Etymology
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wholesome (adj.)
c. 1200, "of benefit to the soul," from whole (adj.) in the "healthy" sense + -some (1). Physical sense first attested late 14c. Related: Wholesomely; wholesomeness. Old English had halwende.
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unwholesome (adj.)
c. 1200, from un- (1) "not" + wholesome (adj.). Similar formation in Flemish onheylsaem, German unheilsam, Old Norse uheilsamr.
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healthful (adj.)
late 14c., "wholesome, curative, saving, serving to promote health," from health + -ful. Meaning "free from disease, healthy" is attested from 1540s but is rare. Related: Healthfully; healthfulness.
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salubrious (adj.)

"favorable to health, wholesome," 1540s, from Latin salubris "promoting health, healthful," from salus (genitive salutis) "welfare, health" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept"). Originally of foods, medicine; in reference to air, climate, etc., by 1610s. Related: Salubriously; salubriousness.

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bona-roba (n.)
"a showy wanton" [Johnson], 1590s, from Italian buonaroba "as we say good stuffe, that is a good wholesome plum-cheeked wench" [Florio], literally "fine gown," from buona "good" (from Latin bonus "good;" see bonus) + roba "robe, dress, stuff, gear," from a Germanic source (see robe (n.)).
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salutary (adj.)

"wholesome, healthful, healing," late 15c. (Caxton), from Old French salutaire "beneficial," or directly from Latin salutaris "healthful," from salus (genitive salutis) "good health" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept"). By 19c. also in a general sense, "contributing to some beneficial purpose." Earlier as a noun, salutari, "a remedy," (early 15c.), from Latin salutaris (n.).

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crunchy (adj.)

1892, from crunch (n.) + -y (2). Student slang sense of "annoyingly intense about health or environmental issues" is by 1990, short for crunchy granola (considered a natural and wholesome food) used as an adjective. It could be neutral or positive at first, but later often was dismissive. Related: Crunchiness.

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healthy (adj.)

1550s, "being in a sound state;" also "conducive to health," from health + -y (2). Earlier in the same sense was healthsome (1530s). Related: Healthily; healthiness.

It is wrong to say that certain articles of food are healthy or unhealthy. Wholesome and unwholesome are the right words. A pig may be healthy or unhealthy while alive; but after he is killed and becomes pork, he can enjoy no health, and suffer no sickness. [Eliza Leslie, "Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book," Philadelphia, 1839]

Healthsome is from 1530s in the sense "bestowing health."

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horse (v.)

late Old English horsian "to provide with a horse or horses," from horse (n.). Related: Horsed; horsing. Sense of "to play excessive jokes on" is by 1893, mostly in formation horse around (1928), perhaps from horse-play, or from earlier nautical jargon use of the verb in reference to men, "drive or urge to work unfairly and tyrannically" (1867). But also consider the vulgar expressions arsing about (1660s), arsing around (1922).

[A] favorite pastime for many men is to "horse" or guy a friend who has shown himself susceptible to ridicule or fun making. "Horsing" is extremely wholesome mental discipline for over sensitive or super-conceited young men. "Horsing" always implies a joke at another's expense. As to how it came into use there is no satisfactory theory to offer. [Yale Literary Magazine, December 1893]

As a verb, horse also meant "to mount on horseback" (early 14c., horsen), "to spank" as one does a horse to get it to go (1825), also "to copulate, mount" (as a stallion does a mare), hence figuratively, of men, "copulate with" a woman (mid-15c.).

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sweet (adj.)

Old English swete "pleasing to the senses, mind or feelings; having a pleasant disposition," from Proto-Germanic *swotja- (source also of Old Saxon swoti, Old Frisian swet, Swedish söt, Danish sød, Middle Dutch soete, Dutch zoet, Old High German swuozi, German süß), from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant" (Sanskrit svadus "sweet;" Greek hedys "sweet, pleasant, agreeable," hedone "pleasure;" Latin suavis "pleasant" (not especially of taste), suadere "to advise," properly "to make something pleasant to"). Words for "sweet" in Indo-European languages typically are used for other sense as well and in general for "pleasing."

Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty!
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
["Twelfth Night"]

Also "being in a sound or wholesome state" (mid-13c.), and, of water, "fresh, not salt" (late Old English). As an intensifier from 1958. Sweet in bed (c. 1300) was the equivalent of modern "good in bed." To be sweet on someone is first recorded 1690s. Sweet sixteen first recorded 1767. Sweet dreams as a parting to one going to sleep is attested from 1897, short for sweet dreams to you, etc. Sweet-and-sour in cookery is from 1723 and not originally of oriental food. Sweet nothings "sentimental trivialities" is from 1900. Sweet spot is from 1976, first in reference to tennis rackets. Sweet corn is from 1640s.

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