Word Origin & History
O.E. lang, long, from P.Gmc. *langgaz (cf. O.H.G., Ger. lang, O.N. langr, M.Du. lanc, Goth. laggs "long"), perhaps from PIE *dlonghos- (cf. L. longus, O.Pers. darga-, Pers. dirang, Skt. dirghah, Gk. dolikhos "long," Gk. endelekhes "perpetual," L. indulgere "to indulge"). The adv. is from O.E. lange,
longe, from the adjective. The word illustrates the O.E. tendency for short "a" to become short "o" before -n- (also retained in bond/band and W. Midlands dial. lond from land and hond from hand). Long vowels (c.1000) originally were pronounced for an extended time. Long-playing (phonograph record) is from 1929; abbreviation LP is from 1948. Long-distance in ref. to telephoning is from 1884. Long in the tooth (1852) is from horses showing age by recession of gums. Long run "ultimate outcome" is attested from 1627. Long time no see, imitative of Amer.Indian speech, is first recorded 1900.
O.E. langian "to yearn, to seem long," lit. "to grow long," from P.Gmc. *langojanan (see long
(adj.)). Related to O.N. langa, M.Du. langhen, O.H.G. langen, Ger. verlangen "to desire." Related: Longing, longingly.