- page (n.1)
- "sheet of paper," 1580s, from Middle French page, from Old French pagene "page, text" (12c.), from Latin pagina "page, leaf of paper, strip of papyrus fastened to others," related to pagella "small page," from pangere "to fasten," from PIE root *pag- "to fix" (see pact).
Earlier pagne (12c.), directly from Old French. Usually said to be from the notion of individual sheets of paper "fastened" into a book. Ayto and Watkins offer an alternative theory: vines fastened by stakes and formed into a trellis, which led to sense of "columns of writing on a scroll." When books replaced scrolls, the word continued to be used. Related: Paginal. Page-turner "book that one can't put down" is from 1974.
- page (n.2)
- "youth, lad, boy of the lower orders," c. 1300, originally also "youth preparing to be a knight," from Old French page "a youth, page, servant" (13c.), possibly via Italian paggio (Barnhart), from Medieval Latin pagius "servant," perhaps ultimately from Greek paidion "boy, lad," diminutive of pais (genitive paidos) "child."
But OED considers this unlikely and points instead to Littré's suggestion of a source in Latin pagus "countryside," in sense of "boy from the rural regions" (see pagan). Meaning "youth employed as a personal attendant to a person of rank" is first recorded mid-15c.; this was transferred from late 18c. to boys who did personal errands in hotels, clubs, etc., also in U.S. legislatures.
- page (v.1)
- "to summon or call by name," 1904, from page (n.2), on the notion of "to send a page after" someone. Related: Paged; paging.
- page (v.2)
- "to turn pages," 1620s, from page (n.1). Related: Paged; paging.