1764, "the act or practice of visiting shops for the purpose of examining and purchasing goods," a verbal noun from shop (v.). The meaning "goods that have been purchased" is attested by 1934.
Shopping bag is attested from 1864; shopping cart by 1929. Shopping list, of purchases to be made or stores to be visited, is by 1874. The modern shopping center is attested by 1933. Shopping day "day in which stores are open" is by 1859; specifically in advertisements announcing the time remaining to purchase Christmas gifts, by 1881.
Twenty-One Days Only and Christmas will be here. Deduct Three (Sundays) leaves Eighteen Shopping Days. Again deduct Six Days (the last) monopolized by the Grand Army of Put-Offs, leaves but 12 DAYS in which Common-Sense Customers may buy their Holiday Gifts in Comfort, Convenience and Pleasure. [from an advertisement for Rosenbaum's store, Philadelphia Times, Dec. 4, 1881]
1680s, "to bring something to a shop, to expose for sale," from shop (n.). The meaning "to visit shops for the purpose of examining or purchasing goods" is first attested 1764. Related: Shopped; shopping. Shop around "seek alternatives before choosing" is from 1922. Shopping cart is recorded from 1956; shopping list is attested by 1913; transferred and figurative use is from 1959.
1737, "shaded walk serving as a promenade," generalized from The Mall, name of a broad, tree-lined promenade in St. James's Park, London (so called from 1670s, earlier Maill, 1640s), which was so called because it formerly was an open alley that was used to play pall-mall.
This was a once-popular game played with a wooden ball in a kind of smooth alley boarded in at each side, in which the ball was struck with a mallet to send it through an iron arch placed at the end of the alley. The game's name is from French pallemaille, from Italian pallamaglio, from palla "ball" (see balloon (n.)) + maglio "mallet" (from Latin malleus "a hammer, mallet," from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind"). Modern sense of "enclosed shopping gallery" is from 1962 (from 1951 in reference to city streets set aside for pedestrians only). Mall rat "one who frequents a mall" is from 1985 (see rat (n.)).
The short history of malls goes like this: In 1954, Victor Gruen's Northland Center, often credited as the first modern shopping mall (though earlier examples existed), opens in Southfield, Michigan. The suburban location is fitting because the rise of the automobile, helped along by the Federal-Aid Highway Act, led to the widespread creation of large shopping centers away from urban centers. This, among other factors, nearly killed downtowns, and malls reigned supreme for some 40 years. By the 1990s, however, a new urbanism movement revived the urban shopping experience and eroded the dominance of malls. Next, the rise of big box stores and online shopping sounded the death knell for mall culture. [Steven Kurutz, "An Ode to Shopping Malls," New York Times, July 26, 2017]
"boy employed in a shop," 1813, from shop (n.) + boy (n.). Shopman as "assistant in a shop" is by 1758. Shop-girl , also shopgirl, "girl employed in a shop" is by 1820; earlier it meant "a domestic servant who assists in shopping" (by 1781); shop-maid is from 1650s; shop-woman from 1753. Genderless shop-assistant is by 1880; slang shoppie (or shoppy) is by 1909.
c. 1200, literally "wind eye," from Old Norse vindauga, from vindr "wind" (see wind (n.1)) + auga "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). Replaced Old English eagþyrl, literally "eye-hole," and eagduru, literally "eye-door." Compare Old Frisian andern "window," literally "breath-door."
Originally an unglazed hole in a roof. Most Germanic languages later adopted a version of Latin fenestra to describe the glass version (such as German Fenster, Swedish fönster), and English used fenester as a parallel word till mid-16c.
Window dressing in reference to shop windows is recorded from 1853; figurative sense is by 1898. Window seat is attested from 1778. Window of opportunity (1979) is from earlier figurative use in U.S. space program, such as launch window (1963). Window-shopping is recorded from 1904.
Window shopping, according to the women, is the king of outdoor sports. Whenever a woman gets down town and has 2 or 3 hours and no money to spend, she goes window shopping. She gives the Poiret gowns and the thousand dollar furs the double O and then kids herself into believing she'd look like Lillian Russell or Beverly Bayne if she had 'em on. It's great for developing the imagination and one of the great secrets of conserving the bankroll. ... [Motor Age, Jan. 27, 1916]
by 1996, from metropolitan + -sexual, ending abstracted from homosexual, heterosexual. Wikipedia defines it as "a portmanteau of metropolitan and heterosexual, coined in 1994 describing a man who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this."
Nevertheless, the metrosexual man contradicts the basic premise of traditional heterosexuality—that only women are looked at and only men do the looking. Metrosexual man might prefer women, he might prefer men, but when all's said and done nothing comes between him and his reflection. [Mark Simpson, "It's a Queer World," 1996]