Etymology
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catacomb (n.)

"underground burial place," usually catacombs, from Old English catacumbas, from Late Latin catacumbae (plural) "sepulchral vaults," originally the region of underground tombs between the 2nd and 3rd milestones of the Appian Way (where the bodies of apostles Paul and Peter, among others, were said to have been laid) near Rome; the word is of obscure origin, perhaps once a proper name, or dissimilation from Latin cata tumbas "at the graves," from cata- "among" + tumbas, accusative plural of tumba "tomb" (see tomb).

If so, the word perhaps was altered by influence of Latin -cumbere "to lie." From the same source are French catacombe, Italian catacomba, Spanish catacumba. Extended by 1836 in English to any subterranean receptacle of the dead (as in Paris). Related: Catacumbal.

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dune (n.)

"mound, ridge, or hill of loose sand heaped up by the wind near the coast of a sea," 1790, from French, Middle Dutch or Middle Low German dune, all of which are perhaps from Gaulish *dunom (making it cousin to down (n.2) "small, rounded hill").

The French dune "sand hill" (13c.) is held by Diez to be an Old French borrowing from Dutch duin or some other Germanic source. Italian and Spanish duna are from French. The English word is perhaps also partial a dialectal form of down (n.2). Dune buggy, "recreational motor vehicle designed for use on beaches," is attested by 1965.

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bier (n.)
Old English bær (West Saxon), ber (Anglian) "handbarrow, litter, bed," from West Germanic *bero (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German bara, Old Frisian bere, Middle Dutch bare, Dutch baar, German Bahre "bier"), from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry."

The original sense is "wooden frame on which to carry a load," and it is related to bear (v.). Specific sense of "framework on which a coffin or corpse is laid before burial" was in late Old English and predominated from c. 1600. The spelling altered from c. 1600 under influence of French bière, from Old French biere, from Frankish *bera, from the same Germanic source.
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coffin (n.)

early 14c., "chest or box for valuables," from Old French cofin "sarcophagus," earlier "basket, coffer" (12c., Modern French coffin), from Latin cophinus "basket, hamper" (source of Italian cofano, Spanish cuebano "basket"), from Greek kophinos "a basket," which is of uncertain origin.

Funereal sense "chest or box in which the dead human body is placed for burial" is from 1520s; before that the main secondary sense in English was "pie crust, a mold or casing of pastry for a pie" (late 14c.). Meaning "vehicle regarded as unsafe" is from 1830s. Coffin nail "cigarette" is slang from 1880; nail in (one's) coffin "thing that hastens or contributes to one's death" is by 1792.

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lich (n.)

also litch, lych, "body, corpse," a southern England dialectal survival of Old English lic "body, dead body, corpse," from Proto-Germanic *likow (source also of Old Frisian lik, Dutch lijk, Old High German lih, German Leiche "corpse, dead body," Old Norse lik, Danish lig, Swedish lik, Gothic leik), probably originally "form, shape," and identical with like (adj.).

Also in Old English in an expanded form lichama (Middle English licham), with hama "shape, garment, covering." This is etymologically pleonastic, but the image perhaps is of the body as the garment of the soul. The compound has a cognate in Old High German lihhinamo. A litch-gate (also lych-gate) was a roofed gate to a churchyard under which a corpse was set down at a burial to await the arrival of the minister; lich-owl "screech-owl" was so called because it was supposed to forebode death. Old English also had licburg "cemetery," lichhaemleas "incorporeal."

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Marlborough 

place in Wiltshire, England, probably "Mærla's barrow," from an Old English personal name; the second element would be in reference to the ancient mound that formed the nucleus of the later castle. The famous Duke of Marlborough was John Churchill (1650–1722), soldier and statesman, leader of Allied forces during the War of the Spanish Succession, victor of Blenheim (1704).

The Marlboro brand of U.S. cigarettes were marketed from 1923, perhaps based on the earlier Philip Morris Marlborough brand in England. At first marketed as a luxury and ladies' brand, it was revived in 1950s as a men's filtered cigarette and became successful based on an advertisement campaign (from 1954) featuring a rugged cowboy, who was later known as the Marlboro Man (by 1958).

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corpse (n.)

late 13c., cors "body," from Old French cors "body; person; corpse; life" (9c.), from Latin corpus "body" (from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance"). The order of appearance of senses in English is "dead body" (13c.), "live body" (14c.); it also meant "body of citizens" (15c.), "band of knights" (mid-15c.), paralleling the sense evolution in French that yielded the doublet corps.

French restored the Latin -p- in 14c., and English followed 15c., but the pronunciation remained "corse" at first (and perhaps remains so with some speakers) and corse persisted as a parallel spelling. After the -p- began to be sounded (16c. in English), corse became archaic or poetic only. The terminal -e was rare before 19c.

Corpse-candle "candle used at ceremonial watchings of a corpse before burial," is attested from 1690s.

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dumdum (n.)

type of metal-cased bullet which expands on impact, 1897, named for Dum-Dum arsenal in Bengal. British army soldiers made them to use against fanatical charges by tribesmen. Outlawed by international declaration, 1899. The place name is literally "hill, mound, battery," cognate with Persian damdama.

It was to stop these fanatics [Ghazi] — and that firstclass fighting man Fuzzy-Wuzzy, of the Soudan and of Somaliland—that the thing known as the Dum-Dum bullet was invented. No ordinary bullet, unless it hits them in a vital part or breaks a leg, will be sufficient to put the brake on these magnificently brave people. ["For Foreign Service: Hints on Soldiering in the Shiny East," London, 1915]
Pile on the brown man's burden
And if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old fashioned reasons
With Maxims up-to-date;
With shells and dum dum bullets
A hundred times make plain,
The brown man's loss must ever
Imply the white man's gain.
[Henry Labouchère, from "The Brown Man's Burden," 1899]
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stretch (v.)
Old English streccan (transitive and intransitive) "to stretch, spread out, prostrate; reach, extend" (past tense strehte, past participle streht), from Proto-Germanic *strakjanan (source also of Danish strække, Swedish sträcka, Old Frisian strekka, Old High German strecchan, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German strecken "to stretch, draw out"), perhaps a variant of the root of stark, or else from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see string (n.)).

Meaning "to extend (the limbs or wings)" is from c. 1200; that of "to lay out for burial" is from early 13c. To stretch (one's) legs "take a walk" is from c. 1600. Meaning "to lengthen by force" first recorded late 14c.; figurative sense of "to enlarge beyond proper limits, exaggerate," is from 1550s. Stretch limo first attested 1973. Stretch marks is attested from 1960. Related: Stretched; stretching.
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ear-ring (n.)

also earring, Old English earhring, "a ring or other ornament, with or without precious stones, worn at the ear," from ear (n.1) + hring (see ring (n.)). Another Old English word was earspinl. Now including any sort of ornament in the ear; the pendant sort originally were ear-drops (1720). Worn by Romanized Britons and Anglo-Saxons alike; their use declined throughout Europe in the Middle Ages but was reintroduced in England 16c., but after 17c. they were worn there almost exclusively by women.

The two groups which had formerly a near monopoly on male earrings were Gypsies and sailors. Both has the usual traditions about eyesight, but it was also said that sailors' earrings would save them from drowning, while others argued that should a sailor be drowned and washed up on some foreign shore, his gold earrings would pay for a proper Christian burial. ["Dictionary of English Folklore"]
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