a.j. downing

Etymonline
Word Origin & History

down
O.E. ofdune "downwards," from dune "from the hill," dative of dun "hill" (see down (n.2)). Used as a preposition since c.1500. Sense of "depressed mentally" is attested from c.1600. Slang sense of "aware, wide awake" is attested from 1812. Computer sense is from 1965. Down-and-out
is from 1889, Amer.Eng., from situation of a beaten prizefighter. Down home (adj.) is 1931, Amer.Eng.; down the hatch as a toast is from 1931; down to the wire is 1901, from horse-racing. Down time is from 1952. Down under "Australia and New Zealand" attested from 1886; Down East "Maine" is from 1825.

down
"soft feathers," c.1369, from O.N. dunn, perhaps ult. from PIE base *dheu- "to fly about (like dust), to whirl, shake."

down
O.E. dun "hill," from Celtic word for "hill, citadel" (cf. O.Ir. dun "hill, hill fort," and second element in place names London, Verdun, etc.), from PIE base *dheue- "to close, finish, come full circle" (cf. O.E. dun "hill," M.Du. dune "sandy hill"). Meaning "elevated rolling grassland" is from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

down definition


  1. mod.
    depressed; melancholy. (See also down with (sth).) : I feel sort of down today.
  2. mod.
    [of a machine] inoperative. (Originally said of a computer.) : The system is down. Come back later.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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