Etymology
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molly (n.1)

a common 18c. colloquial term for "homosexual man" or "man who is deemed effeminate, a sissy," by 1707, perhaps 1690s. The fem. proper name Molly or Moll served as a type-name of a low-class girl or prostitute in old songs and ballads (perhaps in part for the sake of the easy rhymes).

But the colloquial word also resembles Latin mollis "soft," which also had been used classically in a specific pejorative sense in reference to men, "soft, effeminate, unmanly, weak," in Cicero, Livy, etc. A 1629 publication from the Catholic-Protestant theological disputes, "Truth's triumph ouer Trent," written in English with swerves into Latin, at one point describes the denizens of Hell as fideles fornicarios, adulteros, molles, and so forth, and molles is translated parenthetically in the text as "effeminate." Molly House as a term for a brothel frequented by gay men is attested in a court case from 1726.

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doll (n.)

1550s, Doll, an endearing name for a female pet or a mistress, from the familiar form of the fem. proper name Dorothy (q.v.). The -l- for -r- substitution in nicknames is common in English: compare Hal for Harold, Moll for Mary, Sally for Sarah, etc. 

From 1610s in old slang in a general sense of "sweetheart, mistress, paramour;" by 1640s it had degenerated to "slattern." Sense of "a child's toy baby" is by 1700. Transferred back to living beings by 1778 in the sense of "pretty, silly woman." By mid-20c. it had come full circle and was used again in slang as an endearing or patronizing name for a young woman.

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mollification (n.)

late 14c., mollificacioun, "act of softening; pacification, an appeasing," from Old French mollificacion (Modern French mollification), from Medieval Latin mollificationem (nominative mollificatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of mollificare (see mollify).

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mollusk (n.)

"soft-bodied invertebrate animal, usually with an external shell," 1783, mollusque (modern spelling from 1839), from French mollusque, from Modern Latin Mollusca (see Mollusca), the phylum name. Related: Molluscuous; molluscan.

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mollify (v.)

late 14c., mollifien, "to soften (a substance)," from Old French mollifier or directly from Late Latin mollificare "make soft, mollify" from mollificus "softening," from Latin mollis "soft" (from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Transferred sense of "soften in temper, appease, pacify" is recorded from early 15c. Related: Mollified; mollifying.

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mollycoddle (v.)

also molly-coddle, by 1839 (implied in mollycoddling), from a noun (by 1828) meaning "overly pampered, fastidious, effeminate male," from Molly (pet name formation from Mary), which had been used contemptuously at least since 1707 for "a milksop, an effeminate man" (see molly (n.1)) + coddle (q.v.). Related: Mollycoddled.

All his pursuits had been sedentary; for he never went out but with his mother. He was not allowed to stroll about the farm with his father, lest he should get his clothes dirty and his feet wet. In short, he was what Giles Darman pronounced him to be—"a little mollycoddle." ["Babbington Droneham," Hood's Magazine, March 1844]
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mollified (adj.)

"softened, soothed; appeased, pacified," 1620s, past-participle adjective from mollify.

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molly (n.2)

seabird, 1857, short for mollymawk, mallemuck, from Dutch mallemok, from mal "foolish" + mok "gull."

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