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    shim (n.) — shooter (n.)

    shim (n.)

    in mechanics, "a thin strip used to fill up space caused by wear, or to prevent it," 1723, apparently a Kentish word, of unknown origin. The same word appears older in a sense of "piece of iron fitted to a plow for scraping soil." The carpentry sense "thin slip of wood to fill up a space or raise a level" is by 1860. In criminal slang, in reference to a type of thin, flat tool or device used to pop a simple door lock, by 1968.ETD shim (n.).2

    shimmer (n.)

    "a faint and tremulous light," 1821, from shimmer (v.). The older noun was shimmering "a gleam, a shining" (late 14c.).ETD shimmer (n.).2

    shimmer (v.)

    Middle English shimeren "to shine with a veiled, tremulous light, glisten," from late Old English scimerian "to glitter, shimmer, glisten, shine," related to (perhaps a frequentative of) scimian "to shine" (Middle English shimen), from Proto-Germanic *skim- (source also of Swedish skimra, Dutch schemeren "to glitter," German schimmern), from PIE root *skai- "to gleam, to shine" (see shine (v.). With Germanic verbal suffix indicating repeated or diminutive action (see -er (4)). Related: Shimmered; shimmering.ETD shimmer (v.).2

    shimmy (v.)

    "do a suggestive dance," 1918, perhaps via phrase shake the shimmy, which is possibly from shimmy (n.), a U.S. dialectal form of chemise (mistaken as a plural; compare shammy) which is attested by 1837. Or perhaps the verb is related to shimmer (v.) via a notion of glistening light. The transferred sense of "vibration of a motor vehicle" is by 1925. Related: Shimmied; shimmying. As a noun, the name of a popular, fast, suggestive pre-flapper dance, by 1919.ETD shimmy (v.).2

    shin (n.)

    Middle English shin, from Old English scinu "fore part of the leg below the knee; shinbone," from Proto-Germanic *skino "thin piece" (source also of Dutch scheen, Middle Low German schene, Old High German scina "shin," German Schienbein "shin, shinbones"), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split." Shinbone, shin-bone is Old English scinban. Shin splints is attested by that name from 1930.ETD shin (n.).2

    shin (v.)

    "to climb by using arms and legs, use the shins in climbing" (originally a nautical word), 1829, from shin (n.). Related: Shinned; shinning.ETD shin (v.).2

    Shin Bet (n.)

    Israeli security service, 1964, from Modern Hebrew shin + bet, names of the initial letters of sherut bitahon (kelali) "(general) security service."ETD Shin Bet (n.).2

    shindig (n.)

    "a dance, a ball; rowdy party, lively gathering," 1851, U.S. colloquial, probably from earlier slang shindy "a spree, row, disturbance, merrymaking" (1821). That also was the name of an early game resembling hockey (1846); in this sense the word is perhaps from shinty (1771), the name of a Scottish game akin to hockey, for which see shinny (n.). Sometimes in early sources said to be Irish (a German newspaper in Baltimore in 1861 writes of ein Tanz oder "Shindig", wie die Irländer es nennen), but evidence is wanting.ETD shindig (n.).2

    It also has been suggested that the word represents shin (n.) + dig (n.) in some meaning, or has been influenced by folk-etymology. Originally especially a low-class dancing affair, and often used in the South of gatherings of Blacks.ETD shindig (n.).3

    shining (n.)

    late 14c., "radiance or source of light;" verbal noun from shine (v.). By c. 1400 as "action of emitting light."ETD shining (n.).2

    shine (n.)

    1520s, "brightness, radiance," from shine (v.). Indicating "sunshine," and paired with rain (n.), from 1620s. Meaning "polish given to a pair of boots" is from 1871.ETD shine (n.).2

    For the American English slang meaning "a prank, a trick," see monkey-shines. Often also "a fancy, a liking," as in phrases such as take a shine to, "fancy," attested by 1830 in representations of Yankee dialect; shine up to "attempt to please as a suitor by making a brilliant impression" (1882).ETD shine (n.).3

    The derogatory meaning "black person" is attested by 1908, perhaps from glossiness of skin or, on another guess, from frequent employment as shoeshines.ETD shine (n.).4

    shine (v.)

    Middle English shinen, from Old English scinan "shed, send forth, or give out light; be radiant, be resplendent, illuminate," of persons, "be conspicuous" (class I strong verb; past tense scan, past participle scinen). This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *skeinanan (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German skinan, Old Norse and Old Frisian skina, Dutch schijnen, German scheinen, Gothic skeinan "to shine, appear"), which perhaps is from a PIE root *skai- "to shine, to gleam" (source also of Old Church Slavonic sinati "to flash up, shine").ETD shine (v.).2

    Of smoothed or polished surfaces, "gleam, give off reflected light," late Old English. Of a person, a face, "be fair-skinned, be beautiful," c. 1200. Also used in Middle English of night when cloudless and starlit. The transitive sense of "cause to shine" is from 1580s; the meaning "to black (boots)" is from 1610s. Related: Shined (in the shoe polish sense), otherwise shone; shining.ETD shine (v.).3

    shiner (n.)

    late 14c., "something that shines," agent noun from shine (v.). Also used of various fishes (1836). The sense of "black eye" is attested by 1903, American English, in East Side immigrant dialect.ETD shiner (n.).2

    shingles (n.)

    "inflammatory disease of the skin," late 14c., from Medieval Latin cingulus, a variant of Latin cingulum "girdle," from cingere "to gird" (see cinch (n.)). The medical use of the word in Medieval Latin is a loan-translation of Greek zōstēr, literally "girdle." The inflammation was so called because it often extends around the middle of the body, like a girdle. Perhaps it was reinforced in English by the plural of French cengle "shingles," literally "belt, fence," from the same Latin word.ETD shingles (n.).2

    shingle (v.)

    in reference to a house or roof, "to cover with shingles;" 1560s, from shingle (n.). Related: Shingled; shingling. The agent noun shingler, "one who shingles roofs," is attested earlier (mid-15c.; late 13c. as a surname).ETD shingle (v.).2

    shingle (n.2)

    "loose, worn stones on a seashore," 1510s, probably related to Norwegian singl "small stones," or North Frisian singel "gravel," both said to be echoic of the sound of water running over pebbles. Century Dictionary (1891) reports it used "much more commonly in the British Islands than in the U.S." Related: Shingled.ETD shingle (n.2).2

    shingle (n.1)

    "thin piece of wood, wooden tile for roofing," also one used as a writing tablet, late Old English scincle, scingul, variants of scindel, from Late Latin scindula (also the source of German Schindel), from Latin scandula "roof tile," from scindere "to cut, rend, tear asunder, split; split up, part, divide, separate" (from PIE *skind-, from root *skei- "to cut, split"). The form of Late Latin noun likely was altered by influence of Greek skhidax "split wood, piece of wood, lath."ETD shingle (n.1).2

    The meaning "small signboard" especially one announcing a profession, is attested by 1842. The sense of "woman's short haircut" is by 1924; the verb meaning "to cut the hair so as to give the impression of overlapping shingles" is by 1857.ETD shingle (n.1).3

    shiny (adj.)

    1580s, "bright, luminous; having a glittering or glossy appearance," from shine (n.) + -y (2). As a noun meaning "a shiny object" (originally especially in slang the shiny "money") by 1856. Related: Shininess.ETD shiny (adj.).2

    shinny (v.)

    "to climb a rope, pole, tree-trunk, etc. by gripping with the arms and legs," by 1888, American English, from use of shins and ankles to do so; see shin (n.). The earlier verb was simply shin (1829). Related: Shinnied; shinnying.ETD shinny (v.).2

    shinny (n.)

    also shinney, name of a hockey-like game, bandy-ball, 1670s, Scottish English, a word of obscure origin. Perhaps it is from Gaelic sinteag "a bound, a leap." OED suggests origin from shin ye "the cry used in the game." The form shinty is attested by 1771.ETD shinny (n.).2

    Shinola (n.)

    brand of shoe polish, by 1904, from shine in the "shoeshine" sense + commercial suffix -ola. The company that made it dates to 1877 and seems to have ceased production c. 1960, but by then the word was proverbial for what you don't know something isn't.ETD Shinola (n.).2

    shinplaster (n.)

    also shin-plaster, piece of paper soaked in vinegar, etc. and used by the poor as a home remedy to treat sores on the legs, the thing itself attested by 1771; from shin (n.) + plaster (n.). In U.S. history, it became a jocular phrase or slang term of abuse for devalued low-denomination paper currency (by 1817).ETD shinplaster (n.).2

    Shinto (n.)

    indigenous religious system of Japan, 1727, Sinto, from Japanese Shinto, from Chinese shin tao "way of the gods," from shin "god, gods, spirit" + tao "way, path, doctrine." Related: Shintoism.ETD Shinto (n.).2

    ship (n.)

    Middle English ship, "seagoing vessel," especially a large one, from Old English scip "ship, boat, vessel of considerable size adapted to navigation," from Proto-Germanic *skipa- (source also of Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Gothic skip, Danish skib, Swedish skepp, Middle Dutch scip, Dutch schip, Old High German skif, German Schiff). Watkins calls this a "Germanic noun of obscure origin." OED says "the ultimate etymology is uncertain." Traditionally since Pokorny it is derived from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split," perhaps on the notion of a tree cut out or hollowed out, but the semantic connection is unclear. Boutkan gives it "No certain IE etymology."ETD ship (n.).2

    Now a vessel of considerable size; the Old English word was used for small craft as well, and definitions changed over time; in 19c., a ship was distinguished from a boat in having a bowsprit and three masts, each with a lower, top, and topgallant mast.ETD ship (n.).3

    French esquif, Italian schifo are Germanic loan-words. By 1590s as the name of a southern constellation (Argo Navis). When personified, ships usually were feminine at least from late 14c., but in 17c.-18c. masculine pronouns became more common, perhaps by influence of the use of man in names such as man-of-war, Dutchman, merchantman. In such combinations, man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c.ETD ship (n.).4

    Phrase ships that pass in the night is from Longfellow's poem "Elizabeth" in "Tales of a Wayside Inn" (1863). Expression when (one's) ship comes in "when one's affairs become prosperous" is attested by 1851. The figurative use of nautical tight ship (the notion may be one in which ropes, etc., are tightly stowed) is attested by 1965; compare shipshape.ETD ship (n.).5

    The model ship inside a bottle with a neck much narrower than the ship is attested by 1920. Ship of fools is in the title of the 1509 translation of Brant's Narrenschiff (1494).ETD ship (n.).6

    ship (v.)

    c. 1300, "to send or transport (merchandise, people) by ship; to board a ship; to travel by ship, sail, set sail," also figurative, from ship (n.). Old English scipian is attested only in the senses "take ship, embark; be furnished with a ship." Transferred to other means of conveyance (railroad, etc.) by 1857 in American English. U.S. military phrase ship out "be transported, depart" is by 1948. Related: Shipped; shipping.ETD ship (v.).2


    word-forming element meaning "quality, condition; act, power, skill; office, position; relation between," Middle English -schipe, from Old English -sciepe, Anglian -scip "state, condition of being," from Proto-Germanic *-skepi- (cognates: Old Norse -skapr, Danish -skab, Old Frisian -skip, Dutch -schap, German -schaft), from *skap- "to create, ordain, appoint," from PIE root *(s)kep-, forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (see shape (v.)). It often forms abstracts to go with corresponding concretes (friend/friendship, etc.).ETD -ship.2

    shipping (n.)

    c. 1300, "a ship, means of passing over water;" see ship (n.). The meaning "act of sending (freight) by a ship, etc." is from late 15c. As "ships generally or collectively" it is attested from 1590s.ETD shipping (n.).2

    shipboard (n.)

    also ship-board, "side of a ship," c. 1200, ship-bord, from ship (n.) + board (n.2).ETD shipboard (n.).2

    ship-building (n.)

    "naval architecture," 1717; see ship (n.) + build (v.). Ship-builder is attested by 1700. Ship-craft is attested in this sense from late 14c., but it also meant "art of navigation." Also compare shipwright.ETD ship-building (n.).2

    ship-load (n.)

    "a number or amount (of persons or things) carried or capable of being carried in a ship," 1630s, from ship (n.) + load (n.).ETD ship-load (n.).2

    shipmate (n.)

    "one who serves in the same vessel with another," 1748, from ship (n.) + mate (n.1).ETD shipmate (n.).2

    shipment (n.)

    1802, "act of shipping, putting of goods on board for transport;" 1861, "that which is shipped, a quantity of goods delivered at one time by conveyance;" see ship (v.) + -ment.ETD shipment (n.).2

    shipshape (adj.)

    also ship-shape, "properly arranged, in thorough order," 1762, earlier ship-shapen (1640s), originally "according to the fashion of a (sailing) ship," where neatness is a priority and the rigging must be serviceable and stowed properly; see ship (n.) + shape (n.).ETD shipshape (adj.).2

    shipwreck (v.)

    1580s, "cause (someone) to be subject to shipwreck;" c. 1600, intransitive, "to suffer shipwreck;" from shipwreck (n.). Related: Shipwrecked.ETD shipwreck (v.).2

    shipwreck (n.)

    mid-15c., "destruction or loss of a vessel by foundering at sea," from ship (n.) + wreck (n.). Earlier it meant "things cast up from a shipwreck" (c. 1100). The earlier word for "shipwreck" in the modern sense was Middle English schipbreke, ship-brekinge "ship-break, ship-breaking" (late 14c.), from a North Sea Germanic word (compare West Frisian skipbrek, Middle Dutch schipbroke, German Schiffbruch).ETD shipwreck (n.).2

    Old English scipgebroc seems not to have survived into Middle English. Old English scipbryce meant "right to claim goods from a wrecked ship." In modern use, ship-breaking (1897) is the breaking up of old vessels. In maritime law, ship-broken lingered into 18c. for "shipwrecked."ETD shipwreck (n.).3

    shipwright (n.)

    "builder of ships, ship-carpenter, man whose trade or employment is the construction of ships;" Old English scipwyrhta; see ship (n.) + wright (n.).ETD shipwright (n.).2

    shipyard (n.)

    "plot of ground near the water on which ships are constructed," c. 1700, from ship (n.) + yard (n.1).ETD shipyard (n.).2

    Shiraz (n.)

    wine made in the district of Shiraz, the city in Persia, 1630s. As the name for a red wine made from a type of grape grown in the Rhône valley of France, it is recorded from 1908, from French syrah, the name apparently being altered in English on the mistaken notion that the grape was brought to Europe from the Middle East by Crusaders. The Iranian place name is said to be from Elamite sher "good" + raz "grape."ETD Shiraz (n.).2

    shire (n.)

    Middle English shire, from Old English scir, scyr "administrative office, jurisdiction, stewardship, authority," also in particular use "district, province, country," from West Germanic *skiru-, from Proto-Germanic *skizo (source also of Old High German scira "care, official charge"). Ousted since 14c. by Anglo-French county.ETD shire (n.).2

    The gentrified sense is from The Shires (1796), used by people in other parts of England of those counties that end in -shire, which are north and west of London; the sense was transferred to "hunting country of the Midlands" by c. 1860.ETD shire (n.).3

    shirk (v.)

    1630s, "to practice fraud or trickery, live by one's wits," also a noun (1630s) "a needy, disreputable parasite" [OED], of uncertain origin. Perhaps from German schurke "scoundrel, rogue, knave, villain" (see shark (n.)).ETD shirk (v.).2

    Both older senses are obsolete. The meaning "go evasively or slyly, slink, sneak away" is from 1580s; hence that of "evade one's work or duty," recorded by 1785, originally slang or colloquial. It also was used by 1787 in the sense of "evade (someone), avoid meeting, dodge." Related: Shirked; shirking.ETD shirk (v.).3

    shirker (n.)

    "one who shirks duty or danger," 1799, agent noun from shirk (v.).ETD shirker (n.).2

    shirr (v.)

    "to gather (cloth) by means of parallel threads," 1860 (implied in shirring), a back-formation from shirred (1847), related to shirr (n.) "elastic webbing" (1858); the whole group is of unknown origin.ETD shirr (v.).2

    shirt (n.)

    Middle English shirt, shirte, "garment for the upper body worn next to the skin," from Old English scyrte, from Proto-Germanic *skurtjon "a short garment" (source also of Old Norse skyrta, Swedish skjorta "skirt, kirtle;" Middle Dutch scorte, Dutch schort "apron;" Middle Low German schörte, Middle High German schurz, German Schurz "apron"), which is perhaps related to Old English scort, sceort "short," etc., from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut," on the notion of "a cut piece."ETD shirt (n.).2

    OED notes that "the meaning of the word in OE. is obscure, as the only instance of its occurrence is a gloss in which the meaning of the Latin word was probably not understood." Lithuanian šarkas "shirt," Old Church Slavonic sraka "tunic," Russian soročka, Finnish sarkki "shirt" perhaps are from Germanic.ETD shirt (n.).3

    Formerly of the chief under-garment worn by both men and women, but in modern use it has long been only that for men; in reference to women's tops, the word was reintroduced 1896.ETD shirt (n.).4

    Bloody shirt, a blood-stained shirt exposed as a symbol of some outrage, to arouse indignation or resentment, is attested from 1580s, usually figurative. Shirt since late 14c. often has been figurative of one's goods or possessions, hence give (someone) the shirt off one's back (1771); lose one's shirt "suffer total financial loss" (1935). To keep one's shirt on "be patient" (1904) is from the notion of (not) stripping down for a fight.ETD shirt (n.).5

    shirty (adj.)

    "ill-tempered," 1846, slang, probably from shirt (n.) + -y (2), on notion of being disheveled in anger.ETD shirty (adj.).2

    shirtless (adj.)

    "without a shirt," c. 1600, from shirt (n.) + -less. Formerly sometimes suggestive of "poor, destitute."ETD shirtless (adj.).2

    shirt-sleeves (n.)

    "the sleeves of one's shirt," 1560s, from shirt (n.) + sleeve (n.). Often indicating "without one's waistcoat."ETD shirt-sleeves (n.).2

    shirt-waist (n.)

    also shirtwaist, "shirt extending no lower than the waist," 1871, originally a garment for women's and children's wear, from shirt (n.) + waist (n.).ETD shirt-waist (n.).2

    The deadly U.S. Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in Manhattan in 1911 burned through the manufactory of the Triangle Waist Company, commonly called Triangle Shirtwaist Co.ETD shirt-waist (n.).3

    shish kebab (n.)

    pieces of lamb or other meat grilled on skewers, 1914, from Armenian shish kabab, from Turkish siskebap, from sis "skewer" + kebap "roast meat."ETD shish kebab (n.).2

    shit (n.)

    Middle English shit "diarrhea," from Old English scitte "purging, diarrhea," from source of shit (v.). The general sense of "excrement" dates from 1580s (Old English had scytel, Middle English shitel for "dung, excrement;" the usual 14c. noun for natural discharges of the bodies of men or beasts seems to have been turd or filth). As an exclamation attested in print by 1920 but certainly older. Use for "obnoxious person" is by 1508; meaning "misfortune, trouble" is attested from 1937.ETD shit (n.).2

    Shit-faced "drunk" is 1960s student slang; shit list is from 1942. Shit-hole is by 1937 as "rectum," by 1969 in reference to undesirable locations. Shitload (also shit-load) for "a great many" is by 1970. Shitticism is Robert Frost's word for scatological writing.ETD shit (n.).3

    Up shit creek "in trouble" is by 1868 in a South Carolina context (compare the metaphoric salt river, of which it perhaps a coarse variant). Slang not give a shit "not care" is by 1922. Pessimistic expression same shit different day is attested by 1989. To get (one's) shit together "manage ones affairs" is by 1969. Emphatic shit out of luck is by 1942.ETD shit (n.).4

    The expression when the shit hits the fan "alluding to a moment of crisis or its disastrous consequences" [OED] is attested by 1967.ETD shit (n.).5

    shit (v.)

    Old English scitan, from Proto-Germanic *skit- (source also of North Frisian skitj, Dutch schijten, German scheissen), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split." The notion is of "separation" from the body (compare Latin excrementum, from excernere "to separate," Old English scearn "dung, muck," from scieran "to cut, shear;" see sharn). It is thus a cousin to science and conscience.ETD shit (v.).2

    "Shit" is not an acronym. Nor is it a recent word. But it was taboo from c. 1600 and rarely appeared in print (neither Shakespeare nor the KJV has it), and even in the "vulgar" publications of the late 18c. it is disguised by dashes. It drew the wrath of censors as late as 1922 ("Ulysses" and "The Enormous Room"), scandalized magazine subscribers in 1957 (a Hemingway story in Atlantic Monthly) and was omitted from some dictionaries as recently as 1970 ("Webster's New World"). [Rawson]ETD shit (v.).3

    It has extensive slang usage; the meaning "to lie, to tease" is from 1934; that of "to disrespect" is from 1903. Also see shite. Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c.ETD shit (v.).4

    To shit bricks "be very frightened" attested by 1961. The connection between fear and involuntary defecation has generated expressions in English since 14c. (the image also is in Latin), and probably also is behind scared shitless (1936).ETD shit (v.).5

    shite (n.)

    a colloquial modern alternative spelling of shit (n.), attested by c. 1740. Now a jocular or slightly euphemistic and chiefly British variant of the noun, it formerly was a dialectal variant, and it reflects the vowel in the Old English verb (compare German scheissen). The modern verb in English has been influenced by the noun.ETD shite (n.).2

    shit-head (n.)

    also shithead, "objectionable or contemptible person," by 1961, from shit (n.) + head (n.). Piece of shit for "contemptible person" is by 1916; shit-sack or shitsack in this sense is noted by 1769, in reference to the time of Charles II, as an "opprobrious appellation by which the Nonconformists were vulgarly distinguished." Simple shit (n.) for "obnoxious person" is by 1510s.ETD shit-head (n.).2

    shitten (adj.)

    "defiled with excrement," late 14c., past-participle adjective from shit (v.). From 1540s in transferred sense of "very unpleasant."ETD shitten (adj.).2

    shitty (adj.)

    1924, "defiled with excrement," from shit (n.) + -y (2). The older adjective was shitten.ETD shitty (adj.).2

    shiv (n.)

    "a razor," by 1915, possibly 1890s or earlier in underworld slang, a variant (based on pronunciation) of chive, thieves' cant word for "knife" (1670s), which is of unknown origin. Often said to be a Romany (Gypsy) word, from chivomengro "knife."ETD shiv (n.).2

    shiva (n.)

    see shivah (Jewish ritual of mourning) or Siva (Hindu god of destruction and reproduction), depending which is meant.ETD shiva (n.).2

    shivah (n.)

    seven-day mourning period in Jewish religious custom, 1892, from Hebrew shibhah "seven," short for shibh'ath yeme ha'ebhel "the seven days of mourning" for the dead.ETD shivah (n.).2

    shivaree (n.)

    "mock-serenade," 1843, earlier sherrie-varrie (1805), a corruption or alteration of charivari (q.v.). Century Dictionary describes it as "vulgar, southern U.S.;" OED describes it as "U.S. and Cornwall."ETD shivaree (n.).2

    shive (n.)

    early 13c., "slice of bread; thin piece cut off," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *scifa, cognate with Old Saxon sciva, Middle Dutch schive, Dutch schijf, Old High German sciba, German Scheibe. OED lists the senses in the modern Germanic languages as "quoit, disc, knee-cap, pulley, window-pane, slice of bread, etc." By 1869 in English as "bung, thin, flat cork for a bottle."ETD shive (n.).2

    Compare skive (v.1) "to split or cut into strips, pare off, grind away," a later word borrowed from Scandinavian and probably from the same source. The Middle English noun shif, plural shives, "a particle of the husk in flax after beating" (late 14c.) is thought to be from Middle Low German scheve, schif "splinter" [Middle English Compendium] and is probably from the same Germanic source. Century Dictionary writes, "The evidence seems to indicate two diff. words merged under this one form ...."ETD shive (n.).3

    This is the source, too, of the printer's term for "dark speck or other imperfection in finished paper" (by 1879), via the meaning "smooth, shiny outside of the cornstalk," which they somewhat resemble. Also compare Middle English shide "piece of hewn timber, plank."ETD shive (n.).4

    shiver (n.2)

    "small piece, broken bit, splinter, fragment, chip," c. 1200, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word related to Middle Low German schever, schiver "splinter," Old High German scivero, from Proto-Germanic *skif- "split" (source also of Old High German skivaro "splinter," German Schiefer "splinter, slate"), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split."ETD shiver (n.2).2

    Surviving, if at all, in phrases such as break to shivers "break into bits" (mid-15c.). Also, shiver is said to be still dialectal for "a splinter" in Norfolk and Lincolnshire.ETD shiver (n.2).3

    shiver (v.2)

    "to break in or into many small pieces; to burst, fly, or fall apart at once into many pieces," mid-14c., shiveren, from shiver (n.2) or its source.ETD shiver (v.2).2

    Chiefly in the phrase shiver my timbers (1794), "a mock oath attributed in comic fiction to sailors" [OED]. Start my timbers in the same sense is by 1775; smite my timbers by 1782; split by 1786; burst by 1791). My timbers! as a nautical oath is attested by 1775, and timber (n.) "pieces of wood composing the frames of a ship's hull" seems to have been 18c. sailor's slang for "arms and legs" (perhaps with a grim awareness that some of theirs might be of wood after a sea-battle; compare timber-toe "wooden leg," in Grose). Related: Shivered; shivering.ETD shiver (v.2).3

    shiver (n.1)

    "a tremulous, quivering motion, a shaking fit of the body," 1727, from shiver (v.1). The shivers in reference to an attack of fever chills (or fear) is by 1854.ETD shiver (n.1).2

    shiver (v.1)

    "to tremble or quiver, shake suddenly," especially with cold, c. 1400, an alteration of chiveren "to shiver" (with cold, chills, horror), c. 1200, a word of uncertain origin, perhaps [Century Dictionary] from Old English ceafl "jaw," on the notion of chattering teeth. Middle English Compendium suggests it is a blend of chillen (see chill (v.)) and Middle English biveren, bivien "to shake, tremble" (from Old English bifian, beofian). The spelling change of ch- to sh- probably is from influence of shake. Related: Shivered; shivering.ETD shiver (v.1).2

    shivery (adj.)

    "characterized by shaking or a shivery motion," 1747; see shiver (n.1) + -y (2). As a present-participle adjective, shivering is attested from c. 1400.ETD shivery (adj.).2

    shmoo (n.)

    plural shmoon, name of a newspaper comic strip creature, a fabulous animal ready to fulfill man's wants, 1948; invented by U.S. cartoonist Al Capp (Alfred Caplin, 1909-1979); the name perhaps based on schmoe. They were a U.S. fad for a couple of years after their debut.ETD shmoo (n.).2

    shoal (n.1)

    "place of shallow water in a stream, lake, or sea," Middle English sholde, from Old English scealde (adj.) "shallow, of little depth," an oblique case of sceald "shallow," from Proto-Germanic *skala- (source also of Swedish skäll "thin;" Low German schol, Frisian skol "not deep"), a word of uncertain origin. The terminal -d in English was dropped 16c. Shoaler "sailor in the coastal trade" is by 1891.ETD shoal (n.1).2

    shoal (v.)

    "assemble in a multitude," as some fish do, c. 1600, from shoal (n.2). Of water, "to become shallow or shallower," 1570s, from shoal (n.1). Related: Shoaled; shoaling.ETD shoal (v.).2

    shoal (n.2)

    "large number, great multitude" (especially of fish), 1570s, a word of uncertain origin. It is apparently identical with Middle English scole "a troop, throng, crowd," from Old English scolu "band, troop, crowd of fish" (see school (n.2)), but it also might be a 16c. adoption of the cognate Middle Dutch schole.ETD shoal (n.2).2

    shoat (n.)

    also shote, "a young weaned pig," mid-15c. (shoatling), perhaps from a Low German word (compare West Flemish schote "pig under 1 year old"); the group, if there is one, is of unknown origin.ETD shoat (n.).2

    shock (n.3)

    "thick mass of hair," 1819, from earlier shock (adj.) "having thick hair" (1680s), and a 17c. noun meaning "lap-dog having long, shaggy hair" (1630s, also shock-dog), from shough (1590s), the name for this type of dog, which was said to have been brought originally from Iceland; the word is perhaps from the source of shock (n.2), or from an Old Norse variant of shag (n.). Shock-headed Peter was used in 19c. translations for German Struwwelpeter.ETD shock (n.3).2

    shock (n.1)

    1560s, "violent encounter of armed forces or a pair of warriors," a military term, from French choc "violent attack," from Old French choquer "strike against," probably from Frankish, from a Proto-Germanic imitative base (compare Middle Dutch schokken "to push, jolt," Old High German scoc "jolt, swing").ETD shock (n.1).2

    The general sense of "a sudden blow, a violent collision" is from 1610s. The meaning "a sudden and disturbing impression on the mind" is by 1705; the sense of "feeling of being (mentally) shocked" is from 1876.ETD shock (n.1).3

    The electrical sense of "momentary stimulation of the sensory nerves and muscles caused by a sudden surge in electrical current" is by 1746. The medical sense of "condition of profound prostration caused by trauma, emotional disturbance, etc." is by 1804 (it also once meant "seizure, stroke, paralytic shock" 1794).ETD shock (n.1).4

    Shock-absorber is attested from 1906 (short form shocks attested by 1961); shock wave is from 1907. Shock troops (1917), especially selected for assault work, translates German stoßtruppen and preserves the word's original military sense. Shock therapy is from 1917; shock treatment from 1938.ETD shock (n.1).5

    shock (v.1)

    "to come into violent contact; strike against suddenly and violently," 1560s, literal senses now archaic or obsolete, from shock (n.1). The meaning "offend, displease, strike with indignation, horror, or disgust" is by 1650s. The meaning "to give (something) an electric shock" is from 1746.ETD shock (v.1).2

    shocked (adj.)

    1640s, "violently shaken;" 1840, "scandalized," past-participle adjective from shock (v.1).ETD shocked (adj.).2

    shock (n.2)

    "sheaves of grain placed on-end and leaning against one another in a field, arranged so as to shed rain and allow the grain to dry," early 14c., shok, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word or from Middle Low German schok "shock of corn," originally "group of sixty," from Proto-Germanic *skukka- (source also of Old Saxon skok, Dutch schok "sixty pieces; shock of corn;" German schock "sixty," Hocke "heap of sheaves"). The original sense of this is uncertain; perhaps it is connected to the source of shock (n.1) on the notion of being "thrown" together [Century Dictionary]. The English word in 16c.-17c. sometimes was a unit of tale meaning "60-piece lot," from trade with the Dutch.ETD shock (n.2).2

    shock (v.2)

    "arrange (sheaves of grain) in a shock," mid-14c., shokken, from shock (n.2). Related: Shocked; shocking.ETD shock (v.2).2

    shocking (adj.)

    1690s, "offensive, giving offense," present-participle adjective from shock (v.1). It is attested by 1704 in a stronger sense of "causing a jolt of indignation, horror, etc." By 1798 as "deplorably bad, so bad as to be shocking." Related: Shockingly. In fashion, shocking pink was the name of a color introduced February 1937 by Italian-born designer Elsa Schiaparelli.ETD shocking (adj.).2

    shocker (n.)

    "something which shocks or excites," especially "a vulgarly exciting tale or description," 1824, agent noun from shock (v.1).ETD shocker (n.).2

    shod (adj.)

    "wearing shoes," late 14c. (in dry-shod and wet-shod), from Middle English past participle of shoe (v.), surviving chiefly in compounds, such as roughshod, slipshod, etc.ETD shod (adj.).2

    shoddy (adj.)

    1862, "having a delusive appearance of high quality," a Northern word from the American Civil War in reference to the quality of government supplies for the armies, from earlier noun meaning "rag-wool, kind of cloth made of woolen waste and old rags" (1832), "presumably orig. a factory word" [Century Dictionary], which is perhaps a Yorkshire provincial word, itself of uncertain origin; according to Watkins, it could be from the same Old English source as shed (v.).ETD shoddy (adj.).2

    Originally the material was used for padding. English manufacturers in 19c. began making coarse wearing clothes from it. When new it looked like broad-cloth but the gloss quickly wore off, giving the stuff a reputation as a commercial cheat.ETD shoddy (adj.).3

    The 1860 U.S. census of manufactures notes import of more than 6 million pounds of it, which was "much used in the manufacture of army and navy cloths and blankets in the United States" according to an 1865 government report. The citizen-soldier's experience with it in the war, and the fortunes made on it by contractors, thrust the word into sudden prominence.ETD shoddy (adj.).4

    Related: Shoddily; shoddiness.ETD shoddy (adj.).5

    shoe (v.)

    "put shoes on; provide (someone or something) with a shoe or shoes," Middle English shon, from Old English scogan "to shoe," from the root of shoe (n.). In reference to horses from c. 1200. Related: Shoed; shoeing; shod.ETD shoe (v.).2

    shoe (n.)

    Middle English sho, "low-cut covering for the human foot," from Old English scoh, from Proto-Germanic *skokhaz (source also of Old Norse skor, Danish and Swedish sko, Old Frisian skoch, Old Saxon skoh, Middle Dutch scoe, Dutch schoen, Old High German scuoh, German Schuh, Gothic skoh). No known cognates outside Germanic, unless it somehow is connected with PIE root *skeu- "cover" (source also of second element in Latin ob-scurus).ETD shoe (n.).2

    The old plural form shoon lasted until 16c. The meaning "metal plate or rim nailed to the hoof of a horse or beast of burden to protect it from injury" is attested from c.1300. The distinction between shoe and boot (n.) is attested from c. 1400.ETD shoe (n.).3

    To stand in someone's shoes "see things from his or her point of view" is attested from 1767. Old shoe as a type of something worthless is attested from late 14c.ETD shoe (n.).4

    Shoes tied to the fender of a newlywed couple's car preserves the old custom (mentioned from 1540s) of throwing an old shoe at or after someone to wish them luck. Perhaps the association is with dirtiness, on the "muck is luck" principle.ETD shoe (n.).5

    shoebox (n.)

    also shoe-box, "box in which a pair of shoes is packed," 1860, from shoe (n.) + box (n.). In reference to a type of large, blocky building, by 1968.ETD shoebox (n.).2

    shoehorn (n.)

    also shoe-horn, "curved implement used at the heel in slipping on a shoe," 1580s, from shoe (n.) + horn (n.); earlier shoeing-horn (mid-15c.). They were originally made of horn.ETD shoehorn (n.).2

    shoehorn (v.)

    1859, "put or thrust (something somewhere) by means of a 'tool,' " a figurative use, from shoehorn (n.). By 1927 as "maneuver or compress (someone or something) into inadequate space." Earlier it meant "to cuckold" (mid-17c.), with a play on horn (n.). Related: Shoehorned; shoehorning.ETD shoehorn (v.).2

    shoelace (n.)

    also shoe-lace, "shoe string; length of lace used to draw together and fasten the sides of a shoe via eyelets," 1640s, from shoe (n.) + lace (n.).An older word for the thong or lace of a shoe or boot was Middle English sho-thong, Old English scoh-þwang.ETD shoelace (n.).2

    shoe-leather (n.)

    "leather for the making of shoes," 1660s, from shoe (n.) + leather (n.).ETD shoe-leather (n.).2

    shoeless (adj.)

    "destitute of shoes," whether from poverty or custom, 1620s, from shoe (n.) + -less. Related: Shoelessly; shoelessness.ETD shoeless (adj.).2

    shoemaker (n.)

    "maker of shoes and boots," late 14c. (mid-14c. as a surname), from shoe (n.) + maker. Old English used scohere, scoh-wyrhta for "shoemaker."ETD shoemaker (n.).2

    In proverbs by 1580s (see cobbler (n.1)).ETD shoemaker (n.).3

    shoe-shine (adj.)

    1895, noun and adjective, in reference to a polish given to the shoes, especially by one who does so for pay; from shoe (n.) + shine (n.). Shoe-shine boy is attested by 1906. Earlier names for one who cleans and polishes shoes or boots for money include shoeblacker (1755), also shoeblack (1778), and shoeboy (1724).ETD shoe-shine (adj.).2

    shoestring (n.)

    also shoe-string, "string used to draw the sides of a shoe together and hold it firmly on the foot," 1610s, from shoe (n.) + string (n.). As figurative for "a small amount" it is recorded from 1882; hence, as an adjective, "operating at little cost" (1890). As a type of necktie from 1903; as a style of cooked potatoes from 1906.ETD shoestring (n.).2

    shofar (n.)

    also shophar, ram's horn blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, 1833, from Hebrew shophar "ram's horn," related to Arabic sawafiru "ram's horns," Akkadian shapparu "wild goat."ETD shofar (n.).2

    shogun (n.)

    1610s, "hereditary commander of a Japanese army," from Japanese (sei-i-tai) shogun "(barbarian-subduing) chief" (late 12c.), sound-substitution for Chinese chiang chiin, literally "lead army."ETD shogun (n.).2

    shogunate (n.)

    "office or rule of a shogun," 1871, a hybrid, from Japanese shogun + Latinate suffix -ate (1).ETD shogunate (n.).2

    shoo (v.)

    1620s, "to drive away (birds or other creatures) by calling 'shoo,' " from the exclamation "shoo!" (late 15c., shou), used to drive away hens. Perhaps it is instinctive or particularly effective: compare French chou, German schu, Greek sou, Italian sciò. Related: Shooed; shooing.ETD shoo (v.).2

    shoo-fly (interj.)

    admonition to a pest, by 1866 (in political journalism), from shoo (v.) + fly (n.). Popularized by a Dan Bryant minstrel song ("Shoo fly — don't bother me") that appeared in print by 1868 and was enormously popular from the next year, which launched it as a catch-phrase that, according to H.L. Mencken, "afflicted the American people for at least two years" and made an appearance in the Congressional Record.ETD shoo-fly (interj.).2

    The phrase also was used in various technical senses. The Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy shoo-fly pie is attested by 1908 in a recipe in the Philadelphia Inquirer.ETD shoo-fly (interj.).3

    Beam's "Pennsylvania German Dictionary" [Lancaster, 1985] gives der Melassichriwwelboi as the translation of "shoofly pie."ETD shoo-fly (interj.).4

    shoo-in (n.)

    "easy winner" (especially in politics), 1939, from earlier sense of "horse that wins a race by pre-arrangement" (1937), from the verbal phrase shoo in "allow to win easily" (1908); see shoo (v.) + in (adv.).ETD shoo-in (n.).2

    shook (adj.)

    "disturbed emotionally or physically," 1891, past-participle adjective from shake (v.). Shook up "excited" is 1897 slang, revived 1957 by Elvis Presley.ETD shook (adj.).2

    shoot (v.)

    Middle English sheten "hasten from place to place; move swiftly; thrust forward; discharge a missile, send an arrow from a bow," from Old English sceotan (class II strong verb; past tense sceat, past participle scoten), "dart forth, go swiftly and suddenly," also "discharge (a missile or weapon);" also, of a person, "go suddenly from place to place;" also transitive "send out or forth with sudden or violent motion; put forth or extend in any direction; strike with anything shot."ETD shoot (v.).2

    This is from Proto-Germanic *skeutanan (source also of Old Saxon skiotan, Old Norse skjota "to shoot with (a weapon); shoot, launch, push, shove quickly," Old Frisian skiata, Middle Dutch skieten, Dutch schieten, Old High German skiozan, German schießen), often said to be from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw," but Boutkan gives it no IE etymology.ETD shoot (v.).3

    The sense of "dart along" (as pain through the nerves or a meteor in the sky) is by late 13c.; that of "come forth" (as a plant) is by late 15c. As "increase rapidly, grow quickly" by 1530s (often with up (adv.)). By 1690s as "be emitted in rays or flashes" (as light is); by 1530s in weaving, "variegate by interspersing colors."ETD shoot (v.).4

    The general sports sense of "kick, hit, throw etc. toward the goal" is by 1874. In reference to pool playing, by 1926. The meaning "strive (for)" is by 1967, American English. The sense of "descend (a river) quickly" is from 1610s. The slang meaning "to inject by means of a hypodermic needle" is attested by 1914 among addicts. The meaning "to photograph" (especially a movie) is from 1890.ETD shoot (v.).5

    As an interjection, an arbitrary euphemistic alteration of shit, it is recorded by 1934.ETD shoot (v.).6

    Shoot the breeze "chat" is attested by 1938 (as shooting the breeze), perhaps originally U.S. military slang. Shoot to kill is attested from 1867. Slang shoot the cat "vomit" is from 1785.ETD shoot (v.).7

    To shoot the moon formerly meant "depart by night with ones goods to escape back rent" (c. 1823).ETD shoot (v.).8

    Shoot against the moon was used by Massinger (1634) as a figure of an impossible attempt.ETD shoot (v.).9

    shoot (n.2)

    1530s, "an act of shooting;" 1852 as "a shooting match or party," from shoot (v.). Also perhaps in part from Middle English shote, schote. "place through which an animal passes quickly."ETD shoot (n.2).2

    shoot (n.1)

    "young branch of a tree or plant," mid-15c., from shoot (v.). Also "heavy, sudden rush of water; a river-fall or rapid," especially one through which a canoe or timber can "shoot" (1610s); "artificial channel for water running down" (1707); "conduit for coal, etc." (1844). In some senses influenced by or confused with chute (n.1).ETD shoot (n.1).2

    shooting (n.)

    Old English scotung, "action of one who shoots" (an arrow from a bow), verbal noun from the source of shoot (v.). By 1640s as "the sport of killing game with a gun;" the modern athletic contest sense is by 1885. By 1873 as "an incident in which someone is shot with a firearm." The film-camera sense is by 1920.ETD shooting (n.).2

    Shooting iron "firearm" is by 1775 (Sam Adams) in American English colloquial; shooting gallery is from 1836, originally a long room having a target at one end and arranged for firearms practice; shooting match as "marksmanship contest" is from 1750. Shooting star "meteor" is recorded by 1590s (the verb shoot with reference to meteors is from late 13c.; shot star for "shooting star" is attested from 1630s).ETD shooting (n.).3

    shooter (n.)

    Middle English shetere, "one who shoots" (an arrow, etc.), from Old English sceotere, agent noun from shoot (v.). As "implement for shooting, gun" of a specified kind, by 1812; as a small alcoholic drink, by 1971 (a variant on shot (n.) in this sense). Shootee is attested from 1837.ETD shooter (n.).2

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