From late Old English as "in favor of." For and fore differentiated gradually in Middle English. For alone as a conjunction, "because, since, for the reason that; in order that" is from late Old English, probably a shortening of common Old English phrases such as for þon þy "therefore," literally "for the (reason) that."
Meaning "that which holds two or more things firmly together" (on notion of clasping arms) is from mid-15c. Hence applied to various devices for fastening and tightening. Meaning "a prop, support," especially in architecture, is from 1520s. Of dogs, ducks, pistols, etc., "a couple, a pair" from c. 1400. Braces is from 1798 as "straps passing over the shoulders to hold up the trousers;" from 1945 as "wires for straightening the teeth."
Middle English mannen, from Old English mannian "to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men," from man (n.). The meaning "take up a designated position on a ship" is attested by 1690s.
The sense of "behave like a man, brace up in a manful way, act with courage" is from c. 1400. To man (something) out "play a man's part, bear oneself stoutly and boldly" is from 1660s. To man up is by 1925 as "supply with a man or men;" by 2006 in the intransitive colloquial sense of "be manly." Related: Manned; manning.