nickelyoudaoicibaDictYouDict[nickel 词源字典]
nickel: [18] The element nickel was named in 1754 by the Swedish mineralogist Axel von Cronstedt. The word he chose was a truncated form of kupfernickel, a term formerly used by German miners for niccolite, a nickle-bearing ore. This meant literally ‘copperdemon’, an allusion probably to the fact that niccolite looks as though it contains copper, but does not. The -nickel part of the term represents a pet form of the name Nikolaus, perhaps chosen for its resemblance to German nix ‘water-sprite’. Nickel was first used for a US five-cent coin (made of a copper and nickel alloy) in the 1880s.
[nickel etymology, nickel origin, 英语词源]
nickname: [14] A nickname is etymologically an ‘additional name’. The word was originally ekename, whose eke ‘addition’ was a derivative of the verb eke (as in ‘eke out’). But by the 15th century an ekename was becoming misinterpreted as a nekename – hence nickname (the same process produced newt [15] from ewt, ancestor of modern English eft ‘newt’, and the reverse happened to adder, apron, and umpire).
=> eke
nicotine: [19] Nicotine gets its name ultimately from Jean Nicot, 16th-century French ambassador in Lisbon, who in 1560 got hold of some samples of the new ‘tobacco’ and sent them to the French queen Catherine de Medici. The tobacco-plant was named herba nicotiana ‘herb of Nicot’ in his honour (whence the modern English term nicotiana for all plants of this genus), and nicotine was derived from nicotiana, originally in French, for the addictive alkaloid obtained from it.
niece: [13] Niece comes ultimately from *neptī-, the feminine form of Indo-European *nepōt- (source of English nephew). This passed into Latin as neptis ‘granddaughter, niece’, which in post-classical times became *neptia. Old French took it over as niece – whence English niece. *Neptī- also had a Germanic descendant, *niptiz, which now survives only in German nichte and Dutch nicht ‘niece’.
=> nephew
nigger: see denigrate
nigh: see near
night: [OE] Night is the English member of an ancient Indo-European family of ‘night’-words, represented in virtually all the modern European languages. The ancestral form was *nokt-, and from this have come Greek núx, Latin nox (source of English nocturnal [15] and nocturne [19], and forerunner of French nuit, Italian notte, and Spanish noche), Welsh nos, Latvian nakts, and Russian noch’. The Germanic descendant of *nokt- was *nakht-, source of modern German and Dutch nacht, Swedish natt, Danish nat, and English night. The only exception to the general European picture is modern Irish oidhche ‘night’, a word of unknown origin.
=> nocturnal
nightingale: [OE] The nightingale’s name, appropriately enough, means literally ‘nightsinger’. It represents a 13th-century alteration of an earlier nihtgale, which goes back to a prehistoric Germanic compound formed from *nakht ‘night’ and *galan ‘sing’ (a relative of English yell [OE] and possibly of gale). Related Germanic forms include German nachtigall, Dutch nachtegaal, Swedish näktergal, and Danish nattergal.
nightmare: [13] The mare of nightmare is not the same word as mare ‘female horse’. It comes from Old English mære, which denoted a sort of evil spirit or goblin which sat on sleepers’ chests and gave them bad dreams. That is what the compound nightmare meant too when it emerged in the early Middle English period, and the metaphorical application to the bad dream supposedly caused by this incubus is not recorded until the mid-16th century.
=> yell
nil: [19] Latin nil was a contracted form of nihil ‘nothing’ (source of English nihilism [19]). This in turn was a shortening of an earlier nihilum, a compound formed from the negative particle and hīlum ‘small or trivial thing’, and thus denoted etymologically ‘not a jot’.
=> nihilism
nine: [OE] Nine is part of a general Indo- European family of ‘9’-words, which trace their ancestry back to a prehistoric *newn or *enewn. Among the descendants of these are Greek ennéa, Latin novem (source of English November), Irish nóin, Lithuanian devynì, and Russian devyat’. Its Germanic forms *niwun or *nigun have differentiated into German neun, Dutch negen, Swedish nio, Danish ni, and English nine. Noon is so called from being originally the ‘ninth’ hour.
=> noon
no: English has three words no, which come from quite distinct sources (although they all, of course, contain the ancient negative particle ne). No the negative reply [OE] means etymologically ‘not ever, never’. It originated as a compound of ne and ā ‘ever’ (a relative of archaic modern English aye ‘ever’, whose own negative form is nay [12]) and the resulting became in the 13th century no.

The history of no ‘not’ [OE] (which is now used virtually only in the expression ‘whether or no’) is almost exactly parallel: it was formed from Old English ō ‘ever’, a variant of ā. The adjective no ‘not any’ [13] is a reduced form of none, its final n originally dispensed with before consonants.

=> aye, nay; none
noble: [13] Etymologically, to be noble is simply to be ‘well known’. The word reached English via Old French noble from Latin nōbilis. But this was only a later form of an original gnōbilis (preserved in the negative form ignoble [16]), which was derived from the base *gnō- ‘know’, source also of English notorious. It thus originally meant ‘knowable’, hence ‘known’, and only subsequently broadened out via ‘well known’ to ‘noble’ (which in ancient Rome denoted ‘belonging to a family of which many members had held high office in the state’).
=> cognition, ignoble, know, notorious, recognize
nocturnal: see night
nodule: see noose
noel: see native
noise: [13] Unlikely as it may seem, the ancestor of English noise meant ‘sickness’. It comes from Latin nausea, source also, of course, of English nausea. This was used colloquially for the sort of ‘hubbub’ or ‘confusion’ which is often coincident with someone being sick (and particularly seasick, which was what nausea originally implied), and Old French took it over, as noise, with roughly these senses. They later developed to ‘noisy dispute’, and modern French noise has retained the ‘dispute’ element of this, while English noise has gone for the ‘intrusive sound’.
=> nausea, nautical, navy
noisome: [14] Noisome has no etymological connection with noise. Its closest English relative is annoy. This had a shortened from noy ‘trouble, annoy, harm’, current from the 13th to the 17th centuries, which was combined with the suffix -some to form noysome, later noisome, ‘harmful’.
=> annoy
nomad: [16] The Greek verb némein had a very wide range of senses. It originally meant ‘deal out, dispense’, a signification mirrored in the derived nemesis [16] (etymologically the ‘dealing out’ of what is due) and the possibly related number. It developed subsequently to ‘inhabit’ and to ‘control, manage’ (which is represented in English economy).

But a further strand was ‘put out to pasture’; and from the same stem as produced némein was formed the adjective nomás ‘wandering about to find pasture for herds or flocks’. Its plural nomádes was used to denote pastoral people who lived in this way, and the word was passed on via Latin nomades and French (singular) nomade into English.

=> economy, nemesis
nominate: [16] Nominate is one of a small band of English words descended from nōmen, the Latin representative of the Indo-European ‘name’ word family that also includes English name. It was based on the derived verb nōmināre ‘name’, which has also given English, via French, nominee [17]. Other English words from the same source include nominal [15], nomenclature [17] (from Latin nōmenclātūra, whose second element was based on the verb calāre ‘call’), noun, and renown.
=> name, noun, renown