Etymology
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fire (n.)

Old English fyr "fire, a fire," from Proto-Germanic *fūr- (source also of Old Saxon fiur, Old Frisian fiur, Old Norse fürr, Middle Dutch and Dutch vuur, Old High German fiur, German Feuer "fire"), from PIE *perjos, from root *paewr- "fire." Current spelling is attested as early as 1200, but did not fully displace Middle English fier (preserved in fiery) until c. 1600.

PIE apparently had two roots for fire: *paewr- and *egni- (source of Latin ignis). The former was "inanimate," referring to fire as a substance, and the latter was "animate," referring to it as a living force (compare water (n.1)).

Brend child fuir fordredeþ ["The Proverbs of Hendyng," c. 1250]

English fire was applied to "ardent, burning" passions or feelings from mid-14c. Meaning "discharge of firearms, action of guns, etc." is from 1580s. To be on fire is from c. 1500 (in fire attested from c. 1400, as is on a flame "on fire"). To play with fire in the figurative sense "risk disaster, meddle carelessly or ignorantly with a dangerous matter" is by 1861, from the common warning to children. Phrase where's the fire?, said to one in an obvious hurry, is by 1917, American English.

Fire-bell is from 1620s; fire-alarm as a self-acting, mechanical device is from 1808 as a theoretical creation; practical versions began to appear in the early 1830s. Fire-escape (n.) is from 1788 (the original so-called was a sort of rope-ladder disguised as a small settee); fire-extinguisher is from 1826. A fire-bucket (1580s) carries water to a fire. Fire-house is from 1899; fire-hall from 1867, fire-station from 1828. Fire company "men for managing a fire-engine" is from 1744, American English. Fire brigade "firefighters organized in a body in a particular place" is from 1838. Fire department, usually a branch of local government, is from 1805. Fire-chief is from 1877; fire-ranger from 1887.

Symbolic fire and the sword is by c. 1600 (translating Latin flamma ferroque absumi); earlier yron and fyre (1560s), with suerd & flawme (mid-15c.), mid fure & mid here ("with fire and armed force"), c. 1200. Fire-breathing is from 1590s. To set the river on fire, "accomplish something surprising or remarkable" (usually with a negative and said of one considered foolish or incompetent) is by 1830, often with the name of a river, varying according to locality, but the original is set the Thames on fire (1796). The hypothetical feat was mentioned as the type of something impossibly difficult by 1720; it circulated as a theoretical possibility under some current models of chemistry c. 1792-95, which may have contributed to the rise of the expression.

[A]mong other fanciful modes of demonstrating the practicability of conducting the gas wherever it might be required, he anchored a small boat in the stream about 50 yards from the shore, to which he conveyed a pipe, having the end turned up so as to rise above the water, and forcing the gas through the pipe, lighted it just above the surface, observing to his friends "that he had now set the river on fire." ["On the Origins and Progress of Gas-lighting," in "Repertory of Patent Inventions," vol. III, London, 1827]
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fire (v.)

c. 1200, furen, "arouse, inflame, excite" (a figurative use); literal sense of "set fire to" is attested from late 14c., from fire (n.). The Old English verb fyrian "to supply with fire" apparently did not survive into Middle English. Related: Fired; firing.

Meaning "expose to the effects of heat or fire" (of bricks, pottery, etc.) is from 1660s. Meaning "to discharge artillery or a firearm" (originally by application of fire) is from 1520s; extended sense of "to throw (as a missile)" is from 1580s. Fire away in the figurative sense of "go ahead" is from 1775.

The sense of "sack, dismiss from employment" is recorded by 1877 (with out; 1879 alone) in American English. This probably is a play on the two meanings of discharge (v.): "to dismiss from a position," and "to fire a gun," influenced by the earlier general sense "throw (someone) out" of some place (1871). To fire out "drive out by or as if by fire" (1520s) is in Shakespeare and Chapman. Fired up "angry" is from 1824 (to fire up "become angry" is from 1798).

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door (n.)

"movable barrier, commonly on hinges, for closing a passage into a building, room, or other enclosure," c. 1200, a Middle English merger of two Old English words, both with the general sense of "door, gate": dor (neuter; plural doru) "large door, gate," and duru (fem., plural dura) "door, gate, wicket." The difference (no longer felt in Old English) was that the former came from a singular form, the latter from a plural.

Both are from Proto-Germanic *dur-, plural *dures (source also of Old Saxon duru, Old Norse dyrr, Danish dr, Old Frisian dure, dore, dure, Old High German turi, German Tür). This is from PIE root *dhwer- "door, doorway."

Middle English had both dure and dor; the form dore predominated by 16c. but was supplanted later by door. The oldest forms of the word in IE languages frequently are dual or plural, leading to speculation that houses of the original Indo-Europeans had doors with two swinging halves.

Figurative sense of "means of opportunity or facility for" was in Old English. Phrase door to door "house to house" is from c. 1300; as an adjective, in reference to sales, by 1902.

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. [Ogden Nash]
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door-yard (n.)

also dooryard, "the yard about the door of a house," c. 1764, American English, from door + yard (n.1).

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fire-walker (n.)

one who walks barefoot over hot coals without injury, as an entertainment, etc., 1895, from fire (n.) + agent noun from walk (v.). Related: Fire-walking.

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fire-ant (n.)

1796, from fire (n.) + ant. So called for their bite.

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cease-fire (n.)

also ceasefire, "a cessation of shooting," 1916, from the verbal phrase cease fire, attested from 1847 as a military command (formerly also signaled by bugles), from cease (v.) + fire (n.) in the gunnery sense. Generally written as two words until after mid-20c.

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back-door (n.)

also, especially as an adjective, backdoor, "door at the rear of a building or other structure," 1520s, from back (adj.) + door (n.).

As an adjective, "devious, shady, illegal," by 1640s. The notion is of business done out of public view. The association with sodomy is from at least 19c.; compare also back-door man "a married woman's lover," African-American vernacular, early 20c.

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door-knob (n.)

also doorknob, "the handle by which a door is opened," 1829, American English, from door + knob.

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door-knocker (n.)

"metal device fixed to the outside of a door for banging to give notice when someone desires admission," 1794, from door + knocker (n.).

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