Etymology
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butt (n.4)
"flat fish," c. 1300, a general Germanic name applied to various kinds of flat fishes (Old Swedish but "flatfish," German Butte, Dutch bot), from Proto-Germanic *butt-, name for a flat fish, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." "Hence butt-woman, who sells these, a fish-wife." [OED]
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flake (n.)

"thin flat piece of snow; a particle," early 14c., also flauke, flagge, which is of uncertain origin, possibly from Old English *flacca "flakes of snow," or from cognate Old Norse flak "flat piece," from Proto-Germanic *flakaz (source also of Middle Dutch vlac, Dutch vlak "flat, level," Middle High German vlach, German Flocke "flake"); from PIE root *plak- (1) "to be flat." From late 14c. as "a speck, a spot."

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prawn (n.)

"long-tailed, ten-footed shrimp-like crustacean, abundant on the shores of the British Isles," early 15c., prayne, a word of unknown origin. "No similar name found in other langs." [OED].

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biped (n.)
"animal with two feet," 1640s, from Latin bipedem (nominative bipes) "two-footed," as a plural noun, "men;" from bi- "two" (see bi-) + pedem (nominative pes) "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). As an adjective from 1781.
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plateau (n.)

1796, "elevated tract of relatively level land," from French plateau "table-land," from Old French platel (12c.) "flat piece of metal, wood, etc.," diminutive of plat "flat surface or thing," noun use of adjective plat "flat, stretched out" (12c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *plattus, from or modeled on Greek platys "flat, wide, broad" (from PIE root *plat- "to spread"). Meaning "stage at which no progress is apparent" is attested from 1897, originally in psychology of learning. In reference to sexual stimulation from 1960.

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plagio- 

before vowels plagi-, word-forming element meaning "slanting, oblique," from Greek plagios "oblique, slanting," from plagos "side," from PIE *plag- "flat, spread," variant form of root *plak- (1) "to be flat."

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*plat- 

also *pletə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to spread;" extension of root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread."

It forms all or part of: clan; flan; flat (adj.) "without curvature or projection;" flat (n.) "a story of a house;" flatter (v.); flounder (n.) "flatfish;" implant; piazza; place; plaice; plane; (n.4) type of tree; plant; plantain (n.2); plantar; plantation; plantigrade; plat; plate; plateau; platen; platform; platinum; platitude; Platonic; Plattdeutsch; platter; platypus; plaza; supplant; transplant.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit prathati "spreads out;" Hittite palhi "broad;" Greek platys "broad, flat;" Latin planta "sole of the foot;" Lithuanian platus "broad;" German Fladen "flat cake;" Old Norse flatr "flat;" Old English flet "floor, dwelling;" Old Irish lethan "broad."

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piano (adv.)

musical instruction, "softly, with little force or loudness," 1680s, from Italian piano, which is ultimately is from Latin planus "flat, smooth, even," later "soft" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").

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nimble (adj.)

"agile, light and quick in motion, light-footed," c. 1300, nemel, from Old English næmel "quick to grasp, quick at taking" (attested but once), related to niman "to take," from Proto-Germanic *nemanan (source also of Old Saxon, Old Dutch, Gothic niman, Old Norse nema, Old Frisian nima, German nehmen "to take"), perhaps from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take."

With unetymological -b- attested from c. 1500 (compare limb (n.1)). Nimble-fingered is from 1620s; nimble-footed from 1590s; nimble-witted from 1610s. Related: Nimbleness. In 17c., English had nimblechaps "talkative fellow."

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platen (n.)

1540s, "flat plate of metal," from French plateine, from Old French platine "flat piece, metal plate" (13c.), perhaps altered (by influence of plat "flat") from patene, from Latin patina "pan; broad, shallow dish," from Greek patane "plate, dish" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread"). From 1590s as "the flat part of a press which comes down upon the form and by which the impression is made." Hence, on a typewriter, "cylindrical roller or other surface against which the paper is held" (1890).

 

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