early 15c., reprisail, "the seizing of property or citizens of another nation in equivalent retaliation for loss inflicted on one's own," from Anglo-French reprisaille (mid-14c.), Old French reprisaille (Modern French représaille), from early Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere "to take back," from Latin reprendere, earlier reprehendere "to seize, restrain," literally "pull back, hold back" (see reprehend).
First in letters of mark and reprisal, the official warrant authorizing it. The general sense of "act of retaliation" is from 1710.
Reprisals differ from retorsion in this, that the essence of the former consists in seizing the property of another nation by way of security, until it shall have listened to the just reclamations of the offended party, while retorsion includes all kinds of measures which do an injury to another, similar and equivalent to that which we have experienced from him. Embargo, therefore, is a species of reprisals. [Theodore Dwight Woolsey, "Introduction to the Study of International Law," Boston: 1860]
"twilled cotton cloth," mid-15c., Geayne, short for Gene fustian, from French jean fustian "fustian (a type of twilled cotton cloth) of Genoa," the Italian city, from Old French Jannes "Genoa," from Latin Genua (see Genoa). Compare obsolete jane, name of a small silver coin of Genoa that circulated in England 15c. The plural form jeans became standard by mid-19c. In the sense "trousers made of jeans" it is attested by 1908; noted as characteristic of teenagers from 1959. Not originally blue.
After sheep could be protected from the wolves, the people fared better in the matter of clothing. Flannel and linsey were woven for the wear of women and children, while jeans was woven for the men. For want of other dye-stuffs, the wool for the jeans was almost invariably colored with the bark or young shoots of the walnut; hence the inevitable "butternut" worn so extensively in the West for many years. ["History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois," 1879]
c. 1300, nacioun, "a race of people, large group of people with common ancestry and language," from Old French nacion "birth, rank; descendants, relatives; country, homeland" (12c.) and directly from Latin nationem (nominative natio) "birth, origin; breed, stock, kind, species; race of people, tribe," literally "that which has been born," from natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci), from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.
The word is used in English in a broad sense, "a race of people an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family and speaking the same language," and also in the narrower sense, "a political society composed of a government and subjects or citizens and constituting a political unit; an organized community inhabiting a defined territory within which its sovereignty is exercised."
In Middle English it is not easy to distinguish them, but the "political society" sense emerged by 16c., perhaps late 14c. and it has gradually predominated. The older sense is preserved in the application of nation to the native North American peoples (1640s). Nation-building "creation of a new nation" is attested by 1907 (implied in nation-builder). Nation-state "sovereign country the inhabitants of which are united by language, culture, and common descent" is from 1918.
A nation is an organized community within a certain territory; or in other words, there must be a place where its sole sovereignty is exercised. [Theodore D. Woolsey, "Introduction to the Study of International Law," 1864]