Middle English shour, from Old English scur, scura "a short fall of rain, storm, tempest; fall of missiles or blows; struggle, commotion; breeze," from Proto-Germanic *skuraz (source also of Old Norse skur, Old Saxon and Old Frisian scur "fit of illness;" Old High German scur, German Schauer "shower, downpour;" Gothic skura, in skura windis "windstorm"), from PIE root *kew-(e)ro- "north, north wind" (source also of Latin caurus "northwest wind;" Old Church Slavonic severu "north, north wind;" Lithuanian šiaurus "raging, stormy," šiaurys "north wind," šiaurė "north").
By Middle English in the general sense of "a copious supply bestowed": Of blood, tears, etc., from c. 1400. Of meteors from 1835. Sense of "bath in which water is poured from above" is recorded by 1851 (short for shower-bath, itself attested from 1803). The meaning "large number of gifts bestowed on a bride" (1904, American English colloquial) later was extended to the party at which it happens (1926). Shower-curtain is attested from 1914.
1570s, "come down in showers;" 1580s, "to discharge a shower on; wet copiously with or as with liquid sprayed," from shower (n.1). Intransitive sense of "take a shower" is by 1930. Related: Showered; showering.
"one who or that which shows or exhibits," Middle English sheuer "watchman, overseer" (senses now obsolete), later "revealer, interpreter, one who points out or exhibits" (c. 1300), from Old English sceawere "spectator, watcher; mirror," agent noun; see show (v.), also for the sense evolution.
updated on September 03, 2022