Word Origin & History
O.E. bendan "to confine with a string," causative of bindan "to bind," from P.Gmc. base *band- "string, band" (cf. O.N. benda "to join, strain, strive, bend"), from PIE base *bhendh- (cf. Goth. bindan, O.H.G. bintan, Skt. badhnati "binds," Lith. bendras "partner;" O.Pers. bandaka- "subject"). Modern
sense (early 14c.) is via notion of bending a bow to string it. Cognate with band
, and bond
. The noun meaning "thing of bent shape" is from c.1600. The bends "decompression pain" first attested 1894.
"mental inclination," 1570s, from the adj., "not straight" (late 14c.), originally pp. of bend
. The verb meaning "directed in a course" is from 1690s. Phrase bent out of shape "extremely upset" is 1960s Air Force and college student slang.
"stiff grass," O.E. beonet, from W.Gmc. *binut- "rush, marsh grass" (cf. Ger. binse "rush, reed"), of unknown origin. An obsolete word, but surviving in place names (cf. Bentley, from O.E. Beonet-leah).