1530s, "a boisterous, brutal fellow, one ready to commit any crime," from French rufian "a pimp" (15c.), from Italian ruffiano "a pander, pimp," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source related to rough (adj.), but Dutch roffiaan, German Ruffian are said to be from French. Whatever its ultimate source, the English meaning of the word might have been influenced by the similarity of the sound to rough. Related: Ruffianly.
The Romanic words (such as Medieval Latin ruffianus, Provençal rufian, Catalan rufia, Spanish rufian) preserve the sense of "protector or owner of whores," a sense occasionally met in English in 17c. For sense evolution in English, compare bully (n.). Related: Ruffianage; ruffianhood; ruffianism.
c. 1300, maintenen, "to support, uphold, aid;" also "hold fast, keep in possession, preserve from capture or loss," from Anglo-French meintenir (Old French maintenir, 12c.) "keep (a wife), sustain; persevere in, practice continually," from Latin manu tenere "hold in the hand," from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand") + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch."
Sense of "hold in an existing state or condition, keep in existence or continuance" is from early 14c. Meaning "to carry on, keep up" is from mid-14c.; that of "to keep oneself, support" is from late 14c. Sense of "defend in speech, uphold by argument or assertion" is from mid-14c. Meaning "practice habitually" is from c. 1400. Sense of "furnish means for the subsistence or existence of" is from c. 1400. Related: Maintained; maintaining; maintains.
Compare release (v.). Meaning "to grant the temporary possession of at a fixed rate" is from 1560s. Related: Leased; leasing. The form has been influenced by the noun, and the modern sense of "to take a lease" might be a new 19c. formation. Lessor, lessee in contract language preserve the Anglo-French vowel.
late 13c., auys "opinion," from Old French avis "opinion, view, judgment, idea" (13c.), from phrase ço m'est à vis "it seems to me," or from Vulgar Latin *mi est visum "in my view," ultimately from Latin visum, neuter past participle of videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Meaning "opinion offered as worthy to be followed, counsel" is from late 14c.
The unetymological -d- (on model of Latin words in ad-) was inserted occasionally in French by scribes 14c.-16c. and was made regular in English 15c. by Caxton. Substitution of -c- for -s- is 18c., to preserve the breath sound and to distinguish from advise. Early Modern English tended to alternate -ce and -se endings in otherwise confusable noun-verb pairs, using -se for the verb and -ce for the noun: devise/device, peace/appease, practice/practise, license/licence, prophecy/prophesy.
1812, "arrange political divisions in disregard of natural boundaries so as to give one party an advantage in elections," also from 1812 as a noun, American English, from name of Elbridge Gerry + (sala)mander. Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, was lampooned when his party redistricted the state in a blatant bid to preserve an Antifederalist majority. One sprawling Essex County district resembled a salamander, and a newspaper editor dubbed it the Gerrymander. Related: Gerrymandered; gerrymandering.
[T]he division of this county into districts has given an opportunity for a Caracatura stamped at Boston and freely circulated here called the Gerrymander. The towns as they lie are disposed as parts of a monster whose feet and claws are Salem and Marblehead. It is one of those political tricks which have success as far as they go. [William Bentley, diary, April 2, 1812]
The Dutch suffix is perhaps the diminutive -kin, though some regard it as a plural affix, with the Dutch word mistaken for a singular in English. The -h- was added 1800s to preserve the hard "g" pronunciation.
1859, slang shortening of public house (see public (adj.)), which originally meant "any building open to the public" (1570s), then "inn that provides food and is licensed to sell ale, wine, and spirits" (1660s), and finally "tavern" (1768). Simple public (n.) as short for public house is attested from 1709 and might have been the intermediate form. Pub crawl is attested by 1910 in British slang. Pub rock is from 1973 in England; popular in U.S. from 1976.
When, in the late '60s, rock 'n' roll suddenly became rock, there sprang up a network of bands that sought to preserve the old styles, that resisted the trend toward larger and larger concert halls. Because these groups preferred to play one-nighters on Britain's club circuit, their music came to be known as "pub rock." ["U.S. gets 'pub rock,'" Washington Post article in Newark (Ohio) Advocate, April 1, 1976]
late 14c., conservatyf, "tending to preserve or protect, preservative, having the power to keep whole or safe," from Old French conservatif, from Medieval Latin conservativus, from Latin conservatus, past participle of conservare "to keep, preserve, keep intact, guard," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + servare "keep watch, maintain" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect").
From 1840 in the general sense "disposed to retain and maintain what is established, opposed to innovation and change," or, in a negative sense "opposed to progress."
As a modern political tradition, "antagonistic to change in the institutions of a country," often especially "opposed to changes toward pure democracy," conservatism traces to Edmund Burke's opposition to the French Revolution (1790), but the word conservative is not found in his writing. It was coined by his French disciples (such as Chateaubriand, who titled his journal defending clerical and political restoration "Le Conservateur").
Conservative as the name of a British political faction first appeared in an 1830 issue of the "Quarterly Review," in an unsigned article sometimes attributed to John Wilson Croker. It replaced Tory (q.v.) by 1843, reflecting both a change from the pejorative name (in use for 150 years) and repudiation of some reactionary policies.
Strictly speaking, conservatism is not a political system, and certainly not an ideology. ... Instead, conservatism is a way of looking at the civil social order. ... Unlike socialism, anarchism, and even liberalism, then, conservatism offers no universal pattern of politics for adoption everywhere. On the contrary, conservatives reason that social institutions always must differ considerably from nation to nation, since any land's politics must be the product of that country's dominant religion, ancient customs, and historical experience. [Russell Kirk, "What is Conservatism," introduction to "The Portable Conservative Reader," 1982]
Phrases such as conservative estimate (1874), in which it means "characterized by caution, deliberately low," make no sense etymologically. Related: Conservatively; conservativeness.
Old English byrgan "to raise a mound, hide, enclose in a grave or tomb, inter," akin to beorgan "to shelter," from Proto-Germanic *burzjan- "protection, shelter" (source also of Old Saxon bergan, Dutch bergen, Old Norse bjarga, Swedish berga, Old High German bergan "protect, shelter, conceal," German bergen, Gothic bairgan "to save, preserve"), from PIE root *bhergh- (1) "to hide, protect." Meaning "cover, conceal from sight" is from 1711. Related: Buried; burying. Burying-ground "cemetery" attested from 1711. Buried treasure is from 1801.
The Old English -y- was a short "oo" sound, like modern French -u-. Under normal circumstances it transformed into Modern English -i- (in bridge, kiss, listen, sister, etc.), but in bury and a few other words (merry, knell) it retained a Kentish change to "e" that took place in the late Old English period. In the West Midlands, meanwhile, the Old English -y- sound persisted, slightly modified over time, giving the standard modern pronunciation of blush, much, church.
"lively, irregular dance," 1560s, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Middle English gigge "fiddle" (mid-15c.), from Old French gigue "fiddle," also the name of a kind of dance. This is the source of Modern French gigue, Spanish giga, Italian giga, which preserve the "dance" sense, and German Geige, which preserves the "violin" sense. As a verb, "to sing or play a jig," from 1580s.
From 1580s as the music for such a dance. The extended sense "piece of sport, trick" (1590s), survives mainly in the phrase the jig is up (attested by 1777 as the jig is over). As a generic word for handy devices or contrivances from 1875, earlier jigger (1726). Other senses seem to be influenced by jog, and the syllable forms the basis of colloquial words such as jiggalorum "a trifle" (1610s), jigamoree "something unknown" (1844), also jiggobob (1620s), jiggumbob (1610s); and compare jigger (n.). "As with other familiar words of homely aspect, the senses are more or less involved and inconstant" [Century Dictionary].