early 12c., from Old French chancelier (12c.), from Late Latin cancellarius "keeper of the barrier, secretary, usher of a law court," so called because he worked behind a lattice (Latin cancellus) at a basilica or law court (see chancel).
In the Roman Empire, a sort of court usher who stood at the latticed railing enclosing the judgment seat to keep the crowd out and admit those entitled to enter. The post gradually gained importance in the Western kingdoms as an intermediary between the petitioners and the judges as a notary or scribe. In England eventually he prepared all important crown documents and became keeper of the great seal and highest judicial officer of the crown. A variant form, canceler, existed in Old English, from Old North French, but was replaced by this central French form.
c. 1300, "chancellorship;" late 14c., "court of the Lord Chancellor of England," contracted from chancellery (c. 1300), from Old French chancelerie (12c.), from Medieval Latin cancellaria (see chancellor). As in "Bleak House."
a condensed, thickened Roman typeface, 1845, evidently named for the Clarendon press at Oxford University, which was set up 1713 in the Clarendon Building, named for university Chancellor Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon.
mid-13c., counseiler, "one who gives counsel or advice, a confidante," from Old French conseillier "counselor, adviser" (Modern French conseiller), from Latin consilator, agent noun from consiliare, from consilium (see counsel (v.)).
Also sometimes counsellor, but the double -l- is unetymological and perhaps is modeled on chancellor. Meaning "one who gives professional legal advice, a counseling lawyer," is from 1530s. Psychological sense (as in marriage counselor, is from 1940).
1540s, "natural head of hair" (a sense now obsolete), from French perruque (late 15c.), which is from Italian perrucca "head of hair, wig," a word of uncertain origin; supposed by some to be connected to Latin pilus "hair," "but the phonetic difficulties are considerable" [OED]. Meaning "periwig, artificial head of hair" (especially one having large and ample masses) is attested from 1560s. Compare periwig.
About the middle of the sixteenth century wearing the peruke became a fashion. Immense perukes with curls falling upon the shoulders were worn from about 1660 to 1725, and were then succeeded by smaller and more convenient forms, which had also existed contemporaneously with the former. As late as 1825 some old-fashioned people still wore perukes, and a reminiscence of them remains in Great Britain in the wigs of the Lord Chancellor, the Speaker of the House of Commons, judges, barristers, etc. [Century Dictionary]
As "science teaching based on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Book of Genesis, the scientific theory attributing the origin of matter and life to immediate acts of God," opposed to evolutionism, it is attested from 1880. Century Dictionary (1897) defines creationism in this sense as "The doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by the fiat of an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed."
Creation science is attested by 1970 as an alternative name for a theory of science not inconsistent with Christian fundamentalism. Creationist (n.) in an "anti-Darwin" sense is attested by 1859 in a letter of Darwin's, and it is said to be used in Darwin's unpublished writings as far back as 1842.
James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin was highly regarded in his day as a churchman and as a scholar. Of his many works, his treatise on chronology has proved the most durable. Based on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and Holy writ, it was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible printed in 1701, and thus came to be regarded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. Having established the first day of creation as Sunday 23 October 4004 B.C. ... Ussher calculated the dates of other biblical events, concluding, for example, that Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on Monday 10 November 4004 BC, and that the ark touched down on Mt Ararat on 5 May 1491 BC "on a Wednesday". [Craig, G.Y., and E.J. Jones, "A Geological Miscellany," Princeton University Press, 1982.]
also dumbbell, "one of a pair of weighted bars used for exercise," by 1785, earlier (from 1711), according to OED, an apparatus like that used to ring a church bell, but without the bell (hence dumb); used for physical exercise but sometimes also to practice ringing changes. See dumb (adj.) + bell (n.). If this is right, the word must have been transferred; earlier 18c. references make mention of "pulling" or "ringing" dumb-bells and note that it can be done only indoors. The following is a footnote to the 1903 reprint of Joseph Strutt's 1801 "The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England":
The origin of the term is somewhat curious. Dumb-bells take their name by analogy, as was pointed out in Notes and Queries in 1861, "from a machine used for exercise, consisting of a rough, heavy, wooden flywheel with a rope passing through and round a spindle ... and set in motion like a church bell." This statement, however, does not sufficiently explain the transference of such a name to the short bar and rounded lead or iron ends of a hand dumb-bell. This difficulty was explained by the late Chancellor Ferguson in a paper read before the Archaeological Institute in 1895, wherein a dumb-bell apparatus, now at Lord Sackville's seat at Knowle, was described and illustrated. The roller round which the rope winds and unwinds has four iron arms, each of which has a leaden poise or ball at the end, just like the end of an ordinary hand dumb-bell. This Knowle example is fixed in an attic and the rope passed through to a gallery beneath. Anyone pulling the rope would get much the same exercise as in pulling a bell rope in a church tower, but without annoying his neighbours by the noise. There used to be a similar apparatus at New College, Oxford.
Figurative sense of "blockhead, stupid person" attested by 1918, American English college slang.