Words related to roll

rotary (adj.)

1731, from Medieval Latin rotarius "pertaining to wheels," from Latin rota "a wheel, a potter's wheel; wheel for torture," from PIE root *ret- "to run, to turn, to roll" (source also of Sanskrit rathah "car, chariot;" Avestan ratho; Lithuanian ratas "wheel," ritu "I roll;" Old Irish roth, Welsh rhod "carriage wheel"). The root also forms the common West Germanic word for "wheel" (originally "spoked wheel"): Old High German rad, German Rad, Dutch rad, Old Frisian reth, Old Saxon rath.

The international service club (founded by Paul P. Harris in Chicago in 1905) is so called from the practice of clubs entertaining in rotation. Hence Rotarian (1911).


14c. as a present-participle adjective from roll (v.), "that turns over and over, moving by means of rolling." The meaning "moving on wheels or as if on wheels" is by 1560s. Of thunder, etc., "making continuous noise," 1650s. The sense of "waving, undulating," of prairie land, etc., is from 1819. The meaning "staggered, rotating," of strikes, blackouts, etc., is by 1961.

From mid-15c. as a verbal noun. Rolling-pin "cylindrical piece of wood, etc., with a handle at each end, with which dough, etc. are reduced to proper thickness," is recorded from late 15c. Rolling-paper for cigarettes, etc., is by 1969. Rolling stock "wheeled vehicles on a railroad" (locomotives, carriages, etc.) is by 1853.

The rollyng stone neuer gatherth mosse. [John Heywood, "A dialogue conteinying the nomber in effect of all the proverbes in the Englishe tongue," 1546]

Hence figurative use of rolling stone, of persons, "a rambler, a wanderer" (1610s).

log-rolling (n.)

also logrolling, in the legislative vote-trading sense, "mutual aid given in carrying out several schemes or gaining individual ends," 1823, American English, from the notion of neighbors on the frontier joining forces for rolling logs into heaps after the trees have been felled to clear the land (as in phrase you roll my log and I'll roll yours); see log (n.1) + verbal noun from roll (v.). "Sometimes many neighbors were invited to assist, and a merrymaking followed. [Century Dictionary]. In lumbering, in reference to rolling logs into a stream where they bound together and floated down to the mills.

LOG-ROLLING. 1. In the lumber regions of Maine it is customary for men of different logging camps to appoint days for helping each other in rolling the logs to the river, after they are felled and trimmed — this rolling being about the hardest work incident to the business. Thus the men of three or four camps will unite, say on Monday, to roll for camp No. 1, — on Tuesday for camp No. 2, — on Wednesday for camp No. 3, — and so on, through the whole number of camps within convenient distance of each other. [Bartlett]

However the phrase is not attested in any literal sense, only the political sense, until 1848.

rock and roll (n.)

also rock 'n' roll, 1954 in reference to a specific style of popular music, from rock (v.2) + roll (v.). The verbal phrase had been an African-American vernacular euphemism for "sexual intercourse," used in popular dance music lyrics and song titles at least since the 1930s.

rollback (n.)

also roll-back; 1937 as "action of rolling backward;" 1942, American English, as "a reduction" in prices, etc., a journalist's and advertiser's word, from the verbal phrase; see roll (v.) + back (adv.).

roller (n.)

late 13c., "thing that rolls, roller for moving heavy objects;" late 14c., "a rolling pin," agent noun from roll (v.). The sense of "heavy cylinder for smoothing the ground is from 1520s.

Meaning "hair-curler" is attested from 1795; as a printer's tool, by 1790; as a device for applying paint, etc. to a flat surface, by 1955. The meaning "long, heavy, swelling wave" is by 1829. In combinations, it often means "done on or by means of roller-skates," for example roller derby (by 1936; see derby); roller hockey (1926); roller-disco (1978). Disparaging religious term holy roller is attested from 1842, American English, from the alleged rolling in the church aisles done by those in the Spirit.

rollicking (adj.)

"moving in a careless, swaggering manner; with a frolicsome air," 1811, present-participle adjective from rollick "be jovial in behavior" (though this does not seem to appear in print before 1826), which perhaps is a blend of roll (v.) and frolic (v.).

rollout (n.)

also roll-out, 1957, "action of wheeling out," originally of airplanes, from the verbal phrase; see roll (v.) + out (adv.). As a type of U.S. football play by 1959.

rollover (n.)

also roll-over "an overturning," 1945, from the verbal phrase; see roll (v.) + over (adv.).

roll-top (adj.)

by 1884, of desks, "having a roll-top;" see roll (v.) + top (n.1).