[ Etymonline on 'etui (n.)' : ] 1610s, also ettuy, etwee from French étui, Old French estui (12c.) "case, box, container," back-formation from
estuier "put in put aside, spare; to keep, shut up, imprison," which is of uncertain origin.
Perhaps from Latin studere "to be diligent."

[ Wiktionary : ] From Old French estui, from estuier ‎(“keep, hold”), itself possibly
from Vulgar Latin *studiāre, from Latin studium.

Both etymologies hedge with adverbs to communicate their uncertainty about the semantic shift from Latin to Old French, but what might explain the semantic shift?

  • Can you be a little more precise about what exactly you're looking for that these two etymological definitions do not provide? – C. M. Weimer Mar 2 '16 at 14:56
  • @C.M.Weimer Thanks. Yes; sorry for any confusion. How did the semantic notion of "to be diligent" evolve to mean that of "put in put aside, spare; to keep, shut up, imprison,"? Better? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Mar 2 '16 at 18:23

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