mid-15c., "free from mental or moral pollution, pure," from a figurative use of Latin immaculatus "unstained," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + maculatus "spotted, defiled," past participle of maculare "to spot," from macula "spot, blemish," a word of uncertain origin. The literal sense of "spotlessly clean or neat" in English is first attested 1735. Related: Immaculately.
The phrase Immaculate Conception "freedom from original sin possessed by the Virgin Mary from her conception in her mother's womb" is from late 15c. in English (from French conception immaculée); the idea itself had been debated in the Church since 12c., declared to be an article of faith in 1854.
evergreen shrub native to southern Europe and widely cultivated for its fragrance, late 14c., rose-marie, earlier rosmarine (c. 1300), from Latin rosmarinus, literally "dew of the sea" (compare French romarin), from ros "dew" + marinus "of the sea, maritime," from mare "sea, the sea, seawater" (from PIE root *mori- "body of water").
Perhaps it was so called because it grew near coasts. The form was altered in English by influence of unrelated rose and Mary.
Latin ros is from a PIE noun probably from *ers- "to be wet" (source also of Lithuanian rasa, Old Church Slavonic rosa "dew," Sanskrit rasah "sap, juice, fluid, essence," Hittite arszi "flows," and perhaps also Rha, Scythian name of the River Volga (see rhubarb)).
Originally architectural in English; transferred by early 15c. to anything having a curved form (eyebrows, feet, etc.). The commemorative or monumental arch is attested in English from late 14c. Compare Middle English Seinte Marie Chirche of the Arches (c. 1300) in London, later known as St. Mary-le-Bow, site of an ecclesiastical court, so called for the arches that supported its steeple (the modern church is by Sir Christopher Wren, rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666).
slang phrase meaning, more or less, "I don't care, I don't worry," 1913, of unknown origin, but perhaps derived from Yiddish nisht gefidlt. Said to have been popularized by comedienne Fanny Brice (1891-1951), but earliest references do not mention her.
Chicken pox doesn't poison the wellsprings of one's existence like 'Ish kabibble,' and 'I should worry.!' Do you think it's any fun to bring up children to speak decent English, and then have their conversation strewed with phrases like that and with ain'ts? Do you think I like to hear Robert talking about his little friends as 'de guys' and 'de ginks?' [Mary Heaton Vorse, "Their Little Friends," in Woman's Home Companion, February 1916]
also molly-coddle, by 1839 (implied in mollycoddling), from a noun (by 1828) meaning "overly pampered, fastidious, effeminate male," from Molly (pet name formation from Mary), which had been used contemptuously at least since 1707 for "a milksop, an effeminate man" (see molly (n.1)) + coddle (q.v.). Related: Mollycoddled.
All his pursuits had been sedentary; for he never went out but with his mother. He was not allowed to stroll about the farm with his father, lest he should get his clothes dirty and his feet wet. In short, he was what Giles Darman pronounced him to be—"a little mollycoddle." ["Babbington Droneham," Hood's Magazine, March 1844]
"to greet or address with 'hail!,'" also "to drink toasts," c. 1200, heilen; to call to from a distance," 1560s (in this sense originally nautical), from hail (interj.). Related: Hailed; hailing. Bartlett ["Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848] identifies to hail from (1841) as "a phrase probably originating with seamen or boatmen." Hail fellow well met is from 1580s as a descriptive adjective, from a familiar greeting; hail fellow (adj.) "overly familiar" is from 1570s. Hail Mary (c. 1300) is the angelic salutation (Latin ave Maria) in Luke i.58, used as a devotional recitation. As a desperation play in U.S. football, attested by 1940. "Hail, Columbia," the popular patriotic song, also was a euphemism for "hell" in American English slang from c. 1850-1910.
early 15c., "to arrogate, take upon oneself," from Latin assumere, adsumere "to take up, take to oneself, take besides, obtain in addition," from ad "to, toward, up to" (see ad-) + sumere "to take," from sub "under" (see sub-) + emere "to take," from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute."
Meaning "to suppose, to take for granted without proof as the basis of argument" is first recorded 1590s; that of "to take or put on fictitiously" (an appearance, etc.) is from c. 1600. Related: Assumed; assuming. Early past participle was assumpt. In rhetorical usage, assume expresses what the assumer postulates, often as a confessed hypothesis; presume expresses what the presumer really believes. Middle English also had assumpten "to receive up into heaven" (especially of the Virgin Mary), from the Latin past participle.
"sweetheart, paramour, loved one" (archaic), c. 1200, lemman, "loved one of the opposite sex; paramour, lover; wife;" also "a spiritually beloved one; redeemed soul, believer in Christ; female saint devoted to chastity; God, Christ, the Virgin Mary;" also a term of intimate address to a friend or lover, contracted from late Old English leofman, a compound of leof "dear" (see lief) + man "human being, person" (from PIE root *man- (1) "man").
Originally of either gender, though in deliberate archaic usage it tends to be limited to women. Often in religious use in early Middle English, of brides of Christ, the spiritually beloved of God, etc.; by c. 1300 it could mean "betrothed lover," and by late 14c. it had the pejorative sense "concubine, mistress, gallant." For loss of medial -f-, compare had.
c. 1200, "unmarried or chaste woman noted for religious piety and having a position of reverence in the Church," from Anglo-French and Old French virgine "virgin; Virgin Mary," from Latin virginem (nominative virgo) "maiden, unwedded girl or woman," also an adjective, "fresh, unused," probably related to virga "young shoot," via a notion of "young" (compare Greek talis "a marriageable girl," cognate with Latin talea "rod, stick, bar").
Meaning "young woman in a state of inviolate chastity" is recorded from c. 1300. Also applied since early 14c. to a chaste man. Meaning "naive or inexperienced person" is attested from 1953. The adjective is recorded from 1550s in the literal sense; figurative sense of "pure, untainted" is attested from c. 1300. The Virgin Islands were named (in Spanish) by Columbus for St. Ursula and her 11,000 martyred virgin companions.
early 12c., "to strive toward, devote oneself to, cultivate" (translating Latin occupatur), from Old French estudiier "to study, apply oneself, show zeal for; examine" (13c., Modern French étudier), from Medieval Latin studiare, from Latin studium "study, application," originally "eagerness," from studere "to be diligent," from PIE *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)). The notion appears to be "pressing forward, thrusting toward," hence "strive after."
Martha swanc and becarcade to geforðigene þan Hælende and his þeowen þa lichamlice behefðen. Seo studdede emb þa uterlice þing. [Homily for the Feast of the Virgin Mary, c.1125]
From c. 1300 as "apply oneself to the acquisition of learning, pursue a formal course of study," also "read a book or writings intently or meditatively." From mid-14c. as "reflect, muse, think, ponder." Meaning "regard attentively" is from 1660s. Related: Studied; studying.