Entries linking to feather-bed
Old English feðer "a feather; a pen," in plural, "wings," from Proto-Germanic *fethro (source also of Old Saxon fethara, Old Norse fioþr, Swedish fjäder, Middle Dutch vedere, Dutch veder, Old High German fedara, German Feder), from PIE *pet-ra-, from root *pet- "to rush, to fly."
Feather-headed "silly" is from 1640s. Feather-duster attested by 1835. Figurative use of feather in (one's) cap attested by 1734. Birds of a feather "creatures of the same kind" is from 1580s; the same image is in Greek homopteros (variant birds of a beak is from c. 1600).
Old English bedd "bed, couch, resting place; garden plot," from Proto-Germanic *badja- (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon bed, Middle Dutch bedde, Old Norse beðr, Old High German betti, German Bett, Gothic badi "bed"). This is said to mean perhaps "sleeping place dug in the ground," if it is from PIE root *bhedh- "to dig, pierce" (source also of Hittite beda- "to pierce, prick," Greek bothyros "pit," Latin fossa "ditch," Lithuanian bedu, besti "to dig," Breton bez "grave"). But Boutkan doubts this and finds little reason to assume that Germanic peoples "(still) lived under such primitive circumstances that they dug out their places to sleep."
Both the sleeping and gardening senses are found in Old English; the specific application to planting also is found also in Middle High German and is the only sense of Danish bed. The meaning "bottom of a lake, sea, or watercourse" is from 1580s. The geological sense of "a thick layer, stratum" is from 1680s.
Bed and board "in bed and at the table" (early 13c.) was a term in old law applied to conjugal duties of man and wife; it also could mean "meals and lodging, room and board" (mid-15c.). Bed-and-breakfast in reference to overnight accommodations is from 1838; as a noun, in reference to a place offering such, by 1967.
updated on October 10, 2017
Dictionary entries near feather-bed