Upper hand "advantage" is late 15c., perhaps from wrestling (get the over-hand in the same sense is from early 14c.); lower hand "condition of having lost or failed to win superiority" (1690s) is rare. Upperclassman is recorded from 1871. Upper crust is attested from mid-15c. in reference to the top crust of a loaf of bread, 1836 in reference to society. Upper middle class (adj.) is recorded from 1835. Upper ten thousand (1844) was common mid-19c. for "wealthier and more aristocratic part of a large community;" hence uppertendom.
It was on a side hill, and I observed a boy, who appeared to be about fifteen years of age, opposite the house felling a large tree; he had cut a few chips from the under side, and was then making the principal incision on the upper. ... I said to the boy, "Well Sir, I see that you make the upper cut." "That is the true cut," said the boy; "for if you will take the axe and try below, you will find that the tree will crowd down upon your chips, and you can't get it down in double the time." [Theodore Sedgwick, "Hints to My Countrymen," 1826]
"a jaw, a jawbone," 1670s, from Latin maxilla "upper jaw," diminutive of mala "jaw, cheekbone." "Maxilla stands to mala as axilla, 'armpit,' stands to ala 'wing'" [Klein]. Especially a bone of the upper jaw (maxilla superior) as distinguished from the mandible or lower jaw (maxilla inferior). Related: Maxillar; maxilliform.
"cartilaginous cavity in the upper windpipe where vocal sounds are made," 1570s, from French larynx (16c.), via medical Latin, from Greek larynx (genitive laryngos) "the upper windpipe," which is probably from laimos "throat" (a word of uncertain etymology) but influenced by pharynx "throat, windpipe" (see pharynx).