Today I’m looking at loiter, because…well, I don’t really need to justify it. It’s my blog. I don’t know why I feel the need to.
Loiter showed up in the early fifteenth century with basically the same meaning, coming from the Middle Dutch loteren, erratic or to shake like a sail in a storm. It’s probably related to the Old English word lutian, which means lurk (although for the record is not related to our word lurk), as well as the word loddere, beggar...makes sense, as people are never at their kindest when referring to the homeless.
An interesting backstory, isn’t it?
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English