"fallen nuts or acorns serving as food for animals." Old English mæst, the collective name for the fruit of the beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees, especially serving as food for swine, from Proto-Germanic *masto (source also of Dutch, Old High German, German mast "mast;" Old English verb mæsten "to fatten, feed"), perhaps from PIE *mad-sta-, from root *mad- "moist, wet," also used of various qualities of food (source also of Sanskrit madati "it bubbles, gladdens," medah "fat, marrow;" Latin madere "be sodden, be drunk;" Middle Persian mast "drunk;" Old English mete "food," Old High German muos "meal, mush-like food," Gothic mats "food").
"flat surface, simplest of all geometrical surfaces," c. 1600, from Latin planum "flat surface, plane, level, plain," noun use of neuter of adjective planus "flat, level, even, plain, clear," from PIE *pla-no- (source also of Lithuanian plonas "thin;" Celtic *lanon "plain;" perhaps also Greek pelanos "sacrificial cake, a mixture offered to the gods, offering (of meal, honey, and oil) poured or spread"), suffixed form of root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread."
Introduced (perhaps by influence of French plan in this sense) to differentiate the geometrical senses from plain, which in mid-16c. English also meant "geometric plane." The figurative sense, in reference to inanimate things, is attested from 1850.
1762, said to be a reference to John Montagu (1718-1792), 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was said to be an inveterate gambler who ate slices of cold meat between bread at the gaming table during marathon sessions rather than rising for a proper meal (this account of the origin dates to 1770).
It also was in his honor that Cook named the Hawaiian islands (1778) when Montagu was first lord of the Admiralty (hence the occasional 19c. British Sandwicher for "a Hawaiian"). The family name is from the place in Kent, one of the Cinque Ports, Old English Sandwicæ, literally "sandy harbor (or trading center)." For pronunciation, see cabbage. Sandwich board, one before and one behind the carrier, is from 1864.
"eat hastily," 1960, U.S. teen slang, originally a noun meaning "food, meal" (1932), perhaps imitative, or from nautical slang scoff "eat hastily or voraciously, devour" which is attested from 1846 (compare U.S. tramps slang scoffing "food, something to eat," 1907). This is said to be a variant of scaff (by 1797) in the same sense, and scaff (n.) "food, provisions" is attested from 1768, but the group is of obscure origin. Perhaps the word comes ultimately from some survival of Old English sceorfan "to gnaw, bite" (see scarf (n.2)). South African scoff (n.) is said to be a colloquial representation of Dutch schoft "quarter of a day," hence "each of the meals of a day." Related: Scarfed; scarfing.
"club-shaped instrument used for pounding and breaking materials in a mortar," mid-14c. pestel, (as a surname late 13c.), from Old French pestel and directly from Latin pistillum (Medieval Latin pestellum) "pounder, pestle," related to pinsere "to pound," from PIE *pis-to-, suffixed form of root *peis- "to crush" (source also of Sanskrit pinasti "pounds, crushes," pistah "anything ground, meal," Greek ptissein "to winnow," Old Church Slavonic pišo, pichati "to push, thrust, strike," pišenica "wheat," Russian pseno "millet").
Also in old use "the leg of certain animals used for food" (14c.), hence pestle of a lark "a trifle, an unimportant matter" (1590s).
late 14c., "act of bringing together and comparing," from Old French collation (13c.) "collation, comparison, discussion" (also "a light supper"), from Latin collationem (nominative collatio) "a bringing together, collection, comparison," noun of action from collatus, irregular past participle of conferre "to bring together" (see collate).
The word has had many meanings over the centuries in theology and law. It was the title of a popular 5c. religious work by John Cassian (sometimes translated into Old English as Þurhtogenes), hence the word's general sense "a compilation of lives of the Church fathers." The "light supper" sense is from the meal taken by members of a monastery at the end of the day after hearing readings from the Collation.
early 13c., "notably large, bulky, or strong" (a sense now obsolete), from Old English mægen- "power, strength, force," used in compounds (such as mægensibb "great love," mægenbyrðen "heavy burden;" see main (n.)), probably also in part from or influenced by cognate Old Norse megenn (adj.) "strong, powerful, mighty."
Sense of "chief, principal, prime" is from c. 1400. That of "principal or chief in size or extent" is from 1590s. Main chance "opportunity of enriching oneself" is by 1570s, from the game of hazard. Main course in the meal sense attested from 1829. Main man "favorite male friend; hero" is by 1967, African-American vernacular.
[small piece, fragment] late 14c., scrappe, "piece of food remaining after a meal" (usually plural), from Old Norse skrap "scraps; trifles," from skrapa "to scrape, scratch, cut" (see scrape (v.)).
Hence, "any remnant or small, detached piece" (1580s), typically negative (not a scrap) or in reference to something written or printed. The dismissive term scrap of paper is attested by 1840, made infamous in 1914 by the German chancellor's comment when violating the treaty that guaranteed Belgian neutrality.
The meaning "remains of metal produced or collected after rolling or casting to be reworked" is from 1790. Scrap-iron is attested by 1794.
mid-13c., "tool for measuring right angles, carpenter's square," from Old French esquire "a square, squareness," from Vulgar Latin *exquadra, back-formation from *exquadrare "to square," from Latin ex "out" (see ex-) + quadrare "make square, set in order, complete," from quadrus "a square" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four").
Meaning "square shape or area" is recorded by late 14c. (Old English used feower-scyte). Geometric sense "four-sided rectilinear figure" is from 1550s; mathematical sense of "a number multiplied by itself" is first recorded 1550s. Sense of "open space in a town or park" is from 1680s; that of "area bounded by four streets in a city" is from c. 1700. As short for square meal, from 1882. Square one "the very beginning" (often what one must go back to) is from 1960, probably a figure from board games.