Etymology
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shore (n.)

"land bordering a large body of water," c. 1300, from Old English scora, sceor- (in place-names) or from Middle Low German schor "shore, coast, headland," or Middle Dutch scorre "land washed by the sea," all probably from Proto-Germanic *skur-o- "cut," from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut."

This is the usual theory, "but the etymological notion is not easy to determine" [OED]. It has been proposed as meaning "division" between land and water, but if the word began on the North Sea coast of the continent, it might as well have meant originally "land 'cut off' from the mainland by tidal marshes" (compare Old Norse skerg "an isolated rock in the sea," related to sker "to cut, shear").

Old English words for "coast, shore" were strand (n.), waroþ, ofer. Few Indo-European languages have such a single comprehensive word for "land bordering water" (Homer uses one word for sandy beaches, another for rocky headlands).

General application to "country near a seacoast" is attested from 1610s. In law, typically the tract between the high- and low-water marks (1620s). Shore-bird is attested from 1670s; shore-leave by 1888.

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shore (v.)

mid-14c., shoren, "to prop, support with or as if by a prop," from or related to shore (n.) "a prop, a support" (late 13c.); words of obscure etymology though widespread in Germanic (Middle Dutch schooren "to prop up, support;" Middle Low German schore "a barrier;" Old Norse skorða "piece of timber set up as a support"). Related: Shored; shoring.

The noun survives in technical senses, "post or beam for temporary support of something" (mid-15c.), especially an oblique timber to brace the side of a building or excavation.

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off-shore (adv., adj.)

also offshore, 1720, "in a direction away from the shore," from off (prep.) + shore (n.). As an adjective in 19c., "carried on more than three miles from shore." American English use for "other than the U.S." is from 1948 and the Marshall Plan.

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ashore (adv.)

1580s, "toward the shore," from a- (1) + shore (n.). The meaning "on the shore" is from 1630s. Middle English had ashore (late 15c.), but it meant "on a slant," literally "propped up," from shore (v.).

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shoreline (n.)

also shore-line, "line where the shore and the water meet," by 1839 in the geographical sense, from shore (n.) + line (n.).

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shoreland (n.)

"land bordering the shore," by 1807, from shore (n.) + land (n.).

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inshore (adj.)
also in-shore, "near the shore," 1701, from in (prep.) + shore (n.). As an adverb from 1737.
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alongshore (adj.)

"existing or employed along a shore or coast," 1779, from along + shore (n.). Compare along-ships (adv.) "lengthwise to the ship" (1680s), alongside.

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seashore (n.)

also sea-shore, "coast of the sea, land that lies adjacent to the ocean," 1520s, from sea + shore (n.). Old English used særima "sea-rim," sæ-strande, etc. Middle English had sea-bank (mid-14c.); see seaside. Commonly understood as the ground between the ordinary high-water and low-water marks, typically covered with sand or shingle.

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*sker- (1)

also *ker-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to cut."

It forms all or part of: bias; carnage; carnal; carnation; carnival; carnivorous; carrion; cenacle; charcuterie; charnel; corium; cortex; crone; cuirass; currier; curt; decorticate; excoriate; incarnadine; incarnate; incarnation; kirtle; scabbard; scar (n.2) "bare and broken rocky face of a cliff or mountain;" scaramouche; scarf (n.2) "connecting joint;" scarp; score; scrabble; scrap (n.1) "small piece;" scrape; screen; screw; scrimmage; scrofula; scrub (n.1) "low, stunted tree;" scurf; shard; share (n.1) "portion;" share (n.2) "iron blade of a plow;" sharp; shear; shears; sheer (adj.) "absolute, utter;" shirt; shore (n.) "land bordering a large body of water;" short; shrub; skerry; skirmish; skirt.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit krnati "hurts, wounds, kills," krntati "cuts;" Hittite karsh- "to cut off;" Greek keirein "to cut, shear;" Latin curtus "short," caro (genitive carnis) "flesh" (originally "piece of flesh"); Lithuanian skiriu, skirti "to separate;" Old English sceran, scieran "to cleave, hew, cut with a sharp instrument;" Old Irish scaraim "I separate;" Welsh ysgar "to separate," ysgyr "fragment."

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