talli-, tall- +

(Latin: a cutting, rod, stick from talea)

entail (verb), entails; entailed; entailing
1. To restrict the future ownership of real estate to particular descendants, through instructions written into a will: When Linda’s aunt went to the lawyer about her testament, she had him entail her mansion to her niece.
2. To bestow or to impose on a person or a specified succession of heirs: In Janet’s grandfather’s will, the villa was entailed to his youngest daughter, Janet’s mother.
3. To have, to impose, or to require as a necessary accompaniment or consequence: Joe was told that the investment entailed a high risk.
4. Etymology: from about 1340, "convert (an estate) into 'fee tail' (feudum talliatum)"; from en-, "make" + taile, "legal limitation"; especially, of inheritance, ruling who succeeds in ownership and preventing it from being sold off; from Anglo-French taile; from Old French taillie, past participle of taillier, "allot, cut to shape"; from Late Latin taliare.
To cause or to require as a necessary consequence.
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1. Anyone who predetermines an order of succession; such as, to an office.
2. Someone who rules the descent settlement for an estate.
3. A person who imposes, involves, or implies something as a necessary accompaniment or result.
The act of giving, as an estate, and directing the mode of descent, or of limiting the descent to a particular heir or heirs.
1. A person whose occupation is making and altering garments.
2. Someone who makes clothes to meet a particular need or for a particular person>
3. Anyone who adapts something to make it suitable for a particular purpose.
4. To fit or to provide (a person) with clothes made to that person's measurements or specifications.
5. Etymology: Going back to the Latin noun talea, we can trace the development of another common English word, tailor. We know that in Latin the verb taliare, "to cut" was derived from talea, "stick, cutting".

In early French, this verb became taillier, also meaning "to cut", and the person doing the cutting was a tailleur.

The object being cut was usually specified:

  • A stonecutter was tailleur de pierre.
  • A woodcutter was tailleur de bois.
  • A clothes cutter was tailleur d'habits.

By the thirteenth century, when tailleur was used by itself, it was taken to mean "a clothes cutter". Middle English borrowed this French word as taillour and used it in the same sense, "a clothes maker".

—Based on information from
Webster's Word Histories; GMerriam-Webster Inc., Publishers;
Springfield; Massachusetts, U.S.A.; 1989; page 457.
tally (s), tallies (pl) (noun forms)
1. Records or counts of a number of items.
2. Devices; such as, notched rods, or mechanical counters, for visibly recording or accounting; especially, business transactions.
3. Recorded accounts; such as, of items, or charges.
4. Scores, or points, tabulated of a sports event, or events.

An early method of counting and keeping records of transactions

When first used in English, around the middle of the fifteenth century, the word tally designated a usually square wooden rod, or stick, which was notched with marks to represent numbers and then was split lengthwise through the notches so that each of the two bargaining parties might have a record of a transaction and of the amount of money due or paid.

This primitive means of recording transactions was later supplanted by more convenient bookkeeping sheets, and the association of tally with rods or sticks was lost.

Through generalization, the word came to be applied to any recorded amount, including game points and scores. By the middle of the seventeenth century, the term was also used to mean "a half, a part, or an entity that agrees or corresponds to an opposite or companion number"; such as, "one twin is the tally of the other twin".

By the 1880s, tally had acquired the sense of "the last of a specified unit or number"; for example, at the end of a count of items, the "tallyman" would call "tally!" and then write down the final figure.

When such records came to be kept on paper, the same word was used for them; and it now means almost any kind of count or score.

In high-tech societies, the "tallyman" has generally been replaced by any of various kinds of mechanical and electronic calculators.

—Based on information from
Webster's Word Histories; Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers;
Springfield; Massachusetts, U.S.A.; 1989; page 457.
tally, tallies, tallied, tallying (verb forms)
1. An account or reckoning; a record of debit and credit, of the score of a game, etc.
2. Also called "a tally stick" or a stick of wood with notches cut to indicate the amount of a debt or payment, often split lengthwise across the notches, the debtor retaining one piece and the creditor the other.
3. Anything on which a score or an account is kept.
4. A number or group of items recorded.
5. A mark made to register a certain number of items, as four consecutive vertical lines with a diagonal line through them to indicate a group of five.
6. A number of objects serving as a unit of computation.
7. A ticket, label, or mark used as a means of identification, classification, etc.
8. Anything corresponding to another thing as a counterpart or duplicate.
9. To agree, to correspond, or to come to the same amount, or to cause two or more things to do this.
10. To count or to reckon items.
11. To register something in an account of items.
12. To keep a record of a score or account; such as, to gain a point, to run, to goal, or other score in a contest.
13. Etymology: from about 1440 taly, talye, "stick marked with notches to indicate an amount owed or paid". It was borrowed through Anglo-French tallie, from Medieval Latin tallia, from Latin talea, "a cutting, a rod, a stick".

The meaning of "a thing that matches another, a counterpart", is first recorded in 1651; said to be from the practice of splitting a tally lengthwise, the debtor and creditor each retaining one of the halves.

The early method of counting and keeping records of transactions

Tally goes back to the time when things were commonly counted by cutting notches in a stick of wood. The word was borrowed in Middle English as taille, from Old French taille, "a cutting", and also "a tally", connected with French tailler, "to cut".

It was formerly customary for traders to have two sticks and to mark with notches on each the number or quantity of goods delivered, the seller keeping one stick and the purchaser the other one.

When a payment was to be made, the two parts were put together to se if they "made a tally". If they didn't match, the tellier, now in a modern English known as teller, knew there was a mistake.

When such records came to be kept on paper, tally was used for them, too; and it now means almost "any kind of count or score".

—Based on information from
Picturesque Word Origins; G. & C. Merriam Company;
Springfield; Massachusetts, U.S.A.; 1933; page 116.