- content (v.)
- early 15c., from M.Fr. contenter, from content (adj.) "satisfied," from L. contentus "contained, satisfied," pp. of continere (see contain). Sense evolved through "contained," "restrained," to "satisfied," as the contented person's desires are bound by what he or she already has. Related: Contented; contentedly; contently (largely superseded by contentedly). As an adj., in English, from c.1400.
- late 14c., "strife," from O.Fr. contention, from L. contentionem (nom. contentio), from content-, pp. stem of contendere (see contend).
- mid-15c., from O.Fr. contentment, from contenter (see content).
- stick-in-the-mud (n.)
- 1733, from stick (v.) on notion of "to stick in the mud, to be content to remain in an abject condition."
- small beer
- 1560s, originally "weak beer;" used figuratively of small things or trifling matters. Small with the meaning "of low alcoholic content" is attested from mid-15c.
- panem et circenses
- 1787, Latin, lit. "bread and circuses," supposedly coined by Juvenal and describing the cynical formula of the Roman emperors for keeping the masses content with ample food and entertainment.
Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses [Juvenal, Sat. x.80].
- ease (v.)
- c.1300, "to help, assist," see ease (n.). Meaning "to give ease" is from mid-14c.; the sense of "to relax one's efforts" is from 1863. Farmer reports ease in a slang sense of “to content a woman” sexually, with an 1861 date. Related: Eased; easing.
- discontent (v.)
- late 15c., from dis- "not" + content (adj.). Related: Discontented; discontentedly; discontentment; discontentedness. As an adjective, from late 15c. The noun meaning "state or condition of discontent" is recorded from 1580s. Winter of our discontent is from "Richard III."
- malcontent (n.)
- 1580s, from Fr., from O.Fr. malcontent, from mal- + content (adj.). The adj. is attested from 1580s.
- "accustomed," O.E. wunod, pp. of wunian "to dwell, be accustomed," from P.Gmc. *wun- "to be content, to rejoice" (cf. O.S. wunon, O.Fris. wonia "to dwell, remain, be used to," O.H.G. wonen, Ger. wohnen "to dwell;" related to O.E. winnan, gewinnan "to win" (see win) and to wean. The noun meaning "habitual usage, custom" is attested from c.1300. Wonted is first attested c.1400, an unconscious double pp.
- 1759, from Fr. dentiste, from dent "tooth," from L. dens (see tooth) + -ist.
Dentist figures it now in our newspapers, and may do well enough for a French puffer, but we fancy Rutter is content with being called a tooth-drawer ["Edinburgh Chronicle," Sept. 15, 1759].Tooth-drawer is attested from late 14c.
- text (n.)
- late 14c., "wording of anything written," from O.Fr. texte, O.N.Fr. tixte (12c.), from M.L. textus "the Scriptures, text, treatise," in L.L. "written account, content, characters used in a document," from L. textus "style or texture of a work," lit. "thing woven," from pp. stem of texere "to weave," from PIE base *tek- "make" (see texture).
An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns -- but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style"]
- 1590s, "compatriot," from M.Fr. patriote (15c.), from L.L. patriota "fellow-countryman" (6c.), from Gk. patriotes "fellow countryman," from patrios "of one's fathers," patris "fatherland," from pater (gen. patros) "father," with -otes, suffix expressing state or condition. Meaning "loyal and disinterested supporter of one's country" is attested from c.1600, but became an ironic term of ridicule or abuse from mid-18c. in England, so that Johnson, who at first defined it as "one whose ruling passion is the love of his country," in his fourth edition added, "It is sometimes used for a factious disturber of the government."
The name of patriot had become [c.1744] a by-word of derision. Horace Walpole scarcely exaggerated when he said that ... the most popular declaration which a candidate could make on the hustings was that he had never been and never would be a patriot. [Macaulay, "Horace Walpole," 1833]Somewhat revived in reference to resistance movements in overrun countries in WWII, it has usually had a positive sense in Amer.Eng., where the phony and rascally variety has been consigned to the word patrioteer (1928). Oriana Fallaci ["The Rage and the Pride," 2002] marvels that Americans, so fond of patriotic, patriot, and patriotism, lack the root noun and are content to express the idea of patria by cumbersome compounds such as homeland. (Joyce, Shaw, and H.G. Wells all used patria as an English word early 20c., but it failed to stick.) Patriots’ Day (April 19, anniversary of the 1775 skirmishes at Lexington and Concord Bridge) was observed as a legal holiday in Maine and Massachusetts from 1894.
- 1920 in the religious sense (as is fundamentalism), from fundamental + -ist. Coined in Amer.Eng. to name a movement among Protestants c.1920-25 based on scriptural inerrancy, etc., and associated with William Jennings Bryan, among others. Fundamentalist is said (by George McCready Price) to have been first used in print by Curtis Lee Laws, editor of "The Watchman Examiner," a Baptist newspaper. The movement may have roots in the Presbyterian General Assembly of 1910, which drew up a list of five defining qualities of "true believers" which other evangelicals published in a mass-circulation series of books called "The Fundamentals." A World's Christian Fundamentals Association was founded in 1918. The words reached widespread use in the wake of the contentious Northern Baptist Convention of 1922 in Indianapolis.
Fundamentalism is a protest against that rationalistic interpretation of Christianity which seeks to discredit supernaturalism. This rationalism, when full grown, scorns the miracles of the Old Testament, sets aside the virgin birth of our Lord as a thing unbelievable, laughs at the credulity of those who accept many of the New Testament miracles, reduces the resurrection of our Lord to the fact that death did not end his existence, and sweeps away the promises of his second coming as an dream. It matters not by what name these modernists are known. The simple fact is that, in robbing Christianity of its supernatural content, they are undermining the very foundations of our holy religion. They boast that they are strengthening the foundations and making Christianity more rational and more acceptable to thoughtful people. Christianity is rooted and grounded in supernaturalism, and when robbed of supernaturalism it ceases to be a religion and becomes an exalted system of ethics. [Laws, "Herald & Presbyter," July 19, 1922]The original opposition to fundamentalist (within the denominations) was modernist.
A new word has been coined into our vocabulary — two new words — 'Fundamentalist' and 'Fundamentalism.' They are not in the dictionaries as yet — unless in the very latest editions. But they are on everyone's tongue. [Address Delivered at the Opening of the Seminary, Sept. 20, 1922, by Professor Harry Lathrop Reed, "Auburn Seminary Record"]Applied to other religions, especially Islam, since 1957.