Etymology
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spine (n.)
c. 1400, "backbone," later "thornlike part" (early 15c.), from Old French espine "thorn, prickle; backbone, spine" (12c., Modern French épine), from Latin spina "backbone," originally "thorn, prickle" (figuratively, in plural, "difficulties, perplexities"), from PIE *spe-ina-, from root *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). Meaning "the back of a book" is first attested 1922.
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spine-chiller (n.)
"mystery film," 1940, from spine + agent noun from chill (v.). Spine-tingler in same sense is from 1942.
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spiny (adj.)
1580s, from spine + -y (2). Related: Spininess.
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spineless (adj.)
1827 of animals (1805 of plants), from spine + -less. Meaning "lacking moral force" is from 1885. Related: Spinelessly; spinelessness.
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spinal (adj.)
1570s, from Late Latin spinalis "of or pertaining to a thorn or the spine," from Latin spina (see spine). Spinal tap recorded from 1960.
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spike (n.2)
"ear of grain," c. 1300, from Latin spica "ear of grain," from PIE *spei-ko-, from suffixed form of root *spei- "sharp point" (see spine).
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spinney (n.)
"copse, thicket," 1590s, from Old French espinoi "briar-patch, place full of thorns and brambles" (13c., Modern French épinaie), from espine or from Latin spinetum "thorn hedge, thicket" (see spine).
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spinet (n.)

1660s, spinette, "small harpsichord," from French espinette (16c., Modern French épinette), from Italian spinetta, said by Scaliger to be a diminutive of spina "thorn, spine," from Latin spina "thorn" (see spine), so called because the strings were plucked with thorn-like quills [Barnhart]. The other theory (favored by Klein and assigned "greater probability" by OED) dates to early 17c. and claims the word is from the name of the Venetian inventor, Giovanni Spinetti (fl. c. 1503). As "small, upright piano" from 1936.

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fin (n.)
Old English finn "fin," from Proto-Germanic *finno (source also of Middle Low German vinne, Dutch vin), perhaps from Latin pinna "feather, wing" (see pin (n.)); or, less likely, from Latin spina "thorn, spine" (see spine).

U.S. underworld slang sense of "$5 bill" is 1925, from Yiddish finif "five," from German fünf (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") and thus unrelated. The same word had been used in England in 1868 to mean "five pound note" (earlier finnip, 1839).
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spinach (n.)

c. 1400 (late 13c. as a surname), from Anglo-French spinache, Old French espinache (14c., Modern French épinard, from a form with a different suffix), from Old Provençal espinarc, which perhaps is via Catalan espinac, from Andalusian Arabic isbinakh, from Arabic isbanakh, from Persian aspanakh "spinach." But OED is not convinced the Middle Eastern words are native, and based on the plethora of Romanic forms pronounces the origin "doubtful."

Popeye, the spinach-eating superman, debuted in 1929. Old folk etymology connected the word with Latin spina (see spine) or with Medieval Latin Hispanicum olus. For pronunciation, see cabbage. In 1930s colloquial American English, it had a sense of "nonsense, rubbish," based on a famous New Yorker cartoon of Dec. 8, 1928. Related: spinaceous.

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