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late 15c. from early Middle Dutch luc, shortening of gheluc "happiness, good fortune," of unknown origin. It has cognates in Dutch geluk, Middle High German g(e)lücke, German Glück "fortune, good luck." Perhaps first borrowed in English as a gambling term. To be down on (one's) luck is from 1832; to be in luck is from 1900; to push (one's) luck is from 1911. Good luck as a salutation to one setting off to do something is from 1805. Expression better luck next time attested from 1802.
A gentleman was lately walking through St Giles's, where a levelling citizen attempting to pick his pocket of a handkerchief, which the gentleman caught in time, and secured, observing to the fellow, that he had missed his aim, the latter, with perfect sang-froid, answered, "better luck next time master." ["Monthly Mirror," London, 1802]
by 1945, from luck (n.). To luck out "succeed through luck" is American English colloquial, attested by 1946; to luck into (something good) is from 1944. However, lukken was a verb in Middle English (mid-15c.) meaning "to happen, chance;" also, "happen fortunately."
city, northwestern Ukraine, on a defensive site at a bend in the Styr River. It was a tribal settlement, perhaps of the Luchanians, as early as the 10th century. The first known record of the settlement dates to 1185. Lutsk later became a part of the principality of Galicia-Volhynia and until the late 18th century was in Lithuania-Poland, when it fell into Russian hands. It belonged to Poland again in 1919-39. The older part of the city contains the 14th-century castle of the Lithuanian prince Liubartas and much old architecture. Three monasteries date from the 16th to the 18th century. An automobile plant was constructed in the city in the late 1970s to build the Volynyanka, a multipurpose vehicle for rural use. Other economic activities in Lutsk have included the production of scientific instruments and food. A teacher-training institute and a medical school are located there. Pop. (2001) 208,816; (2005 est.) 202,915.