Brooklyn Law School

Give me the origin, history of the words flour, shop, owner, country, general, yesterday, election?

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flour (v.)

"to sprinkle with flour," 1650s, from flour (n.). Related: Floured; flouring.

flour (n.)

early 13c., flur "flower" (see flower); meaning "finer portion of ground grain" is mid-13c., from the notion of flour as the "finest part" of meal (cf. Fr. fleur de farine), as distinguished from the coarser parts (meal). Spelled flower until flour became the accepted form c.1830 to end confusion.


shop (v.)

1680s, "to bring something to a shop, to expose for sale," from shop (n.). The meaning "to visit shops" is first attested 1764. Related: Shopped; shopping. Shop around is from 1922.

shop (n.)

c.1300, perhaps from O.E. scoppa "booth or shed for trade or work" (rare), related to scypen "cowshed," from P.Gmc. *skoppan "small additional structure" (cf. O.H.G. scopf "building without walls, porch," Ger. dial. Scopf "porch, cart-shed, barn," Ger. Schuppen "a shed"), from root *skupp-. But it's likely that the M.E. word was acquired from O.Fr. eschoppe "booth, stall," which is a Germanic loan-word from the same root. Meaning "schoolroom equipped for teaching vocational arts" is from 1914, Amer.Eng. Sense of "matters pertaining to one's trade" is from 1814 (as in to talk shop, 1860). Shopping cart is recorded from 1956; shopping list first attested 1913; transferred and figurative use is from 1959.


You'll need to choose one out of the three below; root word of owner, own.

own (adj.)

O.E. agen "one's own," lit. "possessed by," from P.Gmc. *aigana- "possessed, owned" (cf. O.S. egan, O.Fris. egin, O.N. eiginn, Du. eigen, Ger. eigen "own"), from pp. of PIE *aik- "to be master of, possess," source of O.E. agan "to have" (see owe).

own (v.)

evolved in early M.E. from O.E. geagnian, from root agan "to have, to own" (see own), and in part from the adjective own (q.v.). It became obsolete after c.1300, but was revived early 17c., in part as a back-formation of owner (mid-14c.), which continued. Related: Owned; owning. To own up "make full confession" is from 1853.

ownership (n.)

1580s, from owner (see own (v.)) + -ship. Ownership society (2003) was popularized by U.S. president George W. Bush.



mid-13c., "district, native land," from O.Fr. contree, from V.L. *(terra) contrata "(land) lying opposite," or "(land) spread before one," from L. contra "opposite, against" (see contra-). Sense narrowed 1520s to rural areas, as opposed to cities. Replaced O.E. land. As an adj. from late 14c. Countrified is from 1650s. First record of country-and-western music style is from 1959. Country club first recorded 1894. Country mile "a long way" is from 1951, Amer.Eng.


general (n.)

late 14c., "whole class of things or persons," from general (adj.). Meaning "commander of an army" is 1570s, shortening of captain general, from M.Fr. capitaine général. The English adjective was affixed to civic officer designations by late 14c. to indicate superior rank and extended jurisdiction.

general (adj.)

c.1200, "comprehensive, inclusive, full," from L. generalis "relating to all, of a whole class" (contrasted with specialis), from genus (gen. generis) "stock, kind" (see genus). General store attested by 1810, Amer.Eng.; a general hospital (1737) is one not restricted to one class of persons or type of disease.


yesterday (n.)

O.E. geostran dæg, from dæg "day" (see day) + geostran "yesterday," from P.Gmc. *gestra- (cf. O.H.G. gestaron, Ger. gestern "yesterday," O.N. gær "tomorrow, yesterday," Goth. gistradagis "tomorrow"), originally "the other day" (reckoned from "today," either backward or forward), from PIE *ghes (cf. Skt. hyah, Avestan zyo, Pers. di, Gk. khthes, L. heri, O.Ir. indhe, Welsh doe "yesterday;" L. hesternus "of yesterday").


election (n.)

late 13c., from Anglo-Fr. eleccioun, O.Fr. elecion "choice, election, selection" (12c.), from L. electionem (nom. electio), noun of action from pp. stem of eligere "pick out, select," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -ligere, comb. form of legere "to choose, read" (see lecture (n.)). Theological sense is from late 14c.


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