Etymology
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obscurity (n.)

late 15c., obscurite, "absence of light, lack of brightness or luster;" 1610s with the meaning "condition of being unknown or inconspicuous;" from obscure (adj.) + -ity; or else from Old French obscurete, a variant of oscureté "darkness, gloom; vagueness, confusion; insignificance" (14c.) and directly from Latin obscuritatem (nominative obscuritas) "darkness, indistinctness, uncertainty," from obscurus. Meaning "quality or condition of not being clearly comprehended" is from late 15c. (Caxton).

When I was asked to talk about the Obscurity of the Modern Poet I was delighted, for I have suffered from this obscurity all my life. But then I realized that I was being asked to talk not about the fact that people don't read poetry, but about the fact that most of them wouldn't understand it if they did .... [Randall Jarrell, "The Obscurity of Poetry," 1953]
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peace (n.)
Origin and meaning of peace

mid-12c., pes, "freedom from civil disorder, internal peace of a nation," from Anglo-French pes, Old French pais "peace, reconciliation, silence, permission" (11c., Modern French paix), from Latin pacem (nominative pax) "compact, agreement, treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of war" (source of Provençal patz, Spanish paz, Italian pace), from PIE root *pag- "to fasten" (which is the source also of Latin pacisci "to covenant or agree;" see pact), on the notion of "a binding together" by treaty or agreement.

It replaced Old English frið, also sibb, which also meant "happiness." The modern spelling is from 1500s, reflecting vowel shift. From mid-13c. as "friendly relations between people." The sense of "spiritual peace of the heart, soul or conscience, freedom from disturbance by the passions" (as in peace of mind) is from c. 1200. Sense of "state of quiet or tranquility" is by 1300, as in the meaning "absence or cessation of war or hostility." Specifically as "treaty or agreement made between conflicting parties to refrain from further hostilities," c. 1400.

Used in various greetings from c. 1300, from Biblical Latin pax, Greek eirēnē, which were used by translators to render Hebrew shalom, properly "safety, welfare, prosperity." As a type of hybrid tea rose (developed 1939 in France by François Meilland), so called from 1944.

The Native American peace pipe, supposedly smoked as the accompaniment of a treaty, is recorded by 1760. Peace-officer "civil officer whose duty it is to preserve public peace" is attested from 1714. Peace offering "offering that procures peace or reconciliation, satisfaction offered to an offended person" is from 1530s. Phrase peace with honor dates to 1607 (in "Coriolanus"). The U.S. Peace Corps was set up March 1, 1962. Peace sign, in reference to both the hand gesture and the graphic, is attested from 1968.

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regent (n.)

c. 1400, "a ruler," from the adjective regent "ruling, governing" (late 14c., now archaic), later "exercising vicarious authority," from Old French regent and directly from Medieval Latin regentem (nominative regens), from Latin regens "ruler, governor," noun use of present participle of regere "to rule, direct" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").

Meaning "one who rules during the minority or absence of a sovereign" is from early 15c., used in place of king as not implying legitimacy or permanence of rule. The Latin word for this was interrex (plural interreges). Sense of "university faculty member" (especially, in old universities, a master or doctor who takes part in the regular duties of instruction or government) is attested from late 14c. and preserves the older meaning.

I shall calle unto me my counceyle of my moste trusty knyghtes and deukes and regeaunte kynges and erlys and barowns. [Malory, late 15c.]
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dusk (n.)

"partial darkness, state between light and darkness, twilight," 1620s, from an earlier adjective dusk, from Middle English dosc (c. 1200) "obscure, not bright; tending to darkness, shadowy," having more to do with color than light, which is of uncertain origin, not found in Old English. Middle English also had it as a verb, dusken "to become dark." The Middle English noun was dusknesse "darkness" (late 14c.).

Perhaps it is from a Northumbrian variant of Old English dox "dark-haired, dark from the absence of light," with transposition of -k- and -s-, (compare colloquial ax for ask). But OED notes that "few of our words in -sk are of OE origin." Old English dox is from PIE *dus-ko- "dark-colored" (source also of Swedish duska "be misty," Latin fuscus "dark," Sanskrit dhusarah "dust-colored;" also compare Old English dosan "chestnut-brown," Old Saxon dosan, Old High German tusin "pale yellow").

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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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hope (v.)

Old English hopian "have the theological virtue of Hope; hope for (salvation, mercy), trust in (God's word)," also "to have trust, have confidence; assume confidently or trust" (that something is or will be so), a word of unknown origin. Not the usual Germanic term for this, but in use in North Sea Germanic languages (cognates: Old Frisian hopia, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch hopen; Middle High German hoffen "to hope," which is borrowed from Low German).

From early 13c. as "to wish for" (something), "desire." Related: Hoped; hoping. To hope against hope (1610s) "hold to hope in the absence of any justification for hope" echoes Romans iv.18:

Who against hope, beleeued in hope, that hee might become the father of many nations: according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seede bee. [King James Version, 1611]

The Wycliffite Bible (c. 1384) has this as "Abraham agens hope bileuede that he schulde be maad fadir of manye folkis."

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miss (v.)

Old English missan "fail to hit, miss (a mark); fail in what was aimed at; escape (someone's notice)," from Proto-Germanic *missjan "to go wrong" (source also of Old Frisian missa, Middle Dutch, Dutch missen, German missen "to miss, fail"), from *missa- "in a changed manner," hence "abnormally, wrongly," from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move." Reinforced or influenced by cognate Old Norse missa "to miss, to lack." Related: Missed; missing.

Sense of "fail to find" (someone or something) is by late 12c. Meaning "fail to note, perceive, or observe" is from early 13c. Meaning "fail to reach or attain what one wants" is from mid-13c. Sense of "perceive with regret the absence or loss of (something or someone)" is from c. 1300. Meaning "omit, leave out, skip" is by mid-14c. Sense of "to escape, avoid" is from 1520s.

Sense of "to not be on time for" is from 1823; to miss the boat in the figurative sense of "be too late for" is from 1929, originally nautical slang. To miss out (on) "fail to get" is by 1929.

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pussy (n.2)

slang for "female pudenda," by 1879, but probably older; perhaps from Old Norse puss "pocket, pouch" (compare Low German puse "vulva"), or perhaps instead from the cat word (see pussy (n.1)) on the notion of "soft, warm, furry thing;" compare French le chat, which also has a double meaning, feline and genital. Earlier uses are difficult to distinguish from pussy (n.1), e.g.:

The word pussie is now used of a woman [Philip Stubbes, "The Anatomie of Abuses," 1583]

And songs such as "Puss in a Corner" (1690, attributed to D'Urfey) clearly play on the double sense of the word for ribald effect. But the absence of pussy in Grose and other early slang works argues against the vaginal sense being generally known before late 19c., as does its frequent use as a term of endearment in mainstream literature, as in:

"What do you think, pussy?" said her father to Eva. [Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 1852]

Pussy-whipped "hen-pecked" is attested by 1956 (Middle English had cunt-beaten "impotent," in reference to a man, mid-15c.).

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furlough (n.)

1620s, vorloffe, "leave of absence," especially in military use, "leave or license given by a commanding officer to an officer or a soldier to be absent from service for a certain time," from Dutch verlof, literally "permission," from Middle Dutch ver- "completely, for" + laf, lof "permission," from Proto-Germanic *laubo-, from PIE root *leubh- "to care, desire, love." In English, the elements of it are for- + leave. The -gh spelling predominated from 1770s and represents the "f" that had been pronounced at the end of the word but later disappeared in English.

The spelling furloe occurs in the 18th century, but furlough appears to be the earliest spelling (as in Blount's Gloss., ed. 1674). As the spelling furlough does not follow that of the orig. language, it was prob. intended to be phonetic (from a military point of view), the gh perhaps as f and the accent on the second syllable .... [Century Dictionary]

By 1946 in reference to temporary layoffs of workers (originally of civilian employees in the U.S. military); by 1975 applied to conditional temporary releases of prisoners for the purpose of going to jobs (work-release).

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scr- 

initial sound-cluster, containing the exceptions to the general rule that sc- or sk- in Modern English indicates a word not from Old English (whose sc- regularly becomes sh-). Words often are found in pairs, especially in dialect and slang, one in scr-, one in shr- (or schr-); a prominent surviving example is shred and screed, the same Old English word surviving in two forms now much different in meaning.

OED also notes that "Many English words beginning with scr- agree more or less closely in meaning with other words differing from them in form only by the absence of the initial s" (such as crunch/scrunch, scringe, an alternative form of cringe, etc.)

It does not appear that these coincidences are due to any one general cause ..., but it is probable that the existence of many pairs of synonyms with scr- and cr- produced a tendency to change cr-, in words expressive of sounds or physical movements, into scr- so as to render the word echoic or phonetically symbolic. [OED]
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