saltcellar

saltcellar
[15] Saltcellar is a tautology – for etymologically it means ‘saltcellar for salt’. Its second element has no connection with underground rooms. Its spelling merely disguises its origins, which are in Anglo- Norman *saler ‘saltcellar’, a derivative ultimately of Latin sāl ‘salt’. This was adopted into English in the 14th century as saler, later seler, but when its etymological links with salt began to fade from people’s awareness, salt was tacked on to the front to reinforce the meaning, and when they disappeared altogether in the 16th century the spelling became assimilated to that of the similar-sounding cellar.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saltcellar — Salt cel*lar, n. [OE. saltsaler; salt + F. sali[ e]re saltcellar, from L. sal salt. See {Salt}, and cf. {Salary}.] Formerly a large vessel, now a small vessel of glass or other material, used for holding salt on the table. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • saltcellar — mid 15c., from SALT (Cf. salt) + Anglo Norm. *saler saltcellar (14c.), from O.Fr. salier salt box, from L. salarium, from a dim. of L. sal salt. As the connection between *saler and salt was lost, salt was tacked on to the beginning; second… …   Etymology dictionary

  • saltcellar — [sôlt′sel΄ər] n. [altered (infl. by CELLAR) < ME salt saler < salt, SALT + MFr salière, saltcellar < L sal, SALT] a small dish for salt at the table; also, a saltshaker …   English World dictionary

  • saltcellar — /sawlt sel euhr/, n. a shaker or dish for salt. [1400 50; SALT1 + CELLAR, for earlier saler saltcellar, late ME < OF saliere < L salaria, n. use of fem. of salarius (adj.) pertaining to salt, equiv. to sal SALT1 + arius ARY] * * * also called… …   Universalium

  • saltcellar — [15] Saltcellar is a tautology – for etymologically it means ‘saltcellar for salt’. Its second element has no connection with underground rooms. Its spelling merely disguises its origins, which are in Anglo Norman *saler ‘saltcellar’, a… …   Word origins

  • saltcellar — noun Etymology: Middle English salt saler, from salt + saler saltcellar, from Anglo French, from Latin salarius of salt more at salary Date: 14th century a small container for holding salt at the table …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • saltcellar — salt•cel•lar [[t]ˈsɔltˌsɛl ər[/t]] n. a shaker or dish for salt • Etymology: 1400–50; by assimilation to cellar of earlier saler saltcellar, < AF; OF saliere < L salāria, der. of salārius (adj.) pertaining to salt; see salary …   From formal English to slang

  • saltcellar — /ˈsɒltsɛlə / (say soltseluh) noun 1. a shaker or vessel for salt. 2. Colloquial either of the hollows above the collarbone of thin people. {Middle English saltsaler, from salt + (now obsolete) saler saltcellar, from Old French saliere, from sel… …  

  • saltcellar — noun A box in which salt is kept, usually with a cover. Now generally replaced with a salt shaker. This word is largely archaic …   Wiktionary

  • Saltcellar — either one of the hollows above the collarbone of thin people …   Dictionary of Australian slang

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