toil

Definitions

General English

Human Resources

  • noun
    (written as TOIL)
    time off in lieu
  • acronym foryatime off in lieu
    (written as TOIL)

Origin & History of “toil”

English has two words toil, one of them now used only in the plural. Toil ‘work’ comes via Anglo-Norman toiler ‘stir, agitate, wrangle’ from Latin tudiculāre ‘stir around’. this was derived from tudicula ‘mill for crushing olives’, a diminutive form of tudes ‘hammer’, which went back to the prehistoric base *tud- ‘hit’, source also of Latin tundere ‘beat, crush’, which gave English abstruse, protrude, etc. Toils ‘entanglements’ represents a plural use of the now archaic toil ‘net’ (16th c.). This denoted etymologically ‘something woven’: it came via Old French toile from Latin tēla, a contraction of an earlier *texlā, which was derived from the base *tex- ‘weave’ (source of English text, textile, etc). Toilet (16th c.) was borrowed from French toilette, a diminutive form of toile. It originally meant ‘cloth cover’, but it gradually evolved via ‘cloth cover for a dressing table’ to ‘the act of dressing and grooming oneself’. The sense ‘lavatory’ emerged in mid 19th-century America, from the now obsolete ‘dressing room (with lavatory attached)’, inspired no doubt by the same delicacy that produced American English bathroom ‘lavatory’. Another member of the same word-family is tiller (15th c.), which came via Anglo-Norman telier ‘weaver’s beam’ from medieval Latin tēlārium, a derivative of tēla.
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