Etymology
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shovel (n.)

"instrument consisting of a broad scoop or curved blade with a handle," Middle English shovel, from Old English scofl, sceofol "shovel," from Proto-Germanic *skublo (source also of Old Saxon skufla, Swedish skovel, Middle Low German schufle, Middle Dutch shuffel, Dutch schoffel, Old High German scuvala, German Schaufel). The Old English noun is related to scufan "push away, thrust, push with violence" (see shove (v.)). Shovel-ready, with reference to construction projects, is attested by 2006.

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power (v.)

"to supply with power," 1898, from power (n.). Earlier it meant "make powerful" (1530s). Related: Powered; powering.

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power (n.)
Origin and meaning of power

c. 1300, pouer, "ability; ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might," especially in battle; "efficacy; control, mastery, lordship, dominion, ability or right to command or control; legal power or authority; authorization; military force, an army," from Anglo-French pouair, Old French povoir, noun use of the infinitive, "to be able," earlier podir (9c.), from Vulgar Latin *potere (source also of Spanish poder, Italian potere), from Latin potis "powerful" (from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord").

Whatever some hypocritical ministers of government may say about it, power is the greatest of all pleasures. It seems to me that only love can beat it, and love is a happy illness that can't be picked up as easily as a Ministry. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]

Meaning "one who has power, person in authority or exercising great influence in a community" is late 14c. Meaning "a specific ability or capacity" is from early 15c. In mechanics, "that with which work can be done," by 1727.

Sense of "property of an inanimate thing or agency of modifying other things" is by 1590s. Meaning "a state or nation with regard to international authority or influence" [OED] is from 1726. Meaning "energy available for work is from 1727. Sense of "electrical supply" is from 1896.

Colloquial a power of for "a large quantity of, a great number of" is from 1660s (compare powerful). Phrase the powers that be "the authorities concerned" is from Romans xiii.1. As a statement wishing good luck, more power to(someone) is recorded from 1842. A man-advantage power play in ice hockey so called by 1940. Power failure "failure of the (electrical) power supply" is from 1911; power steering in a motor vehicle is from 1921. Power politics "political action based on or backed by threats of force" (1937) translates German Macht-politik.

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shovel (v.)

"take up and move with a shovel," mid-15c., shovelen, from shovel (n.). Often especially "move or throw in large quantities hastily and inelegantly." Related: Shoveled; shoveling. Compare German schaufeln, verb from noun. Shoveler (also shovelard) as a kind of duck is from mid-15c.

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sea-power (n.)

in geopolitics, "nation having international power or influence at sea," by 1849, from sea + power (n.).

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power-house (n.)

also powerhouse, 1873, "building where power is generated (by steam, electricity, etc.) to drive machinery," from power (n.) + house (n.). Figurative sense "source of energy or inspiration" is by 1913.

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power-broker (n.)

"one who by intrigue exerts influence on the distribution of political power," 1961, apparently coined by (or at least popularized by) T.H. White in reference to the 1960 U.S. presidential election; from power (n.) + broker (n.).

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shovelful (n.)

"as much as a shovel can hold or lift at one time," 1530s, from shovel (n.) + -ful.

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peel (n.2)

"wooden shovel with a broad blade and a long handle," used by bakers, etc., late 14c.. pele, from Old French pele (Modern French pelle) "shovel," from Latin pala "spade, shovel, baker's peel, shoulder blade," related to pangere "to insert firmly," probably from PIE *pag-slo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten."

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palette (n.)

1620s, "flat, thin tablet, with a hole at one end for the thumb, used by an artist to lay and mix colors," from French palette, from Old French palete "small shovel, blade" (13c.) diminutive of pale "shovel, blade," from Latin pala "spade, shoulder blade," probably from PIE *pag-slo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten." Transferred sense of "colors used by a particular artist" is from 1882. Palette-knife, originally one used by artists for mixing colors, is attested by 1759.

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