Productive of a number of handy compounds that somehow never got traction or have been suffered to fall from use: elsehow (1660s) "somehow or other;" elsewards (adv.), 1882, "somewhere else;" Old English elsewhat (pron.) " something else, anything else;" elsewhen (adv.), early 15c., "at another time; elsewhence (c.1600); elsewho (1540s). Among the survivors are elsewhere, elsewise.
The chiefe fudling they make in the Island [i.e. Barbados] is Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill, and this is made of suggar cane distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor. ["A briefe Description of the Island of Barbados," 1651]The English word was borrowed into Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. Used since 1800 in North America as a general (hostile) name for intoxicating liquors.
Rum I take to be the name which unwashed moralists apply alike to the product distilled from molasses and the noblest juices of the vineyard. Burgundy in "all its sunset glow" is rum. Champagne, soul of "the foaming grape of Eastern France," is rum. ... Sir, I repudiate the loathsome vulgarism as an insult to the first miracle wrought by the Founder of our religion! [Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table," 1891]
These are from PIE *an-tero-, variant of *al-tero- "the other of two" (cf. Lithuanian antras, Sanskrit antarah "other, foreign," Latin alter), from root *al- "beyond" (see alias) + adjectival comparative suffix *-tero-. The Old English, Old Saxon, and Old Frisian forms show "a normal loss of n before fricatives" [Barnhart]. Meaning "different" is mid-13c.
Sense of "second" was detached from this word in English (which uses second, from Latin) and German (zweiter, from zwei "two") to avoid ambiguity. In Scandinavian, however, the second floor is still the "other" floor (e.g. Swedish andra, Danish anden). Also cf. Old English oþergeara "next year."
The other woman "a woman with whom a man begins a love affair while he is already committed" is from 1855. The other day originally (mid-12c.) was "the next day;" later (c.1300) "yesterday;" and now, loosely, "a day or two ago" (early 15c.). Phrase other half in reference to either the poor or the rich, is recorded from c.1600.
La moitié du monde ne sçayt comment l'aultre vit. [Rabelais, "Pantagruel," 1532]