Etymology
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pulpit (n.)

"raised platform from which a speaker addresses an audience or delivers an oration," especially in Christian churches, "the more or less enclosed platform from which the preacher delivers a sermon," early 14c., from Late Latin pulpitum "raised structure on which preachers stand," in classical Latin "scaffold; stage, platform for actors," a word of unknown origin.

Also borrowed in Middle High German as pulpit (German Pult "desk"). Sense of "Christian preachers and ministers generally" is from 1560s. Pulpiteer, old contemptuous term for "professional preacher," is recorded from 1640s.

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bully pulpit (n.)
1904, coined by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to the White House.
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tub (n.)
"open wooden vessel made of staves," late 14c., from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, or Middle Flemish tubbe, of uncertain origin. Related to Old High German zubar "vessel with two handles, wine vessel," German Zuber. Considered to be unrelated to Latin tubus (see tube (n.)); one theory connects it to the root of two based on the number of handles. Also 17c. slang for "pulpit;" hence tub-thumper (1660s) "speaker or preacher who thumps the pulpit for emphasis."
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chaise (n.)

1701, "pleasure carriage," from French chaise "chair" (15c.), dialectal variant of chaire (see chair (n.)) due to 15c.-16c. Parisian accent swapping of -r- and -s-, a habit often satirized by French writers. French chair and chaise then took respectively the senses of "high seat, throne, pulpit" and "chair, seat," but this was after chair had been borrowed into English in the older sense.

Originally a one-horse, two-wheeled carriage for two persons, later extended to other types of pleasure or travelling carriages. Chaise lounge (1800) is corruption of French chaise longue "long chair," the second word confused in English with lounge.

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chair (n.)

"a seat with a back, intended for one person," early 13c., chaere, from Old French chaiere "chair, seat, throne" (12c.; Modern French chaire "pulpit, throne;" the more modest sense having gone since 16c. with variant form chaise), from Latin cathedra "seat" (see cathedral).

Figurative sense of "seat of office or authority" c. 1300 originally was of bishops and professors. Meaning "office of a professor" (1816) is extended from the seat from which a professor lectures (mid-15c.). Meaning "seat of a person presiding at meeting" is from 1640s. As short for electric chair from 1900. Chair-rail "strip or board of wood fastened to a wall at such a height as to prevent the plaster from being scraped by the backs of chairs" is from 1822.

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harangue (n.)

"a public address; a formal, vehement, or passionate address;" also "any formal or pompous speech; a declamation; a tirade," mid-15c., arang, Scottish (in English from c. 1600), from French harangue "a public address" (14c.), from Old Italian aringo "public square, platform; pulpit; arena," from a Germanic source such as Old High German hring "circle" (see ring (n.1)) on the notion of "circular gathering," with an -a- inserted to ease Romanic pronunciation of Germanic hr- (compare hamper (n.1)).

But Watkins and Barnhart suggest a Germanic compound, *harihring "circular gathering, assembly," literally "host-ring, army-ring," with first element *hari- "war-band, host" (see harry (v.)). From the same Germanic "ring" root via Romanic come rank (n.), range (v.), arrange.

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rostrum (n.)

"pulpit or platform from which a speaker addresses an audience," 1540s, originally in an ancient Roman context, from Latin rostrum, the name of the platform stand for public speakers in the Forum in ancient Rome. It was decorated with the beaks of ships taken in the first naval victory of the Roman republic, over Antium, in 338 B.C.E., and the Latin word's older sense is "end of a ship's prow," literally "beak, muzzle, snout," originally "means of gnawing," an instrument noun from rodere "to gnaw" (see rodent).

The beaks were an ancient form of ram, a beam spiked with pointed iron for the purpose of sinking other vessels. For the form, compare claustrum "lock, bar," from claudere "to shut." The extended sense, in reference to any platform for public speaking, is attested by 1766.

The classical plural is rostra, though in English this is more common in the original "ship's beak" sense and -rums often is used in the secondary sense.

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accost (v.)
Origin and meaning of accost

1570s, "come side-by-side or face-to-face with," for any reason, from French accoster "move up to, come alongside" (Old French acoster), from Late Latin accostare "come up to the side," from assimilated form of Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + costa "a rib, side" (see coast (n.)). Now usually in the sense "approach and speak to" (1610s). Also picked up as the verb for a prostitute's solicitation of a customer (1812). Related: Accosted; accosting.

Infamous houses, he states, are in all parts of the metropolis, but most numerous in small streets, leading from public thoroughfares. "Some of them adjoin churches, chapels, and even the courts of law. There is one locality in which vicious women accost persons as they issue from the door of a chapel on the Sabbath. In another situation, the officiating clergyman while in the pulpit, is in a position to witness the proceedings in a contiguous brothel." [Michael Ryan, M.D., "Prostitution in London," 1839]
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dish (n.)

Old English disc "plate, bowl, platter," from Latin discus "dish, platter, quoit," in Medieval Latin "a table, dais, desk, pulpit," from Greek diskos "disk, platter" (see disk (n.)).

A common West Germanic borrowing; Old High German took the word as tisc "plate," but German Tisch now means "table," in common with some other later Romanic forms of Latin discus (such as Italian desco, French dais); compare desk (n.), dais.

Meaning "particular variety of food served in a dish" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "what one likes, what is suited to one's taste" is by 1918; that of "attractive woman" is 1920s. Meaning "concave reflector or antenna" attested from 1948.

Originally applied to very shallow or flat vessels, as plates and platters, the term now usually includes any large open vessel, more or less deep, and with or without a cover, used to contain food or table-drink such as tea, coffee, or chocolate. The use of the term to include drinking-vessels, as bowls and cups, is less common, and seems to be obsolescent, except as such vessels are included in the collective plural dishes. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
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coward (n.)

"one who lacks courage to meet danger or shrinks from the chance of being hurt," mid-13c., from Anglo-French couard, couart, Old French coart "coward" (no longer the usual word in French, which has now in this sense poltron, from Italian, and lâche), from coe "tail," from Latin coda, popular dialect variant of cauda "tail" (see coda) + -ard, an agent noun suffix denoting one that carries on some action or possesses some quality, with derogatory connotation (see -ard).

The word probably reflects an animal metaphoric sense still found in expressions like turning tail and tail between legs. Coart was the name of the hare in Old French versions of "Reynard the Fox." Italian codardo, Spanish cobarde (Old Spanish couarde) are from French. The spelling in English was influenced by cow (v. and n.).

[S]o strong is the false belief that every bully must be a coward that acts requiring great courage are constantly described as cowardly or dastardly if they are so carried out as not to give the victim a sporting chance; the throwing of a bomb at a king's carriage is much less dastardly than shooting a partridge, because the thrower takes a very real risk .... [Fowler]

As a surname (attested from mid-13c.) it represents Old English cuhyrde "cow-herd." As an adjective, "lacking courage, timorous," from late 13c. Farmer has coward's castle "a pulpit," "Because a clergyman may deliver himself therefrom without fear of contradiction or argument."

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