Word Origin & History
"large bag," O.E. sacc (W.Saxon), sec (Mercian), sæc (Old Kentish) "large cloth bag," also "sackcloth," from P.Gmc. *sakkiz (cf. M.Du. sak, O.H.G. sac, O.N. sekkr, but Goth. sakkus probably is directly from Gk.), an early borrowing from L. saccus (cf. O.Fr. sac, Sp. saco, It. sacco), from Gk. sakkos,
from Semitic (cf. Heb. saq "sack"). The wide spread of the word is probably due to the story of Joseph. Slang meaning "bunk, bed" is from 1825, originally nautical. The verb meaning "go to bed" is recorded from 1946.
"a dismissal from work," 1825, from sack
(n.1), perhaps from the notion of the worker going off with his tools in a bag; the original formula was to give (someone) the sack. It is attested earlier in Fr. (on luy a donné son sac, 17c.) and M.Du. (iemand den zak geven).
The verb is recorded from 1841.
"sherry," 1531, alteration of Fr. vin sec "dry wine," from L. siccus "dry."
"to plunder," 1549, from M.Fr. sac, in the phrase mettre à sac "put it in a bag," a military leader's command to his troops to plunder a city (parallel to It. sacco, with the same range of meaning), from V.L. *saccare "to plunder," originally "to put plundered things into a sack," from L. saccus
"bag" (see sack
(n.1)). The notion is probably of putting booty in a bag. This is the root of the verb in the U.S. football sense (1969).