Etymology
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squat (v.)

mid-14c., "to crush;" early 15c., "crouch on the heels," from Old French esquatir, escatir "compress, press down, lay flat, crush," from es- "out" (see ex-) + Old French quatir "press down, flatten," from Vulgar Latin *coactire "press together, force," from Latin coactus, past participle of cogere "to compel, curdle, collect" (see cogent). Meaning "to settle on land without any title or right" is from 1800. Related: Squatted; squatting.

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squat (adj.)

early 15c., "crouch on the heels, in a squatting position," from squat (v.)). Sense of "short, thick" dates from 1620s.

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squat (n.)

c. 1400, "bump, heavy fall," from squat (v.). Meaning "posture of one who squats" is from 1570s; that of "act of squatting" is from 1580s. Slang noun sense of "nothing at all" first attested 1934, probably suggestive of squatting to defecate. Weight-lifting sense is from 1954.

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asquat (adj.)

"squatting," 1748, from a- (1) "on" + squat (n.).

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cower (v.)

early 14c., "to crouch, squat, or kneel;" late 14c., "to stoop or sink down, especially in fear or shame," probably from Middle Low German *kuren "lie in wait" (Modern German kauern), or similar Scandinavian words meaning "to squat" and "to doze" (such as Old Norse kura, Danish, Norwegian kure, Swedish kura). Thus it is unrelated to coward. Related: Cowered; cowering.

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squatter (n.)

"settler who occupies land without legal title," 1788, agent noun from squat (v.); in reference to paupers or homeless people in uninhabited buildings, it is recorded from 1880.

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fubsy (adj.)

"squat and fat," 1780, from fub/fubs "small, chubby person" (1610s), which also was used as a term of endearment.

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thaught (n.)

"rower's bench," 1620s, alteration of thoft, from Old English þofte, from Proto-Germanic *thufto- (source also of Dutch doft, German ducht), from PIE *tupta-, from root *tup- "to squat."

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hunker (v.)

"to squat, crouch," 1720, Scottish, of uncertain origin, possibly a nasalized borrowing of a Scandinavian word such as Old Norse huka "to crouch," hoka, hokra "to crawl." Hunker down, Southern U.S. dialectal phrase, is from 1902, popularized c. 1965; in this use the verb is perhaps from northern British hunker "haunch." Related: Hunkered; hunkering.

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subside (v.)

1680s, of objects, "to sink to the bottom," from Latin subsidere "sit down, settle, sink, fall; remain; crouch down, squat," from sub "under, beneath" (see sub-) + sidere "to settle," related to sedere "to sit," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." Of liquid surfaces, "to sink to a lower level, be reduced" from 1706. Related: Subsided; subsiding.

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