by 1884 as a colloquial shortening of picture (n.). Short for motion picture by 1936. Even more colloquial piccy is recorded from 1889.
early 13c., pik, pyk, "pointed tip or spike on a staff, pole, weapon, etc.," collateral (long-vowel) form of pic (source of pick (n.1)), from Old English piic "pointed object, pickaxe," which is perhaps from a Celtic source (compare Gaelic pic "pickaxe," Irish pice "pike, pitchfork"). The word probably has been influenced by, or is partly from, Old French pic "sharp point or spike," itself perhaps from Germanic (see pike (n.1)), Old Norse pic, and Middle Dutch picke, pecke. Pike, pick (n.1), and pitch (n.1) formerly were used indifferently in English.
From c. 1400 as "a sharp, pointed mountain or summit." The pike position in diving, gymnastics, etc., is attested by 1928, perhaps on the notion of "tapering to a point."
c. 1300 (late 12c. as a surname), "resident or inhabitant of Picardy," the region in northeastern France, from Old French pic (Modern French pique) "pike" (see pike (n.1)); the characteristic weapon of the people who lived in this part of northern France in ancient times.
complicated two-person game played with a 32-card pack, 1640s, from French piquet, picquet (16c.), a name of uncertain origin, as are many card-game names, and it comes trailing the usual cloud of fanciful and absurd speculations. Perhaps it is a diminutive of pic "pick, pickaxe, pique," from the suit of spades, or from the phrase faire pic, a term said to be used in the game. In the game, a pique was a winning of 30 points before one's opponent scored at all in the same hand. But its earlier name in French (16c.) was Cent, from its target score of 100 points. The classic aristocratic two-handed game, and the unofficial national card game of France, it faded after World War I in the face of simpler, more democratic games. Compare kaput.
"fork for lifting and pitching" (hay, etc.), commonly with a long handle and two prongs, mid-14c., altered (by influence of pichen "to throw, thrust;" see pitch (v.1)) from Middle English pic-forken (c. 1200), from pik (see pike (n.2)) + fork (n.). The verb, "to lift or throw with a pitchfork," is attested from 1837.
"thick, tenacious, resinous substance obtained from tar or turpentine, wood tar," late 12c., pich, piche, from Old English pic "pitch," from a Germanic borrowing (compare Old Saxon and Old Frisian pik, Middle Dutch pik, Dutch pek, Old High German pek, German Pech, Old Norse bik) of Latin pix (genitive picis) "pitch" (source of Old French poiz), from PIE root *pik- "pitch" (source also of Greek pissa (Attic pitta), Lithuanian pikis, Old Church Slavonic piklu "pitch," Russian peklo "scorching heat, hell").
The English word was improperly applied to sap from pine bark from late 14c. As a type of blackness from c. 1300. Pitch-black "as black as pitch" is attested from 1590s; pitch-dark "as dark as pitch, very dark" from 1680s.
"weapon with a long shaft and a pointed metal head," 1510s, from French pique "a spear; pikeman," from piquer "to pick, puncture, pierce," from Old French pic "sharp point or spike," a general continental term (Spanish pica, Italian picca, Provençal piqua), perhaps ultimately from a Germanic [Barnhart] or Celtic source (see pike (n.2)). An alternative explanation traces the Old French word (via Vulgar Latin *piccare "to prick, pierce") to Latin picus "woodpecker." No doubt, too, there is influence from pike (n.1), which by 1200 had a sense of "spiked staff."
"Formerly the chief weapon of a large part of the infantry; in the 18th c. superseded by the bayonet" [OED]; hence old expressions such as pass through pikes "come through difficulties, run the gauntlet;" push of pikes "close-quarters combat." German Pike, Dutch piek, Danish pik, etc. are from French pique.
"thick fish soup," 1751, American English, apparently named for the pot it was cooked in: French chaudière "a pot" (12c.), from Late Latin caldaria "cooking pot" (source of Spanish calderon, Italian calderone), from Latin calidarium "hot bath," from calidus "warm, hot" (from PIE root *kele- (1) "warm").
The word and the practice were introduced in Newfoundland by Breton fishermen and spread from there to the Maritimes and New England.
CHOWDER. A favorite dish in New England, made of fish, pork, onions, and biscuit stewed together. Cider and champagne are sometimes added. Pic-nic parties to the sea-shore generally have a dish of chowder, prepared by themselves in some grove near the beach, from fish caught at the same time. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]
The modern form of it usually features clams. In New England, usually made with milk; the Manhattan version is made with tomatoes. The derogatory chowderhead (1819) is a corruption of cholter-head (16c.), from jolt-head, which is of unknown origin.