- dabchick[dabchick 词源字典]
- dabchick: see deep
[dabchick etymology, dabchick origin, 英语词源]
- dachshund:  Dachshund means literally ‘badger-dog’ in German. It was originally bred in Germany for badger-hunting, its long thin body enabling it to burrow into the animals’ setts. The first known reference to it in English (in the anglicized form dachshound) is in a poem by Matthew Arnold of around 1881, Poor Matthias: ‘Max, a dachshound without blot’.
- dado: see date
- daffodil:  Originally, this word was affodil, and referred to a plant of the lily family, the asphodel; it came from medieval Latin affodillus, and the reason for the change from asph- (or asf-, as it often was in medieval texts) to aff- is probably that the s in medieval manuscripts looked very like an f. The first evidence of its use to refer to a ‘daffodil’, rather than an ‘asphodel’, comes in the middle of the 16th century. It is not entirely clear where the initial d came from, but the likeliest explanation is that daffodil represents Dutch de affodil ‘the daffodil’ (the Dutch were then as now leading exponents of bulb cultivation).
- daft:  Daft was not always a term of reproach. It originally meant ‘mild, gentle’, and only in late Middle English slid to ‘stupid’ (in a semantic decline perhaps paralleling that of silly, which started off as ‘happy, blessed’). Middle English dafte corresponds directly to an Old English gedæfte, whose underlying sense seems to have been ‘fit, suitable’ (the sense connection was apparently that mild unassuming people were considered as behaving suitably).
There is no direct evidence of its use with this meaning, but Old English had a verb gedæftan ‘make fit or ready, prepare’ which, together with the Gothic verb gedaban ‘be suitable’, points to its origin in a Germanic base *dab- ‘fit, suitable’. This ties in with the semantic development of deft, a variant of daft, which has moved from a prehistoric ‘fit, suitable’ to ‘skilful’.
- dagger:  Dagger has an uncertain history. There was a verb dag in Middle English, meaning ‘stab’, which suggests that dagger may simply be ‘something that stabs’, but similarity of form and sense indicates a connection too with Old French dague ‘dagger’. This appears to have come via Old Provençal or Old Italian daga from a hypothetical Vulgar Latin *daca, which meant literally ‘Dacian knife’ (from Latin Dācus ‘Dacian’). Dacia was the ancient name for an area roughly corresponding to modern Romania.
- dago:  Dago originated in the USA as a contemptuous term for a Spanish-speaking person. It is an alteration of Diego (the Spanish version of James), a common Spanish forename, which itself was used in English in the 17th century for ‘Spaniard’: ‘Next follows one whose lines aloft do raise Don Coriat, chief Diego of our days’. By the late 19th century the application of dago had broadened out to include anyone of Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian descent.
- dahlia:  The dahlia was named in 1791 in honour of Anders Dahl, an 18th-century Swedish botanist who discovered the plant in Mexico in 1788. The first record of the term in English is from 1804. During the 19th century it was used for a particular shade of red: ‘One of the many ugly shades that are to be worn this season is dahlia’, Pall Mall Gazette 29 September 1892.
- dainty:  In origin, dainty is the same word as dignity. The direct descendant of Latin dignitās in Old French was daintie or deintie, but Old French later reborrowed the word as dignete. It was the latter that became English dignity, but daintie took a route via Anglo-Norman dainte to give English dainty. At first it meant ‘honour, esteem’, but before a century was up it had passed through ‘pleasure, joy’ to ‘something choice, luxury’. The first record of its adjectival use comes in the 14th century, when it meant ‘choice, excellent, delightful’; this soon developed to ‘delicately pretty’.
- dairy:  Etymologically, a dairy is a place where a female kneader of bread works. The term for such an operative in Old English was dǣge, which came from the same Indo- European base (*dheigh-) as produced dough and the second syllable of lady. In Middle English this became deie or daye, and gradually progressed in meaning through ‘female servant’ in general to ‘female farm-servant’ and ‘dairymaid’, concerned with the keeping of milk and making it into butter and cheese (the word survived into modern times in Scottish English). From it was derived deierie or dayerie, to denote the place where such a woman worked.
=> dough, lady
- dais:  Ultimately, dais and disc are the same word. Both came from Latin discus ‘quoit’, which by medieval times had come to mean ‘table’ (see DESK). Its Old French descendant was deis, which was borrowed into Middle English as deis. It died out in English around 1600, but it survived in Scottish English, and was revived in England by antiquarians, its spelling based on the modern French form dais. Historically it is a monosyllabic word, and the modern two-syllable pronunciation represents an attempt to render the unfamiliar French word.
=> desk, disc, dish
- daisy: [OE] The Anglo-Saxons named this familiar flower dæges ēage, literally ‘day’s eye’, from the fact that some species open in daylight hours to reveal their yellow disc, and close again at dusk. (The medieval Latin name for the daisy was solis oculus ‘sun’s eye’.)
=> day, eye
- dale: [OE] Both dale and dell [OE] come ultimately from the Germanic base *dal- (which also produced German tal, ultimate source of English dollar). Dale goes back to the Germanic derivative *dalam, *dalaz, dell to the derivative *daljō. Cognate forms such as Old Norse dalr ‘bow’ and, outside Germanic, Greek thólos show that the underlying meaning of the word family is ‘bend, curve’. Those members which mean ‘valley’ (including Gothic dals, which also signified ‘ditch’) were no doubt named from their rounded, hollowed-out shape.
=> dell, dollar
- Dalek:  The name of these pathologically destructive robots, which first appeared on BBC TV’s Dr Who in 1963, was coined by their creator, Terry Nation. The story went about that he had come up with it one day while staring in a library at the spine of an encyclopedia volume covering entries from DA to LEK, but he has subsequently denied this.
- dam:  Dam, appropriately enough for a word related to the human control of water-courses, seems to have been borrowed from Middle Dutch dam. It appears to have been a fairly widespread West and East Germanic word, subsequently borrowed into North Germanic, but its ultimate source is not known.
- damage:  Damage comes from Latin damnum ‘loss, damage’ (source of English damn). It passed into Old French as dam, from which was formed the derivative damage. English borrowed and has preserved the Old French form, but in modern French it has become dommage. Besides damn, another English relative is indemnity , ultimately from Latin indemnis ‘undamaged’.
=> damn, indemnity
- damask:  Originally, damask was ‘cloth from Damascus’ (which was known as Damaske in Middle English). This Syrian city was a notable centre for export to the West in the Middle Ages, and has provided English with the damson  (originally the damascene plum, or plum from Damascus) and the damask rose . In addition, the term for the method of inlaying steel known as damascening , or earlier damaskining , comes via French and Italian from the name of Damascus (where such steel was once produced).
- dame:  Latin domina was the feminine form of dominus ‘lord’ (see DOMINION). English acquired it via Old French dame, but it has also spread through the other Romance languages, including Spanish dueña (source of English duenna ) and Italian donna (whence English prima donna, literally ‘first lady’ ). The Vulgar Latin diminutive form of domina was *dominicella, literally ‘little lady’.
This passed into Old French as donsele, was modified by association with dame to damisele, and acquired in the 13th century by English, in which it subsequently became damsel (the archaic variant damosel came from the 16th-century French form damoiselle).
=> damsel, danger, dominate, dominion, duenna, prima donna
- damn:  Damn comes via Old French damner from Latin damnāre, a derivative of the noun damnum. This originally meant ‘loss, harm’ (it is the source of English damage), but the verb damnāre soon spread its application to ‘pronounce judgment upon’, in both the legal and the theological sense. These meanings (reflected also in the derived condemn) followed the verb through Old French into English, which dropped the strict legal sense around the 16th century but has persisted with the theological one and its more profane offshoots.
=> condemn, damage, indemnity
- damp:  The familiar adjectival use of damp as ‘slightly wet’ is a comparatively recent development, from the 18th century. When the word was first borrowed into English, from Middle Low German damp, it was a noun meaning ‘vapour’ (an application which survives in fire-damp). It comes ultimately from a Germanic base *thump-. The first line of semantic development taken by the word in English was of a ‘noxious exhalation’ (including gas or even smoke, not just vapour), and this is reflected in its earliest adjectival use, in the late 16th century, meaning ‘dazed’, as if affected by such harmful fumes; ‘with looks downcast and damp’, John Milton, Paradise Lost 1667.
Another contemporary sense was ‘noxious’. But the 17th century saw the noun used more and more for specifically wet turbidity: ‘mist’, or simply ‘moisture’. And this formed the basis of the present-day adjectival sense.