Etymology
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brunet (n.)

"dark-complexioned person," generally male, 1890; from the adjective (1887), from French brunet, diminutive of brun "brown," which is from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (source also of English brown; from PIE root *bher- (2) "bright; brown").

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*bher- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "bright; brown" (the sense connection might involve polished wooden objects).

It forms all or part of: Barnard; bear (n.) "large carnivorous or omnivorous mammal of the family Ursidae;" beaver (n.1) "large amphibious quadruped rodent of the genus Castor;" berserk; brown; Bruin; brunet; brunette; burnish.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Old English brun "dark, dusky;" Lithuanian bėras "brown;" Greek phrynos "toad," literally "the brown animal."

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brunette (adj.)

of a woman, "dark in complexion, having a brownish tone to the skin and hair," 1660s, from French brunette, fem. of brunet, from Old French brunet "brownish, brown-haired, dark-complexioned," fem. diminutive of brun "brown" (12c.), of West Germanic origin, from Proto-Germanic *brunaz (from PIE root *bher- (2) "bright; brown").

As a noun, "woman with dark hair and eyes and of a dark complexion," from 1710. The metathesized form, Old French burnete, is the source of the surname Burnett. Burnete also was used of a wool-dyed cloth of superior quality, originally dark brown.

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