c. 1300, dauncen, "move the body or feet rhythmically to music," from Old French dancier (12c., Modern French danser), which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Low Frankish *dintjan and akin to Old Frisian dintje "tremble, quiver." Through French influence in arts and society, it has become the primary word for this activity from Spain to Russia (Italian danzare, Spanish danzar, Romanian dansa, Swedish dansa, German tanzen, modern Russian tancevat').
In part the loanword from French is used mainly with reference to fashionable dancing while the older native word persists in use with reference to folk-dancing, as definitively Russ. pljasat' vs. tancovat' [Carl Darling Buck, "A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages," 1949].
In English it replaced Old English sealtian, itself a borrowing from Latin saltare "to dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.); "dance" words frequently are derived from words meaning "jump, leap"). Native words used for the activity in Old English included tumbian (see tumble (v.)), hoppian(see hop (v.1)). Related: Danced; dancing.
Meaning "to leap or spring with regular or irregular steps as an expression of some emotion" is from late 14c. Of inanimate things, "move nimbly or quickly with irregular motion," 1560s. Transitive sense of "give a dancing motion to" is from c. 1500. To dance attendance "strive to please and gain favor by obsequiousness" is from late 15c.
"stopper, faucet through which liquid can be drawn," Old English tæppa "tap, spigot," from Proto-Germanic *tappon (source also of Middle Dutch tappe, Dutch tap, Old High German zapfo, German Zapfe). Originally a tapering cylindrical peg for a cask, then a hollowed one to draw from it (compare sense evolution of spigot). Phrase on tap "ready for use, ready to be drawn and served" is recorded from late 15c. Tap-wrench, used in turning one, attested from 1815.
"device to listen in secretly on telephone calls," 1923, from tap (v.2) in the "listen secretly" sense.
c. 1300, dance, daunce, "succession of steps and movements, commonly guided by musical accompaniment," also "a dancing party," from dance (v.). From late 14c. as "a tune to be danced to."
With many figurative senses: in Middle English the olde daunce was "the whole business," and the daunce is don was exactly equivalent to modern slang phrase the jig is up. To lead (someone) a dance "lead in a wearying, perplexing, or disappointing course" is from 1520s. Dance-band is from 1908; dance-floor from 1863; dance-hall from 1823.
"to supply with a tap," late Old English tæppian, from source of tap (n.1); compare German zapfen "to tap." Meaning "to draw liquor with a tap" is from mid-15c. Extended sense "make use of" is first recorded 1570s. Meaning "listen in secretly" (1869), originally was with reference to telegraph wires. Tapped out "broke" is 1940s slang, perhaps from the notion of having tapped all one's acquaintances for loans already (compare British slang on the tap "begging, making requests for loans," 1932).
"light blow or stroke," mid-14c., from tap (v.1). Tap dancer first recorded 1927, from tap (n.) in the sense of "metal plate over the heel of a shoe" (1680s).
"strike lightly," c. 1200, from Old French taper "tap, rap, strike" (12c.), from a Gallo-Roman or Germanic source ultimately imitative of the sound of rapping. Meaning "to designate for some duty or for membership" is recorded from 1952, from notion of a tap on the shoulder. Related: Tapped; tapping.
"dance by four couples placed opposite to each other and making the same steps and figures," 1803, from French contre-danse, altered from English country dance by folk etymology from French contra "against," suggested by the arrangement of the partners in the dance. The dances and the name were taken up in France c. 1720s and from there passed to Spain and Italy (Spanish, Italian contra danza) then back to English.
also heeltap, 1680s, "one of the bits of leather that are stacked up to make a shoe heel" (see heel (n.1)); meaning "bit of liquor left in a glass or bottle" first recorded 1767; the exact connection is uncertain unless it be "the last or final part." Related: Heeltaps.
A jolly dog, is one who has no conversation in company, but "fill about, what's the toast, damn your heel-taps," and roars out an obscene ballad when he gets drunk. [The Batchelor, March 28, 1767]
traditional English dance of persons in costume, mid-15c., moreys daunce "Moorish dance," from Flemish mooriske dans, from Old French morois "Moorish, Arab, black," from More "Moor" (see Moor). It is unknown why the English dance (which typically is based on the Robin Hood stories) was called this, unless it is in reference to fantastic dancing or costumes (compare Italian Moresco, a related dance, literally "Moorish;" German moriskentanz, French moresque).