un helping


the act of a person or thing that helps.
a portion of food served to a person at one time: That's his third helping of ice cream.
giving aid, assistance, support, or the like.

1175–1225; Middle English; see help, -ing1, -ing2

helpingly, adverb
unhelping, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
helping (ˈhɛlpɪŋ)
a single portion of food taken at a meal

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. helpan (class III strong verb; past tense healp, pp. holpen), from P.Gmc. *khelpanan (cf. O.N. hjalpa, O.Fris. helpa, Du. helpen, Ger. helfen), from PIE base *kelb-/*kelp- "to help" (cf. Lith. selpiu "to support, help"). Sense of "serve someone with food at table" (1688) is translated from Fr. servir
"to help, stead, avail," and led to helping "portion of food" (1824). Use of help as euphemism for "servant" is Amer.Eng., 1645, tied up in notions of class and race.
"A domestic servant of American birth, and without negro blood in his or her veins ... is not a servant, but a 'help.' 'Help wanted,' is the common heading of advertisements in the North, when servants are required." [Chas. Mackay, "Life and Liberty in America," 1859].
The M.E. pp. holpen survives in biblical and U.S. dial. use.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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