Middle English maue, from Old English maga "stomach" (of men and animals, including fish and birds; in Modern English only of animals unless insultingly of humans), from Proto-Germanic *magan- "bag, stomach" (source also of Old Frisian maga, Old Norse magi, Danish mave, Middle Dutch maghe, Dutch maag, Old High German mago, German Magen "stomach"), from PIE *mak- "leather bag" (source also of Welsh megin "bellows," Lithuanian makas, Old Church Slavonic mošina "bag, pouch"). Meaning "throat, gullet" is from late 14c. Metaphoric of voracity from late 14c.
late 14c. variant of earlier stomake (early 14c.), "internal pouch into which food is digested," from Old French stomaque, estomac "stomach," from Latin stomachus "throat, gullet; stomach," also "taste, inclination, liking; distaste, dislike;" also "pride, indignation," which were thought to have their origin in that organ (source also of Spanish estómago, Italian stomaco), from Greek stomachos "throat, gullet, esophagus," literally "mouth, opening," from stoma "mouth" (see stoma).
Applied anciently to the openings of various internal organs, especially that of the stomach, then by the later Greek physicians to the stomach itself. The native word is maw. Some 16c. anatomists tried to correct the sense back to "esophagus" and introduce ventricle for what we call the stomach. Meaning "belly, midriff, part of the body that contains the stomach" is from late 14c.
In Middle English also stomack,stomac, stommak,stomoke; the spelling of the ending of the word was conformed to Latin regularly from 16c., but the pronunciation remains as in Middle English. Related: stomachial (1580s); stomachical (c. 1600); stomachic (1650s). Pugilistic stomacher "punch in the stomach" is from 1814; from mid-15c. as "vest or other garment which covers the belly." The Latin figurative senses also were in Middle English (such as "relish, inclination, desire," mid-15c.) or early Modern English. Also sometimes regarded in Middle Ages as the seat of sexual desire.
representation of cat sound, 1842, earlier miaow, miau, meaw (1630s). Of imitative origin, compare French miaou, German miauen, Persian maw, Japanese nya nya, Arabic nau-nau, and Joyce's mrkgnao. In Chinese, miau means "cat." As a verb in English by 1630s, meaw, also meawle. Compare Old French miauer "to meow, caterwaul." Related: Meowed; meowing.
"I ain' gonna stay heah no longah. Don' nevah keer, ef I do git cotched—or die. Tha's bettah than to stay heah an' listen to Maw Haney sweet-talk the white folks, whilst they drives us clean to the grave. ..." [The Crisis, July 1935]
Latin had suaviloquens, literally "sweet-spoken."
town and railroad stop on the Main Line outside Philadelphia, named 1869 by the Pennsylvania Railroad's executives, Welsh, literally "big hill;" it was the name of the estate near Dolgellau, Merionethshire, Wales, that belonged to Rowland Ellis, one of the original Quaker settlers in the region (1686). Before the change the village was known as Humphreysville, after another early Welsh settler. The women's college there was founded in 1885.
1660s, "sickly, nauseated" (a sense now obsolete), from Middle English mawke "maggot" (early 15c.; see maggot), but the literal sense of "maggoty" is not found. Figurative meaning "sickeningly sentimental, insipid" is recorded by 1702. Related: Mawkishly; mawkishness.
Old English scitan, from Proto-Germanic *skit- (source also of North Frisian skitj, Dutch schijten, German scheissen), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split." The notion is of "separation" from the body (compare Latin excrementum, from excernere "to separate," Old English scearn "dung, muck," from scieran "to cut, shear;" see sharn). It is thus a cousin to science and conscience.
"Shit" is not an acronym. The notion that it is a recent word might be partly because it was taboo from c. 1600 and rarely appeared in print (neither Shakespeare nor the KJV has it), and even in "vulgar" publications of the late 18c. it is disguised by dashes. It drew the wrath of censors as late as 1922 ("Ulysses" and "The Enormous Room"), scandalized magazine subscribers in 1957 (a Hemingway story in Atlantic Monthly) and was omitted from some dictionaries as recently as 1970 ("Webster's New World").
Extensive slang usage; meaning "to lie, to tease" is from 1934; that of "to disrespect" is from 1903. Shite, now a jocular or slightly euphemistic and chiefly British variant of the noun, formerly a dialectal variant, reflects the vowel in the Old English verb (compare German scheissen); the modern verb has been influenced by the noun. Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c. To shit bricks "be very frightened" attested by 1961. The connection between fear and involuntary defecation has generated expressions in English since 14c. (the image also is in Latin), and probably also is behind scared shitless (1936).
Alle þe filþ of his magh ['maw'] salle breste out atte his fondament for drede. ["Cursor Mundi," early 14c.]