also school-marm, "female school teacher," 1834, American English colloquial, in the popular countrified humor writing of "Major Jack Downing" of Maine (Seba Smith); a variant of school-ma'am (1828), from school (n.1) + ma'am. See R. Used figuratively from 1887 in reference to patronizing and priggish instruction.
School-mistress "woman who teaches in a school" is attested from c. 1500 (mid-14c. as a surname, scole-maistres). School-dame (1650s) was generally "an old woman who keeps a school for small children."
c. 1600, Dolly, a fem. nickname, extended form of Doll, short for Dorothy (see doll (n.)). In 17c. slang "a female pet or favorite." Modern slang sense of "young, attractive woman" is from 1906.
From 1790 as "a child's doll;" applied from 1792 to any contrivance fancied to resemble a dolly in some sense, especially "a small platform on rollers" (1901). Doesn't look like one to me, either, but that's what they say. Compare jack, jenny, jimmy, etc., generic proper names applied to various mechanical contrivances.
1610s, "one who or that which rips," in any sense of that word, originally chiefly in technical use and slang, agent noun from rip (v.).
The meaning "killer who mutilates his victims" (1890) is from Jack the Ripper, the notorious London serial murderer of 1888-1891, whose nickname contains a pun on ripper in sense of "tool for ripping" old slates, etc. (1823) and the slang meaning "very efficient or excellent person or thing, a 'ripping' fellow" (1838), from ripping (q.v.) in the sense of "excellent, splendid."
1833, American English, in countrified humor writing of "Major Jack Downing" of Maine (Seba Smith), "stylish, splendid, fine;" probably a colloquial alteration (intensification) of sumptuous. By late 19c. especially of food, "delicious, delightful," and it was noted 1890s and early 20c. as a vogue word among college girls (also as scrum, scrummy). Related: Scrumptiously; scrumptiousness.
OED (2nd edition, print) has scrumptious as probably identical with dialectal scrumptious "mean, stingy, close-fisted," and ultimately related to shrimp. The editors insist the sense transition "is not impossible," and they compare nice.
"hairstyle short the sides and long in back," 1996, perhaps from mullet-head "stupid, dull person" (1857). Mullet-head also was a name of a type of North American freshwater fish with a large, flat head (1866) with a reputation for stupidity. The term in reference to the haircut seems to have emerged into pop culture with the Beastie Boys song "Mullet Head."
#1 on the side and don't touch the back
#6 on the top and don't cut it wack, Jack
[Beastie Boys, "Mullet Head"]
As a surname, Mullet is attested from late 13c., thought to be a diminutive of Old French mul "mule." Compare also mallet-headed, in reference to the flat tops of chisels meant to be struck with a mallet.
Also used of plaintiffs or defendants who have reason to be anonymous. By 1852, John Doe was being used for "any man whose name is not known;" Britain tended to preserve it in the narrower legal sense "name of the fictitious plaintiff in actions of ejectment." John Doe warrant attested from 1935.
"male deer," c. 1300, earlier "male goat;" from Old English bucca "male goat," from Proto-Germanic *bukkon (source also of Old Saxon buck, Middle Dutch boc, Dutch bok, Old High German boc, German Bock, Old Norse bokkr), perhaps from a PIE root *bhugo (source also of Avestan buza "buck, goat," Armenian buc "lamb"), but some speculate that it is from a lost pre-Germanic language. Barnhart says Old English buc "male deer," listed in some sources, is a "ghost word or scribal error." The Germanic word (in the sense "he-goat") was borrowed in French as bouc.
Meaning "a man" is from c. 1300 (Old Norse bokki also was used in this sense). Especially "fashionable man" (1725); also used of a male Native American (c. 1800) or Negro (1835). This also is perhaps the sense in army slang buck private "private of the lowest class" (1870s).
The phrase pass the buck is recorded in the literal sense 1865, American English poker slang; the buck in question being originally perhaps a buckhorn-handled knife:
The 'buck' is any inanimate object, usually [a] knife or pencil, which is thrown into a jack pot and temporarily taken by the winner of the pot. Whenever the deal reaches the holder of the 'buck', a new jack pot must be made. [J.W. Keller, "Draw Poker," 1887]
The figurative sense of "shift responsibility" is first recorded 1912; the phrase the buck stops here (1952) is associated with U.S. President Harry Truman.
1560s, "one who dodges or evades" in any sense, especially "one practiced in artful shifts," agent noun from the literal or figurative (especially underworld) senses of dodge (v.).
The U.S. meaning "corn cake" is recorded from 1831 (usually as corn-dodger) and is perhaps a different word: Compare Northern English dialectal dodge "lump, large piece" (1560s).
The Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins), so called for his skill in picking pockets, leader of a gang of child criminals, is from Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (1837-39).
The U.S. baseball club the Dodgers, originally based in Brooklyn, N.Y., was so called from 1900, from trolley dodgers, a Manhattanites' nickname for Brooklyn residents, in reference to the streetcar lines that then crisscrossed the borough.
"elongated seed vessel of beans, peas, etc.," 1680s, a word of uncertain origin; found earlier in podware "seed of legumes, seed grain" (mid-15c.), which had a parallel form codware "husked or seeded plants" (late 14c.), related to cod "husk of seeded plants," which was in Old English. In reference to a round belly from 1825; in reference to pregnancy from 1890. Meaning "detachable body of an aircraft" is from 1950.
Pod people (1956) was popularized by the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," based on the 1954 novel by U.S. author Jack Finney about a plant-like alien life form that arrives on Earth as pods and are capable of replicating people.