- kale[kale 词源字典]
- kale: see cauliflower
[kale etymology, kale origin, 英语词源]
- kaleidoscope:  Greek kalós meant ‘beautiful’ (it was related to Sanskrit kalyāna ‘beautiful’). It has given English a number of compound words: calligraphy , for instance, etymologically ‘beautiful writing’, callipygian , ‘having beautiful buttocks’, and callisthenics , literally ‘beauty and strength’. The Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster used it, along with Greek eidos ‘shape’ and the element -scope denoting ‘observation instrument’, to name a device he invented in 1817 for looking at rotating patterns of coloured glass – a ‘beautiful-shape viewer’.
=> calligraphy, callisthenics
- kangaroo:  The first English speakers to refer in writing to the kangaroo were Captain Cook and the botanist Joseph Banks, who both mentioned it in 1770 in the journals they kept of their visit to Australia (Banks, for instance, referred to killing ‘kangaru’). This was their interpretation of ganjurru, the name for a large black or grey type of kangaroo in the Guugu Yimidhirr language of New South Wales.
English quickly generalized the term to any sort of kangaroo, although it caused some confusion among speakers of other Australian Aboriginal languages, who were not familiar with it: speakers of the Baagandji language, for instance, used it to refer to the horse (which had just been introduced into Australia). There is no truth whatsoever in the story that the Aboriginal word was a reply to the English question ‘What’s that?’, and meant ‘I don’t understand’.
The element -roo was used in the 19th century to produce jackeroo, which denoted ‘a new immigrant in Australia’, and is first recorded as an independent abbreviation of kangaroo in the first decade of the 20th century. The term kangaroo court ‘unofficial court’, which dates from the 1850s, is an allusion to the court’s irregular proceedings, which supposedly resemble the jumps of a kangaroo.
- kaolin:  The word kaolin comes ultimately from gaō ling, the name of a hill in Jiangxi province, northern China, from which fine white china clay was first obtained (it means literally ‘high hill’). It reached English via French.
- karaoke:  The conceptual basis of this term, enthusiastically adopted in the West from Japan in the latter part of the 20th century, is of a backing or accompaniment waiting to be ‘filled’ by a singer or other soloist. In Japanese, it means literally ‘empty orchestra’: kara is ‘empty’ (it also appears in English karate , literally ‘empty hand’) and oke is short for okesutora – originally a Japanization of English orchestra.
- keen: [OE] The ancestral meaning of keen is ‘brave’. That is what its German and Dutch relatives, kühn and koen, mean, and that is what keen itself meant in the Old English period. But this sense had died out by the 17th century, having been replaced by the meanings familiar today, such as ‘eager’ and ‘sharp’.
- keep: [OE] For all that it is one of the commonest verbs in the language, remarkably little is known about the history of keep. It first appears in texts around the year 1000. It is assumed to have existed before then, but not to have belonged to a sufficiently ‘literary’ level of the language to have been written down. Nor has a link been established for certain with any words in other Germanic languages, although suggestions that have been put forward include Old High German kuofa ‘barrel’ (a relative of English coop), from the notion of its being something for ‘keeping’ things in, and also (since in the late Old English period keep was used for ‘watch’) Old Norse kópa ‘stare’.
- keepsake: see sake
- ken: [OE] Once a widespread verb throughout English, ken is now restricted largely to Scotland, having taken over the semantic territory elsewhere monopolized by know. In Old English it actually meant not ‘know’ but ‘make known’; it was the causative version of cunnan ‘know’ (ancestor of modern English can). Its relatives in other Germanic languages made the change from ‘make known’ to ‘know’ early – hence German kennen ‘know’, for example In the case of English ken, the impetus is thought to have come from Old Norse kenna ‘know’. The derived noun ken, as in ‘beyond one’s ken’, dates from the 16th century.
- kennel:  Appropriately enough for a word for ‘dog-house’, kennel comes ultimately from Latin canis ‘dog’ (a relative of English hound). Canis was the basis of a Vulgar Latin derivative *canīle, which passed into English via Anglo- Norman *kenil. Other English derivatives of Latin canis include canary, canine , and chenille ‘fabric made from soft yarn’ , a borrowing from French chenille, literally ‘hairy caterpillar’, which came from a diminutive form of canis.
=> canary, canine, chenille, hound
- kerchief: see handkerchief
- kernel: [OE] Etymologically, a kernel is a ‘little seed’. Old English corn, ancestor of modern English corn, meant ‘seed, grain’, and its diminutive form cyrnel was applied to ‘pips’ (now obsolete), to ‘seeds’ (a sense which now survives only in the context of cereals), and to the ‘inner part of nuts, fruit stones, etc’.
- ketchup:  Ketchup is a Chinese word in origin. In the Amoy dialect of southeastern China, kôechiap means ‘brine of fish’. It was acquired by English, probably via Malay kichap, towards the end of the 17th century, when it was usually spelled catchup (the New Dictionary of the Canting Crew 1690 defines it as ‘a high East- India Sauce’). Shortly afterwards the spelling catsup came into vogue (Jonathan Swift is the first on record as using it, in 1730), and it remains the main form in American English. But in Britain ketchup has gradually established itself since the early 18th century.
- kettle:  Latin catīnus denoted a ‘deep pan or dish in which food was cooked or served’. Its diminutive form catillus was borrowed into prehistoric Germanic as *katilaz, which passed into Old English in the form cetel. This produced Middle English chetel, which died out in the 15th century, having been ousted by the related Old Norse form ketill.
Originally the term denoted any metal vessel for boiling liquid, and it is only really in the past century that its meaning has narrowed down to an ‘enclosed pot with a spout’. The original sense lingers on in the term fish kettle, and is still very much alive in related Germanic forms such as German kessel and Swedish kittel.
- key: [OE] The Old English ancestor of key was cǣg. This produced a modern English word which to begin with was pronounced to rhyme with bay, and its present-day pronunciation, rhyming with bee, did not come to the fore until the 18th century. No one knows where the word originally came from; it has no living relatives in other Germanic languages.
- khaki:  Khaki is part of the large linguistic legacy of British rule in India. In Urdu khākī means ‘dusty’, and is a derivative of the noun khāk ‘dust’ (a word of Persian origin). It seems first to have been used with reference to the colour of military uniforms in the Guide Corps of the Indian army in the late 1840s. The term followed the colour when it was more widely adopted by the British army for camouflage purposes during the South African wars at the end of the 19th century.
- kick:  Kick is one of the mystery words of English. It first appears towards the end of the 14th century, but no one knows where it came from, and it has no relatives in the other Indo- European languages. It may have been a Scandinavian borrowing.
- kidney:  The origins of kidney are a matter of guesswork rather than certain knowledge. Probably the most widely accepted theory is that the -ey element represents ey, the Middle English word for ‘egg’, in allusion to the shape of the kidneys. The first syllable is more problematical, but one possible source is Old English cwith ‘womb’ or the related Old Norse kvithr ‘belly, womb’, in which case kidney would mean etymologically ‘belly-egg’.
- kill:  The Old English verbs for ‘kill’ were slēan, source of modern English slay, and cwellan, which has become modern English quell. The latter came from a prehistoric Germanic *kwaljan, which it has been suggested may have had a variant *kuljan that could have become Old English *cyllan. If such a verb did exist, it would be a plausible ancestor for modern English kill.
When this first appeared in early Middle English it was used for ‘hit’, but the meanings ‘hit’ and ‘kill’ often coexist in the same word (slay once meant ‘hit’ as well as ‘kill’, as is shown by the related sledgehammer); the sense ‘deprive of life’ emerged in the 14th century.
- kiln: [OE] Etymologically a kiln is for ‘cooking’, not for burning or drying. Its distant ancestor was Latin coquīna ‘kitchen’, a derivative of the verb coquere ‘cook’. This produced an unexplained variant culīna (source of English culinary ), which was used not only for ‘kitchen’, but also for ‘cooking-stove’. Old English adopted it as cylene, which has become modern English kiln.
=> cook, culinary, kitchen