Word Origin & History
O.E. flæsc "flesh, meat," also "near kindred" (a sense now obsolete except in phrase flesh and blood), common W. and N.Gmc. (cf. O.Fris. flesk, M.L.G. vlees, Ger. Fleisch "flesh," O.N. flesk "pork, bacon"), of unknown origin, perhaps from P.Gmc. *flaiskoz-. Figurative use for "animal or physical
nature of man" (O.E.), is from the Bible, especially Paul's use of Gk. sarx, which yielded sense of "sensual appetites" (c.1200). Flesh-wound is from 1670s; flesh-color, the hue of "Caucasian" skin, is first recorded 1610s, described as a tint composed of "a light pink with a little yellow" [O'Neill, "Dyeing," 1862]. An O.E. poetry-word for "body" was flæsc-hama, lit. "flesh-home."
1520s, "to render (a hunting animal) eager for prey by rewarding it with flesh from a kill," with figurative extensions, from flesh
(n.). Meaning "to clothe or embody with flesh," with figurative extensions, is from 1660s.