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Essay informal letter flood



Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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late Old English tacan. from a Scandinavian source (e.g. Old Norse taka "take, grasp, lay hold," past tense tok. past participle tekinn ; Swedish ta. past participle tagit ), from Proto-Germanic *tækanan (cf. Middle Low German tacken. Middle Dutch taken. Gothic tekan "to touch"), of uncertain origin, perhaps originally meaning "to touch."

Gradually replaced Middle English nimen as the verb for "to take," from Old English niman. from the usual West Germanic *nem- root (cf. German nehmen. Dutch nemen ; see nimble ). OED calls it "one of the elemental words of the language;" take up alone has 55 varieties of meaning in that dictionary's 2nd print edition. Basic sense is "to lay hold of," which evolved to "accept, receive" (as in take my advice ) c.1200; "absorb" ( she can take a punch ) c.1200; "to choose, select" ( take the long way home ) late 13c.; "to make, obtain" ( take a shower ) late 14c.; "to become affected by" ( take sick ) c.1300.

Take five is 1929, from the approximate time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Take it easy first recorded 1880; take the plunge "act decisively" is from 1876; take the rap "accept (undeserved) punishment" is from 1930. Phrase take it or leave it is recorded from 1897.

1650s, "that which is taken in payment," from take (v.). Sense of "money taken in" by a single performance, etc. is from 1931. Movie-making sense is recorded from 1927. Criminal sense of "money acquired by theft" is from 1888. The verb sense of "to cheat, defraud" is from 1920. On the take "amenable to bribery" is from 1930.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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  1. The money taken in for a sporting event, at a gambling casino, etc; gross : Nevada's take has been hit by a recession(1931+)
  2. An acceptable portion of movie or TV recording, musical recording, taping, etc: The director said okay, it was a take(1922+)
  3. A portion; extract; bit; outtake : fast takes from the latest research that may change your life(1847+)
  4. One's interpretation or reaction: What's your take? You think he was telling the truth or was it just drunken bragging?(1980s+)
  1. To cheat or defraud someone; swindle; scam : The old couple got taken for their life savings(1920+)
  2. (also take someone into camp or take someone downtown) To defeat someone utterly; trounce; clobber : UCLA took Illinois in the Rose Bowl/ Last year Tanner took Borg downtown in the same round/ In his heart, Gingrich thinks, ''I can take them all''(1939+)
  3. To succeed; come off. cut it : I tried to apologize, but I guess it didn't take(1633+)

[the third noun sense's dated example refers to a portion of reporter's copy set in type]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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