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1520s, "short note or document," from a shortened form of Middle French etiquet "label, note," from Old French estiquette "a little note" (late 14c.), especially one affixed to a gate or wall as a public notice, from estiquer "to affix, stick on, attach," from Frankish *stikkan, cognate with Old English stician "to pierce" (see stick (v.)).
Meaning "card or piece of paper that gives its holder a right or privilege" is first recorded 1670s, probably developing from the sense of "certificate, license, permit." The political sense of "list of candidates put forward by a faction" has been used in American English since 1711. Meaning "official notification of offense" is from 1930; parking ticket first attested 1947. Big ticket item is from 1970. Slang the ticket "just the thing, what is expected" is recorded from 1838, perhaps with notion of a winning lottery ticket.
1610s, from ticket (n.). Related: Ticketed; ticketing.