Etymology
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assault (n.)

late 14c., earlier asaut (c. 1200), "physical attack (on a person), sudden violent onslaught (on a place)," from Old French asaut, assaut "an attack, an assault, attacking forces" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *adsaltus "attack, assault," from ad "to" (see ad-) + Latin saltus "a leap," from salire "to leap, spring" (see salient (adj.)). The -l- was restored, as in fault (n.), vault (n.1). In law by 1580s; historically, assault includes menacing words or actions coupled with present means to effect them; battery is an actual blow.

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set-aside (n.)

"something set aside," especially "commodities, agricultural products, etc., reserved by a government for some special purpose, originally military, 1943, from verbal phrase, probably in the sense of "separate out for a particular purpose" (1720); it originally meant "lay aside temporarily" (late 14c.); see set (v.) + aside (adv.). The verbal phrase also is attested as "dismiss from one's mind, leave out of the question" (c. 1400); "put on one side" (early 15c.); "discard or reject from use or service" (1570s).

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aspirin (n.)

coined 1899 in German as a trademark name by German chemist Heinrich Dreser, from Latin Spiraea (ulmaria) "meadow-sweet," the plant in whose flowers or leaves the processed acid in the medicine is naturally found, + common chemical ending -in (see -ine (2)).

Spiraea (Tournefort, 1700) is from Latinized form of Greek speiraia "meadow-sweet," so called from the shape of its follicles (see spiral (adj.)). The initial -a- is to acknowledge acetylation; Dreser said the word was a contraction of acetylierte spirsäure, the German name of the acid, which now is obsolete, replaced by salicylic acid.

Die Bezeichnung Aspirin ist abgeleitet aus "Spirsäure" — alter Name der Salicylsäure und A = Acetyl; statt: Acetylirte Spirsäure, kurzweg "Aspirin". [H, Dreser, "Pharmakologisches über Aspirin (Acetylsalicylsäure)," in "Archiv für die Gesammte Physiologie des Menschen und der Thiere," 1899, p.307]

The custom of giving commercial names to medicinal products began in Germany in the late 19th century, when nascent pharmaceutical firms were discovering medical uses for common, easily made chemicals. To discourage competitors they would market the substance under a short trademarked name a doctor could remember, rather than the long chemical compound word. German law required prescriptions to be filled exactly as written.

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assessor (n.)

late 14c., "assistant or adviser to a judge or magistrate," from Old French assessor "assistant judge, assessor" in a court (12c., Modern French assesseur) and directly from Latin assessor "an assistant, aid; an assistant judge," in Late Latin "one who assesses taxes," literally "a sitter-by, one who sits by (another)," agent noun from past participle stem of assidere "to sit beside" (see assess).

Attested from 1610s as "one who assesses taxes." Milton uses it in the literal Latin sense in "Paradise Lost," calling Christ the Assessor of God's throne.

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Ashkenazim (n.)

(plural) "central and northern European Jews" (as opposed to Sephardim, the Jews of Spain and Portugal), 1839, from Hebrew Ashkenazzim, plural of Ashkenaz, name of the eldest son of Gomer (Genesis x.3), also the name of a nation mentioned in Jeremiah li.27. Perhaps the people-name is akin to Greek skythoi "Scythians" (compare Akkadian ishkuzai) and altered by folk etymology.

They were identified historically with various peoples; in the Middle Ages especially with the Germans, hence the word came to be used for "Jews of Germany and Poland," who far outnumbered the Sephardim and differed from them in pronunciation of Hebrew and in customs but not in doctrine. Related: Ashkenazic.

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ascetic (n.)

1650s, "one rigorous in self-denial," especially as an act of religious devotion; 1670s, Ascetic, "one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation, self-denial, and prayer," from ascetic (adj.).

There is, perhaps, no phase in the moral history of mankind of a deeper or more painful interest than this ascetic epidemic. A hideous, sordid, and emaciated maniac, without knowledge, without patriotism, without natural affection, passing his life in a long routine of useless and atrocious self-torture, and quailing before the ghastly phantoms of his delirious brain, had become the ideal of the nations which had known the writings of Plato and Cicero, and the lives of Socrates and Cato. [W.E.H. Lecky, "History of European Morals," 1869] 
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aspen (n.)

European tree of the poplar family, late 14c., from adjectival or genitive form of Old English æspe "aspen tree, white poplar," from Proto-Germanic *aspo, adjective aspin- (source also of Old Norse æsp, Middle Dutch espe, Old High German aspa, German Espe), from PIE *aps- "aspen" (source also of Lithuanian epu, Latvian apsa, Old Prussian abse, Russian osina), perhaps a northern European substratum word.

The current form in English probably arose from phrases such as aspen leaf, aspen bark (see -en (2)). Its leaves have been figurative of tremulousness and quaking at least since early 15c. (an Old English name for it was cwicbeam, literally "quick-tree").

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ash (n.2)

popular name of a common type of forest tree of Eurasia, North America, and North Africa, Middle English asshe, from Old English æsc "ash tree," from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (source also of Old Norse askr, Old Saxon ask, Middle Dutch esce, German Esche), from PIE root *os- "ash tree" (source also of Armenian haci "ash tree," Albanian ah "beech," Greek oxya "beech," Latin ornus "wild mountain ash," Russian jasen, Lithuanian uosis "ash").

The close-grained wood of the ash is tough and elastic, and it was the preferred wood for spear-shafts, so Old English æsc sometimes meant "spear," especially in poetry, as in æsc-here "company armed with spears," æsc-plega "war," literally "spear-play." Æsc also was the name of the Old English runic letter that begins the word.

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ass (n.1)

solid ungulate quadruped beast of burden of the horse kind, but smaller and with long ears and a short mane, native to southwest Asia, Old English assa (Old Northumbrian assal, assald) "he-ass." The English word is cognate with Old Saxon esil, Dutch ezel, Old High German esil, German Esel, Gothic asilus, and, beyond Germanic, Lithuanian asilas, Old Church Slavonic osl, Russian oselŭ, etc. All probably are ultimately from Latin asinus. De Vaan says the form of asinus suggests it was a loan-word into Latin, and adds, "Most IE words for 'ass' are loanwords."

Together with Greek onos it is conjectured to be from a language of Asia Minor (compare Sumerian ansu). The initial vowel of the English word might be by influence of Celtic forms (Irish and Gaelic asal), from Old Celtic *as(s)in "donkey." In Romanic tongues the Latin word has become Italian asino, Spanish asno, Old French asne, French âne.

In familiar use, the name ass is now to a great extent superseded by donkey (in Scotland cuddie); but ass is always used in the language of Scripture, Natural History, proverb, and fable; also, in ordinary use, in Ireland. [OED]

Sure-footed and patient in domestication, yet since ancient Greek times in fables and parables the animal has typified clumsiness and stupidity (hence ass-head, late 15c., etc.). To make an ass of oneself is from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1590). Asses' Bridge (c. 1780), from Latin Pons Asinorum, is fifth proposition of first book of Euclid's "Elements." In Middle English, someone uncomprehending or unappreciative would be lik an asse that listeth on a harpe. In 15c., an ass man was a donkey-driver.

For al schal deie and al schal passe, Als wel a Leoun as an asse. [John Gower, "Confessio Amantis," 1393]
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assassin (n.)

1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via medieval French and Italian Assissini, Assassini, from Arabic hashīshīn (12c.), an Arabic nickname, variously explained, for the Nizari Ismaili sect in the Middle East during the Crusades, plural of hashishiyy, from the source of hashish (q.v.).

They were a fanatical Muslim sect in the mountains of Lebanon at the time of the Crusades, under leadership of the "Old Man of the Mountains" (which translates Arabic shaik-al-jibal, name applied to Hasan ibu-al-Sabbah). In Western European minds 12c.-13c. they had a reputation for murdering opposing leaders after intoxicating themselves by eating hashish, but there is no evidence that the medieval Ismailis used hashish.

The plural suffix -in was mistaken in Europe for part of the word (compare Bedouin). Middle English had the word as hassais (mid-14c.), from Old French hassasis, assasis, which is from the Arabic word.

The generalization of the sect's nickname to the meaning of any sort of assassin happened in Italian at the start of the 14th century. The word with the generalized meaning was often used in Italian in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the mid 16th century the generalized Italian word entered French, followed a little later by English. ["English Words of Arabic Ancestry"]
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