Etymology
Advertisement
wainscot (n.)
mid-14c., "imported oak of superior quality" (well-grained and without knots), probably from Middle Dutch or Middle Flemish waghenscote "superior quality oak wood, board used for paneling" (though neither of these is attested as early as the English word), related to Middle Low German wagenschot (late 14c.), from waghen (see wagon) + scote "partition, crossbar" (from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw").

So called perhaps because the wood originally was used for wagon building and coachwork, but the sense evolution is not entirely clear. Meaning "panels lining the walls of rooms" is recorded from 1540s. Wainscoting is from 1570s.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
*skeud- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to shoot, chase, throw."

It forms all or part of: scot-free; scout (v.2) "to reject with scorn;" sheet (n.1) "cloth, covering;" sheet (n.2) "rope that controls a sail;" shoot; shot; shout; shut; shuttle; skeet; wainscot.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit skundate "hastens, makes haste;" Old Church Slavonic iskydati "to throw out;" Lithuanian skudrus "quick, nimble;" Old English sceotan "to hurl missiles," Old Norse skjota "to shoot with (a weapon)."
Related entries & more 
death-watch (n.)

"a vigil beside a dying person," 1865, from death + watch (n.) "a watching." The death-watch beetle (1660s) inhabits houses, makes a ticking noise like a pocket-watch, and was superstitiously supposed to portend death.

FEW ears have escaped the noise of the death-watch, that is, the little clicking sound heard often in many rooms, somewhat resembling that of a watch; and this is conceived to be of an evil omen or prediction of some person's death: wherein notwithstanding there is nothing of rational presage or just cause of terror unto melancholy and meticulous heads. For this noise is made by a little sheathwinged grey insect, found often in wainscot benches and wood-work in the summer. [Browne, "Vulgar Errors"] 
Related entries & more