1660s, "part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice," from Italian dado "die, cube," from Latin datum (see die (n.)). Meaning "wood paneling on the lower part of a wall in a room" is by 1787.
also D.A.E., initialism (acronym) for "A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles," published in four volumes between 1936 and 1944, edited by Sir William A. Craigie and James R. Hulbert.
also dedal, 1580s, "skillful, cunning," from Latin daedalus, from Greek daidalos "skillful, cunningly wrought." Also (1610s) an Englished form of the name Daedalus from Greek mythology.
father of Icarus in Greek mythology, builder of the Cretan labyrinth, from Latin Daedelus, from Greek Daidalos, literally "the cunning worker," from or related to daidallein "to work artfully, embellish," a word of disputed etymology. Beekes writes, "we should consider Pre-Greek origin." Related: Daedalian.
1540s, "asphodel," a variant of Middle English affodill "asphodel" (c. 1400), from Medieval Latin affodillus, from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos, which is of unknown origin. The initial d- is perhaps from merging of the article in Dutch de affodil, the Netherlands being a source for bulbs. First reference to the yellow, early spring flower we know by this name (Narcissus pseudo-Narcissus) is from 1590s. The name has many, often fanciful, variant forms. Lent-lily for "daffodil" is from 1827.
"simple, wanting in intelligence," also "crazy, mad," 1884, perhaps from daft (adj.), or from obsolete daffe "a halfwit" (early 14c.; mid-13c. as a surname), which survived in 19c. in dialects, itself of uncertain origin (OED finds a proposed origin in Scandinavian words for "deaf, stupid," such as Old Norse daufr, "phonetically inadmissible"). Compare late 15c. daffish "dull-witted, spiritless." With -y (2). Related: Daffily; daffiness. The Warner Bros. cartoon character Daffy Duck debuted in 1937.
c. 1200, "mild, well-mannered," Old English gedæfte "gentle, becoming," from Proto-Germanic *gadaftjaz (source also of Old English daeftan "to put in order, arrange," gedafen "suitable;" Gothic gadaban "to be fit"), from *dab-, which has no certain IE etymology and is perhaps a substratum word.
Sense deteriorated to "dull, awkward, uncouth, boorish" (c. 1300), perhaps via the notion of "humble." Further evolution to "foolish, simple, stupid" (mid-15c.) and "crazy" (1530s) probably was influenced by analogy with daffe "halfwit, fool, idiot" (see daffy); the whole group probably has a common origin. For sense evolution, compare nice, silly. Related: Daftly; daftness.
several words, probably unrelated, including: 1. "pendant point of cloth on a garment," late 14c., of uncertain origin; 2. "thin rain, drizzle, wet fog," Scottish, late 17c., from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse dögg, plural daggir "dew," from Proto-Germanic *daowo- (source of Old English deaw; see dew); 3. "kind of heavy pistol," 1560s, of uncertain origin; 4. "clot of dirty wool about the rear end of a sheep," 1731; 5. "tough but amusing person," Australian and New Zealand slang, 1916.
"marijuana, Cannabis sativa smoked as a narcotic," 1660s, from Afrikaans, from Khoisan (Hottentot) dachab. Originally the name of an indigenous plant used as a narcotic, extended to marijuana by 1796.