C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28


love bird - 1595, "small species of W.African parrot, noted for the remarkable attention mating pairs pay to one another;" fig. sense of "a lover" is attested from 1911.

"Hold hands, you lovebirds." [Emil Sitka]

lovely C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 - O.E. luflic "affectionate, loveable," the modern sense of "lovable on account of beauty, attractive" is from c.1300, "applied indiscriminately to all pleasing material objects, from a piece of plum-cake to a C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 Gothic cathedral" [Marsh].
low (adj.) - M.E. lah (c.1150), from O.N. lagr "low," from P.Gmc. *l?az (cf. O.Fris. lech, Du. laag, Ger. l?e "low C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28"), lit. "that which is lying flat;" related to O.E. licgan (see lie (v.)). Meaning "humble in rank" is from c.1200; "undignified" is from 1559; sense of "dejected, dispirited" is attested from 1737. In reference C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 to sounds, it is attested from 1422. In geographical usage, it refers to the part of a country near the sea-shore (c.1300; cf. Low Countries "Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg," 1548). Low-down "vulgar" is from 1888. Lowbrow C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 "person who is not intellectual" is first attested 1902, said to have been coined by humorist Will Irwin. Low-life (adj.) "disreputable, vulgar" is from 1794; as a noun, "coarse, no-good C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 person" it is recorded from 1911. Lowly "humble" is from c.1374.
low (v.) - O.E. hlowan "make a noise like a cow," from P.Gmc. *khlo- (cf. M.Du. loeyen, O.H.G. hluojen C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28), from onomatopoeic PIE base *kla- (cf. L. clamare "to cry out, call, shout," Gk. kikleskein "to call").
lowboy - "chest of drawers on short legs," 1899, from low (adj.) + Fr. bois "wood."
lower (v.1) - "to C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 cause to descend," 1606, from lower (adj.), from M.E. lahghere (c.1200), comp. of low (adj.).
lower (v.2) - (also lour), M.E. louren, luren "to frown, lurk," from O.E. *luran or C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 from its cognates, M.L.G. luren, M.Du. loeren "lie in wait."
Lowestoft - type of porcelain, named for a town in Suffolk where it was мейд from 1757.
lox - 1941, Amer C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.Eng., from Yiddish laks, from M.H.G. lahs "salmon," from P.Gmc. *lakhs-, from the common IE root for the fish (cf. Lith. laszisza, Rus. losos, Pol. losos "salmon").
loyalty - c.1400, from C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 O.Fr. loyalt?/i> (Fr. loyaut?/i>), from O.Fr. loial, from L. legalis "legal," from lex (gen. legis "law"). Replaced Anglo-Norm. leal (q.v.), from the same L. source. Sense C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 development in Eng. is feudal, via notion of "faithful in carrying out legal obligations." Loyalty oath first attested 1952.
lozenge - c.1327, from O.Fr. losenge "windowpane, small square cake," etc., used for many C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 flat quadrilateral things. Cognates in Sp. losanje, Catalan llosange, It. lozanga. Probably from a pre-Roman Celtic language, perhaps Iberian *lausa or Gaul. *lausa "flat stone" (cf. Prov. lausa, Sp. losa, Catalan C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 llosa, Port. lousa "slab, tombstone"), from a pre-Celtic language. Originally in Eng. a term in heraldry; meaning "small cake or tablet (originally diamond-shaped) of medicine and sugar, etc., meant to C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 be held in the mouth and dissolved" is from 1530.
LSD - "lysergic acid diethylamide," 1950, from Ger. "Lysergs?re-di?hylamid" (abbreviated LSD in a Swiss journal from 1947). Lysergic (1934) is formed from the lys C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 in hydrolysis + erg(ot) (q.v.) + -ic.
l.s.d. - abbreviation of British currency units, from L. librae, soldi, denarii, Roman equivalent of "pounds, shillings, pence."
luau - 1853, from Hawaiian lu'au, lit. "young C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 taro tops," which were served at outdoor feasts.
lubber - 1362, "big, clumsy, stupid fellow who lives in idleness," from lobre, earlier lobi "lazy lout," related to lob, and probably of Scand. origin. A C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 sailors' word since 16c. (cf. landlubber), but earliest use was of lazy monks (cf. abbey-lubber). Cf. also lubberwort, the name of the mythical herb that produces laziness (1547); and Lubberland "imaginary C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 land of plenty without work" (1598).
lubricate - 1623, from L. lubricatus, pp. of lubricare "to make slippery or smooth," from lubricus "slippery." Colloquial shortening lube is attested from 1934.
lucent - "shining, bright, luminous," c.1500, from C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 L. lucentem, prp. of lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)).
Lucian - masc. proper name, from L. Lucianus (cf. Fr. Lucien), a derivative of Roman Lucius, from lux (gen. lucis) "light" (see light (n.)).
lucid C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 - 1591, "bright, shining," from L. lucidus "light, bright, clear," from lucere "to shine," from lux (gen. lucis) "light," from PIE base *leuk- "to shine, be bright" (see light (n.)). Sense of "easy C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 to understand" first recorded 1786. Lucid interval "period of calm or temporary sanity" (1581) is from M.L. lucida intervalla (pl.), which was common in medieval Eng. legal documents (cf. non est compos C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 mentis, sed gaudet lucidis intervallis).
Lucifer - O.E. Lucifer "Satan," also "morning star," from L. Lucifer "morning star," lit. "light-bringing," from lux (gen. lucis) + ferre "carry." Belief that it was the C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 proper name of Satan began with its used in Bible to translate Gk. Phosphoros, which translates Heb. Helel ben Shahar in Isaiah xiv.12 -- "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, son of the morning!" [K.J.V.] The verse was interpreted by Christians as a reference to "Satan," because of the mention of a fall from Heaven, even though it is literally C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 a reference to the King of Babylon (cf. Isaiah xiv.4). Lucifer match "friction match" is from 1831.
Lucite - 1937, proprietary name (E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co., Wilmington, Del., U.S.) for a solid, transparent plastic C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, from L. luc(i)- "light."
luck - 15c. from M.Du. luc, shortening of gheluc "happiness, good fortune," of unknown origin. Related to M.H.G. g(e)l?ke, Ger. Gl?k C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 "fortune, good luck." Perhaps first borrowed in Eng. as a gambling term. Lucky break dates from 1938. To luck out "succeed through luck" is Amer.Eng. colloquial, first attested 1954.
lucrative C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 - c.1412, from L. lucrativus "gainful, profitable," from lucratus, pp. of lucrari "to gain," from lucrum "gain, profit."
lucre - c.1380, from L. lucrum "gain, profit," from PIE base *lu-/*leu- (cf. Gk. apo-lanein "to C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 enjoy," Goth. launs, Ger. lohn "wages, reward," and possibly Skt. lotam, lotram "booty"). Filthy lucre (Tit. i:11) is Tyndale's rendering of Gk. aischron kerdos.
Lucretia - fem. proper name, from C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 L. Lucretia, fem. of Lucretius, Roman masc. proper name, originally the name of a Roman gens.
lucubration - 1595, "literary work showing signs of too-careful elaboration," from L. lucubrationem (nom. lucubratio) "nocturnal study, night C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 work," from lucubratus, pp. of lucubrare, lit. "to work by artificial light," from stem of lucere "to shine."
Lucy - fem. proper name, from Fr. Lucie, from L. Lucia, fem. of Lucius C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 (see Lucian).
Luddite - 1811, from name taken by an organized band of weavers who destroyed machinery in Midlands and northern England 1811-16 for fear it would deprive them of work. Supposedly from Ned Ludd C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, a Leicestershire worker who in 1779 had done the same before through insanity (but the story was first told in 1847). Applied to modern rejecters of automation and technology from at least 1961.
ludicrous - 1619, "pertaining C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 to play or спорт," from L. ludicrus, from ludicrum "source of amusement, joke," from ludere "to play." Sense of "ridiculous" is from 1782.
luff - c.1205, from O.Fr. lof, an obscure nautical device C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, or from M.Du. loef "windward side of a ship."
Luftwaffe - Ger. air force in World War II, 1935, from Ger., lit. "air-weapon," from Luft (see loft).
lug (v.) - c.1300, "to move (something) heavily C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 or slowly," from Scand. (cf. Swed. lugga, Norw. lugge "to pull by the hair"); see lug (n.).
lug (n.) - 1624, "handle of a pitcher," from lugge (Scot.) "earflap of a cap, ear" (1495; in C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 19c. Scotland this was the only word for "ear"), probably from Scand. (cf. Swed. lugg "forelock," Norw. lugg "tuft of hair"). The connecting notion is "something that can be gripped C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 and pulled." Applied 19c. to mechanical objects that can be grabbed or gripped. Meaning "stupid fellow" is from 1924; that of "lout, sponger" is 1931, Amer.Eng.
lugworm - 1602, from lug, probably a Celtic word unrelated to C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 lug (n.) or lug (v.) (the first recorded use is in a Cornwall context) + worm.
luge - 1905, from Fr. luge "small coasting sled," from Savoy dial., from M.L. sludia "sled" (9c C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.), perhaps from a Gaulish word from the same root as Eng. sled, slide.


Luger - 1904, from Georg Luger, Ger. firearms expert.
luggage - 1596, from lug (v.) "to drag;" so, lit. "what has to C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 be lugged about" (or, in Johnson's definition, "any thing of more bulk than value"). In 20c., the usual word for "baggage belonging to passengers."
lugubrious - 1601, from L. lugubris "mournful, pertaining to C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 mourning," from lugere "to mourn," from PIE base *leug- "to break, to cause pain" (cf. Gk. lygros "mournful, sad," Skt. rujati "breaks, torments," Lettish lauzit "to break the heart").
luke - obsolete except in C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 lukewarm (1398), from M.E. leuk "tepid" (c.1205), perhaps from M.Du. or O.Fris. leuk, or from O.E. hleowe (adv.) "warm." First record of lukewarm in the fig. sense of "lacking in zeal C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28" (of persons or their actions) is from c.1522.
Luke - masc. proper name, from L. Lucas (Gk. Loukas), contraction of Lucanus lit. "of Lucania," district in Lower Italy, home of the Lucani C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, a branch of the Sabelline race.
lull (v.) - c.1300, lullen "hush to sleep," probably imitative of lu-lu sound used to lull a child to sleep (cf. Swed. lulla "to hum a lullaby C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28," Ger. lullen "to rock," Skt. lolati "moves to and fro," M.Du. lollen "to mutter"). The noun is attested from 1659.
lullaby - c.1560, lulley by, from M.E. lollai, lullay C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, from lullen (see lull). Second element perhaps from by-by "good-by."
lulu - "remarkable person or thing," 1886 (first attested in a baseball article from New Orleans, U.S.), perhaps from earlier looly "beautiful C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 girl," of unknown origin.
lumbago - 1620 (implied in lumbaginous), from L.L. lumbago "weakness of loins and lower back," from L. lumbus "loin."
lumbar - "pertaining to or situated near the loins," 1656, from Mod C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.L. lumbaris, from L. lumbus "loin."
lumber (n.) - "timber sawn into rough planks," 1662, Amer.Eng. (Massachusetts), earlier "disused bit of furniture; heavy, useless objects" (1552), probably from lumber (v.), perhaps influenced by C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 Lombard, from the Italian immigrants famous as pawnbrokers and money-lenders in England (see Lombard). The evolution of sense would be because a lumber-house ("pawn shop") naturally accumulates odds and ends of C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 furniture. Lumberjack first attested 1831, Canadian Eng.
lumber (v.) - "to move clumsily," c.1300, lomere, probably from a Scand. source (cf. dial. Swed. loma "move slowly," O.N. lami "lame"), ultimately cognate with lame (adj C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.).
luminary - c.1450, "source of (artificial) light," from M.Fr. luminarie "lamp, light," from L.L. luminare "light, torch, lamp, heavenly body," lit. "that which gives light," from L. lumen (gen C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28. luminis) "light." Sense of "notable person" is first recorded 1692. Luminescence is from 1896. Luminosity in astronomy sense of "intrinsic brightness of a heavenly body" (as distinguished from apparent magnitude, which diminishes with distance), is C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 attested from 1906.
luminous - 1432, "full of light," from L. luminosus "shining, full of light," from lumen (gen. luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine."
lummox - 1825, East Anglian slang, perhaps from dumb ox, influenced C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 by lumbering; or from E. Anglian dialectal form of lummock "move heavily or clumsily," of uncertain origin.
lump (n.) - c.1300, lumpe, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. cognate Dan. lumpe, 16c.), of C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 unknown origin. Phrase lump in (one's) throat "feeling of tightness brought on by emotion" is from 1803. Lumps "hard knocks, a beating" is colloquial, from 1935.
lump (v.) - "endure" (now usually in contrast to like C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28), 1791, apparently an extended sense from an older meaning "to look sulky, dislike" (1577), of unknown origin, perhaps a symbolic sound (cf. grump, harumph, etc.).
lumpectomy - 1972, coined on model of mastectomy.
lunacy - 1541, "condition C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 of being a lunatic," formed in Eng. from lunatic (q.v.). Originally in ref. to intermittent periods of insanity, such as were believed to be triggered by the moon's cycle.
lunar - "of C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 or pertaining to the moon," 1626, from O.Fr. lunaire, from L. lunaris "of the moon," from luna "moon," (with capital L-) "moon goddess," from *leuksna- (cf. O.C.S. luna "moon C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, O.Pruss. lauxnos "stars," M.Ir. luan "light, moon"), from the same source as lux, lumen "light." The luna moth (1884) so called for the crescent-shaped markings on its wings.
lunatic (adj C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.) - c.1290, "affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the moon," from O.Fr. lunatique "insane," from L. lunaticus "moon-struck," from luna "moon." Cf. M.H.G. lune "humor C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, temper, mood, whim, fancy" (Ger. Laune), from L. luna. The noun meaning "lunatic person" is first recorded 1377. Lunatic fringe (1913) was apparently coined by U.S. politician Theodore Roosevelt. Lunatic soup (1933) was Australian C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 slang for "alcoholic drink."
lunch - modern sense of "mid-day repast" is 1829, shortened form of luncheon. The verb meaning "to take to lunch" is attested from 1823.
luncheon - 1580, nonechenche "light mid-day meal," from C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 none "noon" + schench "drink," from O.E. scenc, from scencan "pour out." Altered by northern Eng. dial. lunch "hunk of bread or cheese" (1590), which probably is from Sp. lonja "a slice," lit. "loin C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28." When it first appeared, luncheon meant "thick piece, hunk;" sense of "light repast between mealtimes" is from 1652, esp. in ref. to an early afternoon meal eaten by those who have a C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 noontime dinner. Type of restaurant called a luncheonette is attested from 1924, Amer.Eng. Slang phrase out to lunch "insane, stupid, clueless" first recorded 1955, on notion of being "not there."
lunette C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 - 1580, from M.Fr., lit. "little moon," dim. of lune "moon," from L. luna. Originally a type of horse shoe, later applied to a wide range of objects and ornamentations resembling a crescent moon C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.
lung - O.E. lungen (pl.), from P.Gmc. *lungw- (cf. O.N. lunge, O.Fris. lungen, M.Du. longhe, Ger. lunge "lung"), lit. "the light organ," from PIE *lengwh- "not heavy, light, easy C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, agile, nimble" (cf. Rus. l?kij, Pol. lekki "light;" Rus. l?koje, Pol. lekkie "lung," Gk. elaphros "light"). Cf. Port. leve "lung," from L. levis "light;" Ir. scaman "lungs," from scaman "light C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28;" Welsh ysgyfaint "lungs," from ysgafn "light." See also lights.
lunge - 1735, "a thrust with a sword," originally a fencing term, shortened from allonge, from Fr. allonger "to extend, thrust," from O.Fr. alongier C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 "to lengthen, make long," from ?/i> "to" + O.Fr. long, from L. longus "long." The verb is attested from 1809; the sense of "to make a sudden forward rush" is from 1821.
lunk - "slow C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28-witted person," 1867, Amer.Eng. colloquial, from lunkhead (1852), possibly an altered form of lump (n.) + head.
Lupercalia - Roman festival held Feb. 15, in honor of Lupercus, god (identified with Lycean Pan) who had a grotto C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 at the foot of the Palatine Hill, from L. Lupercalia (pl.), from Lupercalis "pertaining to Lupercus," whose name derives from lupus "wolf."
lupine - "wolf-like," 1660, from Fr. lupine "wolf-like C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28," from L. lupinus "of the wolf," from lupus "wolf." The plant name is attested from 1398, from L. lupinus; but the reason for association with the animal is unclear; perhaps it was so called C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 because of a belief that the plants were harmful to soil.
lupus - 1392, used of several diseases that cause ulcerations of the skin, from M.L. lupus, from L. lupus "wolf," apparently C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 because it "devours" the affected part.
lurch (1) - "sudden pitch to one side," 1819 (in Byron's "Don Juan"), from earlier lee-larch (1769), a nautical term for "sudden violent roll to leeward which a C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 ship often takes in a high sea," perhaps from Fr. lacher "to let go," from L. laxus (see lax).
lurch (2) - "predicament," 1584, from M.E. lurch (v.) "to beat in a game of C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 skill (often by a great many points)," c.1350, probably lit. "to make a complete victory in lorche," a game akin to backgammon, from O.Fr. lourche. The game name is perhaps related to M C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.E. lurken, lorken "to lie hidden, lie in ambush," or it may be adopted into Fr. from M.H.G. lurz "left," also "wrong."
lure (n.) - c.1385, "something which allures C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 or entices," from Anglo-Fr. lure, from O.Fr. loirre "device used to recall hawks, lure," from Frank. *lo?, from P.Gmc. *lothran "to call" (cf. M.H.G. luoder, M C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.L.G. loder "lure, bait," Ger. Luder "lure, deceit, bait," O.E. la?an "to call, invite"). Originally a bunch of feathers on a long cord, from which the hawk is fed during its C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 training. Used of means of alluring other animals (esp. fish) from c.1700. Technically, bait is something the animal can eat; lure is a more general term. The verb is from C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 c.1386, of hawks; 1393, of persons.
lurid - 1656, from L. luridus "pale yellow, ghastly" (cognate with Gk. chloros), of unknown origin. The figurative sense of "sensational" is first attested 1850.
lurk - c.1300, lurken "to hide, lie hidden," probably C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 from Scand. (cf. dial. Norw. lurka "to sneak away," dial. Swed. lurka "to be slow in one's work"), perhaps ult. related to M.E. luren "to frown, lurk" (see C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 lower (v.2)).
luscious - c.1420, variant of licius, which is perhaps a shortening of delicious.
lush (adj.) - 1440, "lax, flaccid, soft, tender," from O.Fr. lasche "soft, succulent," from laschier "loosen," from L.L. laxicare C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 "become shaky," related to L. laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose" (see lax). Sense of "luxuriant in growth" is first attested 1610; erroneously applied to colors since 1744.
lush (n.) - 1890, "drunkard," from earlier (1790) slang meaning "liquor C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28" (in phrase lush ken "alehouse"); perhaps a humorous use of lush (adj.) or from Romany or Shelta (tinkers' jargon).
Lusitania - 1607, the Latin name of a region roughly corresponding to modern Portugal; in C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 modern use, allusive or poetic for "Portugal."
lust - O.E. lust "desire, pleasure," from P.Gmc. *lustuz (cf. O.S., O.Fris., Du., Ger. lust, O.N. lyst, Goth. lustus "pleasure C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, desire, lust"), from PIE *las- "to be eager, wanton, or unruly" (cf. L. lascivus "wanton, playful, lustful;" see lascivious). In M.E., "any source of pleasure or delight," also "an appetite," also "a C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 liking for a person," also "fertility" (of soil). Sense of "sinful sexual desire, degrading animal passion" (now the main meaning) developed in late O.E. from the word's use in C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 Bible translations. In other Gmc. languages, the cognates of lust tend to still mean simply "pleasure." The verb is first attested c.1230, "to please, delight;" sense of "to have a C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 strong sexual desire (for or after)" is first attested 1526 in biblical use. Lusty (c.1225) mostly has escaped the Christianization of the word; the original usage was "joyful, merry," later "full of healthy vigor" (c.1374). The C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 sense of "full of desire" is attested from c.1400.
luster - c.1522, from M.Fr. lustre "gloss, radiance," common Romanic (cf. Sp., Port. lustre, Rum. lustru, It. lustro "splendor, brilliancy"), from C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 L. lustrare "spread light over, brighten, illumine," related to lucere "shine," lux "light."
lute - 1295, from O.Fr. lut, from O.Prov. laut, from Ar. al-'ud, the Arabian lute, lit. "the wood" (source of C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 Sp. laud, Port. alaude, It. liuto), where al is the definite article.
Lutheran - 1521, from name of Ger. religious reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546); used by Catholics 16c. in reference to all Protestants, regardless C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 of sect.
lutz - "skating jump," 1938, alt. of name of Swiss figure skater Gustave Lussi (b.1898), who invented it.
luxuriant - c.1540, from L. luxuriantem (nom. luxurians), prp. of luxuriare "have to excess, grow profusely C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28" (see luxuriate).
luxuriate - 1621, "to indulge in luxury," from L. luxuriatum, pp. of luxuriare "indulge, have to excess," from luxuria "excess" (see luxury).
luxurious - c.1330, "lascivious, lecherous, unchaste," from O C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.Fr. luxurius (Fr. luxurieux), from L. luxuriosus, from luxuria (see luxury). Meaning "given to luxury, voluptuous" (of persons) is from 1606. Of things, meaning "characterized by luxury" is attested from 1650.
luxury - 1340, "lasciviousness, sinful self-indulgence C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28," from O.Fr. luxurie, from L. luxuria "excess, luxury," from luxus "excess, extravagance, magnificence," probably a fig. use of luxus (adj.) "dislocated," which is related to luctari "wrestle, strain." Lost C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 its pejorative taint 17c. Meaning "habit of indulgence in what is choice or costly" is from 1633; that of "sumptuous surroundings" is from 1704; that of "something enjoyable or comfortable beyond life's necessities C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28" is from 1780. First used as an adjective 1930.
lycanthropy - 1584, from Gk. lykanthropia, from lykos "wolf" + anthropos "man." Originally a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 wolf; applied to actual transformations of persons (esp. witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).
lyceum - c.1580, L. version of Gk. lykeion, grove or garden with covered walks near Athens where Aristotle C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 taught, from neut. of Lykeios "wolf-slayer," an epithet of Apollo, whose temple was nearby, from lykos "wolf." Hence, Fr. lyc?, name given in France to state-run secondary schools. In England, early 19c C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28., lyceum was the name taken by a number of literary societies; in U.S., after c.1820, it was the name of institutes that sponsored popular lectures in science and literature.
Lycra - elastic C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 polyurethane fiber, 1958, proprietary name (reg. by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Del., U.S.) of an elastic polyurethane fiber.
lye - O.E. l?, leag, from P.Gmc. *laugo C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 (cf. M.Du. loghe, Du. loog, O.H.G. louga, Ger. Lauge "lye"), from PIE root *lau- "to wash" (cf. Gk. louein, L. lavare "to wash"). The substance was used in the C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 old days in place of soap, hence O.H.G. luhhen "to wash," O.N. laug "hot bath, hot spring," Dan. l?dag, Swed. l?dag "Saturday," lit. "washing-day." Chamber-lye C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 in the Middle Ages was the name for urine used as a detergent.
lying - c.1225, action of lie (v.2) "to recline." Lying-in "being in childbed" is attested from c.1440.
lymph - 1725 in C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 physiology sense, "colorless fluid found in the body," from Fr. lymphe, from L. lympha "water, clear water, a goddess of water," variant of lump?/i> "waters," altered by infl. of Gk. nymphe "goddess C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 of a spring, nymph."
lynch (v.) - 1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Va., who c.1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-96) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his district c.1782, but the connection to him is less likely. Originally any sort C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 of summary justice, especially by flogging; narrowing of фокус to "extralegal execution by hanging" is 20c. Lynch mob is attested from 1838. The surname is either from O.E. hlinc "hill" or Ir. Loingseach C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 "sailor."
lynx - 1340, from L. lynx (cf. Sp., It. lince), from Gk. lyngz, probably from PIE *leuk- "light," in reference to its gleaming eyes or its ability to see in the dark (cf. Lith. luzzis C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, O.H.G. luhs, Ger. luchs, O.E. lox, Du. los, Swed. lo "lynx").
lyre - c.1205, from O.Fr. lire, from L. lyra, from Gk. lyra, a foreign word of uncertain C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 origin.
lyric (n.) - "a lyric poem," 1581, from M.Fr. lyrique "short poem expressing personal emotion," from L. lyricus "of or for the lyre," from Gk. lyrikos "singing to the lyre C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28," from lyra "lyre." Meaning "words of a popular song" is first recorded 1876.
-lysis - scientific/medical suffix meaning "loosening, dissolving, dissolution," from Gk. lysis "a loosening, setting free, releasing, dissolution," from lyein "to unfasten C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28, loose, loosen, untie" (see lose). A Fr. back-formation gave Eng. -lyze for forming verbs from nouns in -lysis.


ma - 1823, childish or colloquial shortening of mamma.
ma'am - 1668, colloquial shortening of madam C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 (q.v.). Formerly the ordinary respectful form of address to a married woman; later restricted to the queen, royal princesses, or by servants to their mistresses.
Mabel - fem. proper name, shortening C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 of Amabel.
Mac - casual, generic term of address for a man, 1928, from Ir. & Gaelic mac, from O.Celt. *makko-s "son;" a common prefix in Scottish and Irish names, hence, used generally C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 from early 19c. for a Celtic Irishman. Cognate with Welsh mab (O.Welsh map) and probably with O.E. mago "son, attendant, servant," O.N. mögr "son," Goth. magus "boy, servant," O.E. m C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28ægð "maid."
macabre - c.1430, from O.Fr. (danse) Macabré "(dance) of Death" (1376), probably a translation of M.L. (Chorea) Machabæorum, lit. "dance of the Maccabees" (leaders of the Jewish revolt against C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 Syro-Hellenes, see Maccabees). The association with the dance of death seems to be via vivid descriptions of the martyrdom of the Maccabees in the Apocryphal books. The abstracted C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 sense of "gruesome" is first attested 1842 in Fr., 1889 in Eng.
macadam - 1824, named for inventor, Scot. engineer John L. McAdam (1756-1836), who outlined the process in his pamphlet "Remarks on the Present System of Road C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28-Making" (1822). Originally, road material consisting of a solid mass of stones of nearly uniform size laid down in layers; he did not approve of the use of binding materials or rollers C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28. Verb macadamize is first recorded 1826.
macadamia - "Australian evergreen tree," 1904, from Mod.L. (1858), named for Scot.-born chemist Dr. John Macadam (1827-65), secretary of the Victoria Philosophical Institute, Australia.
macaque - E. Indian monkey, 1757, from Fr C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28., from Port. macaco "monkey," a Bantu word brought from Africa to Brazil (where it was applied 17c. to a type of monkey there). Introduced as a genus name 1840.
macaroni - 1599, from southern It C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28. dialect maccaroni (It. maccheroni), pl. of *maccarone, possibly from maccare "bruise, batter, crush," of unknown origin, or from late Gk. makaria "food мейд from barley." Used after c.1764 to mean "fop, dandy" (the C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 "Yankee Doodle" reference) because it was an exotic dish at a time when certain young men who had traveled the continent were affecting Fr. and It. fashions and accents. There is said C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 to have been a Macaroni Club in Britain, which was the immediate source of the term.
macaronic - 1611, form of verse consisting of vernacular words in a Latin context with Latin C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 endings; applied loosely to verse in which two or more languages are jumbled together; from Mod.L. macaronicus (coined 1517 by Teofilo Folengo), from It. dial. maccarone (see macaroni), in allusion to the mixture of C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 words in the verse: "quoddam pulmentum farina, caseo, botiro compaginatum, grossum, rude, et rusticanum" [Folengo].
macaroon - 1611, "small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds," from Fr. macaron (16c.), from It C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28. dial. maccarone (see macaroni). Fr. meaning said to have been invented 1552 by Rabelais. The -oon ending was conventional in 15c.-17c. Eng. to add emphasis to borrowings of Fr. nouns ending in stressed -on.
Macassar C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 oil - 1809, hair tonic originally advertised as мейд from materials obtained from Macassar, name of a district on the island of Celebes (modern Sulawesi).
macaw - "species of large, long-tailed C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 birds," 1668, from Port. macau, from a word in a Brazilian language, perhaps Tupi macavuana, which may be the name of a type of palm tree the fruit of which the birds eat.
Macbeth C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28 - Gaelic, lit. "son of life," an old personal name. The first ref. to bad luck associated with Shakespeare's "Macbeth," and to avoidance of naming it, is from 1910 and alludes to "old C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28" actors, so presumably it was current late 19c.
Maccabees - 1375, from L.L. Maccabæus, surname given to Judas, third son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, leader of the religious revolt against Antiochus IV, 175-166 B C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28.C.E., usually connected with Heb. maqqabh "hammer," but Klein thinks it an inexact transliteration of Heb. matzbi "general, commander of an army."
Macduff - Gael. Mac Dhuibh "son of Dubh," lit. "black C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28."
mace (1) - "heavy metal weapon with a spiked head," 1297, from O.Fr. mace "a club, scepter," from V.L. *mattea (cf. It. mazza, Sp. maza "mace"), from L. mateola "a kind of mallet C. 1200, via Scottish and northern England dialect, from O. N - 28." The L. word probably is cognate with Skt. matyam "harrow, club," O.C.S. motyka "mattock," O.H.G. medela "plow."
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