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Monday, March 26, 2012

Today's Etymology: "Bottom" -- 1837 T. Carlyle French Revol. II. iv. i. 209 Patriot women take their hazel wands, and fustigate,‥broad bottom of Priests.

Because --

"the lion shall lie down, with the lamb --  but the lamb won't get much sleep."

            --  Woody Allen




bottom, n.

Pronunciation:  /ˈbɒtəm/
Forms:  OE botm, ME boþem, -om, -um, botham, bothem, bothum, ME botym, botme, ME–16 botome... 
Etymology:  Old English botm strong masculine, representing West Germanic *boþm-... 
 I. The lowest surface or part of anything.  


 a. The lowest part of anything, considered as a material thing; the lower or under surface, that surface of a thing on which it stands or rests; the base. Applied spec. to the keel of a ship (cf. 7), the circular end of a cask, etc. Proverb, ‘Every tub (vat) must stand on its own bottom’.

OE   Christ & Satan 718   Blac bealowes gast, þæt he on botme stod.
c1050   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab. (1884) I. 181   Cimba uel carina, scipesbotm.
a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Douce 369(1)) (1850) Wisd. v. 10   A step is not to finde, ne a path of his [a ship's] botme in the flodis.
c1425   Seven Sag. (P.) 809   The credyl bothume turnyd on hyghe.
a1475   Bk. Quinte Essence 5   Þe necke of þe glas be turned dounward, & þe botum be turned vpward.
1651   T. Hobbes Leviathan iii. xxxviii. 242   A pit without a bottome.
1726   Swift Gulliver II. iii. i. 10   It appeared to be a firm Substance, the Bottom flat, smooth, and shining.
1768   Ross To the Begging (Jam.),   I'll then unto the cobler And cause him sole my shoon An inch thick i' the boddom.
1769   E. Raffald Experienced Eng. Housekeeper (1778) 289   Boil your artichoke bottoms in hard water.
1848   Macaulay Hist. Eng. (1872) III. xiii. 38/2   Barrels with the bottoms knocked out served the purpose of chimneys.
1887   N.E.D. at Bottom,   Mod. A drawer with a false bottom.


 b. The sitting part of a man, the posteriors, the seat. (Colloq.) Also, the ‘seat’ of a chair.

1794–6   E. Darwin Zoonomia (1801) III. 253   So as to have his head and shoulders much lower than his bottom.
1834   J. Wilson Noctes Ambrosianae lxvi, in Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. July 140   The Dunghill [cock]‥hides his head in a hole‥unashamed of the exposure of his enormous bottom.
1837   T. Carlyle French Revol. II. iv. i. 209   Patriot women take their hazel wands, and fustigate,‥broad bottom of Priests.
1885   Leisure Hour Jan. 47/1   Women and children will be found caning or rushing the ‘bottoms’.

source: OED

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