Etymology
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gist (n.)

1711, "the real point" (of a law case, etc.), from Anglo-French legalese phrases such as cest action gist "this action lies," from Old French gist en "it consists in, it lies in," from gist (Modern French gît), third person singular present indicative of gésir "to lie," from Latin iacet "it lies," from iacēre "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Extended sense of "essence" first recorded 1823.

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*ye- 

*yē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to throw, impel."

It forms all or part of: abject; abjection; adjacence; adjacent; adjective; aphetic; catheter; circumjacent; conjecture; deject; ease; ejaculate; eject; enema; gist; ictus; interjacent; inject; interject; interjection; jess; jet (v.1) "to sprout or spurt forth, shoot out;" jet (n.1) "stream of water;" jete; jetsam; jettison; jetton; jetty (n.) "pier;" joist; jut; object; objection; objective; paresis; project; projectile; reject; rejection; subjacent; subject; subjective; trajectory.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite ijami "I make;" Latin iacere "to throw, cast."

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summary (n.)

"a summary statement or account," c. 1500, from Latin summarium "an epitome, abstract, summary," from summa "totality, gist" (see sum (n.)).

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nub (n.)

"knob, lump, bump, protuberance," 1590s, variant of dialectal knub, which is probably a variant of knob. Figurative meaning "point, gist" is attested by 1834.

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summary (adj.)

early 15c., "brief, abbreviated; containing the sum or substance only," from Medieval Latin summarius "of or pertaining to the sum or substance," from Latin summa "whole, totality, gist" (see sum (n.)). Compare Latin phrase ad summam "on the whole, generally, in short." Sense of "done promptly, performed without hesitation or formality" is from 1713.

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joist (n.)

"timbers supporting a floor, etc.," early 14c. gist, giste, from Old French giste "beam supporting a bridge" (Modern French gîte), noun use of fem. past participle of gesir "to lie," from Latin iacēre "to lie, rest," related (via the notion of "to be thrown") to iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). The notion is of a wooden beam on which boards "lie down." The modern English vowel is a corruption.

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yeast (n.)

Old English gist "yeast, froth," from Proto-Germanic *jest- (source also of Old Norse jastr, Swedish jäst, Middle High German gest, German Gischt "foam, froth," Old High German jesan, German gären "to ferment"), from PIE root *yes- "to boil, foam, froth" (source also of Sanskrit yasyati "boils, seethes," Greek zein "to boil," Welsh ias "seething, foaming").

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sum (n.)

c. 1300, summe, "quantity or amount of money," from Anglo-French and Old French summe, somme "amount, total; collection; essential point; summing up, conclusion" (13c., Modern French somme), from Latin summa "the top, summit; chief place, highest rank; main thing, chief point, essence, gist; an amount (of money)," noun use (via phrases such as summa pars, summa res) of fem. of summus "highest, uppermost," from PIE *sup-mos-, suffixed form of root *uper "over."

The sense development from "highest" to "total number, the whole" probably is via the Roman custom of adding up a stack of figures from the bottom and writing the sum at the top, rather than at the bottom as now (compare the bottom line).

General sense of "numerical quantity" of anything, "a total number" is from late 14c. Meaning "essence of a writing or speech" also is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "aggregate of two or more numbers" is from early 15c.; sense of "arithmetical problem to be solved" is from 1803. Sum-total is attested from late 14c., from Medieval Latin summa totalis.

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