Etymology
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fossil (n.)

1610s, "any thing dug up;" 1650s (adj.) "obtained by digging" (of coal, salt, etc.), from French fossile (16c.), from Latin fossilis "dug up," from fossus, past participle of fodere "to dig," from PIE root *bhedh- "to dig, pierce."

Restricted noun sense of "geological remains of a plant or animal" is from 1736 (the adjective in the sense "pertaining to fossils" is from 1660s); slang meaning "old person" first recorded 1859. Fossil fuel (1833) preserves the earlier, broader sense.

Ikhthes oryktoi "fossil fishes" were known to the Greeks, along with fossil shells on mountaintops and fossil "seaweed" in Sicilian quarries. They sometimes were taken as evidence of changing sea levels.

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fossiliferous (adj.)

by 1830, from fossil + -ferous "producing, containing," from Latin ferre "to bear, carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry").

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fossilize (v.)
1794 (transitive), from fossil + -ize. Intransitive use from 1828. Figurative use from 1856. Related: Fossilized; fossilizing.
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calaboose (n.)
"prison, a common jail or lock-up," 1792, Western and Southwestern American English, from Louisiana French calabouse, from Spanish calabozo "dungeon," probably from Vulgar Latin *calafodium, from pre-Roman *cala "protected place, den" + Latin fodere "to dig" (see fossil).
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fosse (n.)
"ditch, trench," early 14c. (late 13c. in place names), from Old French fosse "ditch, grave, dungeon" (12c.), from Latin fossa "ditch, trench, furrow," in full fossa terra, literally "dug earth," from fem. past participle of fodere "to dig" (see fossil). The Fosse-way (early 12c.), one of the four great Roman roads of Britain, probably was so named from the ditch on either side of it.
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coulrophobia (n.)
"morbid fear of clowns," by 2001 (said in Web sites to date from 1990s or even 1980s), a popular term, not from psychology, possibly facetious, though the phenomenon is real enough; said to be built from Greek kolon "limb," with some supposed sense of "stilt-walker," hence "clown" + -phobia.

Ancient Greek words for "clown" were sklêro-paiktês, from paizein "to play (like a child);" or deikeliktas. Greek also had geloiastes "a jester, buffoon" (from gelao "to laugh, be merry"); there was a khleuastes "jester," but it had more of a sense of "scoffer, mocker," from khleuazo "treat with insolence." Other classical words used for theatrical clowns were related to "rustic," "peasant" (compare Latin fossor "clown," literally "laborer, digger," related to fossil).

Coulrophobia looks suspiciously like the sort of thing idle pseudo-intellectuals invent on the internet and which every smarty-pants takes up thereafter; perhaps it is a mangling of Modern Greek klooun "clown," which is the English word borrowed into Greek.
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paleozoology (n.)

"study of extinct or fossil animals," 1845, from paleo- + zoology.

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paleobotany (n.)

"study of extinct or fossil plants," 1872, from paleo- + botany.

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bunyip (n.)
fabulous swamp-dwelling animal of Australia (supposedly inspired by fossil bones), 1848, from an Australian aborigine language.
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ichnolite (n.)

"stone presenting a fossil footprint," 1841, from Latinized form of Greek ikhnos "a track, footprint" (which is of unknown origin) + -lite. Ichnite in the same sense is from 1854. Ichnology, "scientific study of fossil footprints," is from 1837.

So numerous have been the discoveries of fossil footmarks in Europe within a few years past, and so many species occur in this country, that it will be at least convenient to have them designated by some appropriate scientific terms, and to arrange them in systematic order. I propose the term Ichnolite ... to include them all and to be the name of the Class. [Edward Hitchcock, LL.D., "Final Report on the Geology of Massachusetts," 1841]
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