- pulsar (n.)
- 1968, from pulse (n.1), the form on analogy of quasar. When discovered in 1967, they were thought perhaps to be signals from alien civilizations and astronomers informally dubbed them LGM for "Little Green Men."
- pulsate (v.)
- 1741, back-formation from pulsation, from Latin pulsatus, past participle of pulsare "to beat against, strike upon" (see pulsation). Related: Pulsated; pulsating; pulsatile.
- pulsation (n.)
- early 15c., from Middle French pulsation (14c.) and directly from Latin pulsationem (nominative pulsatio) "a beating or striking," noun of action from past participle stem of pulsare "to beat, strike, push against' hammer, keep hitting," figuratively "drive forth, disturb, disquiet," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to beat, strike" (see pulse (n.1)).
- pulse (n.1)
- "a throb, a beat," early 14c., from Old French pous, pulse (late 12c., Modern French pouls) and directly from Latin pulsus (in pulsus venarum "beating from the blood in the veins"), past participle of pellere "to push, drive," from PIE *pel- (6) "to thrust, strike, drive" (source also of Greek pallein "to wield, brandish, swing," pelemizein "to shake, cause to tremble"). Extended usages from 16c. Figurative use for "life, vitality, essential energy" is from 1530s.
- pulse (n.2)
- "peas, beans, lentils," late 13c., from Old French pouls, pols and directly from Latin puls "thick gruel, porridge, mush," probably via Etruscan, from Greek poltos "porridge" made from flour, from PIE *pel- (1) "dust, flour" (see pollen; also compare poultice).
- pulse (v.)
- "to beat, throb," early 15c., from pulse (n.1) or else from Latin pulsare "to beat, throb," and in part from French. Related: Pulsed; pulsing.
- pulverise (v.)
- chiefly British English spelling of pulverize (q.v.). Also see -ize. Related: Pulverised; pulverising; pulverisation.
- pulverization (n.)
- 1650s, noun of action from pulverize, or else from French pulvérisation, from Middle French pulveriser.
- pulverize (v.)
- early 15c., from Late Latin pulverizare "reduce to powder or dust," from Latin pulvis (genitive pulveris) "dust, powder" (see pollen). Related: Pulverized; pulverizing.
- puma (n.)
- 1777, from Spanish puma, from Quechua (Peru) puma.
- pumice (n.)
- c. 1400, from Anglo-French and Old French pomis (13c.), from Late Latin pomicem (nominative pomex, genitive pumicis), from Oscan *poimex or some other dialectal variant of Latin pumex "pumice," from PIE *(s)poi-mo-, a root with connotations of "foam, froth" (see foam (n.)). Old English had pumic-stan. As a verb, early 15c., from the noun.
- pumiceous (adj.)
- 1670s, from Latin pumiceus "of pumice stone," from pumex (see pumice).
- pummel (v.)
- 1540s, alteration of pommel in the verbal sense of "to beat repeatedly." In early use pumble, poumle; current spelling from c. 1600. Related: Pummeled; pummeling.
- pump (n.1)
- "apparatus for forcing liquid or air," early 15c., of uncertain origin, possibly from Middle Dutch pompe "water conduit, pipe," or Middle Low German pumpe "pump" (Modern German Pumpe), both from some North Sea sailors' word, possibly of imitative origin.
- pump (n.2)
- "low shoe without fasteners," 1550s, of unknown origin, perhaps echoic of the sound made when walking in them, or perhaps from Dutch pampoesje, from Javanese pampoes, of Arabic origin. Klein's sources propose a connection with pomp (n.). Related: pumps.
- pump (v.)
- c. 1500, from pump (n.1). Metaphoric extension in pump (someone) for information is from 1630s. To pump iron "lift weights for fitness" is from 1972. Related: Pumped; pumping.
- pumper (n.)
- 1650s, agent noun from pump (v.). As "fire engine that pumps water," by 1915.
- pumpernickel (n.)
- "dark rye bread," 1756, pompernickel, from German (Westphalian dialect) Pumpernickel (1663), originally an abusive nickname for a stupid person, from pumpern "to break wind" + Nickel "goblin, lout, rascal," from proper name Niklaus (see Nicholas). An earlier German name for it was krankbrot, literally "sick-bread."
- pumpkin (n.)
- 1640s, alteration of pompone, pumpion "melon, pumpkin" (1540s), from Middle French pompon, from Latin peponem (nominative pepo) "melon," from Greek pepon "melon," probably originally "cooked (by the sun)," hence "ripe;" from peptein "to cook" (see cook (n.)). Pumpkin-pie is recorded from 1650s. Pumpkin-head, American English colloquial for "person with hair cut short all around" is recorded from 1781. Vulgar American English alternative spelling punkin attested by 1806.
America's a dandy place:
The people are all brothers:
And when one's got a punkin pye,
He shares it with the others.
[from "A Song for the Fourth of July, 1806," in "The Port Folio," Philadelphia, Aug. 30, 1806]
- pun (n.)
- 1660s (first attested in Dryden), of uncertain origin, perhaps from pundigron, which is perhaps a humorous alteration of Italian puntiglio "equivocation, trivial objection," diminutive of Latin punctum "point." This is pure speculation. The verb also is attested from 1660s. Related: Punned; punning.
Pun was prob. one of the clipped words, such as cit, mob, nob, snob, which came into fashionable slang at or after the Restoration. [OED]
- punch (v.)
- "to thrust, push; jostle;" also, "prod, to drive (cattle, etc.) by poking and prodding," late 14c., from Old French ponchonner "to punch, prick, stamp," from ponchon "pointed tool, piercing weapon" (see punch (n.1)). Meaning "to pierce, emboss with a tool" is from early 15c.; meaning "to stab, puncture" is from mid-15c. To punch a ticket, etc., is from mid-15c. To punch the clock "record one's arrival at or departure from the workplace using an automated timing device" is from 1900. Related: Punched; punching.
Perhaps you are some great big chief, who has a lot to say.
Specialized sense "to hit with the fist" first recorded 1520s. Compare Latin pugnare "to fight with the fists," from a root meaning "to pierce, sting." In English this was probably influenced by punish; "punch" or "punsch" for "punish" is found in documents from 14c.-15c.:
Who lords it o'er the common herd who chance to come your way;
Well, here is where your arrogance gets a dreadful shock,
When you march up, like a private, salute, and PUNCH THE CLOCK.
[from "Punch the Clock," by "The Skipper," "The Commercial Telegraphers' Journal," May 1912]
punchyth me, Lorde, and spare my blyssyd wyff Anne. [Coventry Mystery Plays, late 15c.]
To punch (someone) out "beat up" is from 1971.
- punch (n.1)
- "pointed tool for making holes or embossing," late 14c., short for puncheon (mid-14c.), from Old French ponchon, poinchon "pointed tool, piercing weapon," from Vulgar Latin *punctionem (nominative *punctio) "pointed tool," from past participle stem of Latin pungere "to prick, pierce, sting," related to pugnus "a fist" (see pugnacious). From mid-15c. as "a stab, thrust;" late 15c. as "a dagger." Meaning "machine for pressing or stamping a die" is from 1620s.
- punch (n.2)
- type of mixed drink, 1630s, traditionally since 17c. said to derive from Hindi panch "five," in reference to the number of original ingredients (spirits, water, lemon juice, sugar, spice), from Sanskrit panchan-s, from pancha "five" (see five). But there are difficulties (see OED), and connection to puncheon (n.1) is not impossible.
- Punch (n.)
- the puppet show star, 1709, shortening of Punchinello (1666), from Italian (Neapolitan) Pollecinella, Pollecenella, diminutive of pollecena "turkey pullet," probably in allusion to his big nose. The phrase pleased as punch apparently refers to his unfailing triumph over enemies. The comic weekly of this name was published in London from 1841.
- punch (n.3)
- "a quick blow with the fist," by 1570s, probably from punch (v.). In early use also of blows with the foot or jabs with a staff or club. Originally especially of blows that sink in to some degree ("... whom he unmercifully bruises and batters from head to foot: here a slap in the chaps, there a black eye, now a punch in the stomach, and then a kick on the breech," "Monthly Review," 1763). Figurative sense of "forceful, vigorous quality" is recorded from 1911. To beat (someone) to the punch in the figurative sense is from 1915, a metaphor from boxing (attested by 1913). Punch line (also punch-line) is from 1915 (originally in popular-song writing); punch-drunk is from 1915 (alternative form slug-nutty is from 1933).
- punch-bowl (n.)
- 1690s, from punch (n.2) + bowl (n.).
- puncheon (n.1)
- "barrel or cask for soap or liquor; iron vessel," c. 1400, from Old French ponchon, ponson "wine vessel" (13c.), of unknown origin. Uncertain connection with puncheon "slab of timber, strut, wooden beam used as a support in building" (mid-14c.). Punch (n.2) in the drink sense is too late to be the source of the "cask" sense.
- puncheon (n.2)
- "pointed tool for punching or piercing" used by masons, also "die for coining or seal-making," mid-14c.; see punch (n.1). Meaning "stamp, die" is from c. 1500, a specialized use.
- Punchinello (n.)
- see Punch.
- punching (n.)
- c. 1400, "the cutting out of figures;" early 15c. as "a blow with the fist," verbal noun from punch (v.). Related: Punching-bag (1889, figurative sense by 1903; also punch-bag).
- punchless (adj.)
- 1950 of fighters and others lacking requisite power, from punch (n.1); 1853 of situations in which one might seek a drink, from punch (n.2). Related: Punchlessly; punchlessness.
- punchy (adj.1)
- "nervously anxious; irritable from fatigue," 1937, from punch (v.) + -y (2). Perhaps originally a shortening of punch-drunk. Related: Punchily; punchiness.
- punchy (adj.2)
- "full of vigor," 1926, from punch (n.3) + -y (2). Related: Punchily; punchiness.
- punctate (adj.)
- "dotted, marked with dots," 1760, from Modern Latin punctuatus, from Latin punctum "point" (see point). Related: Punctation.
- punctilio (n.)
- 1590s, "point," also "detail of action," from Italian puntiglio or Spanish puntillo, diminutive of punto "point" (see point (n.)).
- punctilious (adj.)
- 1630s, probably from Italian puntiglioso, from puntiglio "fine point," from Latin punctum "prick" (see point (n.)). Related: Punctiliously; punctiliousness.
- punctual (adj.)
- c. 1400, from Medieval Latin punctualis, from Latin punctus "a pricking" (see point (n.)). Originally "having a sharp point; of the nature of a point;" meaning "prompt" first recorded 1670s, from notion of "insisting on fine points." Related: Punctually.
- punctuality (n.)
- "exactness," 1610s; see punctual + -ity. Meaning "promptness" is from 1777.
- punctuate (v.)
- 1630s, "to point out," from Medieval Latin punctuatus, past participle of punctuare, from Latin punctus (see point (n.)). Meaning in reference to text, "to have pauses or stops indicated," is from 1818, probably a back-formation from punctuation. Hence, "interrupted at intervals" (1833). Related: Punctuated; punctuating.
- punctuation (n.)
- 1530s, "pointing of the psalms," from Medieval Latin punctuationem (nominative punctuatio) "a marking with points," noun of action from past participle stem of punctuare "to mark with points or dots," from Latin punctus "a prick" (see point (n.)). Meaning "system of inserting pauses in written matter" is recorded from 1660s.
[P]unctuation is cold notation; it is not frustrated speech; it is typographic code. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style," 2004]
- puncture (n.)
- late 14c., from Late Latin punctura "a pricking," from Latin punctus, past participle of pungere "to prick, pierce," related to pugnus "a fist" (see pugnacious).
- puncture (v.)
- 1690s, from puncture (n.). Related: Punctured; puncturing.
- pundit (n.)
- 1670s, "learned Hindu," especially one versed in Sanskrit lore, from Hindi payndit "a learned man, master, teacher," from Sanskrit payndita-s "a learned man, scholar," of uncertain origin. Broader application in English is first recorded 1816. Related: Punditry.
- pungency (n.)
- 1640s, from pungent + -cy.
- pungent (adj.)
- 1590s, "sharp, poignant" (of pain or grief), from Latin pungentem (nominative pungens), present participle of pungere "to prick, pierce, sting," figuratively, "to vex, grieve, trouble, afflict," related to pugnus "a fist" (see pugnacious). Meaning "having powerful odor or taste" first recorded 1660s. Literal sense "sharp, pointed" (c. 1600) is very rare in English, mostly limited to botany. Middle English and early Modern English also had a now-obsolete verb punge "to prick, pierce; to smart, cause to sting," from Latin pungere. Related: Pungently.
- Punic (adj.)
- "pertaining to Carthage," 1530s, from Latin Punicus, earlier Poenicus "Carthaginian," originally "Phoenician" (adj.), Carthage having been founded as a Phoenician colony, from Poenus (n.), from Greek Phoinix "Phoenician" (see Phoenician). Carthaginians were proverbial among the Romans as treacherous and perfidious. Punic Wars were three wars between the Romans and the Carthaginians fought 264-146 B.C.E. Related: Punical (early 15c.).
- punish (v.)
- c. 1300, from Old French puniss-, extended present participle stem of punir "to punish," from Latin punire "punish, correct, chastise; take vengeance for; inflict a penalty on, cause pain for some offense," earlier poenire, from poena "penalty, punishment" (see penal). Colloquial meaning "to inflict heavy damage or loss" is first recorded 1801, originally in boxing. Related: Punished; punishing.
- punishable (adj.)
- 1530s, of persons; 1540s, of offenses, from punish + -able.
- punisher (n.)
- mid-14c., agent noun from punish (v.).
- punishing (adj.)
- "hard-hitting," 1811, present participle adjective from punish (v.). Related: Punishingly.