Etymology
Advertisement
grease (n.)

"oily fat of land animals," c. 1300, from Anglo-French grece, Old French gresse, craisse "grease, fat" (Modern French graisse), from Vulgar Latin *crassia "(melted) animal fat, grease," from Latin crassus "thick, solid, fat" (source also of Spanish grasa, Italian grassa), which is of unknown origin. Grease paint, used by actors, attested from 1880. Grease monkey "mechanic" is from 1918.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
grease (v.)
mid-14c., "smear, lubricate, or anoint with grease or fat," from grease (n.). Sense of "ply with bribe or protection money" is 1520s, from notion of grease the wheels "make things run smoothly" (mid-15c.). To grease (someone's) palm is from 1580s. Expression greased lightning, representing something that goes very fast, is American English, by 1832.
Related entries & more 
wool (n.)
Old English wull "wool, fine soft hair which forms the coat of some animals," from Proto-Germanic *wulno (source also of Old Norse ull, Old Frisian wolle, Middle Dutch wolle, Dutch wol, Old High German wolla, German wolle, Gothic wulla), from PIE *wele- (1) "wool" (source also of Sanskrit urna; Avestan varena; Greek lenos "wool;" Latin lana "wool," vellus "fleece;" Old Church Slavonic vluna, Russian vulna, Lithuanian vilna "wool;" Middle Irish olann, Welsh gwlan "wool").

Figurative expression pull the wool over (someone's) eyes is recorded from 1838, American English. To be literally dyed in the wool (1725, as opposed to dyed in the piece) is to be so before spinning, while the material is in its raw state, which has a more durable effect; hence the figurative sense "from the beginning; most thoroughly," attested from 1809, and especially, in U.S. politics, from 1830.
Related entries & more 
wool-gathering (n.)
also woolgathering, 1550s, "indulging in wandering fancies and purposeless thinking," from the literal meaning "gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc.," an activity that necessitates much wandering to little purpose. See wool + gather.
Related entries & more 
degrease (v.)

also de-grease, "remove the grease from," 1855; see de- + grease. Related: Degreased; degreaser; degreasing.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Lanier 
surname, from Old French lainier "wool-monger," from Latin lana "wool" (see wool).
Related entries & more 
suet (n.)
late 14c., "solid fat formed in the torsos of cattle and sheep," probably from an Anglo-French diminutive of Old French siu "fat, lard, grease, tallow" (Modern French suif), from Latin sebum "tallow, grease" (see sebum). Related: Suety.
Related entries & more 
lanolin (n.)
fatty matter extracted from sheep's wool, 1885, from German Lanolin, coined by German physician Mathias Eugenius Oscar Liebreich (1838-1908) from Latin lana "wool" (from PIE root *wele- (1) "wool;" see wool) + oleum "oil, fat" (see oil (n.)) + chemical suffix -in (2).
Related entries & more 
smear (n.)
"mark or stain left by smearing," 1610s, from smear (v.). Sense of "small quantity prepared for microscopic examination" is from 1903. Meaning "a quantity of cream cheese, etc., smeared on a bagel" is by 1999, from Yiddish shmir. The earliest noun sense in English is "fat, grease, ointment" (c. 1200), from Old English had smeoru "fat, grease," cognate with Middle Dutch smere, Dutch smeer, German Schmer "grease, fat" (Yiddish schmir), Danish smør, Swedish smör "butter."
Related entries & more 
pemmican (n.)

kind of nutritious and durable foodstuff made by Native Americans, 1791, from Cree (Algonquian) /pimihka:n/ from /pimihke:w/ "he makes grease," from pimiy "grease, fat." Lean meat, dried, pounded and mixed with congealed fat and ground berries and formed into cakes eaten on long journeys. Also used figuratively for "extremely condensed thought or matter."

Related entries & more