Old English ceowan "to bite, gnaw, chew," from West Germanic *keuwwan (source also of Middle Low German keuwen, Dutch kauwen, Old High German kiuwan, German kauen), perhaps from PIE *gyeu- "to chew" (source also of Old Church Slavonic živo "to chew," Lithuanian žiaunos "jaws," Persian javidan "to chew").
Figurative sense of "to think over" is from late 14c.; to chew the rag "discusss some matter" is from 1885, apparently originally British army slang. Related: Chewed; chewing. To chew (someone) out (1948) probably is military slang from World War II. Chewing-gum is by 1843, American English, originally hardened secretions of the spruce tree.
name given to gnat-like insects the females of which bite animals and draw blood through a piercing and sucking proboscis, 1580s, from Spanish mosquito "little gnat," diminutive of mosca "fly," from Latin musca "fly," from PIE root *mu- "gnat, fly" (compare Sanskrit maksa-, Greek myia, Old English mycg, Modern English midge, Old Church Slavonic mucha), perhaps imitative of the sound of humming insects. Related: Mosquital. Mosquito-hawk as a name for a kind of dragon-fly which preys on mosquitoes is from 1737. Mosquito-net "gauze or other fabric used as a screen against mosquitoes" is from 1745.
late 14c., nippen, "to pinch sharply; to bite suddenly," probably from or related to Middle Low German nipen "to nip, to pinch," German nippen, Middle Dutch nipen "to pinch," Dutch nijpen, Old Norse hnippa "to prod," but the exact evolution of the stem is obscure. Related: Nipped; nipping.
Meaning "break off the tip by pinching" is from c. 1400. Sense of "blast as by frost, check the growth or vigor of" is from 1580s. To nip (something) in the bud in the figurative sense of "kill or destroy in the first stage of growth" is recorded from c. 1600. Slang nip in, nip out, etc., in which the sense of the verb is "move rapidly or nimbly" is attested from 1825.
"having power to relieve pain," 1540s, from Medieval Latin anodynus "pain-removing, allaying pain," from Latin anodynus "painless," from Greek anodynos "free from pain," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + odynē "pain, torment" (of the body or mind), a word of uncertain origin, evidently Indo-European, but none of the proposed etymologies satisfies Beekes. Some suggest it is a suffixed form of PIE root *ed- "to eat" (compare Lithuanian ėdžioti "to devour, bite," ėdžiotis "to suffer pain").
As a noun, "substance which alleviates pain," 1540s; in old slang, frequently a euphemism for "death" (as the final relief from the mental pain or distress of life) as in anodyne necklace "hangman's noose." Related: Anodynous.
1550s, "cannonball" (a sense now obsolete), from French boulette "cannonball, small ball," diminutive of boule "a ball" (13c.), from Latin bulla "round thing, knob" (see bull (n.2)). The meaning "small ball," specifically a metal projectile meant to be discharged from a firearm, is from 1570s. Earliest version of the figurative phrase bite the bullet "do something difficult or unpleasant after delay or hesitation" is from 1891, probably with a sense of giving someone a soft lead bullet to clench in the teeth during a painful operation.
Beggars' bullets—stones thrown by a mob, who then get fired upon, as matter of course. [John Bee, "Slang," 1823]
"eat hastily," 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning "food, meal" (1932), perhaps imitative, or from nautical slang scoff "eat hastily or voraciously, devour" which is attested from 1846 (compare U.S. tramps slang scoffing "food, something to eat," 1907). This is said to be a variant of scaff (by 1797) in the same sense, and scaff (n.) "food, provisions" is attested from 1768, but the group is of obscure origin. Perhaps the word comes ultimately from some survival of Old English sceorfan "to gnaw, bite" (see scarf (n.2)). South African scoff (n.) is said to be a colloquial representation of Dutch schoft "quarter of a day," hence "each of the meals of a day." Related: Scarfed; scarfing.
Old English toh "strong and firm in texture, tenacious, sticky," from Proto-Germanic *tanhu- (source also of Middle Low German tege, Middle Dutch taey, Dutch taai, Old High German zach, German zäh), which Watkins suggests is from PIE *denk- "to bite," from the notion of "holding fast." See rough for spelling change.
From c. 1200 as "strong, powerful;" c. 1300 as "not tender or fragile;" early 14c. as "difficult to chew," also "hard to endure." Figurative sense of "steadfast" is mid-14c.; that of "hard to do, trying, laborious" is from 1610s. Verb tough it "endure the experience" is first recorded 1830, American English. Tough guy attested from 1901. Tough-minded first recorded 1907 in William James. Tough luck first recorded 1912; tough shit, dismissive retort to a complaint, is from 1946.
also maneater, c. 1600, "a cannibal," from man (n.) + eater. By 1829 in reference to the great white shark; by 1840 of tigers in India that have acquired a taste for human flesh and have a special propensity for killing and eating humans; later also of lions. Also used of horses that tend to bite (1840). By 1906 of women (the female equivalent of a womanizer). Related: Man-eating.
The term Man-eater is applied to those Tigers, which, deserting their usual haunts in the jungle, frequent the neighbourhood of Villages, and prey chiefly on men. They are almost invariably found to be old animals, and generally females. They are usually very cunning and cowardly. [Capt. Walter Campbell, "The Old Forest Ranger; or, Wild Sports of India," 1842]
Old English lippa "lip, one of the two sides of the mouth," from Proto-Germanic *lepjan- (source also of Old Frisian lippa, Middle Dutch lippe, Dutch lip, Old High German lefs, German Lefze, Swedish läpp, Danish læbe). Boutkan and de Vaan reject the traditional IE derivation for this group and Latin labium, though they agree the Latin and Germanic words probably are related. It may be a substratum word. French lippe is an Old French borrowing from a Germanic source.
Transferred sense of "edge or margin of a cup, etc." is from 1590s. Slang sense "saucy talk" is from 1821, probably from the expression move the lip (1570s) "utter even the slightest word (against someone)." To bite (one's) lip "show vexation" is from early 14c. Stiff upper lip as a sign of courage and struggle against despondency is from 1833. Lip gloss is attested from 1939; lip balm from 1877. Related: Lips.
late 15c., "quick, sudden bite or cut," from Dutch or Low German snappen "to snap," probably related to Middle Low German or Middle Dutch snavel "bill, beak," from West Germanic *snu-, an imitative root forming words having to do with the nose (see snout).
As an adjective from 1790. Commonly used to indicate instantaneous action, as in snap judgment (1841). Sense of "quick movement" is first recorded 1630s; that of "something easily done" is 1877. Meaning "brief or sudden spell" of weather (usually cold) is from 1740. Meaning "catch or fastener that closes with a snapping sound" is from 1815. The card game name is attested from 1881, from a call used in the game. Meaning "a snap-shot" is from 1894. U.S. football sense is from 1912, earlier snap-back (1880), which also was a name for the center position. Snap, Crackle and Pop, cartoon characters associated with Kellogg breakfast cereal Rice Krispies, are from 1940.