late 13c., "something which strikes with a loud, sharp noise," agent noun from clap (v.). Meaning "tongue of a bell" is from late 14c. Old English had clipur. Meaning "hinged board snapped in front of a camera at the start of filming to synchronize picture and sound" is from 1940.
Clappering.—It is still necessary to warn clergymen and churchwardens against allowing the lazy and pernicious practice of 'clappering,' i.e. tying the bell-rope to the clapper, and pulling it instead of the bell. More bells have been cracked in that way than by all other causes together, and there is not the least excuse for it .... [Sir Edmund Beckett, "A Rudimentary Treatise on Clocks and Watches and Bells," London, 1883]
"one who communicates with another by letters," 1620s, from correspondent (adj.). The newspaper sense "one who sends regular communications in the form of letters from a distant location" is from 1711.
THE life of a newspaper correspondent, as may naturally be supposed, is one of alternate cloud and sunshine—one day basking in an Andalusian balcony, playing a rubber at the club on the off-nights of the Opera, being very musical when the handsome Prima Donna sings, and very light fantastic toeish when the lively Prima Ballerina dances; another day roughing it over the Balkan, amid sleet and snow, or starving at the tail of an ill-conditioned army, and receiving bullets instead of billets-doux. [New Monthly Magazine, vol. xci, 1852, p.284]
"limited, confined," 1830, past-participle adjective from restrict. Of government documents, etc., "secret, not for public release" it is recorded from 1944. Related: Restrictedly. The older adjective was simply restrict. In mid-20c. U.S., restricted was a euphemism for "off-limits to Jews" (1947).
Manager: "I'm sorry, Mr. Marx, but we can't let you use the pool; this country club is restricted."
Groucho: "Well, my daughter's only half-Jewish; could she go in up to her knees?" [there are many versions and variations of this story in print, some referencing a son instead, dating to his obituaries in 1977]
c. 1300, "coarse white woolen stuff," also "a large oblong piece of woolen cloth used for warmth as a bed-covering" (also as a cover for horses), from Old French blanchet "light wool or flannel cloth; an article made of this material," diminutive of blanc "white" (see blank (adj.)), which had a secondary sense of "a white cloth."
As an adjective, "providing for a number of contingencies," 1886 (blanket-clause in a contract). Wet blanket (1830) is from the notion of a person who throws a damper on social situations in the way a wet blanket smothers a fire. In U.S. history, a blanket Indian (1859) was one using the traditional garment instead of wearing Western dress.
Only 26,000 blanket Indians are left in the United States. [Atlantic Monthly, March 1906]
"the third great geological period," 1841, Cainozoic, from Latinized form of Greek kainos "new, fresh, recent, novel" (see recent) + zōon "animal," but here with a sense of "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). The era that began with the demise of the dinosaurs and the rise of "recent" species and continues to the present; it also is known as the Tertiary. Compare Paleozoic, Mesozoic.
We observe that Lyell, in his geological works, even the most recent, uses the word Cainozoic instead of Coenozoic or Cenozoic. Why the propounder of the terms Eocene, Miocene, etc., should thus spell the word is incomprehensible. If he is right in it, then to be consistent he ought to say Eocain, Miocain, Pliocain, Post-pliocain; for all have the same root καινός. [American Journal of Sciences and Arts, 1873]
Now displaced by before. In nautical use, "toward the bows of the ship." Merged from 13c. with the abbreviated forms of afore and before and thus formerly often written 'fore. As a noun, "the front," from 1630s. The warning cry in golf is first recorded 1878, probably a contraction of before.
"youth, lad; boy of the lower orders; personal servant," c. 1300 (early 13c. as a surname), originally also "youth preparing to be a knight" (beneath the rank of a squire), from Old French page "a youth, page, servant" (13c.), possibly via Italian paggio (Barnhart), from Medieval Latin pagius "servant," perhaps ultimately from Greek paidion "boy, lad," diminutive of pais (genitive paidos) "child."
But OED considers this unlikely and, with Century Dictionary, points instead to Littré's suggestion of a source in Latin pagus "countryside," in sense of "boy from the rural regions" (see pagan). Meaning "youth employed as a personal attendant to a person of rank" is first recorded mid-15c.; this was transferred from late 18c. to boys who did personal errands in hotels, clubs, etc., also in U.S. legislatures.