early 14c., clogge "a lump of wood," origin unknown. Also used in Middle English of large pieces of jewelry and large testicles. Compare Norwegian klugu "knotty log of wood." Meaning "anything that impedes action" is from 1520s, via the notion of "block or mass constituting an encumbrance."
The sense of "wooden-soled shoe" is first recorded late 14c.; they were used as overshoes until the introduction of rubbers c. 1840. Originally all of wood (hence the name), later wooden soles with leather uppers for the front of the foot only. Later revived in fashion (c. 1970), primarily for women. Clog-dancing "dancing performed in clogs" is attested from 1863.
early 14c., rekening, "a narration, account," verbal noun from reckon (v.). The meaning "a settling of accounts" is from mid-14c.; that of "act of counting or computing, a calculation" is from late 14c. as is the sense of "a bill of charges" (in an inn, tavern, etc.). Compare Dutch rekening "a bill, account, reckoning," Old High German rechenunga, German rechnung, Danish regning "a reckoning, computation."
The general sense is "a summing up," whether in words or numbers. In nautical use from 1660s: "Calculation of the position of a ship from the rate as determined by the log and the course as determined by the compass." Day of reckoning is attested from c. 1600; the notion is of rendering an account of one's life and conduct to God at death or judgment.
1560s, clowne, also cloyne, "man of rustic or coarse manners, boor, peasant," a word of obscure origin; the original form and pronunciation are uncertain. Perhaps it is from Scandinavian dialect (compare Icelandic klunni "clumsy, boorish fellow;" Swedish kluns "a hard knob; a clumsy fellow," Danish klunt "log, block"), or from Low German (compare North Frisian klönne "clumsy person," Dutch kloen). OED describes it as "a word meaning originally 'clod, clot, lump', which like those words themselves ..., has been applied in various langs. to a clumsy boor, a lout."
The theory that it is from Latin colonus "colonist, farmer" is less likely, but awareness of the Latin word might have influenced the sense development in English.
Meaning "professional fool, professional or habitual jester" is c. 1600. "The pantomime clown represents a blend of the Shakes[pearean] rustic with one of the stock types of the It[alian] comedy" [Weekley]. Meaning "contemptible person" is from 1920s. Fem. form clowness attested from 1801.
late 15c., "floating platform of timber lashed or fastened together," from earlier meaning "rafter, beam" (c. 1300), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse raptr "log" (Old Norse -pt- pronounced as -ft-), Old Danish raft, related to Middle Low German rafter, rachter "rafter" (see rafter (n.1)).
In North America, rafts are constructed of immense size, and comprise timber, boards, staves, etc. They are floated down from the interior to the tide-waters, being propelled by the force of the current, assisted by large oars and sails, to their place of destination. The men employed on these rafts construct rude huts upon them, in which they often dwell for several weeks before arriving at the places where they are taken to pieces for shipping to foreign parts. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 2nd ed., 1859]
Late 15c. as "protuberant part;" from 1520s as "a great quantity;" 1590s as "dull, stupid person." Phrase lump in (one's) throat "swelling in the throat," especially "feeling of tightness brought on by emotion," is from 1803. Lumps "hard knocks, a beating" is colloquial, from 1934. Lump sum, covering a number of items at one time, is from 1867 (the same sense of lump is in lump-work, 1851).
also baulk, Old English balca "ridge, bank," from or influenced by Old Norse balkr "ridge of land," especially between two plowed furrows, both from Proto-Germanic *balkon- (source also of Old Saxon balko, Danish bjelke, Old Frisian balka, Old High German balcho, German Balken "beam, rafter"), from PIE root *bhelg- "beam, plank" (source also of Latin fulcire "to prop up, support," fulcrum "bedpost;" Lithuanian balžiena "cross-bar;" and possibly Greek phalanx "trunk, log, line of battle"). Italian balco "a beam" is from Germanic (see balcony).
In old use especially "an unplowed strip in a field, often along and marking a boundary." Modern senses are figurative, representing the balk as a hindrance or obstruction (see balk (v.)). In baseball, "a motion made by the pitcher as if to deliver the ball, but without doing so," first attested 1845 perhaps from the notion of "a piece missed in plowing" as "a blunder, a failure."
Old English geol, geola "Christmas Day, Christmastide," which is cognate with Old Norse jol (plural), the name of a heathen feast, later taken over by Christianity; the Germanic word is of unknown origin. The Old English (Anglian) cognate giuli was the Anglo-Saxons' name for a two-month midwinter season corresponding to Roman December and January, a time of important feasts but not itself a festival.
After conversion to Christianity the word narrowed to mean "the 12-day feast of the Nativity" (which began Dec. 25), but was replaced by Christmas by 11c., except in the northeast (areas of Danish settlement), where it remained the usual word.
Revived 19c. by writers to mean "the Christmas of 'Merrie England.' " First direct reference to the Yule log is 17c. According to some sources, Old Norse jol was borrowed into Old French as jolif, hence Modern French joli "pretty, nice," originally "festive" (see jolly).