Old English geol, geola "Christmas Day, Christmastide," which is cognate with Old Norse jol (plural), the name of a heathen feast, later taken over by Christianity; the Germanic word is of unknown origin. The Old English (Anglian) cognate giuli was the Anglo-Saxons' name for a two-month midwinter season corresponding to Roman December and January, a time of important feasts but not itself a festival.
After conversion to Christianity the word narrowed to mean "the 12-day feast of the Nativity" (which began Dec. 25), but was replaced by Christmas by 11c., except in the northeast (areas of Danish settlement), where it remained the usual word.
Revived 19c. by writers to mean "the Christmas of 'Merrie England.' " First direct reference to the Yule log is 17c. According to some sources, Old Norse jol was borrowed into Old French as jolif, hence Modern French joli "pretty, nice," originally "festive" (see jolly).
c. 1300 (late 13c. as a surname, late 14c. as the name of a dog), "merry, cheerful, naturally of a happy disposition; comical; suggesting joy or merriment," from Old French jolif "festive, merry; amorous; pretty" (12c., Modern French joli "pretty, nice"), a word of uncertain origin. It has an apparent cognate in Italian giulivo "merry, pleasant."
It is often suggested that the word is ultimately Germanic, from a source akin to Old Norse jol "a winter feast" (see yule). OED, however, finds this "extremely doubtful," based on "historic and phonetic difficulties." Perhaps the French word is from Latin gaudere "to rejoice," from PIE *gau- "to rejoice" (see joy).
Meaning "great, remarkable, uncommon" is from 1540s, hence its use as a general intensifier in expressions of admiration. Colloquial meaning "somewhat drunk" is from 1650s. As an adverb from early 15c., "stoutly, boldly." For loss of -f, compare tardy, hasty. Related: Jolliness. Broader Middle English senses, mostly now lost, include "vigorous, strong, youthful" (c. 1300); "amorous; lecherous; ready to mate; in heat" (c. 1300); "pleasing, beautiful, handsome; noble-looking; handsomely dressed" (c. 1300); playful, frisky (mid-14c.); "arrogant, overweening, foolish" (mid-14c.).
also baboo, 1782, Anglo-Indian, "native clerk (originally in Bengal) who writes English," from Hindi babu, title of respect, perhaps originally "father."
In Bengal and elsewhere, among Anglo-Indians, it is often used with a slight savour of disparagement, as characterizing a superficially cultivated, but too often effeminate, Bengali. [Yule and Burnell, "Hobson-Jobson," 1886]
In reference to "the ornate and somewhat unidiomatic English of an Indian who has learnt the language principally from books" [OED] from 1878.
"greenish-yellow citrus fruit," 1630s, probably via Spanish lima or Portuguese limão, said to be via Arabic lima "citrus fruit," from Persian limun, in reference to the Persian lime, which might be a hybrid of the "Key" lime and the lemon.
The word is perhaps from or related to Sanskrit nimbu "lime." The Key lime is indigenous to India and the Malay archipelago (Arabs introduced it to the Levant, North Africa, Spain, and Persia in the Middle Ages); compare Malay (Austronesian) limaw "lime," also, generically, "citrus fruit," which might be the ultimate source. Yule and Burnell think the English got the word from the Portuguese in India. Lime-green as a color is by 1883.
also verandah, 1711, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi varanda, which probably is from Portuguese varanda, originally "long balcony or terrace," of uncertain origin, possibly related to Spanish baranda "railing," and ultimately from Vulgar Latin *barra "barrier, bar." French véranda is borrowed from English.
That the word as used in England and in France was brought by the English from India need not be doubted. But either in the same sense, or in one closely analogous, it appears to have existed, quite independently, in Portuguese and Spanish; and the manner in which it occurs without explanation in the very earliest narrative of the adventure of the Portuguese in India ... seems almost to preclude the possibility of their having learned it in that country for the first time .... [Col. Henry Yule and A.C. Burnell, "Hobson-Jobson, A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases," 1903]
Tiphon "violent storm, whirlwind, tornado," 1550s, from Greek typhon "whirlwind," personified as a giant, father of the winds, probably [Beekes] from or related to typhein "to smoke" (see typhus), but according to Watkins from PIE *dheub- "deep, hollow," via notion of "monster from the depths." The meaning "cyclone, violent hurricane of India or the China Seas" is first recorded 1588 in Thomas Hickock's translation of an account in Italian of a voyage to the East Indies by Caesar Frederick, a merchant of Venice:
concerning which Touffon ye are to vnderstand, that in the East Indies often times, there are not stormes as in other countreys; but euery 10. or 12. yeeres there are such tempests and stormes, that it is a thing incredible, but to those that haue seene it, neither do they know certainly what yeere they wil come. ["The voyage and trauell of M. Caesar Fredericke, Marchant of Venice, into the East India, and beyond the Indies"]
This sense of the word, in reference to titanic storms in the East Indies, first appears in Europe in Portuguese in the mid-16th century. It apparently is from tufan, a word in Arabic, Persian, and Hindi meaning "big cyclonic storm." Yule ["Hobson-Jobson," London, 1903] writes that "the probability is that Vasco [da Gama] and his followers got the tufao ... direct from the Arab pilots."
The Arabic word sometimes is said to be from Greek typhon, but other sources consider it purely Semitic, though the Greek word might have influenced the form of the word in English. Al-tufan occurs several times in the Koran for "a flood or storm" and also for Noah's Flood. Chinese (Cantonese) tai fung "a great wind" also might have influenced the form or sense of the word in English, and that term and the Indian one may have had some mutual influence; toofan still means "big storm" in India.
From the thighs downward he was nothing but coiled serpents, and his arms which, when he spread them out, reached a hundred leagues in either direction, had countless serpents' heads instead of hands. His brutish ass-head touched the stars, his vast wings darkened the sun, fire flashed from his eyes, and flaming rocks hurtled from his mouth. [Robert Graves, "Typhon," in "The Greek Myths"]