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    Donovan — dough (n.)


    surname and masc. proper name, from Irish Donndubhan "dark brown."ETD Donovan.2


    contraction of do not, recorded in plays from 1630s. In Elizabethan plays, it is a contraction of done it.ETD don't.2

    donut (n.)

    see doughnut. It turns up as an alternate spelling in U.S. as early as 1870 ("Josh Billings"), common from c. 1920 in names of bakeries. Halliwell ("Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words," 1847) has donnut "a pancake made of dough instead of batter," which Bartlett (1848) writes "is no doubt the same word" as the American one.ETD donut (n.).2

    donzel (n.)

    titular designation of a young gentleman; "a young man of gentle or noble birth; young attendant, page, youth of good quality not yet knighted," 1580s, not found in Middle English, from Old French danzel, Old Italian donzello, from Medieval Latin domicellus, diminutive of Latin dominus "master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").ETD donzel (n.).2

    doobie (n.)

    "marijuana cigarette," 1960s, of unknown origin.ETD doobie (n.).2

    doodad (n.)

    "unnamed thing," 1898, chiefly U.S., a made-up word (compare doohickey).ETD doodad (n.).2

    doodah (n.)

    "excitement," 1915, from refrain of the popular minstrel song "Camptown Races."ETD doodah (n.).2

    doodle (v.)

    "scrawl aimlessly," 1935, perhaps from dialectal doodle, dudle "fritter away time, trifle," or associated with dawdle (which might be the source of the dialect word). It also was a noun meaning "simple fellow" from 1620s.ETD doodle (v.).2

    Related: Doodled; Doodling.ETD doodle (v.).3

    doodle-bug (n.)

    type of beetle or larva, 1865, Southern U.S. dialect; see doodle + bug (n.). The same word was applied 1944 in R.A.F. slang to German V-model flying bombs.ETD doodle-bug (n.).2

    doofer (n.)

    1937, indicative of something that will do for the present need or purpose.ETD doofer (n.).2

    doofus (n.)

    student slang, "dolt, idiot, nerd," by 1960s. "Dictionary of American Slang" says "probably related to doo-doo and goofus."ETD doofus (n.).2

    doohickey (n.)

    also doohicky, a name for something one doesn't know the name of, 1914, American English, arbitrary formation.ETD doohickey (n.).2

    doolally (adj.)

    "insane, eccentric," British slang, by 1917 in the armed services and in full doolally tap (with the Urdu word for "fever"), from Deolali, near Bombay, India, which was a military camp (established 1861) with a large barracks and a chief staging point for British troops on their way to or from India; the reference is to men whose enlistments had expired who waited there impatiently for transport home.ETD doolally (adj.).2

    doom (v.)

    late 14c., domen, "to judge, pass judgment on," from doom (n.). The Old English word was deman, which became deem. Meaning "condemn (to punishment), pronounce adverse judgment upon" is from c. 1600. Related: Doomed; dooming.ETD doom (v.).2

    doom (n.)

    Middle English doome, from Old English dom "a law, statute, decree; administration of justice, judgment; justice, equity, righteousness," from Proto-Germanic *domaz (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian dom, Old Norse domr, Old High German tuom "judgment, decree," Gothic doms "discernment, distinction"), perhaps from PIE root *dhe- "to set, place, put, do" (source also of Sanskrit dhaman- "law," Greek themis "law," Lithuanian domė "attention").ETD doom (n.).2

    Originally in a neutral sense but sometimes also "a decision determining fate or fortune, irrevocable destiny." A book of laws in Old English was a dombec. Modern adverse sense of "fate, ruin, destruction" begins early 14c. and is general after c. 1600, from doomsday and the finality of the Christian Judgment. Crack of doom is the last trump, the signal for the dissolution of all things.ETD doom (n.).3

    doomsday (n.)

    "day of the last judgment," Middle English domesdai, from Old English domes dæg, from domes, genitive of dom (see doom (n.)) + dæg "day" (see day (n.)).ETD doomsday (n.).2

    In medieval England doomsday was expected when the world's age had reached 6,000 years from the creation, which was thought to have been in 5200 B.C.E. Bede, c. 720, complained of being pestered by rustici asking him how many years till the sixth millennium ended. However there is no evidence for the story of a general panic in Christian Europe in the year 1000 C.E.ETD doomsday (n.).3

    Doomsday machine as the name of a hypothetical nuclear bomb powerful enough to wipe out human life (or all life) on earth is from 1960.ETD doomsday (n.).4

    door (n.)

    "movable barrier, commonly on hinges, for closing a passage into a building, room, or other enclosure," c. 1200, a Middle English merger of two Old English words, both with the general sense of "door, gate": dor (neuter; plural doru) "large door, gate," and duru (fem., plural dura) "door, gate, wicket." The difference (no longer felt in Old English) was that the former came from a singular form, the latter from a plural.ETD door (n.).2

    Both are from Proto-Germanic *dur-, plural *dures (source also of Old Saxon duru, Old Norse dyrr, Danish dr, Old Frisian dure, dore, dure, Old High German turi, German Tür). This is from PIE root *dhwer- "door, doorway."ETD door (n.).3

    Middle English had both dure and dor; the form dore predominated by 16c. but was supplanted later by door. The oldest forms of the word in IE languages frequently are dual or plural, leading to speculation that houses of the original Indo-Europeans had doors with two swinging halves.ETD door (n.).4

    Figurative sense of "means of opportunity or facility for" was in Old English. Phrase door to door "house to house" is from c. 1300; as an adjective, in reference to sales, by 1902.ETD door (n.).5

    door-bell (n.)

    also doorbell, "bell at a door, or connected to a knob outside a door, for the purpose of giving notice when someone desires admission," 1800, from door + bell (n.).ETD door-bell (n.).2

    door-knob (n.)

    also doorknob, "the handle by which a door is opened," 1829, American English, from door + knob.ETD door-knob (n.).2

    door-knocker (n.)

    "metal device fixed to the outside of a door for banging to give notice when someone desires admission," 1794, from door + knocker (n.).ETD door-knocker (n.).2

    door-mat (n.)

    also doormat, "heavy mat placed before a door for use in cleaning the shoes by those entering," 1660s, from door + mat. Figurative use in reference to persons people "walk all over" or upon whom they (figuratively) clean their boots is by 1861.ETD door-mat (n.).2

    doornail (n.)

    also door-nail, "large-headed nail used for studding batten doors for strength or ornament," late 14c.; see door (n.) + nail (n.). The figurative expression dead as a doornail is attested as early as the word itself.ETD doornail (n.).2

    Compare key-cold "lifeless, inanimate, devoid of heat, cold as a metal key" (1510s). Also in Middle English as a symbol of muteness (domb as a dor nail, c. 1400).ETD doornail (n.).3

    doorstep (n.)

    also door-step, "threshold, step up from the ground to a door," 1810, from door + step (n.).ETD doorstep (n.).2

    door-stop (n.)

    "device placed behind a door to prevent it from being opened too widely," 1859, from door + stop (n.).ETD door-stop (n.).2

    door-strip (n.)

    "border or weather-guard affixed to the edge of a door, fitting tightly against the casing when it is closed," 1849, from door + strip (n.).ETD door-strip (n.).2

    doorway (n.)

    "the passage of a door, an entrance into a room or building," 1738, from door + way (n.).ETD doorway (n.).2

    door-yard (n.)

    also dooryard, "the yard about the door of a house," c. 1764, American English, from door + yard (n.1).ETD door-yard (n.).2


    style of American vocal group music, usually performed acapella or with minimal instrumentation, 1958, from a typical example of the nonsense harmony phrases sung under the vocal lead (this one, doo-wop, being attested from mid-1950s). Compare bebop, scat (n.1).ETD doo-wop.2


    also doozie, 1903 (adj.) "excellent, splendid," 1916 (n.), "an excellent of splendid thing or person," perhaps an alteration of daisy, or from popular Italian actress Eleonora Duse (1859-1924). In either case, reinforced by Duesenberg, the expensive, classy make of automobile from the 1920s-30s.ETD doozy.2


    compound organic chemical, 1959, from DOPA, the amino acid (from first letter of elements of dioxyphenylalanine), + amine.ETD dopamine.2

    dope (n.)

    1807, American English, "sauce, gravy; any thick liquid," from Dutch doop "thick dipping sauce," from doopen "to dip" (see dip (v.)). Used generally by late 19c. for any mixture or preparation of unknown ingredients.ETD dope (n.).2

    Extension to "narcotic drug" is by 1889, from practice of smoking semi-liquid opium preparation. Meaning "foolish, stupid person" is older than this (1851) and may be from the notion of "thick-headed," later associated with the idea of "stupefied by narcotics."ETD dope (n.).3

    Sense of "inside information" (1901) may come from knowing before the race which horse had been drugged to influence performance (to dope (v.) in this sense is attested by 1900). Dope-fiend is attested from 1896, "a victim of the opium habit."ETD dope (n.).4

    dope (v.)

    "administer a drug to," 1889, from dope (n.). Related: Doped; doping.ETD dope (v.).2

    dopey (adj.)

    "sluggish, stupefied," with or as with a narcotic drug; also "stupid" generally, 1896, from dope (n.) + -y (2). Related: Dopiness.ETD dopey (adj.).2

    doppelganger (n.)

    "apparition of a living person, 1826 (from 1824 as a German word in English), from German Doppelgänger, literally "double-goer," originally with a ghostly sense. See double + gang (n.). Sometimes half-Englished as doubleganger.ETD doppelganger (n.).2


    1871, in reference to Christian Doppler (1803-1853), Austrian scientist, who in 1842 explained the effect of relative motion on waves (originally to explain color changes in binary stars); proved by musicians performing on a moving train. Doppler shift (1955) is the change of frequency resulting from the Doppler effect (1894). The surname is literally "Gambler."ETD Doppler.2


    fem. proper name, short for Dorothy, Dorothea.ETD Dora.2

    dorado (n.)

    large, colorful tropical fish, also known as (dolphin and mahi-mahi), c. 1600, from Spanish dorado, literally "gilded," past participle of dorar "to gild," from Latin deaurare "to gild, to gild over," from de-, here probably intensive, + aurare "to gild," from aurum "gold" (see aureate). The small Southern constellation was among those added by Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman during their voyage of 1595-97 for Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius.ETD dorado (n.).2

    do-rag (n.)

    by 1973 (said in DAS to date to 1960s), African-American vernacular, from hairdo + rag (n.1).ETD do-rag (n.).2


    fem. proper name, from Greek Dorkas, literally "gazelle, deer." Beekes writes that "it agrees with a Celtic word for 'roe', [Cornish] yorch, [Breton] iourc'h 'roe', [Middle Welsh] iwrch 'caprea mas', which points to IE *iorko-. " Dorcas Society "ladies' meeting to make clothes for the poor" (1832) is from Acts ix.36-41, where the name renders Semitic Tabitha.ETD Dorcas.2


    county town of Dorset, England; Old English Dorcanceaster, earlier Dornwaraceaster, from Latin Durnovaria, from Romano-British *duro- "walled town."ETD Dorchester.2

    dord (n.)

    a ghost word printed in the 1934 "Webster's New International Dictionary" and defined as a noun used by physicists and chemists, meaning "density." In sorting out and separating abbreviations from words in preparing the dictionary's second edition, a card marked "D or d" meaning "density" somehow migrated from the "abbreviations" stack to the "words" stack. The "D or d" entry ended up being typeset as a word, dord, and defined as a synonym for density. The mistake was discovered in 1939.ETD dord (n.).2

    dore (n.)

    Middle English, also dorre, "buzzing or whirring insect," from Old English dora, a word of unknown origin, perhaps imitative.ETD dore (n.).2


    fem. proper name, Greek, "Dorian woman" (see Dorian).ETD Doris.2

    dory (n.1)

    "small, flat-bottomed boat," especially one sent out from a larger vessel to catch fish, 1709, American English, perhaps from a West Indian or Central American Indian language.ETD dory (n.1).2

    dory (n.2)

    popular name of a type of edible marine fish, mid-14c., from Old French doree, originally the fem. past participle of dorer "to gild," from Latin deauratus, past participle of deaurare, from de-, here probably intensive, + aurare "to gild," from aurum (see aureate). So called in reference to its coloring.ETD dory (n.2).2

    The variety of dory called a John Dory (Zeus astralis) is by 1701. The name also applies to the subject of a folk song (by 1590s, maybe 1560s) and was used to anglicize the name of Admiral Gianandrea Doria (1539-1606.)ETD dory (n.2).3

    Dorian (adj.)

    "of Doris or Doria," c. 1600, first in reference to the mode of ancient Greek music, literally "of Doris," from Greek Doris, the small district in central Greece, traditionally named for Doros, legendary ancestor of the Dorians, whose name is probably related to dōron "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give").ETD Dorian (adj.).2

    From 1620s as "native or inhabitant of Doris." Dorian was the name the ancient Greeks gave to one of their four great divisions (the others being the Aeolians, Ionians, and Achaeans). In addition to architecture and music, The Dorians had their own calendar and dialect (see Doric) and the Dorian states included Sparta, Argos, Megara, and the island of Rhodes.ETD Dorian (adj.).3

    Doric (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to the ancient Dorians," 1560s, see Dorian; in reference to the architectural order, 1610s. From 1837 In reference to the dialect of Sparta and other Dorian regions of ancient Greece. It was broad and rustic, hence the word also has been applied in English to northern and Scots dialects. Related: Doricism; Doricize.ETD Doric (adj.).2


    tortilla chip brand, 1964, Spanish, literally "little golden one," from past participle of dorar "to gild," from Latin deaurare "to gild, to gild over," from de-, here probably intensive, + aurare "to gild," from aurum "gold" (see aureate). Related: Doritos.ETD Dorito.2

    dork (n.)

    "stupid person," 1967, originally U.S. student slang, perhaps from earlier meaning "penis" (1964), itself probably an alteration of dick (n.). Related: Dorky; dorkiness.ETD dork (n.).2

    dorm (n.)

    "residence hall of a U.S. college or university," 1900, colloquial shortening of dormitory. Earlier it meant "a slumber, a doze" (1510s), from the stem of the Latin verb.ETD dorm (n.).2

    dormancy (n.)

    1723, state of being dormant, quiescence;" see dormant + -cy. Middle English had dormitacioun "sleep, sleeping" (mid-15c.)ETD dormancy (n.).2

    dormant (adj.)

    late 14c., "fixed in place," from Old French dormant (12c.), present participle of dormir "to sleep," from Latin dormire "to sleep," from PIE root *drem- "to sleep" (source also of Old Church Slavonic dremati "to sleep, doze," Greek edrathon "I slept," Sanskrit drati "sleeps").ETD dormant (adj.).2

    Meaning "in a resting situation, lying down with the head on the forepaws" (in heraldry, of beasts) is from c. 1500. Meaning "sleeping, asleep" is from 1620s. General sense of "in a state of rest or inactivity" is from c. 1600. Of volcanoes from 1760.ETD dormant (adj.).3

    dormer (n.)

    also dormer-window, "window standing vertically in a projection built out to receive it from a sloping roof," 1590s, from French dormeor "sleeping room," from dormir "to sleep," from Latin dormire (see dormant). So called because they were chiefly in upper bedrooms.ETD dormer (n.).2

    dormitory (n.)

    mid-15c., "place, building, or room to sleep in," originally of a monastery or nunnery, from Latin dormitorium "sleeping place," from dormire "to sleep" (see dormant). From the vernacular Old French form dortor Middle English had the word earlier as dortour (c. 1300). Old English had slæpern "dormitory," with ending as in barn. As "residence hall of a college or university" by 1718.ETD dormitory (n.).2

    dormouse (n.)

    long-tailed Old World rodent noted for its state of semi-hibernation in winter, early 15c., possibly from Anglo-French *dormouse "tending to be dormant" (from stem of dormir "to sleep," see dormant), with the second element mistaken for mouse; or perhaps it is from a Middle English dialectal compound of mouse (n.) and French dormir. French dormeuse, fem. of dormeur "sleeper" is attested only from 17c.ETD dormouse (n.).2


    fem. proper name, from French Dorothée, from Latin Dorothea, from Greek, literally "gift of God," from dōron "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give") + fem. of theos "god" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). With the elements reversed, it becomes Theodora. The accessory called a Dorothy bag is so called from 1907.ETD Dorothy.2

    dorsal (adj.)

    in anatomy, "of or pertaining to the back," late 14c., from Old French dorsal (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin dorsalis, corresponding to Latin dorsualis "of the back," from dorsum "back," which is of uncertain origin. Related: Dorsally.ETD dorsal (adj.).2

    dosage (n.)

    1867 in chemistry; 1874 in medicine, "act or practice of administering medication in doses," especially in reference to the size; see dose + -age, perhaps on model of French dosage (1812).ETD dosage (n.).2

    dose (v.)

    1650s, "give medicine to;" 1713, "administer in doses," from dose (n.). Related: Dosed; dosing.ETD dose (v.).2

    dose (n.)

    early 15c., "the giving of medicine (in a specified amount or at a stated time)," from Old French dose (15c.) or directly from Medieval Latin dosis, from Greek dosis "a portion prescribed," literally "a giving," used by Galen and other Greek physicians to mean an amount of medicine, from stem of didonai "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give").ETD dose (n.).2

    Meaning "quantity of medicine given or prescribed" is from c. 1600. Extended sense, in reference to anything given to be "swallowed," literal or figurative, is from c. 1600. Slang meaning "a case of venereal disease" is by 1914.ETD dose (n.).3


    also do-se-do, common step in square-, contra-, polka-dancing, etc., 1929, from French dos-à-dos "back to back" (see dossier).ETD do-si-do.2

    dossier (n.)

    "bundle of documents referring to some matter," 1880 (by 1868 as a French word in English), from French dossier "bundle of papers," from dos "back" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *dossum, variant of Latin dorsum "back" (see dorsal). Supposedly so called because the bundle bore a label on the back, or possibly from resemblance of the bulge in a mass of bundled papers to the curve of a back. Old French dossiere meant "back-strap, ridge strap (of a horse's harness)."ETD dossier (n.).2

    dot (v.)

    1740, "mark with a dot or dots," from dot (n.). Sense of "mark or diversify with small, detached objects" is by 1818. Sense of "put a dot over (the letter i)" is by 1833. Related: Dotted; dotting. Dotted line is by 1690s.ETD dot (v.).2

    dot (n.)

    "point or minute spot on a surface," Old English dott, once, "speck, head of a boil," perhaps related to Norwegian dot "lump, small knot," Dutch dot "knot, small bunch, wisp," Old High German tutta "nipple;" a word of uncertain etymology.ETD dot (n.).2

    Known from a single source c. 1000; the word reappeared with modern meaning "mark" c. 1530; not common until 18c. Perhaps this is a different word imitative of "the mark of a mere touch with the pen" (Wedgwood). In music, the meaning "point indicating a note is to be lengthened by half" is by 1806. Morse telegraph sense is from 1838. On the dot "punctual" is 1909, in reference to a clock dial face. Dot-matrix in printing and screen display is attested by 1975.ETD dot (n.).3

    dotage (n.)

    late 14c., "condition of being foolish; foolish love, infatuation," literally "the condition of one who dotes," from dote (v.) + -age. Also from late 14c. as "senility; feebleness or imbecility of mind in old age."ETD dotage (n.).2

    dotard (n.)

    late 14c., "imbecile, one who is in dotage or second childhood;" see dote (v.) + -ard. Sense of "one who dotes, one who is foolishly fond" (c. 1600) is now rare or obsolete. Other noun derivatives of dote, all in the sense "fool, simpleton" in Middle English were dotel (late 14c.), doterel (late 15c.), doti-poll (c. 1400; see doddypoll).ETD dotard (n.).2

    dote (v.)

    c. 1200, doten, "behave irrationally, do foolish things, be or become silly or deranged," also "be feeble-minded from age," probably from an unrecorded Old English word akin to Middle Low German and Middle Dutch doten "be foolish, be out of one's mind," all of which are of unknown origin, or directly from these words.ETD dote (v.).2

    Century Dictionary and OED compare Dutch dutten "take a nap; mope;" Icelandic dotta "to nod, sleep;" Middle High German totzen "take a nap." Wedgwood writes, "The radical sense seems to be to nod the head, thence to become sleepy, to doze, to become confused in the understanding."ETD dote (v.).3

    From late 15c. as "be infatuated, bestow excessive love." Also in Middle English "to decay, deteriorate," in reference to rotten timber, etc. (mid-15c.). There was a noun dote "fool, simpleton, senile man" (mid-12c.), but Middle English Compendium considers this to be from the verb. Related: Doted; dotes; doting.ETD dote (v.).4


    former third person singular present indicative of do; see does.ETD doth.2

    dotty (adj.)

    1812, "full of dots," from dot (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "silly" is from c. 1400, in dotypolle "dotty poll" (i.e. "dotty head"), in which case the first element is from dote (v.).ETD dotty (adj.).2


    or Douay, name of town in northern France, used elliptically in reference to the English translation of the Bible begun there late 16c., sanctioned by Roman Catholic Church. Also called Rhemish or Rheims-Douai translation because it was published in Rheims in 1582. It uses more Latinate words than Tyndale or the KJV. The place name is from the Gaulish personal name Dous + Gallo-Roman -acum.ETD Douai.2

    double (adv.)

    "twice, doubly," late 14c., from double (adj.). Double-dyed "twice dyed, deeply imbued," but usually figurative, "thorough, complete" is from 1660s. To see double "by illusion to see two images of the same object" is from 1650s.ETD double (adv.).2

    To double check "check twice" is by 1958 (see check (v.1)). Related: Double-checked; double-checking. To double-space (v.) in typing is by 1905. Related: Double-spaced. To double book in reservations is by 1966. To double park "park (a vehicle) parallel to another on the side toward the street" is by 1917. Related: Double-parked; double-parking.ETD double (adv.).3

    double (adj.)

    c. 1300, "twice as much or as large," also "repeated, occurring twice," also "of extra weight, thickness, size, or strength; of two layers," from Old French doble (10c.) "double, two-fold; two-faced, deceitful," from Latin duplus "twofold, twice as much," from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + -plus "more" (see -plus).ETD double (adj.).2

    From early 14c. as "having a twofold character or relation," also "consisting of two in a set together; being a pair, coupled." From mid-14c. as "characterized by duplicity." The earliest recorded use in English is c. 1200, in double-feast "important Church festival."ETD double (adj.).3

    Double-chinned is from late 14c.; double-jointed, of persons, is by 1828. Military double time (1833) originally was 130 steps per minute; double quick (adj.) "very quick, hurried" (1822) originally was military, "performed at double time."ETD double (adj.).4

    The photographic double exposure is by 1872. The cinematic double feature is by 1916. Double figures "numbers that must be represented numerically by two figures" is by 1833. Double-vision is by 1714. Double indemnity in insurance is by 1832; double jeopardy is by 1817. The baseball double play is by 1866.ETD double (adj.).5

    Double trouble "twice the trouble" is by 1520s; in 19c. America it was the name of a characteristic step of a rustic dance or breakdown, derived from slave dancing on plantations. A double-dip (n.) originally was an ice-cream cone made with two scoops (1936); the figurative sense is by 1940. Double bed "bed made to sleep two persons" is by 1779. Double life "a sustaining of two different characters in life" (typically one virtuous or respectable, the other not) is by 1888.ETD double (adj.).6

    double (v.)

    c. 1200, doublen, "to make double; increase, enlarge, or extend by adding an equal portion, measure, or value to," from Old French dobler, from Latin duplare, from duplus "twofold, twice as much" (see double (adj.)). Intransitive sense of "to become twice as great" is from late 14c.ETD double (v.).2

    From mid-14c. as "to duplicate;" from late 14c. as "to repeat, do twice;" from c. 1400 in the transitive sense of "lay or fold one part of upon another." By 1540s as "to pass round or by." Sense of "turn in the opposite direction" is from 1590s. Meaning "to bend or fold" (a part of the body) is from early 15c.; to double up bodily is from 1814.ETD double (v.).3

    Meaning "to work as, in addition to one's regular job" is c. 1920, circus slang, from performers who also played in the band. Related: Doubled; doubling.ETD double (v.).4

    double (n.)

    late 14c., "an amount twice as great, a twofold quantity or size," from double (adj.). From mid-15c. as "a duplicate copy, something precisely like another."ETD double (n.).2

    Sense of "a backward turn to escape pursuers" is from 1590s. Stage sense of "performer or singer fitted to supply the place of a principal in an emergency" is by 1800, originally in opera. The Hollywood stunt double is by 1945. Meaning "an alcoholic drink with twice as much liquor as usual" is by 1922 (double drink is from 1901). Tennis sense of "game played by two on each side" is by 1884. Baseball sense of "a hit in which the batter safely reaches second base" is by 1938. In betting, double or nothing is by 1899 (double or quit is from 1570s).ETD double (n.).3

    double agent (n.)

    "spy who works for two mutually hostile countries," but usually is loyal to only one of them, by 1920, from double (adj.) + agent (n.).ETD double agent (n.).2

    double-barreled (adj.)

    1709, of a gun, "having two barrels;" see double (adj.) + barrel (n.). Figurative sense of "serving two purposes" is by 1777.ETD double-barreled (adj.).2

    double-bass (n.)

    string instrument, the largest and deepest instrument of the viol family, by 1728; see double (adj.) + bass (n.2).ETD double-bass (n.).2

    double-cross (n.)

    "act of treachery," 1834, from double (adj.) + cross (n.) in the sense of "pre-arranged swindle or fix." Originally to win a race after promising to lose it (to cheat in cheating, hence the double). As a verb from 1903, "to cheat," American English. Related: Double-crossed; double-crosser; double-crossing.ETD double-cross (n.).2

    double date (n.)

    "date involving two couples," by 1922, American English, from double (adj.) + date (n.3). As a verb by 1938. Related: Double-dating.ETD double date (n.).2

    double-decker (n.)

    1835, of ships, "with two decks above the water line;" 1867, of street vehicles, "with two floors;" see double (adj.) + deck (n.).ETD double-decker (n.).2

    double-digit (adj.)

    "represented numerically by two digits," 1922, from double (adj.) + digit (n.).ETD double-digit (adj.).2

    Double Dutch

    "gibberish, incomprehensible language," by 1847 (High Dutch for "incomprehensible language" is recorded by 1789); from double (adj.) + Dutch.ETD Double Dutch.2

    double-edged (adj.)

    "cutting or working both ways," especially figurative, of arguments, etc., "making both for and against the one using it," 1550s; see double (adj.) + edge (n.).ETD double-edged (adj.).2

    double entendre (n.)

    also double-entendre, "word or phrase with two meanings or admitting of two interpretations," usually one of them obscure or indecent, 1670s, from French (where it was rare and is now obsolete), literally "a twofold meaning," from entendre (now entente) "to hear, to understand, to mean," from Latin intendere "turn one's attention" (see intend).ETD double entendre (n.).2

    The proper Modern French phrase would be double entente, but the phrase has become established in English in its old form. Native phrase double meaning in the same sense is recorded from 1550s.ETD double entendre (n.).3

    double-header (n.)

    1869, American English, in early use a kind of fireworks, also a railway train pulled by two engines (or pulled by one, pushed by the other), 1878; see double (adj.) + head (n.). Baseball sense of "two games between the same teams played in the same place on the same day" is by c. 1890.ETD double-header (n.).2

    doublespeak (n.)

    1957, from double (adj.) + speak, coined on model of doublethink in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (the language in that book was Newspeak).ETD doublespeak (n.).2

    double standard (n.)

    in reference to morality and ethics, "rule, principle, or judgment viewed as applying more strictly to one set of people or circumstance than another," 1871; see double (adj.) + standard (n.2).ETD double standard (n.).2

    The phrase was not common before mid-20c., when it came to be used especially in disparaging reference to codes of sexual behavior for women more strict than those for men. Earlier it referred to monetary policy and bimetallism (currency based on both gold and silver, 1823).ETD double standard (n.).3

    doublet (n.)

    mid-14c., "type of tight-fitting men's outer garment covering the body from the neck to the hips or thighs," from Old French doublet (12c.), from diminutive of duble "double, two-fold," from Latin duplus "twofold, twice as much" (see double (adj.)).ETD doublet (n.).2

    From 16c. to 18c. doublet and hose meant "typical male attire." From 1550s as "one of two things that are alike," originally of words in the same language differing in form but from the same ancestral word.ETD doublet (n.).3

    double-take (n.)

    "exaggerated reaction to surprise," 1922, from double (adj.) + take (n.). Originally in stage comedy acting.ETD double-take (n.).2

    double talk (n.)

    "deliberately unintelligible speech," by 1938, from double (adj.) + talk (n.). Old English had a similar formation in twispræc "double speech, deceit, detraction." An analysis of Chinook jargon from 1913 lists mox wawa "a lie," literally "double talk."ETD double talk (n.).2

    double-team (v.)

    "attack two-on-one," 1860, American English; see double (adj.) + team (v.). Related: Double-teamed; double-teaming. Earlier as a noun it meant "a double team of horses" (used in plowing, pulling, etc.), by 1830, and this might be the origin of the verb.ETD double-team (v.).2

    doublethink (n.)

    "power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them" (Orwell), 1948, coined by George Orwell in "Nineteen Eighty-Four," from double (adj.) + think.ETD doublethink (n.).2

    doubly (adv.)

    "in a double or twofold manner, in two different ways, as a pair," c. 1400, from double (adj.) + -ly (2).ETD doubly (adv.).2

    doubloon (n.)

    gold coin of Spain and Spanish America, 1620s, from French doublon (16c.) and directly from Spanish doblon a gold coin, augmentative of doble "double" (coin so called because originally it was worth twice as much as the Spanish gold pistole), from Latin duplus "twofold, twice as much" (see double (adj.)). Also see -oon.ETD doubloon (n.).2

    doubt (v.)

    c. 1200, douten, duten, "to dread, fear, be afraid" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French doter "doubt, be doubtful; be afraid," from Latin dubitare "to doubt, question, hesitate, waver in opinion" (related to dubius "uncertain"), from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two"), with a sense of "of two minds, undecided between two things." Compare dubious. Etymologically, "to have to choose between two things."ETD doubt (v.).2

    The sense of "fear" developed in Old French and was passed on to English. Meaning "to be uncertain, hesitate or waver in opinion" is attested in English from c. 1300. The transitive senses of "be uncertain as to the truth or fact of" and "distrust, be uncertain with regard to" are from c. 1300.ETD doubt (v.).3

    The -b- was restored 14c.-16c. in French and English by scribes in imitation of Latin. French dropped it again in 17c., but English has retained it.ETD doubt (v.).4

    It replaced Old English tweogan (noun twynung), from tweon "two," on notion of "of two minds" or the choice between two implied in Latin dubitare. Compare German Zweifel "doubt," from zwei "two."ETD doubt (v.).5

    doubtful (adj.)

    late 14c., "causing doubt, not distinct in character, meaning, or appearance," from doubt (n.) + -ful. From c. 1400 as "of uncertain issue, precarious." From early 15c. as "full of doubt, having doubt, hesitant, wavering." By mid-15c. as "admitting or subject to doubt." Related: Doubtfully; doubtfulness.ETD doubtful (adj.).2

    Other words that have been used in English in some or all of these senses were doubtous "undetermined" (mid-14c.); doutive "filled with doubt" (late 14c.); douty "ambiguous, enigmatic, obscure" (late 14c.); doubtable (c. 1400); doubtsome (1510s).ETD doubtful (adj.).3

    doubt (n.)

    c. 1200, doute, "uncertainty with regard to the truth of something," from Old French dote (11c.) "fear, dread; doubt," from doter (see doubt (v.)). The -b- was inserted later, as in the verb. Meaning "a matter of uncertainty" is from late 14c. Phrase no doubt "without question, certainly" is from c. 1400.ETD doubt (n.).2

    doubtless (adv.)

    "without doubt, without objection or uncertainty," late 14c., from doubt (n.) + -less. From late 14c. as an adjective, "beyond dispute, certain;" from mid-15c. as "free from doubt." Later in a weakened sense, indicating merely something that to the speaker seems likely to be true. Related: Doubtlessly.ETD doubtless (adv.).2

    douche (n.)

    1766, "jet of water or current applied to some part of the body," from French douche (16c.), from Italian doccia "shower," from docciare "to spray," from Latin ductionem "a leading" (from ducere "to lead," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead"). The sense in reference to vaginal cleansing is by 1833. The verb is attested by 1838. Related: Douched; douching.ETD douche (n.).2

    douchebag (n.)

    also douche-bag, douche bag, 1893, from douche + bag (n.). American English slang sense of "contemptible person" attested by 1967.ETD douchebag (n.).2

    dough (n.)

    "mass of flour or meal moistened and mixed for baking," Middle English dogh, from Old English dag "dough," from Proto-Germanic *daigaz "something kneaded" (source also of Old Norse deig, Swedish deg, Middle Dutch deech, Dutch deeg, Old High German teic, German Teig, Gothic daigs "dough"), from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build." Meaning "money" is from 1851 (compare bread (n.)).ETD dough (n.).2

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