Etymology
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anecdote (n.)

1670s, "secret or private stories," from French anecdote (17c.) or directly from Medieval Latin anecdota, from Greek anekdota "things unpublished," neuter plural of anekdotos, from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + ekdotos "published," from ek- "out" (see ex-) + didonai "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give").

Procopius' 6c. Anecdota, unpublished memoirs of Emperor Justinian full of court gossip, gave the word a sense of "revelation of secrets," which decayed in English to "brief, amusing story" (1761).

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anecdotal (adj.)

"pertaining to anecdotes, of the nature of an anecdote," 1794, from anecdote + -al (1). Related: Anecdotally. Anecdotical is attested from 1744.

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anecdotage (n.)

1823, "anecdotes collectively," from anecdote + -age. As a jocular coinage meaning "garrulous old age" it is recorded from 1835, and spawned anecdotard (1894).

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*do- 

*dō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to give."

It forms all or part of: add; anecdote; antidote; betray; condone; dacha; dado; data; date (n.1) "time;" dative; deodand; die (n.); donation; donative; donor; Dorian; Dorothy; dose; dowager; dower; dowry; edition; endow; Eudora; fedora; Isidore; mandate; Pandora; pardon; perdition; Polydorus; render; rent (n.1) "payment for use of property;" sacerdotal; samizdat; surrender; Theodore; Theodosia; tradition; traitor; treason; vend.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadati "gives," danam "offering, present;" Old Persian dadatuv "let him give;" Greek didomi, didonai, "to give, offer," dōron "gift;" Latin dare "to give, grant, offer," donum "gift;" Armenian tam "to give;" Old Church Slavonic dati "give," dani "tribute;" Lithuanian duoti "to give," duonis "gift;" Old Irish dan "gift, endowment, talent," Welsh dawn "gift."

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catfish (v.)

"assume a fake persona on social media for the purpose of deceiving or attracting another person," by 2013, from the successful 2010 film "Catfish," concerning such an experience, and especially the subsequent TV show of the same name which aired from 2012 on MTV.

The film takes its title from an anecdote of fishermen putting a catfish in the tank with a shipment of live cod to keep the cod active in transit and tastier at the table. The anecdote, though attractive to sermonizers, seems to have no basis in reality. It sometimes is traced to a 1988 sermon by evangelical pastor Charles R. Swindoll, but it has been used in sermons since the 1920s and the anecdote seems to have appeared first in print in two popular publications of 1913: Henry W. Nevinson's "The Catfish," in "Essays in Rebellion," and Charles Marriott's novel "The Catfish," in which it is a symbol for a woman who keeps a man active.

The article went on to speak of the world's catfish—anything or anybody that introduced into life the 'queer, unpleasant, disturbing touch of the kingdom of Heaven.' 'Well,' thought George, amusedly, 'Mary was his Catfish. She kept his soul alive. ...' " ["The Catfish"]

Publisher's Weekly (June 7, 1913) write in its review of the novel that "The story deals with the influence which one woman may exert over one man when man and woman meet in their quickest sympathy of mind and heart and instinct." Related: Catfishing; catfished.

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Oz 

mythical land in L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900) and sequels; according to an anecdote written by Baum in 1903, inspired by a three-drawer desktop cabinet letter file, the last drawer labeled O-Z. As Australian slang for "Australia," attested by 1983.

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close (adj.)

(klōs), late 14c., "strictly confined," also "secret," in part a past-participle adjective from close (v.), in part from Old French clos "confined; concealed, secret; taciturn" (12c.), from Latin clausus "close, reserved," past-participle adjective from claudere "stop up, fasten, shut" (see close (v.)). The main sense shifted to "near" (late 15c.) from the verbal sense of "close the gap or opening between two things." Related: Closely.

In English, the meaning "narrowly confined, pent up" is from late 14c. The meaning "near" in a figurative sense, of persons, is from 1560s. The sense of "full of attention to detail" is from 1660s. The sense of "stingy, penurious" is from 1650s. Of races or other contests, by 1855.

Close call "narrow escape" is from 1866, in a quotation in an anecdote from 1863, possibly a term from the American Civil War; close shave in the figurative sense is 1820, American English. Close range (n.) "a short distance" is from 1814. Close-minded is attested from 1818. Close-fisted "penurious, miserly" is from c. 1600, on the notion of "keeping the hands tightly shut."

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tip (v.2)

"give a small present of money to," c. 1600, originally "to give, hand, pass," thieves' cant, perhaps from tip (v.3) "to tap." The meaning "give a gratuity to" is first attested 1706. The noun in this sense is from 1755; the noun meaning "piece of confidential information" is from 1845; and the verb in the sense "give private information to" is from 1883.

The popularity of the tale of the word's supposed origin as an acronym in mid-18th century English taverns seems to be no older than Frederick W. Hackwood's 1909 book "Inns, Ales and Drinking Customs of Old England," where it was said to stand for To insure promptitude (in the form to insure promptness the anecdote is told from 1946). A reviewer of the book in The Athenaeum of Oct. 2, 1909, wrote, "We deprecate the careless repetition of popular etymologies such as the notion that "tip" originated from an abbreviated inscription on a box placed on the sideboard in old coaching-inns, the full meaning of which was "To Insure Promptitude." Also see here.

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lame duck (n.)

1761, "any disabled person or thing;" especially Stock Exchange slang for "defaulter."

A lame duck is a man who cannot pay his differences, and is said to waddle off. [Thomas Love Peacock, "Gryll Grange," 1861]

Sometimes also in naval use for "an old, slow ship." Modern sense of "public official serving out term after an election" is recorded by 1863, American English. The quote attributed to President Lincoln ("[A] senator or representative out of business is a sort of lame duck. He has to be provided for") is from an anecdote of 1878.

It is well known to everybody who knows anything of its history, that this court [Court of Claims] was made a sort of retreat for lame duck politicians that got wounded and had to retreat before the face of popular condemnation. That is just exactly what it was for, a safe retreat for lame ducks; and it was so filled up; (etc.) [Sen. John P. Hale, New Hampshire, Congressional Globe, Jan. 12, 1863, p.271]
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pretender (n.)

1590s, "one who intends;" 1620s as "one who puts forth a claim;" agent noun from pretend (v.). Specifically of a claimant to the English throne from 1690s, especially the Old and Young Pretenders, the son and grandson of James II who asserted claims to the throne against the Hanoverians. Meaning "one who feigns, one who makes a false show, one who puts forth a claim without adequate grounds" is from 1630s.

Having been a spectator of the battle of the Boyne, on the first of July 1690, he thought it most prudent, while the fate of the day was yet undecided, to seek for safety in flight. In a few hours he reached the castle of Dublin, where he was met by Lady Tyrconnel, a woman of spirit. "Your countrymen (the Irish), Madam," said James, as he was ascending the stairs, "can run well."—"Not quite so well as your Majesty," retorted her Ladyship ; "for I see you have won the race." [anecdote of the Old Pretender, first, as far as I can tell, in Charles Wilson's "Polyanthea," 1804]
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