Etymology
Advertisement
ret (v.)

"to soak stems of fibrous plants (flax, hemp, jute, etc.) to soften them," mid-15c., probably from Middle Dutch roten (or an unrecorded cognate Old Norse word that is related to Norwegian røyta, Swedish röta, Danish røde); the group is considered to be related to Old English rotian "to rot" (see rot (v.)), but the vowel is difficult. The process partially rots the stems so the workers may better get the fibers.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
linoleum (n.)
1860, coined by English inventor Frederick Walton (1837-1928), from Latin linum "flax, linen" (see linen) + oleum "oil" (see oil (n.)) and intended to indicate "linseed-oil cloth." Originally, a preparation of solidified linseed oil used to coat canvas for making floor coverings; the word was applied to the flooring material itself after 1878. The Linoleum Manufacturing Company was formed 1864.
Related entries & more 
scold (v.)

late 14c., scolden, "be abusive; be quarrelsome," from scold (n.). "Now with milder sense ... To use undignified vehemence or persistence in reproof or fault-finding" [OED]. Transitive sense "chide or find fault with" (someone) is by 1715. Related: Scolded; scolding. Among the many collections of 15th century terms of association appears a skoldenge of kempsters for "a group of wool- or flax-combers."

Related entries & more 
heckle (v.)
early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from heckle (n.) or from related Middle Dutch hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Presumably from a metaphor of rough treatment, but also compare hatchel "to harass" (1800), which may be a variant of hazel, the name of the plant that furnished switches for whippings. Related: Heckled; heckling.
Related entries & more 
canvas (n.)
"sturdy cloth made from hemp or flax," mid-14c., from Anglo-French canevaz, Old North French canevach, Old French chanevaz "canvas," literally "made of hemp, hempen," noun use of Vulgar Latin adjective *cannapaceus "made of hemp," from Latin cannabis, from Greek kannabis "hemp," a Scythian or Thracian word (see cannabis).

Latin adjectives in -aceus sometimes were made in Romanic languages into nouns of augmentative or pejorative force. Especially as a surface for oil paintings from c. 1700; hence "an oil painting" (1764).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
oakum (n.)

"coarse, loose fiber obtained from taking apart old hemp ropes," used for caulking the seams of wooden ships, etc., early 15c., okam, okum, from Old English acumba "tow, oakum, flax fibers separated by combing," literally "what is combed out," from Proto-Germanic *us-kambon (source of Old High German achambi). The first element is cognate with Old English a- "away, out, off;" the second element is from stem of cemban "to comb," from camb "a comb;" from PIE root *gembh- "tooth, nail."

Related entries & more 
lingerie (n.)
1835 (but not in widespread use until 1852), "linen underwear, especially as made for women," from French lingerie "linen goods, things made of linen," originally "laundry room, linen warehouse, linen shop, linen market" (15c.), also the name of a street in Paris, from linger "a dealer in linen goods," from Old French linge "linen" (12c.), from Latin lineus (adj.) "of linen," from linum "flax, linen" (see linen). Originally introduced in English as a euphemism for then-scandalous under-linen. Extension to articles of cotton or artificial material is unetymological.
Related entries & more 
carminative (adj.)

"expelling or having the quality of expelling flatulence," early 15c., from Latin carminativus, from past participle stem of carminare "to card," from carmen, genitive carminis, "a card for wool or flax," which is related to carrere "to card" (see card (v.2).

A medical term from the old theory of humours. The object of carminatives is to expel wind, but the theory is that they dilute and relax the gross humours from whence the wind arises, combing them out like knots in wool. [Hensleigh Wedgwood, "A Dictionary of English Etymology," 1859]

As a noun from 1670s.

Related entries & more 
rot (v.)

Middle English roten, from Old English rotian, of animal substances, "to decay, putrefy, undergo natural decomposition" (intransitive), also of vegetable matter," from Proto-Germanic *rutjan (source also of Old Saxon roton, Old Norse rotna, Old Frisian rotia, Middle Dutch roten, Dutch rotten, Old High German rozzen "to rot," German rößen "to steep flax"), from stem *rut-. Related: Rotted; rotting.

By c. 1200 as "fester or decay morally, become morally corrupt." Transitive sense of "cause decomposition in" is from late 14c. To rot in prison (mid-14c.) suggests wasting disease.

Related entries & more 
crinoline (n.)

stiff material originally made partly or wholly of horsehair, 1830, from French crinoline "hair cloth" (19c.), from Italian crinolino, from crino "horsehair" (from Latin crinis "hair," from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend") + lino "flax, thread," from Latin linum (see linen). So called from the warp and woof fibers of the original mixture.

Petticoats made of it were worn by women under the skirt to support or distend it, and the meaning of the word subsequently was extended to the steel or whalebone framework used for making hoop-skirts (1848).

Related entries & more 

Page 3