Etymology
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stage (v.)
early 14c., "to erect, construct," from stage (n.). The meaning "put into a play" is from c. 1600; that of "put (a play) on the stage" first recorded 1879; general sense of "to mount" (a comeback, etc.) is attested from 1924. Related: Staged; staging.
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whisper (v.)
Old English hwisprian "speak very softly, murmur" (only in a Northumbrian gloss for Latin murmurare), from Proto-Germanic *hwis- (source also of Middle Dutch wispelen, Old High German hwispalon, German wispeln, wispern, Old Norse hviskra "to whisper"), from PIE *kwei- "to hiss, whistle," imitative. Transitive sense is from 1560s. Related: Whispered; whispering. An alternative verb, now obsolete, was whister (late 14c., from Old English hwæstrian), and Middle English had whistringe grucchere "a slanderer."
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stage (n.)
mid-13c., "story of a building;" early 14c., "raised platform used for public display" (also "the platform beneath the gallows"), from Old French estage "building, dwelling place; stage for performance; phase, stage, rest in a journey" (12c., Modern French étage "story of a house, stage, floor, loft"), from Vulgar Latin *staticum "a place for standing," from Latin statum, past participle of stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm." Meaning "platform for presentation of a play" is attested from late 14c.; generalized for "profession of an actor" from 1580s.

Sense of "period of development or time in life" first recorded early 14c., probably from Middle English sense of "degree or step on the 'ladder' of virtue, 'wheel' of fortune, etc.," in parable illustrations and morality plays. Meaning "a step in sequence, a stage of a journey" is late 14c. Meaning "level of water in a river, etc." is from 1814, American English.

Stage-name is from 1727. Stage-mother (n.) in the overbearing mother-of-an-actress sense is from 1915. Stage-door is from 1761, hence Stage-Door Johnny "young man who frequents stage doors seeking the company of actresses, chorus girls, etc." (1907). Stage whisper, such as used by an actor on stage to be heard by the audience, first attested 1865. Stage-manage (v.) is from 1871.
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off-stage (adj.)

also offstage, "occurring away from a (theatrical) stage," 1915, from off (prep.) + stage (n.).

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stage-struck (adj.)
"possessed by a passionate desire to perform on stage," 1813, from stage (n.) + past-participle adjective from strike (v.). Earlier was stage-smitten (1680s).
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whispering (n.)
Old English hwisprung, verbal noun from hwisprian (see whisper (v.)).
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stagecraft (n.)
also stage-craft, 1848, from stage (n.) + craft (n.).
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