Etymology
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davenport (n.)
"large upholstered couch," 1897, apparently named for the manufacturer. Earlier (1853) "a kind of small ornamental writing table." The proper name is attested from 12c., from a place in Cheshire (Old English Devennport).
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twin (adj.)
Old English twinn "consisting of two, twofold, double, two-by-two," from Proto-Germanic *twisnjaz "double" (source also of Old Norse tvinnr "double, twin," Old Danish tvinling, Dutch tweeling, German zwillung), from PIE *dwisno- (source also of Latin bini "two each," Lithuanian dvynu "twins"), from *dwi- "double," from root *dwo- "two." Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota have been the Twin Cities since 1883, but the phrase was used earlier of Rock Island and Davenport (1856).
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agon (n.)

1650s, in reference to ancient Greece, "contest for a prize," from Greek agon "struggle, trial," especially in the public games (see agony) but also of contests for prizes in poetry, theater, music. Meaning "verbal dispute between characters in a Greek play" is from 1887. Related: Agonal.

All over Greece we find all endeavor taking the form of a contest, an agon. Before the age of Archilochos, Sappho, and Alkman, we hear of contests of trumpets, city against city, the splendor of which tantalizes the imagination more than all the kings and archons in the history books. [Guy Davenport, "7 Greeks"]
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vulgar (adj.)

late 14c., "common, ordinary," from Latin vulgaris, volgaris "of or pertaining to the common people, common, vulgar, low, mean," from vulgus "the common people, multitude, crowd, throng," perhaps from a PIE root *wel- "to crowd, throng" (source also of Sanskrit vargah "division, group," Greek eilein "to press, throng," Middle Breton gwal'ch "abundance," Welsh gwala "sufficiency, enough") [not in Watkins]. Meaning "coarse, low, ill-bred" is first recorded 1640s, probably from earlier use (with reference to people) with meaning "belonging to the ordinary class" (1530). Chaucer uses peplish for "vulgar, common, plebeian" (late 14c.). Related: Vulgarly.

What we have added to human depravity is again a thoroughly Roman quality, perhaps even a Roman invention: vulgarity. That word means the mind of the herd, and specifically the herd in the city, the gutter, and the tavern. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts"]

For Vulgar Latin, see here

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cynic (n.)

1550s, "one of the ancient sect of philosophy founded by Antisthenes," from Latinized form of Greek kynikos "a follower of Antisthenes," literally "dog-like," from kyōn (genitive kynos) "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog").

Supposedly the name is a reference to the coarseness of life and sneering surliness of the philosophers, and the popular association even in ancient times was "dog-like" (Lucian has kyniskos "a little cynic," literally "puppy").

But more likely it is from Kynosarge "The Gray Dog," the name of the gymnasium outside ancient Athens (for the use of those who were not pure Athenians) where Antisthenes (a pupil of Socrates), taught. Diogenes was the most famous. Meaning "sneering sarcastic person" is from 1590s. As an adjective from 1630s.

[Diogenes] studied philosophy under Antisthenes, a crusty type who hated students, emphasized self-knowledge, discipline, and restraint, and held forth at a gymnasium named The Silver Hound in the old garden district outside the city. It was open to foreigners and the lower classes, and thus to Diogenes. Wits of the time made a joke of its name, calling its members stray dogs, hence cynic (doglike), a label that Diogenes made into literal fact, living with a pack of stray dogs, homeless except for a tub in which he slept. He was the Athenian Thoreau. [Guy Davenport, "Seven Greeks"]
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history (n.)
Origin and meaning of history

late 14c., "relation of incidents" (true or false), from Old French estoire, estorie "story; chronicle, history" (12c., Modern French histoire), from Latin historia "narrative of past events, account, tale, story," from Greek historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry; an account of one's inquiries; knowledge, account, historical account, record, narrative," from historein "be witness or expert; give testimony, recount; find out, search, inquire," and histōr "knowing, expert; witness," both ultimately from PIE *wid-tor-, from root *weid- "to see," hence "to know."

It is thus related to Greek idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." Beekes writes of histōr that "The word itself, but especially the derivations ... that arose in Ionic, have spread over the Hellenic and Hellenistic world together with Ionic science and philosophy." 

In Middle English, not differentiated from story (n.1); sense of "narrative record of past events" probably first attested late 15c. Meaning "the recorded events of the past" is from late 15c. As a branch of knowledge, from late 15c. Meaning "a historical play or drama" is from 1590s. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1560s) is now obsolete except in natural history (as late as the 1880s published county histories in the U.S. routinely included natural history chapters, with lists of birds and fishes and illustrations of local slugs and freshwater clams). Meaning "an eventful career, a past worthy of note" (a woman with a history) is from 1852. To make history "be notably engaged in public events" is from 1862.

History is the interpretation of the significance that the past has for us. [Johan Huizinga, "The Task of the Cultural Historian"]
History is more or less bunk [Henry Ford, Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1916]
One difference between history and imaginative literature ... is that history neither anticipates nor satisfies our curiosity, whereas literature does. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts," 1996]
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slave (n.)
Origin and meaning of slave

late 13c., "person who is the chattel or property of another," from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus "slave" (source also of Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally "Slav" (see Slav); so used in this secondary sense because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.

The oldest written history of the Slavs can be shortly summarised--myriads of slave hunts and the enthralment of entire peoples. The Slav was the most prized of human goods. With increased strength outside his marshy land of origin, hardened to the utmost against all privation, industrious, content with little, good-humoured, and cheerful, he filled the slave markets of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It must be remembered that for every Slavonic slave who reached his destination, at least ten succumbed to inhuman treatment during transport and to the heat of the climate. Indeed Ibrāhīm (tenth century), himself in all probability a slave dealer, says: "And the Slavs cannot travel to Lombardy on account of the heat which is fatal to them." Hence their high price.
The Arabian geographer of the ninth century tells us how the Magyars in the Pontus steppe dominated all the Slavs dwelling near them. The Magyars made raids upon the Slavs and took their prisoners along the coast to Kerkh where the Byzantines came to meet them and gave Greek brocades and such wares in exchange for the prisoners. ["The Cambridge Medieval History," Vol. II, 1913]

Meaning "one who has lost the power of resistance to some habit or vice" is from 1550s. Applied to devices from 1904, especially those which are controlled by others (compare slave jib in sailing, similarly of locomotives, flash bulbs, amplifiers). Slave-driver is attested from 1807; extended sense of "cruel or exacting task-master" is by 1854. Slave state in U.S. history is from 1812. Slave-trade is attested from 1734.

It is absurd to bring back a runaway slave. If a slave can survive without a master, is it not awful to admit that the master cannot live without the slave? [Diogenes, fragment 6, transl. Guy Davenport]

Old English Wealh "Briton" also began to be used in the sense of "serf, slave" c. 850; and Sanskrit dasa-, which can mean "slave," apparently is connected to dasyu- "pre-Aryan inhabitant of India." Grose's dictionary (1785) has under Negroe "A black-a-moor; figuratively used for a slave," without regard to race. More common Old English words for slave were þeow (related to þeowian "to serve") and þræl (see thrall). The Slavic words for "slave" (Russian rab, Serbo-Croatian rob, Old Church Slavonic rabu) are from Old Slavic *orbu, from the PIE root *orbh- (also source of orphan (n.)), the ground sense of which seems to be "thing that changes allegiance" (in the case of the slave, from himself to his master). The Slavic word is also the source of robot.

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