Words related to tailor
late 15c., "restrict or limit," a word based on Old French courtault "made short," from court "short" (Old French cort, from Latin curtus, from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut") + -ault, a pejorative suffix of Germanic origin. From 1550s as "cut short, cut off the end of." General sense of "deprive by excision or removal" is from 1580s.
The spelling in English perhaps is influenced by Middle English taillen "to cut," from Old French tailler (see tailor (n.)), and tail (n.) in reference to horses with docked tails. Compare curtal, which is the form retained in poetics to describe a "shortened" stanza or poem. Related: Curtailed; curtailing; curtailment.
1630s, "relate or narrate in particulars," from French dtailler "cut up in pieces; narrate in particulars," from Old French detaillier "cut in pieces" (12c.), from de- "entirely" (see de-) + taillier "to cut in pieces" (see tailor (n.)). Meaning "divide or set off" (especially for military duty) is from 1793. Related: Detailed; detailing.
c. 1600, "attention to particulars," from French détail, from Old French detail "small piece or quantity," literally "a cutting in pieces," from detaillier "cut in pieces" (12c.), from de- "entirely" (see de-) + taillier "to cut in pieces" (see tailor).
French en détail "piece by piece, item by item" (as opposed to en gros), a commercial term used where we would today use retail, expanded the senses of the noun. Meaning "a minute account or narrative" is from 1690s; that of "an individual part, a particular" is from 1786. In fine arts, "a small, subordinate part," by 1823.
Military sense of "selection of an individual or body of troops for a particular service" is from 1708, from the notion of "distribution in detail of the daily orders first given in general," including assignment of specific duties.
early 15c., retailen, "sell in small quantities or parcels," from the noun or from Old French retaillier "cut back, cut off, pare, clip, reduce, circumcise," from re- "back" (see re-) + taillier "to cut, trim" (see tailor (n.)). Sometimes also "to deal out (information, etc.) in small quantities; hand down by report; recount, tell over again" (1590s). Related: Retailed; retailing.