Etymology
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credentials (n.)

"letters entitling the bearer to certain credit or confidence," 1670s, from Medieval Latin credentialis, from credentia  "belief," from Latin credere "to believe, trust" (see credo). Probably immediately as a shortening of letters credential (1520s, with French word order); earlier was letter of credence (mid-14c.). Especially in reference to the letters of authorization given by a government to an ambassador.

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cred (n.)

slang shortening, I suppose, of credit, credibility or credentials; by 1992.

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credential (n.)

"that which entitles to credit," 1756, probably a back-formation from credentials, from Medieval Latin credentialis, from credentia "belief," from Latin credere "to believe, trust" (see credo). Rare in the singular form. Earlier in English as an adjective, "confirming, corroborating" (late 15c.). As a verb, "provide with credentials," by 1828 (implied in credentialed).

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accredited (adj.)
"furnished with credentials," 1630s, past-participle adjective from accredit (v.).
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paraprofessional (adj.)

of persons, "performing part of a professional task but not having professional training or credentials," by 1961 in education, from para- (1) + professional (adj.). As a noun, "person without professional credentials or training to whom a part of a professional task is delegated," by 1968.

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paper (n.)

mid-14c., "material consisting of a compacted web or felting of vegetable fibers, commonly as a thin, flexible sheet for writing, printing, etc.," from Anglo-French paper, Old French papier "paper, document," and directly from Latin papyrus "paper, paper made of papyrus stalks," from Greek papyros "any plant of the paper plant genus," a loan-word of unknown origin, often said to be Egyptian (see papyrus).

Sense of "essay, dissertation on a topic" is from 1660s. Meaning "bills of exchange, paper money" is attested by 1722. As "paper for covering the walls of interiors," 1764. As "printed sheet of news" (a shortened form of newspaper), attested by 1640s. Papers, "collection of documents which establish one's identity, standing, credentials, etc.," it is attested from 1680s.

Paper-clip is by 1875; paper-cutter as a type of machine is by 1969. Paper-hanger is by 1796. Paper-wasp " type of wasp that builds a nest out of paper-like material" is by 1805. Paper chase is by 1856 in British English for the game of hare-and-hounds, from the bits of paper scattered as "scent" by the "hares;" the slang meaning "effort to earn a diploma or college degree" is by 1932.

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