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1879 as colloquial shortening of Metropolitan (n.) "member of the New York Metropolitan Base-Ball Club."
THE baseball season has opened, and along with the twittering of the birds, the budding of the trees, and the clattering of the truck, comes the news that the "Mets were beaten yesterday 17 to 5." It is an infallible sign of spring when the Mets are beaten 17 to 5, and we invariably put on our thinner clothing when we read that refreshing, though perennial news in the papers. ["Life," May 12, 1887]Used variously to abbreviate other proper names beginning with Metropolitan, e.g. "Metropolitan Museum of Art" (N.Y.), by 1919; "Metropolitan Railway" (stock), by 1890; "Metropolitan Opera Company (N.Y.), by 1922. Related: Mets.
Old English metan "to find, find out; fall in with, encounter; obtain," from Proto-Germanic *motjan (cf. Old Norse mæta, Old Frisian meta, Old Saxon motian "to meet," Gothic gamotijan), from PIE root *mod- "to meet, assemble." Related to Old English gemot "meeting." Meaning "to assemble" is from 1520s. Of things, "to come into contact," c.1300. Related: Met; meeting. To meet (someone) halfway in the figurative sense is from 1620s.
"proper, fitting," Old English gemæte, Anglian *gemete, "suitable, having the same dimensions," from Proto-Germanic *ga-mætijaz (cf. Old Norse mætr, Old High German gimagi, German gemäß "suitable"), from collective prefix *ga- + PIE *med- "to measure" (see medical (adj.)). The basic formation is thus the same as that of commensurate.
1831 in the sporting sense, originally of gatherings for hunting, from meet (v.).