turnip (n.) Look up turnip at Dictionary.com
c.1500, turnepe, probably from turn (from its shape, as though turned on a lathe) + Middle English nepe "turnip," from Old English næp, from Latin napus "turnip." The modern form of the word emerged late 18c.
turnkey (adj.) Look up turnkey at Dictionary.com
1650s, "jailer," from turn (v.) + key (n.). In reference to a job that only has to be done only once, it is recorded from 1934. The notion probably is of something that can be accomplished with a single turn of a key.
turnover (n.) Look up turnover at Dictionary.com
also turn-over, 1650s, "action of turning over," from the verbal phrase; see turn (v.) + over (adv.). As a kind of pastry tart, from 1798. Meaning "number of employees leaving a place and being replaced" is recorded from 1955.
turnpike (n.) Look up turnpike at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "spiked road barrier used for defense," from turn + pike (n.2) "shaft." Sense transferred to "horizontal cross of timber, turning on a vertical pin" (1540s), which were used to bar horses from foot roads. This led to the sense of "barrier to stop passage until a toll is paid" (1670s). Meaning "road with a toll gate" is from 1748, shortening of turnpike road (1745).
turnstile (n.) Look up turnstile at Dictionary.com
1640s, from turn (v.) + stile (n.).
turntable (n.) Look up turntable at Dictionary.com
also turn-table, "circular platform designed to turn upon its center," 1835, originally in the railroad sense, from turn (v.) + table (n.). The record-player sense is attested from 1908.
turpentine (n.) Look up turpentine at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "semi-liquid resin of the terebinth tree," terbentyn, from Old French terebinte "turpentine" (13c.), from Latin terebintha resina "resin of the terebinth tree," from Greek rhetine terebinthe, from fem. of terebinthos (see terebinth). By 16c. applied generally to resins from fir trees.
turpitude (n.) Look up turpitude at Dictionary.com
"depravity, infamy," late 15c., from Middle French turpitude (early 15c.), from Latin turpitudinem (nominative turpitudo) "baseness," from turpis "vile, physically ugly, base, unsightly," figuratively "morally ugly, scandalous, shameful," of unknown origin. Klein suggests perhaps originally "what one turns away from" (compare Latin trepit "he turns").
turquoise (n.) Look up turquoise at Dictionary.com
greenish-blue precious stone, 1560s, from Middle French, replacing Middle English turkeis, turtogis (late 14c.), from Old French fem. adjective turqueise "Turkish," in pierre turqueise "Turkish stone," so called because it was first brought to Europe from Turkestan or some other Turkish dominion. Cognate with Spanish turquesa, Medieval Latin (lapis) turchesius, Middle Dutch turcoys, German türkis, Swedish turkos. As an adjective, 1570s. As a color name, attested from 1853. "Chemically it is a hydrated phosphate of aluminum and copper" [Flood].
turret (n.) Look up turret at Dictionary.com
c.1300, touret "small tower forming part of a city wall or castle," from Old French torete (12c., Modern French tourette), diminutive of tour "tower," from Latin turris (see tower (n.1)). Meaning "low, flat gun-tower on a warship" is recorded from 1862, later also of tanks. Related: Turreted. Welsh twrd is from English.
turtle (n.1) Look up turtle at Dictionary.com
"tortoise," c.1600, originally "marine tortoise," from French tortue, tortre (13c.) "turtle, tortoise" (often associated with diabolical beasts), of unknown origin. The English word perhaps is a sailors' mauling of the French one, influenced by the similar sounding turtle (n.2). Later extended to land tortoises; sea-turtle is attested from 1610s.
turtle (n.2) Look up turtle at Dictionary.com
"turtledove," Old English turtle, dissimilation of Latin turtur "turtledove," a reduplicated form imitative of the bird's coo. Graceful, harmonious and affectionate to its mate, hence a term of endearment in Middle English. Turtle-dove is attested from c.1300.
turtleneck (n.) Look up turtleneck at Dictionary.com
also turtle-neck "close-fitting collar," 1893, from turtle (n.1) + neck (n.).
Tuscaloosa Look up Tuscaloosa at Dictionary.com
river in Alabama, first attested in Spanish as Tascaluza, from Choctaw (Muskogean) taska-losa, literally "warrior-black."
Tuscan (n.) Look up Tuscan at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Italian Toscano, from Late Latin Tuscanus "belonging to the Tusci," a people of ancient Italy, from Tuscus, earlier *Truscus, shortened form of Etruscus (see Etruscan).
Tuscarora Look up Tuscarora at Dictionary.com
Iroquoian people originally inhabiting what is now North Carolina, 1640s, from Catawba (Siouan) /taskarude:/, literally "dry-salt eater," a folk-etymologizing of the people's name for themselves, Tuscarora (Iroquoian) /skaru:re/, literally "hemp-gatherers."
tush (n.) Look up tush at Dictionary.com
"backside, buttocks," 1962, an abbreviation of tochus (1914), from Yiddish tokhes, from Hebrew tahat "beneath."
tush (interj.) Look up tush at Dictionary.com
mid-15c.; see tut. Related: Tushery.
tushy (n.) Look up tushy at Dictionary.com
also tushie, 1962, from tush (n.) + -y (3).
tusk (n.) Look up tusk at Dictionary.com
Old English tusc, also transposed as tux, "long, pointed tooth protruding from the mouth of an animal," cognate with Old Frisian tusk, probably from Proto-Germanic *tunthsk- (cognates: Gothic tunþus "tooth"), from an extended form of PIE *dent-, the root of tooth. But "there are no certain cognates outside of the Anglo-Frisian area" [OED].
Tuskegee Look up Tuskegee at Dictionary.com
place in Alabama, named from a Muskogee tribal town taskeke (first recorded in Spanish as tasquiqui), literally "warriors."
tussive (adj.) Look up tussive at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to cough," 1857, from Latin tussis "a cough," of unknown origin, + -ive.
tussle (v.) Look up tussle at Dictionary.com
"to struggle, scuffle, wrestle confusedly," late 15c. (transitive); 1630s (intransitive), Scottish and northern English variant of touselen (see tousle). Related: Tussled; tussling.
tussle (n.) Look up tussle at Dictionary.com
"a struggle, conflict, scuffle," 1620s (but rare before 19c.), from tussle (v.).
tussock (n.) Look up tussock at Dictionary.com
1540s, "tuft of hair," of uncertain origin; perhaps a diminutive of earlier tusk (1520s) with the same meaning (and also of obscure origin). Meaning "tuft of grass" is first recorded c.1600.
tut (interj.) Look up tut at Dictionary.com
1520s, along with tush (mid-15c.), a natural interjection expressing impatient or dismissive contempt.
tutee (n.) Look up tutee at Dictionary.com
1927; see tutor (v.) + -ee.
tutelage (n.) Look up tutelage at Dictionary.com
"guardianship," c.1600, from -age + Latin tutela "a watching, keeping, safeguard, protection," from variant past participle stem of tueri "watch over" (see tutor (n.)). Meaning "instruction" first appeared 1857.
tutelary (adj.) Look up tutelary at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Late Latin tutelarius "a guardian," from Latin tutela "protection, watching" (see tutor (n.)).
tutor (n.) Look up tutor at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "guardian, custodian," from Old French tuteor "guardian, private teacher" (13c., Modern French tuteur), from Latin tutorem (nominative tutor) "guardian, watcher," from tutus, variant past participle of tueri "watch over," of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE *teue- (1) "pay attention to" (see thews). Specific sense of "senior boy appointed to help a junior in his studies" is recorded from 1680s.
tutor (v.) Look up tutor at Dictionary.com
1590s, from tutor (n.). Related: Tutored; tutoring.
tutorial (adj.) Look up tutorial at Dictionary.com
1742, from tutor (n.) + -al (1). As a noun, attested from 1923.
tutti-frutti (n.) Look up tutti-frutti at Dictionary.com
1834, from Italian tutti frutti "all fruits," from tutti, plural of tutto "all" (from Latin totus "whole, entire;" see total (adj.)) + frutti, plural of frutto "fruit" (from Latin fructus; see fruit).
tutu (n.) Look up tutu at Dictionary.com
ballet skirt, 1910, from French tutu, alteration of cucu, infantile reduplication of cul "bottom, backside," from Latin culus "bottom, backside, fundament."
tux (n.) Look up tux at Dictionary.com
1922, colloquial shortening of tuxedo.
tuxedo (n.) Look up tuxedo at Dictionary.com
man's evening dress for semiformal occasions, 1889, named for Tuxedo Park, N.Y., a rural resort development for wealthy New Yorkers and site of a country club where it first was worn, supposedly in 1886. The name is an attractive subject for elaborate speculation, and connections with Algonquian words for "bear" or "wolf" were proposed. The authoritative Bright, however, says the tribe's name probably is originally a place name, perhaps Munsee Delaware (Algonquian) p'tuck-sepo "crooked river."
There was a hue and cry raised against the Tuxedo coat upon its first appearance because it was erroneously considered and widely written of as intended to displace the swallow tail. When the true import of the tailless dress coat came to be realized it was accepted promptly by swelldom, and now is widely recognized as one of the staple adjuncts of the jeunesse dorée. ["Clothier and Furnisher," August, 1889]
TV (n.) Look up TV at Dictionary.com
1948, shortened form of television (q.v.). Spelled out as tee-vee from 1949. TV dinner (1954), made to be eaten from a tray while watching a television set, is a proprietary name registered by Swanson & Sons, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
TWA Look up TWA at Dictionary.com
formed May 16, 1928, as Transcontinental Air Transport, merged 1930 with Western Air Express to form Transcontinental and Western Air Inc. (TWA). Name changed to Trans World Airlines 1950, but the moniker remained the same. Its last remnants were bought out by rival American Airlines in April 2001.
twa (n.) Look up twa at Dictionary.com
Scottish form of two.
twaddle (n.) Look up twaddle at Dictionary.com
"silly talk, prosy nonsense," 1782, probably from twattle (1550s), of obscure origin.
twain Look up twain at Dictionary.com
Old English twegen "two" (masc. nominative and accusative), from Proto-Germanic *twa- "two" (see two). It corresponds to Old Frisian twene, Dutch twee, Old High German zwene, Danish tvende. The word outlasted the breakdown of gender in Middle English and survived as a secondary form of two, especially in cases where the numeral follows a noun. Its continuation into modern times was aided by its use in KJV and the Marriage Service, in poetry (where it is a useful rhyme word), and in oral use where it is necessary to be clear that two and not to or too is meant. In U.S. nautical use as "a depth of two fathoms" from 1799.
twang (n.) Look up twang at Dictionary.com
1550s, of imitative origin. Originally the sound of plucked bows and strings; extension to "a nasal vocal sound" is first recorded 1660s. The verb is first attested 1540s. Related: Twanged; twanging.
twangy (adj.) Look up twangy at Dictionary.com
1858, from twang (n.) + -y (2). Related: Twangily; twanginess.
twat (n.) Look up twat at Dictionary.com
female pudendum, 1650s, of unknown origin. A general term of abuse since 1920s.
The T-word occupies a special niche in literary history, however, thanks to a horrible mistake by Robert Browning, who included it in 'Pippa Passes' (1841) without knowing its true meaning. 'The owls and bats,/Cowls and twats,/Monks and nuns,/In a cloister's moods.' Poor Robert! He had been misled into thinking the word meant 'hat' by its appearance in 'Vanity of Vanities,' a poem of 1660, containing the treacherous lines: 'They'd talk't of his having a Cardinalls Hat,/They'd send him as soon an Old Nuns Twat.' (There is a lesson here about not using words unless one is very sure of their meaning.) [Hugh Rawson, "Wicked Words," 1989]
tweak (v.) Look up tweak at Dictionary.com
"pinch, pluck, twist," usually to the nose, c.1600, probably from Middle English twikken "to draw, tug, pluck" (mid-15c.), from Old English twiccian "to pluck," of obscure origin; perhaps related to twitch. Meaning "to make fine adjustments" is attested from 1966. Related: Tweaked; tweaking.
tweak (n.) Look up tweak at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "a twitch, a pluck," from tweak (v.). As "a fine adjustment" by 1989.
twee (adj.) Look up twee at Dictionary.com
"tiny, dainty, miniature," 1905, from childish pronunciation of sweet (adj.). Compare tummy from stomach.
tweed (n.) Look up tweed at Dictionary.com
1839, a trade name for a type of woolen fabric:
MICHAEL NOWAK, alias John Mazurkiewiez, was indicted for stealing on the 15th of April 2 ¼ yards of woollen cloth, called tweed, value 12s., and 2 ¼ yards of woollen cloth, called doe skin, value 17s., the goods of George Priestley Heap. [London Central Criminal Court minutes of evidence from 1839]
This apparently developed from the "Tweed Fishing or Travelling Trousers" advertised in numerous publications from 1834-1838 by the clothing house of Doudney & Son, 49 Lombard Street.
So celebrated has amateur rod-fishing in the Tweed become, that the proper costume of the sportsman has now become an object of speculation among the London tailors, one of whom advertises among other articles of dress "Tweed Fishing Trousers." The anglers who have so long established their head-quarters at Kelso, for the purpose of enjoying the amusement of salmon fishing in the Tweed, have had excellent sport lately : some of the most skilful having caught five or six salmon a day, weighing from six to fourteen pounds each. ["New Sporting Magazine," June 1837]
Thus ultimately named for the River Tweed in Scotland. The place name has not been explained, and it is perhaps pre-Celtic and non-Indo-European.
tweedledum (n.) Look up tweedledum at Dictionary.com
paired with tweedledee to signify two things or persons nearly alike, differing in name, 1725, coined by English poet John Byrom (1692-1767) in his satire "On the Feud Between Handel and Bononcini," a couple of competing musicians, from tweedle "to sing, to whistle" (1680s), of imitative origin. The -dum and -dee perhaps suggest low and high sounds respectively.
tweedy (adj.) Look up tweedy at Dictionary.com
"characteristic of the country or suburban set," 1912, from tweed + -y (2). Related: Tweediness.