Etymology
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woman (n.)
Origin and meaning of woman

"adult female human," late Old English wimman, wiman (plural wimmen), literally "woman-man," alteration of wifman (plural wifmen) "woman, female servant" (8c.), a compound of wif "woman" (see wife) + man "human being" (in Old English used in reference to both sexes; see man (n.)). Compare Dutch vrouwmens "wife," literally "woman-man."

It is notable that it was thought necessary to join wif, a neuter noun, representing a female person, to man, a masc. noun representing either a male or female person, to form a word denoting a female person exclusively. [Century Dictionary]

The formation is peculiar to English and Dutch. Replaced older Old English wif and quean as the word for "female human being," as in Jesus's answer to his mother, in Anglo-Saxon gospels la, wif, hwæt is me and þe? (John ii:4 "Woman, what have I to do with thee?").

The pronunciation of the singular altered in Middle English by the rounding influence of -w-; the plural retains the original vowel. Meaning "wife," now largely restricted to U.S. dialectal use, is attested from mid-15c.

In American English, lady is "In loose and especially polite usage, a woman" [Craigie, "Dictionary of American English"]. This peculiarity was much commented upon by English travelers; in the U.S. the custom was considered especially Southern, but the English didn't bother with nice distinctions and regarded it simply as American. "This noble word [woman], spirit-stirring as it passes over English ears, is in America banished, and 'ladies' and 'females' substituted; the one to English taste mawkish and vulgar; the other indistinctive and gross. The effect is odd." [Harriet Martineau, 1837]

Woman-hater "misogynist" is from c. 1600. Women's work, that considered appropriate to women, is from 1660s. Women's liberation is attested from 1966; women's rights is from 1840, with an isolated example in 1630s.

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stunt (v.)

"check in growth, dwarf," 1650s, earlier "bring to an abrupt halt" (c. 1600); "provoke, anger, irritate" (1580s), from obsolete Middle English adjective stunt "foolish, stupid; obstinate," from Old English stunt "stupid, foolish" (as in stuntspræc "foolish talk"), from Proto-Germanic *stuntaz "short, truncated" (source also of Middle High German stunz "short, blunt, stumpy," Old Norse stuttr (*stuntr) "scanty, short"), an adjective which stands in gradational relationship to stint (v.).

The modern sense of the English word is from influence of the Old Norse word. The Middle English adjective is attested from mid-15c. in the sense "of short duration." Related: Stunted; stunting.

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stunt (n.)

"feat to attract attention," 1878, American English college sports slang, of uncertain origin. Speculated to be a variant of colloquial stump "dare, challenge" (1871), or of German stunde, literally "hour." The movie stunt man is attested from 1930.

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wonder woman (n.)

1912, "ideal woman, woman who seems wonderful or has wonderful qualities," from wonder (n.) + woman. The comic book superheroine debuted in DC Comics in 1941.

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foolish (adj.)

early 14c., from fool (n.1) + -ish. Older adjectives in Middle English were fool (c. 1200); folly (c. 1300). Old English words for this were dysig, stunt, dol. Related: Foolishly; foolishness.

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yellow journalism 

"sensational chauvinism in the media," 1898, American English, from newspaper agitation for war with Spain; originally "publicity stunt use of colored ink" (1895) in reference to the popular Yellow Kid" character (his clothes were yellow) in Richard Outcault's comic strip "Shantytown" in the "New York World."

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publicity (n.)

1791, "state or condition of being public or open to the observation and inquiry of a community," from French publicité (1690s), from Medieval Latin publicitatem (nominative publicitas), from Latin publicus (see public (adj.)). Sense of "a making (something) known, an exposure to the public" is from 1826, shading by c. 1900 into "advertising, the business of promotion." Publicity stunt is recorded by 1908.

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womanish (adj.)

late 14c., "womanly, feminine; resembling a woman;" of a man or men, "behaving in the manner of a woman, effeminate," from woman + -ish. Related: Womanishly; womanishness.

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chairwoman (n.)

"woman who leads a formal meeting," 1699, from chair (n.) + woman.

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womanhood (n.)

late 14c., "condition of being a woman," also "qualities or characteristics considered natural to a woman," from woman + -hood. Meaning "women collectively" is attested from 1520s.

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