Etymology
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leaf (n.)

Old English leaf "leaf of a plant, foliage; page of a book, sheet of paper," from Proto-Germanic *lauba- (source also of Old Saxon lof, Old Norse lauf, Old Frisian laf, Dutch loof, Old High German loub, German Laub "foliage, leaves," Gothic laufs "leaf, foliage"), perhaps from PIE *leub(h)- "to peel off, strip or break off" ((source also of Old Irish luib, "herb," lub-gort "garden;" Albanian labë "rind, cork;" Lithuanian luba "plank, board;" Russian lob "forehead, brow," Czech leb "skull;" Lithuanian luobas "bast," Latvian luobas "peel," Russian lub "bast;" Old Norse lyf "medicinal herbs," Old English lybb "poison; magic").

Related to lodge and lobby; for another PIE root see folio. Extended late 14c. to very thin sheets of metal (especially gold). Compare Lithuanian lapas "leaf," from a root also in Greek lepos "bark," lepein "to peel off." Also applied to flat and relatively broad surfaces, especially of flexible or mounted attachments; meaning "hinged flap on the side of a table" is from 1550s. To turn over a (new) leaf (1590s; 1570s as turn the leaf) "begin a new and better course of life" is a reference to the book sense. Among insects, leaf-hopper is from 1847; leaf-cutter from 1816.

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soil (n.1)
c. 1300, originally "land, area, place," from Anglo-French soil "piece of ground, place" (13c.), from a merger or confusion of Old French sol "bottom, ground, soil" (12c., from Latin solum "soil, ground;" see sole (n.1)), Old French soeul, sueil "threshold, area, place" (from Latin solium "seat," from PIE *sodio- "seat," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit"), and Old French soil, soille "a miry place," from soillier (see soil (v.)).

Meaning "place of one's nativity" is from c. 1400. Meaning "mould, earth, dirt" (especially that which plants grow in) is attested from mid-15c.
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leaf (v.)
"to turn over (the pages of a book)," 1660s, from leaf (n.). Meaning "put forth leaves or foliage" is from 1610s. Related: Leafed; leaved; leafing.
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soil (v.)
early 13c., "to defile or pollute with sin," from Old French soillier "to splatter with mud, to foul or make dirty," originally "to wallow" (12c., Modern French souillier), from souil "tub, wild boar's wallow, pigsty," which is from either Latin solium "tub for bathing; seat" (from PIE *sodio- "seat," from root *sed- "to sit") or Latin suculus "little pig," from sus "pig." Literal meaning "to make dirty, begrime" is attested from c. 1300 in English. Related: Soiled; soiling.
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soil (n.2)
"filth, dirt, refuse matter, sewage, liquid likely to contain excrement," c. 1600, earlier "miry or muddy place" (early 15c.), from Old French soille "miry place," from soillier (v.) "to make dirty," and in part a native formation from soil (v.). This is the sense in archaic night-soil.
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clover-leaf (n.)

also cloverleaf, "the leaf of a clover plant," 1787, from clover + leaf (n.). Highway interchange sense attested by 1933, so called for the shape.

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free-soil (adj.)
in U.S. history, "opposed to expansion of slavery into the territories," 1846, from free soil (n.) in reference to settled regions without slavery, from free (adj.) + soil (n.). Related: Free-soiler.
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loose-leaf (adj.)
1899, of notebooks, ledgers, etc. made to allow insertion or removal of pages at will, from loose (adj.) + leaf (n.) "page of a book."
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tea-leaf (n.)
1756, from tea + leaf (n.). Related: Tea-leaves.
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