girt (v.) Look up girt at
c. 1400 as alternative form of gird; also past tense and past participle of gird.
girth (n.) Look up girth at
c. 1300, "belt around a horse's body," from Old Norse gjorð "girdle, belt, hoop," from Proto-Germanic *gertu- (cf Gothic gairda "girdle"), from the same source as girdle and gird. Sense of "measurement around an object" first recorded 1640s.
gist (n.) Look up gist at
1711, "the real point" (of a law case, etc.), from Anglo-French legalese phrases such as cest action gist "this action lies," from Old French gist en "it consists in, it lies in," from gist (Modern French gît), third person singular present indicative of gésir "to lie," from Latin iacet "it lies," from iacere "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Extended sense of "essence" first recorded 1823.
git (n.) Look up git at
"worthless person," 1946, British slang, a southern variant of Scottish get "illegitimate child, brat," which is related to beget.
Gitano (n.) Look up Gitano at
"gypsy," 1834, from Spanish Gitano (fem. Gitana), from Vulgar Latin *Ægyptanus "Egyptian" (see Gypsy). The fem. is gitana. The French form of the feminine, gitane, was used as the name of a brand of cigarettes (1933) and has come to be used for French cigarettes generally.
gittern (n.) Look up gittern at
old wire-strung instrument like a guitar, late 14c., from Old French guiterne, obscurely from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara (see guitar).
give (v.) Look up give at
Old English giefan (West Saxon) "to give, bestow, deliver to another; allot, grant; commit, devote, entrust," class V strong verb (past tense geaf, past participle giefen), from Proto-Germanic *geban (source also of Old Frisian jeva, Middle Dutch gheven, Dutch geven, Old High German geban, German geben, Gothic giban), from PIE *ghabh- "to take, hold, have, give" (see habit). It became yiven in Middle English, but changed to guttural "g" by influence of Old Norse gefa "to give," Old Danish givæ.

Meaning "to yield to pressure" is from 1570s. Give in "yield" is from 1610s; give out is mid-14c. as "publish, announce;" meaning "run out, break down" is from 1520s. Give up "surrender, resign, quit" is mid-12c. To give (someone) a cold seems to reflect the old belief that one could be cured of disease by deliberately infecting others. What gives? "what is happening?" is attested from 1940. To not give a (some thing regarded as trivial and valueless) is from c. 1300 (early examples were a straw, a grass, a mite).
give (n.) Look up give at
"capacity for yielding to pressure," 1868, from give (v.). The Middle English noun yeve, meant "that which is given or offered; a contribution of money," often as tribute, or in expectation of something in return.
give-and-take (n.) Look up give-and-take at
1769, originally in horse-racing, referring to races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less; from give (v.) + take (v.). General sense attested by 1778. Give and take had been paired in expressions involving mutual exchange from c. 1500. Give or take as an indication of approximation is from 1958.
give-away (n.) Look up give-away at
also giveaway, "act of giving away," 1872, from verbal phrase give away, c. 1400 (of brides from 1719); see give (v.) + away (adv.). The phrase in the meaning "to betray, expose, reveal" is from 1878, originally U.S. slang. Hence also Related: give-away (n.) "inadvertent betrayal or revelation" (1882).
given (adj.) Look up given at
late 14c., "allotted, predestined," past participle adjective from give (v.). From 1560s as "admitted, supposed, allowed as a supposition." From late 14c. as "disposed, addicted." Middle English also had a noun give, yeve "that which is given or offered freely." The modern noun sense of "what is given, known facts" is from 1879. Given name (1827) so called because given at baptism.
giver (n.) Look up giver at
mid-14c., from give (v.) + -er (1). Old English agent-noun forms were giefend, giefa.
Giza Look up Giza at
place in Egypt, from Arabic Er-ges-her "beside the high," i.e., the Great Pyramid.
gizmo (n.) Look up gizmo at
1942, "Marine and Navy usage for any old thing you can't put a name to" ["Life" magazine, July 30, 1945], of unknown origin, perhaps a made-up word. Compare gadget, thingamajig.
gizzard (n.) Look up gizzard at
"stomach of a bird," late 14c., from Old French gisier "entrails, giblets (of a bird)" (13c., Modern French gésier), probably from Vulgar Latin *gicerium, dissimilated from Latin gigeria (neuter plural) "cooked entrails of a fowl," a delicacy in ancient Rome, from PIE *yekwr- "liver" (see hepatitis). Parasitic -d added 1500s (perhaps on analogy of -ard words). Later extended to other animals, and, jocularly, to human beings (1660s).
glabella (n.) Look up glabella at
"space between the eyebrows," 1590s, Modern Latin, noun use of fem. of adjective glabellus "without hair, smooth," diminutive of glaber "smooth, bald," from PIE *gladh- "smooth" (see glad) + diminutive word-forming element -ella. As the word for a part of the head of a trilobite, from 1849.
glabrous (adj.) Look up glabrous at
1630s, from Latin glaber "hairless, smooth, bald" (see glad).
glace (adj.) Look up glace at
"having a smooth, polished surface," as ice does, 1847, from French glacé "iced, glazed," past participle of glacer "to ice, give a gloss to," from glace "ice," from Latin glacies "ice" (see glacial).
glacial (adj.) Look up glacial at
1650s, "cold, icy," from French glacial or directly from Latin glacialis "icy, frozen, full of ice," from glacies "ice," probably from a suffixed form of PIE root *gel- (2) "cold, to freeze" (source also of Latin gelu "frost;" see cold (adj.)). Geological sense "pertaining to glaciers" apparently was coined in 1846 by British naturalist Edward Forbes (1815-1854). Hence figurative sense "at an extremely slow rate," as of the advance of glaciers. Related: Glacially.
glaciate (v.) Look up glaciate at
1620s, "to freeze;" 1861 in reference to glaciers, from Latin glaciatus, past participle of glaciare "to turn to ice," from glacies "ice" (see glacial). Related: Glaciated; glaciating.
glaciation (n.) Look up glaciation at
1640s, "act of freezing," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin glaciare "to freeze," deom glacies "ice" (see glacial). Geological sense of "presence of a mass of ice covering a region" is from 1863.
glacier (n.) Look up glacier at
1744, from French glacier (16c.), from Savoy dialect glacière "moving mass of ice," from Old French glace "ice," from Vulgar Latin *glacia (source also of Old Provençal glassa, Italian ghiaccia), from Latin glacies "ice" (see glacial). The German Swiss form gletscher also was used in English (1764).
glaciology (n.) Look up glaciology at
1856, from Latin glacies "ice" (see glacial) + -ology. Related: Glaciological; glaciologist.
glacis (n.) Look up glacis at
"sloping bank" (especially leading up to a fortification), 1670s, from French glacir "to freeze, make slippery," from Old French glacier "to slip, glide," from Vulgar Latin *glaciare "to make or turn into ice," from Latin glacies "ice" (see glacial).
glad (adj.) Look up glad at
Old English glæd "bright, shining, gleaming; joyous; pleasant, gracious" (also as a noun, "joy, gladness"), from Proto-Germanic *glada- (source also of Old Norse glaðr "smooth, bright, glad," Danish glad "glad, joyful," Old Saxon gladmod, in which the element means "glad," Old Frisian gled "smooth," Dutch glad "slippery," German glatt "smooth"), from PIE *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold (see glass). The notion is of being radiant with joy; the modern sense "feeling pleasure or satisfaction" is much weakened. Slang glad rags "one's best clothes" first recorded 1902.
glad hand (v.) Look up glad hand at
also gladhand, 1903, from verbal phrase to give the glad hand "extend a welcome" (1895); see glad (adj.). Often used cynically. Related: Glad-handed; glad-handing.
gladden (v.) Look up gladden at
c. 1300, "to be glad;" 1550s, "to make glad;" see glad (adj.) + -en (1). Earlier in both senses was simply glad (v.), from Old English gladian, Mercian gleadian "be glad; make glad." Related: Gladdened; gladdening.
glade (n.) Look up glade at
"clear, open space in a woods," late 14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle English glode (c. 1300), from Old Norse glaðr "bright" (see glad). If so, the original meaning could be "bright (because open) space in a wood" (compare French clairière "glade," from clair "clear, bright;" German Lichtung "clearing, glade," from Licht "light"). American English sense of "tract of low, marshy grassland" (as in Everglades) recorded by 1789, perhaps 1724 in place names (in Maryland).
gladiator (n.) Look up gladiator at
mid-15c., "Roman swordsman," from Latin gladiator (fem. gladiatrix) "fighter in the public games; swordsman," from gladius "sword" (there is no verb *gladiare), which probably is from Gaulish (compare Welsh cleddyf, Cornish clethe, Breton kleze "sword;" see claymore). Old Irish claideb is from Welsh.
The close connection with Celtic words for 'sword', together with the imperfect match of initial consonants, and the semantic field of weaponry, suggests that Latin borrowed a form *gladio- or *kladio- (a hypothetical variant of attested British Celtic *kladimo- 'sword') from [Proto-Celtic] or from a third language. [de Vaan]
gladiatorial (adj.) Look up gladiatorial at
1712, from Latin gladiatorius (see gladiator) + -al (1). Earlier was gladiatory (c. 1600), from French gladiatoire, from Latin gladiatorius.
gladiolus (n.) Look up gladiolus at
"wild iris," c. 1000, from Latin gladiolus "wild iris, sword-lily," literally "small sword," diminutive of gladius "sword" (see gladiator); the plant so called by Pliny in reference to its sword-shaped leaves. The Old English form of the word was gladdon. Form gladiol is attested from mid-15c.; the modern use perhaps represents a 1560s reborrowing from Latin.
gladly (adv.) Look up gladly at
Old English glædlice "joyfully, kindly, willingly" (also "bright, shining; pleasant, agreeable"); see glad (adj.) + -ly (2).
gladness (n.) Look up gladness at
Old English glædnes "joy; good nature;" see glad (adj.) + -ness.
gladsome (adj.) Look up gladsome at
late 14c., gladsum "glad, joyful, cheerful;" see glad (adj.) + -some (1).
Gladys Look up Gladys at
fem. proper name, Welsh Gwladys, probably a Brythonified form of Latin Claudia (q.v.).
Glagolitic (n.) Look up Glagolitic at
1861, with -itic + Serbo-Croatian glagolica "Glagolitic alphabet," from Old Church Slavonic glagolu "word," from PIE *gal-gal-, reduplicated form of root *gal- (2) "to call, shout" (see call (v.)). The older of the two Slavic writing systems (Cyrillic is the other), used in Istria and Dalmatia, it was designed by Cyrillus c.863 C.E.
glair (n.) Look up glair at
white of an egg (used as a varnish), c. 1300, from Old French glaire "white of egg, slime, mucus" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *claria (ovi) "white part (of an egg)," from Latin clarus "bright, clear" (see clear (adj.)). Related: Glaireous.
glaive (n.) Look up glaive at
late 13c., used in Middle English of various weapons, especially ones with a long shaft ending in a point or an attached blade, from Old French glaive "lance, spear, sword" (12c.), also figuratively used for "violent death," probably from Latin gladius "sword" (see gladiator); influenced by Latin clava "knotty branch, cudgel, club," related to clavus "nail."
glam (adj.) Look up glam at
slang shortening of glamorous, first attested 1936. Glam rock ("characterized by male performers dressed in glamorous clothes, with the suggestion of androgyny or sexual ambiguity" - OED), attested by 1974. Glamazon "glamourous, dominant woman" attested by 1985 (based on amazon).
glamor Look up glamor at
an alternative spelling of glamour (q.v.), chiefly in U.S., but it defies the usual pattern by not being the predominant spelling of the word there.
glamorize (v.) Look up glamorize at
1901, from glamour + -ize, with typical dropping of the -u- in derivatives (see -or). Related: Glamorized; glamorizing.
glamorous (adj.) Look up glamorous at
1875, from glamour + -ous, with typical dropping of the -u- in derivatives (see -or). Related: Glamorously.
glamour (n.) Look up glamour at
1720, Scottish, "magic, enchantment" (especially in phrase to cast the glamor), a variant of Scottish gramarye "magic, enchantment, spell," said to be an alteration of English grammar (q.v.) in a specialized use of that word's medieval sense of "any sort of scholarship, especially occult learning," the latter sense attested from c. 1500 in English but said to have been more common in Medieval Latin. Popularized in English by the writings of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Sense of "magical beauty, alluring charm" first recorded 1840. As that quality of attractiveness especially associated with Hollywood, high-fashion, celebrity, etc., by 1939.

Jamieson's 1825 supplement to his "Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language" has glamour-gift "the power of enchantment; metaph. applied to female fascination." Jamieson's original edition (1808) looked to Old Norse for the source of the word. Zoëga's Old Icelandic dictionary has glám-sýni "illusion," probably from the same root as gleam.
glamour (v.) Look up glamour at
1814, "to enchant, charm, bewitch," from glamour (n.). Related: Glamoured; glamouring.
glance (v.) Look up glance at
mid-15c., of weapons, "strike obliquely without giving full impact," a nasalized form of glacen "to graze, strike a glancing blow" (c. 1300), from Old French glacier "to slip, make slippery" (compare Old French glaciere "part of a knight's armor meant to deflect blows"), from glace "ice" (see glacial). Sense of "look quickly" (first recorded 1580s) probably was by influence of Middle English glenten "look askance" (see glint (v.)), which also could account for the -n-. Related: Glanced; glancing.
glance (n.) Look up glance at
c. 1500, "a sudden movement producing a flash," from glance (v.). Meaning "brief or hurried look" is from 1590s.
gland (n.) Look up gland at
1690s, from French glande (Old French glandre "a gland," 13c.), from Latin glandula "gland of the throat, tonsil," diminutive of glans (genitive glandis) "acorn, nut; acorn-shaped ball," from PIE root *gwele- (2) "acorn" (source also of Greek balanos, Armenian kalin, Old Church Slavonic zelodi "acorn;" Lithuanian gile "oak"). Earlier English form was glandula (c. 1400); Middle English also had glandele "inflamed gland" (c. 1400). Extended from tonsils to glands generally.
glanders (n.) Look up glanders at
"horse disease characterized by glandular swelling," early 15c., from Old French glandres "swollen glands," plural of glandre "gland," from Latin glandula (see gland).
glandular (adj.) Look up glandular at
1740, from French glandulaire, from glandule "small gland" (16c.), from Latin glandula (see gland). Earlier was glandelous (late 14c.), from Latin glandulosus.
glans (n.) Look up glans at
head of the penis or clitoris, 1640s, from Latin glans "acorn," also used of acorn-shaped things (see gland).