Etymology
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sleep (n.)

Old English slæp "sleep, sleepiness, inactivity," from Proto-Germanic *slepaz, from the root of sleep (v.); compare cognate Old Saxon slap, Old Frisian slep, Middle Dutch slæp, Dutch slaap, Old High German slaf, German Schlaf, Gothic sleps.

Personified in English from late 14c., on model of Latin Somnus, Greek Hypnos. Figurative use for "repose of death" was in Old English; to put (an animal) to sleep "kill painlessly" is recorded from 1923 (a similar imagery is in cemetery). Sleep deprivation attested from 1906. Sleep-walker "somnambulist" is attested from 1747; sleep-walking is from 1840. To be able to do something in (one's) sleep "easily" is recorded from 1953. Sleep apnea is by 1916.

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strut (v.)

"walk in a vain, important manner, walk with affected dignity," 1590s, from Middle English strouten "display one's clothes proudly, vainly flaunt fine attire" (late 14c.), earlier "to stick out, protrude, bulge, swell," from Old English strutian "to stand out stiffly, swell or bulge out," from Proto-Germanic *strut- (source also of Danish strutte, German strotzen "to be puffed up, be swelled," German Strauß "fight"), from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff."

Originally of the air or the attitude; modern sense, focused on the walk, first recorded 1510s. Related: Strutted; strutting. To strut (one's) stuff is first recorded 1926, from strut as the name of a dance popular from c. 1900. The noun meaning "a vain and affectedly dignified manner of walking" is from c. 1600.

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peccadillo (n.)

"slight sin, petty crime or fault," 1590s (earlier in corrupt form peccadilian, 1520s), from Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado "a sin," from Latin peccatum "a sin, fault, error," noun use of neuter past participle of peccare "to miss, mistake, make a mistake, do amiss; transgress, offend, be licentious, sin," a word of uncertain origin.

Watkins traces it to PIE *ped-ko-, suffixed form of *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair," from root *ped- "foot." But de Vaan is suspicious: "there is no reference to feet in the meaning of peccare. And to 'make a faux pas' ... would hardly be rendered by the word for 'foot', but rather by 'walking.' " He finds a derivation from the root *pet- "to fall" via *pet-ko- "a fall, error" to be "better semantically, but the addition of *-ko- to the bare root seems strange."

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stride (v.)

Old English stridan (past tense strad, past participle striden), "to straddle, mount" (a horse), from Proto-Germanic *stridanan (source also of Middle Low German strede "stride, strive;" Old Saxon stridian, Danish stride, Swedish strida "to fight," Dutch strijden, Old High German stritan, German streiten "to fight, contend, struggle," Old Norse striðr "strong, hard, stubborn, severe").

The sense connection in the various Germanic forms is perhaps "strive, make a strong effort;" the senses having to do with walking and standing are found only in English and Low German. Meaning "to walk with long or extended steps" is from c. 1200. Cognate words in most Germanic languages mean "to fight, struggle;" the notion behind the English usage might be the effort involved in making long strides, striving forward.

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square (adj.)

early 14c., "containing four equal sides and right angles," from square (n.), or from Old French esquarre, past participle of esquarrer. Meaning "honest, fair," is first attested 1560s; that of "straight, direct" is from 1804. Of meals, from 1868.

Sense of "old-fashioned" is 1944, U.S. jazz slang, said to be from shape of a conductor's hand gestures in a regular four-beat rhythm. Square-toes meant nearly the same thing late 18c.: "precise, formal, old-fashioned person," from the style of men's shoes worn early 18c. and then fallen from fashion. Squaresville is attested from 1956. Square dance attested by 1831; originally one in which the couples faced inward from four sides; later of country dances generally.

[T]he old square dance is an abortive attempt at conversation while engaged in walking certain mathematical figures over a limited area. [The Mask, March 1868]
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progress (n.)

early 15., progresse, "a going on, action of walking forward," from Old French progres (Modern French progrès) and directly from Latin progressus "a going forward, an advance," noun of action from past-participle stem of progredi "go forward," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + gradi "to step, walk," from gradus "a step" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go").

In early use in English especially "a state journey by royalty." Meaning Figurative sense of "growth, development, advancement to higher stages" is by c. 1600, perhaps 15c. (the senses are not easy to distinguish).

To be in progress "underway" is attested by 1849 and preserves the older sense of "a course," whether good or bad (as in Hogarth's "Rake's Progress"); earlier it meant "in sequence" (as the volumes of a book), mid-15c. Progress report is attested by 1865.

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ambulance (n.)

1798, "mobile or field hospital," from French ambulance, formerly (hôpital) ambulant (17c.), literally "walking (hospital)," from Latin ambulantem (nominative ambulans), present participle of ambulare "to walk, go about" (see amble).

AMBULANCE, s. f. a moveable hospital. These were houses constructed in a manner so as to be taken to pieces, and carried from place to place, according to the movements of the army; and served as receptacles in which the sick and wounded men might be received and attended. ["Lexicographica-Neologica Gallica" (The Neological French Dictionary), William Dupré, London, 1801]

The word was not common in English until the meaning transferred from "field hospital" to "vehicle for conveying wounded from the field" (1854) during the Crimean War. Extended early 20c. to vehicles to transport the sick or wounded in civilian life. In late 19c. U.S. the same word was used dialectally to mean "prairie wagon." Ambulance-chaser as a contemptuous term for a type of lawyer dates from 1897.

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spondee (n.)

"metrical foot consisting of two long syllables," late 14c., from Old French spondee (14c.), from Latin spondeus, from Greek spondeios (pous), the name of the meter originally used in chants accompanying libations, from spondē  "solemn libation, a drink-offering," related to spendein "make a drink offering," from PIE root *spend- "to make an offering, perform a rite," hence "to engage oneself by a ritual act" (source also of Latin spondere "to engage oneself, promise," Hittite shipantahhi "I pour out a libation, I sacrifice"). Related: Spondaic.

And [the spondee] has the perpetual authority of correspondence with the deliberate pace of Man, and expression of his noblest animal character in erect and thoughtful motion : all the rhythmic art of poetry having thus primary regard to the great human noblesse of walking on feet ; and by no means referring itself to any other manner of progress by help either of stilts or steam. [John Ruskin, "Elements of English Prosody, for use in St. George's Schools," 1880]
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imbecile (adj.)

1540s, imbecille "weak, feeble" (especially in reference to the body), from French imbecile "weak, feeble" (15c.), from Latin imbecillus "weak, feeble," a word of uncertain origin.

The Latin word traditionally is said to mean "unsupported" or "without a walking stick" (Juvenal: imbecillis: quasi sine baculo), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" + baculum "a stick" (see bacillus), but Century Dictionary finds that "improbable" and de Vaan finds it "very far-fetched" and adds "it seems to me that exactly the persons who can walk without a support are the stronger ones." There also are phonological objections.

Sense shifted to "mentally weak or incapable" from mid-18c. (compare frail, which in provincial English also could mean "mentally weak"). As a noun, "feeble-minded person," it is attested from 1802. Traditionally an adult with a mental age of roughly 6 to 9 (above an idiot but beneath a moron).

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hoof (n.)

Old English hof "hoof," from Proto-Germanic *hōfaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian hof, Old Norse hofr, Danish hov, Dutch hoef, German Huf "hof"), perhaps from PIE *kop- "to beat, strike" (source also of Sanskrit saphah "hoof," Polish kopyto "hoof;" see hatchet (n.)). But Boutkan acknowledges only Indo-Iranian cognates and writes, "We may be dealing with a typical relic form that only survived in the periphery of the IE area ...." For spelling, see hood (n.1).

A hoof differs from a nail or claw only in being blunt and large enough to inclose the end of the limb; and almost every gradation is to be found between such structures as the human nails, or the claws of a cat, and the hoofs of a horse or an ox. The substance is the same in any case, and the same as horn, being modified and greatly thickened cuticle or epidermis. [Century Dictionary]

Hoof-and-mouth disease is attested from 1866. Phrase on the hoof is from 1750 as "walking;" later it was cattlemen and butchers' slang for "not (yet) slaughtered."

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