Etymology
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tax (v.)

c. 1300, "impose a tax on," from Old French taxer "impose a tax" (13c.) and directly from Latin taxare "evaluate, estimate, assess, handle," also "censure, charge," probably a frequentative form of tangere "to touch," from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle." Sense of "to burden, put a strain on" first recorded early 14c.; that of "censure, reprove" is from 1560s. Its use in Luke ii for Greek apographein "to enter on a list, enroll" is due to Tyndale. Related: Taxed; taxing.

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boost (v.)

"to lift or raise by pushing from behind," 1815, literal and figurative, American English, a word of unknown origin. Related: Boosted; boosting. As a noun, "a lift, a shove up, an upward push," by 1825.

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tax (n.)

early 14c., "obligatory contribution levied by a sovereign or government," from Anglo-French tax, Old French taxe, and directly from Medieval Latin taxa, from Latin taxare (see tax (v.)). Related: Taxes. Tax-deduction is from 1942; tax-shelter is attested from 1961.

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leg up (n.)

"an aid, a boost," 1837, from leg (n.) + up (adv.).

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excise (n.)

"tax on goods," late 15c., from Middle Dutch excijs (early 15c.), apparently altered from accijs "tax" (by influence of Latin excisus "cut out or removed," see excise (v.)), traditionally from Old French acceis "tax, assessment" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *accensum, ultimately from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + census "tax, census" (see census). English got the word, and the idea for the tax, from Holland.

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surtax (n.)

"extra tax," 1834, from French surtaxe, from Old French sur- "over" (see sur- (1)) + taxe "tax" (see tax (n.)).

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taxpayer (n.)

also tax-payer, 1816, from tax (n.) + payer.

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scot-free (adj.)

late Old English scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot (n.) "royal tax" + freo "free" (see free (adj.)).

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cess (n.)

"tax, levy," 1530s, from the verb cess "impose a tax upon" (late 15c.), altered spelling of sess, short for assess (q.v.). 

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overtax (v.)

1640s, "to demand too much of," from over- + tax (v.). Meaning "to levy taxes beyond what is equitable or reasonable, to tax heavily or excessively" is by 1823. Related: Overtaxed; overtaxing.

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