Middle English hony, from Old English hunig "honey," from Proto-Germanic *hunang- (source also of Old Norse hunang, Swedish honung, Old Saxon honeg, Old Frisian hunig, Middle Dutch honich, Dutch honig, Old High German honang, German Honig "honey"), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from a PIE *k(e)neko- denoting yellow, golden, or brownish colors (compare Sanskrit kancan- "golden," Welsh canecon "gold," Greek knēkos "yellowish"), or perhaps from a substratum word. Finnish hunaja is a Germanic loan-word.
The more common Indo-European word is represented in Germanic by the Gothic word for "honey," miliþ (from PIE root *melit- "honey"). A term of endearment from at least mid-14c.; extended form honey-bunch attested by 1904. Meaning "anything good of its kind" is 1888, American English. Honey-locust, North American tree, so called from 1743, said to be named from a sweet pulp made by Native Americans from the tree's beans.
Old English melcan, milcian, meolcian "to press or draw milk from the breasts or udders of; give milk, suckle," from Proto-Germanic *melk- "to milk" (source also of Dutch melken, Old High German melchan, German melken), from PIE root *melg- "to rub off; to milk." Figurative sense of "exploit for profit" is by 1520s. In theater jargon, "to try to get more laughs, applause, etc. from the audience than is warranted" (1939). Related: Milked; milking.
"opaque white fluid secreted by mammary glands of female mammals, suited to the nourishment of their young," Middle English milk, from Old English meoluc (West Saxon), milc (Anglian), from Proto-Germanic *meluk- "milk" (source also of Old Norse mjolk, Old Frisian melok, Old Saxon miluk, Dutch melk, Old High German miluh, German Milch, Gothic miluks), from *melk- "to milk," from PIE root *melg- "to wipe, to rub off," also "to stroke; to milk," in reference to the hand motion involved in milking an animal. Old Church Slavonic noun meleko (Russian moloko, Czech mleko) is considered to be adopted from Germanic.
Of milk-like plant juices or saps from c. 1200. Milk chocolate (eating chocolate made with milk solids, paler and sweeter) is recorded by 1723; milk shake was used from 1889 for a variety of concoctions, but the modern version (composed of milk, flavoring, etc., mixed by shaking) is from the 1930s. Milk tooth (1727) uses the word in its figurative sense "period of infancy," attested from 17c. To cry over spilt milk (representing anything which, once misused, cannot be recovered) is first attested 1836 in writing of Canadian humorist Thomas C. Haliburton. Milk and honey is from the Old Testament phrase describing the richness of the Promised Land (Numbers xvi.13, Old English meolc and hunie). Milk of human kindness is from "Macbeth" (1605).
1880, proprietary name for white suspension of magnesium hydroxide in water, taken as an antacid, invented by U.S. chemist Charles Henry Phillips. Herbal or culinary preparations more or less resembling milk had been similarly named (for example milk of almond) since late 14c.
"A handsome and harmless serpent" [Century Dictionary], one of the larger snakes of the U.S., common in many states, by 1812, from milk (n.) + snake (n.). Also called chicken-snake (attested by 1793), house-snake, and thunder-and-lightning snake.
It [the milk-snake] sometimes in this county has been known to enter a grist-mill and remain a length of time for the apparent purpose of feeding on the mice which were there attainable. It is probable this is one principal object of his frequenting dwelling houses, and not always for the purpose of obtaining milk, as is generally supposed. [The American Journal of Science and Arts, April 1844]
early 15c., "sweet as honey, pleasing, sweetly or smoothly flowing" (of an odor, a style of speaking or writing, etc.), from Late Latin mellifluus "flowing with (or as if with) honey," from Latin mel (genitive mellis) "honey" (related to Greek meli "honey;" from PIE root *melit- "honey") + -fluus "flowing," from fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Related: Melifluously; melifluousness.