Etymology
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disability (n.)

1570s, "want of power, strength, or ability," from dis- + ability. Meaning "incapacity in the eyes of the law" is from 1640s. Related: Disabilities.

Disability implies deprivation or loss of power; inability indicates rather inherent want of power. [Century Dictionary]
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sick-leave (n.)

"leave of absence from duty granted on account of physical disability," 1840; see sick (adj.) + leave (n.).

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shut-in (n.)

"person confined from normal social intercourse," 1904, from the verbal phrase (attested by late 14c. as "lock (someone) in (some place);" from shut (v.) + in (adv.). As an adjective, shut-in "enclosed, hemmed in" is attested by 1849, especially of persons, "isolated and confined by disability, etc."

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poster (n.)

"bill, placard, thing posted," 1838, from post (v.1). Poster boy/girl/child "someone given prominence in certain causes" is attested by 1990, in reference to fund-raising drives for charities associated with disability, featuring child sufferers, a feature since 1930s.

Earlier it meant "one who travels post" (c. 1600); "a post-horse" (1797). Sense of "one who posts bills" is by 1864.

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handicap (n.)

1650s, from hand in cap, a game whereby two bettors would engage a neutral umpire to determine the odds in an unequal contest. The bettors would put their hands holding forfeit money into a hat or cap. The umpire would announce the odds and the bettors would withdraw their hands — hands full meaning that they accepted the odds and the bet was on, hands empty meaning they did not accept the bet and were willing to forfeit the money. If one forfeited, then the money went to the other. If both agreed either on forfeiting or going ahead with the wager, then the umpire kept the money as payment. The custom, though not the name, is attested from 14c. ("Piers Plowman").

Reference to horse racing is 1754 (Handy-Cap Match), where the umpire decrees the superior horse should carry extra weight as a "handicap;" this led to sense of "encumbrance, disability" first recorded 1890. The main modern sense, "a mental or physical disability," is the last to develop, early 20c.

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pension (n.)

late 14c., pensioun, "payment for services," especially "a regular reward or annual payment out of a will or benefice" (early 14c., in Anglo-Latin), from Old French pension "payment, rent" (13c.) and directly from Latin pensionem (nominative pensio) "a payment, installment, rent," from past-participle stem of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). For the financial sense of the Latin verb, see pound (n.1).

Meaning "regular payment to a person in consideration of past service" is from 1520s, hence "periodic payment made to a person retired from service on account of age or disability" (originally especially government pay to soldiers and sailors). Meaning "boarding house, boarding school" is attested from 1640s, from a sense in French based on the meaning "money paid for board," and in English it is usually in reference to places in France or elsewhere on the Continent.

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