Etymology
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heather (n.)

early 14c., hathir, from Old English *hæddre, Scottish or northern England dialect name for Calluna vulgaris, probably altered by heath, but real connection to that word is unlikely [Liberman, OED]. Perhaps originally Celtic. As a fem. proper name little used in U.S. before 1935, but a top-15 name for girls born there 1971-1989.

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white-out (n.)

1946 as an extreme snow condition on the U.S. prairie, from white as a verb + out (adv.). From 1977 as a liquid correction for paper.

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white bread (n.)

c. 1300, as opposed to darker whole-grain type, from white (adj.) + bread (n.). Its popularity among middle-class America led to the slang adjectival sense of "conventional, bourgeois" (c. 1980). Old English had hwitehlaf.

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white trash (n.)

1824, originally in African-American vernacular in the South.

The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, whom they designate as 'poor white trash.' [Fanny Kemble, journal, Jan. 6, 1833]
[T]he term [poor white] is rather loosely applied by Northern writers even to mountaineers and to small farmers who live on a precarious footing. But in the Southern conception, not everyone who is both poor and white is a "poor white." To the Southerner, the "poor white" in the strictest sense is a being beyond the pale of even the most generous democratic recognition; in the negro's term, "po' white trash," or so much social débris. [Robert Penn Warren, "The Briar Patch," 1930, footnote]
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white noise (n.)

"sound made up of a random mixture of frequencies and intensities," by 1970, from white (adj.) + noise (n.).

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lily-white (adj.)

early 14c., from lily + white (adj.); from 1903 with reference to whites-only segregation; 1961 as "irreproachable."

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white hope (n.)

"person or thing that people hope will be very successful in the near future," 1911, originally in U.S. sporting use in reference to the quest for a white man capable of beating champion pugilist Jack Johnson.

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white meat (n.)

"meat of poultry, pigs, etc.," as opposed to red meat, 1752, from white (adj.) + meat (n.). Earlier it meant "foods prepared from milk" (early 15c.). African-American vernacular sense of "white women as sex partners" is from 1920s.

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