- shoddy (adj.)
- 1862, "having a delusive appearance of high quality," a Northern word from the American Civil War in reference to the quality of government supplies for the armies, from earlier noun meaning "rag-wool, wool made of woolen waste and old rags" (1832), perhaps a Yorkshire provincial word, of uncertain origin.
Originally used for padding, English manufacturers began making coarse wearing clothes from it, and when new it looked like broad-cloth but the gloss quickly wore off, giving the stuff a bad reputation as a cheat. The 1860 U.S. census of manufactures notes import of more than 6 million pounds of it, which was "much used in the manufacture of army and navy cloths and blankets in the United States" according to an 1865 government report.
The Days of Shoddy, as the reader will readily anticipate, are the opening months of the present war, at which time the opprobrious name first came into general use as a designation for swindling and humbug of every character; and nothing more need be said to indicate the scope of this novel. [Henry Morford, "The Days of Shoddy: A Novel of the Great Rebellion in 1861," Philadelphia, 1863]
Related: Shoddily; shoddiness.
- shoe (n.)
- Old English scoh "shoe," from Proto-Germanic *skokhaz (cognates: Old Norse skor, Danish and Swedish sko, Old Frisian skoch, Old Saxon skoh, Middle Dutch scoe, Dutch schoen, Old High German scuoh, German Schuh, Gothic skoh). No known cognates outside Germanic, unless it somehow is connected with PIE root *skeu- "cover" (cognates: second element in Latin ob-scurus).
Old plural form shoon lasted until 16c. Meaning "metal plate to protect a horse's hoof" is attested from late 14c. Distinction between shoe and boot (n.) is attested from c.1400. To stand in someone's shoes "see things from his or her point of view" is attested from 1767. Old shoe as a type of something worthless is attested from late 14c.
Shoes tied to the fender of a newlywed couple's car preserves the old custom (mentioned from 1540s) of throwing an old shoe at or after someone to wish them luck. Perhaps the association is with dirtiness, on the "muck is luck" theory.
- shoe (v.)
- Old English scogan "to shoe," from the root of shoe (n.). In reference to horses from c.1200. Related: Shoed; shoeing.
- shoe-shine (adj.)
- 1911, from shoe (n.) + shine (n.). One who shines shoes for money was a shoeblacker (1755).
- shoe-string (n.)
- 1610s, from shoe (n.) + string (n.). As figurative for "a small amount" it is recorded from 1882; as a type of necktie, from 1903; as a style of cooked potatoes from 1906.
- shoebox (n.)
- 1860, from shoe (n.) + box (n.). In reference to a type of building from 1968.
- shoehorn (v.)
- in the figurative sense of "to put or thrust (something somewhere) by means of a 'tool,' " 1859, from shoehorn (n.). Earlier it meant "to cuckold" (mid-17c.), with a play on horn.
- shoehorn (n.)
- 1580s, from shoe (n.) + horn (n.); earlier shoeing-horn (mid-15c.).
- shoelace (n.)
- 1640s, from shoe (n.) + lace (n.).
- shoeless (adj.)
- 1620s, from shoe (n.) + -less. Related: Shoelessly; shoelessness.
- shoemaker (n.)
- late 14c. (mid-14c. as a surname), from shoe (n.) + maker.
- shofar (n.)
- ram's horn blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, 1833, from Hebrew shophar "ram's horn," related to Arabic sawafiru "ram's horns," Akkadian shapparu "wild goat."
- shogun (n.)
- 1610s, "hereditary commander of a Japanese army," from Japanese (sei-i-tai) shogun "(barbarian-subduing) chief" (late 12c.), sound-substitution for Chinese chiang chiin, literally "lead army."
- shogunate (n.)
- 1871, a hybrid, from Japanese shogun + Latinate suffix -ate (1).
- shoo (v.)
- 1620s, "to drive away by calling 'shoo,' " from the exclamation (late 15c.), perhaps instinctive, compare German schu, Italian scioia. Related: Shooed; shooing.
- shoo-fly (interj.)
- admonition to a pest, by 1867 (in baseball slang), from shoo (v.) + fly (n.). Popularized by a Dan Bryant minstrel song c.1870, which launched it as a catch-phrase that, according to H.L. Mencken, "afflicted the American people for at least two years." Shoo-fly pie is attested from 1935.
- shoo-in (n.)
- "easy winner" (especially in politics)," 1939, from earlier sense "horse that wins a race by pre-arrangement" (1928); the verb phrase shoo in in this sense is from 1908; from shoo (v.) + in (adv.).
- shook (adj.)
- "disturbed," 1891, past participle adjective from shake (v.). Shook up "excited" is 1897 slang, revived 1957 by Elvis Presley.
- shoot (n.2)
- 1530s, "an act of shooting;" 1852 as "a shooting match or party," from shoot (v.).
- shoot (v.)
- Old English sceotan "to hurl missiles, cast; strike, hit, push; run, rush; send forth swiftly; wound with missiles" (class II strong verb; past tense sceat, past participle scoten), from Proto-Germanic *skeutanan (cognates: Old Saxon skiotan, Old Norse skjota "to shoot with (a weapon); shoot, launch, push, shove quickly," Old Frisian skiata, Middle Dutch skieten, Dutch schieten, Old High German skiozan, German schießen), from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, to chase, to throw, to project" (cognates: Sanskrit skundate "hastens, makes haste," Old Church Slavonic iskydati "to throw out," Lithuanian skudrus "quick, nimble").
In reference to pool playing, from 1926. Meaning "to strive (for)" is from 1967, American English. Sense of "descend (a river) quickly" is from 1610s. Meaning "to inject by means of a hypodermic needle" is attested from 1914. Meaning "photograph" (especially a movie) is from 1890. As an interjection, an arbitrary euphemistic alteration of shit, it is recorded from 1934. Shoot the breeze "chat" first recorded 1941. Shoot-'em-up (adj.) in reference to violent entertainment (Western movies, etc.) is from 1942. Shoot to kill first attested 1867. Shoot the cat "to vomit" is from 1785. To shoot the moon originally meant "depart by night with ones goods to escape back rent" (1829).
O, 'tis cash makes such crowds to the gin shops roam,
And 'tis cash often causes a rumpus at home ;
'Tis when short of cash people oft shoot the moon ;
And 'tis cash always keeps our pipes in tune.
Cash! cash! &c.
["The Melodist and Mirthful Olio, An Elegant Collection of the Most Popular Songs," vol. IV, London, 1829]
- shoot (n.1)
- "young branch of a tree or plant," mid-15c., from shoot (v.). Also "heavy, sudden rush of water" (1610s); "artificial channel for water running down" (1707); "conduit for coal, etc." (1844).
- shoot-out (n.)
- 1953; expression shoot it out is from 1912; see shoot (v.) + out (adv.).
- shooter (n.)
- Old English sceotere "one who shoots," agent noun from shoot (v.). As a type of gun from 1812; as a small alcoholic drink, 1971. Shootee is attested from 1837.
- shooting (n.)
- Old English scotung, verbal noun from shoot (v.). Sports sense from 1885; film camera sense by 1920. Shooting gallery is from 1836; shooting match is from 1750. Shooting star first recorded 1590s (shoot (v.) with reference to meteors is from late 13c.).
- shootist (n.)
- 1864, from shoot (v.) + -ist.
- shop (n.)
- c.1300, "booth or shed for trade or work," perhaps from Old English scoppa, a rare word of uncertain meaning, apparently related to scypen "cowshed," from Proto-Germanic *skoppan "small additional structure" (cognates: Old High German scopf "building without walls, porch," German dialectal Scopf "porch, cart-shed, barn," German Schuppen "a shed"), from root *skupp-. Or the Middle English word was acquired from Old French eschoppe "booth, stall" (Modern French échoppe), which is a Germanic loan-word from the same root.
Meaning "building or room set aside for sale of merchandise" is from mid-14c. Meaning "schoolroom equipped for teaching vocational arts" is from 1914, American English. Sense of "matters pertaining to one's trade" is from 1814 (as in talk shop (v.), 1860).
- shop (v.)
- 1680s, "to bring something to a shop, to expose for sale," from shop (n.). The meaning "to visit shops for the purpose of examining or purchasing goods" is first attested 1764. Related: Shopped; shopping. Shop around is from 1922. Shopping cart is recorded from 1956; shopping list first attested 1913; transferred and figurative use is from 1959.
- shop-window (n.)
- mid-15c., from shop (n.) + window (n.).
- shop-worn (adj.)
- "shabby from handling while on display," 1838, from shop (n.) + worn (adj.).
- shopaholic (n.)
- 1984, from shop (v.) + -aholic.
- shopkeeper (n.)
- 1520s, from shop (n.) + keeper.
- shoplift (v.)
- also shop-lift, 1820, back-formation from shoplifting. Related: Shop-lifted.
- shoplifter (n.)
- 1670s, from shop (n.) + agent noun of lift (v.). Also in same sense shop-lift (1670s); shop-thief.
- shoplifting (n.)
- 1690s, "stealing of goods from a shop;" see shoplifter.
- shoppe (n.)
- one of several Middle English variations of shop (n.). It appears in Chaucer. Noted by 1918 as an antiquarian affectation in U.S. commercial establishments.
YE EAT SHOPPE
I admit that the name is against it. As a matter of fact, 732 Eighth Avenue is nothing more nor less than a good old-fashioned midnight lunch-room camouflaged by a flossy title. [Helen Worden Erskine, "The Real New York," 1933]
- shopper (n.)
- agent noun from shop (v.).
- shopping (n.)
- 1764, "act or practice of visiting shops," verbal noun from shop (v.). Meaning "goods that have been purchased" is from 1934. Shopping bag attested from 1886; shopping list from 1913.
- shore (n.)
- "land bordering a large body of water," c.1300, from an Old English word or from Middle Low German schor "shore, coast, headland," or Middle Dutch scorre "land washed by the sea," all probably from Proto-Germanic *skur-o- "cut," from PIE *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)).
According to etymologists originally with a sense of "division" between land and water. But if the word began on the North Sea coast of the continent, it might as well have meant originally "land 'cut off' from the mainland by tidal marshes" (compare Old Norse skerg "an isolated rock in the sea," related to sker "to cut, shear"). Old English words for "coast, shore" were strand (n.), waroþ, ofer. Few Indo-European languages have such a single comprehensive word for "land bordering water" (Homer uses one word for sandy beaches, another for rocky headlands). General application to "country near a seacoast" is attested from 1610s.
- shore (v.)
- mid-14c., "to prop, support with a prop;" of obscure etymology though widespread in Germanic (Middle Dutch schooren "to prop up, support," Old Norse skorða (n.) "a piece of timber set up as a support"). Related: Shored; shoring. Also as a noun, "post or beam for temporary support of something" (mid-15c.), especially an oblique timber to brace the side of a building or excavation.
- shoreline (n.)
- also shore-line, 1852 in the geographical sense, from shore (n.) + line (n.).
- shorn (adj.)
- "shaven," late Old English scoren, past participle adjective from shear (v.).
- short (adj.)
- Old English sceort, scort "short, not long, not tall; brief," probably from Proto-Germanic *skurta- (cognates: Old Norse skorta "to be short of," skort "shortness;" Old High German scurz "short"), from PIE root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut," with notion of "something cut off" (cognates: Sanskrit krdhuh "shortened, maimed, small;" Latin curtus "short," cordus "late-born," originally "stunted in growth;" Old Church Slavonic kratuku, Russian korotkij "short;" Lithuanian skurstu "to be stunted," skardus "steep;" Old Irish cert "small," Middle Irish corr "stunted, dwarfish").
Meaning "having an insufficient quantity" is from 1690s. Meaning "rude" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "easily provoked" is from 1590s; perhaps the notion is of being "not long in tolerating." Short fuse in figurative sense of "quick temper" first attested 1968. To fall short is from archery. Short run "relatively brief period of time" is from 1879. Short story first recorded 1877. To make short work of "dispose of quickly" is first attested 1570s. Phrase short and sweet is from 1530s. To be short by the knees (1733) was to be kneeling; to be short by the head (1540s) was to be beheaded.
- short (n.)
- 1580s, the short "the result, the total," from short (adj.). Meaning "electrical short circuit" first recorded 1906 (see short circuit). Meaning "contraction of a name or phrase" is from 1873 (as in for short). Slang meaning "car" is attested from 1897; originally "street car," so called because street cars (or the rides taken in them) were "shorter" than railroad cars.
- short (v.)
- Old English sceortian "to grow short, become short; run short, fail," from the source of short (adj.). Transitive meaning "make short" is from late 12c. Meaning "to short-circuit" is by 1904. Related: Shorted; shorting.
- short circuit (n.)
- also short-circuit, 1854, in electricity, from short (adj.) + circuit (n.). As a verb, introduce a shunt of low resistance," from 1867; intransitive sense from 1902; in the figurative sense is recorded by 1899. Related: short-circuited; short-circuiting.
- short-change (v.)
- also shortchange, "to cheat by giving too little change to," 1903, from adjectival expression short-change (with man, trick, etc.), 1901, from short (adj.) + change (n.).
- short-lived (adj.)
- 1580s, from short (adj.) + past tense of live (v.).
- short-order (adj.)
- of restaurants, from 1897, from adverbial expression in short order "rapidly, with no fuss," from short (adj.) + order (n.).
- short-sighted (adj.)
- also shortsighted, 1640s, of eyesight, "myopic;" 1620s in the sense "lacking foresight;" see short (adj.) + sight (n.). Related: Shortsightedly; shortsightedness.
- short-sleeve (n.)
- 1630s, from short (adj.) + sleeve. First recorded in an ordinance of Massachusetts Bay colony, forbidding "short sleeves, whereby the nakedness of the arme may be discovered."