Etymology
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Words related to block

balk (n.)

also baulk, Old English balca "ridge, bank," from or influenced by Old Norse balkr "ridge of land," especially between two plowed furrows, both from Proto-Germanic *balkon- (source also of Old Saxon balko, Danish bjelke, Old Frisian balka, Old High German balcho, German Balken "beam, rafter"), from PIE root *bhelg- "beam, plank" (source also of Latin fulcire "to prop up, support," fulcrum "bedpost;" Lithuanian balžiena "cross-bar;" and possibly Greek phalanx "trunk, log, line of battle"). Italian balco "a beam" is from Germanic (see balcony).

In old use especially "an unplowed strip in a field, often along and marking a boundary." Modern senses are figurative, representing the balk as a hindrance or obstruction (see balk (v.)). In baseball, "a motion made by the pitcher as if to deliver the ball, but without doing so," first attested 1845 perhaps from the notion of "a piece missed in plowing" as "a blunder, a failure."

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tackle (n.)
mid-13c., "apparatus, gear," especially the rigging of a ship, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German takel "the rigging of a ship," perhaps related to Middle Dutch taken "grasp, seize" (see take (v.)), or perhaps from root of tack (n.1), which, if not the origin, has influenced the sense. Meaning "apparatus for fishing" is recorded from late 14c. Meaning "device for grasping and shifting or moving" is from 1530s. Meaning "act of tackling" in the sporting sense is recorded from 1876 (see tackle (v.)); as the name of a position in North American football, it is recorded from 1884. Welsh tacl is fro English.
blocking (n.)
1630s, verbal noun from present participle of block (v.2). By 1891 in U.S. football; by 1961 in theater.
bloc (n.)
1903, in reference to alliances in Continental politics, from French bloc "group, block," from Old French bloc "piece of wood" (see block (n.1)).
blockbuster (n.)

also block-buster, 1942, "large bomb" (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), from block (n.1) in the "built-up city square" sense, + agent noun from bust (v.), on the notion of the widespread destruction they could cause. Entertainment sense "spectacularly successful production" is attested by 1952. U.S. sense of "real estate broker who sells a house to a black family on an all-white neighborhood," thus sparking an exodus, is from 1955.

blockhead (n.)
also block-head, "stupid person," 1540s (implied in blockheaded), from block (n.1) + head (n.); probably originally an image of the head-shaped oaken block used by hat-makers, though the insulting sense is equally old.
blockhouse (n.)
"detached fort blocking a landing, mountain pass, etc., 1510s, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Middle Dutch blokhuis, German Blockhaus, French blockhaus (from one of the German words), all from 16c.; see block (v.1). Later "building with an overhanging upper story with loopholes for firing through" (often a square of logs serving as a fort in rough country), which seems to connect to block (n.1). For second element, see house (n.).
blocks (n.)
children's wooden building toys, 1821, from block (n.1).
blocky (adj.)
1879, "solidly built, stocky," from block (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Blockily; blockiness.
chock-a-block (adj.)

"jammed together," 1840, nautical, said of two blocks of tackle run so closely they touch; from chock + block (n.1) in the nautical sense "a pulley together with its framework."