sociology (n.) Look up sociology at Dictionary.com
the science of social phenomena, 1842, from French sociologie, a hybrid coined 1830 by French philosopher Isidore Auguste Comte (1798-1857), from Latin socius "associate" (see social (adj.)) + Greek-derived suffix -logie (see -logy).
sociopath (n.) Look up sociopath at Dictionary.com
1930, coined by psychologist G.E. Partridge from socio- on model of psychopath.
sock (n.1) Look up sock at Dictionary.com
"knitted or woven covering for the foot, short stocking," early 14c., from Old English socc "slipper, light shoe," from Latin soccus "slipper, light low-heeled shoe," probably a variant of Greek sykchos, word for a kind of shoe, perhaps from Phrygian or another Asiatic language. The Latin word was borrowed generally in West Germanic (Middle Dutch socke, Dutch sok, Old High German soc, German Socke). To knock the socks off (someone) "beat thoroughly" is recorded from 1845, American English colloquial. Teen slang sock hop is c. 1950, from notion of dancing without shoes.
sock (v.1) Look up sock at Dictionary.com
1700, "to beat, hit hard, pitch into," of uncertain origin. To sock it to (someone) first recorded 1877.
sock (v.2) Look up sock at Dictionary.com
"to stash (money) away as savings," 1942, American English, from the notion of hiding one's money in a sock (see sock (n.1)).
sock (n.2) Look up sock at Dictionary.com
"a blow, a hit with the fist," 1700, from or related to sock (v.1).
sockdolager (n.) Look up sockdolager at Dictionary.com
1830, "a decisive blow" (also, figuratively "a conclusive argument"), fanciful formation from sock (v.1) "hit hard," perhaps via a comical mangling of doxology, on a notion of "finality." The meaning "something exceptional" is attested from 1838.

Sockdologising likely was nearly the last word President Abraham Lincoln heard. During the performance of Tom Taylor's "Our American Cousin," assassin John Wilkes Booth (who knew the play well) waited for the laugh-line "Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, you sockdologising old man-trap." Amid the noise as the audience responded, Booth fired the fatal shot.
socket (n.) Look up socket at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "spearhead" (originally one shaped like a plowshare), from Anglo-French soket "spearhead, plowshare" (mid-13c.), diminutive of Old French soc "plowshare," from Vulgar Latin *soccus, perhaps from a Gaulish source, from Celtic *sukko- (source also of Welsh swch "plowshare," Middle Irish soc "plowshare"), properly "hog's snout," from PIE *su- "pig" (source also of Latin sus "swine;" see sow (n.) "female pig").

Meaning "hollow part or piece for receiving and holding something" first recorded early 15c.; anatomical sense is from c. 1600; domestic electrical sense first recorded 1885. Socket wrench is attested from 1837. The verb is 1530s, from the noun. Related: Socketed; socketing.
Socratic (adj.) Look up Socratic at Dictionary.com
1630s (Socratical is from 1580s), "of or pertaining to Greek philosopher Socrates" (469-399 B.C.E.), especially in reference to his method of eliciting truth by question and answer, from Latin Socraticus, from Greek Sokratikos "pertaining to Socrates or his school." His name is Greek Sokrates, literally "having safe might."
sod (n.1) Look up sod at Dictionary.com
"turf, slice of earth with grass on it," mid-15c., apparently from Middle Dutch sode "turf," or Middle Low German sode, both related to Old Frisian satha "sod," all of uncertain origin. Perhaps the notion is water saturation and the group is related to sog. The (old) sod "Ireland" is from 1812.
sod (n.2) Look up sod at Dictionary.com
term of abuse, 1818, short for sodomite (also see sodomy). British colloquial sod-all "nothing" is attested from 1958.
sod (v.1) Look up sod at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "to cover with sod," from sod (n.). Related: Sodded; sodding.
sod (v.2) Look up sod at Dictionary.com
in sod off (1960), British slang term of dismissal; see sod (n.2).
soda (n.) Look up soda at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "sodium carbonate," an alkaline substance extracted from certain ashes (now made artificially), from Italian sida (or Medieval Latin soda) "a kind of saltwort," from which soda was obtained, of uncertain origin. Perhaps it is from a Catalan sosa, attested from late 13c., of uncertain origin. Proposed Arabic sources in a name of a variety of saltwort have not been attested and that theory is no longer considered valid. Another theory, considered far-fetched in some quarters, traces it to Medieval Latin sodanum "a headache remedy," ultimately from Arabic suda "splitting headache."

Soda is found naturally in alkaline lakes, in deposits where such lakes have dried, and from ash produced by burning various seaside plants. A major trading commodity in the medieval Mediterranean, since commercial manufacture of it began in France in late 18c., these other sources have been abandoned. Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is commonly distinguished from baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). A soda-cracker (1863) has baking soda as an ingredient.

The meaning "carbonated water" is first recorded 1834, a shortening of soda water (1802) "water into which carbonic acid has been forced under pressure." "It rarely contains soda in any form; but the name originally applied when sodium carbonate was contained in it has been retained" [Century Dictionary, 1902]. Since 19c. typically flavored and sweetened with syrups. First record of soda pop is from 1863, and the most frequent modern use of the word is as a shortening of this or other terms for "flavored, sweetened soda water." Compare pop (n.1). Soda fountain is from 1824; soda jerk first attested 1915 (soda-jerker is from 1883). Colloquial pronunciation "sody" is represented in print from 1900 (U.S. Midwestern).
sodality (n.) Look up sodality at Dictionary.com
"companionship, fellowship, association with others," c. 1600, from Middle French sodalité or directly from Latin sodalitatem (nominative sodalitas) "companionship, a brotherhood, association, fellowship," from sodalis "companion," perhaps literally "one's own, relative," related to suescere "to accustom," from PIE *swedh-, extended form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). Especially of religious guilds in the Catholic Church.
sodbuster (n.) Look up sodbuster at Dictionary.com
"pioneer farmer in a cattle-grazing region," originally in the U.S. West, 1897, from sod (n.1) + agent noun from bust (v.).
sodden (adj.) Look up sodden at Dictionary.com
"soaked or softened in water," 1820, earlier "resembling something that has been boiled a long time" (1590s), originally "boiled" (c. 1300), from Old English soden "boiled," strong past participle of seoþan "to cook, boil" (see seethe). For sense evolution from "heat in water" to "immerse in water" compare bath.
sodium (n.) Look up sodium at Dictionary.com
metallic alkaline element, 1807, coined by English chemist Humphry Davy from soda; so called because the element was isolated from caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). The chemical symbol Na is from natrium, alternative name for the element proposed by Berzelius from natron, a name of a type of soda.
Sodom (n.) Look up Sodom at Dictionary.com
"wicked or corrupt place," 1640s, from the sinful city in ancient Palestine, said to have been destroyed, with neighboring Gomorrah, by fire from heaven (Gen. xviii-xix). From Hebrew s'dom, of unknown origin.
sodomise (v.) Look up sodomise at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of sodomize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Sodomised; sodomising.
sodomite (n.) Look up sodomite at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French Sodomite "inhabitant of Sodom; sodomite," also a general term of abuse, or directly from Late Latin Sodomita, from Greek Sodomites "inhabitant of Sodom" (see Sodom, also sodomy). Related: Sodomitical. Old English had adjective sodomitisc. The King James Bible (1611) has fem. form sodomitesse in a marginal note to "whore" in Deut. xxiii:17.
sodomize (v.) Look up sodomize at Dictionary.com
1859, "to demoralize;" see sodomy + -ize. By 1895 in a specific sexual sense (translating Greek paiderastein). Related: Sodomized; sodomizing. In Dutch slang, besodemieteren means "to deceive," and evidently is built from the traditional notion of "corruption" in Sodom.
sodomy (n.) Look up sodomy at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "unnatural sexual relations," such as those imputed to the inhabitants of Biblical Sodom, especially between persons of the same sex but also with beasts, from Old French sodomie, from Late Latin peccatum Sodomiticum "anal sex," literally "the sin of Sodom," from Latin Sodoma. In Middle English also synne Sodomyke (early 14c.).
soever (adv.) Look up soever at Dictionary.com
1550s, from so + ever. "A word generally used in composition to extend or render indefinite the sense of such words as who, what, where, when, how, etc. ...." [Century Dictionary].
sofa (n.) Look up sofa at Dictionary.com
1620s, "raised section of a floor, covered with carpets and cushions," from Turkish sofa, from Arabic suffah "bench of stone or wood; a couch." Meaning "long stuffed seat for reclining" is recorded from 1717.
sofa-bed (n.) Look up sofa-bed at Dictionary.com
1805, from sofa + bed (n.).
soffit (n.) Look up soffit at Dictionary.com
architectural term referring to under-faces, 1610s, from Italian soffita, fem. of soffitto "ceiling," noun use of adjective meaning "fixed beneath," from Vulgar Latin *suffictus "fastened below," from Latin suffixus (see suffix (n.)).
Sofia Look up Sofia at Dictionary.com
Bulgarian capital, Roman Serdica, from the Thracian Serdi people who lived thereabouts. Conquered by the Bulgarians 9c. who altered the name by folk-etymology to Sredeti, which in their tongue meant "center, middle." It got its current name 14c. when the Turks conquered it and converted the 6c. church of St. Sophia into a mosque; the name thence extended to the whole city.
soft (adj.) Look up soft at Dictionary.com
Old English softe, earlier sefte, "gentle, mild-natured; easeful, comfortable, calm, undisturbed; luxurious," from West Germanic *samfti, from Proto-Germanic *samftijaz "level, even, smooth, gentle, soft" (source also of Old Saxon safti, Old High German semfti, German sanft; and from a variant form with -ch- for -f-, Middle Dutch sachte, Dutch zacht, German sacht), from root *som- "fitting, agreeable."

From c. 1200 of material things, "not stiff, not coarse, fine; yielding to weight." From late 14c. of wind, rain, etc. Of sounds, "quiet, not loud," from early 13c. Of words, "mild, restrained; courteous" mid-14c. From late 14c. as "indulgent," also "physically feeble; easily overcome, lacking manly courage." From 1755 of water ("relatively free from mineral salts"), from 1789 of coal. Meaning "foolish, simple, silly" is attested from 1620s; earlier "easily moved or swayed; soft-hearted, sympathetic; docile" (early 13c.). In reference to drinks, "non-alcoholic" from 1880. As an adverb, Old English softe "gently;" late 13c. as "quietly." As an interjection from 1540s.

Soft landing is from 1958 and the U.S. space program. Adjective soft-core (in reference to pornography) is from 1966 (see hardcore). Soft rock as a music style is attested from 1969. Soft sell is from 1955. Soft-shoe as a dancing style is attested from 1927. Soft-boiled is from 1757 of eggs; of persons, ideas, etc., 1930 (compare half-baked). Soft-focus (adj.) of camera shots is from 1917. The softer sex "women collectively" is from 1640s.
soft-hearted (adj.) Look up soft-hearted at Dictionary.com
also softhearted, 1590s, from soft (adj.) "tender" + hearted. Related: Soft-heartedly; soft-heartedness.
soft-pedal (v.) Look up soft-pedal at Dictionary.com
"to tone down," 1915, figurative use from the noun (1856) in reference to the left foot-lever of a piano, which makes it quieter among other effects; from soft (adj.) + pedal (n.).
soft-shelled (adj.) Look up soft-shelled at Dictionary.com
1611, from soft (adj.) + shell (n.).
soft-soap (n.) Look up soft-soap at Dictionary.com
1630s, from soft (adj.) + soap (n.). Figurative sense "flattery" is recorded from 1830.
soft-spoken (adj.) Look up soft-spoken at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from soft (adj.) + -spoken.
softball (n.) Look up softball at Dictionary.com
baseball of larger than usual size, used in a scaled-down version of the game, 1914, from soft + ball (n.1). The game itself so called from 1916, also known as playground baseball. The word earlier was a term in sugar candy making (1894). Softball question, one that is easy to answer, is attested from 1976.
soften (v.) Look up soften at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to mitigate, diminish" (transitive), from soft (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to make physically soft" is from 1520s; intransitive sense of "to become softer" is attested from 1610s. Soften up in military sense of "weaken defenses" is from 1940. Related: Softened; softening.
softener (n.) Look up softener at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, agent noun from soften.
softly (adv.) Look up softly at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "gently," from soft (adj.) + -ly (2).
softness (n.) Look up softness at Dictionary.com
Old English softnes "ease, comfort; state of being soft to the touch; luxury;" see soft (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "weakness of character, effeminacy" is from c. 1600.
software (n.) Look up software at Dictionary.com
1851, soft wares, "woolen or cotton fabrics," also, "relatively perishable consumer goods," from soft + ware (n.). The computer sense is a separate coinage from 1960, based on hardware.
softy (n.) Look up softy at Dictionary.com
also softie, 1863, "silly person," from soft (adj.) + -y (3). Meaning "soft-hearted person" is from 1886; that of "weak, unmanly or effeminate man" is from 1895. The Mister Softee soft ice-cream operation began in Philadelphia, U.S., in 1956.
sog (n.) Look up sog at Dictionary.com
"soft or marshy place," 1530s, of unknown origin. Also as a verb, "to become soaked; to soak" (mid-15c.), perhaps related to soak (v.) or from or related to similar words in Scandinavian.
soggy (adj.) Look up soggy at Dictionary.com
1722, perhaps from dialectal sog "bog, swamp," or the verb sog "become soaked," both of unknown origin, + -y (2). Related: Soggily; sogginess.
Soho Look up Soho at Dictionary.com
district in New York city, 1969, from "South of Houston Street," but probably also echoing the name of the London neighborhood (famous for vice by early 19c.), which was so called since at least 1630s, originally "So Ho," a hunting cry (c. 1300) used in calling from a distant place to alert hounds and other hunters; the West End district was so called from earlier association of this area with hunting.
soi-disant (adj.) Look up soi-disant at Dictionary.com
"self-named, so-called, would-be," 1752 (in Chesterfield), French, from soi "oneself" (from Latin se, see se-) + present participle of dire "to say" (see diction).
soigne (adj.) Look up soigne at Dictionary.com
"prepared with great attention to detail," 1821, from French soigné (fem. soignée), from past participle of soigner "to take care of," from soin "care," which is of unknown origin.
soil (v.) Look up soil at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "to defile or pollute with sin," from Old French soillier "to splatter with mud, to foul or make dirty," originally "to wallow" (12c., Modern French souillier), from souil "tub, wild boar's wallow, pigsty," which is from either Latin solium "tub for bathing; seat," or Latin suculus "little pig," from sus "pig." Literal meaning "to make dirty, begrime" is attested from c. 1300 in English. Related: Soiled; soiling.
soil (n.1) Look up soil at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, originally "land, area, place," from Anglo-French soil "piece of ground, place" (13c.), from an merger or confusion of Old French sol "bottom, ground, soil" (12c., from Latin solum "soil, ground;" see sole (n.1)), Old French soeul, sueil "threshold, area, place" (from Latin solium "seat"), and Old French soil, soille "a miry place," from soillier (see soil (v.)).

Meaning "place of one's nativity" is from c. 1400. Meaning "mould, earth, dirt" (especially that which plants grow in) is attested from mid-15c.
soil (n.2) Look up soil at Dictionary.com
"filth, dirt, refuse matter, sewage, liquid likely to contain excrement," c. 1600, earlier "miry or muddy place" (early 15c.), from Old French soille "miry place," from soillier (v.) "to make dirty," and in part a native formation from soil (v.). This is the sense in archaic night-soil.
soiree (n.) Look up soiree at Dictionary.com
"an evening party," 1793, from French soirée, from soir "evening," from Old French soir "evening, night" (10c.), from Latin sero (adv.) "late, at a late hour," from serum "late hour," neuter of serus "late," from PIE *se-ro-, suffixed form of root *se- (2) "long, late" (source also of Sanskrit sayam "in the evening," Lithuanian sietuva "deep place in a river," Old English sið "after," German seit "since," Gothic seiþus "late," Middle Irish sith, Middle Breton hir "long"). For suffix, compare journey.