hunchback (n.) Look up hunchback at
"person with a hunched back," 1712, back-formation from hunchbacked (1590s; see hunch).
hundred (n.) Look up hundred at
Old English hundred "the number of 100, a counting of 100," from Proto-Germanic *hundratha- (source also of Old Frisian hundred, Old Saxon hunderod, Old Norse hundrað, German hundert); first element is Proto-Germanic *hundam "hundred" (cognate with Gothic hund, Old High German hunt), from PIE *km-tom "hundred," reduced from *dkm-tom- (source also of Sanskrit satam, Avestan satem, Greek hekaton, Latin centum, Lithuanian simtas, Old Church Slavonic suto, Old Irish cet, Breton kant "hundred"), suffixed form of root *dekm- "ten" (see ten).

Second element is Proto-Germanic *rath "reckoning, number" (as in Gothic raþjo "a reckoning, account, number," garaþjan "to count;" see read (v.)). The common word for the number in Old English was simple hund, and Old English also used hund-teontig.
In Old Norse hundrath meant 120, that is the long hundred of six score, and at a later date, when both the six-score hundred and the five-score hundred were in use, the old or long hundred was styled hundrath tolf-roett ... meaning "duodecimal hundred," and the new or short hundred was called hundrath ti-rætt, meaning "decimal hundred." "The Long Hundred and its use in England" was discussed by Mr W.H. Stevenson, in 1889, in the Archcæological Review (iv. 313-27), where he stated that amongst the Teutons, who longest preserved their native customs unimpaired by the influence of Latin Christianity, the hundred was generally the six-score hundred. The short hundred was introduced among the Northmen in the train of Christianity. ["Transactions" of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, 1907]
Meaning "division of a county or shire with its own court" (still in some British place names and U.S. state of Delaware) was in Old English and probably represents 100 hides of land. The Hundred Years War (which ran intermittently from 1337 to 1453) was first so called in 1874. The original Hundred Days was the period between Napoleon's restoration and his final abdication in 1815.
hundredfold (n.) Look up hundredfold at
c. 1200, "a hundred times as much," from hundred + -fold. Similar formation in German hundertfalt. Old English had hundfeald.
hundredth (n.) Look up hundredth at
early 14c., "one of 100 equal parts," from hundred + -th (1). According to OED, Old English had no ordinal form. The hymn tune known as Old Hundredth is attested from mid-16c., so called because later it was set to the 100th Psalm in the old numbering of the psalter.
hundredweight (n.) Look up hundredweight at
1540s, from hundred + weight. Commonly 100 lbs., but it could vary locally and in specific uses up to 120 lbs.
hung (adj.) Look up hung at
"attached so as to hang down, suspended in air," past participle adjective from hang (v.). Meaning "furnished with hangings" is from 1640s; meaning "having (impressive) male genitals" is from 1640s, originally often of animals; of a jury, "unable to agree," 1838, American English. Hung-over (also hungover) in the drinking sense is from 1950 (see hangover). Hung-up is from 1878 as "delayed;" by 1961 as "obsessed."
Hungary Look up Hungary at
c. 1300, from Medieval Latin Hungaria (also source of French Hongrie), probably literally meaning "land of the Huns," who ruled a vast territory from there under Attila in 5c. The people's name for themselves we transliterate as Magyar. Middle English uses the same words for both Attila's people and the Magyars, who appeared in Europe in 9c. and established a kingdom in 1000. From the same source as Medieval Greek Oungroi, German Ungarn, Russian Vengriya, Ukrainian Ugorshchina. The Turkish name for the country, Macaristan, reflects the indigenous name. Related: Hungarian (1550s as a noun, c. 1600 as an adjective).
hunger (n.) Look up hunger at
Old English hunger, hungor "unease or pain caused by lack of food, debility from lack of food, craving appetite," also "famine, scarcity of food in a place," from Proto-Germanic *hungruz (source also of Old Frisian hunger, Old Saxon hungar, Old High German hungar, Old Norse hungr, German hunger, Dutch honger, Gothic huhrus), probably from PIE root *kenk- (2) "to suffer hunger or thirst" (source also of Sanskrit kakate "to thirst;" Lithuanian kanka "pain, ache; torment, affliction;" Greek kagkanos "dry," polykagkes "drying"). From c. 1200 as "a strong or eager desire" (originally spiritual). Hunger strike attested from 1885; earliest references are to prisoners in Russia.
hunger (v.) Look up hunger at
Old English hyngran "be hungry, feel hunger, hunger for," from the source of hunger (n.). Compare Old Saxon gihungrjan, Old High German hungaran, German hungern, Gothic huggrjan. In late Old English also "desire with longing." In Old English and Middle English also with an impersonal form (it hungers me). By normal development it would be Modern English *hinger, but the form was influenced in Middle English by the noun. Related: Hungered; hungering.
hungrily (adv.) Look up hungrily at
late 14c., from hungry (adj.) + -ly (2). Hungerly (adj.) is attested from late 14c. in the sense "hungry-looking."
hungry (adj.) Look up hungry at
Middle English hungry, hungri, from Old English hungrig "hungry, famished;" see hunger (n.) + -y (2). Common West Germanic; compare Old Frisian hungerig, Dutch hongerig, German hungrig. Figurative use from c. 1200. Related: Hungriness.
hunk (n.1) Look up hunk at
1813, "large piece cut off," of uncertain origin; according to OED "not frequent in literature before 1850." Possibly from West Flemish hunke (used of bread and meat), which is perhaps related to Dutch homp "lump, hump" (see hump (n.)). Meaning "attractive, sexually appealing man" is first attested 1945 in jive talk (in Australian slang, it is recorded from 1941).
hunk (n.2) Look up hunk at
disparaging U.S. slang term for "immigrant laborer from central or Eastern Europe," 1896, probably ultimately a shortening of Hungarian, though the name was applied as well to Lithuanians, Poles, South Slavs, etc.
hunker (v.) Look up hunker at
"to squat, crouch," 1720, Scottish, of uncertain origin, possibly a nasalized borrowing of a Scandinavian word such as Old Norse huka "to crouch," hoka, hokra "to crawl." Hunker down, Southern U.S. dialectal phrase, is from 1902, popularized c. 1965; in this use the verb is perhaps from northern British hunker "haunch." Related: Hunkered; hunkering.
Hunker (n.) Look up Hunker at
"conservative, fogey," 1849, American English, especially and originally "one of the conservative Democrats of New York of the 1840s" (opposed to the Barnburners). Supposedly from New York dialect hunk "post, station, home," hence "those who stay safe on base" (see hunky-dory), but it also has been said to be from a local word for a curmudgeon, and hunks is recorded from c. 1600 as a name for a surly, crusty old person or miser.
hunky-dory (adj.) Look up hunky-dory at
1866, American English (popularized c. 1870 by a Christy Minstrel song), perhaps an elaboration of hunkey "all right, satisfactory" (1861), from hunk "in a safe position" (1847) New York City slang used in street games, from Dutch honk "post, station, home," in children's play, "base, goal," from Middle Dutch honc "place of refuge, hiding place." A theory from 1876, however, traces it to Honcho dori, said to be a street in Yokohama, Japan, where sailors went for diversions of the sort sailors enjoy.
hunt (v.) Look up hunt at
Old English huntian "chase game" (transitive and intransitive), perhaps developed from hunta "hunter," and related to hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *huntojan (source also of Gothic hinþan "to seize, capture," Old High German hunda "booty"), which is of uncertain origin. Not the usual Germanic word for this, which is represented by Dutch jagen, German jagen (see yacht (n.)). General sense of "search diligently" (for anything) is first recorded c. 1200. Related: Hunted; hunting. To hunt (something) up "search for until found" is from 1791. Parlor game hunt the slipper is attested from 1766.
hunt (n.) Look up hunt at
early 12c., "act of chasing game," from hunt (v.). Old English had huntung, huntoþ. Meaning "body of persons associated for the purpose of hunting with a pack of hounds" is first recorded 1570s. Meaning "act of searching for someone or something" is from c. 1600.
hunter (n.) Look up hunter at
mid-13c. (attested in place names from late 12c.), from hunt + -er (1). The Old English word was hunta, Middle English hunte. The hunter's moon (1710) is the next full moon after the harvest moon.
hunting (n.) Look up hunting at
modification of Old English huntung "a hunt, chase; what is hunted, game," verbal noun from hunt (v.). Bartlett (1848) notes it as the word commonly used by sportsmen in the Southern states of the U.S. where in the North they use gunning. Happy hunting-grounds "Native American afterlife paradise" is from "Last of the Mohicans" (1826); hunting-ground in a Native American context is from 1777.
Huntingdon Look up Huntingdon at
Old English Huntandun (973) "Hill of the Huntsman" (or of a man called Hunta).
Huntington's chorea Look up Huntington's chorea at
also Huntington's disease, 1889, named for U.S. neurologist George Huntington (1851-1916), who described it in 1872.
huntress (n.) Look up huntress at
late 14c.; see hunter + -ess. Old English had hunticge.
huntsman (n.) Look up huntsman at
1560s, from genitive of hunt (n.) + man (n.).
hurdle (n.) Look up hurdle at
Old English hyrdel "frame of intertwined twigs used as a temporary barrier," diminutive of hyrd "door," from Proto-Germanic *hurdiz "wickerwork frame, hurdle" (source also of Old Saxon hurth "plaiting, netting," Dutch horde "wickerwork," German Hürde "hurdle, fold, pen;" Old Norse hurð, Gothic haurds "door"), from PIE *krtis (source also of Latin cratis "hurdle, wickerwork," Greek kartalos "a kind of basket," kyrtos "fishing creel"), from root *kert- "to weave, twist together" (source also of Sanskrit krt "to spin").

Used as temporary fencing in agriculture. Sense of "barrier to jump in a race" is by 1822 (hurdle-race also is from 1822); hurdles as a type of race (originally horse race) with hurdles as obstacles is attested by 1836. Figurative sense of "obstacle" is 1924.
hurdle (v.) Look up hurdle at
1590s, "to build like a hurdle," from hurdle (n.). Sense of "to jump over" dates from 1880 (implied in hurdling). Related: Hurdled.
hurdy-gurdy (n.) Look up hurdy-gurdy at
"droning instrument played with a crank," 1749, perhaps imitative of the sound of the instrument and influenced by c. 1500 hirdy-girdy "uproar, confusion." Originally a type of drone-lute played by turning a wheel.
hurl (v.) Look up hurl at
early 13c., hurlen, "to run against (each other), come into collision," later "throw forcibly" (c. 1300); "rush violently" (late 14c.); perhaps related to Low German hurreln "to throw, to dash," and East Frisian hurreln "to roar, to bluster." OED suggests all are from an imitative Germanic base *hurr expressing rapid motion; see also hurry (v.). For difference between hurl and hurtle (which apparently were confused since early Middle English) see hurtle (v.).
hurl (n.) Look up hurl at
late 14c., "rushing water," from hurl (v.). Mid-15c. as "strife, quarrel;" sense of "act of throwing violently" is from 1520s.
hurler (n.) Look up hurler at
1530s, "one who throws violently," agent noun from hurl (v.). From c. 1600 as "one who plays at hurling;" from 1926 in baseball slang as "pitcher."
hurling (n.) Look up hurling at
verbal noun of hurl (q.v.); attested 1520s as a form of hockey played in Ireland; c. 1600 as the name of a game like hand-ball that once was popular in Cornwall.
hurly-burly (n.) Look up hurly-burly at
also hurlyburly, "commotion, tumult," 1530s, apparently an alteration of phrase hurling and burling, reduplication of 14c. hurling "commotion, tumult," verbal noun of hurl (v.). Shakespeare has hurly "tumult, uproar," and Hurling time (early 15c.) was the name applied by chroniclers to the period of tumult and commotion around Wat Tyler's rebellion. Scott (1814) has hurly-house "large house in a state of advanced disrepair." Comparison also has been made to dialectal Swedish hurra "whirl round" (compare hurry (v.)).
Huron Look up Huron at
North American lake, named for the native people who lived nearby, whose name is attested in English from 1650s, from French, from obsolete French huron "bristle-haired" (the French word frequently was used in reference to head-dresses, and that might be its original sense here), from Old French huré "bristly, unkempt, shaggy," which is of uncertain origin, but French sources indicate it probably is from Germanic.
hurrah (interj.) Look up hurrah at
1680s, apparently an alteration of huzza; it is similar to shouts recorded in German, Danish, and Swedish; perhaps it was picked up by the English during the Thirty Years' War. Hurra was said to be the battle-cry of Prussian soldiers during the War of Liberation (1812-13), "and has since been a favourite cry of soldiers and sailors, and of exultation" [OED]. Hooray is its popular form and is almost as old. Also hurray (1780); hurroo (1824); hoorah (1798). As a verb from 1798. American English hurra's nest "state of confusion" is from 1829.
hurricane (n.) Look up hurricane at
sea-storm of severest intensity, 1550s, a partially deformed adoptation from Spanish huracan (Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdés, "Historia General y Natural de las Indias," 1547-9), furacan (in the works of Pedro Mártir De Anghiera, chaplain to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and historian of Spanish explorations), from an Arawakan (W. Indies) word. In Portuguese, it became furacão. For confusion of initial -f- and -h- in Spanish, see hacienda. The word is first in English in Richard Eden's "Decades of the New World":
These tempestes of the ayer (which the Grecians caule Tiphones ...) they caule furacanes.
OED records 39 different spellings, mostly from the late 16c., including forcane, herrycano, harrycain, hurlecane. The modern form became frequent from 1650 and was established after 1688. Shakespeare uses hurricano ("King Lear," "Troilus and Cressida"), but in reference to waterspouts.
hurried (adj.) Look up hurried at
"done in a rush, exhibiting hurry," 1660s, past participle adjective from hurry (v.). Related: Hurriedly.
hurry (v.) Look up hurry at
1590s, transitive and intransitive, first recorded in Shakespeare, who used it often; perhaps a variant of harry (v.), or perhaps a West Midlands sense of Middle English hurren "to vibrate rapidly, buzz" (of insects), from Proto-Germanic *hurza "to move with haste" (source also of Middle High German hurren "to whir, move fast," Old Swedish hurra "to whirl round"), which also perhaps is the root of hurl (v.). To hurry up "make haste" is from 1890. Related: hurried; hurrying.
hurry (n.) Look up hurry at
c. 1600, "commotion, agitation," probably from hurry (v.). Meaning "undue haste" is from 1690s. In a hurry "in haste, under pressure" is from 1700.
hurry-scurry Look up hurry-scurry at
1732 (adj.), 1750 (adv.), 1754 (n.); probably a reduplication of hurry formed with awareness of scurry.
hurst (n.) Look up hurst at
"hillock" (especially a sandy one), also "grove, wooded eminence," from Old English hyrst "hillock, wooded eminence," from Proto-Germanic *hursti- (see horst). Common in place names (such as Amherst).
hurt (v.) Look up hurt at
c. 1200, "to injure, wound" (the body, feelings, reputation, etc.), also "to stumble (into), bump into; charge against, rush, crash into; knock (things) together," from Old French hurter "to ram, strike, collide with" (Modern French heurter), a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Frankish *hurt "ram" (source also of Middle High German hurten "run at, collide," Old Norse hrutr "ram," Middle Dutch horten "to knock, dash against"). Celtic origins also have been proposed. The English usage is as old as the French, and perhaps there was a native Old English *hyrtan, but it has not been recorded.

Passive (intransitive) use "feel or experience pain" has been occasional in modern English; current usage dates from c. 1902. Meaning "to be a source of pain" (of a body part) is from 1850. Sense of "knock" died out 17c., but compare hurtle (v.). To hurt (one's) feelings attested by 1779. Other Germanic languages tend to use their form of English scathe in this sense (Danish skade, Swedish skada, German schaden, Dutch schaden).
hurt (n.) Look up hurt at
c. 1200, "a wound, an injury;" also "sorrow, lovesickness," from hurt (v.). Old French had hurte (n.), but the sense "injury" is only in English.
hurt (adj.) Look up hurt at
"wounded, injured," c. 1400, past participle adjective from hurt (v.).
hurtful (adj.) Look up hurtful at
"harmful, injurious," mid-15c., from hurt (n.) + -ful. Related: Hurtfully; hurtfulness.
hurting (adj.) Look up hurting at
1680s, "causing hurt," present participle adjective from hurt (v.). Reflexive sense of "suffering, feeling pain" recorded by 1944.
hurtle (v.) Look up hurtle at
early 14c., hurteln, "to crash together; to crash down, knock down," probably frequentative of hurten (see hurt (v.)) in its original sense. Intransitive meaning "to rush, dash, charge" is late 14c. "[T]he essential notion in hurtle is that of forcible collision, in hurl that of forcible projection" [OED]. Related: Hurtled; hurtling.
husband (n.) Look up husband at
Old English husbonda "male head of a household, master of a house, householder," probably from Old Norse husbondi "master of the house," literally "house-dweller," from hus "house" (see house (n.)) + bondi "householder, dweller, freeholder, peasant," from buandi, present participle of bua "to dwell" (see bower). Beginning late 13c. it replaced Old English wer as "married man (in relation to his wife)" and became the companion word of wife, a sad loss for English poetry. Slang shortening hubby first attested 1680s.
husband (v.) Look up husband at
"manage thriftily," early 15c., from husband (n.) in an obsolete sense of "steward" (mid-15c.). Related: Husbanded; husbanding.
husbandman (n.) Look up husbandman at
c. 1300, "head of a family;" early 14c. as "farmer, tiller of the soil," from husband (n.) + man (n.).
husbandry (n.) Look up husbandry at
c. 1300, "management of a household;" late 14c. as "farm management;" from husband (n.) in a now-obsolete sense of "peasant farmer" (early 13c.) + -ery.