Etymology
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Words related to staff

stave (n.)
"piece of a barrel," 1750, back-formation from staves (late 14c.), plural of staff, with the usual change of medial -f- to -v- (compare leaves/leaf). The plural form possibly was in Old English but not recorded there.
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step (v.)
Old English steppan (Anglian), stæppan (West Saxon) "take a step," from West Germanic *stap- "tread" (source also of Old Frisian stapa, Middle Dutch, Dutch stappen, Old High German stapfon, German stapfen "step"), from PIE root *stebh- "post, stem; to support, place firmly on" (see staff (n.); source also of Old Church Slavonic stopa "step, pace," stepeni "step, degree"). The notion is perhaps "a treading firmly on; a foothold."

Transitive sense (as in step foot in) attested from 1530s. Related: Stepped; stepping. Originally strong (past tense stop, past participle bestapen); weak forms emerged 13c., universal from 16c. To step out "leave for a short time" is from 1530s; meaning "to go out in public in style" is from 1907. Step on it "hurry up" is 1923, from notion of gas pedal.
tipstaff (n.)
1540s, "tipped staff" (truncheon with a tip or cap of metal) carried as an emblem of office, from tip (n.) + staff (n.). As the name of an official who carries one (especially a sheriff's officer, bailiff, constable, court crier, etc.) it is recorded from 1560s.
waitstaff (n.)
1981, American English; see waiter + staff (n.).

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