Etymology
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shine (v.)

Middle English shinen, from Old English scinan "shed, send forth, or give out light; be radiant, be resplendent, illuminate," of persons, "be conspicuous" (class I strong verb; past tense scan, past participle scinen). This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *skeinanan (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German skinan, Old Norse and Old Frisian skina, Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Gothic skeinan "to shine, appear"), which perhaps is from a PIE root *skai- "to shine, to gleam" (source also of Old Church Slavonic sinati "to flash up, shine").

Of smoothed or polished surfaces, "gleam, give off reflected light," late Old English. Of a person, a face, "be fair-skinned, be beautiful," c. 1200. Also used in Middle English of night when cloudless and starlit. The transitive sense of "cause to shine" is from 1580s; the meaning "to black (boots)" is from 1610s. Related: Shined (in the shoe polish sense), otherwise shone; shining.

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bald (adj.)

c. 1300, ballede, "wanting hair in some part where it naturally grows," of uncertain origin. Perhaps with Middle English -ede adjectival suffix, from Celtic bal "white patch, blaze" especially on the head of a horse or other animal (from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, gleam").

Compare, from the same root, Sanskrit bhalam "brightness, forehead," Greek phalos "white," Latin fulcia "coot" (so called for the white patch on its head), Albanian bale "forehead." But connection with ball (n.1), on notion of "smooth, round" also has been suggested, and if not formed from it it was early associated with it. Middle English Compendium says it probably was formed on the root of ball, and compares Old Danish bældet.

Sometimes figurative: "meager" (14c.), "without ornament" (16c.), "open, undisguised" (19c.). Of automobile tires with worn treads, by 1930. Bald eagle is attested by 1680s; so called for its white head.

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flask (n.)

mid-14c., from Medieval Latin flasco "container, bottle," from Late Latin flasconem (nominative flasco) "bottle," which is of uncertain origin. A word common to Germanic and Romanic, but it is unclear whether the Latin or Germanic word is the original (or whether both might have got it from the Celts). Those who support a Germanic origin compare Old English flasce "flask, bottle" (which would have become modern English *flash), Old High German flaska, Middle Dutch flasce, German Flasche "bottle." If it is Germanic, the original sense might be "bottle plaited round, case bottle" (compare Old High German flechtan "to weave," Old English fleohtan "to braid, plait"), from Proto-Germanic base *fleh- (see flax).

Another theory traces the Late Latin word to a metathesis of Latin vasculum. "The assumption that the word is of Teut[onic] origin is chronologically legitimate, and presents no difficulty exc[ept] the absence of any satisfactory etymology" [OED]. The similar words in Finnish and Slavic are held to be from Germanic.

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blind (adj.)

Old English blind "destitute of sight," also "dark, enveloped in darkness, obscure; unintelligent, lacking mental perception," probably from Proto-Germanic *blindaz "blind" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Dutch and German blind, Old Norse blindr, Gothic blinds "blind"), perhaps, via notion of "to make cloudy, deceive," from an extended Germanic form of the PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."

The original sense would be not "sightless" but rather "confused," which perhaps underlies such phrases as blind alley (1580s; Chaucer's lanes blynde), which is older than the sense of "closed at one end" (1610s).

The meaning "not directed or controlled by reason" was in Old English. The meaning "without opening for admitting light or seeing through" is from c. 1600. In reference to acting without seeing or investigating first, by 1840; of aviators flying without instruments or without clear observation, from 1919.

The twilight, or rather the hour between the time when one can no longer see to read and the lighting of the candles, is commonly called blindman's holiday. [Grose, 1796]
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arrow (n.)

"slender, pointed missile weapon, made to be shot from a bow," early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh "arrow," possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (source also of Gothic arhwanza), from PIE root *arku-, source of Latin arcus (see arc (n.)). The etymological sense would be "the thing belonging to the bow." The meaning "a mark like an arrow" in cartography, etc. is from 1834.

It was a rare word in Old English. More common words for "arrow" were stræl (which is cognate with the word still common in Slavic and once prevalent in Germanic, related to words meaning "flash, streak") and fla, flan (the -n perhaps mistaken for a plural inflection), from Old Norse, a North Germanic word, perhaps originally with the sense of "splinter." Stræl disappeared by 1200; fla became flo in early Middle English and lingered in Scottish until after 1500.

Robyn bent his joly bowe,
Therein he set a flo.
["Robyn and Gandelyn," in a minstrel book from c. 1450 in the British Museum]
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eclair (n.)

Famously defined by The Chambers Dictionary as "a cake, long in shape but short in duration." Meaning "a small, oblong pastry with sweet filling and glazed or iced," 1861, from French éclair, literally "lightning," from Old French esclair "light, daylight, flash of light," verbal noun from esclairare "to light up, illuminate, make shine" (12c.), formerly esclairer, ultimately from Latin exclarare "light up, illumine," from ex "out" (see ex-) + clarus "clear" (see clear (adj.)).

Nowadays theéclair au chocolat is the version of the dessert that is typically designated by the word eclair, but Pierre Blot's 1867 cookbook also lists coffee, tea, vanilla, flavor extract, strawberry, and currant varieties, as well as noting that any fruit jelly can be used. Modern versions are usually filled by injection, but early forms were often split and the filling spread between to make a sandwich-style cake. The earliest version of the éclair in French cookbooks (where it is attested by 1856) appears to be the coffee-flavored variety, made with choux pastry.

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mirth (n.)

Old English myrgð "joy, pleasure, eternal bliss, salvation" (original senses now obsolete), from Proto-Germanic *murgitha (source also of Middle Dutch merchte), noun of quality from *murgjo- (see merry; also see -th (2)). By early 13c. as "expressions or manifestations of happiness, rejoicing;" by mid-14c. as "state or feeling of merriment, jollity, hilarity."  Mirthquake "entertainment that excites convulsive laughter" first attested 1928, in reference to Harold Lloyd movies.

I HAVE always preferred chearfulness to mirth. The latter, I consider as an act, the former as an habit of the mind. Mirth is short and transient, chearfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mirth, who are subject to the greatest depressions of melancholy: on the contrary, chearfulness, though it does not give the mind such an exquisite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; chearfulness keeps up a kind of day-light in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity. [Addison, "Spectator," May 17, 1712]
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second-guess (v.)

by 1938, originally a baseball verb; see second (adj.) + guess (n.).

The expression second guess originated in big league baseball. In baseball, a man making a play has time only for one thought on that particular play. He must make up his mind in a flash how he is going to make the play. ... The expression came into the common speech because it so patly describes us fellows who sit back and analyze a wrong play after it has been made. [Damon Runyon, "The Brighter Side," Nov. 18, 1938]

The record of the phrase, at least in newspapers, seems to support the baseball origin. Second-guesser (1913) was baseball slang for "fan who loudly questions decisions by players, managers, etc.," and from about 1899 guesser or baseball guesser had been used in sports-writing for "fan who speculates and opines on the upcoming games or season."

Quisser is the new Texas league umpire. Guesser would be a better name for the majority of those who are now employed by president Allen. [El Paso Herald, June 14, 1911]
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clipper (n.)

late 14c., "sheep-shearer;" early 15c., "a barber;" c. 1300 as a surname; agent noun from Middle English clippen "shorten" (see clip (v.1)). In late 18c., the word principally meant "one who cuts off the edges of coins" for the precious metal.

The type of sailing ship with sharp lines and a great spread of canvas is so called from 1823 (in Cooper's "The Pilot"), probably from clip (v.1) in sense of "to move or run rapidly." Compare early 19c. clipper "person or animal who looks capable of fast running." Perhaps it was influenced by Middle Dutch klepper "swift horse," which is echoic (Clipper appears as the name of an English race horse in 1831). The nautical sense was perhaps originally simply "fast ship," regardless of type:

Well, you know, the Go-along-Gee was one o' your flash Irish cruisers — the first o' your fir-built frigates — and a clipper she was! Give her a foot o' the sheet, and she'd go like a witch — but somehow o'nother, she'd bag on a bowline to leeward. ["Naval Sketch-Book," by "An officer of rank," London, 1826]

The early association of the ships was with Baltimore, Maryland. Clipper-ship is attested from 1850.

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