mid-14c., "stock of a crossbow," from Old French telier "stock of a crossbow" (c. 1200), originally "weaver's beam," from Medieval Latin telarium, from Latin tela "web; loom," from PIE *teks-la-, from root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate." Meaning "bar to turn the rudder of a boat" first recorded 1620s.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to weave," also "to fabricate," especially with an ax," also "to make wicker or wattle fabric for (mud-covered) house walls."
It forms all or part of: architect; context; dachshund; polytechnic; pretext; subtle; technical; techno-; technology; tectonic; tete; text; textile; tiller (n.1) ""bar to turn the rudder of a boat;" tissue; toil (n.2) "net, snare."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: *teks- "to weave, to fabricate, to make; make wicker or wattle framework" (source also of Sanskrit taksati "he fashions, constructs," taksan "carpenter;" Avestan taša "ax, hatchet," thwaxš- "be busy;" Old Persian taxš- "be active;" Latin texere "to weave, fabricate," tela "web, net, warp of a fabric;" Greek tekton "carpenter," tekhnē "art;" Old Church Slavonic tesla "ax, hatchet;" Lithuanian tašau, tašyti "to carve;" Old Irish tal "cooper's ax;" Old High German dahs, German Dachs "badger," literally "builder;" Hittite taksh- "to join, unite, build."
"instrument by which a ship is steered," from Old English helma "rudder; position of guidance, control," from Proto-Germanic *helmaz (source also of Old Norse hjalm, Old High German helmo, German Helm "handle"), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp" (see helve).
Helm - the handle or tiller, in large ships the wheel, by which the runner is managed; the word is sometimes used with reference to the whole stearing [sic]-gear.
Rudder - that part of the helm which consists of a broad piece of timber, enters the water, and is governed by means of the wheel or tiller.
Tiller - the bar or lever by means of which the rudder of a ship or boat is turned.
[J.H.A. Günther, "English Synonyms Explained & Illustrated," Groningen, 1904]
Old English helfe, hielfe "handle of an axe" or other tool or weapon, from Proto-Germanic *halbma- (source also of Old Saxon helvi, Middle Dutch helf, Old High German halb "handle of an axe," Old High German helmo "tiller"); related to halter and helm (n.1), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp." In Middle English, to holden the axe bi the helve (c. 1200) meant "to take something by the right end."
mid-15c. (late 12c. as a surname), a variation or alteration of Middle English rother, from Old English roðor "paddle, oar," from Proto-Germanic *rothru- (source also of Old Frisian roðer, Middle Low German roder, Middle Dutch roeder, Dutch roer, Old High German ruodar, German Ruder "oar"), from *ro- "steer" (from PIE root *ere- "to row") + suffix *-þra, used to form neutral names of tools.
The original sense is obsolete. The meaning "broad, flat piece of wood attached to the stern of a boat and guided by a tiller for use in steering" is from c. 1300. For shift of -th- to -d- compare burden (n.1), murder (n.); simultaneous but opposite movement turned -d- to -th- in father (n.), etc.
1620s, "to settle with colonists, plant or establish a colony in," from stem of Latin colonus "tiller of the soil, farmer" (see colony). From 1630s as "to migrate to and settle in." It is attested by 1790s in the sense of "to make another place into a national dependency" without regard for settlement there (such as in reference to French activity in Egypt or the British in India), and in this sense it is probably directly from colony.
No principle ought ever to be tolerated or acted upon, that does not proceed on the basis of India being considered as the temporary residence of a great British Establishment, for the good government of the country, upon steady and uniform principles, and of a large British factory, for the beneficial management of its trade, upon rules applicable to the state and manners of the country. [Henry Dundas, Chairman of the East-India Company, letter, April 2, 1800]
Related: Colonized; colonizing.
c. 1300, "in a state of a serf, unfree," from bond (n.) "tenant, farmer holding land under a lord in return for customary service; a married bond as head of a household" (mid-13c.). The Old English form was bonda, bunda "husbandman, householder," but the Middle English word probably is from Old Norse *bonda, a contraction of boande, buande "occupier and tiller of soil, peasant, husbandman," a noun from the past participle of bua, boa "to dwell" (from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow").
"In the more despotic Norway and Denmark, bo'ndi became a word of contempt, denoting the common low people. ... In the Icelandic Commonwealth the word has a good sense, and is often used of the foremost men ...." [OED]. The sense of the noun deteriorated in English after the Conquest and the rise of the feudal system, from "free farmer" to "serf, slave" (c. 1300) and the word became associated with unrelated bond (n.) and bound (adj.1).