Word Origin & History
"having the same characteristics or qualities" (as another), M.E. shortening of O.E. gelic "like, similar," from P.Gmc. *galikaz "having the same form," lit. "with a corresponding body" (cf. O.S. gilik, O.N. glikr, Du. gelijk, Ger. gleich, Goth. galeiks "equally, like"), a compound of *ga- "with, together"
+ *likan "body" (cf. O.E. lic "body," Ger. Leiche "corpse," Dan. lig, Swed. lik, Du. lijk "body, corpse"). Analogous, etymologically, to L. conform. The modern form (rather than *lich) may be from a northern descendant of the O.E. word's O.N. cognate, likr. Formerly with comp. liker and superl. likest (still in use 17c.). The prep. (c.1200) and the adv. (c.1300) are both from the adjective. As a conjunction, first attested c.1530. Plural likes (n.) "predilections, preferences" is from 1851; earlier used in sing. in this sense (1425). The word has been used as a postponed filler ("going really fast, like") from 1778; as a presumed emphatic ("going, like, really fast") from 1950, originally in counterculture slang and bop talk. Phrase more like it "closer to what is desired" is from 1888.
O.E. lician "to please," from P.Gmc. *likojanan (cf. O.N. lika, O.Fris. likia, O.H.G. lihhen, Goth. leikan "to please"), from *liko- "body," originally "appearance, form." The basic meaning seems to be "to be like" (see like
(adj.)), thus, "to be suitable." Like (and dislike)
originally flowed the other way: It likes me, where we would say I like it. The modern version began to appear late 14c.