- quell[quell 词源字典]
- quell: [OE] Quell and kill are probably closely related – indeed, in Old and Middle English quell was used for ‘kill’ (‘birds and small beasts with his bow he quells’, William of Palerne 1350). Quell goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *kwaljan (source also of German quälen ‘torture’), which may have had a variant *kuljan, that could have produced English kill. The milder modern sense of quell developed in the 14th century.
[quell etymology, quell origin, 英语词源]
- querulous: see quarrel
- question:  Question is one of a large family of English words that go back to the Latin verb quaerere ‘seek, ask’. Its past participle quaestus formed the basis of a noun, quaestiō, which has become English question. An earlier form of the past participle was quaesītus, and its feminine version quaesīta eventually passed into English via Old French as quest . Other English words from the same source include acquire, conquer, enquire, exquisite, inquest, request, and require; and query  is an anglicization of quaere, the imperative form of quaerere.
=> acquire, conquer, enquire, exquisite, inquest, query, quest, request, require
- queue:  Etymologically a queue is simply a ‘tail’. That was the meaning of its Latin ancestor cauda, a word of unknown origin which has also given English caudal ‘of a tail’  and, via Italian, coda  (literally a ‘tail’-piece). To begin with in English queue (acquired via French) was used only as a technical term in heraldry for a ‘tail’. It was not until the 18th century that metaphorical applications started to appear: to a ‘billiard stick’ (now spelled cue) and a ‘pigtail’. ‘Line of people waiting’ (which has never caught on in American English) emerged in the early 19th century.
- quibble:  Quibble probably originated as a rather ponderous learned joke-word. It is derived from an earlier and now obsolete quib ‘pun’, which appears to have been based on quibus, the dative and ablative plural of Latin quī ‘who, what’. The notion is that since quibus made frequent appearances in legal documents written in Latin, it became associated with pettifogging points of law.
- quiche:  German kuchen ‘cake’ (a relative of English cake) is the original of quiche. In the dialect of Alsace it became küchen, which French transformed into quiche. The word found its way into English in the first half of the 20th century, but initially only as a specialist term for a somewhat recherché dish – before World War II, quiche Lorraine was exotic fare. It was the 1970s and the advent of winebar cuisine that made it much more widely familiar.
- quick: [OE] Originally quick meant ‘alive’ (as in the now fossilized phrase the quick and the dead); it was not until the 13th century that the sense ‘rapid’ began to emerge. It goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *kwikwaz (which also produced Swedish kvick ‘rapid’); and this was descended from an Indo-European base *gwej-, which branched out into Latin vīvus ‘alive’ (source of English vivid), Greek bíos ‘life’ (source of English biology), Welsh byw ‘alive’, Russian zhivoj ‘alive’, etc.
The couch of couch grass  is a variant of the now seldom encountered quitch, whose Old English ancestor cwice may be related to quick (the allusion presumably being to its vigorous growth).
=> biology, vivid
- quid: English has two words quid. The colloquial term for a ‘pound’ appears to be the same word as Latin quid ‘something’, and may have been inspired by the expression quid pro quo , literally ‘something for something’. Quid ‘piece of chewing tobacco’  is a variant of cud.
- quiet:  The Latin noun quiēs meant ‘quiet’ (it came from a prehistoric Indo-European base *qwi- ‘rest’, which also produced English while and the final syllable of tranquil). From it was derived the verb quiēscere ‘be still’ (source of English quiescent ). Its past participle quiētus has given English quiet (and its Siamese twin coy), quit, and quite, not to mention the derived forms acquit and requite.
=> acquit, coy, quit, quite, requite, tranquil, while
- quilt:  The ultimate source of quilt is Latin culcita ‘mattress’, which passed into English via Old French cuilte. Its function gradually evolved from that of a mattress for lying on to that of a coverlet for lying under. A long-standing characteristic of such quilts is that their stuffing is held in place by cross-stitching. This does not emerge as a distinct meaning of the verb quilt (‘sew padded cloth in a crisscross pattern’) until the mid-16th century, but it is reflected in the medieval Latin term culcita puncta ‘pricked mattress’ – that is, a mattress that has been stitched.
This passed into English via Old French as counterpoint, which was subsequently altered, by association with pane ‘panel’, to counterpane .
- quince:  Etymologically, the quince is the ‘fruit from Khaniá’, a port on the northwest coast of Crete from which quinces were exported. In ancient times Khaniá was known as Cydonia (in Greek Kudónia), so the Greeks called the fruit mélon Kudónion ‘Cydonian apple’. Latin took the term over as cydōneum, later cotōneum, which passed into English via Old French cooin. The original English form of the word was quoyn, later quyn, but already by the early 14th century its plural quyns was coming to be regarded as a singular – whence modern English quince.
- quinsy:  Quinsy, a now virtually obsolete term for ‘sore throat’, has one of those etymologies that strain credulity to the limit. For it comes ultimately from a Greek term that meant literally ‘dog-strangling’. This was kunágkhē, a compound formed from kúōn ‘dog’ (a distant relative of English hound) and ágkhein ‘strangle’, which originally denoted a sort of throat infection of dogs, which impaired their breathing, and was subsequently extended to a similar complaint in humans. English acquired the word via medieval Latin quinancia and Old French quinencie.
- quintessence:  Just as modern particle physicists search for the ultimate constituent of matter, the common denominator of all known forces, so medieval alchemists tried to find a fifth primary essence, which together with earth, air, fire, and water formed the substance of all heaven and earth. This fifth essence, higher and more ethereal than the other four, was postulated by Aristotle, who called it aithēr ‘either’.
Another Greek term for it was pemptē ousíā ‘fifth essence’, which was translated into medieval Latin as quinta essentia – whence, via French, English quintessence. The metaphorical sense ‘most perfect or characteristic embodiment’ began to emerge in the second half of the 16th century. Other English words based on quintus ‘fifth’, the ordinal form of Latin quinque ‘five’, include quintet  and quintuple .
- quire: see quarter
- quisling:  Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian politician who from 1933 led the National Union Party, the Norwegian fascist party (Quisling was not his real name – he was born Abraham Lauritz Jonsson). When the Germans invaded Norway in 1940 he gave them active support, urging his fellow Norwegians not to resist them, and in 1942 he was installed by Hitler as a puppet premier. In 1945 he was shot for treason. The earliest recorded use of his name in English as a generic term for a ‘traitor’ comes from April 1940.
- quit:  Quit comes from the same ultimate source as quiet – Latin quiētus. This originally meant simply ‘quiet, calm’, but in medieval Latin it developed a wider range of senses, including ‘unharmed’ and ‘free’. From it was derived the verb quiētāre ‘set free, discharge’, which reached English via Old French quiter. The derived forms acquit and requite  come from the same source, and quite is essentially the same word as quit.
- quite:  Quite is essentially the same word as the adjective quit ‘free, absolved, discharged, cleared’ (which in Middle English commonly took the alternative form quite). It came to be used as an adverb meaning ‘thoroughly, clearly’. The weaker modern sense ‘fairly’ did not develop until as recently as the mid-19th century.
- quixotic:  Quixotic commemorates Don Quixote, the hero of Cervantes’s novel of the same name (published in two parts in 1605 and 1615). He was a slightly dotty Spanish gentleman whose head became turned by tales of chivalric derring-do, which he sought to emulate in real life. His most famous exploit was to charge with his lance at windmills, under the mistaken impression that they were giants.
- quiz:  No one has ever been able satisfactorily to explain the origins of quiz. A word of that form first appeared at the end of the 18th century, meaning ‘odd person’ or, as a verb, ‘make fun of’ (in the early 19th century it was claimed to have been coined by a Dublin theatre proprietor by the name of Daly, but no proof has ever been found for this). The verb later came to be used for ‘look at mockingly or questioningly through a monocle’, and it may be that this led on (perhaps helped by associations with inquisitive or Latin quis? ‘who?, what?’) to the sense ‘interrogate’.
- quorum:  Quorum began life as the genitive plural of the Latin pronoun quī ‘who’. This appeared in former times in the Latin text of commissions issued to persons who because of some special expertise were required to act as justices of the peace in a particular case (if two JPs were required, for instance, the wording would be quorum vos … duos esse volumnus ‘of whom we wish that you … be two’). In due course the word came to be used as a noun, denoting the ‘number of justices who must be present in order to try the case’, and in the 17th century this was generalized to ‘minimum number of members necessary for a valid meeting’.