Etymology
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hint (n.)
c. 1600 (Shakespeare), "an indirect suggestion intended to be caught by the knowing," apparently from obsolete hent, from Middle English hinten "to tell, inform" (c. 1400), from Old English hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *hantijan (source also of Gothic hinþan "to seize"), related to hunt (v.). OED dates the sense "small piece of practical information" to 1777.
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hint (v.)
1640s, "suggest in an indirect manner," from hint (n.). Related: Hinted; hinting.
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suggestive (adj.)
1630s, "conveying a hint," from suggest + -ive. From 1888 specifically as a faintly euphemistic reference to proposals of indecent behavior. Related: Suggestively; suggestiveness.
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inkling (n.)

c. 1400, apparently from the gerund of the Middle English verb inclen "utter in an undertone, hint at, hint" (mid-14c.), which is of unknown origin; perhaps it is related to Old English inca "doubt, suspicion, question, scruple." However the earliest record of the word is as a nyngkiling; and The Middle English Compendium offers that this is not a misdivision of an inkling but rather suggests the word is a nasalized variant of nikking "a hint, slight indication," gerundive of the Middle English verb nikken "to mark (a text) for correction" (mid-15c.), from nik (n.) "a notch, tally" (see nick (n.)).

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modish (adj.)

"fashionable, stylish," often with a hint of contempt, 1650s, from mode (n.2) + -ish. "Very common in 17-18 c.; now somewhat arch[aic]." [OED]. Related: Modishly; modishness.

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nudge (n.2)

"a slight push with the elbow," 1787, from nudge (v.). Figurative sense of "a signal or hint intended to call attention, remind, etc." is by 1831.

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hunch (n.)
1620s, "a push, thrust," from hunch (v.) in its older sense. Figurative sense of "a hint, a tip" (a "push" toward a solution or answer), first recorded 1849, led to that of "premonition, presentiment" (1904).
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nudge (v.)

"to push slightly with the elbow," 1670s, perhaps from Scandinavian (compare Norwegian nugge, nyggje "to jostle, rub;" Icelandic nugga "to rub, massage"). Figurative sense of "give a hint or signal to," as by a covert touch, is by 1831. Related: Nudged; nudging.

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prompt (n.)

early 15c., "readiness" (in phrase in prompte), from Latin promptus (see prompt (v.)). Meaning "hint, information suggested, act of prompting" is from 1590s. The computer sense of "message given by a computer requiring or helping the user to respond" is by 1977.

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caveat (n.)

"warning, hint of caution," 1550s, Latin, literally "let him beware," 3rd person singular present subjunctive of cavere "to beware, take heed, watch, guard against," from PIE root *keu- "to see, observe, perceive." Legal sense "public warning preventing some action" is from 1650s.

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