Advertisement
6 entries found.
Search filter: All Results 
ream (n.2)

"cream," later also "cream-like froth on any liquid," a word now dialectal or obsolete, Old English ream, from Proto-Germanic *raumoz (source also of Middle Dutch and Dutch room, German Rahm), a word of uncertain origin. Related: Reamy.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ream (n.1)

standard commercial measure of paper, rem, mid-14c., from Old French reyme, from Spanish resma, from Arabic rizmah "bundle" (of paper), from rasama "collect into a bundle." The Moors brought manufacture of cotton paper to Spain.

The exact path of transmission of the word to English is unclear, and it might have entered from more than one language. An early variant rym (late 15c.) suggests a Dutch influence: compare Middle Dutch rieme, Dutch riem, which probably were borrowed from Spanish during the Hapsburg control of Holland. For ordinary writing paper, 20 quires of 24 sheets each, or 480 sheets; often 500 or more to allow for waste; the count varies slightly for drawing or printing paper.

Related entries & more 
ream (v.)

"to enlarge a hole," especially "to widen or enlarge by the use of a rotary cutter," 1815, a word of "somewhat doubtful origin" [OED], but it is probably a southwest England dialectal survival from obsolete Middle English reme "to make room, open up, extend by stretching."

This is from Old English ryman "widen, extend, enlarge," from Proto-Germanic *rumijan (source also of Old Saxon rumian, Old Norse ryma, Old Frisian rema, Old High German rumen, German räumen"to make room, widen"), from *rumaz "spacious" (see room (n.)). Related: Reamed; reaming; reamer.

Especially with out (adv.). The slang meaning "to cheat, swindle" is recorded by 1914; the sexual sense is attested by 1942. To ream (someone) out in the sense of "to scold, reprimand" is recorded from 1950; earlier it was used of gun barrels, machinery, etc., "to remove (a jam or defect) by reaming" (1861).

Related entries & more 
rim (v.)

1794, "to fit with a rim, surround with a rim or border," from rim (n.). Sexual senses from 1920s, some perhaps influenced by ream (v.). Related: Rimmed; rimming.

Related entries & more 
quire (n.1)

c. 1200, quaier, "a short book;" mid-15c., "a set of four folded pages for a book; pamphlet consisting of a single quire," original senses now obsolete, from Anglo-French quier, Old French quaier, caier "sheet of paper folded in four" (Modern French cahier), from Medieval Latin quaternum, "set of four sheets of parchment or paper," from Vulgar Latin *quaternus, from Latin quaterni "four each," from quater "four times" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four").

Meaning "standard unit for selling paper" (lately typically 24 or 25 sheets, the twentieth part of a ream) is recorded from late 14c. In quires (mid-15c.) means "unbound."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
cream (n.)

early 14c., creyme, "the rich and buttery part of milk," from Old French cresme, craime, creme "chrism, holy oil" (13c., Modern French crème). This word is a blend of Late Latin chrisma "ointment" (from Greek khrisma "unguent;" from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub") and Late Latin cramum "cream," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Gaulish. The French word replaced Old English ream; it was re-borrowed 19c. as creme.

From early 15c. as "dish or confection made from or resembling cream." The figurative sense of "most excellent element or part" is from 1580s. It is attested from 1660s as "any part that separates from the rest and rises to the surface" and also in its application to substances resembling cream. Cream-cheese is from 1580s. Cream-soda is attested by from 1854. Cream-colored (also cream-coloured) "having the pale, yellowish-white color of cream," is from 1707.

Related entries & more