Etymology
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Words related to *skoto-

nightshade (n.)

"plant of the genus solanum," with white flowers and black poisonous berries, Middle English night-shade, from Old English nihtscada, literally "shade of night," perhaps in allusion to the berries; see night + shade (n.). A common Germanic compound, cognates: Dutch nachtschade, German Nachtschatten.

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scotoma (n.)

(plural scotomata), 1875 as "defect in the visual field," from Late Latin scotoma, from Latinized form of Greek skotōma "dizziness," from skotoun "to darken," from skotos "darkness" (from PIE root *skoto- "dark, shade."). Earlier as "dizziness accompanied by dimness of sight" (1540s). Related: Scotomatical.

shade (n.)

Middle English shade, schade, Kentish ssed, "dark image cast by someone or something; comparative obscurity or gloom caused by the blockage of light," from late Old English scead "partial darkness; shelter, protection," also partly from sceadu "shade, shadow, darkness; shady place, arbor, protection from glare or heat." Both are from Proto-Germanic *skadwaz (source also of Old Saxon skado, Middle Dutch scade, Dutch schaduw, Old High German scato, German Schatten, Gothic skadus), from PIE *skot-wo-, from root *skoto- "dark, shade." 

shade, shadow, nn. It seems that the difference in form is fairly to be called an accidental one, the first representing the nominative & the second the oblique cases of the same word. The meanings are as closely parallel or intertwined as might be expected from this original identity, the wonder being that, with a differentiation so vague, each form should have maintained its existence by the side of the other. [Fowler]

Figurative use in reference to comparative obscurity is from 1640s. Hence throw into the shade, etc., "obscure by contrast or superior brilliancy." The meaning "a ghost" is from 1610s; dramatic (or mock-dramatic) expression shades of _____ to invoke or acknowledge a memory is from 1818, from the "ghost" sense. Meaning "lamp cover" is from 1780. Sense of "window blind" is recorded by 1845. The meaning "cover to protect the eyes" is from 1801. Meaning "grade of color" is recorded from 1680s; that of "degree or gradation of darkness in a color" is from 1680s (compare nuance, from French nue "cloud"). Meaning "small amount or degree" is from 1749.

shadow (n.)

Middle English shadwe, from Old English sceadwe, sceaduwe "shade, the effect of interception of sunlight; dark image cast by someone or something when interposed between an object and a source of light," oblique cases ("to the," "from the," "of the," "in the") of sceadu (see shade (n.)). Shadow is to shade (n.) as meadow is to mead (n.2). Similar formation in Old Saxon skado, Middle Dutch schaeduwe, Dutch schaduw, Old High German scato, German schatten, Gothic skadus "shadow, shade."

From mid-13c. as "darkened area created by shadows, shade." From early 13c. in sense "anything unreal;" mid-14c. as "a ghost." Many senses are from the notion of "that which follows or attends a person." From late 14c. as "a foreshadowing, prefiguration." Meaning "imitation, copy" is from 1690s. Sense of "the faintest trace" is from 1580s; that of "a spy who follows" is from 1859. Many of the modern English senses also were in Latin umbra, Greek skia, along with that of "uninvited guest who an invited one brings with him."

As a designation of members of an opposition party chosen as counterparts of the government in power, it is recorded from 1906. Shadow of Death (c. 1200) translates Vulgate umbra mortis (Psalms xxiii.4, etc.), which translates Greek skia thanatou, itself perhaps a mistranslation of a Hebrew word for "intense darkness." In "Beowulf," Grendel is a sceadugenga, a shadow-goer, and another word for "darkness" is sceaduhelm. To be afraid of one's (own) shadow "be very timorous" is from 1580s.

shady (adj.)

1570s, "affording or abounding with shade;" 1590s, "protected by shade, sheltered from glare or heat;" from shade (n.) + -y (2).

The meaning "disreputable" (1862) might be from or reinforced by the earlier university-slang sense of "of questionable merit, unreliable" (1848, perhaps on the notion of "such as cannot bear the light"). Related: Shadily; shadiness. Old English had sceadlic "shady" ('shadely'); the Elizabethans also had shadeful. Colloquial on the shady side of "older than" (a specified age) is by 1808.