O.E. giefan (W. Saxon), class V strong verb (past tense geaf, pp. giefen), from P.Gmc. *gebanan (cf. O.Fris. jeva, M.Du. gheven, Ger. geben, Goth. giban), from PIE *ghab(h)- "to take, hold, have, give" (see habit
). It became yiven in M.E., but changed to guttural "g" by infl.
of O.N. gefa "to give," O.Dan. givæ. Meaning "to yield to pressure" is from 1577. Given "allotted, predestined" (O.E. giefeðe) also had a n. sense of "fate," reflecting an important concept in pagan Gmc. ideology. The modern sense of "what is given, known facts" is from 1879. To give (someone) a cold seems to reflect the old belief that one could be cured of disease by deliberately infecting others. What gives? "what is happening?" is attested from 1940. Give-and-take (n.) is originally from horse racing (1769) and refers to races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less. Give-away (n.) is from 1872.