Etymology
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sign-off (n.)

"act of ending or announcing the end of a broadcast," 1942, from the verbal phrase in the broadcasting sense (attested by 1923); see sign (v.) + off (adv.). It was used earlier as "stop doing something" (1838) and especially in reference to a formal agreement releasing a debtor from obligation.

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offal (n.)

late 14c., "waste parts, refuse," especially the waste meat and entrails of a bird or animal used as food, from off (prep.) + fall (v.). The notion is "that which is allowed to 'fall off' the butcher's block as being of little use. Compare Middle Dutch afval, German abfall "waste, rubbish." Also compare English offcorn (mid-14c.) "refuse left after winnowing grain," offcast (late 14c.) "parts of plants normally uneaten." As verbs, Middle English had offhew, offhurl, offshred, offsmite.

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office (n.)

mid-13c., "a post in government or administration, an employment to which certain duties are attached, secular position of authority or responsibility," from Anglo-French and Old French ofice "place or function; divine service" (12c. in Old French) and directly from Latin officium "a service, kindness, favor; an obligatory service, official duty, function, business; ceremonial observance" (in Medieval Latin, "church service").

The Latin word was contracted from opificium, literally "work-doing," from ops (genitive opis) "power, might, abundance, means" (related to opus "work," from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

Of ecclesiastical positions from late 14c. From c. 1300 as "official employment" in general, also "ecclesiastical service or mass; the prescribed order and form of church services." Meaning "building or room for conducting business" is from late 14c. Meaning "a government or civic department" is from mid-15c. From 1727 as "a privy." 

Office hours "hours of work in an office" is attested from 1841. Office furniture, the type used or commonly found in offices, is by 1839. The political office-holder is by 1818. Office-party, one held for the members of a staff, is by 1950. Middle English had office of life "state of being alive" (late 14c.), translating Latin vite officio.

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officinal (adj.)

of medicines, "kept in stock by a druggist," 1660s, from French officinal, from Medieval Latin officinalis, literally "of or belonging in an officina," a storeroom (of a monastery) for medicines and necessaries, in classical Latin "workshop, manufactory, laboratory," contraction of *opificina, from opifex (genitive opificis) "worker, workman, maker, doer" (from opus "work," from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance") + -fex, -ficis "maker, one who does," from facere "to do, make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Related: Officinally.

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off-putting (adj.)

1570s, "procrastinating," from the verbal phrase; see off (adv.) + put (v.). Meaning "creating an unfavorable impression" is attested by 1894. To put off is attested from late 14c. as "defer, postpone, delay;" 1560s as "dismiss by an evasion;" 1610s as "divert from one's purpose." As a noun, put-off in the sense of "an excuse for evasion or delay" is attested from 1540s.

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offset (n.)

1550s, "act of setting off" (on a journey, etc.), from off + set (adj.). Meaning "something 'set off' against something else, a counterbalance" is from 1769; the verb in this sense is from 1792. As a type of printing, in which the inked impression is first made on a rubber roller then transferred to paper, it is recorded from 1906.

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often (adv.)

"repeatedly, again and again, many times, under many circumstances," mid-13c., an extended form of oft, in Middle English typically before vowels and h-, probably by influence of its opposite, seldom (Middle English selden). In common use from 16c., replacing oft. Related: Oftener; oftenest.

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ex officio 

Latin, "in discharge of one's duties," literally "out of duty," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + officio, ablative of officium "duty" (see office).

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stand-off (n.)

also stand-off, 1843, "draw, tie," from the verbal phrase (c. 1600), from stand (v.) + off (adv.). Mexican stand-off "stalemate" is recorded from 1891.

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counter-offer (n.)

also counteroffer, "offer made in response to another," 1788, from counter- + offer (n.).

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