"small, light bed," 1630s, from Hindi khat "couch, hammock," from Sanskrit khatva, probably from a Dravidian source (compare Tamil kattil "bedstead"). Sense extended to "canvas hammock bed on shipboard" (by 1769), then "portable bed of canvas or similar material, fastened to a light frame, capable of folding up" (1854). Meaning "small bed or crib for a child" is by 1818.
1650s, "to fondle, caress, indulge, make a pet of," from a noun (1570s) meaning "lamb brought up as a pet" (applied to persons from 1590s), of uncertain origin. Perhaps [Skeat] from Old English cot-sæta "one who dwells in a cot" (see cote (n.) + sit (v.)). Related: Coseted; coseting. Compare German Hauslamm, Italian casiccio.
"a hut, a little house," Old English cote, fem. of cot (plural cotu) "small house, bedchamber, den;" see cottage. Applied to sheds for animals from early 15c.
1540s (now obsolete), originally apparently "housewife of a cot," from cot "hut, peasant's hut" (see cottage) + quean "woman." "Thence the transition is easy on the one side to 'one who has the manners of a labourer's wife, rude, ill-mannered woman, vulgar bedlam, scold ...' and on the other to 'a man who acts the housewife.' " These senses -- "rude, ill-mannered woman" and "man who busies himself with affairs which properly belong to women" -- both are attested from 1590s. Related: Cotqueanity.
late 14c., "a cot, a humble habitation," as of a farm-laborer, from Old French cote "hut, cottage" + Anglo-French suffix -age (according to OED the whole probably denotes "the entire property attached to a cote"). Old French cot is probably from Old Norse kot "hut," cognate of Old English cot, cote "cottage, hut," from Proto-Germanic *kutan (source also of Middle Dutch cot, Dutch kot).
Meaning "small country residence or detached suburban house" (without suggestion of poverty or tenancy) is from 1765. Modern French cottage is a 19c. reborrowing from English. Cottage industry, one that can be done at home, is attested from 1854. Cottage cheese, the U.S. name for a kind of soft, white cheese, is attested from 1831, earliest in reference to Philadelphia:
There was a plate of rye-bread, and a plate of wheat, and a basket of crackers; another plate with half a dozen paltry cakes that looked as if they had been bought under the old Court House; some morsels of dried beef on two little tea-cup plates: and a small glass dish of that preparation of curds, which in vulgar language is called smear-case, but whose nom de guerre is cottage-cheese, at least that was the appellation given it by our hostess. ["Miss Leslie," "Country Lodgings," Godey's Lady's Book, July 1831]
c. 1700, "pertaining to or founded by antiquarian Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1570-1631), especially in reference to the library in the British Museum, named for him. He donated some books to the state and his grandson donated the rest. It was badly damaged in a fire in 1731. The surname represents Old English cotum, plural of cot "cottage."
1560s, "to prosper, succeed;" of things, "to agree, suit, fit," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Welsh cytuno "consent, agree;" but perhaps rather a metaphor from cloth-finishing and thus from cotton (n.). Hensleigh Wedgwood compares cot "a fleece of wool matted together." Meaning "become closely or intimately associated (with)," is from 1805 via the sense of "to get along together" (of persons), attested from c. 1600. Related: Cottoned; cottoning.
"baby's bed," usually mounted on rockers or suspended for rocking or swinging, c. 1200, cradel, from Old English cradol "little bed, cot," from Proto-Germanic *kradulaz "basket" (source also of Old High German kratto, krezzo "basket," German Krätze "basket carried on the back").
Figurative sense of "the place where any person or thing is nurtured in the early stages of existence" is from 1580s. The word also was used from late 14c. in reference to various mechanical devices for holding or hoisting. As "frame of wood with long, curved teeth and a scythe blade for cutting grain and laying it in a straight swath," 1570s. As "rest on a telephone for the receiver when not in use" is from 1903.
The children's game of cat's-cradle is so called by 1768. Cradle-snatching "amorous pursuit of younger person" is from 1906.
"It's like cradle-snatching to want to marry a girl of sixteen, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself, for you can't be much more than twenty one yourself." ["Edith Van Dyne" (L. Frank Baum), "Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad," 1906]