Abeyance

Abeyance: a temporary halt, a temporary suspension.  A temporary period of disuse.

Abeyance shows up in English for the first time in 1528.  Initially, it has a legal meaning.  This makes sense.  After all, the word comes from the old French word abeiance.  The French word meant expectation, especially in a lawsuit.  In  a property dispute, for example, property rights might remain in abeyance until the matter is resolved.

Perhaps you inherited a large sum of money as an 8 year old.  Since no sane adult is going to hand a large sum of money to an 8 year old, the money will likely be held in abeyance. 

By the way, if you are reading this and you are holding money in abeyance for me, I am in my 40’s now.  Go ahead and send the money.    

Abeyance, came through French from Latin.  In Latin the preposition ad means to, or toward.  Etymonline and The Dictionary of Word Origins, by John Ayto, claim that the rest of the word derives from the Latin verb batare meaning to yawn.  I am having a hard time verifying the word batare, but given the expectant meaning of abeyance I am inclined to agree.  I could see someone in abeyance yawning while waiting.