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    cloud nine (n.) — co-author (n.)

    cloud nine (n.)

    by 1950, sometimes also cloud seven (1956, perhaps by confusion with seventh heaven), American English, of uncertain origin or significance. Some connect the phrase with the 1895 International Cloud-Atlas (Hildebrandsson, Riggenbach and Teisserenc de Bort), long the basic source for cloud shapes, in which, of the ten cloud types, cloud No. 9, cumulonimbus, was the biggest, puffiest, most comfortable-looking. Shipley suggests the sense in this and other expressions might be because, "As the largest one-figure integer, nine is sometimes used for emphasis." The phrase might appear in the 1935 aviation-based play "Ceiling Zero" by Frank Wilbur Wead.ETD cloud nine (n.).2

    cloudscape (n.)

    1852, from cloud (n.) + scape (n.1).ETD cloudscape (n.).2

    clough (n.)

    "ravine with a river," Old English cloh (in place names), of uncertain origin.ETD clough (n.).2

    clout (v.)

    "to beat, strike with the hand," early 14c., from clout (n.), perhaps on the notion of hitting someone with a lump of something, or from the "patch of cloth" sense of that word (compare clout (v.) "to patch, mend," mid-14c.). Related: Clouted; clouting.ETD clout (v.).2

    clout (n.)

    Old English clut "lump of something," also "patch of cloth put over a hole to mend it," from Proto-Germanic *klutaz (source also of Old Norse klute "kerchief," Danish klud "rag, tatter," Frisian klut "lump," Dutch kluit "clod, lump"); perhaps related to clot (v.).ETD clout (n.).2

    In later use "a handkerchief," also "a woman's sanitary napkin." Sense of "a blow" is from early 14c., from the verb. Slang sense of "personal influence" (especially in politics) is by 1946, American English, on the notion of "punch, force."ETD clout (n.).3

    clove (n.2)

    "slice or small bulb forming together a large bulb, as of garlic," Old English clufu "clove (of garlic), bulb, tuber," from Proto-Germanic *klubo "cleft, thing cloven" (source also of Old High German chlobo, Old Norse klofi), from PIE root *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave."ETD clove (n.2).2

    Its Germanic cognates mostly lurk in compounds that translate as "clove-leek," such as Old Saxon clufloc, Old High German chlobilouh. Dissimilation produced Dutch knoflook, German Knoblauch.ETD clove (n.2).3

    clove (n.1)

    dried flowerbud of a certain tropical tree, used as a spice, late 15c., earlier clowes (14c.), from Anglo-French clowes de gilofre (c. 1200), Old French clou de girofle "nail of gillyflower," so called from its shape, from Latin clavus "a nail" (from PIE root *klau- "hook"). For second element, see gillyflower. The two cloves were much confused in Middle English. The clove pink is so called from the scent of the flowers.ETD clove (n.1).2

    cloven (adj.)

    "divided, split," Old English clofen, past-participle adjective from cleave (v.1). Sometimes shortened to clove, hence clove-hitch (1769), etc. Cloven hoof, characteristic of ruminant quadrupeds (and ascribed in mythology to Pan and the Devil) is from c. 1200.ETD cloven (adj.).2

    clover (n.)

    plant of the genus Trifolium, widely cultivated as fodder, Middle English claver, from Old English clafre, clæfre "clover," from Proto-Germanic *klaibron (source also of Old Saxon kle, Middle Low German klever, Middle Dutch claver, Dutch klaver, Old High German kleo, German Klee "clover"), which is of uncertain origin. Klein and Liberman write that it is probably from West Germanic *klaiwaz- "sticky pap" (see clay), and Liberman adds, "The sticky juice of clover was the base of the most popular sort of honey."ETD clover (n.).2

    The modern spelling prevailed after c. 1700. The exact phrase four-leafed clover attested from 1831; first reference in English to the supposed luck of a four-leaf clover is from c. 1500 ("The Gospelles of Dystaues"). The ratio of four- to three-leaved clovers is said to be 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 5,000. To be in clover "live luxuriously" is 1710, "clover being extremely delicious and fattening to cattle" [Johnson].ETD clover (n.).3

    clover-leaf (n.)

    also cloverleaf, "the leaf of a clover plant," 1787, from clover + leaf (n.). Highway interchange sense attested by 1933, so called for the shape.ETD clover-leaf (n.).2


    type of prehistoric stone spearpoints, 1943, from Clovis, New Mexico, U.S., near which place they were found. The town is said to have been named for the Frankish king Clovis (Latinized from Frankish Chlodovech, from Germanic masc. proper name *hluda-wigaz "famous in battle," cognate with Ludwig and Louis).ETD Clovis.2

    clowder (n.)

    1801, also cludder, a variant of clutter (n.).ETD clowder (n.).2

    clowning (n.)

    "playing the clown," 1848, verbal noun from clown (v.).ETD clowning (n.).2

    clown (n.)

    1560s, clowne, also cloyne, "man of rustic or coarse manners, boor, peasant," a word of obscure origin; the original form and pronunciation are uncertain. Perhaps it is from Scandinavian dialect (compare Icelandic klunni "clumsy, boorish fellow;" Swedish kluns "a hard knob; a clumsy fellow," Danish klunt "log, block"), or from Low German (compare North Frisian klönne "clumsy person," Dutch kloen). OED describes it as "a word meaning originally 'clod, clot, lump', which like those words themselves ..., has been applied in various langs. to a clumsy boor, a lout."ETD clown (n.).2

    The theory that it is from Latin colonus "colonist, farmer" is less likely, but awareness of the Latin word might have influenced the sense development in English.ETD clown (n.).3

    Meaning "professional fool, professional or habitual jester" is c. 1600. "The pantomime clown represents a blend of the Shakes[pearean] rustic with one of the stock types of the It[alian] comedy" [Weekley]. Meaning "contemptible person" is from 1920s. Fem. form clowness attested from 1801.ETD clown (n.).4

    clown (v.)

    c. 1600, "to play the clown onstage," from clown (n.); colloquial sense of "to behave inappropriately" (as in clown around, 1932) is attested by 1928, perhaps from the theatrical slang sense of "play a (non-comical) part farcically or comically" (1891). Related: Clowned; clowning.ETD clown (v.).2

    clownage (n.)

    1580s, "function or manners of a stage clown or jester," from clown (n.) + -age. From 1630s as "actions or behavior of a rustic."ETD clownage (n.).2

    clownery (n.)

    1580s, "condition or character of a clown; ill-breeding, rudeness of manners," from clown (n.) + -ery. From 1823 as "performance of a comic clown."ETD clownery (n.).2

    clownify (v.)

    "make clownish or dull-witted," 1610s, from clown (n.) + -ify. Related: Clownified; clownifying.ETD clownify (v.).2

    clownish (adj.)

    1560s, "rustic;" 1580s, "boorish, ungainly, awkward," from clown (n.) + -ish. Meaning "pertaining to or characteristic of a (stage) clown" is perhaps from c. 1600. Related: Clownishly; clownishness.ETD clownish (adj.).2

    cloze (n.)

    1953, in psychological writing, in reference to experiments involving passages from which words have been omitted and are supplied by the test subject, evidently abstracted from the pronunciation of closure.ETD cloze (n.).2

    club (v.)

    1590s, "to hit with a club," from club (v.). Meaning "gather in a club-like mass" is from 1620s. Related: Clubbed; clubbing. Also in a military sense (1806):ETD club (v.).2

    clubbed (adj.)

    late 14c., "shaped like a club, thick at the end," from club (n.). Specifically of defects of the foot by c. 1500; meaning "formed into a club" is from 1620s.ETD clubbed (adj.).2

    club (n.)

    c. 1200, "thick stick wielded in the hand and used as a weapon," from Old Norse klubba "cudgel" or a similar Scandinavian source (compare Swedish klubba, Danish klubbe), assimilated from Proto-Germanic *klumbon and related to clump (n.). Old English words for this were sagol, cycgel. Specific sense of "bat or staff used in games" is from mid-15c.ETD club (n.).2

    The club suit in the deck of cards (1560s) bears the correct name (Spanish basto, Italian bastone), but the pattern adopted on English decks is the French trefoil. Compare Danish klr, Dutch klaver "a club at cards," literally "a clover."ETD club (n.).3

    The sense "company of persons organized to meet for social intercourse or to promote some common object" (1660s) apparently evolved from this word from the verbal sense "gather in a club-like mass" (1620s), then, as a noun, "association of people" (1640s).ETD club (n.).4

    Join the club "become one of a number of people having a common experience" is by 1944. Club soda is by 1881, originally a proprietary name (Cantrell & Cochrane, Dublin). Club car is from 1890, American English, originally one well-appointed and reserved for members of a club run by the railway company; later of any railway car fitted with chairs instead of benches and other amenities (1917). Hence club for "class of fares between first-class and transit" (1978).ETD club (n.).5

    Club sandwich recorded by 1899 (said to have been invented at Saratoga Country Club in New York), apparently as a type of sandwich served in clubs, or else because its multiple "decks" reminded people of two-decker club cars on railroads.ETD club (n.).6

    clubbable (adj.)

    "having qualities that make one fit to be a member of a social club," 1783, from club (n.) + -able.ETD clubbable (adj.).2

    clubby (adj.)

    "of a social disposition," 1859, from club (n.) in the associative sense + -y (2). Related: Clubbily; clubbiness.ETD clubby (adj.).2

    club-fist (n.)

    1570s, "a large fist," hence, "a brutal fellow," from club (n.) + fist (n.). Related: Club-fisted.ETD club-fist (n.).2

    club-foot (n.)

    also clubfoot, "deformed foot," 1530s, from club (n.) + foot (n.). Related: Club-footed.ETD club-foot (n.).2

    club-house (n.)

    also clubhouse, "place of meeting and refreshment always open to those who are members of the club," 1805, from club (n.) in the associative sense + house (n.). Clubhouse lawyer is baseball slang by 1940s.ETD club-house (n.).2

    club-moss (n.)

    1590s, from club (n.) + moss. So called for the club shape of its upright spore-cases.ETD club-moss (n.).2

    cluck (v.)

    "to utter the call or cry of a hen," Old English cloccian originally echoic. Compare Turkish culuk, one of the words for "turkey;" Greek klozein, Latin glocire, German glucken. Related: Clucked; clucking.ETD cluck (v.).2

    cluck (n.)

    1703, "sound made by a hen," from cluck (v.). Slang meaning "stupid person" (chickens and turkeys are famously foolish) is from 1927.ETD cluck (n.).2

    clue (v.)

    "to indicate by means of a clue," 1934; "to inform someone of the important facts," usually with in, 1948, from clue (n.). Related: Clued; cluing. Earlier in now-obsolete sense of "follow or track by clues" (1660s). In nautical use, "to haul up (a sail) by means of the clue-lines," from clue (n.) in the "wound ball of yarn" sense.ETD clue (v.).2

    clue (n.)

    "anything that guides or directs in an intricate case," 1590s, a special use of a revised spelling of clew "a ball of thread or yarn" (q.v.). The word, which is native Germanic, in Middle English was clewe, also cleue; some words borrowed from Old French in -ue, -eu also were spelled -ew in Middle English, such as blew, imbew, but these later were reformed to -ue, and this process was extended to native words (hue, true, clue) which had ended in a vowel and -w. The spelling clue is first attested mid-15c.ETD clue (n.).2

    The sense shift is originally in reference to the clew of thread given by Ariadne to Theseus to use as a guide out of the Labyrinth in Greek mythology. The purely figurative sense of "that which points the way," without regard to labyrinths, is from 1620s. As something which a bewildered person does not have, by 1948.ETD clue (n.).3

    The board game (originally Cluedo) was launched in 1949 in Britain.ETD clue (n.).4

    clueless (adj.)

    1817, "trackless," from clue (n.) + -less. Meaning "ignorant, uninformed" is by 1943, said to be RAF slang from 1930s. Student slang use by 1985 is perhaps an independent extension along the same line. Related: Cluelessly; cluelessness.ETD clueless (adj.).2

    clump (v.2)

    "walk heavily and clumsily," 1660s, imitative, or perhaps from the notion of walking in wooden shoes (see clump (n.)). Related: Clumped; clumping.ETD clump (v.2).2

    clump (v.1)

    "to heap or gather in clumps" (transitive), 1824, from clump (n.). Related: Clumped; clumping. Intransitive sense "to form a clump or clumps" is recorded from 1896.ETD clump (v.1).2

    clump (n.)

    1580s, "lump; cluster or small, close group" (especially of shrubs or trees), from Middle English clompe "a lump" (c. 1300), from a Low German source (such as Dutch klomp "lump, mass," or Middle Low German klumpe "clog, wooden shoe"). Old English had clympre "lump, mass of metal."ETD clump (n.).2

    clumperton (n.)

    "clown, clodhopper," 1530s, from clump (n.), probably on model of simpleton.ETD clumperton (n.).2

    clumpy (adj.)

    "consisting of clumps, of the nature of a clump, lumpy," 1820, from clump (n.) + -y (2). Also noted 1881 in an Isle of Wight glossary as a noun meaning "a stupid fellow." Related: Clumpily; clumpiness. Compare clumperton.ETD clumpy (adj.).2

    clumsy (adj.)

    1590s, "acting or moving as if benumbed," alteration of Middle English clumsid "numb with cold" (14c.), past participle of clumsen, clomsen "to benumb, stiffen or paralyze with cold or fear" (early 14c.), also "become numb or stiff, as with cold" (late 14c.), which is from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse klumsa "make speechless, palsy; prevent from speaking," intensive of kluma "to make motionless."ETD clumsy (adj.).2

    Not in general use until 18c., with senses "manifesting awkwardness; so made as to be unwieldy." Related: Clumsily; clumsiness. Also compare Swedish dialectal klumsen (adj.) "benumbed with cold," Norwegian klumsad (past participle) "speechless, palsied by a spasm or by fear or witchery;" German verklammen "grow stiff or numb with cold." Also compare clumse (n.) "a stupid fellow."ETD clumsy (adj.).3


    Old English clungen, past tense and past participle of cling.ETD clung.2

    clunk (v.)

    1796, "to make the sound of a cork being pulled from a bottle;" imitative. This was the main sense through most of 19c. Meaning "to hit, strike" is attested from 1943 (perhaps a variant of clonk). Related: Clunked; clunking. As a noun, in reference to the cork-pulling sound, by 1823.ETD clunk (v.).2

    clunker (n.)

    "anything inferior," 1940s, agent noun from clunk (v.), probably in imitation of the sounds made by old machinery. Specific sense of "old car" was in use by 1936.ETD clunker (n.).2

    clunky (adj.)

    "blocky, ungraceful," by 1968 (when it was the name of a style of women's shoe), from clunk + -y (2). Related: Clunkily; clunkiness.ETD clunky (adj.).2

    cluster (n.)

    Old English clyster "a number of things growing naturally together," probably from the same root as clot (n.). Meaning "a number of persons, animals, or things gathered in a close body" is from c. 1400. Of stars, from 1727. Cluster-bomb attested by 1950.ETD cluster (n.).2

    cluster (v.)

    late 14c. (transitive), "to collect into a cluster or group," from cluster (n.). Intransitive sense, "to form or constitute a cluster," is from 1540s. Related: Clustered; clustering.ETD cluster (v.).2

    clusterfuck (n.)

    "bungled or confused undertaking," 1969, U.S. military slang, from cluster + fuck, probably in the "bungle" sense. Earlier the compound meant "orgy" (1966).ETD clusterfuck (n.).2

    clutch (v.)

    Old English clyccan "bring together, bend (the fingers), clench," from PIE *klukja- (source also of Swedish klyka "clamp, fork;" related to cling). Meaning "to grasp" is early 14c.; that of "to seize with the claws or clutches" is from late 14c. Sense of "hold tightly and close" is from c. 1600. Influenced in meaning by Middle English cloke "a claw." Related: Clutched; clutching.ETD clutch (v.).2

    clutch (n.3)

    "a brood, the number of eggs incubated at any one time," in reference to chickens, 1721, a southern England dialectal variant of cletch (1690s), noun from cleck (v.), which is from Middle English clekken "to hatch, give birth to" (c. 1400), which is probably from a Scandinavian source (such as Old Norse klekja "to hatch"), perhaps of imitative origin (compare cluck (v.)). Compare batch/bake.ETD clutch (n.3).2

    clutch (n.1)

    "a grip, grasp, tight hold," c. 1200, plural, cleches, from or related to the verb clucchen, clicchen (see clutch (v.)). Clutches "the hands," suggesting grasping rapacity or cruelty, is from 1520s.ETD clutch (n.1).2

    clutch (n.2)

    "movable mechanical coupling or locking and unlocking contrivance for transmitting motion," 1814, from clutch (v.), with the "seizing" sense extended to "device for bringing working parts together." Originally of mill-works, first used of motor vehicles 1899. Meaning "moment when heroics are required" is attested from 1920s.ETD clutch (n.2).2

    clutter (v.)

    1550s, "to collect in heaps, crowd together in disorder," variant of clotern "to form clots, to heap on" (c. 1400); related to clot (n.), and perhaps influenced by cluster. Sense of "to litter, to crowd (a place) by a disorderly mass of things" is first recorded 1660s. Related: Cluttered; cluttering.ETD clutter (v.).2

    clutter (n.)

    1570s, "things lying in heaps or crowded confusion," from clutter (v.).ETD clutter (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from the family name, from the region of the Clyde River in Scotland (see Clydesdale). Most popular in U.S. for boys c. 1890-1910, falling off rapidly thereafter, hence probably its use in 1940s teenager slang for "a square, one not versed in popular music or culture."ETD Clyde.2


    "breed of heavy draught horses," 1786, so called because they were bred in the valley of the Clyde in Scotland. The river name is perhaps literally "cleansing," from a Celtic root akin to Latin cloaca (see cloaca).ETD Clydesdale.2

    clyster (n.)

    "a medical enema," late 14c., from Old French clistre (13c., Modern French clystère) or directly from Latin clyster, from Greek klyster, from klyzein "to wash out" (see cloaca).ETD clyster (n.).2


    also Clytemnestra, wife and murderess of Agamemnon, from Greek Klytaimnestra, from klytos "celebrated, heard of" (see loud) + mnester "wooer, suitor," literally "willing to mind, mindful of," related to mnasthai "to remember," from PIE root *men- (1) "to think."ETD Clytaemnestra.2

    c'mon (v.)

    representing the common pronunciation of the verbal phrase come on, by 1929. Come on! as an urge to advance or go with is from mid-15c. (see come).ETD c'mon (v.).2


    initial consonant combination used in Old English (the Clark Hall dictionary has 82 entries under cn-), but not now admitted in speech, the n- only being sounded. In Middle English spelling all were lost or turned to kn-. It also is retained in the spelling of some Latinized words from Greek, where initial kn- was common.ETD cn-.2

    Cnidaria (n.)

    phylum of stinging invertebrates, 1860, with abstract noun ending -ia + Latinized form of Greek knidē "nettle," from stem of knizein "to scratch scrape," which is of uncertain origin. Beekes compares Lithuanian knìsti "to scratch, itch, tickle," knisù "to grub up;" Latvian knidet "to itch, geminate, creep;" Old Norse hnita "to push against;" Middle Irish cned "wound." Related: Cnidarian.ETD Cnidaria (n.).2


    in Latin, the form of com- "together, with" in compounds with stems beginning in vowels, h-, and gn-; see com-. Taken in English from 17c. as a living prefix meaning "together, mutually, in common," and used promiscuously with native words (co-worker) and Latin-derived words not beginning with vowels (codependent), including some already having it (co-conspirator).ETD co-.2

    co-ed (n.)

    also coed, 1886, American English, (first in Louisa Mae Alcott's "Jo's Boys"); short for "co-educational system;" 1889 as an adjective, short for co-educational; 1887 as a noun meaning "girl or woman student at a co-educational institution."ETD co-ed (n.).2


    addressing abbreviation for care of; common by 1889.ETD c/o.2


    by 1670s as an abbreviation of company in the business sense, indicating the partners in the firm whose names do not appear in its name. Hence and co. to indicate "the rest" of any group (1757).ETD co..2

    coach (n.)

    1550s, "large kind of four-wheeled, covered carriage," from French coche (16c.), from German kotsche, from Hungarian kocsi (szekér) "(carriage) of Kocs," village where it was first made. In Hungary, the thing and the name for it date from 15c., and forms are found since 16c. in most European languages (Spanish and Portuguese coche, Italian cocchino, Dutch koets). Vehicles often were named for the place of their invention or first use (compare berlin, landau, surrey). Applied to railway passenger cars by 1866, American English. Sense of "economy or tourist class" is from 1949.ETD coach (n.).2

    Meaning "instructor/trainer" is c. 1830 Oxford University slang for a private tutor who "carries" a student through an exam (compare pony in the student slang sense "translation"). Transferred sense in sports, "person employed to train athletes for a contest" is attested from 1861. A more classical word for an athletic trainer was agonistarch, from Greek agonistarkhes "one who trains (someone) to compete in the public games and contests."ETD coach (n.).3

    coach (v.)

    1610s, "to convey in a coach," from coach (n.). Meaning "to tutor, give private instruction to, prepare (someone) for an exam or a contest" is from 1849. Related: Coached; coaching.ETD coach (v.).2

    coaching (n.)

    1825, "the use of a coach as a public conveyance;" 1849 as "special instruction or training for an exam or an athletic contest;" verbal noun from coach (v.).ETD coaching (n.).2

    coach-box (n.)

    "seat on which the driver of a coach sits," 1650s, from coach (n.) + box (n.).ETD coach-box (n.).2

    coach-horse (n.)

    "horse used or suitable for driving a coach," c. 1600, from coach (n.) + horse (n.).ETD coach-horse (n.).2

    coach-maker (n.)

    also coachmaker, "a maker of (horse-drawn) coaches," 1590s, from coach (n.) + maker.ETD coach-maker (n.).2

    coachman (n.)

    "man who drives a coach," 1570s, from coach (n.) + man (n.).ETD coachman (n.).2

    co-act (v.)

    "to act together," c. 1600, from co- + act (v.). Related: Co-action; co-active; co-actor.ETD co-act (v.).2

    coact (v.)

    "to compel, force," c. 1400, from Latin coactare "constrain, force," frequentative of cogere (past participle coactus) "to compel," also "curdle, collect" (see cogent). Related: Coacted; coacting; coaction; coactive. ETD coact (v.).2

    coadaptation (n.)

    also co-adaptation, "mutual or reciprocal adaptation," 1803, from co- + adaptation.ETD coadaptation (n.).2

    coadjacent (adj.)

    also co-adjacent, "mutually adjacent," 1842, from co- + adjacent. Related: Coadjacence.ETD coadjacent (adj.).2

    coagulation (n.)

    c. 1400, coagulacioun, "act of changing from a fluid to a thickened state," from Latin coagulationem (nominative coagulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of coagulare "cause to curdle" (see coagulate). Meaning "mass or quantity of coagulated matter" is from 1660s.ETD coagulation (n.).2

    coagulate (v.)

    early 15c., "to clot, congeal, become curdled, change from a liquid into a thickened mass; to make to clot," from Latin coagulatus, past participle of coagulare "to cause to curdle," from cogere "to curdle, collect" (see cogent). The earlier verb was coagule, c. 1400, from Old French coaguler and directly from Latin. Related: Coagulated; coagulating.ETD coagulate (v.).2

    coagulant (n.)

    "substance that produces coagulation," 1770, from Latin coagulantem (nominative coagulans), present participle of coagulare "cause to curdle" (see coagulate).ETD coagulant (n.).2

    coal (n.)

    Old English col "charcoal; live coal, piece of wood or other combustible substance, either burning or having been burned," from Proto-Germanic *kula(n) (source also of Old Frisian kole, Middle Dutch cole, Dutch kool, Old High German chol, German Kohle, Old Norse kol), from PIE root *g(e)u-lo- "live coal" (source also of Irish gual "coal").ETD coal (n.).2

    Meaning "solid mineral consisting of fossilized carbon, combustible and used as fuel," is from mid-13c. The thing itself is mentioned 370 B.C.E. by Theophrastus in his treatise "On Stones" under the name lithos anthrakos (see anthrax). Traditionally good luck, coal was given as a New Year's gift in England, said to guarantee a warm hearth for the coming year.ETD coal (n.).3

    The phrase drag (or rake) over the coals was a reference to the treatment meted out to heretics by Christians. To carry coals "do dirty work," also "submit to insult" is from 1520s.ETD coal (n.).4

    To carry coals to Newcastle "add to that of which there is already an abundance, do unnecessary labor " (c. 1600) is a local variant on an ancient class of expression: Latin had in litus harenas fundere "pour sand on the beach," in silvam ligna ferre "carry wood to the woods;" Greek glauk eis Athenas "owls to Athens." Newcastle is in the midst of a great coal-producing region. The ancient view is not necessarily the modern one. A historian, noting that the medieval English exported manufactured cloth to the Low Countries, where weaving was a major industry, writes, "it is always sensible to send coals to Newcastle or owls to Athens if you can be sure of underselling the locals" [George D. Painter, "William Caxton," 1976]ETD coal (n.).5

    coal-black (adj.)

    "black as coal," mid-13c., from coal (n.) + black (adj.).ETD coal-black (adj.).2

    coalesce (v.)

    1540s, "grow together, unite by growing into one body," from Latin coalescere "unite, grow together, become one in growth," from assimilated form of com- "together" (see co-) + alescere "be nourished," hence, "increase, grow up," inchoative of alere "to suckle, nourish," from PIE root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish." Related: Coalesced; coalescing; coalescence; coalescent.ETD coalesce (v.).2

    coalition (n.)

    1610s, "the growing together of parts," from French coalition (1540s), from Late Latin coalitus "fellowship," originally past participle of Latin coalescere "unite, grow together, become one in growth" (see coalesce). Political sense, "voluntary temporary union of persons, parties, nations, etc., for the attainment of a certain object" is attested by 1715.ETD coalition (n.).2

    coal-miner (n.)

    1630s, from coal (n.) + miner.ETD coal-miner (n.).2

    coal-tar (n.)

    "thick, black, viscid liquid left by the distillation of gas from coal," 1785, from coal (n.) + tar (n.).ETD coal-tar (n.).2

    coaming (n.)

    1610s, nautical, "raised border or edge of a hatch" (to prevent water on deck from running below), of unknown origin.ETD coaming (n.).2

    coarse (adj.)

    early 15c., cors "ordinary" (modern spelling is from late 16c.), probably adjectival use of noun cours (see course (n.)). Originally referring to rough cloth for ordinary wear, the sense of "rude, vulgar, unpolished" developed by c. 1500 and that of "obscene" by 1711.ETD coarse (adj.).2

    Perhaps via the notion of "in regular or natural order," hence "common, vulgar" (compare the development of mean (adj.), also ornery from ordinary). Or it might be via the clothing sense, and the notion of "wanting fineness of texture or elegance of form." Or both, and there might be also an influence, via metathesis, of French gros (see gross (adj.)), which underwent a similar sense development. Related: Coarsely; coarseness.ETD coarse (adj.).3

    coarsen (v.)

    "to make coarse or coarser," in any sense, 1805, from coarse + -en (2). Related: Coarsened; coarsening.ETD coarsen (v.).2

    coarticulation (n.)

    "mutual or reciprocal articulation," 1610s, from co- + articulation.ETD coarticulation (n.).2

    coast (v.)

    late 14c., "to skirt, to go around the sides, to go along the border" of something (as a ship does the coastline), from Anglo-French costien, from the French source of coast (n.).ETD coast (v.).2

    The meaning "sled downhill," first attested 1834 in American English, is a separate borrowing or a new development from the noun. In bicycle-riding, "descend a hill with the feet off the pedals," from 1879. Of motor vehicles, "to move without thrust from the engine," from 1896; figurative use, of persons, "not to exert oneself," by 1934. Related: Coasted; coasting.ETD coast (v.).3

    coast (n.)

    early 14c., "margin of the land;" earlier "rib as a part of the body" (early 12c.), from Old French coste "rib, side, flank; slope, incline;" later "coast, shore" (12c., Modern French côte), from Latin costa "a rib," perhaps related to a root word for "bone" (compare Old Church Slavonic kosti "bone," and PIE root *ost-), but de Vaan dismisses this and calls it "an isolated word without etymology."ETD coast (n.).2

    Latin costa developed a secondary sense in Medieval Latin of "the shore," via notion of the "side" of the land, as well as "side of a hill," and this passed into Romanic (Italian costa "coast, side," Spanish cuesta "slope," costa "coast"), but only in the Germanic languages that borrowed it is it fully specialized in this sense (Dutch kust, Swedish kust, German Küste, Danish kyst).ETD coast (n.).3

    French also used this word for "hillside, slope," which led to the English verb meaning "a slide or sled down a snowy or icy hillside," first attested 1775 in American English. Expression the coast is clear (16c.) is an image of landing on a shore unguarded by enemies; to clear the coast (1520s) was to make it suitable for landing.ETD coast (n.).4

    coastal (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to a coast or shore," 1872, from coast (n.) + -al (1). The proper Latin form costal is used only of ribs.ETD coastal (adj.).2

    coaster (n.)

    1570s, "one who sails along coasts," especially one who trades from port to port in the same country, agent noun from coast (v.) in its sense "to go around the sides or border" of something. Applied to vessels for such sailing from 1680s.ETD coaster (n.).2

    The meaning "tabletop drink mat" to protect a wooden table surface from condensation, etc., was in use by 1913, extended from bottle-coaster "low, round tray used for a decanter" (1874); it was formerly on wheels and so called probably because it "coasted" around the perimeter of the table to each guest in turn after dinner.ETD coaster (n.).3

    coast guard (n.)

    also coast-guard, 1827, a guard stationed on a coast, originally to prevent smuggling, later serving as a general police force for the coast; see coast (n.) + guard (n.).ETD coast guard (n.).2

    coastline (n.)

    "the outline of a shore or coast," 1819, from coast (n.) + line (n.).ETD coastline (n.).2

    coat (n.)

    early 14c., "principal outer garment, tunic, kirtle," typically made of cloth and usually with sleeves, worn alone or under a mantle, from Old French cote "coat, robe, tunic, overgarment," from Frankish *kotta "coarse cloth" or some other Germanic source (compare Old Saxon kot "woolen mantle," Old High German chozza "cloak of coarse wool," German Kotze "a coarse coat"); the ultimate origin is unknown. Spanish, Portuguese cota, Italian cotta are Germanic loan-words.ETD coat (n.).2

    As "garment worn suspended from the waist by women and children" from late 14c. (the sense in petticoat). Transferred late 14c. to "the natural external covering of an animal." Extended 1660s to "a thin layer of any substance covering any surface." Coat-hanger "clothes-hanger designed to facilitate the hanging of a coat" is from 1872. Coat-card (1560s) was any playing card which has a figure on it (compare face-card). It later was corrupted to court-card (1640s).ETD coat (n.).3

    coating (n.)

    "a layer of some substance spread over a surface," 1768, verbal noun from coat (v.).ETD coating (n.).2

    coat (v.)

    late 14c., "to provide with a coat," from coat (n.). Meaning "to cover or overspread with a substance" is from 1753. Related: Coated; coating.ETD coat (v.).2

    coati (n.)

    long-tailed Brazilian raccoon, 1670s, from Spanish quachi, quasje, from a name in the Tupi native language of Brazil; according to OED it is a compound of cua "belt, cincture" + tim "nose."ETD coati (n.).2

    coat of arms (n.)

    mid-14c., also simply coat (mid-14c.); originally a tunic embroidered or painted with heraldic armorial bearings (worn over armor, etc); see coat (n.) + arm (n.2) and compare Old French cote a armer. Sense transferred in Middle English to the heraldic arms themselves. Hence turncoat, one who put his coat on inside-out to hide the badge of his loyalty (1550s).ETD coat of arms (n.).2

    coat-tail (n.)

    c. 1600, "flaps formed by the lower back of a coat," from coat (n.) + tail (n.). In 17c., to do something on one's own coattail meant "at one's own expense." Meaning "power of one person," especially in politics, is at least from 1848 (in a Congressional speech by Abraham Lincoln); expression riding (someone's) coattails into political office is from 1949.ETD coat-tail (n.).2

    co-author (n.)

    also coauthor, "one who writes (a book, journal article, etc.) along with another," 1850, from co- + author (n.). From 1948 as a verb. Related: Co-authored; co-authoring.ETD co-author (n.).2

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