southbound (adj.)
1872, originally in railroading, from south + bound (adj.2).
southeast (adv.)
Old English suðeast; see south + east. Related: Southeasterly; southeastern.
1550s (adj.); 1570s (adv.); from southern + -ly. Related: Southerliness.
Old English suðerne, from suð "south" (see south) + -erne, suffix denoting direction. A common Germanic compound (Old Frisian suthern, Old Norse suðroenn, Old High German sundroni). The constellation Southern Cross so called in English by 1756.
southerner (n.)
1817, American English, from southern. Contrasted with Yankee by 1828.
southernmost (adj.)
1725, from southern + -most.
southland (n.)
Old English suðland, see south + land (n.).
southmost (adj.)
Old English suðmest; see south + -most.
southpaw (n.)
"lefthander," 1885, originally baseball slang, of pitchers, often said to have been coined by Finley Peter Dunne ("Mr. Dooley"), Chicago sports journalist and humorist, in the days when, it is said, baseball diamonds regularly were laid out with home plate to the west. But south paw "a person's left hand" is attested from 1848 in the slang of pugilism.
Southron (n.)
"inhabitant of the southern part of a country," late 15c., variant (originally Scottish and northern English) of southren (late 14c.), on analogy of Briton, Saxon, from Old English suðerne or Old Norse suðrænn "southern" (see southern). Popularized in English by Jane Porter's enormously popular historical novel "Scottish Chiefs" (1810), and adopted in U.S. by many in the Southern states. She also used it as an adjective. Old English had suðmann "Southman."
But the moment I heard he was in arms, I grasped at the opportunity of avenging my country, and of trampling on the proud heart of the Southron villain who had dared to inflict disgrace upon the cheek of Roger Kirkpatrick. ["Scottish Chiefs"]
southward (adj.)
Old English suðweard; see south + -ward.
southwest (adv.)
Old English suð-west; see south + west. As a noun from early 12c. Related: Southwester; southwesterly.
southwestern (adj.)
Old English suðwesterne; see southwest + -ern. In reference to a section of the U.S., from 1806, when it meant "Mississippi and Alabama."
souvenir (n.)
1775, "a remembrance or memory," from French souvenir (12c.), from Old French noun use of souvenir (v.) "to remember, come to mind," from Latin subvenire "come to mind," from sub "up from below" (see sub-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Meaning "token of remembrance, memento" is first recorded 1782.
souvlaki (n.)
1959, from Modern Greek soublaki, from soubla "skewer," in classical Greek "awl," akin to Latin subula, from PIE root *syu- "to bind, sew."
sovereign (n.)
late 13c., "superior, ruler, master," from Old French soverain "sovereign, lord, ruler," noun use of adjective meaning "highest, supreme, chief" (see sovereign (adj.)). Meaning "gold coin worth 22s 6d" first recorded late 15c.; value changed 1817 to 1 pound.
sovereign (adj.)
early 14c., "great, superior, supreme," from Old French soverain "highest, supreme, chief," from Vulgar Latin *superanus "chief, principal" (source also of Spanish soberano, Italian soprano), from Latin super "over" (from PIE root *uper "over"). Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign. Milton spelled it sovran, as though from Italian sovrano. Of remedies or medicines, "potent in a high degree," from late 14c.
sovereignty (n.)
mid-14c., "pre-eminence," from Anglo-French sovereynete, Old French souverainete, from soverain (see sovereign (adj.)). Meaning "authority, rule, supremacy of power or rank" is recorded from late 14c.; sense of "existence as an independent state" is from 1715.
soviet (n.)
1917, from Russian sovet "governing council," literally "council," from Old Russian suvetu "assembly," from su "with" (from *su(n)- "with, together," from PIE *ksun- "with") + vetu "counsel." The whole is a loan-translation of Greek symboulion "council of advisers." As an adjective from 1918.
Soviet Union
informal name of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; in use in U.S. newspapers by October 1919.
sow (v.)
Old English sawan "to scatter seed upon the ground or plant it in the earth, disseminate" (class VII strong verb; past tense seow, past participle sawen), from Proto-Germanic *sean (source also of Old Norse sa, Old Saxon saian, Middle Dutch sayen, Dutch zaaien, Old High German sawen, German säen, Gothic saian), from PIE root *se- (1) "to sow" (source also of Latin sero, past tense sevi, past participle satum "to sow;" Old Church Slavonic sejo, sejati; Lithuanian seju, seti "to sow"), source of semen, season (n.), seed (n.), etc. Figurative sense was in Old English.
sow (n.)
Old English sugu, su "female of the swine," from Proto-Germanic *su- (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German su, German Sau, Dutch zeug, Old Norse syr), from PIE root *su- (source also of Sanskrit sukarah "wild boar, swine;" Avestan hu "wild boar;" Greek hys "swine;" Latin sus "swine," swinus "pertaining to swine;" Old Church Slavonic svinija "swine;" Lettish sivens "young pig;" Welsh hucc, Irish suig "swine; Old Irish socc "snout, plowshare"), possibly imitative of pig noise, a notion reinforced by the fact that Sanskrit sukharah means "maker of (the sound) 'su.' " Related to swine. As a term of abuse for a woman, attested from c. 1500. Sow-bug "hog louse" is from 1750.
sower (n.)
Old English sawere, agent noun from sow (v.).
Soweto (n.)
black African community outside Johannesburg, South Africa, formed from first letters of South Western Townships. Related: Sowetan.
past participle of sow (v.).
sox (n.)
altered plural of sock (n.1), 1905, originally in commercial jargon.
soy (n.)
1670s, saio "soybean-based Asian fish sauce," from Dutch soya, from Japanese soyu, variant of shoyu "soy," from Chinese shi-yu, from shi "fermented soy beans" + yu "oil." Etymology reflects Dutch presence in Japan before English and American merchants began to trade there.
soya (n.)
"soy," 1670s; see soy. Soyaburger is attested from 1953.
soybean (n.)
1795, from soy + bean (n.).
sozzled (adj.)
"drunk," 1886, from sozzle "to mix or mingle sloppily" (1836).
spa (n.)
"medicinal or mineral spring," 1620s, from the name of the health resort in eastern Belgium, known since 14c., that features mineral springs believed to have curative properties. The place name is from Walloon espa "spring, fountain." As "commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatments," 1960.
space (v.)
1540s, "to make of a certain extent;" 1680s in typography; 1703 as "to arrange at set intervals," from space (n.). Meaning "to be in a state of drug-induced euphoria" is recorded from 1968. Space cadet "eccentric person disconnected with reality" (often implying an intimacy with hallucinogenic drugs) is a 1960s phrase, probably traceable to 1950s U.S. sci-fi television program "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet," which was watched by many children who dreamed of growing up to be one and succeeded. Related: Spaced; spacing.
space (n.)
c. 1300, "extent or area; room" (to do something), a shortening of Old French espace "period of time, distance, interval" (12c.), from Latin spatium "room, area, distance, stretch of time," of unknown origin (also source of Spanish espacio, Italian spazio).

From early 14c. as "a place," also "amount or extent of time." From mid-14c. as "distance, interval of space;" from late 14c. as "ground, land, territory; extension in three dimensions; distance between two or more points." From early 15c. as "size, bulk," also "an assigned position." Typographical sense is attested from 1670s (typewriter space-bar is from 1876, earlier space-key, 1860).

Astronomical sense of "stellar depths, immense emptiness between the worlds" is by 1723, perhaps as early as "Paradise Lost" (1667), common from 1890s. Space age is attested from 1946. Many compounds first appeared in science fiction and speculative writing, such as spaceship (1894, "A Journey in Other Worlds," John Jacob Astor); spacecraft (1928, "Popular Science"); space travel (1931); space station (1936, "Rockets Through Space"); spaceman (1942, "Thrilling Wonder Stories"). Space race attested from 1959. Space shuttle attested by 1970.
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. [Sir Fred Hoyle, "London Observer," 1979]
space (adj.)
c. 1600, from space (n.). Meaning "having to do with outer space" is from 1894.
spacecraft (n.)
1928, from space (n.) + craft (n.).
spaceman (n.)
1942 in the astronaut sense, from space (n.) + man (n.). Earlier it meant "journalist paid by the length of his copy" (1892). Spacewoman recorded from 1960.
spacer (n.)
typewriter mechanism and key, 1882, agent noun from space (v.).
spaceship (n.)
1894, from space (n.) + ship (n.). Spaceship earth is from 1966.
spacesuit (n.)
also space-suit, 1920, from space (n.) + suit (n.).
spacewalk (n.)
also space-walk, 1965, from space (n.) + walk (n.).
spacing (n.)
"allowing and gauging of intervals between words in setting type," 1680s, verbal noun from space (v.).
spacious (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French spacios, espacios "roomy, spacious, extensive" (12c., Modern French spacieux), or directly from Latin spatiosus "roomy, ample" (Medieval Latin spaciosus), from spatium "room, space" (see space (n.)). Related: Spaciously; spaciousness.
Spackle (n.)
proprietary name for a surfacing compound, 1927, probably based on German spachtel "putty knife, mastic, filler." The verb is attested from 1940. Related: Spackled; spackling.
spacy (adj.)
also spacey, 1852, "large, roomy, spacious," from space (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "felt as characteristic of outer space" (especially with reference to electronic music) is attested from 1971, probably influenced by spaced-out (1965, American English slang), a reference to the behavior of people using hallucinogenic drugs (see space (v.)).
Spad (n.)
French biplane fighter of World War I, 1917, from French spad, from acronym of Societé pour Aviation et ses Dérivés.
spade (n.1)
"tool for digging," Old English spadu "spade," from Proto-Germanic *spadan (source also of Old Frisian spada "a spade," Middle Dutch spade "a sword," Old Saxon spado, Middle Low German spade, German Spaten), from PIE *spe-dh-, from root *spe- (2) "long, flat piece of wood" (source also of Greek spathe "wooden blade, paddle," Old English spon "chip of wood, splinter," Old Norse spann "shingle, chip;" see spoon (n.)).

"A spade differs from a two-handed shovel chiefly in the form and thickness of the blade" [Century Dictionary]. To call a spade a spade "use blunt language, call things by right names" (1540s) translates a Greek proverb (known to Lucian), ten skaphen skaphen legein "to call a bowl a bowl," but Erasmus mistook Greek skaphe "trough, bowl" for a derivative of the stem of skaptein "to dig," and the mistake has stuck [see OED].
spade (n.2)
black figure on playing cards," 1590s, probably from Italian spade, plural of spada "the ace of spades," literally "sword, spade," from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)). Phrase in spades "in abundance" first recorded 1929 (Damon Runyon), probably from bridge, where spades are the highest-ranking suit.
The invitations to the musicale came sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes. [O.Henry, "Cabbages & Kings," 1904]
Derogatory meaning "black person" is 1928, from the color of the playing card symbol.
spado (n.)
"castrated person," early 15c., from Latin spado, from Greek spadix, related to spadon "eunuch," span "to draw, tear away" (see spay).
spae (v.)
c. 1300, "foretell, devine, predict from signs," Scottish, from Old Norse spa, cognate with Danish spaa "prophesy;" related to Old Saxon spahi, Old High German spahi "wise, skillful," Old High German spehon "to spy" (see spy (v.)). Related: Spae-book "book containing directions for telling fortunes;" spaeman; spaewife.
spaghetti (n.)
1849 (as sparghetti, in Eliza Acton's "Modern Cookery"), from Italian spaghetti, plural of spaghetto "string, twine," diminutive of spago "cord," of uncertain origin. Spaghetti Western (one filmed in Italy) first attested 1969. Spaghetti strap is from 1972.