mid-13c. (as a surname late 12c.), from Anglo-French buteillier, Old French boteillier, "cup-bearer, butler, officer in charge of wine," from boteille "wine vessel, bottle" (see bottle (n.)). The word reflects the position's original function as "chief servant in charge of wine." It gradually evolved to "head, servant of a household." In Old French, the fem. boteilliere was used of the Virgin Mary as the dispenser of the cup of Mercy.
"utopia," from title of a book published 1872 by British author Samuel Butler, a partial reversal of nowhere.
wine waiter, 1889, from French sommelier "a butler," originally an officer who had charge of provisions (13c.), from somme "pack" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *salma, corruption of sagma "a pack-saddle," later the pack on the saddle (Isidore of Seville). Also borrowed in 16c.
"person who disregards laws," 1924, from scoff (v.) + law (n.). The winning entry (from among more than 25,000) in a national contest during Prohibition to coin a word to characterize a person who drinks illegally. The $200 prize was shared by two contestants who sent in the word separately: Henry Irving Dale and Miss Kate L. Butler.
Similar attempts did not stick, such as pitilacker (1926), winning entry in a contest by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to establish a scolding word for one who deliberately mistreats animals (submitted by Mrs. M. McIlvaine Bready of Mickleton, N.J.).
mid-14c., perplexite, "bewilderment, doubt, uncertainty," from Old French perplexite "confusion, perplexity," from Late Latin perplexitatem (nominative perplexitas), from Latin perplexus "confused, involved, interwoven," from per- "completely" + plexus "entangled," past participle of plectere "to twine" (from suffixed form of PIE root *plek- "to plait"). From 1590s as "something that causes perplexity, an intricate or involved state or confusion."
The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.
[William Butler Yeats, "The Choice," 1933]
"lack of religion, contempt of religion, impiety," 1590s, from French irréligion (16c.) or directly from Late Latin irreligionem (nominative irreligio) "irreligion, impiety," from assimiliated form of in- "not" (see in- (1)) + religio (see religion).
It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by many Persons, that Christianity is not so much as a Subject of Inquiry ; but that it is, now at length, discovered to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it, as if, in the present Age, this were an agreed Point, among all People of Discernment; and nothing remained, but to set it up as a principal Subject of Mirth and Ridicule, as it were by Way of Reprisals, for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the World. [Joseph Butler, introduction to "The Analogy of Religion," 1740]
late 14c. "trimming or lining of a garment" (implied c. 1300 in surname Furhode "fur hood"), probably from Old French forrer, fourrer "cover with fur, line (clothing)," in general "to cover, fill with," from fuerre "sheath, scabbard" (via notion of "covering"), from Frankish *fodr or another Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *fodram "sheath" (source also of Old Frisian foder "coat lining," Old High German fotar "a lining," German Futter, Gothic fodr "sword sheath"), from PIE root *pa- "to feed, protect."
First applied c. 1400 to the hairy pelt of an animal, whether still on the animal or not. The Old French noun might have had the sense "hide, fur, pelt" (and thus might serve as the immediate source of the English noun), but this is not attested. Absent this, the sense transfer from the lining to the material that goes to make it probably happened in English. As an adjective from 1590s.
I'le make the fur Flie 'bout the eares of the old Cur. [Butler, "Hudibras," 1663]
mid-15c., "the tilling of land, act of preparing the earth for crops," from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate" (see colony). Meaning "the cultivation or rearing of a crop, act of promoting growth in plants" (1620s) was transferred to fish, oysters, etc., by 1796, then to "production of bacteria or other microorganisms in a suitable environment" (1880), then "product of such a culture" (1884).
The figurative sense of "cultivation through education, systematic improvement and refinement of the mind" is attested by c. 1500; Century Dictionary writes that it was, "Not common before the nineteenth century, except with strong consciousness of the metaphor involved, though used in Latin by Cicero." Meaning "learning and taste, the intellectual side of civilization" is by 1805; the closely related sense of "collective customs and achievements of a people, a particular form of collective intellectual development" is by 1867.
For without culture or holiness, which are always the gift of a very few, a man may renounce wealth or any other external thing, but he cannot renounce hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge. Culture is the sanctity of the intellect. [William Butler Yeats, journal, 7 March, 1909]
Slang culture vulture "one voracious for culture" is from 1947. Culture shock "disorientation experienced when a person moves to a different cultural environment or an unfamiliar way of life" is attested by 1940. Ironic or contemptuous spelling kulchur is attested from 1940 (Pound), and compare kultur.