pasture (n.)

c. 1300, "land covered with vegetation suitable for grazing;" also "grass eaten by cattle or other animals," from Old French pasture "fodder, grass eaten by cattle" (12c., Modern French pâture), from Late Latin pastura "a feeding, grazing," from Latin pastus, past participle of pascere "to feed, graze," from PIE root *pa- "to feed." To be out to pasture in the figurative sense of "retired" is by 1945, from where horses were sent (ideally) after their active working life.

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bottle (n.)

"narrow-necked hollow vessel for holding and carrying liquids," mid-14c., originally of leather, from Old French boteille (12c., Modern French bouteille), from Vulgar Latin *butticula (source also of Spanish botella, Italian bottiglia), diminutive of Late Latin buttis "a cask," which is perhaps from Greek.

In reference to a baby's feeding bottle by 1848 (sucking-bottle is attested from 1844). The bottle, figurative for "liquor," is from 17c. Bottle-washer is from 1837; bottle-shop is from 1929; bottle-opener as a mechanical device is from 1875. Bottle-arsed was old printers' slang for type wider at one end than the other.

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meconium (n.)

"dark fecal discharge from a newborn infant," 1706, from Latin meconium "excrement of a newborn child," literally "poppy juice," from Greek mēkōnion "poppy-juice, opium," diminutive of mēkōn "poppy," which perhaps is related to Old Church Slavonic maku, German Mohn "poppy," and is perhaps of Pre-Greek origin. "As the poppy originates from the Mediterranean according to botanists, it is often thought that we are dealing with a 'Wanderwort', which was borrowed into lndoEuropean at PIE date" [Beekes]. The discharge was so called by classical physicians for its resemblance. Related: Meconial.

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creche (n.)

"Christmas manger scene," 1792, from French crèche, from Old French cresche, creche"crib, manger, stall" (13c.), ultimately from Frankish or some other Germanic source; compare Old High German kripja, Old English cribb (see crib (n.)). Also "a public nursery for infants where they are cared for while their mothers are at work" (1854).

A modern reborrowing of a word that had been in Middle English as cracche, crecche, criche "a manger, a place for feeding domestic animals" (mid-13c.), from Old French creche. Wyclif (1382) has cracche (Luke ii.7) where Tyndale (1526) uses manger.

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crib (n.)

Old English cribbe "manger of a cattle stable, fodder bin in cowsheds and fields," from a West Germanic word (source also of Old Saxon kribbia "manger;" Old Frisian and Middle Dutch kribbe; Old High German krippa, German Krippe "crib, manger") probably related to German Krebe "basket."

Meaning "enclosed child's bed with barred sides" is 1640s; probably from frequent use in reference to the manger where infant Jesus was laid. Thieves' slang for "house, public house, shop" dates to at least 1812, but late 20c. slang use for "dwelling house" probably is independent. The Old High German version of the word passed to French and became creche.

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flock (n.1)
Old English flocc "a group of persons, company, troop," related to Old Norse flokkr "crowd, troop, band," Middle Low German vlocke "crowd, flock (of sheep);" of unknown origin, not found in other Germanic languages; perhaps related to folc "people," but the metathesis would have been unusual for Old English.

In Old English of humans only; extended c. 1200 to "a number of animals of one kind moving or feeding together;" of domestic animals c. 1300. The special reference to birds is recent (19c.). Transferred to bodies of Christians, in relation to Christ or their pastor, from mid-14c.
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meddlesome (adj.)

"given to meddling, apt to interpose in the affairs of others," 1610s, from meddle + -some (1). Earlier was medlous "quarrelsome, meddlesome" (mid-15c.). Related: Meddlesomely; meddlesomeness. "Meddlesome Matty" is the title of a piece by Ann Taylor in "Original Poems for Infant Minds" (1806) about a little girl who, by meddling, breaks her grandmother's eye-glasses and gets a face-full of grandma's snuff.

Matilda, smarting with the pain,
  And tingling still, and sore,
Made many a promise to refrain
  From meddling evermore;
And 'tis a fact as I have heard.
She ever since has kept her word.

The book, which also included "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" by Ann's sister Jane, was very popular in its day.

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crop (v.)

c. 1200, "cut off the top of a plant," from crop (n.). Mid-14c. in reference to animals feeding on plants. The general meaning of "to cut off" is attested from mid-15c. Meaning "cut off a part of (the ear of an animal) as a mark of identification is from c. 1600. In reference to clipping of cloth, by 1711. Women's fashion crop top is attested from 1984.

With up, "to sprout, appear apparently without design from below the surface" is from 1844, said by OED to be from an earlier use in mining in reference to veins of ore or strata of rock, "come to the surface, become visible on the ground" (1660s). Related: Cropped; cropping

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wean (v.)
"train (an infant or animal) to forego suckling," c. 1200, from Old English wenian "to accustom, habituate," from Proto-Germanic *wanjan (source also of Old Norse venja, Dutch wennen, Old High German giwennan, German gewöhnen "to accustom"), from PIE *won-eyo-, causative form of root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."

The sense of "accustom a child to not suckling from the breast" in Old English generally was expressed by gewenian or awenian, which has a sense of "unaccustom" (compare German abgewöhnen, entwöhnen "to wean," literally "to unaccustom"). The modern word might be one of these with the prefix worn off, or it might be wenian in a specialized sense of "accustom to a new diet." Figurative extension to any pursuit or habit is from 1520s.
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child (n.)

Old English cild "fetus, infant, unborn or newly born person," from Proto-Germanic *kiltham (source also of Gothic kilþei "womb," inkilþo "pregnant;" Danish kuld "children of the same marriage;" Old Swedish kulder "litter;" Old English cildhama "womb," lit. "child-home"); no certain cognates outside Germanic. "App[arently] originally always used in relation to the mother as the 'fruit of the womb'" [Buck]. Also in late Old English, "a youth of gentle birth" (archaic, usually written childe). In 16c.-17c. especially "girl child."

The wider sense "young person before the onset of puberty" developed in late Old English. Phrase with child "pregnant" (late 12c.) retains the original sense. The sense extension from "infant" to "child" also is found in French enfant, Latin infans. Meaning "one's own child; offspring of parents" is from late 12c. (the Old English word was bearn; see bairn). Figurative use from late 14c. Most Indo-European languages use the same word for "a child" and "one's child," though there are exceptions (such as Latin liberi/pueri).

The difficulty with the plural began in Old English, where the nominative plural was at first cild, identical with the singular, then c.975 a plural form cildru (genitive cildra) arose, probably for clarity's sake, only to be re-pluraled late 12c. as children, which is thus a double plural. Middle English plural cildre survives in Lancashire dialect childer and in Childermas.

Child abuse is attested by 1963; child-molester from 1950. Child care is from 1915. Child's play, figurative of something easy, is in Chaucer (late 14c.):

I warne yow wel, it is no childes pley To take a wyf withouten auysement. ["Merchant's Tale"]
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