"close tightly (a hole), fill or stop with or as with a plug," 1620s, from plug (n.) or from Dutch pluggen. OED dates the meaning "work energetically at" from c. 1865, and cites "Remembered on the river at Oxford" (and one wonders if a memory from Cambridge would pass). Sense of "popularize by repetition" is from 1906. Slang sense "put a bullet into" is recorded from 1870. Related: Plugged; plugging.
late 14c., "male human being; male fish or land animal; one of the sex that begets young," from Old French masle (adj.) "masculine, male, adult," also used as a noun (12c., Modern French mâle), from Latin masculus "masculine, male, worthy of a man" (source also of Provençal mascle, Spanish macho, Italian maschio), diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person or animal, male."
Male, matching female, applies to the whole sex among human beings and gender among animals, to the apparel of that sex, and, by figure, to certain things, as plants, rimes, cesuras, screws, joints. Masculine, matching feminine, applies to men and their attributes and to the first grammatical gender; a woman may wear male apparel and have a masculine walk, voice, manner, temperament. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
late 14c., "pertaining to the sex that begets young," as distinguished from the female, which conceives and gives birth, from Old French male, masle "male, masculine; a male" (see male (n.)). The mechanical sense, used for the part of an instrument that penetrates another part, is from 1660s. The meaning "appropriate to men, masculine" is by 1788. The sense of "composed or consisting of men and boys" is by 1680s. Male bonding is attested by 1969.
1620s, "piece of wood or other substance, usually in the form of a peg or bottle-cork, used to stop a hole in a vessel," originally a seamen's term, probably from Dutch plug, Middle Dutch plugge "bung, stopper," related to Norwegian plugg, Danish pløg (the Scandinavian words also might be from Low German), North Frisian plaak, Middle Low German pluck, German Pflock; all of uncertain etymology. The Irish and Gaelic words are said to be from English.
The sense of "wad or stick of tobacco" is attested from 1728, based on resemblance. Meaning "branch pipe from a water main leading to a point closed by a cap where a hose can be easily attached" is by 1727. Electrical sense is from 1883, based on being inserted; meaning "sparking device in an internal combustion engine" is from 1886. Meaning "advertisement" is recorded by 1902, American English, perhaps from verb sense "work energetically at" (c. 1865).
Davy Crockett's hand would be sure to shake if his iron was pointed within a hundred miles of a shemale. ["Treasury of American Folklore"]
This became obsolete, and by 1972 it had been recoined (disparagingly) for "masculine lesbian." The sense of "transsexual male" seems to date from c. 1984.
by 1936; popular from 1969 (with added pig (n.) by 1970); a specialized use of chauvinism, which in late 19c. international Communist Party jargon was extended to racism and in the next generation to sexism:
In this era, inspired by the CP's struggle against racism, women in the CP coined the term male chauvinism, in a parallel with white chauvinism, to derogate the conviction of men that they were better than women. [Jane Mansbridge and Katherine Flaster, "Male Chauvinist, Feminist, and Sexual Harassment, Different Trajectories in Feminist Linguistic Innovation," "American Speech," vol. lxxx, no. 3, Fall 2005]
Related: Male-chauvinism (1969).
"city ruffian, one of a gang who assaulted people and property in mid-19th century American cities," 1856, originally in Baltimore, from plug (n.), the American English slang name for the tall, silk stovepipe hats then popular among young men, + ugly. Sometimes as the name of a specific gang, but often generic.