also nicky tam, "garter worn over trousers," 1911, Scottish, from a shortened, colloquial form of knickers + Scottish & northern English dialect taum, from Old Norse taumr "cord, rein, line," cognate with Old English team, the root sense of which appears to be "that which draws" (see team (n.)). Originally a string tied by Scottish farmers around rolled-up trousers to keep the legs of them out of the dirt.
late 14c., "to tie with a cord," from line (n.). Meaning "to mark or mark off with lines" is from mid-15c. Sense of "arrange a line" is from 1640s, originally military; that of "to join a line" is by 1773. To line up is by 1864 as "form a good line, be in alignment;" 1889 as "form a line," in U.S. football; transitive sense "make into a line" is by 1902. Also see line-up. For line bees see bee-line. Related: Lined; lining.
late 14c., nerve, nerf, "sinew, tendon, hard cord of the body" (a sense now obsolete), also "fiber or bundle of fibers that convey the capacity to feel or move from the brain or spinal cord to the body," from Old French nerf and directly from Medieval Latin nervus "a nerve," from Latin nervus "sinew, tendon; cord, bowstring, string of a musical instrument," metathesis of pre-Latin *neuros, from PIE *(s)neu- "tendon, sinew" (source also of Sanskrit snavan- "band, sinew," Armenian neard "sinew," Greek neuron "sinew, tendon," in Galen "nerve").
The late medieval surgeons understood the nature and function of the nerves and often used nervus to denote a `nerve' in the modern sense, as well as to denote a `tendon'. There appears to have been some confusion, however, between nerves and tendons; hence, a number of instances in which nervus may be interpreted in either way or in both ways simultaneously. [Middle English Compendium]
The secondary senses developed from meaning "strength, vigor; force, energy" (c. 1600), from the "sinew" sense. Hence the non-scientific sense with reference to feeling or courage, first attested c. 1600 (as in nerves of steel, 1869) and that of "coolness in the face of danger, fortitude under trying or critical circumstances" is by 1809. The bad sense "impudence, boldness, cheek" (originally slang) is by 1887. Latin nervus also had a figurative sense of "vigor, force, power, strength," as did Greek neuron. From the neurological sense come Nerves "condition of hysterical nervousness," attested by 1890, perhaps from 1792. To get on (someone's) nerves is from 1895. War of nerves "psychological warfare" is from 1915.
"shoemaker, leatherworker," originally "a worker in Cordovan leather," mid-14c.; mid-12c. as a surname, from Anglo-French cordewaner, from Old French cordoan "(leather) of Cordova," the Spanish city whose leather was famous for quality. Compare cordovan, a later borrowing directly from Spanish.
It is sometimes goatskin tanned and dressed, but more frequently split horsehide; it differs from morocco in being prepared from heavy skins and in retaining its natural grain. During the middle ages the finest leather came from Spain; the shoes of ladies and gentlemen of rank are often said to be of cordwain. [Century Dictionary]
1590s, "of or pertaining to Cordova," the Spanish city, former capital of Moorish Spain (modern Córdoba); the name is said to be Carthaginian, from Phoenician qorteb "oil press."
As a noun, "fine Spanish leather," 1620s, from Spanish cordovan (modern cordoban), from cordovano (adj.) "of Cordova." This is a later adoption of the word that had come into English earlier as cordwain, cordewane (see cordwain).
1560s, "to ornament with a ribbon;" 1855 as "to guard with or as with a military cordon;" from cordon (n.). Related: Cordoned; cordoning.
"Cordovan or Spanish leather," late 14c., cordewane, from Anglo-French cordewan (c. 1300), from Old French cordowan, cordoan "(leather) of Cordova," the Spanish city that produced a type of leather favored for shoes by the upper class (see cordwainer).
c. 1400, "of or pertaining to the heart" (a sense now obsolete or rare, replaced by cardiac), from Medieval Latin cordialis "of or for the heart," from Latin cor (genitive cordis) "heart," from PIE root *kerd- "heart." Meaning "heartfelt, proceeding from the heart as the supposed seat of kindly feelings" is from mid-15c. Related: Cordiality.
The noun meaning "something that invigorates" is from late 14c., originally "medicine, food, or drink that stimulates the heart." Meaning "sweet or aromatic liquor" is from 1610s.