Etymology
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sputum (n.)

1690s, from Latin sputum, noun use of neuter past participle of spuere "to spit" (see spew (v.)).

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smear (n.)

"mark or stain left by or as if by smearing," 1610s, from smear (v.). The sense of "small quantity prepared for microscopic examination" is from 1903. The meaning "a quantity of cream cheese, etc., smeared on a bagel" is by 1999, from Yiddish shmir.

The earlier noun sense in English is that of "fat, grease; ointment" (c. 1200), from Old English smeoru "fat, grease," cognate with Middle Dutch smere, Dutch smeer, German Schmer "grease, fat" (Yiddish schmir), Danish smør, Swedish smör "butter."

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smear (v.)

Middle English smeren, from Old English smerian, smierwan, smyrian "anoint or rub with ointment, oil, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *smerwjan "to spread grease on" (source also of Old Norse smyrja "to anoint, rub with ointment," Danish smøre, Swedish smörja, Dutch smeren, Old High German smirwen "apply salve, smear," German schmieren "to smear;" Old Norse smör "butter"), from PIE *smeru- "grease" (source also of Greek myron "unguent, balsam," Old Irish smi(u)r "marrow," Old English smeoru "fat, grease, ointment, tallow, lard, suet," Lithuanian smarsas "fat").

Originally especially "to anoint," but also in Old English "overspread too thickly with something thick or sticky." In modern use also of bad painting or makeup. The figurative sense of "assault a public reputation" is by 1835; especially "dishonor or besmirch with unsubstantiated charges." Related: Smeared; smearing. Smear-word, one used regardless of its literal meaning but invested with invective, is from 1938.

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smear-case (n.)

also smearcase, "cottage cheese," 1829, a semi-translation of German Schmierkäse; from schmier "grease" (see smear (v.), also schmear) + käse "whey, cheese" (see cheese (n.)).

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smarm (n.)

1914, from colloquial verb smalm, smarm "to smear, bedaub" (the hair, with pomade), 1847, of unknown origin, perhaps somehow suggestive of the action. Verbal meaning "to smear with flattery" is from 1902.

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schmear (n.)

also schmeer, 1961, "bribery," from Yiddish shmir "spread," from shmirn "to grease, smear," from Middle High German smiren, from Old High German smirwen "to smear" (see smear (v.); compare slang grease (someone's) palm "to bribe"). Phrase the whole schmear "the entire affair" is attested by 1969, originally show business jargon,

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besmear (v.)

Old English bismierwan, besmyrwan (West Saxon), besmerwan (Anglian); see be- + smear (v.). Related: Besmeared; besmearing.

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pitch (v.2)

"to smear or cover with pitch," Middle English pichen, from Old English pician, from the source of pitch (n.2).

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blur (n.)

1540s, "a moral stain;" c. 1600, "a smear on the surface of writing;" of uncertain origin, perhaps akin to blear. The extended sense of "a confused dimness" is from 1860 [Emerson, in reference to the Orion nebula].

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smirch (n.)

1680s, "a soiling mark or smear," from smirch (v.). Figurative use by 1862.

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