- living (adj.)
- "alive," also "residing, staying," c. 1200, from present participle of live (v.)).
- living (n.)
- "living persons," late Old English; early 14c. as "the fact of dwelling in some place," from Old English lifiende "that lives or has life," present participle of lifan (see live (v.)). The meaning "action, process, or method of gaining one's livelihood" is attested from c. 1400.
- living room (n.)
- "room set up for ordinary social use," 1795 (as opposed to bedroom, dining room, etc.); from living (n.) + room (n.).
- livre (n.)
- former French money, 1550s, from French livre "pound," in Old French in both the weight and money senses, from Latin libra "pound" (see Libra). Equivalent to the 20c. franc, it was made up of 20 sous.
- lixiviate (v.)
- 1758, from past participle stem of Modern Latin lixiviare, from Latin lixivium, neuter of lixivius "made into lye," from lix "ashes, lye."
- lizard (n.)
- "an animal resembling a serpent, with legs added to it" [Johnson], late 14c., lusarde, from Anglo-French lusard, Old French laisarde "lizard" (Modern French lézard), from Latin lacertus (fem. lacerta) "lizard," of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *leq- "to bend, twist" [Klein].
- pet form of fem. proper name Elizabeth, used colloquially for "a motor car" (especially an early-model Ford) from 1913; also tin lizzie.
- llama (n.)
- woolly-haired South American ruminant, c. 1600, from Spanish llama (1535), from Quechua (Peru) llama.
- common in Welsh place names, literally "St. Mary's Church," from Welsh llan "church" (see land (n.)) + Mair "Mary," with lentition of m- to f-.
- llano (n.)
- 1610s, American Spanish, "prairie," from Spanish llano "plain, even, level, smooth," ultimately from Latin planum "plain," from planus "smooth" (see plane (n.1)). Hence, llanero "a Latin-American cowboy" (1819), literally "plainsman."
- abbreviation of Limited Liability Company (see limited).
- male proper name, from Welsh Llywelin, often explained as "lion-like," but probably from llyw "leader."
- male proper name, from Welsh Llwyd, literally "gray," from PIE *pel- (2) "pale" (see pallor). Lloyd's, meaning the London-based association of marine underwriters, is first recorded as such 1805, from Lloyd's Coffee House, Tower Street, London, opened in 1688 by Edward Lloyd, who supplied shipping information to his patrons.
- by 1997, online abbreviation of laughing my ass off. Related: LMFAO (by 2000).
- lo (interj.)
- early 13c., from Old English la, exclamation of surprise, grief, or joy; influenced in Middle English by lo!, short for lok "look!" imperative of loken "to look" (see look (v.)). Expression lo and behold attested by 1779.
- loach (n.)
- small edible European fish, mid-14c., from Old French loche (13c.), also, in dialect, "slug," of unknown origin (see discussion in Gamillscheg).
- load (v.)
- late 15c., "to place in or on a vehicle," from load (n.). Transitive sense of "to put a load in or on" is from c. 1500; of firearms from 1620s. Of a vehicle, "to fill with passengers," from 1832. Related: Loaded; loaden (obs.); loading.
- load (n.)
- "that which is laid upon a person or beast, burden," c. 1200, from Old English lad "way, course, carrying," from Proto-Germanic *laitho (cognates: Old High German leita, German leite, Old Norse leið "way, course"); related to Old English lædan "to guide," from PIE *leit- "to go forth" (see lead (v.)). Sense shifted 13c. to supplant words based on lade, to which it is not etymologically connected; original association with "guide" is preserved in lodestone. Meaning "amount customarily loaded at one time" is from c. 1300.
Figurative sense of "burden weighing on the mind, heart, or soul" is first attested 1590s. Meaning "amount of work" is from 1946. Colloquial loads "lots, heaps" is attested from c. 1600. Phrase take a load off (one's) feet "sit down, relax" is from 1914, American English. Get a load of "take a look at" is American English colloquial, attested from 1929.
- loaded (adj.)
- "drunk," slang, 1886, from past participle of load (v.), from expression take one's load "drink one's fill" (1590s). In the sense of "rich," loaded is attested from 1910.
- loader (n.)
- late 15c., "person who loads," agent noun from load (v.). Of machinery, by 1862.
- loaf (n.)
- late 13c., from Old English hlaf "portion of bread baked in a mass of definite form," from Proto-Germanic *khlaibuz (cognates: Old Norse hleifr, Swedish lev, Old Frisian hlef, Old High German hleib, German Laib, Gothic hlaifs "bread, loaf"), of uncertain origin, perhaps connected to Old English hlifian "to raise higher, tower," on the notion of the bread rising as it bakes, but it is unclear whether "loaf" or "bread" is the original sense. Finnish leipä, Old Church Slavonic chlebu, Lithuanian klepas probably are Germanic loan words. Meaning "chopped meat shaped like a bread loaf" is attested from 1787.
- loaf (v.)
- 1835, American English, back-formation from loafer (1830). Related: Loafed; loafing.
The term "loafing" is, of course, very vague. Its meaning, like that of its opposite, "work," depends largely on the user. The highly successful quarterback with an E in Greek is a loafer in his professor's eyes, while the idea of the professor's working, in spite of his voluminous researches on Mycenean Table Manners, would excite hoots of derision from the laborer that lays the drains before his study window. [Yale Literary Magazine, May 1908]
- loafer (n.)
- "idler, person who loafs," 1830, of uncertain origin, often regarded as a variant of land loper (1795), a partial loan-translation of German Landläufer "vagabond," from Land "land" + Läufer "runner," from laufen "to run" (see leap (v.)). But OED finds this connection "not very probable." As a type of shoe, 1937. Related: Loafers.
- loam (n.)
- Old English lam "clay, mud, mire, earth," from Proto-Germanic *laimaz (cognates: Old Saxon lemo, Dutch leem, German Lehm "loam"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)). As a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1660s. As a verb from c. 1600.
- loan (n.)
- mid-13c., from Old Norse lan, related to lja "to lend," from Proto-Germanic *laikhwniz (cognates: Old Frisian len "thing lent," Middle Dutch lene, Dutch leen "loan, fief," Old High German lehan, German Lehn "fief, feudal tenure"), originally "to let have, to leave (to someone)," from PIE *leikw- "to leave" (see relinquish).
The Norse word also is cognate with Old English læn "gift," which did not survive into Middle English, but its derived verb lænan is the source of lend. As a verb, loan is attested from 1540s, perhaps earlier, and formerly was current, but has now been supplanted in England by lend, though it survives in American English.
Loan word (1874) is a translation of German Lehnwort; loan-translation is attested 1933, from German Lehnübersetzung. Slang loan shark first attested 1900.
- loaner (n.)
- 1884, "one who lends," agent noun from loan (v.). Meaning "a thing loaned" especially in place of one being repaired, is from 1926.
- loath (adj.)
- Old English lað "hated; hateful; hostile; repulsive," from Proto-Germanic *laithaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian leth "loathsome," Old Norse leiðr "hateful, hostile, loathed;" Middle Dutch lelijc, Dutch leelijk "ugly;" Old High German leid "sorrowful, hateful, offensive, grievous," German Leid "sorrow;" French laid "ugly," from Frankish (Germanic) *laid), from PIE root *leit- "to detest."
Weakened meaning "averse, disinclined" is attested from late 14c. Loath to depart, a line from some long-forgotten song, is recorded since 1580s as a generic term expressive of any tune played at farewells, the sailing of a ship, etc. Related: Loathness.
- loathe (v.)
- Old English laðian "to hate, to be disgusted with," from lað "hostile" (see loath). Cognate with Old Saxon lethon, Old Norse leiða. Related: Loathed; loathing.
- loathing (n.)
- "abhorrence," mid-14c., verbal noun from loathe.
- loathly (adj.)
- Old English laðlic "hateful, horrible, unpleasant;" see loath + -ly (2). As an adverb, Old English laðlice.
- loathsome (adj.)
- c. 1300, "foul, detestable," from loath in its older, stronger sense + -some (1). Related: Loathsomely; loathsomeness.
- lob (v.)
- "send up in a slow, high arc," 1824 (implied in lobbing), but the word existed 16c. in various senses suggesting heavy, pendant, or floppy things, and probably is ultimately from an unrecorded Old English word; compare East Frisian lobbe "hanging lump of flesh," Dutch lob "hanging lip, ruffle, hanging sleeve," Danish lobbes "clown, bumpkin." Related: Lobbed; lobbing. The noun in this sense is from 1875, from the verb.
- lob (n.)
- a word of widespread application to lumpish things, probably in Old English. Compare Middle Dutch, Middle Low German lobbe, Old Norse lubba. From late 13c. as a surname; meaning "pollack" is from early 14c.; that of "lazy lout" is from late 14c.
- lobate (adj.)
- "having lobes," 1760, from Modern Latin lobatus, from lobus (see lobe).
- lobby (n.)
- 1530s, "cloister, covered walk," from Medieval Latin laubia, lobia "covered walk in a monastery," from a Germanic source (compare Old High German louba "hall, roof;" see lodge (n.)). Meaning "large entrance hall in a public building" is from 1590s. Political sense of "those who seek to influence legislation" is attested by 1790s in American English, in reference to the custom of influence-seekers gathering in large entrance-halls outside legislative chambers.
- lobby (v.)
- "seek to influence legislation," 1826, American English, from lobby (n.). Related: Lobbied; lobbying.
- lobbyist (n.)
- 1863, American English, from lobby (n.) in the political sense + -ist.
[A] strong lobbyist will permit himself to lose heavily at the poker-table, under the assumption that the great Congressman who wins the stake will look leniently upon the little appropriation he means to ask for. [George A. Townsend, "Events at the National Capital and the Campaign of 1876," Hartford, Conn., 1876]
- lobe (n.)
- early 15c., "a lobe of the liver or lungs," from Middle French lobe and directly from Medieval Latin lobus, from Late Latin lobus "hull, husk, pod," from Greek lobos "lobe of the ear, vegetable pod," perhaps related to Greek leberis "husk of fruits," from PIE *logwos. Extended 1670s to divisions of the brain.
- loblolly (n.)
- "thick gruel," 1590s, probably from lob, imitative of bubbling and boiling + lolly, obsolete Devonshire dialect word for "broth, soup, food boiled in a pot."
- lobo (n.)
- wolf of the U.S. southwest, 1859, from Spanish lobo, from Latin lupus (see wolf).
- lobotomize (v.)
- 1943; see lobotomy + -ize. Related: Lobotomized.
- lobotomy (n.)
- 1936, coined from lobe (in the brain sense) + medical suffix -tomy. Figurative use is attested from 1953.
Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
That I got no cerebellum
[Ramones, "Teenage Lobotomy," 1977]
- lobster (n.)
- marine shellfish, Old English loppestre "lobster, locust," corruption of Latin locusta, lucusta "lobster, locust," by influence of Old English loppe "spider," a variant of lobbe. The ending of Old English loppestre is the fem. agent noun suffix (as in Baxter, Webster; see -ster), which approximated the Latin sound.
Perhaps a transferred use of the Latin word; trilobite fossils in Worcestershire limestone quarries were known colloquially as locusts, which seems to be the generic word for "unidentified arthropod," as apple is for "foreign fruit." OED says the Latin word originally meant "lobster or some similar crustacean, the application to the locust being suggested by the resemblance in shape." Locusta in the sense "lobster" also appears in French (langouste now "crawfish, crayfish," but in Old French "lobster" and "locust;" a 13c. psalter has God giving over the crops of Egypt to the langoustes) and Old Cornish (legast). As slang for "a British soldier" since 1640s, originally in reference to the jointed armor of the Roundhead cuirassiers, later (1660) to the red coat.
Sir William Waller having received from London [in June 1643] a fresh regiment of five hundred horse, under the command of sir Arthur Haslerigge, which were so prodigiously armed that they were called by the other side the regiment of lobsters, because of their bright iron shells with which they were covered, being perfect curasseers. [Clarendon, "History of the Rebellion," 1647]
- loc. cit.
- 1854, abbreviation of Latin loco citato or locus citatus "in the place cited;" hence, "in the book that has been previously quoted."
- locable (adj.)
- 1816, from Latin locare "to place" (see locate) + -able. Alternative formation locatable is attested from 1838.
- local (adj.)
- "pertaining to position," late 14c. (originally medical, "confined to a particular part of the body"), from Old French local (13c.) and directly from Late Latin localis "pertaining to a place," from Latin locus "place" (see locus). The meaning "limited to a particular place" is from c. 1500. Local color is from 1721, originally a term in painting; meaning "anything picturesque" is from c. 1900.
- local (n.)
- early 15c., "a medicament applied to a particular part of the body," from local (adj.). Meaning "inhabitant of a particular locality" is from 1825. The meaning "a local train" is from 1879; "local branch of a trade union" is from 1888; "neighborhood pub" is from 1934.
- locale (n.)
- 1772, local, from French local, noun use of local (adj.), from Latin locus "place" (see locus). English spelling with -e (1816) probably is based on morale or else to indicate stress.
The word's right to exist depends upon the question whether the two indispensable words locality & scene give all the shades of meaning required, or whether something intermediate is useful. [Fowler]
- localism (n.)
- "attachment to a particular locality," 1803, from local (adj.) + -ism. Meaning "something characteristic of a particular locality" is from 1823.
- localist (n.)
- 1680s, from local (adj.) + -ist. Related: Localistic.