Old English mentel "a loose, sleeveless garment worn as an outer covering, falling in straight lines from the shoulders," from Latin mantellum "cloak" (source of Italian mantello, Old High German mantal, German Mantel, Old Norse mötull), perhaps from a Celtic source, or, if the Latin word is the same word as mantelum, mantelium "a cloth, hand-towel, napkin," perhaps it is from manus "hand."
Reinforced and altered 12c. by cognate Old French mantel "cloak, mantle; bedspread, cover" (Modern French manteau), also from the Latin source. Figurative sense "that which enshrouds, something that conceals, a covering" is from c. 1300. Allusive use for "symbol of literary authority or artistic pre-eminence" (by 1789) is from Elijah's mantle (II Kings ii.13). As a layer of the earth between the crust and core (though not originally distinguished from the core) it is attested from 1940. To take (originally have) the mantel (and the ring) was a symbolic act done before a bishop by a widow, indicating a vow of chastity (c. 1400).
early 13c., mantelen, "to wrap or cover in a mantle," from mantle (n.) or from Old French manteler, from the noun in French. The figurative sense of "to obscure or protect by covering up" is from mid-15c. Intransitive sense of "become covered with a coating" (of liquids) is from 1620s; that of "become suffused" (as with blushes or color) is by 1707. Related: Mantled; mantling.
masc. proper name, from French Charles, from Medieval Latin Carolus, from Middle High German Karl, literally "man, husband" (see carl).
"drink laced with chloral hydrate," by 1918. Mickey Finn was used from the 1880s as the name of the main character in a series of popular humorous Irish-American stories published by New York Sun staff writer Ernest Jarrold (1848-1912), who sometimes also used it as his pen-name. Perhaps there is a connection.
cartoon mouse character created 1928 by U.S. animator Walt Disney (1901-1966). As an adjective meaning "small and worthless, petty, inconsequential" it was in use by 1951, perhaps from the popularity of the cheaply made Mickey Mouse wristwatch; it was used by 1935 in reference to mediocre dance-band music, based on the type of tunes played as background in cartoon films.
"cloak, mantle," 1670s, from French manteau "a cloak," from Old French mantel, from Latin mantellum "cloak" (see mantle (n.)).
1580s, "flexible traveling case or bag for clothes and other necessaries," from Middle French portemanteau "traveling bag," originally "court official who carried a prince's mantle" (1540s), from porte, imperative of porter "to carry" (see porter (n.1)) + manteau "cloak" (see mantle (n.)). Sometimes partially Englished as portmantle.
Portmanteau word "word blending the sound of two different words" (1882) was coined by "Lewis Carroll" (Charles L. Dodgson, 1832-1898) for the sort of words he invented for "Jabberwocky," on the notion of "two meanings packed up into one word." As a noun in this sense from 1872.
c. 1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s.
The meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" is attested by 1510s; it is a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantle-tree" (late 15c.) "beam of oak or some other hard wood above a fireplace or oven" (with tree in the now-obsolete sense of "beam"). But the exact meaning of mantle in that had become obscure by the 19c.
In a fire-place, the mantle or mantlepiece, may have been either a covered or chimney-piece; or the part below it to which a hanging, for the sake of making a flue for the wind to draw up the fire, was attached. The details, however, of this are uncertain. [Robert Gordon Latham, "A Dictionary of the English Language," 1882]
Mantel-clock "clock intended to sit on a mantle-shelf," is by 1824.
fem. proper name, from French, from Italian Carolina, originally a fem. adjective from Medieval Latin Carolus "Charles" (see Charles).