salt-cellar (n.) Look up salt-cellar at
mid-15c., from salt (n.) + saler "salt-cellar" (14c.), from Old French salier "salt box" (Modern French salière), from Latin salarium, noun use of adjective meaning "pertaining to salt," from a diminutive of Latin sal "salt." As the connection between *saler and "salt" was lost, salt- was tacked on to the beginning; second element altered on model of cellar.
saltation (n.) Look up saltation at
"a leap, a bound," 1620s, from Latin saltationem (nominative saltatio) "a dancing; dance," noun of action from past participle stem of saltare "to hop, dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)).
saltine (n.) Look up saltine at
"salted flat cracker," 1907, short for saltine cracker (1894), from salt (n.) + -ine (1).
saltiness (n.) Look up saltiness at
1660s, from salty + -ness.
saltire (n.) Look up saltire at
c. 1400, an ordinary that resembles a St. Andrew's Cross on a shield or flag, consisting of a bend dexter and a bend sinister crossing each other, from Middle French saultoir, literally "stirrup," from Medieval Latin saltatorium, properly neuter of Latin saltatorius "pertaining to leaping," from salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). The connection between a stirrup and the diagonal cross is perhaps the two deltoid shapes that comprise the cross.
saltpeter (n.) Look up saltpeter at
"potassium nitrate," c. 1500, earlier salpetre (early 14c.), from Old French salpetre, from Medieval Latin sal petrae "salt of rock," from Latin sal "salt" (see salt (n.)) + petra "rock, stone" (see petrous). So called because it looks like salt encrusted on rock.
saltpetre (n.) Look up saltpetre at
chiefly British English spelling of saltpeter (q.v.); for ending, see -re.
salty (adj.) Look up salty at
mid-15c., "tasting of salt, impregnated with salt," from salt (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "racy" is from 1866, from salt in the sense of "that which gives life or pungency" (1570s, originally of words or wit). Meaning "racy, sexy" is from 1866. U.S. slang sense of "angry, irritated" is first attested 1938 (probably from similar use with regard to sailors, "tough, aggressive," attested by 1920), especially in phrase jump salty "to unexpectedly become enraged." Related: Saltily.
salubrious (adj.) Look up salubrious at
1540s, from Latin salubris "promoting health, healthful," from salus (genitive salutis) "welfare, health" (see salute (v.)). Related: Salubriously; salubriousness.
salubrity (n.) Look up salubrity at
early 15c., from Latin salubritas, from salubris "promoting health, healthful" (see salubrious).
salud Look up salud at
Spanish, literally "(good) health;" first attested in English 1931. French equivalent salut attested in English by 1921.
salutary (adj.) Look up salutary at
late 15c., from Middle French salutaire "beneficial," or directly from Latin salutaris "healthful," from salus (genitive salutis) "good health" (see salute).
salutation (n.) Look up salutation at
late 14c., from Old French salutacion "greeting," from Latin salutationem (nominative salutatio) "a greeting, saluting," noun of action from past participle stem of salutare "to greet" (see salute (v.)). As a word of greeting (elliptical for "I offer salutation") it is recorded from 1530s. Related: Salutations.
salutatorian (n.) Look up salutatorian at
1841, American English, from salutatory "of the nature of a salutation," here in the specific sense "designating the welcoming address given at a college commencement" (1702) + -ian. The address was originally usually in Latin and given by the second-ranking graduating student.
salutatory (adj.) Look up salutatory at
1690s, "pertaining to a salutation," from Latin salutatorius "pertaining to visiting or greeting," from salut-, past participle stem of salutare "to greet" (see salute (v.)). From 1702 in reference to an address which welcomes those attending commencement exercises.
salute (v.) Look up salute at
late 14c., "to greet courteously and respectfully," earlier salue (c. 1300), from Latin salutare "to greet, pay respects," literally "wish health to," from salus (genitive salutis) "greeting, good health," related to salvus "safe" (see safe (adj.)). The military and nautical sense of "display flags, fire cannons, etc., as a mark of respect" is recorded from 1580s; specific sense of "raise the hand to the cap in the presence of a superior officer" is from 1844.
salute (n.) Look up salute at
c. 1400, "act of saluting, respectful gesture of greeting, salutation," from salute (v.). The military sense is from 1690s; specifically of the hand-to-cap gesture from 1832.
salvage (n.) Look up salvage at
1640s, "payment for saving a ship from wreck or capture," from French salvage (15c.), from Old French salver "to save" (see save (v.)). The general sense of "the saving of property from danger" is attested from 1878. Meaning "recycling of waste material" is from 1918, from the British effort in World War I.
salvage (v.) Look up salvage at
1889, from salvage (n.). Related: Salvaged; salvaging.
salvageable (adj.) Look up salvageable at
by 1915, from salvage (v.) + -able. Salvable is from 1660s in reference to souls; 1797 in reference to ships' cargoes.
salvation (n.) Look up salvation at
c. 1200, originally in the Christian sense, "the saving of the soul," from Old French salvaciun and directly from Late Latin salvationem (nominative salvatio, a Church Latin translation of Greek soteria), noun of action from past participle stem of salvare "to save" (see save (v.)). In general (non-religious) sense, attested from late 14c. Meaning "source of salvation" is from late 14c. Salvation Army is from 1878, founded by the Rev. William Booth.
salve (n.) Look up salve at
Old English sealf "healing ointment," from West Germanic *salbo- "oily substance" (cognates: Old Saxon salba, Middle Dutch salve, Dutch zalf, Old High German salba, German salbe "ointment"), from PIE *solpa-, from root *selp- "fat, butter" (cognates: Greek elpos "fat, oil," Sanskrit sarpis "melted butter"). The figurative sense of "something to soothe wounded pride, etc." is from 1736.
salve (v.1) Look up salve at
Old English sealfian "anoint (a wound) with salve," from Proto-Germanic *salbojanan (cognates: Dutch zalven, German salben, Gothic salbon "to anoint"), from the root of salve (n.). Figurative use from c. 1200. Related: Salved; salving.
salve (v.2) Look up salve at
"to save from loss at sea," 1706, back-formation from salvage (n.) or salvable. Related: Salved; salving.
salver (n.) Look up salver at
1660s, "tray," formed in English on the model of platter, etc., from French salve "tray used for presenting objects to the king" (17c.), from Spanish salva "a testing of food or drink" to test for poison (a procedure known as pre-gustation), hence "tray on which food was placed to show it was safe to eat," from salvar "to save, render safe," from Late Latin salvare (see save (v.)).
salvia (n.) Look up salvia at
1844, from Latin salvia "the plant sage" (see sage (n.1)).
salvific (adj.) Look up salvific at
1590s, from Latin salvificus "saving," from salvus (see safe (adj.)).
salvo (n.) Look up salvo at
1719, alteration of salva (1590s) "simultaneous discharge of guns," from Italian salva "salute, volley" (French salve, 16c., is from Italian), from Latin salve "hail!," literally "be in good health!," the usual Roman greeting, regarded as imperative of salvere "to be in good health," but properly vocative of salvus "healthy" (see safe (adj.)). The notion is of important visitors greeted with a volley of gunfire into the air; applied afterward to any concentrated fire from guns.
SAM Look up SAM at
1958, acronym for surface to air missile.
Sam Browne Look up Sam Browne at
type of belt with shoulder strap, 1915, from Sir Samuel James Browne (1824-1901), British general who invented it.
Sam Hill Look up Sam Hill at
euphemism for "Hell," 1839, American English, of unknown origin.
samadhi (n.) Look up samadhi at
"intense esoteric meditation through yoga," 1795, from Sanskrit samadhi-, literally "a putting or joining together," from sam- "together" + a- "toward" + stem of dadhati "puts, places," from PIE root *dhe- "to do, set, put" (see factitious).
samara (n.) Look up samara at
dried fruit of certain trees, from Latin samara "the seed of the elm," variant of samera, perhaps from Gaulish.
Samaria Look up Samaria at
from Greek Samareia, from Aramaic Shamerayin, ultimately from Hebrew Shomeron, from Shemer, name of the owner who sold the site to King Omri (see 1 Kings xvi:24).
Samaritan (n.) Look up Samaritan at
Old English, "inhabitant of Samaria," a district of Palestine, from Late Latin Samaritanus, from Greek Samareia (see Samaria). A non-Hebrew race was settled in its cities by the king of Assyria after the removal of the Israelites from the country. They later adopted some Jewish ways, but largely remained apart. Figurative use with reference to the good Samaritan is first recorded 1630s, from Luke x:33. Related: Samaritanism.
Samarra Look up Samarra at
city in north-central Iraq; phrase an appointment in Samarra indicating the inevitability of death is from an old Arabic tale (first in English apparently in W. Somerset Maugham's play "Sheppey," 1933), in which a man encounters Death (with a surprised look on his bony face) one day in the marketplace in Baghdad; he flees in terror and by dusk has reached Samarra. Death takes him there, and, when questioned, replies, "I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."
samba (n.) Look up samba at
Brazilian dance of African origin, 1885, Zemba, from Portuguese samba, shortened form of zambacueca, a type of dance, probably altered (by influence of zamacueco "stupid") from zambapalo, the name of a grotesque dance, itself an alteration of zampapalo "stupid man," from zamparse "to bump, crash." As a verb from 1949.
sambo (n.2) Look up sambo at
stereotypical name for male black person (now only derogatory), 1818, American English, probably a different word from sambo (n.1); like many such words (Cuffy, Rastus, etc.) a common personal name among U.S. blacks in the slavery days (first attested 1704 in Boston), probably from an African source, such as Foulah sambo "uncle," or a similar Hausa word meaning "second son."

It could be used without conscious racism or contempt until circa World War II. When the word fell from polite usage, collateral casualties included the enormously popular children's book "The Story of Little Black Sambo" (by Helen Bannerman), which is about an East Indian child, and the Sambo's Restaurant chain, a U.S. pancake-specialty joint originally opened in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1957 (the name supposedly from a merging of the names of the founders, Sam Battistone and Newell "Bo" Bohnett, but the chain's decor and advertising leaned heavily on the book), which once counted 1,200 units coast-to-coast. Civil rights agitation against it began in 1970s and the chain collapsed, though the original restaurant still is open. Many of the defunct restaurants were taken over by rival Denny's.
sambo (n.1) Look up sambo at
"person of mixed blood in America and Asia," 1748, perhaps from Spanish zambo "bandy-legged," probably from Latin scambus "bow-legged," from Greek skambos. Used variously in different regions to indicate some mixture of African, European, and Indian blood; common senses were "child of black and Indian parentage" and "offspring of a black and a mulatto."
sambuca (n.) Look up sambuca at
Italian liqueur resembling anisette, 1971, from Italian, from Latin sambucus "elder tree."
same (adj.) Look up same at
perhaps abstracted from Old English swa same "the same as," but more likely from Old Norse same, samr "same," both from Proto-Germanic *sama- "same" (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic sama, Old High German samant, German samt "together, with," Gothic samana "together," Dutch zamelen "to collect," German zusammen "together"), from PIE *samos "same," from root *sem- (1) "one," also "as one" (adv.), "together with" (cognates: Sanskrit samah "even, level, similar, identical;" Avestan hama "similar, the same;" Greek hama "together with, at the same time," homos "one and the same," homios "like, resembling," homalos "even;" Latin similis "like;" Old Irish samail "likeness;" Old Church Slavonic samu "himself").

Old English had lost the pure form of the word; the modern word replaced synonymous ilk. As a pronoun from c. 1300. Colloquial phrase same here as an exclamation of agreement is from 1895. Same difference curious way to say "equal," is attested from 1945.
same-sex (adj.) Look up same-sex at
with reference to homosexuality, 1981, from same + sex (n.).
sameness (n.) Look up sameness at
1580s, from same + -ness.
Samhain (n.) Look up Samhain at
1888, from Irish samhain (Gaelic samhuinn), from Old Irish samain, literally "summer's end," from Old Irish sam "summer" (see summer (n.1)) + fuin "end." Nov. 1, the Celtic festival of the start of winter and of the new year.
Sami (n.) Look up Sami at
native name for "Lapp," 1797, from the Lapp self-designation; of uncertain origin.
samisen (n.) Look up samisen at
Japanese three-stringed instrument, 1610s, from Chinese san-hsien, literally "three-strings," from san "three" + hsien "string."
samite (n.) Look up samite at
type of rich silk cloth, c. 1300, from Old French samit, from Medieval Latin samitum, examitum, from Medieval Greek hexamiton (source of Old Church Slavonic oksamitu, Russian aksamit "velvet"), noun use of neuter of Greek adjective hexamitos "six-threaded," from hex "six" (see six) + mitos "warp thread" (see mitre (n.)). The reason it was called this is variously explained. Obsolete c. 1600; revived by Tennyson. German Sammet "velvet" is from French.
samizdat (n.) Look up samizdat at
"illegal and clandestine copying and sharing of literature," 1967, from Russian samizdat, literally "self-publishing," from sam "self" (see same) + izdatel'stvo "publishing" (from iz "from, out of," from PIE *eghs; see ex-; + dat' "to give," from PIE *do-; see date (n.1)). Said to be a word-play on Gosizdat, the former state publishing house of the U.S.S.R. One who took part in it was a samizdatchik (plural samizdatchiki). Later and less common was tamizdat "writings published abroad and smuggled back into the U.S.S.R.," from tam "there."
Sammy (n.) Look up Sammy at
British slang for "U.S. soldier in World War I," 1918, a reference to Uncle Sam.
A Sammie may be defined as an American soldier as he appears in an English newspaper or a French cinema. It is a name he did not invent, does not like, never uses and will not recognize. ["Stars & Stripes," March 29, 1918]
Samnite (n.) Look up Samnite at
member of an ancient people who inhabited Samnium in Italy, late 14c., from Latin Samnites (plural), from Samnium, probably related to Sabine (q.v.).