Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to -teen

ten (adj., n.)

"1 more than nine, twice five; the number which is one more than nine; a symbol representing this number;" Old English ten (Mercian), tien (West Saxon), adjective and noun, from Proto-Germanic *tehun (source also of Old Saxon tehan, Old Norse tiu, Danish ti, Old Frisian tian, Old Dutch ten, Dutch tien, Old High German zehan, German zehn, Gothic taihun "ten"), from PIE root *dekm- "ten."

Meaning "ten o'clock" is from 1712. Tenner "ten-pound note" is slang first recorded 1861; as "ten-dollar bill," 1887 (ten-spot in this sense dates from 1848). The Texan's exaggerated ten-gallon hat is from 1919. The ten-foot pole that you wouldn't touch something with (1909) was originally a 40-foot pole; the notion is of keeping one's distance, as in the advice to use a long spoon when you dine with the devil.

From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class. From ten feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from thirty feet away. [Raymond Chandler, "The High Window," 1942] 

Ten-four "I understand, message received," is attested in popular jargon from 1962, from citizens band and emergency dispatch radio 10-code (in use in U.S. by 1950).

Advertisement
eighteen (adj., n.)

"1 more than seventeen, twice nine; the number which is one more than seventeen; a symbol representing this number;" late 14c., eightene, earlier ahtene (c. 1200), from Old English eahtatiene, eahtatyne; see eight + -teen. Cognate with Old Frisian schtatine, Old Saxon ahtotian, Dutch achttien, Old High German ahtozehan, German achtzehn, Old Norse attjan, Swedish adertån.

fifteen (adj., n.)

"1 more than fourteen; the number which is one more than fourteen; a symbol representing this number;" Old English fiftyne, from fif "five" (from PIE root *penkwe- "five") + tyne (see -teen). For vowel shift, see met (v.). Cognate with Old Saxon fiftein, Old Frisian fiftine, Old Norse fimtan, Swedish femton, Dutch vijftien, German fünfzehn, Gothic fimftaihun "fifteen." French quinze, Italian quindici "fifteen" are from Latin quindecim (from quinque "five;" see quinque-; + -decim (see -teen). The number of players forming a side in rugby.

fourteen (adj., n.)

"1 more than thirteen; the number which is one more than thirteen; a symbol representing this number;" c. 1300, from Old English feowertyne; see four + -teen. Compare Old Saxon fiertein, Old Frisian fiuwertine, Dutch veertien, Old High German fiorzehan, German vierzehn, Danish fjorten, Gothic fidwortaihun.

nineteen (adj., n.)

"1 more than eighteen, nine more than ten; the cardinal number composed of 10 and 9; a symbol representing this number;" Middle English nīntene, from late Old English nigontene (Anglian), nigontyne (West Saxon); see nine + -teen. Cognate with Old Saxon nigentein, Old Frisian niogentena, Dutch negentien, Old High German niunzehan, German neunzehn, Old Norse nitjan, Danish nitten.

quatorze 

in French terms, "fourteen," from French quatorze, from Latin quatuordecim (source also of Italian quattordici), from quatuor "four" (see four) + -decim (see -teen).

seventeen (adj., n.)

"1 more than sixteen; the number which is one more than sixteen; a symbol representing this number;" late Old English seofontyne; see seven + -teen. Replacing Old English form seofon-teoða. Compare German siebzehn, a contraction of Middle High German siben-zehen.

sixteen (adj., n.)

"one more than fifteen, twice eight, four times four; the number which is one more than fifteen; a symbol representing this number;" Middle English sixtene, from Old English sixtyne, from siex (see six) + -teen. Similar formation in Old Frisian sextine, Middle Dutch sestien, Dutch zestien, German sechzehn, Old Norse sextan.

The age of the gods is always sixteen. Sixteen represents the number of perfection, of plenitude. In man it is after the sixteenth year that the first elements of decay begin to appear, and when the moon reaches the sixteenth digit it begins to decrease. [Alain Daniélou, "The Myths and Gods of India"]

From Latin contracted form sexdecim, sedecim come Italian sedici, French seize.

teen (n.)

"teen-aged person," 1818 (but rare before 20c.), from -teen. As an adjective meaning "of or for teen-agers," from 1947.

teens (n.)

1670s (plural), "teen-age years of a person," formed from -teen taken as a separate word. As "decade of years comprising numbers ending in -teen," from 1889.