hubcap (n.) Look up hubcap at
also hub cap, 1896, from hub + cap (n.).
Hubert Look up Hubert at
masc. proper name, from French, from Old High German Hugubert, literally "bright-minded," from hugu "mind" (see Hugh) + beraht "bright" (see Albert).
hubris (n.) Look up hubris at
1884, a back-formation from hubristic or else from Greek hybris "wanton violence, insolence, outrage," originally "presumption toward the gods;" the first element probably PIE *ud- "up, out" (see out (adv.)) but the meaning of the second is debated. Spelling hybris is more classically correct and began to appear in English in translations of Nietzsche c. 1911.
hubristic (adj.) Look up hubristic at
also hybristic, 1831, from Greek hybristikos "given to wantonness, insolent," from hybrizein "to wax wanton, run riot," related to hybris (see hubris).
huckleberry (n.) Look up huckleberry at
1660s, American English, probably an alteration of Middle English hurtilbery "whortleberry" (15c.), from Old English horte "whortleberry." Technically the fruit and plant of Gaylussacia, but also widely colloquially applied to the closely related blueberry (Vaccinium). Slang meaning "person of little consequence" is attested from 1835. Huckle as a dialect word meaning "hip" is from 1520s in English, from Low German.
huckster (n.) Look up huckster at
c. 1200, "petty merchant, peddler" (often contemptuous), from Middle Dutch hokester "peddler," from hoken "to peddle" (see hawk (v.1)) + agent suffix -ster (which was typically feminine in English, but not in Low German). Specific sense of "advertising salesman" is from 1946 novel by Frederick Wakeman. As a verb from 1590s. Related: Huckstered; huckstering.
hud (n.) Look up hud at
"husk of a seed," late 14c., of uncertain origin; perhaps related to or a dialectal form of hood (n.1).
huddle (v.) Look up huddle at
1570s, "to heap or crowd together," probably from Low German hudern "to cover, to shelter" (of hens on chicks or nurses with children), from Middle Low German huden "to cover up," which is probably a frequentative form from Proto-Germanic *hud-, from PIE *keudh-, extended form of the root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see hide (v.)). Compare also Middle English hoderen "heap together, huddle" (c. 1300). Related: Huddled; huddling. The noun is from 1580s. U.S. football sense is from 1928.
Hudibras Look up Hudibras at
title of Samuel Butler's 1663 mock-heroic satire against the Puritans; the name is said to be from Hugh de Bras, knight of the Round Table. Related: Hudibrastic (1712).
Hudson Look up Hudson at
both the bay in Canada and the river in New York named for English navigator Henry Hudson (died c. 1611), who hired on variously to the English and Dutch authorities.
hue (n.1) Look up hue at
"color," Old English hiw "color; form, appearance; species, kind; beauty," earlier heow, hiow, from Proto-Germanic *hiwam (cognates: Old Norse hy "bird's down," Swedish hy "skin, complexion," Gothic hiwi "form, appearance"), from PIE *kiwo-, suffixed form of root *kei- (2), a color adjective of broad application (cognates: Sanskrit chawi "hide, skin, complexion, color, beauty, splendor," Lithuanian šyvas "white").

A common word in Old English, squeezed into obscurity after c. 1600 by color (n.) but revived 1850s in chemistry and chromatography, often in a distinctive sense in reference to the quality of color other than luminosity and chroma.
hue (n.2) Look up hue at
"a shouting," mid-13c., from Old French huee "outcry, noise, tumult; war or hunting cry," probably of imitative origin (compare French hue "gee!" a cry to horses). Hue and cry is late 13c. as an Anglo-French legal term meaning "outcry calling for pursuit of a felon" (the Medieval Latin version is huesium et clamor); extended sense of "cry of alarm" is 1580s.
hued (adj.) Look up hued at
"having a color" of a specified kind, late Old English, from hue (n.1).
hueless (adj.) Look up hueless at
Old English hiwlease "colorless;" see hue (n.1) + -less. In Old English and Middle English it also meant "formless, shapeless."
huff (v.) Look up huff at
mid-15c., apparently imitative of forcible exhaling. Extended sense of "to bluster with arrogance or indignation" is attested from 1590s. Related: Huffed; huffing. As a slang term for a type of narcotics abuse, by 1996. Huff cap was 17c. slang for "swaggerer, blusterer" (i.e., one with an inflated head), and was noted in 1577 among the popular terms for "strong beer or ale" (with mad dog and dragon's milk), probably because it goes to the head and huffs one's cap.
huff (n.) Look up huff at
1590s, "a puff of wind," also "a swell of sudden anger or arrogance," from huff (v.). To leave in a huff is recorded from 1778.
huffy (adj.) Look up huffy at
"puffed with pride or arrogance, ready to take offense," 1670s, from huff (n.) + -y (2). Related: Huffily; huffiness. Huffish "petulant, ill-humored" is from 1755.
hug (v.) Look up hug at
1560s, hugge "to embrace, clasp with the arms," of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Norse hugga "to comfort," from hugr "courage, mood," from Proto-Germanic *hugjan, related to Old English hycgan "to think, consider," Gothic hugs "mind, soul, thought," and the proper name Hugh. Others have noted the similarity in some senses to German hegen "to foster, cherish," originally "to enclose with a hedge." Related: Hugged; hugging.
hug (n.) Look up hug at
1610s, a hold in wrestling, from hug (v.). Meaning "an affectionate embrace" is from 1650s.
huge (adj.) Look up huge at
mid-12c., apparently a shortening of Old French ahuge, ahoge "extremely large, enormous; mighty, powerful," itself of uncertain origin. Related: Hugeness.
hugely (adv.) Look up hugely at
mid-14c., from huge + -ly (2).
hugeous (adj.) Look up hugeous at
early 15c., expanded form of huge with -ous. Related: Hugeously.
huggable (adj.) Look up huggable at
1863, from hug (v.) + -able.
hugger (n.) Look up hugger at
"one who hugs or embraces," 1680s, agent noun from hug (v.).
hugger-mugger (adv.) Look up hugger-mugger at
also huggermugger, "secretly, privately," 1520s, one of a number of similar-sounding reduplicated words in use around this time and meaning much the same thing, including hucker-mucker, which may be the original of the bunch if the basis is, as some think, Middle English mukre "to hoard up, conceal." Also compare Middle English hukmuck, late 15c., name of some sort of device for cleansing.
Hugh Look up Hugh at
masc. proper name, from Old North French Hugues, Old French Hue, from a Frankish name meaning "heart, mind," cognate with Old High German Hugi, related to hugu "mind, soul, thought." Very popular after the Conquest (often in Latin form Hugo); the common form was Howe, the nickname form Hudd. Its popularity is attested by the more than 90 modern surnames formed from it, including Hughes, Howe, Hudson, Hewitt, Hutchins.
Huguenot (n.) Look up Huguenot at
"French puritan," 1562, from Middle French Huguenot, which according to French sources originally was a political, not a religious, term. The name was applied in 1520s to Genevan partisans opposed to the Duke of Savoy (who joined Geneva to the Swiss Confederation), and on the most likely guess probably it is an alteration of Swiss German Eidgenoss "confederate," from Middle High German eitgenoze, from eit "oath" (from Proto-Germanic *aithaz; see oath) + genoze "comrade," cognate with Old English geneat "comrade, companion," from Proto-Germanic *ga-nautaz "he with whom one shares possessions," thus "comrade," from *nautan "thing of value, possession," from PIE root *neud- "to make use of, enjoy."

Brachet's French etymology dictionary says, "No word has had more said and written about it" and lists seven "chief suggestions" for its origin, the oldest dating to 1560; Scheler's "Dictionary of French Etymology" mentions 16 proposed derivations. The form of the French word probably altered by association with a personal name, a diminutive of Hugues. Hugues Besançon was a leader of the Genevan partisans. In France, applied generally to French Protestants because Geneva was a Calvinist center.
huh (interj.) Look up huh at
as a representation of a grunting exclamation, attested from c. 1600.
hula (n.) Look up hula at
traditional dance of Hawaii, 1825, from Hawaiian. As a verb from 1952. Hula hoop first recorded in fall of 1958, when it was a craze; so called from resemblance of motions of one using it to the dancers' hip circles.
hulk (n.) Look up hulk at
Old English hulc "light, fast ship" (glossing Latin liburna, but in Middle English a heavy, unwieldy one), probably from Old Dutch hulke and Medieval Latin hulcus, perhaps ultimately from Greek holkas "merchant ship," literally "ship that is towed," from helkein "to pull, draw, drag" (from PIE root *selk- "to pull, draw").

"[A] word of early diffusion among the maritime peoples of Western Europe" [OED]. Meaning "body of an old, worn-out ship" is first recorded 1670s. The Hulks ("Great Expectations") were old ships used as prisons. Sense of "big, clumsy person" is first recorded c. 1400 (early 14c. as a surname: Stephen le Hulke).
HULK. In the sixteenth century the large merchantman of the northern nations. As she grew obsolete, her name was applied in derision to all crank vessels, until it came to be degraded to its present use, i.e., any old vessel unfit for further employment. [Geoffrey Callender, "Sea Passages," 1943]
hulk (v.) Look up hulk at
"to be clumsy, unwieldy, or lazy," 1789, from hulk (n.) or a back-formation from hulking. Meaning "rise massively" is from 1880. Related: Hulked; hulking.
hulking (adj.) Look up hulking at
"big, clumsy," 1690s (through 18c. usually with fellow), from hulk (n.).
hull (n.1) Look up hull at
"seed covering," Middle English hol, hole, from Old English hulu "husk, pod," from Proto-Germanic *hulu- "to cover" (cognates: Old High German hulla, hulsa; German Hülle, Hülse, Dutch huls), from PIE root *kel- (2) "to cover, conceal" (see cell (n.)). Figurative use by 1831.
hull (n.2) Look up hull at
"body of a ship," 1550s, usually said to be identical with hull (n.1) on fancied resemblance of ship keels to open peapods. Compare Latin carina "keel of a ship," originally "shell of a nut;" Greek phaselus "light passenger ship, yacht," literally "bean pod;" French coque "hull of a ship; shell of a walnut or egg." The alternative etymology is from Middle English hoole "ship's keel" (mid-15c.), from the same source as hold (n.) and conformed to hull (n.1).
hull (v.) Look up hull at
"to remove the husk of," early 15c., from hull (n.1). Related: Hulled, which can mean both "having a particular kind of hull" and "stripped of the hull."
hullabaloo (n.) Look up hullabaloo at
1762, hollo-ballo (with many variant spellings) "uproar, racket, noisy commotion," chiefly in northern England and Scottish, perhaps a rhyming reduplication of hollo (see hello). Bartlett ("Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848) has it as hellabaloo "riotous noise; confusion," and says it is provincial in England.
hullo Look up hullo at
call to attract attention, by 1828; see hello.
hum (v.) Look up hum at
late 14c., hommen "make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment," later hummen "to buzz, drone" (early 15c.), probably of imitative origin. Sense of "sing with closed lips" is first attested late 15c.; that of "be busy and active" is 1884, perhaps on analogy of a beehive. Related: Hummed.
hum (n.) Look up hum at
mid-15c., "a murmuring sound made with the voice," from hum (v.).
human (adj.) Look up human at
mid-15c., humain, humaigne, "human," from Old French humain, umain (adj.) "of or belonging to man" (12c.), from Latin humanus "of man, human," also "humane, philanthropic, kind, gentle, polite; learned, refined, civilized." This is in part from PIE *(dh)ghomon-, literally "earthling, earthly being," as opposed to the gods (see homunculus). Compare Hebrew adam "man," from adamah "ground." Cognate with Old Lithuanian zmuo (accusative zmuni) "man, male person."

Human interest is from 1824. Human rights attested by 1680s; human being by 1690s. Human relations is from 1916; human resources attested by 1907, American English, apparently originally among social Christians and based on natural resources.
human (n.) Look up human at
"a human being," 1530s, from human (adj.). Its Old English equivalent, guma, survives only in disguise in bridegroom.
humane (adj.) Look up humane at
mid-15c., a parallel variant of human (adj.), with a form and stress that perhaps suggest a stronger association with Latin humanus than with Old French humain. Human and humane were used interchangeably in the senses "pertaining to a human being" and "having qualities befitting human beings" (c. 1500). The latter at first meant "courteous, friendly, civil, obliging," then "marked by tenderness, compassion, and a disposition to kindly treat others" (c. 1600). By early 18c. the words had differentiated in spelling and accent and humane took the "kind" sense.

Compare germane, urbane. Meaning "inflicting less pain than something else" is from 1904. Inhuman is its natural opposite. The Royal Humane Society (founded 1774) was originally to rescue drowning persons; such societies had turned to animal care by late 19c.
humanely (adv.) Look up humanely at
1590s, from humane + -ly (2).
humaneness (n.) Look up humaneness at
1809, from humane + -ness.
humanism (n.) Look up humanism at
along with humanist used in a variety of philosophical and theological senses 16c.-18c., especially ones concerned with the (mere) humanity of Christ, or imitating Latin humanitas "education befitting a cultivated man." See human (adj.) + -ism. In the sense "the doctrine or science of human nature," humanics (1864) has been used.

From 1832 in reference to "intelligent study and appreciation of the classics," especially in reference to the Renaissance. By 1847 in reference to "system or mode of thought in which human interests predominate" (originally often in the writings of its enemies). As a pragmatic system of thought, defined 1907 by co-founder F.C.S. Schiller as "The perception that the philosophical problem concerns human beings striving to comprehend a world of human experience by the resources of human minds."
humanist (n.) Look up humanist at
1580s, "student of the classical humanities, one accomplished in literature and classical culture," from Middle French humaniste (16c.), formed on model of Italian umanista "student of human affairs or human nature," coined by Italian poet Lodovicio Ariosto (1474-1533), from Latin humanus "human" (see human (adj.).

In this use, the original notion appears to be "human" as opposed to "divine," that is, a student of the human achievements of the pre-Christian authors and philosophers, as opposed to the theological studies of the divines. As "this new-old learning had, or was credited with, a tendency to loosen the hold of the Church upon men's beliefs," humanist also gradually came to mean "free-thinker" [Fowler]. Philosophical sense is from 1903, from Comte's Religion of Humanity (compare humanism), unconnected to the two earlier meanings, "though accidentally near one of them in effect" [Fowler].
humanistic (adj.) Look up humanistic at
1845 (humanistical is from 1716), in reference to Renaissance or classical humanism; from humanist + -ic. From 1904 in reference to a modern philosophy that concerns itself with the interests of the human race.
humanitarian (n.) Look up humanitarian at
1794 in the theological sense "one who affirms the humanity of Christ but denies his pre-existence and divinity," from human (adj.) + suffix from unitarian, etc. By 1834 as "one who professes the creed that a person's highest duty is to advance the welfare of the human race," but the closely allied sense "philanthropist, one who advocates or practices human action to solve social problems" (1842), originally was disparaging, with a suggestion of excess. Compare humanism.

As an adjective by 1834 in the theological sense "affirming the humanity or human nature of Christ;" by 1855 as "having regard for the broad interests of humanity."
humanitarianism (n.) Look up humanitarianism at
by 1794 as a Christian theological position that Jesus Christ possessed a human nature only, from humanitarian + -ism.As "the doctrine that philanthropy or ethical benevolence is the highest of human duties," it is attested by 1838.
humanities (n.) Look up humanities at
1702; plural of humanity (n.), which had been used in English from late 15c. in a sense "class of studies concerned with human culture" (opposed variously and at different times to divinity or sciences). Latin literae humaniores, they are fondly believed to have been so called because they were those branches of literature (ancient classics, rhetoric, poetry) which tended to humanize or refine by their influence, but perhaps originally the distinction was of human topics as opposed to divine ones (literae divinae).