What is the X in X-mas?
"establish," late 13c., from Old French founder (12c., Modern French fonder), from Latin fundare "to lay the bottom or foundation of something," from fundus "bottom, foundation" (see fund (n.)). Related: Founded; founding. Phrase founding fathers with reference to the creators of the American republic is attested from 1916.
"cast metal," late 14c., "to mix, mingle," from Middle French fondre "pour out, melt, mix together," from Old French fondre, from Latin fundere "melt, cast, pour out," from PIE *gheud- (cf. Gothic giutan, German gießen, Old English geotan "to pour"), from root *gheu- "to pour" (cf. Greek khein "to pour," khoane "funnel," khymos "juice"). Meaning "to cast metal" is from 1560s.
"discovered," late 14c., past participle adjective from find (v.). Expression and found in old advertisements for job openings, travelling berths, etc., attached to the wages or charges, indicates that meals are provided, from the expression to find one's self "to provide for one's self." "When a laborer engages to provide himself with victuals, he is said to find himself, or to receive day wages" [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]. Hence, so much and found for "wages + meals provided."
Old English findan "come upon, meet with, discover; obtain by search or study" (class III strong verb; past tense fand, past participle funden), from Proto-Germanic *finthan "to come upon, discover" (cf. Old Saxon findan, Old Frisian finda, Old Norse finna, Middle Dutch vinden, Old High German findan, German finden, Gothic finþan), originally "to come upon."
The Germanic word is from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go" (cf. Old High German fendeo "pedestrian;" Sanskrit panthah "path, way;" Avestan panta "way;" Greek pontos "open sea," patein "to tread, walk;" Latin pons (genitive pontis) "bridge;" Old Church Slavonic poti "path," peta "heel;" Russian put' "path, way"). To find out "to discover by scrutiny" is from 1550s (Middle English had a verb, outfinden, c.1300).
"person or thing discovered," 1825, from find (v.).
A remarkable discovery, esp of something unexpected (1872+)Related Terms
if you can't find 'em