a little devil or demon; an evil spirit.
Imp “a little devil or demon” derives from Old English impa “shoot, graft,” via Latin impotus from Ancient Greek émphytos “planted, implanted.” This Ancient Greek source is related to the noun phytón “plant,” which is the source of the English combining forms phyto- (as in phytochemical, a compound found in plants) and -phyte (as in neophyte “a beginner or novice,” literally “a new plant”). The story of how a word for “plant” became a word for “little devil” is less complicated than one might think; from “plant,” the definition shifted to “offshoot of a plant,” and from there, it broadened to include any offspring, plant or animal. The phrase imp of the devil, meaning “offspring of the devil,” gave imp the additional sense of “demon,” which the word has preserved to the present day though it no longer appears in that phrase. Imp was first recorded in English before the 8th century.
Experts can say that something is safe, but if we don’t feel that it’s safe, our inner voice can win out over reason. (Likewise, when experts say something is bad for us, we often dispose of that advice in favor of listening to the little imp on our shoulder telling us that it’s something we want to do, so it can’t be all that bad.) The best experts help us find the sweet spot between our gut and our brain by explaining processes, risks, and benefits in ways that we can understand.
The entire day passed, but Ivan kept on braiding the cord. Suddenly an imp jumped out of the water. “Hired man, what are you doing?” “Why, you can see for yourself. I’m braiding a rope.” “And what do you need the rope for?” “What for? I want to cinch up the lake and squeeze out you devils.”
verb (used with object)
to search through for plunder; pillage.
Ransack “to search thoroughly through” derives via Middle English from Old Norse rannsaka “to search, examine (a house for stolen goods), pillage,” a compound of rann “house” and saka “to search.” Rann is a close relative of the English word barn, which was originally a compound of bere “barley” and ern or ǣrn “house.” Saka, a variant of sœkja, is a cognate of the English verbs seek and beseech; in combination with rann, the resulting verb rannsaka originally entailed searching through a house. This definition broadened over time to refer to searching through any building and then shifted to include violence and theft. Ransack was first recorded in English in the early 1200s.
Regarded as a symbol of the power and aggression of church and monarchy, the building was ransacked during the French Revolution. The heads of the 28 statues in the Gallery of Kings on the main doorway were struck from their bodies, … Lead from the roof was pillaged for bullets. The bronze bells were melted down to make cannon. Only the enormous Emmanuel bell … was spared.
A self-described Michigan “soccer mom” who had “every belonging” taken from her family in a 2014 drug raid has been cleared of all criminal charges, 19 months after heavily armed drug task force members ransacked her home and her business. But in many ways, her ordeal is only beginning.
the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.
Stewardship is a compound of the common noun steward “a manager of someone’s property or finances” and the native English suffix –ship, which denotes condition, office, or skill. From about the beginning of the 20th century, stewardship in many Christian denominations has acquired the sense “obligation for the responsible use of time, money, and talents in the service of God and of one’s neighbor.” Stewardship entered English in the 15th century.
Stewardship means, for most of us, find your place on the planet, dig in, and take responsibility from there—the tiresome but tangible work of school boards, county supervisors, local foresters—local politics. … Get a sense of workable territory, learn about it, and start acting point by point.
On the campaign trail, [Michelle Wu] put forward bold policy proposals and vowed to use the bully pulpit of the mayorship to push for change in arenas outside the purview of City Hall, such as rent control and a fare-free T system …. Wu laid out an agenda to take on inequality and “uneven opportunity” in Boston under her stewardship.
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