Old English ofer "beyond, above, upon, in, across, past; on high," from Proto-Germanic *uberi (cf. Old Saxon obar, Old Frisian over, Old Norse yfir, Old High German ubar, German über, Gothic ufar "over, above"), from PIE *uper (see super-). As an adjective from Old English uffera. As an adverb from late Old English. Sense of "finished" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "recovered from" is from 1929. In radio communication, used to indicate the speaker has finished speaking (1926). Adjective phrase over-the-counter is attested from 1875, originally of stocks and shares.