early 14c., "a winch, crane," from Anglo-French vice, Old French vis, viz "screw," from Latin vītis "vine, tendril of a vine," literally "that which winds," from root of viere "to bind, twist" (from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, bend"). Also in Middle English, "device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult; spiral staircase; the screw of a press; twisted tie for fastening a hood under the chin." The modern meaning "clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw" is first recorded c. 1500.
1906, named for U.S. president Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (1858-1919), a noted big-game hunter, whose conservationist fervor inspired a comic illustrated poem in the New York Times of Jan. 7, 1906, about two bears named Teddy, whose names were transferred to two bears presented to the Bronx Zoo that year. The name was picked up by toy dealers in 1907 for a line of "Roosevelt bears" imported from Germany. Meaning "big, lovable person" first attested 1957, from the song popularized by Elvis Presley.
1520s, "overthrown, routed, defeated, conquered" (now obsolete in this sense), from Latin profligatus "destroyed, ruined, corrupt, abandoned, dissolute," past participle of profligare "to cast down, defeat, ruin," from pro "down, forth" (see pro-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict).
The main modern meaning "recklessly extravagant" is attested by 1779, via the notion of "ruined in morals, abandoned to vice" (1640s, implied in a use of profligation, an obsolete word attested from mid-15c. but first in a sense of "elimination, banishment"). Related: Profligately. As a noun, "one who has lost all regard for good principles," from 1709.
"police officer, detective," 1920, apparently first in "The Shamus," a detective story published that year by Harry J. Loose (1880-1943), a Chicago police detective and crime writer; the book was marketed as "a true tale of thiefdom and an expose of the real system in crime." The word is said to be probably from Yiddish shames, literally "sexton of a synagogue" (according to Israel Zangwill "a potent personage only next in influence to the President"), from Hebrew shamash "servant." Probably influenced by Celtic Seamus "James," as a typical name for an Irish cop.
The -l- was restored 16c., probably in imitation of Latin, but the letter was silent until 18c. Sense of "physical defect" is from early 14c.; that of "moral culpability" (milder than sin or vice, but more serious than an error) is first recorded late 14c. Geological sense is from 1796. The use in tennis (c. 1600) is closer to the etymological sense.
c. 1300, norishen, "to supply with food and drink, feed; to bring up, nurture, promote the growth or development of" (a child, a young animal, a vice, a feeling, etc.), from Old French norriss-, stem of norrir "raise, bring up, nurture, foster; maintain, provide for" (12c., Modern French nourrir), from Latin nutrire "to feed, nurse, foster, support, preserve," from *nutri (older form of nutrix "nurse"), literally "she who gives suck," from PIE *nu-tri-, suffixed form (with feminine agent suffix) of *(s)nau- "to swim, flow, let flow," hence "to suckle," extended form of root *sna- "to swim." Related: Nourished; nourishing.
bivalve mollusk, c. 1500 (in clam-shell), originally Scottish, apparently a particular use of Middle English clam "pincers, vice, clamp" (late 14c.), from Old English clamm "bond, fetter, grip, grasp," from Proto-Germanic *klam- "to press or squeeze together" (source also of Old High German klamma "cramp, fetter, constriction," German Klamm "a constriction"), possibly from a PIE *glem- or *glom- "contain, embrace" (see glebe).
If this is right then the original reference is to the shell. Clam-chowder attested from 1822. To be happy as a clam is from 1833, but the earliest uses do not elaborate on the notion behind it, unless it be self-containment.
1610s, "a word or phrase serving to fill out a sentence or metrical line," from French explétif (15c.) and directly from Late Latin expletivus "serving to fill out," from explet- past-participle stem of Latin explere "fill out, fill up, glut," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plere "to fill" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill").
Sense of "an exclamation," especially "a curse word, an oath," first recorded 1815 in Sir Walter Scott, popularized by edited transcripts of Watergate tapes (mid-1970s), in which expletive deleted replaced President Nixon's salty expressions. As an adjective, from 1660s.
"booty, goods captured in time of war," mid-14c., spoils (collective singular), from spoil (v.) or else from Old French espoille "booty, spoil," from the verb in French, and in part from Latin spolium. Also from the Latin noun are Spanish espolio, Italian spoglio.
Transferred sense of "that which has been acquired by special effort" is from 1750. Spoils has stood cynically for "public offices, etc." since at least 1770. Spoils system in U.S. politics attested by 1839, commonly associated with the administration of President Andrew Jackson, on the notion of "to the victor belongs the spoils."