verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of stitch
Word Origin for stitch
Old English stice "a prick, puncture," from Proto-Germanic *stikiz, from the root of stick (v.). The sense of "sudden, stabbing pain in the side" was in late Old English. Senses in sewing and shoemaking first recorded late 13c.; meaning "bit of clothing one is (or isn't) wearing" is from c.1500. Meaning "a stroke of work" (of any kind) is attested from 1580s. Surgical sense first recorded 1520s. Sense of "amusing person or thing" is 1968, from notion of laughing so much one gets stitches of pain (cf. verbal expression to have (someone) in stitches, 1935).
early 13c., "to stab, pierce," also "to fasten or adorn with stitches;" see stitch (n.). Related: Stitched; stitching.
Laughing uncontrollably, as in Joke after joke had me in stitches. Although the precise idiom dates only from about 1930, Shakespeare had a similar expression in Twelfth Night (3:2): “If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourselves into stitches, follow me.” Stitches here refers to the sharp local pain (known as a stitch in the side) that can make one double over, much as a fit of laughter can.
In addition to the idiom beginning with stitch
- stitch in time, a
- in stitches
- without a stitch on