Late 15c., "financial loss incurred through damage to goods in transit," from Frenchavarie "damage to ship," and Italian avaria; a word from 12c. Mediterranean maritime trade (cf. Spanish averia; other Germanic forms, Dutch avarij, German haferei, etc., also are from Romanic languages), of uncertain origin.
Illustration by Dominic Flask
1663, originally an abusive nickname for a stupid person, from pumpern "to break wind" + Nickel "goblin, lout, rascal," from proper name Niklaus. An earlier Ger. name for it was krankbrot, lit. "sick-bread."
Illustration by Jamie Stolarski
1844, from berserk (n.) "Norse warrior," by 1835, an alternative form of berserker (1822), a word which was introduced by Sir Walter Scott, from O.N. berserkr (n.) "raging warrior of superhuman strength;" probably from *ber- "bear" + serkr "shirt," thus lit. "a warrior clothed in bearskin."
Illustration by Adam R Garcia
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