"to know" (archaic), Old English witan (past tense wast, past participle witen) "to know, beware of or conscious of, understand, observe, ascertain, learn," from Proto-Germanic *witanan "to have seen," hence "to know" (source also of Old Saxon witan, Old Norse vita, Old Frisian wita, Middle Dutch, Dutch weten, Old High German wizzan, German wissen, Gothic witan "to know"), from PIE root *weid- "to see." The phrase to wit, almost the only surviving use of the verb, is first recorded 1570s, from earlier that is to wit (mid-14c.), probably a loan-translation of Anglo-French cestasavoir, used to render Latin videlicet (see viz.).
early 14c., "a winch, crane," from Anglo-French vice, Old French vis, viz "screw," from Latin vītis "vine, tendril of a vine," literally "that which winds," from root of viere "to bind, twist" (from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, bend"). Also in Middle English, "device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult; spiral staircase; the screw of a press; twisted tie for fastening a hood under the chin." The modern meaning "clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw" is first recorded c. 1500.
the earlier form of poulterer (q.v.). Poetic poulter's measure (1570s), a combination of lines of 12 and 14 syllables, is said to be so called for suggesting "the poulter's old practice of giving an extra egg with the second dozen." [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," 1986].
The commonest sort of verse which we vse now adayes (viz. the long verse of twelue and fourtene sillables) I know not certainly howe to name it, vnlesse I should say that it doth consist of Poulter's measure, which giueth xii. for one dozen and xiiij. for another. [George Gascoigne]
"plainly illogical," 1550s, from French absurde (16c.), from Latin absurdus "out of tune, discordant;" figuratively "incongruous, foolish, silly, senseless," from ab- "off, away from," here perhaps an intensive prefix, + surdus "dull, deaf, mute," which is possibly from an imitative PIE root meaning "to buzz, whisper" (see susurration). Thus the basic sense is perhaps "out of tune," but de Vaan writes, "Since 'deaf' often has two semantic sides, viz. 'who cannot hear' and 'who is not heard,' ab-surdus can be explained as 'which is unheard of' ..." The modern English sense is the Latin figurative one, perhaps "out of harmony with reason or propriety." Related: Absurdly; absurdness.
in medicine, "sepsis poisoning, putrefaction," 1857, Modern Latin septicæmia, from French septicoemi, coined irregularly by French physician Pierre-Adolphe Piorry (1794-1879) in 1837 from Greek septikos (see septic) + haima "blood" (see -emia). Related: Septicemic.
Dr. Piorry, in a second communication, insists upon the fact, that in a great number of cases the decaying contents of the uterus, and the putrid infection of the blood from this source, constitute the so-called puerperal fever, and he thinks that the discussion in the Academy is only a fight about words, as the different speakers agree, without knowing it themselves, upon the nature of the disease. He proposes the name of septicemia, as best designating the sources of the disease, viz., from putrid infection from the uterus, and by the respiration of an atmosphere pregnant with septic particles. ... The admission of this septicemia explains the putrid accidents, as observed in men, the foetus, and wounded persons during a puerperal epidemic. [E. Noeggerath and A. Jacobi, "Contributions to Midwifery," New York, 1859]
1680s, "pertaining to muscles," from Latin musculus (see muscle (n.)) + -ar. Earlier in same sense was musculous (early 15c., from Latin musculosus). Meaning "brawny, strong, having well-developed muscles" is from 1736. Muscular Christianity (1857) is originally in reference to philosophy of Anglican clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), who rejected the term. Muscular dystrophy is attested from 1877.
You have used that, to me, painful, if not offensive, term, 'Muscular Christianity.' My dear Sir, I know of no Christianity save one, which is the likeness of Christ, and the same for all men, viz., to be transformed into Christ's likeness, and to consecrate to His service, as far as may be, all the powers of body, soul, and spirit, regenerate and purified in His Spirit. All I wish to do is, to say to the strong and healthy man, even though he be not very learned, or wise, or even delicate-minded--in the aesthetic sense: 'You, too, can serve God with the powers which He has given you. He will call you to account for them, just as much as he will call the parson, or the devout lady.' [letter, Oct. 19, 1858, to a clergyman who in a review had called him a "muscular Christian"]
spectral being in a human body who maintains semblance of life by leaving the grave at night to suck the warm blood of the living as they sleep, 1732, vampyre, from French vampire (18c.) or German Vampir (1732, like the English word first in an account of Hungarian vampires), from Hungarian vampir, from Old Church Slavonic opiri (source also of Serbian vampir, Bulgarian vapir, Ukrainian uper), said by Slavic linguist Franc Miklošič to be ultimtely from Kazan Tatar ubyr "witch," but Max Vasmer, an expert in this linguistic area, finds that phonetically doubtful.
An Eastern European creature popularized in English by late 19c. gothic novels, however there are scattered English accounts of night-walking, blood-gorged, plague-spreading undead corpses from as far back as 1196. Figurative sense of "person who preys on others" is from 1741. Applied 1774 by French biologist Buffon to a species of South American blood-sucking bat. Related: Vampiric.
MR. D'Anvers tells of a Conversation he had about a certain Prodigy, mention'd in the News Papers of March last, viz. that in the Village of Medreyga in Hungary, certain dead Bodies (call'd there Vampyres) had kill'd several Persons by sucking out all their Blood : That Arnold Paul, an Heyduke, having kill'd four Persons after he was dead, his Body was taken up 40 Days after, which bled at the Nose, Mouth and Ears : That, according to Custom, they drove a Stake thro' his Heart, at which he gave horrid Groan, and lost a great deal of Blood. And that all such as have been tormented or kill'd by Vampyres, become Vampyres when they are dead. [London Journal, May 20, 1732, quoted in Weekly Essays, May 1732]
The spread of the story about this time is perhaps traceable to a pamphlet published in 1732, the title page of which reads: Dissertationem De Hominibus Post Mortem Sanguisugis, Vulgo Sic Dictis Vampyren, Auctoritate Inclyti Philosophorum Ordinis, Publico Eruditorum Examini Die XXX. Aug. An. MDCCXXXII. Submittent M. Io. Christophorus Pohlius, Lignicens. Silesius Et Io. Gottlob Hertelius, Philos. Et Med. Stud.