Etymology
Advertisement
lass (n.)
"young woman, girl," c. 1300, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Swedish løsk kona "unmarried woman" [OED], but other sources say perhaps related to Old Norse löskr "idle, weak," West Frisian lask "light, thin." Liberman suggests Old Danish las "rag," and adds, "Slang words for 'rag' sometimes acquire the jocular meaning 'child' and especially 'girl.'" "Used now only of mean girls" [Johnson, who has an entry for Shakespeare's lass-lorn "forsaken by his mistress"]. Paired with lad since early 15c.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
lassie (n.)
"small girl, young girl," by 1725, Scottish diminutive of lass (n.) with -ie. Scott also has lassock (1816).
Related entries & more 
girl (n.)

c. 1300, gyrle "child, young person" (of either sex but most frequently of females), of unknown origin. One guess [OED] leans toward an unrecorded Old English *gyrele, from Proto-Germanic *gurwilon-, diminutive of *gurwjoz (apparently also represented by Low German gære "boy, girl," Norwegian dialectal gorre, Swedish dialectal gurre "small child," though the exact relationship, if any, between all these is obscure), from PIE *ghwrgh-, also found in Greek parthenos "virgin." But this involves some objectionable philology. Liberman (2008) writes:

Girl does not go back to any Old English or Old Germanic form. It is part of a large group of Germanic words whose root begins with a g or k and ends in r. The final consonant in girl is a diminutive suffix. The g-r words denote young animals, children, and all kinds of creatures considered immature, worthless, or past their prime.

Another candidate is Old English gierela "garment" (for possible sense evolution in this theory, compare brat). A former folk-etymology derivation from Latin garrulus "chattering, talkative" is now discarded. Like boy, lass, lad it is of more or less obscure origin. "Probably most of them arose as jocular transferred uses of words that had originally different meaning" [OED]. Specific meaning of "female child" is late 14c. Applied to "any young unmarried woman" since mid-15c. Meaning "sweetheart" is from 1640s. Old girl in reference to a woman of any age is recorded from 1826. Girl next door as a type of unflashy attractiveness is recorded by 1953 (the title of a 20th Century Fox film starring June Haver).

Doris [Day] was a big vocalist even before she hit the movies in 1948. There, as the latest movie colony "girl next door," sunny-faced Doris soon became a leading movie attraction as well as the world's top female recording star. "She's the girl next door, all right," said one Hollywood admirer. "Next door to the bank." [Life magazine, Dec. 22, 1958]

Girl Friday "resourceful young woman assistant" is from 1940, a reference to "Robinson Crusoe." Girl Scout is from 1909. For the usual Old English word, see maiden.

Related entries & more 
jilt (n.)
1670s, "loose, unchaste woman; harlot;" also "woman who gives hope then dashes it;" probably a contraction of jillet, gillet, from Middle English gille "lass, wench," a familiar or contemptuous term for a woman or girl (mid-15c.), originally a shortened form of woman's name Gillian (see Jill).
Related entries & more 
Tib 

1530s, typical name for an English woman of the lower class, hence "girl, lass, sweetheart," sometimes also "strumpet," from the pet form of Isabel. Often paired with Tom, as Jill was with Jack. Colloquial St. Tibb's Eve (1785) was the evening of the last day, the Day of Judgment, hence "never."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
lassitude (n.)

early 15c., from Latin lassitudinem (nominative lassitudo) "faintness, weariness," from lassus "faint, tired, weary," from PIE *led-to-, suffixed form of *led- "slow, weary" (source also of Old English læt "sluggish, slow;" see late (adj.)), from PIE root *‌‌lē- "to let go, slacken."

Related entries & more 
lasso (n.)
"long rope with a running noose," used for catching horses and cattle, 1808, earlier laço (1768), American English, from Spanish lazo "a snare, slipknot," from Latin laqueum (nominative laqueus) "noose, snare" (see lace (n.)). As a verb from 1807. Related: Lassoed; lassoing. A lasso can serve as a lariat, but the reverse is not true.
Related entries & more 
Lassa 
1970 in reference to a febrile disease of tropical Africa, from Lassa, name of a village in northeastern Nigeria.
Related entries & more 
late (adj.)

Old English læt "occurring after the customary or expected time," originally "slow, sluggish, slack, lax, negligent," from Proto-Germanic *lata- (source also of Old Norse latr "sluggish, lazy," Middle Dutch, Old Saxon lat, Dutch laat, German laß "idle, weary," Gothic lats "weary, sluggish, lazy," latjan "to hinder"), from PIE *led- "slow, weary," from root *‌‌lē- "to let go, slacken."

From mid-13c. as "occurring in the latter part of a period of time." From c. 1400 as "being or occurring in the near, or not too distant, past; recent" (of late). From this comes the early 15c. sense "recently dead, not many years dead" (as in the late Mrs. Smith). Of menstruation, attested colloquially from 1962. Expression better late than never is attested from late 15c. As an adverb, from Old English late "slowly."

Related entries & more 
spree (n.)

"a frolic, drinking bout," 1804, slang, earliest use in Scottish dialect works, of uncertain origin. Perhaps [Barnhart] an alteration of French esprit "lively wit" (see esprit). According to Klein, Irish spre seems to be a loan-word from Old Norse sprakr. Watkins proposes a possible origin as an alteration of Scots spreath "cattle raid," from Gaelic sprédh, spré, "cattle; wealth," from Middle Irish preit, preid, "booty," ultimately from Latin praeda "plunder, booty" (see prey (n.)).

The splore is a frolic, a merry meeting. In the slang language of the inhabitants of St Giles's, in London, it is called a spree or a go. [Note in "Select Scottish Songs, Ancient and Modern," vol. II, London, 1810]

In Foote's comedy "The Maid of Bath" (1794) the word appears as a Scottish dialect pronunciation of spry: " 'When I intermarried with Sir Launcelot Coldstream, I was en siek a spree lass as yoursel; and the baronet bordering upon his grand climacteric;' " etc.

Related entries & more