Word Origin & History
O.E. stan, used of common rocks, precious gems, concretions in the body, memorial stones, from P.Gmc. *stainaz (cf. O.N. steinn, Dan. steen, O.H.G., Ger. stein, Goth. stains), from PIE *stai- "stone," also "to thicken, stiffen" (cf. Skt. styayate "curdles, becomes hard;" Avestan stay- "heap;" Gk. stear
"fat, tallow," stia, stion "pebble;" O.C.S. stena "wall"). Slang sense of "testicle" is from 1154. The British measure of weight (usually equal to 14 pounds) is from 1390s, originally a specific stone. Phrase stone's throw for "a short distance" is attested from 1581. Metaphoric use of stone wall for "act of obstruction" is first attested 1876; stonewall (v.) "to obstruct" is from 1914. Stone Age is from 1864. To kill two birds with one stone is first attested 1656.
c.1200, "to pelt with stones," from stone
(n.). Stoned "drunk, intoxicated with narcotics" is 1930s slang; stoner "stuporous person" is from 1960s.
intensifying adj., 1935, first recorded in black slang, probably from earlier use in phrases like stone blind (late 14c., lit. "blind as a stone"), stone deaf, etc., from stone
(n.). Stone cold sober dates from 1937.