Etymology
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bedding (n.)

late Old English beddinge "materials of a bed, bed covering," from bed (n.). The meaning "bottom layer of anything" is from c. 1400.

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plant (n.)

Old English plante "young tree or shrub, herb newly planted, a shoot or strip recently sprouted from seed," from Latin planta "sprout, shoot, cutting" (source of Spanish planta, French plante), which is perhaps from an unattested verb *plantare "to drive in with the feet, push into the ground with the feet," or perhaps "to level the earth," from planta "sole of the foot," from nasalized form of PIE root *plat- "to spread."  German Pflanz, Irish cland, Welsh plant also are from Latin.

Broader sense of "any small vegetable life, vegetation generally" (sometimes popularly excluding trees), "an individual living being with material organization but not animal in nature" is recorded by 1550s.

Most extended usages are from the verb, on the notion of "something planted;" such as "construction for an industrial process," 1789, at first with reference to the machinery, tools, apparatus, etc., later also the building; also slang meaning "a spy" (1812). Many of these follow similar developments in the French form of the word.

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plant (v.)

Old English plantian "put or set in the ground to grow" (transitive and intransitive), also "introduce and establish, set up for the first time," from Latin *plantare "to plant, drive in with the feet" (see plant (n.)). Reinforced by cognate Old French planter.

Without reference to growing, "to insert firmly," late 14c. Of colonies, "introduce and establish new settlers in," from c. 1300. Figuratively, of ideas, etc., from early 15c. Meaning "to station (someone) for a surreptitious or secret purpose" is by 1690s; sense of "place (something) in a concealed place to mislead a later discoverer" is by 1865. In pugilistic slang, "to land, deliver" (a blow, etc.) by 1808. Meaning "to bury" is U.S. slang from U.S., 1855. Related: Planted; planting.

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spider-plant (n.)

1823, said to have been discovered on the coast of the Pacific northwest of North America during Cook's third expedition and so-named by the sailors, "from its striking resemblance to a large spider when it first appears above the surface, before the stem begins to rise from the spherical arrangement of the leaves, or the flagellae begin to creep to any distance from among them to the soil around" [Peter Sutherland, "Journal of a Voyage in Baffin's Bay," 1852]; from spider + plant (n.).

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bed-roll (n.)

"bedding rolled up in a bundle," 1905, from bed (n.) + roll (n.). There is a citation of an identical word from 1650s in the sense "a list of women for sleeping with."

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roughage (n.)

1883, "rough grass or weeds, refuse of crops suitable for bedding for animals," from rough (adj.) + -age. In nutritional science, the meaning "coarse, bulky food" is attested by 1927.

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litter (n.)

c. 1300, "a bed," also "bed-like vehicle carried on men's shoulders" (early 14c.), from Anglo-French litere "portable bed," Old French litiere "litter, stretcher, bier; straw, bedding" (12c.), from Medieval Latin lectaria "litter," from Latin lectus "bed, lounge, sofa, dining-couch," from PIE *legh-to-, suffixed form of root *legh- "to lie down, lay."

Altered in French by influence of lit "bed." The meaning was extended early 15c. to "straw used for bedding" (this sense is early 14c. in Anglo-French) and by late 15c. to "offspring of an animal at one birth" (that is, in one bed). Litter by 19c. had come to mean both the straw bedding and the animal waste in it after use. The sense of "scattered oddments, disorderly debris" is first attested 1730 and probably is from litter (v.) "provide with bedding" (late 14c.) and sense extended from the image of strewing straw.

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littering (n.)

1540s, of animals, "process of bringing forth young in a single birth," verbal noun from present participle of litter (v.). Meaning "act of furnishing with bedding" is from c. 1600. That of "act of dropping disordered waste matter" is from 1900.

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bed (v.)

Old English beddian "to provide with a bed or lodgings," from bed (n.). From c. 1300 as "to go to bed," also "to copulate with, to go to bed with;" 1440 as "to lay out (land) in plots or beds." Related: Bedded; bedding.

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litter (v.)

late 14c., "provide with bedding," from litter (n.). Meaning "bring forth, give birth to" (of animals or, contemptuously, of humans) is from late 15c. Meaning "to strew with objects" is from 1713. Transitive sense of "to scatter in a disorderly way" is from 1731. Related: Littered; littering.

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