Etymology
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fig (n.2)
"dress, equipment," 1823, in phrase in full fig; hence "condition, state of preparedness" (1883). Said to be an abbreviation of figure (n.), perhaps from the abbreviation of that word in plate illustrations in books, etc. According to others, from the fig leaves of Adam and Eve. Related: Figgery.
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fig (n.1)

early 13c., from Old French figue "fig" (12c.), from Old Provençal figa, from Vulgar Latin *fica, corresponding to Latin ficus "fig tree, fig," which, with Greek sykon, Armenian t'uz is "prob. fr. a common Mediterranean source" [Buck], possibly a Semitic one (compare Phoenician pagh "half-ripe fig"). A reborrowing of a word that had been taken directly from Latin as Old English fic "fig, fig-tree."

The insulting sense of the word in Shakespeare, etc. (A fig for ...) is 1570s (in 17c. sometimes in Italian form fico), in part from fig as "small, valueless thing," but also from Greek and Italian use of their versions of the word as slang for "vulva," apparently because of how a ripe fig looks when split open [Rawson, Weekley]. Giving the fig (Old French faire la figue, Spanish dar la higa) was an indecent gesture of ancient provenance, made by putting the thumb between two fingers or into the mouth, with the intended effect of the modern gesture of "flipping the bird" (see bird (n.3)). Also compare sycophant.

Use of fig leaf in figurative sense of "flimsy disguise" (1550s) is from Genesis iii.7. Fig-faun translates Latin faunus ficarius (Jeremiah l.39). Fig Newtons (by 1907) are named for Newton, Massachusetts.

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ficus (n.)
c. 1400, from Latin ficus "fig, fig tree" (see fig). With capital letter, as the name of a large genus of trees and shrubs, chosen by Linnaeus (1753).
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figgy (adj.)

also figgey, 1540s "sweet" (as figs are), from fig (n.1) + -y (2). From 1846 (in a book of Cornish words) as "full of figs or raisins." The figgy pudding of the Christmas carol is a dish of dried figs stewed in wine that dates back to the Middle Ages but was more often associated with Lent than Christmas.

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sycophant (n.)

1530s (in Latin form sycophanta), "informer, talebearer, slanderer," from French sycophante and directly from Latin sycophanta, from Greek sykophantes "false accuser, slanderer," literally "one who shows the fig," from sykon "fig" (see fig) + phainein "to show" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine").

"Showing the fig" was a vulgar gesture made by sticking the thumb between two fingers, a display which vaguely resembles a fig, itself symbolic of a vagina (sykon also meant "vulva"). The modern accepted explanation is that prominent politicians in ancient Greece held aloof from such inflammatory gestures, but privately urged their followers to taunt their opponents. The sense of "mean, servile flatterer" is first recorded in English 1570s.

The explanation, long current, that it orig. meant an informer against the unlawful exportation of figs cannot be substantiated. [OED]
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sycamore (n.)
mid-14c., sicamour "mulberry-leaved fig tree," from Old French sicamor, sagremore, from Latin sycomorus, from Greek sykomoros "African fig-tree," literally "fig-mulberry," from sykon "fig" (see fig) + moron (see mulberry). But according to many sources this is more likely a folk-etymology of Hebrew shiqmah "mulberry."

A Biblical word, originally used for a wide-spreading shade tree with fig-like fruit (Ficus sycomorus) common in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, etc., whose leaves somewhat resemble those of the mulberry; applied in English from 1580s to a large species of European maple (also plane-tree), perhaps because both it and the Biblical tree were notable for their shadiness (the Holy Family took refuge under a sycamore on the flight to Egypt), and from 1814 to the North American shade tree that also is called a buttonwood, which was introduced to Europe from Virginia 1637 by John Tradescant the Younger).

Spelling apparently influenced by sycamine "black mulberry tree," which is from Greek sykcaminos, which also is mentioned in the Bible (Luke xvii.6). For the sake of clarity, some writers have used the more Hellenic sycomore in reference to the Biblical tree.
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finagle (v.)
"get dishonestly or deviously," 1926, American English, possibly a variant of English dialectal fainaigue "to cheat or renege" (at cards), which is of unknown origin. Liberman says finagle is from figgle, phonetic variant of fiddle "fidget about," frequentative of fig. Related: Finagled; finagling.
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velociraptor (n.)

1924, from Latin velox (genitive velocis) "swift, speedy" (see velocity) + raptor "robber" (see raptor). Fossil remains discovered in 1923 in the red Djadochta sandstone at Shabarakh Usu in Mongolia.

The first (Fig. 1) of the typical megalosaurian type, although of small size, seems to have been an alert, swift-moving carnivorous dinosaur to which the generic name Velociraptor is applied. [Henry Fairfield Osborn, "Three New Therapoda, Protoceratops Zone, Central Mongolia," in American Museum Novitates, Nov. 7, 1924]
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opium (n.)

"inspissated juice of the poppy plant," especially as used in medicine from 17c. for relief of pain and production of sleep, late 14c., from Latin opium, from Greek opion "poppy juice, poppy," diminutive of opos "vegetable juice, plant juice, fig curd," from PIE *sokwo- "juice, resin" (source also of Old Church Slavonic soki "juice," Lithuanian sakaī (plural) "resin").

Die Religion ist der Seufzer der bedrängten Kreatur, das Gemüth einer herzlosen Welt, wie sie der Geist geistloser Zustände ist. Sie ist das Opium des Volks. [Karl Marx, "Zur Kritik der Hegel'schen Rechts-Philosophie," in "Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher," February, 1844]

The British Opium War against China lasted from 1839-42; the name is attested from 1841. Opium-eater, one who habitually uses opium in some form, is by 1821.

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fight (n.)
Old English feohte, gefeoht "a fight, combat, hostile encounter;" see fight (v.). Compare Old Frisian fiucht, Old Saxon fehta, Dutch gevecht, Old High German gifeht, German Gefecht. Meaning "power or inclination to fight" is from 1812.
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