Etymology
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controller (n.)

late 14c., "official in charge of accounts in a king's household," from Anglo-French contrerolleour (late 13c.), Old French contrerelleor (Modern French contrôleur), from Medieval Latin contrarotulator, agent noun from *contra-rotulare (see control (v.)).

Broader sense of "officer who examines accounts and manages finances of a corporation or institution" is from c. 1400. The first syllable was confused with count (v.), Latin comptus (hence comptroller). Mechanical sense "that which governs or restrains" is from 1867.

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comptroller (n.)

c. 1500, a variant of controller, with bad spelling due to influence of unrelated French compte "an account," from Latin computare.

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motor (n.)

"one who or that which imparts motion," mid-15c., "controller, prime mover (in reference to God);" from Late Latin motor, literally "mover," agent noun from past-participle stem of Latin movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away"). Sense of "agent or force that produces mechanical motion" is first recorded 1660s; that of "machine that supplies motive power" is from 1856. Motor-home is by 1966. Motor-scooter is from 1919. First record of slang motor-mouth "fast-talking person" is from 1970.

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air (n.1)

c. 1300, "invisible gases that surround the earth," from Old French air "atmosphere, breeze, weather" (12c.), from Latin aer "air, lower atmosphere, sky," from Greek aēr (genitive aeros) "mist, haze, clouds," later "atmosphere" (perhaps related to aenai "to blow, breathe"), which is of unknown origin. It is possibly from a PIE *awer- and thus related to aeirein "to raise" and arteria "windpipe, artery" (see aorta) on notion of "lifting, suspended, that which rises," but this has phonetic difficulties.

In Homer mostly "thick air, mist;" later "air" as one of the four elements. Words for "air" in Indo-European languages tend to be associated with wind, brightness, sky. In English, air replaced native lyft, luft (see loft (n.)). In old chemistry, air (with a qualifying adjective) was used of any gas.

To be in the air "in general awareness" is from 1875; up in the air "uncertain, doubtful" is from 1752. To build castles in the air "entertain visionary schemes that have no practical foundation" is from 1590s (in 17c. English had airmonger "one preoccupied with visionary projects"). Broadcasting sense (as in on the air, airplay) first recorded 1927. To give (someone) the air "dismiss" is from 1900. Air pollution is attested by 1870. Air guitar is by 1983. Air traffic controller is from 1956.

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