Old English sum þinge; see some + thing. Hyphenated from c. 1300; one word from 17c. Formerly common as an adverb (as in something like). Meaning "some liquor, food, etc." is from 1570s. Meaning "a thing worthy of consideration" is from 1580s; emphatic form something else is from 1909. Phrase something for nothing is from 1816. To make something of is from 1778.