derisive word for an old man, 1885, according to OED a variant of obsolete Cockney guiser "mummer, one wearing a mask or costume as part of a performance" (late 15c.; see guise). If so, the original notion was "one who went about in disguise," hence "odd man," hence "old man" (it still commonly is qualified by old).
c. 1300, "conceal the personal identity of by changes of guise or usual appearance, with intent to deceive," from Old French desguiser "disguise, change one's appearance" (11c., Modern French déguiser), from des- "away, off" (see dis-) + guise "style, appearance," which is from Germanic (see guise).
From mid-14c. as "conceal or cover up the original character of by a counterfeit form or appearance." Originally primarily "to put out of one's usual manner" (of dress, etc.), "change one's appearance;" a sense preserved in phrase disguised with liquor (1560s) "being changed in behavior by intoxication."
It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety. [Thomas De Quincey, "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater," 1856]
Related: Disguised; disguising.
It forms all or part of: advice; advise; belvedere; clairvoyant; deja vu; Druid; eidetic; eidolon; envy; evident; guide; guidon; guise; guy (n.1) "small rope, chain, wire;" Gwendolyn; Hades; history; idea; ideo-; idol; idyll; improvisation; improvise; interview; invidious; kaleidoscope; -oid; penguin; polyhistor; prevision; provide; providence; prudent; purvey; purview; review; revise; Rig Veda; story (n.1) "connected account or narration of some happening;" supervise; survey; twit; unwitting; Veda; vide; view; visa; visage; vision; visit; visor; vista; voyeur; wise (adj.) "learned, sagacious, cunning;" wise (n.) "way of proceeding, manner;" wisdom; wiseacre; wit (n.) "mental capacity;" wit (v.) "to know;" witenagemot; witting; wot.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit veda "I know;" Avestan vaeda "I know;" Greek oida, Doric woida "I know," idein "to see;" Old Irish fis "vision," find "white," i.e. "clearly seen," fiuss "knowledge;" Welsh gwyn, Gaulish vindos, Breton gwenn "white;" Gothic, Old Swedish, Old English witan "to know;" Gothic weitan "to see;" English wise, German wissen "to know;" Lithuanian vysti "to see;" Bulgarian vidya "I see;" Polish widzieć "to see," wiedzieć "to know;" Russian videt' "to see," vest' "news," Old Russian vedat' "to know."
"visit slums of a city," especially for diversion or amusement, often under guise of philanthropy, 1884, from slum (n.). A pastime popularized by East End novels. Earlier it meant "to visit slums for disreputable purposes or in search of vice" (1860). Related: Slumming.
"figurative treatment of an unmentioned subject under the guise of another similar to it in some way," late 14c., from Old French allegorie (12c.), from Latin allegoria, from Greek allegoria "figurative language, description of one thing under the image of another," literally "a speaking about something else," from allos "another, different" (from PIE root *al- (1) "beyond") + agoreuein "speak openly, speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly" (see agora). Related: Allegorist.
c. 1300, in boke of Prouerbyys, the Old Testament work, from Old French proverbe (12c.) and directly from Latin proverbium "a common saying, old adage, maxim," literally "words put forward," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + verbum "word" (see verb). Hence, in the Scriptural sense, "an enigmatical utterance; a mysterious or oracular saying that requires interpretation."
Used generally from c. 1300 in reference to native sayings, "short pithy sentence, often repeated colloquially, expressing a well-known truth or a common fact ascertained by experience or observation; a popular saying which briefly and forcibly expresses some practical precept; an adage; a wise saw: often set forth in the guise of metaphor and in the form of rime, and sometimes alliterative" [Century Dictionary].
By late 14c. as "byword, reproach, object of scorn." The Book of Proverbs in Old English was cwidboc, from cwide "speech, saying, proverb, homily," related to cwiddian "to talk, speak, say, discuss;" cwiddung "speech, saying, report."
early 15c., dissemblen, "assume a false seeming; conceal real facts, motives, intentions, etc.; mask the truth about oneself," from Old French dessembler, from Latin dissimulare "make unlike, conceal, disguise," from dis- "completely" (see dis-) + simulare "to make like, imitate, copy, represent," from stem of similis "like, resembling, of the same kind" (see similar). Related: Dissembled; dissembling.
Form altered apparently by influence of resemble, Old French resembler. Earlier was Middle English dissimule, from Old French dissimuler. Transitive meaning "make unlike, disguise" is from c. 1500; that of "give a false impression of" is from 1510s.
To dissemble is to pretend that a thing which is is not: as, to dissemble one's real sentiments. To simulate is to pretend that a thing which is not is: as, to simulate friendship. To dissimulate is to hide the reality or truth of something under a diverse contrary appearance: as, to dissimulate one's poverty by ostentation. To disguise is to put under a false guise, to keep a thing from being recognized by giving it a false appearance: as I cannot disguise from myself the fact. [Century Dictionary]
The women's order, though sometimes persecuted, generally preserved its good reputation, but it quickly drew imposters who did not; nonetheless it eventually was condemned as heretical. A male order, called Beghards founded communities by the 1220s in imitation of them, but they soon degenerated (compare Old French beguin "(male) Beguin," also "hypocrite") and wandered begging in the guise of religion; they likely were the source of the words beg and beggar, though there is disagreement over whether Beghard produced Middle Dutch beggaert "mendicant" or was produced by it. The male order was condemned by the Church early 14c. and vanished by mid-16c.
Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" (1935) refers to a kind of popular dance of West Indian origin, from French colloquial béguin "an infatuation, boyfriend, girlfriend," earlier "child's bonnet," and before that "nun's headdress" (14c.), from Middle Dutch beggaert, ultimately the same word as the above. Compare English biggin "child's cap" (1520s), from the French word.