Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR THINGS

Things as trifling as the turning of a shell may restore you to your rights.

I know it all by heart—all the things to say to a man on the downward path.

Many other things I saw and heard, but was forbidden to relate.

But he was a man and his own master—if you can rightly call a man his own master that does them things.

I'm going back there, and get things in action, and I'm going to stay by them.

That was the way with his pa—he was a different man after things got to comin' too easy fur him.

Things looked unpromising, he couldn't but acknowledge, for his young client.

How frantic, as if all things were about to eventuate, remembering not that nothing ends.

"I'll attend to these things, ma," said Percival, rather suddenly.

And six weeks after that I had things in shape so't I was able to leave.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English þing "meeting, assembly," later "entity, being, matter" (subject of deliberation in an assembly), also "act, deed, event, material object, body, being," from Proto-Germanic *thengan "appointed time" (cf. Old Frisian thing "assembly, council, suit, matter, thing," Middle Dutch dinc "court-day, suit, plea, concern, affair, thing," Dutch ding "thing," Old High German ding "public assembly for judgment and business, lawsuit," German ding "affair, matter, thing," Old Norse þing "public assembly"). Some suggest an ultimate connection to PIE root *ten- "stretch," perhaps on notion of "stretch of time for a meeting or assembly."

For sense evolution, cf. French chose, Spanish cosa "thing," from Latin causa "judicial process, lawsuit, case;" Latin res "affair, thing," also "case at law, cause." Old sense is preserved in second element of hustings and in Icelandic Althing, the nation's general assembly.

Used colloquially since c.1600 to indicate things the speaker can't name at the moment, often with various meaningless suffixes, e.g. thingumbob (1751), thingamajig (1824). Southern U.S. pronunciation thang attested from 1937. The thing "what's stylish or fashionable" is recorded from 1762. Phrase do your thing "follow your particular predilection," though associated with hippie-speak of 1960s is attested from 1841.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR THINGS

attire

nounclothing
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.