- quack[quack 词源字典]
- quack: English has two words quack. The one denoting the call of a duck  originated of course as an imitation of the sound itself. Quack ‘person claiming to be a doctor’  is short for an earlier quacksalver, which etymologically denoted ‘someone who prattles on or boasts about the efficacy of his remedies’. It was borrowed from early modern Dutch quacksalver, a compound formed from the now obsolete quacken ‘chatter, prattle’ and salf, the Dutch relative of English salve.
[quack etymology, quack origin, 英语词源]
- quad: see quarter
- quagmire:  The now virtually defunct word quag denoted a ‘marsh’, particularly one with a top layer of turf that moved when you trod on it. Combination with mire (which also originally meant ‘marsh’, and is related to English moss) produced quagmire. It is not known where quag came from, but its underlying meaning is generally taken to be ‘shake, tremble’, and it may ultimately be of imitative origin.
- quail: Quail the bird  and quail ‘cower’  are not related. The former comes via Old French quaille from medieval Latin coacula, which probably originated in imitation of the bird’s grating cry. It is not known for certain where the verb (which originally meant ‘decline, wither, give way’) came from, although some have linked it with another verb quail, now obsolete, which meant ‘curdle’. This came via Old French quailler from Latin coāgulāre, source of English coagulate.
- quaint:  Quaint was once a more wholehearted term of approval than it is now. In Middle English it meant ‘clever’ or ‘finely or skilfully made’. Its current sense ‘pleasantly curious’ did not emerge until the 18th century. It comes via Old French coint from Latin cognitus ‘known’, the past participle of cognōscere ‘know’ (source of English recognize). The word’s meaning evolved in Old French via the notion of someone who ‘knows’ about something, and hence is an expert at it or is skilful in doing it.
=> cognition, recognize
- quality:  The ultimate source of quality is Latin quālis ‘of what sort?’, a compound pronoun formed from quī ‘who’ and the adjectival suffix -ālis. From it were derived the noun quālitās, source of English quality, and quālificāre, from which English gets qualify .
- quandary:  Quandary may have originated as a quasi-latinism. One of its early forms was quandare, which suggests that it may have been a pseudo-Latin infinitive verb, coined on the fanciful notion that Latin quandō ‘when’ was a first person present singular form.
- quango:  Quango is an acronym created probably in the late 1960s to refer, in a none too complimentary way, to an administrative body hovering in the grey area between public accountability and private control. It is commonly explained as being based on the initial letters of quasi-autonomous national government organization, but there is no actual evidence for that unwieldy phrase before the mid-1970s, by which time the acronym was already going strong. A more plausible source is the simpler quasi-nongovernmental organization, which was around in the late 1960s.
- quantity:  Latin quantus meant ‘how much’ (it was a compound adjective formed from quī ‘who’). From it was derived the noun quantitās ‘extent, amount’, which passed into English via Old French quantite. Quantum , a noun use of the neuter form of the Latin adjective, originally denoted simply ‘amount’; its specific application to a ‘minimum amount of matter’ was introduced by Max Planck in 1900, and reinforced by Einstein in 1905.
- quarantine:  Quarantine denotes etymologically a period of ‘forty’ days. It goes back ultimately to Latin quadrāgintā ‘forty’, whose Italian descendant quaranta formed the basis of the noun quarantina ‘period of forty days’. English used it originally for a ‘period of forty days’ isolation’, but gradually the stipulation of the number of days faded out.
- quark:  The term quark was applied to a type of fundamental particle by its discoverer, the American physicist Murray Gell-Mann. He seems first to have used quork, but then he remembered quark, a nonsense word used by James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake 1939, and he decided to plump for that. It first appeared in print in 1964.
- quarrel: English has two words quarrel, one of them now little more than a historical memory. Quarrel ‘argument’  goes back via Old French querele to Latin querēla, a derivative of querī ‘complain’. Also based on querī was querulus ‘complaining’, from which English gets querulous . Quarrel ‘crossbow arrow’  comes via Old French quarel from Vulgar Latin *quadrellus, a diminutive form of late Latin quadrus ‘square’ (the quarrel had a ‘square’ head). And quadrus was based on the stem quadr- ‘four’, source of English quadrangle, quadrant, quadruped, etc.
=> querulous; quarter
- quarry: Quarry from which stone is extracted  and quarry which one hunts  are quite different words. The former was borrowed from Old French quarriere, a derivative of *quarre ‘square stone’. This went back to Latin quadrum ‘square’, which was based on the stem quadr- ‘four’, source of English quadrangle, quadrant, quadruped, etc.
The sort of quarry that is pursued came from Anglo-Norman *quire or *quere, which denoted ‘entrails of a killed deer given to the hounds to eat’. This went back to Old French cuiree, which was an alteration of an earlier couree or coree. And this in turn was descended from Vulgar Latin *corāta ‘entrails’, a derivative of Latin cor ‘heart’.
The present-day sense of the English word emerged in the 15th century.
=> quarter; cordial, courage, record
- quarter:  Quarter is one of a large family of English words that go back ultimately to Latin quattuor ‘four’ and its relatives. Direct descendants of quattuor itself are actually fairly few – among them quatrain  and quatrefoil  (both via Old French). But its ordinal form quārtus ‘fourth’ has been most prolific: English is indebted to it for quart , quarter (via the Latin derivative quartārius ‘fourth part’), quartet , and quarto .
In compounds quattuor assumed the form quadr-, which has given English quadrangle  (and its abbreviation quad ), quadrant , quadratic , quadrille , quadruped , quadruplet  (also abbreviated to quad ), quarantine, quarrel ‘arrow’, not to mention the more heavily disguised cadre , carfax  (which means etymologically ‘four-forked’), squad, and square.
And the derivative quater ‘four times’ has contributed carillon  (etymologically a peal of ‘four’ bells), quaternary , and quire of paper  (etymologically a set of ‘four’ sheets of paper).
=> cadre, carfax, carillon, quad, quarrel, quarry, quire, squad, square
- quash:  Quash goes back ultimately to Latin quatere ‘shake’ (source also of English rescue , which etymologically means ‘shake off, drive away’, and of concussion and percussion). From it evolved quassāre ‘shake to pieces, break’, which passed into Old French as quasser (its modern descendant is casser, from which English gets cashier ‘dismiss from the army’). English took quasser over as quash. Squash  comes ultimately from the Vulgar Latin derivative *exquassāre.
=> concussion, percussion, rescue, squash
- quaver:  Quaver was derived from an earlier and now obsolete Middle English quave ‘tremble’. This was of Germanic origin (Low German has the related quabbeln ‘tremble’), and probably started life as a vocal realization of the action of trembling. The use of the noun quaver for a short musical note (first recorded in the 16th century) comes from the original singing of such notes with a trill.
- quay:  Quay is of Celtic origin. Its immediate source was Old French kai, but this was borrowed from Gaulish caio, which went back to an Old Celtic *kagio-. The spelling quay was introduced from modern French in the 17th century. The homophonic cay ‘small coral island’  comes from cayo, a Spanish borrowing from French quai.
- quean: see gynaecology
- queen: [OE] Queen goes back ultimately to prehistoric Indo-European *gwen- ‘woman’, source also of Greek guné ‘woman’ (from which English gets gynaecology), Persian zan ‘woman’ (from which English gets zenana ‘harem’), Swedish kvinna ‘woman’, and the now obsolete English quean ‘woman’. In its very earliest use in Old English queen (or cwēn, as it then was) was used for a ‘wife’, but not just any wife: it denoted the wife of a man of particular distinction, and usually a king. It was not long before it became institutionalized as ‘king’s wife’, and hence ‘woman ruling in her own right’.
=> gynaecology, quean, zenana
- queer:  Queer was probably borrowed from German quer ‘across, oblique’, hence ‘perverse’. This went back to a prehistoric Indo- European *twerk-, which also produced English thwart and Latin torquēre ‘twist’ (source of English torch, torture, etc).
=> thwart, torch, torment, tort, torture