Etymology
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paratroops (n.)

"body of soldiers who are dropped by parachute into enemy territory," 1940, from parachute + plural of troop (n.).

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parboil (v.)

late 14c., parboilen, "to boil partially;" mid-15c., "to boil thoroughly," from Old French parboillir "to boil thoroughly," from Medieval Latin perbullire "to boil thoroughly," from Latin per "through, thoroughly" (see per (prep.)) + bullire "to boil" (see boil (v.)). The etymological sense is extinct in English; the surviving meaning "boil partially" is by mistaken association of the prefix with part. Related: Parboiled; parboiling.

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parcel (n.)

late 14c., "a portion or part of something" (a sense preserved in the verb and in the phrase parcel of land, which is from c. 1400), from Old French parcele "small piece, particle, parcel," and directly from Medieval Latin parcella, from Vulgar Latin *particella, extended form (via a diminutive suffix, but not necessarily implying smallness) of Latin particula "small part, little bit," itself a diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, fraction" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").

Meaning "a package" is recorded from 1640s from the earlier sense of "a quantity of goods in a package" (mid-15c.), which is from the late 14c. sense of "an amount or quantity of anything." The expression part and parcel (early 15c.) also preserves the older sense; both words mean the same, the multiplicity is for emphasis. In some old and technical senses, parcel is used as an adjective or adverb meaning "in part, partially, to some degree." Parcel post as a service to deliver packages (later a branch of the postal service) is by 1790.

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parcel (v.)

"to divide into small portions," early 15c., parcelen (with out), from parcel (n.). Related: Parceled; parcelled; parceling; parcelling.

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parch (v.)

late 14c., "to roast or dry" (peas, beans, corn, etc.), a word of uncertain origin. Klein and OED reject derivations from Old North French perchier (Old French percer) "to pierce" and Latin persiccare "to dry thoroughly." Century Dictionary, The Middle English Compendium, and Barnhart suggest it could be from Middle English perchen, a variant of perishen "to perish" (see perish). Klein "tentatively" suggests a back-formation from parchment. A surname Parchecorn is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "to dry with excessive heat, expose to the strong action of fire but without burning" is from mid-15c. Related: Parched; parching.

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parcheesi (n.)

backgammon-like board game for four, 1800, pachisi, from Hindi pachisi, the name of a game played on a kind of cloth chess-board with cowries for dice, from pachis "twenty-five" (the highest throw of the dice in the game), from Sanskrit panca "five" (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") + vinsati-s "twenty." The modern spelling outside India, with unetymological -r-, was enshrined 1892 by the trademark name.

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parchment (n.)

c. 1300, parchemin (c. 1200 as a surname), "the skin of sheep or goats prepared for use as writing material," from Old French parchemin (11c., Old North French parcamin) and directly from Medieval Latin pergamentum, percamentum, from Late Latin pergamena "parchment," a noun use of an adjective (as in pergamena charta, attested in Pliny), from Late Greek pergamenon "of Pergamon," from Pergamon "Pergamum" (modern Bergama), the city in Mysia in Asia Minor where parchment supposedly first was adopted as a substitute for papyrus in 2c. B.C.E.

The form of the word was possibly influenced in Vulgar Latin by Latin parthica (pellis) "Parthian (leather)." The unetymological -t is an alteration in Middle English by confusion with nouns in -ment and by influence of Medieval Latin collateral form pergamentum. The technological advances that led to cheap paper restricted its use largely to formal documents, hence the sense of "a certificate" (by 1888).

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pard (n.2)

"accomplice, companion," 1850, a dialectal shortening of pardner, pardener (1795), which represents a common pronunciation of partner (n.).

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pard (n.1)

archaic form of leopard, c. 1300, parde, from Latin pardus "a male panther," from Greek pardos "male panther," from the same source (probably Iranian) as Sanskrit prdaku-s "leopard, tiger, snake," and Persian palang "panther."

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pardon (v.)

mid-15c., pardounen, "to forgive for offense or sin," from Old French pardoner and Medieval Latin perdonare (see pardon (n.)).

'I grant you pardon,' said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; 'but I also pardon whoever will kill you.' [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]

Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon me as a phrase used when making apology is by 1764; pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is by 1895.

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