In 16c.-17c. commonly used in place of a genitive inflection after nouns whose nominative ends in -s (for example, "When this Book became a particular book, that is, when Moses his book was divided into five parts, I cannot trace." [Donne, "Essayes in Divinity," "Exodus," 1651]). Here it is perhaps an expanded vocalized form of 's, originally -es. This tendency began in late Old English and was obsolete from c. 1750.
Proto-Indo-European root, the stem of demonstrative pronoun meaning "this."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek ekeinos "that person;" Latin cis "on this side," citra (adv.) "on this side;" Old Church Slavonic si, Lithuanian is, Hittite ki "this;" Old English hider, Gothic hidre "hither."
"furnished with horn or horns," Old English hyrned, from source of horn (n.). The modern word probably is a new formation in Middle English. From late 14c. in reference to Moses, and the horn-like rays of light, symbols of power, that appeared on his head as he descended Mount Sinai. From 1620s in reference to cuckolds. Horned toad is from 1766; horned question is "a dilemma" (1540s).
The HORNED TOAD is frightful ; his head half the size of his body ; his jaws open enormously ; his eye lids have the form of a pointed cone, which makes them seem armed with horns, wherein are his eyes. His feet have something the air of hands. [Francis Fitzgerald, "The General Genteel Preceptor," 1747]
"one who avoids company," 1946; see lone. Apparently first in U.S. baseball slang:
Ted [Williams] is likable enough in spite of his obsession with his specialty. He is something of a "loner," and he refuses to pal around with his teammates in off hours, but in the clubhouse he does his share of the talking. [Life magazine, Sept. 23, 1946]
"masturbation," also "coitus interruptus," 1727, from Onan, name of the son of Judah (Genesis xxxviii.9), who spilled his seed on the ground rather than impregnate his dead brother's wife: "And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother." The moral point of the verse was redirected by those who sought to suppress masturbation. Related: Onanist; onanistic.
"pertaining to the Socratic method of assisting a person, by questions, to discover conceptions latent in his mind," 1650s, from Greek maieutikos, a figurative use in philosophy of a word meaning literally "obstetric," from maieuesthai "act as a midwife," from maia "midwife" (see Maia).
By putting leading questions on general or well-known facts, Socrates, by easy steps, to the surprise and delight of his subject, would bring him to the enunciation of some principle hitherto unknown or undeveloped in his mind. This is called his Maieutic: a term which Socrates himself suggested, likening his relation to the development and birth of ideas in the mind to that mid-wife office which his mother performed for the body. Both this feature and the illustration afforded fine material for jest to Aristophanes, who, in his usual comic way, proceeded to literalize the metaphor. [Samuel Ross Winans, "Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates," Boston: 1890]