1590s, "to entice, seduce, lead astray" (from allegiance, family, etc.), from French débaucher "entice from work or duty," from Old French desbaucher "to lead astray," a word of uncertain origin.
Supposedly it is literally "to trim (wood) to make a beam" (from bauch "beam," from Frankish balk or some other Germanic source akin to English balk (n.)). The notion of "shaving" something away, perhaps, but the root is also said to be a word meaning "workshop," which gets toward the notion of "to lure someone off the job;" either way the sense evolution is unclear.
The more specific meaning "seduce from virtue or morality, corrupt the morals or principles of" is from c. 1600, especially "to corrupt with lewdness, seduce sexually," usually in reference to women. Intransitive sense "indulge in excess in sensual enjoyment" is from 1640s. As a noun, "a bout of excessive sensual pleasure," c. 1600.
Old English cræft (West Saxon, Northumbrian), -creft (Kentish), "power, physical strength, might," from Proto-Germanic *krab-/*kraf- (source also of Old Frisian kreft, Old High German chraft, German Kraft "strength, skill;" Old Norse kraptr "strength, virtue"). The ultimate etymology is uncertain.
Sense expanded in Old English to include "skill, dexterity; art, science, talent" (via a notion of "mental power"), which led by late Old English to the meaning "trade, handicraft, employment requiring special skill or dexterity," also "something built or made." The word still was used for "might, power" in Middle English.
Use for "small boat" is first recorded 1670s, probably from a phrase similar to vessels of small craft and referring either to the trade they did or the seamanship they required, or perhaps it preserves the word in its original sense of "power."
"regard to or pursuit of private interest, advantage to oneself," 1640s, from self- + interest (n.). Especially "selfishness, pursuit of egotistical interests to the exclusion of regard for others." Related: Self-interested, "characterized by self-interest" (1650s); self-interestedness.
[Self-interest] is a doctrine not very lofty, but clear and sure. It does not seek to attain great objects; but it attains those it aims for without too much effort. ... [It] does not produce great devotion; but it suggests little sacrifices each day; by itself it cannot make a man virtuous; but it forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through the will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits. [Alexis de Tocqueville, "Democracy in America"]
also demimonde, "women of equivocal reputation and standing in society," 1855, from French demi-monde "so-so society," literally "half-world," from demi- "half" + monde, from Latin mundus "world" (see mundane).
Popularized by its use as title of a comedy by Alexandre Dumas fils (1824-1895). Dumas' Demi-Monde "is the link between good and bad society ... the world of compromised women, a social limbo, the inmates of which ... are perpetually struggling to emerge into the paradise of honest and respectable ladies" ["Fraser's Magazine," 1855]. Thus not properly used of courtesans, etc.
Compare 18th-century English demi-rep (1749, the second element short for reputation), defined as "a woman that intrigues with every man she likes, under the name and appearance of virtue ... in short, whom every body knows to be what no body calls her" [Fielding].
late 14c., "follower of Epicurus," a Latinized form of Greek Epicouros (341-270 B.C.E.), Athenian philosopher who taught that pleasure is the highest good and identified virtue as the greatest pleasure; the first lesson recalled, the second forgotten, and the name used pejoratively for "one who gives himself up to sensual pleasure" (1560s), especially "glutton, sybarite" (1774).
Epicurus's school was opposed by the stoics, who first gave his name a reproachful sense. The non-pejorative meaning "one who cultivates refined taste in food and drink" is from 1580s.
Among all the set [of philosophers] Epicurus is most considerable, whom men make honest without an Elyzium, who contemned life without encouragement of immortality, and making nothing after death, yet made nothing of the King of terrours. [Browne, "Urn-Burial," 1658]
But to Dante he is among the arch-heretics in Hell "who make the soul die with the body."
late 14c., "origin, source, beginning" (a sense now obsolete), also "rule of conduct; axiom, basic assumption; elemental aspect of a craft or discipline," from Anglo-French principle, Old French principe "origin, cause, principle," from Latin principium (plural principia) "a beginning, commencement, origin, first part," in plural "foundation, elements," from princeps (genitive principis) "first man, chief leader; ruler, sovereign," noun use of adjective meaning "that takes first," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + root of capere "to take" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp").
The English -l- apparently is by analogy of participle, manciple, etc., also principal. From the notion of "one of the fundamental tenets or doctrines of a system, a law or truth on which others are founded" comes the sense of "a right rule of conduct" (1530s).
It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. [Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, Aug. 27, 1952]
Scientific sense of "general law of nature," by virtue of which a machine or instrument operates, is recorded from 1802.
Old English hopian "have the theological virtue of Hope; hope for (salvation, mercy), trust in (God's word)," also "to have trust, have confidence; assume confidently or trust" (that something is or will be so), a word of unknown origin. Not the usual Germanic term for this, but in use in North Sea Germanic languages (cognates: Old Frisian hopia, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch hopen; Middle High German hoffen "to hope," which is borrowed from Low German).
From early 13c. as "to wish for" (something), "desire." Related: Hoped; hoping. To hope against hope (1610s) "hold to hope in the absence of any justification for hope" echoes Romans iv.18:
Who against hope, beleeued in hope, that hee might become the father of many nations: according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seede bee. [King James Version, 1611]
The Wycliffite Bible (c. 1384) has this as "Abraham agens hope bileuede that he schulde be maad fadir of manye folkis."
"center of the eye, orifice of the iris," early 15c. pupille (the word is in English in Latin form from late 14c.), from Old French pupille (14c.) and directly from Latin pupilla, originally "little girl-doll," diminutive of pupa "girl; doll" (see pupil (n.1)).
The eye region was so called from the tiny image one sees of oneself reflected in the eye of another. Greek used a single word, korē (literally "girl;" see Kore), to mean both "doll" and "pupil of the eye;" and compare obsolete English baby "small image of oneself in another's pupil" (1590s), source of 17c. colloquial expression to look babies "stare lovingly into another's eyes."
Self-knowledge can be obtained only by looking into the mind and virtue of the soul, which is the diviner part of a man, as we see our own image in another's eye. [Plato, Alcibiades, I.133]
"apparel for covering the front of a person" (especially while at work, to keep clothes clean), mid-15c., faulty separation (as also in adder, auger, umpire) of a napron (c. 1300), from Old French naperon "small table-cloth," diminutive of nappe "cloth," from Latin mappa "napkin." Napron was still in use late 16c. The shift of Latin -m- to -n- was a tendency in Old French (conter from computare, printemps from primum, natte "mat, matting," from matta).
The word was extended 17c. to things which resemble or function like an apron. It has been symbolic of "a wife's business" from 1610s; apron-string tenure in old law was in reference to property held in virtue of one's wife, or during her lifetime only.
Even at his age, he ought not to be always tied to his mother's apron string. [Anne Brontë, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall," 1848]
1781, "a shoemaker, a shoemaker's apprentice," a word of unknown origin. It is said to have been used in Cambridge University slang from c. 1796, often contemptuously, for "townsman, local merchant," and then passed into literary use, where by 1831 it meant "person of the ordinary or lower classes."
The meaning "person who vulgarly apes his social superiors" is by 1843, popularized 1848 by William Thackeray's "Book of Snobs." The meaning later broadened to include those who insist on their gentility, in addition to those who merely aspire to it, and by 1911 the word had its sense of "one who despises those who are considered inferior in rank, attainment, or taste" [OED], which reverses the sense of a century before. Inverted snob is from 1909:
Then there is that singular anomaly, the Inverted Snob, who balances a chip on his shoulder and thinks that everyone of wealth or social prominence is necessarily to be distrusted; that the rich are always pretentious and worldly, while those who have few material possessions are themselves possessed (like Rose Aylmer) of every virtue, every grace. [Atlantic Monthly, February 1922]