Etymology
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flay (v.)

Old English flean "to skin, to flay" (strong verb, past tense flog, past participle flagen), from Proto-Germanic *flahan (source also of Middle Dutch vlaen, Old High German flahan, Old Norse fla), from PIE root *pl(e)ik-, *pleik- "to tear, rend" (source also of Lithuanian plėšti "to tear"). Related: Flayed; flaying.

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fleck (v.)
late 14c., "to spot, stain, cover with spots," probably from Old Norse flekka "to spot," from Proto-Germanic *flekk- (source also of Middle Dutch vlecke, Old High German flec, German Fleck), from PIE *pleik- "to tear" (see flay). Related: Flecked; flecking.
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flax (n.)
Old English fleax "flax plant; cloth made with flax, linen," from Proto-Germanic *flakhsan (source also of Old Frisian flax, Middle Dutch and Dutch vlas, Old Saxon flas, Old High German flahs, German Flachs), probably from Proto-Germanic base *fleh- "to plait," from PIE root *plek- "to plait." But some connect it with PIE *pleik- (see flay) from the notion of "stripping" fiber to prepare it.
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flitch (n.)
"side of bacon," Middle English flicche (c. 1200), "side of a slaughtered animal," especially the salted and cured side of a hog, from Old English flicce "flitch of bacon, ham," from Proto-Germanic *flekkja (source also of Old Norse flikki, Middle Low German vlicke "piece of flesh"). Not immediately from flesh (n.), but perhaps from the same PIE root, *pleik- "to tear" (see flay). The Flitch of Dunmow was presented every year at Little Dunmow, in Essex, to any married couple who could prove they had lived together without quarreling for a year and a day, a custom mentioned in early references as dating to mid-13c., revived 19c.
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*der- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to split, flay, peel," with derivatives referring to skin and leather.

It forms all or part of: derm; -derm; derma; dermal; dermato-; dermatology; echinoderm; epidermis; hypodermic; pachyderm; scleroderma; taxidermy; tart (adj.) "having a sharp taste;" tear (v.1) "pull apart;" tetter; turd.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit drnati "cleaves, bursts;" Greek derein "to flay;" Armenian terem "I flay;" Old Church Slavonic dera "to burst asunder;" Breton darn "piece;" Old English teran "to tear, lacerate."
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tetter (n.)
skin disease, Old English teter, from a reduplicated form of PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel."
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excoriate (v.)

"to flay, strip off the skin of, to break and remove the outer layers of the skin in any manner," early 15c., from Late Latin excoriatus, past participle of excoriare "flay, strip off the hide," from Latin ex "out, out of, off" (see ex-) + corium "hide, skin" (see corium). Figurative sense of "denounce, censure" is recorded in English by 1708. Related: Excoriated; excoriating.

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derm (n.)

"the skin, the true skin, the derma," 1835, from Greek derma "skin, hide, leather," from PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel," with derivatives referring to skin and leather.

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-derm 
word-forming element meaning "skin," from Greek derma "skin, hide, leather," from PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel," with derivatives referring to skin and leather.
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epidermis (n.)
1620s, from Late Latin epidermis, from Greek epidermis "the outer skin," from epi "on" (see epi-) + derma "skin" (from PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel," with derivatives referring to skin and leather). Related: Epidermal; epidermic.
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