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EtymologyEdit

Origin uncertain. Attested since about 1695 in the spelling bore-lap, borelapp.[1] Likely from burel (a coarse woollen cloth) +‎ lap (flap of a garment), where the first element is from Middle English burel, borel.[1][2][3] Others feel that "its character and time of appearance makes a Dutch origin very likely" (and the earliest references as to its importation from the Netherlands);[4] the NED suggests derivation from Dutch boenlap (coarse, rubbing linen or cloth) with the first element perhaps confused with boer;[1][5] Bense instead suggests derivation from an unattested Dutch *boerenlap, where *boeren supposedly has an extended sense of "coarse" as in Dutch boerenkost (coarse, heavy food as is eaten by farmers) and boerengoed (from Dutch boer (farmer, peasant); compare English boor), though this word is not attested.[6]

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

burlap (countable and uncountable, plural burlaps)

  1. (US) A very strong, coarse cloth, made from jute, flax, or hemp, and used to make sacks etc.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Karl Rohling, Englische Volksetymologie (1931)
  2. ^ burlap in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  3. ^ burlap” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  4. ^ Skrifter i Rekken Spräklige Avhandlinger 1-3 (1943), page 106
  5. ^ A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles
  6. ^ Evan Clifford Llewellyn, The Influence of Low Dutch on the English Vocabulary (1936), page 49: Burlap (1695), originally perhaps a sort of holland, now a coarse canvas made of jute or hemp and used for bagging; Bense suggests that it is from an unrecorded Du. *boerenlap, in which boeren is meant to express the same notion that it has in boerenkost, 'coarse fare'; boeren in this sense is often used in Holland to express coarseness in appearance, manners, language, &c.; [and] lap, a piece of cloth, clout, so *boerenlap, a coarse piece of cloth, hence coarse cloth, and this would suit the form as well as the sense."