Entries linking to ice-chest
Old English is "ice, piece of ice" (also the name of the Anglo-Saxon rune for -i-), from Proto-Germanic *is- "ice" (source also of Old Norse iss, Old Frisian is, Dutch ijs, German Eis), of uncertain origin; possible relatives are Avestan aexa- "frost, ice," isu- "frosty, icy;" Afghan asai "frost." Slang meaning "diamonds" is attested from 1906.
Modern spelling begins to appear 15c. and makes the word look French. On ice "kept out of the way until wanted" is from 1890. Thin ice in the figurative sense is from 1884. To break the ice "to make the first opening to any attempt" is from 1580s, metaphoric of making passages for boats by breaking up river ice though in modern use it usually has implications of "cold reserve." Ice-fishing is from 1869; ice-scraper is from 1789 in cookery.
Old English cest "box, coffer, casket," usually large and with a hinged lid, from Proto-Germanic *kista (source also of Old Norse and Old High German kista, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, German kiste, Dutch kist), an early borrowing from Latin cista "chest, box," from Greek kistē "a box, basket," from PIE *kista "woven container" (Beekes compares Middle Irish cess "basket, causeway of wickerwork, bee-hive," Old Welsh cest).
The meaning of the English word was extended to "thorax, trunk of the body from the neck to the diaphragm" c. 1400, replacing breast (n.) in that sense, on the metaphor of the ribs as a "box" for the heart. The meaning "place where public money is kept (common chest, mid-15c.) was extended to "public funds" (1580s). Chest of drawers is from 1670s.
updated on October 10, 2017