Etymology
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proprietor (n.)

1630s, "owner, by royal grant, of an American colony," probably from proprietary (n.) in this sense. OED describes it as "Anomalously formed and substituted in 17th c. for the etymological word PROPRIETARY." In the general sense of "one who holds something as property, one who has the legal right or exclusive title" to something, it is attested from 1640s. Related: Proprietorship.

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showman (n.)

"one who presents shows," especially a proprietor of a travelling exhibition, 1734, from show (n.) + man (n.).

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hotelier (n.)

"proprietor of a hotel," 1905, from French hôtelier "hotelkeeper," from Old French ostelier, hostelier (12c.), from hostel "a lodging" (see hostel). Compare hostler.

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laird (n.)

"landed proprietor or hereditary estate-holder in Scotland," mid-15c. (mid-13c. as a surname), Scottish and northern England dialectal variant of lord, from Middle English laverd (see lord (n.)). Related: Lairdship.

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squire (n.)

early 13c., "young man who attends a knight," later "member of the landowning class ranking below a knight" (c. 1300), from Old French esquier "squire," literally "shield carrier" (see esquire). Meaning "country gentleman, landed proprietor" is from 1670s; as a general term of address to a gentleman, it is attested from 1828.

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proprietary (n.)

c. 1400, "proprietor, one who possesses or holds the title to a thing," also "worldly person, person tied to worldly goods or personal comforts," from noun uses of Old French proprietaire and Medieval Latin proprietarius "of a property owner" (see proprietary (adj.)). From 1630s in reference to the American colonies, "grantee or owner of a colony" (called proprietary colonies in distinction from charter colonies and royal colonies or provinces.

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renter (n.)

late 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), "one who lets or rents to others, proprietor; one who collects rent," agent noun from rent (v.). Also in Middle English "dwelling place for which rent is paid" (early 15c.). Meaning "lessee, tenant, holder of property by payment of rent" is from 1650s. In early use this was often in reference to estates; later it was more commonly of tenement or apartment lessees.

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planter (n.)

late 14c., plaunter, "one who sows seeds," agent noun from plant (v.). The mechanical sense of "tool or machine for planting seeds" is by 1850. Figurative sense of "one who introduces, establishes, or sets up" is from 1630s. Meaning "one who owns a plantation, the proprietor of a cultivated estate in West Indies or southern colonies of North America" is from 1640s, hence planter's punch (1890). Meaning "a pot for growing plants" recorded by 1959.

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bank (n.1)

"financial institution," late 15c., originally "money-dealer's counter or shop," from Old Italian banca and also from French banque (itself from the Italian word), both meaning "table," from a Germanic source (such as Old High German bank "bench, moneylender's table"), from Proto-Germanic *bankiz- "shelf," *bankon- (see bank (n.2)). The etymological notion is of the moneylender's exchange table.

As "institution for receiving and lending money" from 1620s. In games of chance, "the sum of money held by the proprietor or one who plays against the rest," by 1720. Bank holiday is from 1871, though the tradition is as old as the Bank of England. To cry all the way to the bank was coined 1956 by U.S. pianist Liberace, after a Madison Square Garden concert that was panned by critics but packed with patrons.

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shill (n.)

"one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, etc.," by 1911, in newspaper exposés of fake auctions, perhaps originally a word from U.S. circus or carnival argot and a shortened form of shilaber, shillaber (1908) "one who attempts to lure or customers," itself of unknown origin and also a surname. Carny slang often is deeply obscure. The verb, "act as a shill," is attested by 1914. Related: Shilled; shilling.

The auction game, as practice in Chicago on South State street, for instance, is a sordid affair, run according to cut and dried rules which admit of no freshness or originality. The list of employees is made up of one backer, or proprietor, two auctioneers, one pretty girl cashier, and from two to ten "shills," whose business it is to stand around in the crowd and make fake bids for the articles on sale. [The Chicago Sunday Tribune, May 12, 1912]
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