late 14c., "judge or authority on civil law," from noun use of Old French civilien "of the civil law," created from Latin civilis "relating to a citizen, relating to public life, befitting a citizen; popular, affable, courteous," alternative adjectival derivative of civis "townsman" (see city). Sense of "non-military and non-clerical person, one whose pursuits are those of civilian life" is attested by 1766. As an adjective, "pertaining to or characteristic of a civilian," from 1640s.
c. 1200, "action of dressing in clothes," verbal noun from clothe. From late 13c. as "clothes collectively, raiment, apparel;" 1590s as an adjective.
1889, civvies, short for civilian clothes (see civilian); in reference to civilian clothes of military men.
U.S. civilian espionage agency, initialism (acronym) of Central Intelligence Agency, founded 1947 as successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
1919, short for demobilize. Originally in reference to troops returning to civilian life at the end of World War I. Related: Demobbed.
c. 1400, "clothes, an article of clothing, vesture" (archaic), shortening of arayment "clothing" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French araiement, from Old French areement, from areer "to array" (see array (v.)).
usually plural, accoutrements, "personal clothing and equipment," 1540s, from French accoustrement (Modern French accoutrement), from accoustrer, from Old French acostrer "arrange, dispose, put on (clothing)," probably originally "sew up" (see accouter).
"civilian who is thought to be prospering back home with a soldier's sweetheart, wife, job, etc.," by 1979, said to date from World War II, from masc. proper name Jody, for no clear reason. Hence Jody call.