Etymology
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tax (v.)
c. 1300, "impose a tax on," from Old French taxer "impose a tax" (13c.) and directly from Latin taxare "evaluate, estimate, assess, handle," also "censure, charge," probably a frequentative form of tangere "to touch," from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle." Sense of "to burden, put a strain on" first recorded early 14c.; that of "censure, reprove" is from 1560s. Its use in Luke ii for Greek apographein "to enter on a list, enroll" is due to Tyndale. Related: Taxed; taxing.
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gift (n.)

mid-13c. "that which is given" (c. 1100 in surnames), from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse gift, gipt "gift; good luck," from Proto-Germanic *geftiz (source also of Old Saxon gift, Old Frisian jefte, Middle Dutch ghifte "gift," German Mitgift "dowry"), from *geb- "to give," from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive." For German Gift, Dutch, Danish, Swedish gift "poison," see poison (n.).

Sense of "natural talent" (regarded as conferred) is from c. 1300, perhaps from earlier sense of "inspiration, power miraculously bestowed" (late 12c.), as in the Biblical gift of tongues. Old English cognate gift is recorded only in the sense "bride-price, marriage gift (by the groom), dowry" (hence gifta (pl.) "a marriage, nuptials"). The Old English noun for "a giving, gift" was giefu, which is related to the Old Norse word. Sense of "natural talent" is c. 1300, perhaps from earlier sense of "inspiration" (late 12c.). The proverbial gift horse was earlier given horse:

No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth. [Heywood, 1546]

The modern form perhaps traces to Butler's "Hudibras" (1663), where the tight iambic tetrameter required a shorter phrase:

He ne'er consider'd it, as loth
To look a Gift-horse in the mouth.
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tax (n.)
early 14c., "obligatory contribution levied by a sovereign or government," from Anglo-French tax, Old French taxe, and directly from Medieval Latin taxa, from Latin taxare (see tax (v.)). Related: Taxes. Tax-deduction is from 1942; tax-shelter is attested from 1961.
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gift (v.)
"bestow a gift," 16c., from gift (n.). Related: Gifted; gifting.
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gift-wrap (v.)
1928, from gift (n.) + wrap (n.). Related: Gift-wrapped.
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excise (n.)
"tax on goods," late 15c., from Middle Dutch excijs (early 15c.), apparently altered from accijs "tax" (by influence of Latin excisus "cut out or removed," see excise (v.)), traditionally from Old French acceis "tax, assessment" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *accensum, ultimately from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + census "tax, census" (see census). English got the word, and the idea for the tax, from Holland.
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surtax (n.)
"extra tax," 1834, from French surtaxe, from Old French sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + taxe "tax" (see tax (n.)).
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taxpayer (n.)
also tax-payer, 1816, from tax (n.) + payer.
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scot-free (adj.)

late Old English scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot (n.) "royal tax" + freo "free" (see free (adj.)).

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stipend (n.)

early 15c., "periodical payment; soldier's pay," from Latin stipendium "tax, impost, tribute," in military use "pay, salary," from stips "alms, small payment, contribution of money, gift" + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). According to Klein's sources, the first element is related to Latin stipes "log, stock, trunk of a tree" (see stipe). For the financial sense of the Latin verb, see pound (n.1). As a verb from late 15c.

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