- yang (n.)[yang 词源字典]
- masculine or positive principle in Chinese philosophy, 1670s, from Mandarin yang, said to mean "male, daylight, solar," or "sun, positive, male genitals."[yang etymology, yang origin, 英语词源]
- yank (v.)
- "to pull, jerk," 1822, Scottish, of unknown origin. Related: Yanked; yanking. The noun is 1818 in sense of "sudden blow, cuff;" 1856 (American English) as "a sudden pull."
- Yank (n.)
- abbreviated form of Yankee, 1778.
- Yankee (n.)
- 1683, a name applied disparagingly by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) to English colonists in neighboring Connecticut. It may be from Dutch Janke, literally "Little John," diminutive of common personal name Jan; or it may be from Jan Kes familiar form of "John Cornelius," or perhaps an alteration of Jan Kees, dialectal variant of Jan Kaas, literally "John Cheese," the generic nickname the Flemings used for Dutchmen.
[I]t is to be noted that it is common to name a droll fellow, regarded as typical of his country, after some favorite article of food, as E[nglish] Jack-pudding, G[erman] Hanswurst ("Jack Sausage"), F[rench] Jean Farine ("Jack Flour"). [Century Dictionary, 1902, entry for "macaroni"]
Originally it seems to have been applied insultingly to the Dutch, especially freebooters, before they turned around and slapped it on the English. A less-likely theory (attested by 1832) is that it represents some southern New England Algonquian language mangling of English. In English a term of contempt (1750s) before its use as a general term for "native of New England" (1765); during the American Revolution it became a disparaging British word for all American natives or inhabitants. Contrasted with southerner by 1828. Shortened form Yank in reference to "an American" first recorded 1778. Latin-American form Yanqui attested in English by 1914 (in Mexican Spanish by 1835).
The rule observed in this country is, that the man who receives that name [Yankee] must come from some part north of him who gives it. To compensate us for giving each other nicknames, John Bull "lumps us all together," and calls us all Yankees. ["Who is a Yankee?" Massachusetts Spy, June 6, 1827]
- Yankee Doodle (n.)
- popular tune of the American Revolution, apparently written c. 1755 by British Army surgeon Dr. Richard Schuckburgh while campaigning with Amherst's force in upper New York during the French and Indian War. The original verses mocked the colonial troops (see Yankee) serving alongside the regulars, and the Doodle element might have been, or hinted at, the 18c. slang term for "penis." The song naturally was popular with British troops in the colonies during the Revolutionary War, but after the colonials began to win skirmishes with them in 1775, they took the tune as a patriotic prize and re-worked the lyrics. The current version seems to have been written in 1776 by Edward Bangs, a Harvard sophomore who also was a Minuteman.
- yap (v.)
- 1660s, "bark as a (small) dog," earlier as a noun, "yapping dog" (c. 1600), probably of imitative origin. Compare verb yamph in same sense (1718). Originally in reference to dog sounds; meaning "to talk idle chatter" is first recorded 1886. Related: Yapped; yapping. As a noun, 1826 in reference to the sound; 1900, American English slang as "mouth."
- yappy (adj.)
- 1909, from yap + -y (2).
- growling sound, imitative, attested from c. 1300.
- Yarborough (n.)
- in bridge/whist, a hand with no card above a nine, 1874, said to be so called for an unnamed Earl of Yarborough who bet 1,000 to 1 against its occurrence.
- yard (n.1)
- "patch of ground around a house," Old English geard "fenced enclosure, garden, court; residence, house," from Proto-Germanic *gardaz (cognates: Old Norse garðr "enclosure, garden, yard;" Old Frisian garda, Dutch gaard, Old High German garto, German Garten "garden;" Gothic gards "house," garda "stall"), from PIE *ghor-to-, suffixed form of root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose," with derivatives meaning "enclosure" (cognates: Old English gyrdan "to gird," Sanskrit ghra- "house," Albanian garth "hedge," Latin hortus "garden," Phrygian -gordum "town," Greek khortos "pasture," Old Irish gort "field," Breton garz "enclosure, garden," and second element in Latin cohors "enclosure, yard, company of soldiers, multitude").
Lithuanian gardas "pen, enclosure," Old Church Slavonic gradu "town, city," and Russian gorod, -grad "town, city" belong to this group, but linguists dispute whether they are independent developments or borrowings from Germanic. As "college campus enclosed by the main buildings," 1630s. In railway usage, "ground adjacent to a train station or terminus, used for switching or coupling trains," 1827. Yard sale is attested by 1976.
- yard (n.2)
- measure of length, Old English gerd (Mercian), gierd (West Saxon) "rod, staff, stick; measure of length," from West Germanic *gazdijo, from Proto-Germanic *gazdjo- "stick, rod" (cognates: Old Saxon gerda, Old Frisian ierde, Dutch gard "rod;" Old High German garta, German gerte "switch, twig," Old Norse gaddr "spike, sting, nail"), from PIE root *ghazdh-o- "rod, staff, pole" (cognates: Latin hasta "shaft, staff"). The nautical yard-arm retains the original sense of "stick."
Originally in Anglo-Saxon times a land measure of roughly 5 meters (a length later called rod, pole, or perch). Modern measure of "three feet" is attested from late 14c. (earlier rough equivalent was the ell of 45 inches, and the verge). In Middle English and after, the word also was a euphemism for "penis" (as in "Love's Labour's Lost," V.ii.676). Slang meaning "one hundred dollars" first attested 1926, American English. Middle English yerd (Old English gierd) also was "yard-land, yard of land," a varying measure but often about 30 acres or a quarter of a hide.
- yard-arm (n.)
- also yardarm, 1550s, from yard (n.2) in the nautical sense (attested from Old English) + arm (n.1). In 19c. British naval custom, it was permissible to begin drinking when the sun was over the yard-arm.
- yardage (n.)
- "aggregate number of yards," 1900 in sports, from yard (n.2) + -age.
- yardbird (n.)
- "convict," 1956, from yard (n.1) + bird (n.1), from the notion of prison yards; earlier it meant "basic trainee" (World War II armed forces slang).
- yardstick (n.)
- also yard-stick, 1797, from yard (n.2) + stick (n.).
- yare (adj.)
- "ready, prepared," Old English gearo "ready, prepared, equipped," from gearwian "to equip, prepare" (related to gearwe "clothing, dress") from Proto-Germanic *garwjan "to make, prepare, equip, ready, complete" (see gear (n.)). Cognate with German gar, Dutch gaar. Related: Yarely.
- yarmulke (n.)
- 1903, from Yiddish yarmulke, from Polish jarmułka, originally "a skullcap worn by priests," perhaps ultimately from Medieval Latin almutia "cowl, hood."
- yarn (n.)
- Old English gearn "spun fiber, spun wool," from Proto-Germanic *garnan (cognates: Old Norse, Old High German, German garn, Middle Dutch gaern, Dutch garen "yarn"), from PIE root *ghere- "intestine, gut, entrail" (cognates: Old Norse gorn "gut," Sanskrit hira "vein; entrails," Latin hernia "rupture," Greek khorde "intestine, gut-string," Lithuanian zarna "gut"). The phrase to spin a yarn "to tell a story" is first attested 1812, from a sailors' expression, on notion of telling stories while engaged in sedentary work such as yarn-twisting.
- yarrow (n.)
- plant, also known as milfoil, Old English gearwe "yarrow," from Proto-Germanic *garwo (cognates: Middle Dutch garwe, Old High German garawa, German Garbe), perhaps from a source akin to the root of yellow (adj.).
- yaw (v.)
- "to fall away from the line of a course," 1580s (as a noun 1540s), perhaps ultimately from Old Norse jaga, Old Danish jæge "to drive, chase," from Middle Low German jagen (see yacht).