1540s, an alteration of Middle English garce "a gash, cut, wound, incision" (early 13c.), from Old North French garser "to scarify, cut, slash" (Old French *garse), apparently from Vulgar Latin *charassare, from Greek kharassein "engrave, sharpen, carve, cut" (from PIE *gher- (4) "to scrape, scratch;" see character). The loss of -r- is characteristic (see cuss (v.)). Slang use for "vulva" dates to mid-1700s. Provincial English has a set of words (gashly, gashful, etc.) with forms from gash but senses from gast- "dreadful, frightful."
"incision, cut, score, gash," mid-15c., scoch, in cookery, related to scotch (v.). Compare Old French coche "notch on an arrow."
1815, "to say bad words, use profane language," a vulgar pronunciation of curse (v.). The transitive sense of "to curse, swear at" is by 1838. Related: Cussed; cussing. To cuss (someone) out is attested by 1881.
The loss of -r- before -s- is not uncommon: Compare arse/ass (n.2), burst/bust, horse/hoss, barse/bass, garsh/gash, parcel/passel.
c. 1300, "to dash, run, rush," probably from or related to Old Norse flengja "to flog," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Proto-Germanic *flang- (source also of Old Swedish flenga "strike," Danish flænge "slash, gash"), from a nasalized variant of PIE root *plak- (2) "to strike." Meaning "to throw, cast, hurl" is from mid-14c. An obsolete word for "streetwalker, harlot" was fling-stink (1670s). Related: Flung; flinging, but in Middle English with past tense flang, past participle flungen.
early 15c., scocchen "to cut, score, gash, make an incision," a word of obscure origin. Century Dictionary considers that it might be a deformation of scratch. Chronology rules out connection with scorch. Perhaps [Barnhart] from Anglo-French escocher, Old French cocher "to notch, nick," from coche "a notch, groove," perhaps from Latin coccum "berry of the scarlet oak," which appears notched, from Greek kokkos.
The meaning "stamp out, crush" (often figurative, of abstract things) is by 1825, earlier "make harmless for a time, wound slightly" (1798), a sense that derives from an uncertain reading of "Macbeth" III.ii.13). Related: Scotched; scotching.
late 14c., "track cut through a wood," later "long, narrow ditch" (late 15c.), from Old French trenche "a slice, cut, gash, slash; defensive ditch" (13c., Modern French tranche), from trenchier "to cut, carve, slice," possibly from Vulgar Latin *trincare, from Latin truncare "to maim, mutilate, cut off," from truncus "maimed, mutilated," also "trunk of a tree, trunk of the body," of uncertain origin, probably originally "mutilated, cut off," and perhaps from PIE root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome."
Trenches for military protection are first so called c. 1500. Trench warfare first attested 1918. Trench-coat first recorded 1916, a type of coat worn by British officers in the trenches during World War I.
Middle English seme, from Old English seam, "seam of a garment, suture, junction made by sewing together the edges of two pieces of cloth or two edges of the same piece," from Proto-Germanic *saumaz (source also of Old Frisian sam "hem, seam," Old Norse saumr, Middle Dutch som, Dutch zoom, Old High German soum, German Saum "hem"), from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew."
Chidynge and reproche ... vnsowen the semes of freendshipe in mannes herte. [Chaucer, "Parson's Tale," c. 1386]
In Middle English also "a gash or scar" (c. 1400). Meaning "raised band of stitching on a ball" is recorded from 1888. Geological sense of "thin strata between two wider ones" is from 1590s. Figurative phrase bursting at the seams, expressive of overfullness, is by 1962. Seam-squirrel "a louse" was old U.S. slang (1893).
Old English heawan "to chop, hack, gash, strike with a cutting weapon or tool" (class VII strong verb; past tense heow, past participle heawen), earlier geheawan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwanan (source also of Old Norse hoggva, Old Frisian hawa, Old Saxon hauwan, Middle Dutch hauwen, Dutch houwen, Old High German houwan, German hauen "to cut, strike, hew"), from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike," a root more widely developed in Slavic (source also of Old Church Slavonic kovo, Lithuanian kauti "to strike, beat, fight;" Polish kuć "to forge," Russian kovat' "to strike, hammer, forge;" Latin cudere "to strike, beat;" Middle Irish cuad "beat, fight").
Weak past participle hewede appeared 14c., but hasn't yet entirely displaced hewn. Seemingly contradictory sense of "hold fast, stick to" (in phrase hew to), 1891, developed from earlier figurative phrase hew to the line "stick to a course," literally "cut evenly with an axe or saw." Related: Hewed; hewing.