Entries linking to thicken
As a noun, "the thick part" (of anything), from mid-13c. Phrase through thick and thin, indicating rough or smooth going, hence "unwaveringly," is in Chaucer (late 14c.); thick-skinned is attested from 1540s; in figurative sense from c. 1600. To be in the thick of some action, etc., "to be at the most intense moment" is from 1680s, from a Middle English noun sense.
word-forming element making verbs (such as darken, weaken) from adjectives or nouns, from Old English -nian, from Proto-Germanic *-inojan (also source of Old Norse -na), from PIE adjectival suffix *-no-. Most active in Middle English and early modern English, hence most verbs in -en are comparatively recent.