"beak or bill of a bird," Old English nebb "beak, nose; human face, countenance; beak-shaped thing," from Proto-Germanic nabja "beak, nose" (source also of Old Norse nef "beak, nose," Middle Dutch nebbe "beak," Old High German snabul, German Schnabel "beak," Old Frisian snavel "mouth"), which is of uncertain origin.
1580s, "beak or bill of a bird," Scottish variant of neb "beak or bill of a bird." Perhaps influenced by nibble (v.). Meaning "point" (of a pen or quill) is recorded by 1610s (neb in this sense is from 1590s).
"simple bridle-bit," 1530s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from or related to Dutch snavel "beak, bill;" compare German Schnabel "beak, face," Old English nebb, Old Norse neff "beak, nose" (see neb).
alcoholic drink made with carbonated water and lime juice, 1895, American English; in contemporary sources reputedly from the name of "Colonel" Joseph K. Rickey (1842-1903) of Callaway County, Missouri, Democratic lobbyist and wire-puller, who is said to have concocted it to entertain political friends.
And as long as there is thirst and limes, or lemons and gin, so long will the Honorable Joe Rickey be remembered in Missouri and his famous beverage tickle the palates of discriminating citizens. A hundred summers hence Joe Rickey will be called and Champ Clark and DeArmond forgotten. [The Conservative, Nebraska City, Neb., July 6, 1899.]
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "cloud."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit nabhas- "vapor, cloud, mists, fog, sky;" Greek nephele, nephos "cloud;" Latin nebula "mist, vapor, fog, smoke, exhalation;" German Nebel "fog;" Old English nifol "dark, gloomy;" Welsh niwl "cloud, fog;" Slavic nebo.
king of Babylon (604-562 B.C.E.), from Hebrew Nebhukhadhnetztzar, from Babylonian Nabu-kudurri-usur, probably literally "Nebo, protect the boundary." A late 14c. Middle English text renders it as Nabugodenozar.
mid-15c., nebule "a cloud, mist," from Latin nebula, plural nebulae, "mist, vapor, fog, smoke, exhalation," figuratively "darkness, obscurity," from PIE root *nebh- "cloud."
Re-borrowed from Latin 1660s in sense of "cataracts in the eye;" astronomical meaning "luminous cloud-like patch in the heavens" is from c. 1730. As early as Herschel (1802) astronomers realized that some nebulae were star clusters, but the certain distinction of relatively nearby cosmic gas clouds from distant galaxies (as these are now properly called) was not made until the 1920s, when the latter were resolved into individual stars (and nebulae) using the new 100-inch Mt. Wilson telescope.
"ineffectual or hapless person," 1905, nebbich, from Yiddish (used as a Yiddish word in American English from 1890s), from a Slavic source akin to Czech neboh "poor, unfortunate," literally "un-endowed," from Proto-Slavic *ne-bogu-, with negative prefix (see un- (1)) + from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share." Also as an adjective.