english etimology

root's picture

sinecure (n.)
1660s, "church benefice with an emolument but without parish duties," from Medieval Latin beneficium sine cura "benefice without care" (of souls), from Latin sine "without" (see sans) + cura, ablative singular of cura "care" (see cure (n.1)).A WELL-PAYING JOB OR OFFICE THAT REQUIRES LITTLE OR NO WORKTHE CORRUPT MAYOR MADE SURE TO SET UP ALL HIS RELATIVES IN SECRURES WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATION
gauche (adj.)
"awkward, tactless," 1751 (Chesterfield), from French gauche "left" (15c., replacing senestre in that sense), originally "awkward, awry," from gauchir "turn aside, swerve," from Proto-Germanic *wankjan (source also of Old High German wankon, Old Norse vakka "to stagger, totter"), from PIE *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)).opprobrious (adj.)
"full of reproach, intended to bring disgrace" (of language, words, etc.), late 14c., from Old French oprobrieus (Modern French opprobrieux) and directly from Late Latin opprobriosus, from Latin opprobare "to reproach, taunt," from assimilated form of ob "in front of, before" (see ob-) + probrum "reproach, infamy," from Proto-Italic *profro-, from PIE *probhro- "what is brought up" (against someone, as a reproach), from root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children." Compare Sanskrit prabhar-, Avestan frabar- "to bring, offer." The etymological sense is "disgrace attached to conduct considered shameful." Related: Opprobriously; opprobriousness.
 
onus (n.)
"a burden," 1640s, from Latin onus "load, burden," figuratively "tax, expense; trouble, difficulty," from PIE *en-es- "burden" (source of Sanskrit anah "cart, wagon"). Hence legal Latin onus probandi (1722) "the task of proving what has been alleged," literally "burden of proving."
 
grotto (n.)
"picturesque cavern or cave," 1610s, from Italian grotta, earlier cropta, a corruption of Latin crypta "vault, cavern," from Greek krypte "hidden place" (see crypt). Terminal -o may be from its being spelled that way in many translations of Dante's "Divine Comedy."obfuscate (v.)
"to darken, obscure, confuse, bewilder," 1530s, from Latin obfuscatus, past participle of obfuscare "to darken" (usually in a figurative sense), from ob "in front of, before" (see ob-) + fuscare "to make dark," from fuscus "dark" (see dusk). Related: Obfuscated; obfuscating.
 
hubris (n.)
1884, a back-formation from hubristic or else from Greek hybris "wanton violence, insolence, outrage," originally "presumption toward the gods;" the first element probably PIE *ud- "up, out" (see out (adv.)) but the meaning of the second is debated. Spelling hybris is more classically correct and began to appear in English in translations of Nietzsche c. 1911.non sequitur (n.)
1530s, in logic, "an inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premise," a Latin phrase, "it does not follow," from non "not" + third person singular present indicative of sequi "to follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").
 
hiatus (n.)
1560s, "break or opening" in a material object, especially in anatomy, from Latin hiatus "opening, aperture, rupture, gap," from past participle stem of hiare "to gape, stand open," from PIE root *ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open." Sense of "gap or interruption in events, etc.;" "space from which something requisite to completeness is absent" [Century Dictionary] is recorded from 1610s.
 
obdurate (adj.)
mid-15c., "stubborn, inexorable, unyielding; hardened," especially against moral influences; "stubbornly wicked," from Latin obduratus "hardened," past participle of obdurare "harden, render hard; be hard or hardened; hold out, persist, endure," in Church Latin "to harden the heart against God," from ob "against" (see ob-) + durare "harden, render hard," from durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." Variant opturate is from early 15c. in medicine in a literal sense of "stopped, obstructed."  Related: Obdurately; obdurateness.
 
hiatus (n.)
1560s, "break or opening" in a material object, especially in anatomy, from Latin hiatus "opening, aperture, rupture, gap," from past participle stem of hiare "to gape, stand open," from PIE root *ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open." Sense of "gap or interruption in events, etc.;" "space from which something requisite to completeness is absent" [Century Dictionary] is recorded from 1610s.
 
forgo (v.)
"refrain from," Old English forgan "abstain from, leave undone, neglect," also "go or pass over, go away," from for- "away" + gan "go" (see go (v.)). Often, but less properly, forego. Related: Forgoing; forgone.
kismet (n.)
"fate, destiny," 1834, from Turkish qismet, from Arabic qismah, qismat "portion, lot, fate," from root of qasama "he divided."

From a nation of enthusiasts and conquerors, the Osmanlis became a nation of sleepers and smokers. They came into Europe with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other: were they driven out of their encampment, it would be with the Koran in one hand and the pipe in the other, crying: 'Kismet! Kismet! Allah kehrim!' (God hath willed it! God is great!) [Dr. James O. Noyes, "The Ottoman Empire," "The Knickerbocker," October 1858]

Popularized as the title of a novel in 1877.
maverick (n.)
1867, "calf or yearling found without an owner's brand," a word from the great cattle ranches of the American West, so called for Samuel A. Maverick (1803-1870), Texas cattle owner who was notoriously negligent in branding his calves.

All neat stock found running at large in this State, without a mother, and upon which there is neither mark nor brand, shall be deemed a maverick, and shall be sold to the highest bidder for cash, at such time and place, and under such rules and regulations, as the round-up commissioners of the district shall prescribe. [act to amend the General Statutes of the State of Colorado, approved April 8, 1885]

The family name is an old one in Boston, and a different Samuel Maverick was killed in the Boston Massacre. The sense of "individualist, unconventional person" is said to be attested by 1886, via the notion of "masterless," but its modern popularity  seems to date to the late 1930s and the career of Maury Maverick (1895-1954) of Texas, grandson of Samuel the rancher and a Democratic congressman 1935-1939 famous for his liberal independent streak, who also coined gobbledygook.
"The Crisis" (April 1939) wrote that "During his stormy career in Washington Maverick became known as the one dependable liberal among the southerners. He recognized the broad problems of our nation, refusing to allow his vision to be limited by sectional prejudices, or racial or economic bugaboos. He was the only southern congressman to vote for the Gavagan federal anti-lynching bill. Not only did he vote for it, but he made a speech on the floor of the House in support of it."