Etymology
Advertisement
take (v.)

late Old English tacan "to take, seize," from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse taka "take, grasp, lay hold," past tense tok, past participle tekinn; Swedish ta, past participle tagit), from Proto-Germanic *takan- (source also of Middle Low German tacken, Middle Dutch taken, Gothic tekan "to touch"), from Germanic root *tak- "to take," of uncertain origin, perhaps originally meaning "to touch."

As the principal verb for "to take," it gradually replaced Middle English nimen, from Old English niman, from the usual West Germanic verb, *nemanan (source of German nehmen, Dutch nemen; see nimble).

OED calls take "one of the elemental words of the language;" take up alone has 55 varieties of meaning in that dictionary's 2nd print edition. Basic sense is "to lay hold of," which evolved to "accept, receive" (as in take my advice) c. 1200; "absorb" (take a punch) c. 1200; "choose, select" (take the high road) late 13c.; "to make, obtain" (take a shower) late 14c.; "to become affected by" (take sick) c. 1300.

Take five is 1929, from the approximate time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Take it easy is recorded by 1880; take the plunge "act decisively" is from 1876; take the rap "accept (undeserved) punishment" is from 1930. Phrase take it or leave it is recorded from 1897. To take (something) on "begin to do" is from late 12c. To take it out on (someone or something) "vent one's anger on other than what caused it" is by 1840.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
take (n.)
1650s, "that which is taken," from take (v.). Sense of "money taken in" by a single performance, etc., is from 1931. Movie-making sense is recorded from 1927. Criminal sense of "money acquired by theft" is from 1888. The verb sense of "to cheat, defraud" is from 1920. On the take "amenable to bribery" is from 1930.
Related entries & more 
double-take (n.)

"exaggerated reaction to surprise," 1922, from double (adj.) + take (n.). Originally in stage comedy acting.

Related entries & more 
off (prep., adv.)

by c. 1200 as an emphatic form of Old English of (see of), employed in the adverbial use of that word. The prepositional meaning "away from" and the adjectival sense of "farther" were not firmly fixed in this variant until 17c., but once they were they left the original of with the transferred and weakened senses of the word. Meaning "not working" is from 1861.

Off the cuff "extemporaneously, without preparation" (1938) is from the notion of speaking from notes written in haste on one's shirt cuffs. In reference to clothing, off the rack (adj.) "not tailored, not made to individual requirements, ready-made" is by 1963, on the notion of buying it from the rack of a clothing store; off the record "not to be publicly disclosed" is from 1933; off the wall "crazy" is 1968, probably from the notion of a lunatic "bouncing off the walls" or else in reference to carom shots in squash, handball, etc.

Related entries & more 
off (v.)
"to kill," 1930, from off (adv.). Earlier verbal senses were "to defer" (1640s), "to move off" (1882). Related: Offed.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
out-take (n.)

also outtake, "rejected part of a film," 1960, from out- + take (n.) in the movie sense. Related: Out-takes.

Related entries & more 
give-and-take (n.)
1769, originally in horse-racing, referring to races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less; from give (v.) + take (v.). General sense attested by 1778. Give and take had been paired in expressions involving mutual exchange from c. 1500. Give or take as an indication of approximation is from 1958.
Related entries & more 
far-off (adj.)
also faroff, "distant, remote," 1590s, from adverbial phrase, from far (adv.) + off (adv.).
Related entries & more 
off-camera (adv.)

"outside the range of a film or television camera," 1944, from off (prep.) + camera.

Related entries & more 
off-stage (adj.)

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

Related entries & more