habeas corpusyoudaoicibaDictYouDict[habeas corpus 词源字典]
habeas corpus: [15] Habeas corpus means literally ‘you should have the body’. They are the first words of a Latin writ, apparently in use in England since the 13th century, requiring a person to be brought before a court of law. It begins Habeas corpus ad subjiciendum ‘You should have the body to undergo’, that is, ‘You must produce the person in court so that he or she may undergo what the court decides’. It applies in particular to the bringing of a detained person before a court so that a judge may decide whether he or she is being legally held – a safeguard against unlawful detention enshrined in England in the Habeas Corpus Act 1679.
[habeas corpus etymology, habeas corpus origin, 英语词源]
haberdasher: [14] No one is too sure what Anglo-Norman hapertas meant – perhaps ‘piece of cloth’, perhaps ‘small goods’ – but it is the nearest we can come to the origin of that curious word haberdasher. The theory is that it had an Anglo-Norman derivative, *habertasser or *haberdasser, never actually recorded, which passed into Middle English as haberdassher.

The term seems originally to have denoted a ‘seller of small fancy goods’ – and indeed in the 16th and 17th centuries it was often used synonymously with milliner, which had a similar broad meaning in those days – but gradually it passed into two more specific applications, ‘seller of hats’ (now obsolete in British English, but surviving in the American sense ‘seller of men’s hats, gloves, etc’) and ‘seller of dressmaking accessories’.

habit: [13] Etymologically, a habit is ‘what one has’. The word comes via Old French abit from Latin habitus, originally the past participle of the verb habēre ‘have’. This was used reflexively for ‘be’, and so the past participle came to be used as a noun for ‘how one is’ – one’s ‘state’ or ‘condition’. Subsequently this developed along the lines of both ‘outward condition or appearance’, hence ‘clothing’, and ‘inner condition, quality, nature, character’, later ‘usual way of behaving’.

This proliferation of meaning took place in Latin, and was taken over lock, stock, and barrel by English, although the ‘clothing’ sense now survives only in relation to monks, nuns, and horseriders. (Incidentally, the notion of adapting the verb have to express ‘how one is, how one comports oneself’ recurs in behave.) Derived from Latin habitus was the verb habitāre, originally literally ‘have something frequently or habitually’, hence ‘live in a place’.

This has given English habitation [14], inhabit [14], and also habitat [18], literally ‘it dwells’, the third person present singular of habitāre, which was used in medieval and Renaissance books on natural history to describe the sort of place in which a particular species lived. Malady [13] comes via Old French from an unrecorded Vulgar Latin *male habitus ‘in bad condition’.

=> habitat, inhabit, malady
hack: English has two distinct words hack. By far the older, ‘cut savagely or randomly’ [OE], goes back via Old English haccian to a prehistoric West Germanic *khak-, also reproduced in German hacken and Dutch hakken. It perhaps originated in imitation of the sound of chopping. Hack ‘worn-out horse’ [17] is short for hackney (as in hackney carriage), a word in use since the 14th century in connection with hired horses.

It is thought that this may be an adaptation of the name of Hackney, now an inner-London borough but once a village on the northeastern outskirts of the capital where horses were raised before being taken into the city for sale or hire. Most rented horses being past their best from long and probably ill usage, hackney came to mean ‘broken-down horse’ and hence in general ‘drudge’.

This quickly became respecified to ‘someone who writes for hire, and hence unimaginatively’, which influenced the development of hackneyed ‘trite’ [18]. The modern sense of hacker, ‘someone who gains unauthorized access to computer records’, comes from a slightly earlier ‘one who works like a hack – that is, very hard – at writing and experimenting with software’.

haemorrhage: [17] Haemorrhage means literally a ‘bursting forth of blood’. It comes ultimately from Greek haimorrhagíā, a compound formed from Greek haima ‘blood’ and an element derived from the same source as the verb rhēgnúnai ‘break, burst’. Haima, a word of unknown origin, has been a generous contributor to English vocabulary. Besides haemorrhage, it has given haematite [17], literally ‘blood-like stone’, a type of iron ore, haemoglobin [19], a shortening of an earlier haemoglobulin, haemorrhoid [14] (in the 16th and 17th centuries spelled emerod), literally ‘flowing with blood’, and many more.
haggard: [16] Haggard was originally a falconer’s term for a hawk as yet untamed. It has been suggested that its ultimate source was Germanic *khag-, which also produced English hedge, the implication being that a haggard was a hawk that sat in a hedge rather than on the falconer’s arm. The modern meaning ‘gaunt’ developed in the 17th century, probably by association with hag ‘ugly old woman’ [13] (perhaps a shortening of Old English hægtesse ‘witch’, a word of unknown origin related to German hexe ‘witch’).
=> hedge
haggis: [15] Improbable as it may seem, the leading candidate for the source of the word haggis is Old French agace ‘magpie’. Corroborative evidence for this, circumstantial but powerful, is the word pie, which also originally meant ‘magpie’ (modern English magpie comes from it) but was apparently applied to a ‘baked pastry case with a filling’ from the notion that the collection of edible odds and ends a pie contained was similar to the collection of trinkets assembled by the acquisitive magpie.

On this view, the miscellaneous assortment of sheep’s entrails and other ingredients in a haggis represents the magpie’s hoard. An alternative possibility, however, is that the word comes from the northern Middle English verb haggen ‘chop’, a borrowing from Old Norse related ultimately to English hew.

hail: Not surprisingly, hail ‘frozen rain’ [OE] and hail ‘call out’ [12] are quite unrelated. The former, together with its German and Dutch relative hagel, comes from a prehistoric West Germanic *hagalaz, which is related ultimately to Greek kákhlēx ‘pebble’. The verb hail is closely related to hale and whole. It comes from the noun hail, which in turn was a nominal use of the now obsolete adjective hail ‘healthy’ (preserved in wassail, literally ‘be healthy’). This was borrowed from heill, the Old Norse counterpart of English whole.
=> hale, wassail, whole
hair: [OE] No general Indo-European term for ‘hair’ has come down to us. All the ‘hair’-words in modern European languages are descended from terms for particular types of hair – hair on the head, hair on other parts of the body, animal hair – or for single hairs or hair collectively, and indeed many retain these specialized meanings: French cheveu, for instance, means ‘hair of the head’, whereas poil denotes ‘body hair’ or ‘animal hair’.

In the case of English hair, unfortunately, it is not clear which of these categories originally applied, although some have suggested a connection with Lithuanian serys ‘brush’, which might indicate that the prehistoric ancestor of hair was a ‘bristly’ word. The furthest back in time we can trace it is to West and North Germanic *khǣram, source also of German, Dutch, and Danish haar and Swedish hår.

The slang use of hairy for ‘difficult’ is first recorded in the mid 19th century, in an erudite context that suggests that it may have been inspired by Latin horridus (source of English horrid), which originally meant (of hair) ‘standing on end’. Its current use, in which ‘difficult’ passes into ‘dangerous’, seems to have emerged in the 1960s, and was presumably based on hair-raising, which dates from around 1900.

It is fascinatingly foreshadowed by harsh, which is a derivative of hair and originally meant ‘hairy’.

hake: see hook
halcyon: [14] Halcyon days, originally ‘days of calm weather’, but now used figuratively for a ‘past period of happiness and success’, are literally ‘days of the kingfisher’. The expression comes from Greek alkuonídes hēmérai ‘kingfisher’s days’, a term used in the ancient world for a period of 14 days fine or calm weather around the winter solstice which was attributed to the magical influence of the kingfisher. The origin of Greek alkúon is not known, although it was from earliest times associated with Greek háls ‘sea’ and kúōn ‘conceiving’ (whence the spelling halcyon).
hale: see whole
half: [OE] Half comes from prehistoric Germanic *khalbaz, which also produced German halb, Dutch half, and Swedish and Danish halv. If, as some have suggested, it is connected with Latin scalpere ‘cut’ (source of English scalpel and sculpture) and Greek skóloph ‘spike’, its underlying meaning would be ‘cut, divided’.
halibut: see turbot
hall: [OE] Etymologically, a hall is a ‘roofed or covered place’. Its ultimate ancestor was prehistoric West and North Germanic *khallō, a derivative of *khal-, *khel- ‘cover, hide’ (a slightly different derivative produced English hell, and cell, clandestine, conceal, hull ‘pod’, and possibly colour and holster are all relatives, close or distant).

It retained much of its original meaning in Old English heall, which denoted simply a ‘large place covered by a roof’. This gradually became specialized to, on the one hand, ‘large residence’, and on the other, ‘large public room’. The main current sense, ‘entrance corridor’, dates from the 17th century (it derives from the fact that in former times the principal room of a house usually opened directly off the front door).

=> cell, clandestine, conceal, hell, hull
hallmark: [18] The hallmark on a piece of gold, silver or platinum, which allows it to be legally sold, is so called simply because it was originally applied in Goldsmiths’ Hall, the headquarters of the Goldsmiths’ Company (a City livery company), where the London assay office was situated. The building is in Foster Lane, to the northeast of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London.
hallow: [OE] Hallow is essentially the same word as holy. The noun, as in Halloween, the eve of All Hallows, or All Saints, comes from a noun use of Old English Hālig, which as an adjective developed into modern English holy; and the verb was formed in prehistoric Germanic times from the root *khailag-, source also of holy.
=> holy
halt: English has two words halt. By far the older, meaning ‘lame’ [OE], has virtually died out as a living part of English vocabulary except in the verbal derivative halting ‘stopping and starting uncertainly’. It came from a prehistoric Germanic *khaltaz, which also produced Swedish and Danish halt ‘Jame’. Halt ‘stop’ [17], originally a noun, comes from German halt, which began life as the imperative form of the verb halten ‘hold, stop’ (a relative of English hold).
=> hold
ham: [OE] The etymological meaning of ham is ‘bend’ – it comes from Germanic *kham- ‘be crooked’ – and up until the 16th century it denoted exclusively the ‘part of the leg at the back of the knee’ (a portion of the anatomy now without a word of its own in English). Hamstring [16] reflects this original meaning. From the mid-16th century, it gradually extended semantically to ‘back of the thigh’ and hence ‘thigh’ generally, and by the 17th century it was being used for the ‘thigh of a slaughtered animal, especially a pig, preserved and used for food’. Ham in the sense ‘performer who overacts’, first recorded in the late 19th century, apparently comes from an earlier hamfatter ‘bad actor’, which may have been inspired by the Negro minstrel song ‘The Ham-fat Man’.
hamburger: [19] As its inherent beefiness amply demonstrates, the hamburger has nothing to do with ham. It originated in the German city and port of Hamburg. The fashioning of conveniently sized patties was a common way of dealing with minced beef in northern Europe and the Baltic in the 19th century, and it appears that German sailors or emigrants took the delicacy across the Atlantic with them to America.

There it was called a Hamburg steak or, using the German adjectival form, a Hamburger steak. That term is first recorded in the late 1880s, and by the first decade of the 20th century the steak had been dropped. By the 1930s the hamburger had become an American fast-food staple, and products similar in concept but with different ingredients inspired variations on its name: beefburger, cheeseburger, steakburger, and so on; and by the end of the decade plain burger was well established in the language.