1837) is a prince who is the husband of a queen but himself has no royal authority (the most notable being Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria; the initial proposal in Parliament in 1840 was to call him king-consort); queen consort is attested from 1667. Related: Consortial.

The husband of a reigning queen has no powers, he is not king unless an act of parliament makes him so. Philip of Spain, Mary's husband, bore the title of king, Anne's husband was simply Prince George of Denmark. Queen Victoria's husband was simply Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until 1857 when the queen conferred on him the title of Prince Consort. [F.W. Maitland, "The Constitutional History of England," 1908]
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concert (n.)
Origin and meaning of concert

1660s, "agreement of two or more in design or plan; accord, harmony," from French concert (16c.), from Italian concerto "concert, harmony," from concertare "bring into agreement," apparently from Latin concertare "to contend with zealously, contest, dispute, debate" from assimilated form of com "with" (see con-) + certare "to contend, strive," frequentative of certus, variant past participle of cernere "separate, distinguish, decide" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish").

The proposed sense evolution between Latin ("to contend with") and medieval Italian  ("bring into agreement") seems extreme and is difficult to explain. Perhaps the shift is from "to strive against" to "to strive alongside" (compare English fight with), or perhaps it is via the notion of "confer, arrange by conference, debate for the sake of agreement." Some have suggested the sense shifted through confusion of Latin concertus with consertus, past participle of concerere "to join, fit, unite."

Sense of "public musical performance," usually of a series of separate pieces, is from 1680s, from Italian (Klein suggests Latin concentare "to sing together," from con- + cantare "to sing," as the source of the Italian word in the musical sense). The general sense of "any harmonious agreement or orderly union" is from 1796. Concert-master "first violinist of an orchestra" is from 1815, translating German Konzertmeister.

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cognate (adj.)

1640s, "allied by blood, connected or related by birth, of the same parentage, descended from a common ancestor," from Latin cognatus "of common descent" (source also of Spanish cognado, Italian cognato), from assimilated form of com "together" (see co-) + gnatus, past participle of gnasci, older form of nasci "to be born" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget").

Of things, "related in origin, traceable to the same source," by 1640s; specifically of words, "coming from the same root or original word but showing differences due to subsequent separate phonetic development," by 1782; of languages, "from the same original language," by 1799. French, Spanish, and Italian are cognate languages (all essentially descended from Latin) but are not cognate with Latin. English cognate, Spanish cognado and Italian cognato are cognate words from Latin cognatus. English brother, Sanskrit bhrtr-, Greek phratr, Latin frater, Russian brat are cognate words from the PIE root *bhrater. Words that are cognates are more like cousins than siblings; they develop in different languages.

Related: Cognatic; cognation (late 14c. in English as "blood-relationship, kinship"); cognateness. As a noun, "one connected to another by ties of kinship," from 1754.

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