Etymology
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female (n.)

early 14c., from Old French femelle "woman, female" (12c.), from Medieval Latin femella "a female," from Latin femella "young female, girl," diminutive of femina "woman, a female" ("woman, female," literally "she who suckles," from PIE root *dhe(i)- "to suck").

WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
[Kipling]

The sense in Vulgar Latin was extended from young humans to female of other animals, then to females generally. Compare Latin masculus, also a diminutive (see masculine). The spelling altered late 14c. in erroneous imitation of male. In modern use usually an adjective (which is attested from early 14c.). In reference to implements with sockets and corresponding parts, from 1660s.

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chest (n.)

Old English cest "box, coffer, casket," usually large and with a hinged lid, from Proto-Germanic *kista (source also of Old Norse and Old High German kista, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, German kiste, Dutch kist), an early borrowing from Latin cista "chest, box," from Greek kistē "a box, basket," from PIE *kista "woven container" (Beekes compares Middle Irish cess "basket, causeway of wickerwork, bee-hive," Old Welsh cest).

The meaning of the English word was extended to "thorax, trunk of the body from the neck to the diaphragm" c. 1400, replacing breast (n.) in that sense, on the metaphor of the ribs as a "box" for the heart. The meaning "place where public money is kept (common chest, mid-15c.) was extended to "public funds" (1580s). Chest of drawers is from 1670s.

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ice-chest (n.)

1839, originally a wooden chest lined with zinc, from ice (n.) + chest (n.).

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kist (n.)

"chest," c. 1300, from Old Norse kista "chest," from Latin cista (see chest).

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thorax (n.)

"chest of the body," late 14c., from Latin thorax "the breast, chest; breastplate," from Greek thōrax (genitive thōrakos) "breastplate, chest," of unknown origin.

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pectoral (adj.)

1570s, "of or pertaining to the breast or chest," from Latin pectoralis "of the breast," from pectus (genitive pectoris) "breast, chest," a word of unknown origin. De Vaan considers Old Irish ucht "breast, chest" as "a likely cognate, if it reflects earler *pektu-." Pectoral muscle is attested from 1610s.

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hutch (n.)

c. 1200, "storage chest" (also applied to the biblical "ark of God"), from Old French huche "chest, trunk, coffer; coffin; kneading trough; shop displaying merchandise," from Medieval Latin hutica "chest," a word of uncertain origin. Sense of "cupboard for food or dishes" first recorded 1670s; that of "box-like pen for an animal" is from c. 1600.

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cist (n.)

1804, in British archaeology, "sepulchral chest or chamber;" 1847, in Greek history, "small receptacle for sacred utensils in a procession;" in the second sense from Latin cista "wickerwork basket, box," from Greek kistē "box, chest" (see chest); in the first sense from Welsh cist in cist faen "stone coffin," the first element of which is from the Latin word.

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cistern (n.)

"natural or artificial receptacle for holding water or some other fluid," mid-13c., from Old French cisterne "cistern; dungeon, underground prison" (12c., Modern French citerne), from Latin cisterna "underground reservoir for water," from cista "chest, box," from Greek kistē "box, chest" (see chest). Related: Cisternal.

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coffer (n.)

mid-13c., "box or chest used for keeping valuables," from Old French cofre "a chest" (12c., Modern French coffre), from Latin cophinus "basket" (see coffin). Hence coffers, in a figurative sense, "a treasury; the wealth and pecuniary resources of a person, institution, etc.," late 14c.

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