Etymology
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strainer (n.)
"utensil which strains," early 14c., agent noun from strain (v.).
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strain (v.)

c. 1300, "tie, bind, fasten, gird," from present participle stem of Old French estreindre "bind tightly, clasp, squeeze," from Latin stringere (2) "draw tight, bind tight, compress, press together," from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (source also of Lithuanian strėgti "congeal, freeze, become stiff;" Greek strangein "twist;" Old High German strician "mends nets;" Old English streccian "to stretch;" German stramm, Dutch stram "stiff").

From late 14c. as "tighten; make taut," also "exert oneself; overexert (a body part)," Sense of "press through a filter, put (a liquid) through a strainer" is from early 14c. (implied in strainer); that of "to stress beyond measure, carry too far, make a forced interpretation of" is from mid-15c. Related: Strained; straining.

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coliform (adj.)

"resembling a bacillus of the coli group," 1894, from coli (see E. coli) + -form. Earlier (1850s) an identical word meant "resembling a sieve," from Latin colum "strainer" (see colander).

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colander (n.)

"vessel perforated with little holes to allow liquid to run off," mid-14c., coloundour, probably altered (with unetymological -n-)  from Medieval Latin colatorium "strainer" from Latin colatus, past participle of colare "to strain," from colum "sieve, strainer, wicker fishing net," which is of uncertain origin.

Cognate with French couloir, Spanish colador, Italian colatojo. The word in English had a wide range of spellings (cullender, coloner, cullyandre, etc.), reflecting uncertainty of the etymology. "The form of the Eng. word appears to be due to some perversion; but its exact history is obscure" [OED]. As a verb, "to pass through a colander," 1874; earlier "riddle with holes" (1862). Related: Colandered.

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percolation (n.)

"the act of straining or filtering through some porous material," 1610s, from Latin percolationem (nominative percolatio) "a straining through; the act of filtering," noun of action from past-participle stem of percolare "to strain through, filter," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + colare "to strain," from colum "a strainer," which is of uncertain origin.

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cull (n.2)

1690s, earlier cully (1660s) "a dupe, a sap-head," "a verdant fellow who is easily deceived, tricked, or imposed on" [Century Dictionary], rogues' slang, of uncertain origin.

Perhaps a shortening of cullion "base fellow," originally "testicle" (from French couillon, from Old French coillon "testicle; worthless fellow, dolt," from Latin coleus, literally "strainer bag;" see cojones). Another theory traces it to Romany (Gypsy) chulai "man." Also sometimes in the form cully, however some authorities assert cully was the canting term for "dupe" and cull was generic "man, fellow" without implication of gullibility. Compare also gullible. Related: Cullibility (1728).

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cojones (n.)

"courage," literally "testicles, balls," 1932, in Hemingway ("Death in the Afternoon," an account of Spanish bull-fighting), from Spanish cojon "testicle," from Latin coleus "the testicles" (source of Italian coglione), literally "strainer bag," a variant of culleus "a leather sack," cognate with Greek koleos "sheath of a sword, scabbard." Both are said in some sources to be from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save," but de Vaan finds it "Probably a loanword from a non-IE language, independently into Latin and Greek."

English had it as cullion a 16c. term of contempt for a man, "a mean wretch" (Shakespeare) also "a testicle" (Chaucer), from Middle English coujon, coilon (late 14c.), from Old French coillon "testicle; worthless fellow, dolt," from Latin coleus. 

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