w shorter


Frank, born 1947, U.S. marathon runner.
Wayne, born 1933, U.S. jazz saxophonist and composer.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

O.E. sceort, scort, probably from P.Gmc. *skurta- (cf. O.N. skorta "to be short of," skort "shortness;" O.H.G. scurz "short"), from PIE base *sker- "to cut," with notion of "something cut off" (cf. Skt. krdhuh "shortened, maimed, small;" L. curtus "short," cordus "late-born," originally "stunted in growth;"
O.C.S. kratuku, Rus. korotkij "short;" Lith. skurstu "to be stunted," skardus "steep;" O.Ir. cert "small," M.Ir. corr "stunted, dwarfish"). Meaning "rude" is attested from 1390. Shorty "short person" is recorded from 1888. To fall short is from archery. Shortage is attested from 1868. Short cut is from 1568. Short fuse in fig. sense of "quick temper" first attested 1968. Short story first recorded 1877. Short list dates from 1927. To make short work of is first attested 1577. Phrase short and sweet is from 1539.

Meaning "electrical short circuit" first recorded 1854 (the verbal phrase short circuit is recorded from 1867). Slang meaning "car" is attested from 1897; originally "street car," so called based on street cars (or the rides taken in them) being "shorter" than railroad cars.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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