Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
"trace, impression," Old English mearc (West Saxon), merc (Mercian) "boundary, sign, limit, mark," from Proto-Germanic *marko (cf. Old Norse merki "boundary, sign," mörk "forest," which often marked a frontier; Old Frisian merke, Gothic marka "boundary, frontier," Dutch merk "mark, brand," German Mark "boundary, boundary land"), from PIE *merg- "edge, boundary, border" (cf. Latin margo "margin;" Avestan mareza- "border," Old Irish mruig, Irish bruig "borderland," Welsh bro "district").
The primary sense is probably "boundary," which had evolved by Old English through "sign of a boundary," through "sign in general," then to "impression or trace forming a sign." Meaning "any visible trace or impression" first recorded c.1200. Sense of "line drawn to indicate starting point of a race" (e.g. on your marks ...) first attested 1887. The Middle English sense of "target" (c.1200) is the notion in marksman and slang sense "victim of a swindle" (1883). The notion of "sign, token" is behind the meaning "numerical award given by a teacher" (1829). Influenced by Scandinavian cognates.
"unit of money or weight," late Old English marc, a unit of weight (chiefly for gold or silver) equal to about eight ounces, probably from Old Norse mörk "unit of weight," cognate with German Mark, probably ultimately a derivative of mark (n.1), perhaps in sense of "imprinted weight or coin." Used from 18c. in reference to various continental coinages, especially. the silver coin of Germany first issued 1875.
"to put a mark on," Old English mearcian (West Saxon), merciga (Anglian) "to trace out boundaries," from Proto-Germanic *markojanan (cf. Old Norse merkja, Old Saxon markon, Old Frisian merkia, Old High German marchon, German merken "to mark, note," Middle Dutch and Dutch merken), from the root of mark (n.1).
Influenced by Scandinavian cognates. Meaning "to have a mark" is from c.1400; that of "to notice, observe" is late 14c. Meaning "to put a numerical price on an object for sale" led to verbal phrase mark down (1859). Mark time (1833) is from military drill. Related: Marked; marking. Old French merchier "to mark, note, stamp, brand" is a Germanic loan-word.
A spot or line on a surface, visible through difference in color or elevation from that of the surrounding area.
A distinctive trait or property.
To make a visible trace or impression on, as occurs with a spot or dent.
To form, make, or depict by making a mark.
To distinguish or characterize.
To inform; squeal: He swore he wouldn't mark if they caught him (1970s+ Teenagers)Related Terms
the evangelist; "John whose surname was Mark" (Acts 12:12, 25). Mark (Marcus, Col. 4:10, etc.) was his Roman name, which gradually came to supersede his Jewish name John. He is called John in Acts 13:5, 13, and Mark in 15:39, 2 Tim. 4:11, etc. He was the son of Mary, a woman apparently of some means and influence, and was probably born in Jerusalem, where his mother resided (Acts 12:12). Of his father we know nothing. He was cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10). It was in his mother's house that Peter found "many gathered together praying" when he was released from prison; and it is probable that it was here that he was converted by Peter, who calls him his "son" (1 Pet. 5:13). It is probable that the "young man" spoken of in Mark 14:51, 52 was Mark himself. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:25. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their first journey (about A.D. 47) as their "minister," but from some cause turned back when they reached Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 12:25; 13:13). Three years afterwards a "sharp contention" arose between Paul and Barnabas (15:36-40), because Paul would not take Mark with him. He, however, was evidently at length reconciled to the apostle, for he was with him in his first imprisonment at Rome (Col. 4:10; Philemon 1:24). At a later period he was with Peter in Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13), then, and for some centuries afterwards, one of the chief seats of Jewish learning; and he was with Timothy in Ephesus when Paul wrote him during his second imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). He then disappears from view.
former monetary unit of Germany.