easy!

Definitions

General English

Banking

  • adjective
    (written as easy)
    referring to a market where few people are buying, so prices are lower than they were before

Slang

  • adjective
    (written as easy)
    good, acceptable, pleasant. An all-purpose term of appreciation, used especially in provincial England since 2000, this adjectival usage is inspired by the earlier usage as an exclamation.
  • exclamation a generalised cry of derision, triumph, joy, etc. The word is usually lengthened to ‘eezee!’ It originated on football terraces in the 1960s, and is often heard in repetitious crowd chants at sporting events
  • exclamation an all-purpose greeting or farewell which probably originated in gang usage whence it was adopted by adolescents in the 1990s.

Origin & History of “easy!”

Easy comes via Anglo-Norman aise from Old French aisie, the past participle of aisier ‘put at ease’, which in turn was a derivative of aise. this noun (source of English ease (13th c.)) originally meant ‘convenience’ rather than ‘comfort’. It came from *adjaces, the vulgar Latin descendant of Latin adjacēns ‘nearby’ (source of English adjacent and related to adjective), which was the present participle of the verb adjacēre ‘lie near’. The progression of senses is thus ‘nearby’, ‘handy’, ‘convenient’, and eventually ‘comfortable’. The subsequent development to ‘not difficult’, which took place in the 14th century, is purely English, although Breton took the parallel step of borrowing French aise, as aes, to mean ‘not difficult’.
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