Etymology
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slogan (n.)

1670s, earlier slogorne (1510s), "battle cry," from Gaelic sluagh-ghairm "battle cry used by Scottish Highland or Irish clans," from sluagh "army, host, slew," from Celtic and Balto-Slavic *slough- "help, service." Second element is gairm "a cry" (see garrulous). Metaphoric sense of "distinctive word or phrase used by a political or other group" is first attested 1704.

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sloganeer (v.)

1941, from noun (1922), from slogan + -eer. Earlier verb was sloganize (1909). Related: Sloganeering.

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slew (n.2)

"large number," 1839, from Irish sluagh "a host, crowd, multitude," from Celtic and Balto-Slavic *sloug- "help, service" (see slogan).

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watchword (n.)

also watch-word, c. 1400, "password," from watch (n.) in the military sense of "period of standing guard duty" + word (n.). In the sense of "motto, slogan" it dates from 1738.

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strafe (v.)

1915, "punish, attack, bomb heavily," picked up by British soldiers from German strafen "to punish" (from Proto-Germanic *stræf-), in slogan Gott strafe England "May God punish England," current in Germany c. 1914-16 at the start of World War I. The word used for many kinds of attack at first; meaning "shoot up ground positions from low-flying aircraft" emerged as the main sense 1942. Related: Strafed; strafing.

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whack (v.)

"to strike sharply," 1719, probably of imitative origin. The noun is from 1737. The word in out of whack (1885) is perhaps the slang meaning "share, just portion" (1785), which may be from the notion of the blow that divides, or the rap of the auctioneer's hammer. To have (or take) a whack at something "make an attempt" is by 1820 (with have), 1845 (with take). Wack or whack "crazy person," 1938, is probably a back-formation from wacky, which probably comes from the blow-on-the-head verb. Related: Whacked; whacking. Whacked out is from 1969.

Wack, whack in the slang sense of "unappealing; crazy," hence "worthless, stupid" is by 1986, apparently popularized by an anti-drug slogan crack is wack.

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normalcy (n.)

1857, "mathematical condition of being at right angles, state or fact of being normal in geometry," from normal + -cy. The word has been associated since 1920 with U.S. president Warren G. Harding (who campaigned that year under the slogan "Return to Normalcy," meaning pre-World War I conditions). Previously normalcy was used mostly in the mathematical sense and the word preferred by purists for "a normal situation" is normality. Harding's use of it was derided during his administration as an example of his much-belittled incompetence with the language (Democratic politician William G. McAdoo Jr. called Harding’s speeches "an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea"). 

America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality. [Harding, "Readjustment" speech, May 24, 1920]
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ban (v.)

Old English bannan "to summon, command, proclaim," from Proto-Germanic *bannan "to speak publicly" (used in reference to various sorts of proclamations), "command; summon; outlaw, forbid" (source also of Old Frisian bonna "to order, command, proclaim," Old High German bannan "to command or forbid under threat of punishment," German bannen "banish, expel, curse"), apparently a Germanic specialization from a suffixed form of PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (source also of Old Irish bann "law," Armenian ban "word").

From mid-12c. as "to curse, condemn, pronounce a curse upon;" from late 14c. as "to prohibit;" these senses likely are via the Old Norse cognate banna "to curse, prohibit," and probably in part from Old French banir "to summon, banish" (see banish), a borrowing from Germanic. The sense evolution in Germanic was from "speak" to "proclaim a threat" to (in Norse, German, etc.) "curse, anathematize."

The Germanic root, borrowed in Latin and French, has been productive: banal, bandit, contraband, etc. Related: Banned; banning. Banned in Boston dates from 1920s, in allusion to the excessive zeal and power of that city's Watch and Ward Society. Ban the bomb as a slogan of the nuclear disarmament movement is from 1955.

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safety (n.)

early 14c., savete, "freedom or immunity from harm or danger; an unharmed or uninjured state or condition," from Old French sauvete, salvete "safety, safeguard; salvation; security, surety," earlier salvetet (11c., Modern French sauveté), from Medieval Latin salvitatem (nominative salvitas) "safety," from Latin salvus "uninjured, in good health, safe" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept"). From late 14c. as "means or instrument of safety, a safeguard."

The meaning "trigger-lock on a gun" is attested by 1881, perhaps short for safety-lock (1877), etc. As a North American football position, by 1931; as a type of score against one's own team, 1881.

Safety-valve, which diminishes the risk of explosion, is from 1797; figurative sense recorded from 1818. Safety-net in literal sense (in machinery) is by 1916, later of aerial circus performances (1920s); figurative use is by 1950. Safety-bicycle as a name for the modern type, with low, equal-sized wheels and a driving mechanism, is by 1866. Safety-razor is by 1877. A safety-belt (1840) was at first for window washers and firefighters; it was used of restraining straps for airplane pilots by 1911, extended to automobiles by 1948. Safety first as an accident-prevention slogan first recorded 1873.

Safety first, and saving of fuel second, should be the rule in steam engineering. [Scientific American, June 15, 1861]
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shibboleth (n.)

late 14c., in Bible translations, the Hebrew word shibboleth, meaning "flood, stream," also "ear of corn," as used in Judges xii.4-6. During the slaughter at the fords of Jordan, the Gileadites took it as a password to distinguish their men from fleeing Ephraimites, because Ephraimites could not pronounce the -sh- sound. (Modern commentators have decided the Hebrew word there probably was used in the "river" sense, in reference to the Jordan).

Hence the figurative sense of "watchword or test-word or pet phrase of a party, sect, school, etc." (by 1630s), which evolved by 1862 to "outmoded slogan still adhered to."

Elsewhere in history, a similar test-word was cicera "chick pease," used by the Italians to identify the French (who could not pronounce it correctly) during the massacre called the Sicilian Vespers (1282). There have been, and will be, others.

During training exercises on Pavuvu and Guadalcanal, the need to improve battlefield security is to be implemented not by a simple password, but by an identification procedure described as "sign and countersign." The ground rules are to sequentially interrogate an unknown friend or foe with the name of an automobile, preferably one with an "L" in its vocalization. The response is to be a cognomen for another automobile uttered in the same manner. This insures the "friend" entering our lines will reply with the correct countersign in a dialect distinctly American; call out "Cadiwac" or "Chryswer," and you're dead. [Perry Pollins, "Tales of a Feather Merchant: The World War II Memoir of a Marine Radioman," 2006]
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