Cheshire Look up Cheshire at Dictionary.com
1086, Cestre Scire, from Chester + scir "district" (see shire). Cheshire cat and its proverbial grin are attested from 1770, but the signification is obscure.
I made a pun the other day, and palmed it upon Holcroft, who grinned like a Cheshire cat. (Why do cats grin in Cheshire?--Because it was once a county palatine, and the cats cannot help laughing whenever they think of it, though I see no great joke in it.) I said that Holcroft, on being asked who were the best dramatic writers of the day, replied, "HOOK AND I." Mr Hook is author of several pieces, Tekeli, &c. You know what hooks and eyes are, don't you? They are what little boys do up their breeches with. [Charles Lamb, letter to Thomas Manning, Feb. 26, 1808]
chess (n.) Look up chess at Dictionary.com
13c., from Old French esches "chessmen," plural of eschec "game of chess, chessboard; checkmate" (see check (n.1)), from the key move of the game. Modern French still distinguishes échec "check, blow, rebuff, defeat," from plural échecs "chess."

The original word for "chess" is Sanskrit chaturanga "four members of an army" -- elephants, horses, chariots, foot soldiers. This is preserved in Spanish ajedrez, from Arabic (al) shat-ranj, from Persian chatrang, from the Sanskrit word.
The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chessboard, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem. [Marcel Duchamp, address to New York State Chess Association, Aug. 30, 1952]
chess-board (n.) Look up chess-board at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from chess + board (n.1).
chessmen (n.) Look up chessmen at Dictionary.com
also chess-men, late 15c., from chess + men.
chest (n.) Look up chest at Dictionary.com
Old English cest "box, coffer, casket," from Proto-Germanic *kista (source also of Old Norse and Old High German kista, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, German kiste, Dutch kist), an early borrowing from Latin cista "chest, box," from Greek kiste "a box, basket," from PIE *kista "woven container." Meaning extended to "thorax" 1520s, replacing breast (n.), on the metaphor of the ribs as a box for the organs. Chest of drawers is from 1590s.
Chester Look up Chester at Dictionary.com
Cestre (1086), from Old English Legacæstir (735) "City of the Legions," from Old English ceaster "Roman town or city," from Latin castrum "fortified place" (see castle (n.)). It was the base of the Second Legion Adiutrix in the 70s C.E. and later the 20th Legion Valeria Victrix. But the town's name in Roman times was Deoua (c. 150 C.E.), from its situation on the River Dee, a Celtic river name meaning "the goddess, the holy one."
Chesterfield Look up Chesterfield at Dictionary.com
Derbyshire town, Old English Cesterfelda, literally "open land near a Roman fort," from ceaster "fort" (see Chester) + feld "open land" (see field (n.)). The cigarette brand was named for Chesterfield County, Virginia, U.S. As a kind of overcoat and a kind of sofa (both 19c.), the name comes from earls of Chesterfield. Philip Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773) was the writer on manners and etiquette.
chestnut (n.) Look up chestnut at Dictionary.com
1560s, from chesten nut (1510s), with superfluous nut (n.) + Middle English chasteine, from Old French chastain (12c., Modern French châtaigne), from Latin castanea "chestnut, chestnut tree," from Greek kastaneia, which the Greeks thought meant either "nut from Castanea" in Pontus, or "nut from Castana" in Thessaly, but probably both places are named for the trees, not the other way around, and the word is borrowed from a language of Asia Minor (compare Armenian kask "chestnut," kaskeni "chestnut tree"). In reference to the dark reddish-brown color, 1650s. Applied to the horse-chestnut by 1832.

Slang sense of "venerable joke or story" is from 1885, explained 1888 by Joseph Jefferson (see "Lippincott's Monthly Magazine," January 1888) as probably abstracted from the 1816 melodrama "The Broken Sword" by William Dimond where an oft-repeated story involving a chestnut tree figures in an exchange between the characters "Captain Zavior" and "Pablo":
Zav. Let me see--ay! it is exactly six years since that peace being restored to Spain, and my ship paid off, my kind brother offered me a snug hammock in the dwelling of my forefathers. I mounted a mule at Barcelona and trotted away for my native mountains. At the dawn of the fourth day's journey, I entered the wood of Collares, when, suddenly, from the thick boughs of a cork-tree--
Pab. [Jumping up.] A chesnut, Captain, a chesnut!
Zav. Bah, you booby! I say, a cork!
Pab. And I swear, a chesnut. Captain, this is the twenty-seventh time I have heard you relate this story, and you invariably said, a chesnut, till now.
Jefferson traced the connection through William Warren, "the veteran comedian of Boston" who often played Pablo in the melodrama.
chesty (adj.) Look up chesty at Dictionary.com
"aggressively self-assured," 1898, American English slang, from chest (n.) in the body sense + -y (2). Of a woman, "bosomy, full-breasted," by 1955.
chetnik (n.) Look up chetnik at Dictionary.com
"member of a Balkan guerrilla force," 1904, from Serbian četnik, from četa "band, troop."
cheval de frise (n.) Look up cheval de frise at Dictionary.com
1680s, from French, literally "horse of Frisia," supposedly because it was first employed there as a defense against cavalry; from French cheval "horse" (see cavalier (n.)). Plural chevaux de frise.
chevalier (n.) Look up chevalier at Dictionary.com
late 13c., Anglo-French chivaler "mounted knight," Old French chevalier "knight, horseman, knight in chess" (12c., Modern French chevaler), from Late Latin caballarius "horseman" (source of Provençal cavallier, Spanish caballero, Portuguese cavalleiro, Italian cavaliere; see cavalier (n.)). The word formerly was nativized, but has been given a French pronunciation since 16c.
Cheviot (n.) Look up Cheviot at Dictionary.com
range of hills between Scotland and England, named for one of them, The Cheviot, attested from 12c. as Chiviet; of uncertain origin; the second element is perhaps Old English geat "gate."
chevron (n.) Look up chevron at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French chevron "rafter; chevron" (13c.), the accent mark so called because it looks like rafters of a shallow roof, from Vulgar Latin *caprione, from Latin caper "goat" (see cab); the hypothetical connection between goats and rafters being the animal's angular hind legs. Compare Latin capreolus "props, stays, short pieces of timber for support," lit. "wild goat, chamoix."
Chevy (n.) Look up Chevy at Dictionary.com
by 1938, popular form of Chevrolet, U.S. automobile brand, which was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William Durant in 1911; acquired by General Motors in 1917.
chew (v.) Look up chew at Dictionary.com
Old English ceowan "to bite, gnaw, chew," from West Germanic *keuwwan (source also of Middle Low German keuwen, Dutch kauwen, Old High German kiuwan, German kauen), from PIE root *gyeu- "to chew" (source also of Old Church Slavonic živo "to chew," Lithuanian žiaunos "jaws," Persian javidan "to chew").

Figurative sense of "to think over" is from late 14c.; to chew the rag "discusss some matter" is from 1885, apparently originally British army slang. Related: Chewed; chewing. To chew (someone) out (1948) probably is military slang from World War II. Chewing gum is by 1843, American English, originally hardened secretions of the spruce tree.
chew (n.) Look up chew at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "an act of chewing," from chew (v.). Meaning "wad of tobacco chewed at one time" is from 1725; as a kind of chewy candy, by 1906.
chewable (adj.) Look up chewable at Dictionary.com
1827, from chew (v.) + -able.
Cheyenne Look up Cheyenne at Dictionary.com
1778, from French Canadian, from Dakota Sahi'yena, a diminutive of Sahi'ya, a Dakotan name for the Cree people.
chez Look up chez at Dictionary.com
1740, from French chez "at the house of," from Old French chiese "house" (12c.), from Latin casa "house." Used with French personal names, meaning "house of _____."
chi (n.) Look up chi at Dictionary.com
22nd letter of the Greek alphabet, representing a -kh- sound (see ch). The letter is shaped like an X, and so the Greek letter name was used figuratively to signify such a shape or arrangement (as in khiasma "two things placed crosswise;" khiastos "arranged diagonally; marked with an X;" khiazein "to mark with an 'X', to write the letter 'X'"). Some dialects used chi to represent the -ks- sound properly belonging to xi; Latin picked this up and the sound value of chi in Latin-derived alphabets is now that of English X.
chi-chi (adj.) Look up chi-chi at Dictionary.com
also chichi, "extremely chic, sophisticated," also "pretentious fussiness," 1908, from French chichi "airs, fuss." Perhaps, like frou-frou, imitative.
Chian (adj.) Look up Chian at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to the Greek island of Chios," 1630s. The island name is of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Greek khion "snow."
Chiang Mai Look up Chiang Mai at Dictionary.com
city in northwest Thailand, founded in 1292; the name is Thai northern dialect chiang "town" + mai "new."
chianti (n.) Look up chianti at Dictionary.com
also chiante, kind of dry red wine, 1833, from Chianti Mountains of Tuscany, where the wine was made. "[L]oosely applied to various inferior Italian wines" [OED].
chiaroscuro (n.) Look up chiaroscuro at Dictionary.com
1680s, "disposition of light and dark in a picture," literally "bright-dark," from Italian chiaro "clear, bright" (from Latin clarus; see clear (adj.)) + oscuro (from Latin obscurus; see obscure (adj.)). Related: Chiaroscurist.
chiasm (n.) Look up chiasm at Dictionary.com
Englished form of chiasmus or chiasma.
chiasma (n.) Look up chiasma at Dictionary.com
"a crossing," 1832, medical Latin, from Greek khiasma "two things placed crosswise," which is related to khiasmos (see chiasmus). In cytology from 1911.
chiasmus (n.) Look up chiasmus at Dictionary.com
in grammar, inversion of word order, 1871, Latinized from Greek khiasmos "a placing crosswise, diagonal arrangement" (see chi).
Adam, first of men,
To first of women, Eve.
["Paradise Lost"]
chiastic (adj.) Look up chiastic at Dictionary.com
1856, from Latinized form of Greek khiastos "arranged diagonally; marked with an X" (i.e., resembling the Greek letter chi) + -ic.
chic Look up chic at Dictionary.com
1856, as a noun, "style, artistic skill," from French chic, 19c. in "stylishness" sense, originally "subtlety" (16c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps [Klein] related to German Schick "tact, skill," from Middle Low German schikken "arrange appropriately," or Middle High German schicken "to arrange, set in order;" or from French chicane, from chicanerie (see chicanery). The adjectival meaning "stylish" is from 1879 in English, "Not so used in F[rench]." [OED].
chica (n.) Look up chica at Dictionary.com
"young girl," U.S. slang, c.2002, from American Spanish chica "girl," fem. of chico "boy," noun use of adjective meaning "small" (here used as an affectionate term of address), from Latin ciccum, literally "chick-pea," figurative of an object of little value (compare Old French chiche).
Chicago (n.) Look up Chicago at Dictionary.com
town founded in 1833, named from a Canadian French form of an Algonquian word, either Fox /sheka:ko:heki "place of the wild onion," or Ojibwa shika:konk "at the skunk place" (sometimes rendered "place of the bad smell"). The Ojibwa "skunk" word is distantly related to the New England Algonquian word that yielded Modern English skunk (n.). Related: Chicagoan.
chicane (n.) Look up chicane at Dictionary.com
in English in various senses, including "act of chicanery" (1670s), "obstacles on a roadway" (1955), also a term in bridge (1880s), apparently all ultimately from an archaic verb chicane "to trick" (1670s), from French chicane (16c.), from chicaner "to pettifog, quibble" (15c., see chicanery).
chicanery (n.) Look up chicanery at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "legal quibbling, sophistry," from French chicanerie "trickery," from Middle French chicaner "to pettifog, quibble" (15c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Low German schikken "to arrange, bring about," or from the name of a golf-like game once played in Languedoc. Thornton's "American Glossary" has shecoonery (1845), which it describes as probably a corruption of chicanery.
Chicano (n.) Look up Chicano at Dictionary.com
1947, from Mexican Spanish dialectal pronunciation of Mexicano "Mexican," with loss of initial unaccented syllable [Barnhart]. Said to have been in use among Mexican-Americans from c. 1911. Probably influenced by Spanish chico "boy," also used as a nickname. The adjective in English is attested by 1967. Fem. form is Chicana.
chick (n.) Look up chick at Dictionary.com
mid-14c. shortening of chicken (n.). Extended to human offspring (often in alliterative pairing chick and child) and thence used as a term of endearment. As slang for "young woman" it is first recorded 1927 (in "Elmer Gantry"), supposedly from African-American vernacular. In British use in this sense by c. 1940; popularized by Beatniks late 1950s. Chicken in this sense is from 1711. Sometimes c. 1600-1900 chicken was taken as a plural, chick as a singular (compare child/children) for the domestic fowl.
chick-pea (n.) Look up chick-pea at Dictionary.com
1712, false singular back-formation from chich-pease (1540s), from French pois chiche, from Latin cicer "pea," which is of uncertain origin, but with likely cognates in Greek kikerroi "pale," Armenian sisern "chick-pea," Albanian thjer "lentil." For second element, see pease. The Latin plural, cicera, is also the source of Italian cece and was borrowed into Old High German as chihhra (German Kichererbse).
chickadee (n.) Look up chickadee at Dictionary.com
black-capped titmouse, 1834, American English, echoic of its cry.
Chickasaw Look up Chickasaw at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Chickasaw Chikasha, the people's name for themselves.
chicken (n.) Look up chicken at Dictionary.com
Old English cicen (plural cicenu) "young fowl," which by early Middle English had came to mean "young chicken," then later any chicken, from Proto-Germanic *kiukinam (source also of Middle Dutch kiekijen, Dutch kieken, Old Norse kjuklingr, Swedish kyckling, German Küken "chicken"), from root *keuk- (echoic of the bird's sound and possibly also the root of cock (n.1)) + diminutive suffixes.

Applied to the young of other bird species from early 13c. Adjective sense of "cowardly" is at least as old as 14c. (compare hen-herte "a chicken-hearted person," mid-15c.). As the name of a game of danger to test courage, it is first recorded 1953. Chicken feed "paltry sum of money" is by 1897, American English slang; literal use (it is made from the from lowest quality of grain) by 1834. Chicken lobster "young lobster," is from c. 1960s, American English, apparently from chicken in its sense of "young." Generic words for "chicken" in Indo-European tend to be extended uses of "hen" words, as hens are more numerous among domestic fowl, but occasionally they are from words for the young, as in English and in Latin pullus.
chicken (v.) Look up chicken at Dictionary.com
"to back down or fail through cowardice," 1943, U.S. slang, from chicken (n.), almost always with out (adv.).
chicken hawk (n.) Look up chicken hawk at Dictionary.com
type of hawk that is believed to prey on domestic fowl, 1802, American English. Figuratively, from the secondary senses of both words, "public person who advocates war but who declined significant opportunity to serve in uniform during wartime," at least 1988, American English. From chicken (n.) + hawk (n.).
chicken pox (n.) Look up chicken pox at Dictionary.com
c. 1730, from chicken (n.) + pox. Perhaps so called for its mildness compared to smallpox [Barnhart].
chicken-shit Look up chicken-shit at Dictionary.com
1947 (n.) "contemptible cowardly person;" 1948 (adj.); from chicken + shit (n.).
chickweed (n.) Look up chickweed at Dictionary.com
late 14c., chekwede, from chick + weed (n.). In Old English it was cicene mete "chicken food."
chicle (n.) Look up chicle at Dictionary.com
1889, American English (in chicle-gum), from Mexican Spanish chicle, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) tzictli.
Chicom (adj.) Look up Chicom at Dictionary.com
1962, American English, Cold War jargon, from Chinese + communist.
chicory (n.) Look up chicory at Dictionary.com
late 14c., cicoree (modern form from mid-15c.), from Middle French cichorée "endive, chicory" (15c., Modern French chicorée), from Latin cichoreum, from Greek kikhorion (plural kikhoreia) "endive," which is of unknown origin. Klein suggests a connection with Old Egyptian keksher. The modern English form is from French influence.
chide (v.) Look up chide at Dictionary.com
late 12c., "scold, nag, rail," originally intransitive, from Old English cidan "to contend, quarrel, complain." Not found outside Old English (though Liberman says it is "probably related to OHG *kîdal 'wedge,'" with a sense evolution from "brandishing sticks" to "scold, reprove"). Past tense, past participle can be chided or chid or even (past participle) chidden (Shakespeare used it); present participle is chiding.