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11 entries found.
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wren (n.)
small, migratory singing bird, Old English wrenna, metathesis variation of earlier werna, a Germanic word of uncertain origin. Compare Icelandic rindill, Old High German wrendo, wrendilo "wren."
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finch (n.)
common European bird, Old English finc "finch," from Proto-Germanic *finkiz "finch" (source also of Middle Low German and Middle Dutch vinke, Dutch vink, Old High German finco, German Fink), perhaps imitative of the bird's note (compare Breton pint "chaffinch," Russian penka "wren").
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cutty 

1790, "cut short" (adj.), from cut (v.). Also used as a noun of a variety of things: a short spoon, a short tobacco pipe, a pop-gun, also a dismissive term for a naughty or wanton woman or girl. Also used of a wren or a hare.

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tracery (n.)
mid-15c., "a place for drawing," formed in English from trace (v.) + -ery. Architectural sense, in reference to intersecting rib work in the upper part of a gothic window, is attested from 1660s. "Introduced by Wren, who described it as a masons' term" [Weekley].
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fraternize (v.)

1610s, "to sympathize as brothers," from French fraterniser, from Medieval Latin fraternizare, from Latin fraternus "brotherly" (see fraternity). Military sense of "cultivate friendship with enemy troops" is from 1897 (used in World War I with reference to the Christmas Truce). Used oddly in World War II armed forces jargon to mean "have sex with women from enemy countries" as a violation of military discipline.

A piece of frat, Wren-language for any attractive young woman — ex-enemy — in occupied territory. [John Irving, "Royal Navalese," 1946]

Related: Fraternized; fraternizing.

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basilisk (n.)

fabulous lizard-like creature, c. 1400, earlier basiliscus (Trevisa, late 14c.), from Latin basiliscus, from Greek basiliskos name of a kind of serpent, also the golden-crested wren, literally "little king," diminutive of basileus "king" (see Basil); said by Pliny to have been so called because of a crest or spot on its head resembling a crown.

The basilisk has since the fourteenth century been confused with the Cockatrice, and the subject is now a complicated one. [T.H. White, "The Bestiary. A Book of Beasts," 1954]

Its breath and glance were said to be fatal. The South American lizard was so called (1813) because it, like the mythical beast, has a crest. From 1540s as a type of large cannon throwing shot of 200 lb.

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Jenny 

fem. personal name, originally another form of Jane, Janey and a diminutive of Jane or Janet; in modern use (mid-20c.) typically a shortening of Jennifer. Jenny is attested from c. 1600 as female equivalent of jack (n.), and like it applied to animals (especially of birds, of a heron, a jay, but especially Jenny wren, 1640s, in bird-fables the consort of Robin Redbreast). Also like jack used of machinery; Akrwright's spinning jenny (1783) is said to have been named for his wife, but is perhaps rather a corruption of gin (n.2) "engine."

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arch (n.)
"structure (in a building, bridge, etc.) in the shape of a curve that stands when supported only a the extremities," c. 1300, from Old French arche "arch of a bridge, arcade" (12c.), from Latin arcus "a bow" (see arc (n.)). Replaced native bow (n.1).

Originally architectural in English; transferred by early 15c. to anything having a curved form (eyebrows, feet, etc.). The commemorative or monumental arch is attested in English from late 14c. Compare Middle English Seinte Marie Chirche of the Arches (c. 1300) in London, later known as St. Mary-le-Bow, site of an ecclesiastical court, so called for the arches that supported its steeple (the modern church is by Sir Christopher Wren, rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666).
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wrench (n.)
Old English wrenc "a twisting, artifice, trick;" see wrench (v.). The meaning "tool with jaws at one end for turning or holding" is first recorded 1794.
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monkey-wrench (n.)

old style of wrench with a jaw adjustable by a screw mechanism on the handle, 1841, from monkey (n.) + wrench (n.). Monkey was used in 19c. especially by sailors, as a modifier for various types of small equipment made for specific work (monkey-block, monkey-boat, monkey-spar, etc.), and the same notion probably is behind the name of the tool. The figurative sense of "something that obstructs operations" is from the notion of one getting jammed in the gears of machinery (compare English spanner in the works). 

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