Old English hyrian "pay for service, employ for wages, engage," from Proto-Germanic *hurjan (source also of Danish hyre, Old Frisian hera, Dutch huren, German heuern "to hire, rent"), of uncertain origin. Reflexively, "to agree to work for wages" from mid-13c. Related: Hired; hiring.
"answering 'yes,' " mid-15c., from use in logic; from Old French affirmatif, earlier afirmatif (13c.), from Latin affirmativus, from affirmat-, past-participle stem of affirmare "to make steady; strengthen; confirm," from ad "to" (see ad-) + firmare "strengthen, make firm," from firmus "strong" (see firm (adj.)).
As a noun from early 15c., "that which affirms or asserts." American English affirmative action "positive or corrective effort by employers to prevent discrimination in hiring or promotion" is attested from 1935 with regard to labor unions (reinstatement of fired members, etc.). The specific racial sense is attested from 1961; by late 1970s the sense had shifted toward pro-active methods such as hiring quotas. Related: Affirmatively.
late 14c., "identical in amount, extent, or portion;" early 15c., "even or smooth of surface," from Latin aequalis "uniform, identical, equal," from aequus "level, even, flat; as tall as, on a level with; friendly, kind, just, fair, equitable, impartial; proportionate; calm, tranquil," which is of unknown origin. Parallel formation egal (from Old French egal) was in use late 14c.-17c. Equal rights is from 1752; by 1854 in American English in reference to men and women. Equal opportunity (adj.) in terms of hiring, etc. is recorded by 1925.
1888, Australian, New Zealand, and South African slang for "English immigrant," short for lime-juicer (1857), a nickname given in derisive reference to the British Navy's policy (begun 1795) of issuing lime (n.2) juice on ships to prevent scurvy among sailors. U.S. use is attested from 1918, originally "British sailor, British warship;" extended to "any Englishman" by 1924.
Midway Signs Limey Prof to Dope Yank Talk ["Chicago Tribune" headline, Oct. 18, 1924, in reference to the hiring of William A. Craigie by University of Chicago to begin editing what would become the "Dictionary of American English"]
1510s, "face-to-face meeting, formal conference," from French entrevue, verbal noun from s'entrevoir "to see each other, visit each other briefly, have a glimpse of," from entre- "between" (see inter-) + Old French voir "to see" (from Latin videre, from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Modern French interview is from English. Journalistic sense "conversation with someone to obtain statements for publication" is from 1869 in American English.
The 'interview,' as at present managed, is generally the joint product of some humbug of a hack politician and another humbug of a newspaper reporter. [The Nation, Jan. 28, 1869]
Meaning "personal meeting to discuss hiring or employment" is by 1921; earlier it was used in military recruiting (1918).