Etymology
Advertisement
vel sim. 
abbreviation of Latin vel similia "or the like, or similar ones."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Puerto Rican 

1873 (n.), "native or inhabitant of Puerto Rico;" 1874 (adj.), "of or pertaining to Puerto Rico or its inhabitants and culture," from Puerto Rico + -an. Earlier was Porto Rican (1842).

Related entries & more 
pick up (v.)

early 14c. as a verbal phrase, "lift and take with the fingers," from pick (v.) + up (adv.). From 1510s as "take or get casually, obtain or procure as opportunity offers." Meaning "take (a person found or overtaken) into a vehicle or vessel," is from 1690s, also, of persons, "make acquaintance or take along" (especially for sexual purposes). Intransitive meaning "improve gradually, reacquire vigor or strength" is by 1741. Sense of "tidy up" is from 1861; that of "arrest" is from 1871; meaning "gain speed" is from 1922; meaning "to pay" (a check, tab, etc.) is from 1945. Pick-me-up "stimulating alcoholic drink" is attested from 1867.

Related entries & more 
black code (n.)
local or state legal restrictions on black persons, free or slave, 1774, American English, though the first reference is to French colonies in the West Indies.
Related entries & more 
chicken pox (n.)

c. 1730, from chicken (n.) + pox. Perhaps so called for its mildness compared to smallpox [Barnhart], or its generally appearing in children, or its resemblance to chick-peas.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
black comedy (n.)

1961, "comedy that deals in themes and subjects usually regarded as serious or taboo," from black (adj.), in a figurative sense of "morbid," + comedy. Compare French pièce noire, also comédie noire "macabre or farcical rendering of a violent or tragic theme" (1958, perhaps the inspiration for the English term) and 19th-century gallows-humor. In a racial sense, from 1921.

Related entries & more 
quo warranto 

mid-15c. (late 13c. in Anglo-French), "royal writ to determine by what warrant a person holds an office or franchise," a Medieval Latin legal phrase, literally "by what warrant," from quo "from, with, or by whom or what?," ablative of the interrogative pronoun quis "who?" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns). Also see warrant (n.).

Related entries & more 
ad hominem 

c. 1600, Latin, literally "to a man," from ad "to" (see ad-) + hominem, accusative of homo "man" (see homunculus). Hence, "to the interests and passions of the person." Originally an argument or appeal to the known preferences or principles of the person addressed, rather than to abstract truth or logic.

Aristotle (Topics, viii 11) remarks that it is sometimes necessary to refute the disputant rather than his position, and some medieval logicians taught that refutation was of two kinds, solutio recta and solutio ad hominem, the latter being imperfect or fallacious refutation. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more 
blind side (n.)
"weak or unguarded aspect of a person or thing," c. 1600; see blind (adj.). As a verb, also blindside, "to hit from the blind side," first attested 1968, American English, in reference to U.S. football tackles.
Related entries & more 
shut up (v.)

c. 1400, "keep from view or use, render inaccessible" early 15c., "to lock up, confine," from shut (v.) + up (adv.). The meaning "cause to stop talking" is from 1814 (Jane Austen). The intransitive meaning "cease from speaking" is from 1840, also as a command to be silent, sometimes colloquialized in print as shuddup (1940). Put up or shut up "defend yourself or be silent" is U.S. slang, by 1868.

Related entries & more