- hog (n.)
- mid-14c., hogge, but probably in Old English (implied late 12c. in hogaster), "a swine," especially a castrated male, "swine reared for slaughter" (usually about a year old), also used by stockmen for "young sheep before the first shearing" (early 14c.) and for "horse older than one year," suggesting the original sense had to do with age, not type of animal. Possibility of British Celtic origin [Watkins, etc.] is regarded by OED as "improbable."
Extended to the wild boar by late 15c. As a term of opprobrium for a greedy or gluttonous person, c. 1400. Meaning "Harley-Davidson motorcycle" is attested from 1967. Road hog is attested from 1886, hence hog "rude person heedless of the convenience or safety of others" (1906). To go hog-wild is American English from 1904. Hog in armor "awkward or clumsy person in ill-fitting attire" is from 1650s (later used of the armadillo).
Phrase to go the whole hog (1828, American English) is sometimes said to be from the butcher shop option of buying the whole slaughtered animal (at a discount) rather than just the choice bits. But it is perhaps rather from the allegorical story (recorded in English from 1779) of Muslim sophists, forbidden by their faith from eating a certain unnamed part of the hog, who debated which part was intended and managed to exempt the whole of it from the prohibition.
[Had he the sinful part express'd,
They might, with safety, eat the rest.
But for one piece, they thought it hard,
From the whole hog to be debarr'd
And set their wits to work, to find
What joint the prophet had in mind.]
[Cowper, "The Love of the World Reproved"]
- hog (v.)
- "to appropriate greedily," 1884, U.S. slang (first attested in "Huck Finn"), from hog (n.). Earlier it meant "Cause to form a horizontal arch" (like the back of a hog), 1798, and "cut a horse's mane short" (so it bristles like a hog's back), 1769. Related: Hogged; hogging.
- hog-pen (n.)
- 1630s, American English, from hog (n.) + pen (n.2).
- hog-reeve (n.)
- official charged with preventing or appraising damage done by stray swine, 1759, American English, from hog (n.) + reeve (n.). In New England, an elected town officer, still chosen in jest in some places long after his office had ceased to function.
- hog-tie (v.)
- also hogtie, "bind hands and feet by crossing and tying them," 1887, from hog (n.) + tie (v.). Related: Hog-tied.
- hogan (n.)
- Navaho Indian dwelling, 1871, American English, from Athapaskan (Navaho) hoghan "dwelling, house."
- Hogen-Mogen (n.)
- "the Netherlands," 1630s, also an adjective, "Dutch" (1670s), old slang, from Dutch Hoog en Mogend "high and mighty," an honorific of the States General of Holland.
- hogfish (n.)
- c.1600, from hog (n.) + fish (n.). Of various fish that resemble hogs in some way, such as smooth roundness or bristled backs.
- hogger (n.)
- "swineherd, herdsman," early 14c., from hog (n.).
- hoggish (adj.)
- "having the characteristics of a hog," especially "gluttonous, greedy," late 15c., from hog (n.) + -ish. Meaning "slovenly, filthy" is from 1540s. Related: Hoggishly; hoggishness.
- hogmenay (n.)
- "last day of December," also a refreshment given that day, 1670s, of uncertain origin.
- hogshead (n.)
- "large cask or barrel," late 14c., presumably on some perceived resemblance or some mark formerly borne by the casks. The liquid measure was fixed at 63 (old) wine gallons (by a statute of 1423); later and for other liquids anywhere from 100 to 140 gallons. Borrowed into other Germanic languages, inexplicably, as ox-head (Dutch okshoofd, German oxhoft, Swedish oxhufvud). English might have gotten the word from them, but the forms of the Continental words suggest the reverse.
- hogwash (n.)
- mid-15c., hogges wash, "kitchen slops fed to pigs, refuse of a kitchen or brewery," from hog (n.) + wash (n.). Extended to "cheap liquor" (1712) then to "inferior writing" (1773).
- hogweed (n.)
- 1707, from hog (n.) + weed (n.); used variously in different places of plants eaten by hogs or deemed fit only for them.
- hogwort (n.)
- 1846, from hog (n.) + wort. Said to be called for its "fetid porcine smell."
- hoi polloi (n.)
- 1837, from Greek hoi polloi (plural) "the people," literally "the many" (plural of polys; see poly-). Used in Greek by Dryden (1668) and Byron (1822), in both cases preceded by the, even though Greek hoi means "the," a mistake repeated often by subsequent writers who at least have the excuse of ignorance of Greek. Ho "the" is from PIE *so- "this, that" (nominative), cognate with English the and Latin sic.
- hoist (v.)
- 1540s, "to raise, lift, elevate," especially with a rope or tackle, earlier hoise (c. 1500), from Middle English hysse (late 15c.), which probably is from Middle Dutch hyssen (Dutch hijsen) "to hoist," related to Low German hissen and Old Norse hissa upp "raise," Danish heise, Swedish hissa. A nautical word found in most European languages (French hisser, Italian issare, Spanish izar), but it is uncertain which coined it. Related: Hoisted; hoisting. In phrase hoist with one's own petard, it is the past participle.
For 'tis the sport, to have the engineer
Meaning "to lift and remove" was prevalent c. 1550-1750. As a noun, 1650s, "act of hoisting;" 1835, "that by which something is hoisted," from the verb.
Hoist with his own petar: and it shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon: O 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet.
["Hamlet," Act III, Scene iv]
- also hoity toity, 1660s, "riotous behavior," from earlier highty tighty "frolicsome, flighty," perhaps an alteration and reduplication of dialectal hoyting "acting the hoyden, romping" (1590s), see hoyden. Sense of "haughty" first recorded late 1800s, probably on similarity of sound.
- hoke (v.)
- "overact, act insincerely," 1935, theatrical slang, probably back-formed from hokum. Often with up (adv.).
- hokey (adj.)
- 1927, from hoke + -y (2). Related: Hokiness.
- hokey-pokey (n.)
- 1847, "false cheap material," perhaps an alteration of hocus-pocus, or from the nonsense chorus and title of a comic song (Hokey Pokey Whankey Fong) that was popular c. 1830. Applied especially to cheap ice cream sold by street vendors (1884). In Philadelphia, and perhaps other places, it meant shaved ice with artificial flavoring. The words also were the title of a Weber-Fields musical revue from 1912. The modern dance song of that name hit the U.S. in 1950 ("Life" described it Nov. 27, 1950, as "a tuneless stomp that is now sweeping the U.C.L.A. campus"). But a dance of that name, to a similar refrain, is mentioned in a 1943 magazine article (wherein the "correct" title is said to be Cokey Cokey), and the dance is sometimes said to have originated in Britain in World War II, perhaps from a Canadian source.
- hokum (n.)
- 1917, theater slang, "melodramatic, exaggerated acting," probably formed on model of bunkum (see bunk (n.2)), and perhaps also influenced by or based on hocus-pocus.
- hold (v.)
- Middle English holden, earlier halden, from Old English haldan (Anglian), healdan (West Saxon), "to contain; to grasp; to retain (liquid, etc.); to observe, fulfill (a custom, etc.); to have as one's own; to have in mind (of opinions, etc.); to possess, control, rule; to detain, lock up; to foster, cherish, keep watch over; to continue in existence or action; to keep back from action," class VII strong verb (past tense heold, past participle healden), from Proto-Germanic *haldan (cognates: Old Saxon haldan, Old Frisian halda, Old Norse halda, Dutch houden, German halten "to hold," Gothic haldan "to tend"). Based on the Gothic sense (also present as a secondary sense in Old English), the verb is presumed originally in Germanic to have meant "to keep, tend, watch over" (as cattle), later "to have." Ancestral sense is preserved in behold. The original past participle holden was replaced by held beginning 16c., but survives in some legal jargon and in beholden.
The modern use in the sense "lock up, keep in custody" is from 1903. Hold back in the figurative senses is from 1530s (transitive); 1570s (intransitive). To hold off is early 15c. (transitive), c. 1600 (intransitive). Hold on is early 13c. as "to maintain one's course," 1830 as "to keep one's grip on something," 1846 as an order to wait or stop. To hold (one's) tongue "be silent" is from c. 1300. To hold (one's) own is from early 14c. To hold (someone's) hand in the figurative sense of "give moral support" is from 1935. To hold (one's) horses "be patient" is from 1842, American English; the notion is of keeping a tight grip on the reins. To have and to hold have been paired alliteratively since at least c. 1200, originally of marriage but also of real estate. To hold water in the figurative sense "be sound or consistent throughout" is from 1620s.
- hold (n.2)
- "space in a ship below the lower deck, in which cargo is stowed," 15c. corruption of Middle English holl "hull of a ship, hold of a ship" (c.1400), which is probably from earlier Middle English nouns meaning either "hole, hollow place, compartment" (see hole (n.)) and "husk, pod, shell," (see hull (n.1)). With form altered in the direction of hold (probably by popular apprehension that it is named because it "holds" the cargo) and sense influenced by Middle Dutch hol "hold of a ship."
- hold (n.1)
- c. 1100, "act of holding;" c. 1200, "grasp, grip," from Old English geheald (Anglian gehald) "keeping, custody, guard; watch, protector, guardian," from hold (v.). Meaning "place of refuge" is from c. 1200; that of "fortified place" is from c. 1300; that of "place of imprisonment" is from late 14c. Wrestling sense is from 1713. Telephoning sense is from 1961 (on hold), from expression hold the line, warning that one is away from the receiver (1912). Meaning "a delay, a pause" is from 1961 in the U.S. space program. No holds barred "with all restrictions removed" is from 1892, originally in wrestling.
- hold-out (n.)
- also holdout, one who abstains or refrains when others do not, by 1911, from verbal expression hold out, which is attested from 1907 in the sense "keep back, detain, withhold" (see hold (v.) + out (adv.)). Earlier as the name of a card-sharper's device (1893). The verbal phrase is attested from 1520s as "stretch forth," 1580s as "resist pressure."
- hold-up (n.)
- also holdup, 1837, "a stoppage or check," from verbal phrase (see hold (v.) + up (adv.)). The verbal phrase is from late 13c. as "to keep erect; support, sustain;" 1580s as "endure, hold out;" 1590s (intransitive) as "to stop, cease, refrain;" 1860 as "to stay up, not fall." The meaning "to stop by force and rob" is from 1887, from the robber's command to raise hands. The noun in this sense is from 1851.
- holder (n.)
- c. 1400, "tenant, occupier," agent noun from hold (v.). Meaning "device for holding something" is attested from 1833. Similar formation in Old Frisian haldere, Dutch houder, German Halter. The Old English agent noun, healdend, meant "protector, guardian, ruler, king."
- holding (n.)
- early 13c., "act of holding;" mid-15c. as "that which is held," verbal noun of hold (v.). Old English healding meant "keeping, observance." As a football (soccer) penalty, from 1866. Meaning "property held," especially stock shares, is from 1570s. Holding operation is from 1942.
- holding (adj.)
- "in possession of narcotics," 1935, special use of present-participle adjective from hold (v.).
- holdover (n.)
- 1888, from verbal phrase; see hold (v.) over (adv.), which is attested from 1640s (intransitive) "remain in office beyond the regular term;" 1852 (transitive) "reserve till a later time."
- hole (n.)
- Old English hol (adj.) "hollow, concave;" as a noun, "hollow place; cave; orifice; perforation," from Proto-Germanic *hul- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German hol, Middle Dutch hool, Old Norse holr, German hohl "hollow," Gothic us-hulon "to hollow out"), from PIE root *kel- (2) "to cover, conceal" (see cell). As an adjective, it has been displaced by hollow, which in Old English was only a noun, meaning "excavated habitation of certain wild animals."
As a contemptuous word for "small dingy lodging or abode" it is attested from 1610s. Meaning "a fix, scrape, mess" is from 1760. Obscene slang use for "vulva" is implied from mid-14c. Golfing hole-in-one is from 1914; as a verbal phrase from 1913. To need (something) like a hole in the head, applied to something useless or detrimental, first recorded 1944 in entertainment publications, probably a translation of a Yiddish expression such as ich darf es vi a loch in kop.
- hole (v.)
- "to make a hole," Old English holian "to hollow out, scoop out," from source of hole (n.). Related: Holed; holing. To hole up "seek a temporary shelter or hiding place" is from 1875.
- hole-in-the-wall (n.)
- "small and unpretentious place," 1816, perhaps recalling the hole in the wall that was a public house name in England from at least 1690s. "Generally it is believed to refer to some snug corner, perhaps near the town walls," but the common story was that it referred to "the hole made in the wall of the debtors' or other prisons, through which the poor prisoners received the money, broken meat, or other donations of the charitably inclined" [Jacob Larwood and John Camden Hotten, "The History of Signboards: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day," 1867]. Mid-19c. it was the name of the private liquor bar attached to the U.S. Congress.
- holey (adj.)
- late 14c., from hole (n.) + -y (2). The -e- is there to distinguish it in text from holy.
- holiday (n.)
- 1500s, earlier haliday (c. 1200), from Old English haligdæg "holy day, consecrated day, religious anniversary; Sabbath," from halig "holy" (see holy) + dæg "day" (see day); in 14c. meaning both "religious festival" and "day of exemption from labor and recreation," but pronunciation and sense diverged 16c. As an adjective mid-15c. Happy holidays is from mid-19c., in British English, with reference to summer vacation from school. As a Christmastime greeting, by 1937, American English, in Camel cigarette ads.
- holiday (v.)
- "to pass the holidays," 1869, from holiday (n.).
- as an adjectival phrase in reference to supercilious sanctimony attested by 1888, American English. The text is in Isaiah lxv:5.
- holily (adv.)
- c. 1200, from holy (adj.) + -ly (2).
- holiness (n.)
- Middle English holinesse, from Old English halignis "state or character of being holy, sanctity, religion; holy thing;" see holy + -ness. Compare Old High German heilagnissa. As title of the Pope (mid-15c. in English), it translates Latin sanctitas (until c. 600 also applied to bishops).
- holism (n.)
- 1926, apparently coined by South African Gen. J.C. Smuts (1870-1950) in his book "Holism and Evolution" which treats of evolution as a process of unification of separate parts; from Greek holos "whole" (see safe (adj.)) + -ism.
This character of "wholeness" meets us everywhere and points to something fundamental in the universe. Holism (from [holos] = whole) is the term here coined for this fundamental factor operative towards the creation of wholes in the universe. [Smuts, "Holism and Evolution," p.86]
- holistic (adj.)
- 1926, from holism (q.v.) + -istic. Holistic medicine is first attested 1960. Related: Holistically.
- 1580s as a command to get attention, in which use it belongs in the group with hello, hallo. From 1520s as a command to "stop, cease," from French holà (15c.), which "Century Dictionary" analyzes as ho! + la "there." As an urban slang form of holler (v.) "greet, shout out to," it was in use by 2003.
- "the Netherlands," early 14c., from Dutch Holland, probably Old Dutch holt lant "wood land," describing the district around Dordrecht, the nucleus of Holland. Technically, just one province of the Netherlands, but in English use extended to the whole nation. Related: Hollandish. Hollands for "Holland gin" was common late 18c.-early 19c. As a place-name in England it represents Old English hoh-land "high-land, land on a spur or hill."
- 1841, from French sauce hollandaise "Dutch sauce," from fem. of hollandais "Dutch," from Hollande "Holland" (see Holland).
- "native or inhabitant of Holland," mid-15c., from Holland + -er (1).
- holler (v.)
- 1690s, American English, variant of hollo (1540s) "to shout," especially "to call to the hounds in hunting," which is related to hello. Compare colloquial yeller for yellow, etc. Related: Hollered; hollering.
- holler (n.)
- 1896, from holler (v.); earlier hollar (1825). As a style of singing (originally Southern U.S.), first recorded 1936.
- Hollerith (adj.)
- 1890, in reference to a punch-card system used in a mechanical tabulator and later for data processing in in the earliest computers, from name of U.S. inventor Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), who designed the system. For a time, in mid-20c. it sometimes was used figuratively in reference to modern society viewed as a processing machine.
- hollow (adj.)
- c. 1200, adjective developed from Old English holh (n.) "hollow place, hole," from Proto-Germanic *hul-, from PIE *kel- (2) "to cover, conceal" (see cell). The figurative sense of "insincere" is attested from 1520s. Related: Hollowly. Spelling development followed that of fallow, sallow. Adverbial use in carry it hollow "take it completely" is first recorded 1660s, of unknown origin or connection. Hollow-eyed "having deep, sunken eyes" is attested from 1520s.