Etymology
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carboniferous (adj.)
1799, "coal-bearing, containing or yielding carbon or coal," from Latin carbo (genitive carbonis) "coal" (see carbon) + -ferous "producing, containing, bearing," from ferre "to bear" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children").

Used in designating the rocks which formed the great coal-beds of England, France, Germany and the United States; from 1832 with reference to the geological period when these were laid down. As a stand-alone noun (short for Carboniferous Period) by 1907.
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*ker- (3)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "heat, fire."

It forms all or part of: carbon; carboniferous; carbuncle; cremate; cremation; hearth.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kudayati "singes;" Latin carbo "a coal, glowing coal; charcoal," cremare "to burn;" Lithuanian kuriu, kurti "to heat," karštas "hot," krosnis "oven;" Old Church Slavonic kurjo "to smoke," krada "fireplace, hearth;" Russian ceren "brazier;" Old High German harsta "roasting;" Gothic hauri "coal;" Old Norse hyrr "fire;" Old English heorð "hearth."

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*bher- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to carry," also "to bear children."

It forms all or part of: Aberdeen; amphora; anaphora; aquifer; auriferous; bairn; barrow (n.1) "frame for carrying a load;" bear (v.); bearing; Berenice; bier; birth; bring; burden (n.1) "a load;" carboniferous; Christopher; chromatophore; circumference; confer; conference; conifer; cumber; cumbersome; defer (v.2) "yield;" differ; difference; differentiate; efferent; esophagus; euphoria; ferret; fertile; Foraminifera; forbear (v.); fossiliferous; furtive; indifferent; infer; Inverness; Lucifer; metaphor; odoriferous; offer; opprobrium; overbear; paraphernalia; periphery; pestiferous; pheromone; phoresy; phosphorus; Porifera; prefer; proffer; proliferation; pyrophoric; refer; reference; semaphore; somniferous; splendiferous; suffer; transfer; vociferate; vociferous.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit bharati "he carries, brings," bhrtih "a bringing, maintenance;" Avestan baraiti "carries;" Old Persian barantiy "they carry;" Armenian berem "I carry;" Greek pherein "to carry," pherne "dowry;" Latin ferre "to bear, carry," fors (genitive fortis) "chance, luck," perhaps fur "a thief;" Old Irish beru/berim "I catch, I bring forth," beirid "to carry;" Old Welsh beryt "to flow;" Gothic bairan "to carry;" Old English and Old High German beran, Old Norse bera "barrow;" Old Church Slavonic birati "to take;" Russian brat' "to take," bremya "a burden," beremennaya "pregnant."

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lepido- 
before vowels lepid-, word-forming element used since late 18c. in science with a sense of "scale" (of a fish, etc.), combining form of Greek lepis (genitive lepidos) "scale of a fish" (related to lepein "to peel;" see leper). As in lepidodendron (1819 in German), common fossil "club-moss tree" of the Carboniferous.
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