Etymology
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trunk (n.1)

mid-15c., "box, case," from Old French tronc "alms box in a church," also "trunk of a tree, trunk of the human body, wooden block" (12c.), from Latin truncus "trunk of a tree, trunk of the body," of uncertain origin, probably originally "mutilated, cut off," and perhaps from PIE root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome."

The meaning "box, case" is likely to be from the notion of the body as the "case" of the organs. English acquired the "main stem of a tree" and "torso of the body" senses from Old French in late 15c. The sense of "luggage compartment of a motor vehicle" is from 1930. Railroad trunk line is attested from 1843; telephone version is from 1889.

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trunk (n.2)
"elephant's snout," 1560s, apparently from trunk (n.1), perhaps from confusion with trump (n.2), short for trumpet.
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trunnion (n.)

"either of two round projections of a cannon," 1620s, from French trognon "core of fruit, stump, tree trunk," from Old French troignon (14c.), probably from Latin truncus (see trunk (n.1)).

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trounce (v.)

1550s, "to trouble, afflict, harass," later "to beat, thrash" (1560s), of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to French troncer "to cut, cut off a piece from," from tronce "piece of timber," from Old French tronc (see trunk (n.1)). Related: Trounced; trouncing.

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truncheon (n.)
c. 1300, "shaft of a spear," also "short stick, cudgel," from Old North French tronchon, Old French tronchon (11c., Modern French tronçon) "a piece cut off, thick stick, stump," from Vulgar Latin *truncionem (nominative *truncio), from Latin truncus "trunk of a tree" (see trunk (n.1)). Meaning "staff as a symbol of office" is recorded from 1570s; sense of "policeman's club" is recorded from 1816.
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bronco (n.)
also broncho, "untamed or half-tamed horse of the American Southwest," 1850, American English, apparently from a noun use of Spanish bronco (adj.) "rough, rude," originally a noun meaning "a knot in wood," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *bruncus "a knot, projection," apparently from a cross of Latin broccus "projecting" (see broach (n.)) + truncus "trunk of a tree" (see trunk (n.1)). Bronco-buster is attested from 1886.
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boot (n.1)

"covering for the foot and lower leg," early 14c., from Old French bote "boot" (12c.), with corresponding words in Provençal, Spanish, and Medieval Latin, all of unknown origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Originally of riding boots only.

From c. 1600 as "fixed external step of a coach." This later was extended to "low outside compartment used for stowing luggage" (1781) and hence the transferred use, of motor vehicles, in Britain, where American English has trunk (n.1).

Boot-black "person who shines boots and shoes" is from 1817; boot-jack "implement to hold a boot by the heel while the foot is drawn from it" is from 1793. Boot Hill, U.S. frontier slang for "cemetery" (1893, in a Texas panhandle context) probably is an allusion to dying with one's boots on. An old Dorsetshire word for "half-boots" was skilty-boots [Halliwell, Wright].

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*tere- (2)

*terə- Proto-Indo-European root meaning "cross over, pass through, overcome."

It forms all or part of: avatar; caravanserai; nectar; nectarine; nostril; seraglio; thrill; thorough; through; tranche; trans-; transient; transom; trench; truculent; truncate; trunk.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tirah, Avestan taro "through, beyond;" Latin trans "beyond;" Old Irish tre, Welsh tra "through;" Old English þurh "through."

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torso (n.)
1797, "trunk of a statue," from Italian torso "trunk of a statue," originally "stalk, stump," from Vulgar Latin *tursus, from Latin thyrsus "stalk, stem," from Greek thyrsos (see thyrsus). As "trunk of a person" by 1865. Earlier, in the statuary sense, in French form torse (1620s).
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bole (n.)
"body or trunk of a tree," early 14c., from Old Norse bolr "tree trunk," from Proto-Germanic *bulas (source also of Middle Dutch bolle "trunk of a tree"), from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell."
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