Etymology
Advertisement
Blanche 
fem. proper name, from French Blanche, from Old French blanc "white," a word of Germanic origin (see blank (adj.)). A fairly popular name for girls born in the U.S. from about 1880 to 1900.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
wheatear (n.)
type of bird, 1590s, back-formation from white-ears, literally "white-arse" (see white + arse). So called for its color markings; compare French name for the bird, cul-blanc, literally "white rump."
Related entries & more 
blank (adj.)

early 13c., "white, pale, colorless," from Old French blanc "white, shining," from Frankish *blank "white, gleaming," or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse blakkr, Old English blanca "white horse;" Old High German blanc, blanch; German blank "shining, bright"), from Proto-Germanic *blangkaz "to shine, dazzle," extended form of PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn," also "shining white."

Meaning "having empty spaces" evolved c. 1400. Sense of "void of expression" (a blank look) is from 1550s. Spanish blanco, Italian bianco are said to be from Germanic. Related: Blankly, blankness.

Related entries & more 
lavalier (n.)
kind of ornament that hangs around the neck, 1873, from French lavallière, a kind of tie, after Louise Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc de La Vallière, Duchesse de La Vallière (1644-1710), mistress of Louis XIV from 1661-1667.
Related entries & more 
pinot (n.)
type of grape vine used in wine-making, 1912, American English variant spelling of French pineau (attested in English from 1763), name of a family of wine grapes, from pin "pine tree" (see pine (n.)) + diminutive suffix -eau. So called from the shape of the grape clusters. Variants are pinot noir, "black," pinot blanc, "white," and pinot gris, "gray."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
blanch (v.1)
c. 1400, transitive, "to make white, cause to turn pale," from Old French blanchir "to whiten, wash," from blanc "white" (11c.; see blank (adj.)). In early use also "to whitewash" a building, "to remove the hull of (almonds, etc.) by soaking." Intransitive sense of "to turn white" is from 1768. Related: Blanched; blanching.
Related entries & more 
carte blanche (n.)
1707, "paper duly authenticated by a signature and otherwise blank, left to someone to be filled in at his discretion," French, literally "white paper," from carte (see card (n.1)) + blanche, from Old French blanc "white," a word of Germanic origin (see blank (adj.)). Figurative sense of "full discretionary power, unrestricted permission or authority in some manner" is from 1766. Compare blank check, used in the same figurative sense.
Related entries & more 
blancmange (n.)
"jelly-like preparation in cookery," late 14c., from Old French blancmengier (13c.), literally "white eating," originally a dish of fowl minced with cream, rice, almonds, sugar, eggs, etc.; from blanc "white" (also used in Old French of white foods, such as eggs, cream, also white meats such as veal and chicken; see blank (adj.)) + mangier "to eat" (see manger). Attempts were made nativize it (Chaucer has blankemangere); French pronunciation is evident in 18c. variant blomange, and "the present spelling is a half attempt at restoring the French" [OED].
Related entries & more 
blanket (n.)

c. 1300, "coarse white woolen stuff," also "a large oblong piece of woolen cloth used for warmth as a bed-covering" (also as a cover for horses), from Old French blanchet "light wool or flannel cloth; an article made of this material," diminutive of blanc "white" (see blank (adj.)), which had a secondary sense of "a white cloth."

As an adjective, "providing for a number of contingencies," 1886 (blanket-clause in a contract). Wet blanket (1830) is from the notion of a person who throws a damper on social situations in the way a wet blanket smothers a fire. In U.S. history, a blanket Indian (1859) was one using the traditional garment instead of wearing Western dress.

Only 26,000 blanket Indians are left in the United States. [Atlantic Monthly, March 1906]
Related entries & more 
point-blank (n.)

1570s, in gunnery, "having a horizontal direction," said to be from point (v.) + blank (n.), here meaning the white center of a target. The notion would be of standing close enough to aim (point) at the blank without allowance for curve, windage, or gravity.

But early references make no mention of a white target, and the phrase is possibly from a simplification of the French phrase de pointe en blanc, used in French gunnery in reference to firing a piece on the level into open space to test how far it will carry. In that case the blank represents "empty space" or perhaps the "zero point" of elevation. The whole phrase might be a French loan-translation from Italian.

From 1590s as an adjective in English. The transferred meaning "direct, blunt, straight, without circumlocution" is from 1650s.

Related entries & more