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bill (n.1)

"written statement," late 14c., "formal document; formal plea or charge (in a court of law); personal letter," from Anglo-French bille, Anglo-Latin billa "a writing, a list, a seal," from Medieval Latin bulla "decree, seal, sealed document," in classical Latin "bubble, boss, stud, amulet for the neck" (hence "seal"); see bull (n.2).

Sense of "written statement detailing articles sold or services rendered by one person to another" is from c. 1400; that of "order addressed to one person to pay another" is from 1570s. Meaning "paper intended to give public notice of something, exhibited in a public place" is from late 15c. Sense of "paper money, bank-note" is from 1660s. Meaning "draft of a proposed statute presented to a legislature" is from 1510s.

bill (n.2)

"bird's beak," Old English bill "bill, bird's beak," related to bill, a poetic word for a kind of sword (especially one with a hooked blade), from Proto-Germanic *bili-, a word for cutting or chopping weapons (see bill (n.3)). Used also in Middle English of beak-like projections of land (such as Portland Bill).

bill (n.3)

ancient weapon, Old English bill "sword (especially one with a hooked blade), chopping tool," from Proto-Germanic *bili-, a word for cutting or chopping weapons (compare Old Saxon bil "sword," Middle Dutch bile, Dutch bijl, Old High German bihal, German Beil, Old Norse bilda "hatchet"), possibly from PIE root *bheie- "to cut, to strike" (source also of Armenian bir "cudgel," Greek phitos "block of wood," Old Church Slavonic biti "to strike," Old Irish biail "ax").

bill (v.1)

"to send someone a bill of charge," 1864, from bill (n.1). Related: Billed; billing.

bill (v.2)

"to stroke beaks," as doves do, hence, of lovers, "caress fondly," 1590s, from bill (n.2)). Paired with coo at least since 1764; Century Dictionary [1902] defines bill and coo (by 1768) as "to kiss and caress and talk nonsense, as lovers." Related: Billed; billing.