Know these essential literary terms?
late 12c., wenge, from Old Norse vængr "wing of a bird, aisle, etc." (cf. Danish and Swedish vinge "wing"), of unknown origin, perhaps from a Proto-Germanic *we-ingjaz and ultimately from PIE root *we- "blow" (cf. Old English wawan "to blow;" see wind (n.)). Replaced Old English feðra (plural) "wings" (see feather). The meaning "either of two divisions of a political party, army, etc." is first recorded c.1400; theatrical sense is from 1790.
Verbal phrase wing it (1885) is from theatrical slang sense of an actor learning his lines in the wings before going onstage, or else not learning them at all and being fed by a prompter in the wings. The verb to wing "shoot a bird in the wing" is from 1802. The slang sense of to earn (one's) wings is 1940s, from the wing-shaped badges awarded to air cadets on graduation. To be under (someone's) wing "protected by (someone)" is recorded from early 13c. Phrase on a wing and a prayer is title of a 1943 song about landing a damaged aircraft.
Any of various paired movable organs of flight, such as the modified forelimb of a bird or bat or one of the membranous organs extending from the thorax of an insect.
Something that resembles a wing in appearance, function, or position relative to a main body.
An arm, esp a baseball pitcher's throwing arm (1297+)verb
To improvise; extemporize; act without sufficient preparation; fake it: Winging It, Coping Without Controllers/ He was confident of his ability to wing it, adjusting to counter her responses
[first form 1933+, second 1885+; fr the notion that an actor could learn his lines in the stage's wings,or be coached while standing there; wing the part is found by 1886]