Etymology
Advertisement
holt (n.)

Old English holt "woods, forest, grove, thicket," common in place names, from Proto-Germanic *hultam- (source also of Old Frisian, Old Norse, Middle Dutch holt, Dutch hout, German Holz "a wood, wood as timber"), from PIE *kldo- (source also of Old Church Slavonic klada "beam, timber;" Russian koloda, Lithuanian kalada "block of wood, log;" Greek klados "twig;" Old Irish caill "wood"), from root *kel- "to strike, cut."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
clade (n.)

"group of organisms evolved from a common ancestor," 1957, from Greek klados "young branch, offshoot of a plant, shoot broken off," from PIE *kele-, possibly from root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt).

Related entries & more 
clapboard (n.)

1520s, partial translation of Middle Dutch klapholt (borrowed into English late 14c. as clapholt), from klappen "to fit" + Low German holt "wood, board" (see holt). Compare German Klappholz.

Originally small boards of split oak imported from northern Germany and cut by coopers to make barrel staves; the meaning "long, thin board, usually about 6 or 8 inches wide, used for roofing or to cover the exterior of wooden buildings" is from 1630s, American English.

Related entries & more 
Holstein 
breed of cattle, 1865; so called because originally raised in nearby Friesland. The place name is literally "woodland settlers," from the roots of German Holz "wood" (see holt) and siedeln "to settle," altered by influence of Stein "stone." Since 15c. it has been united with the Duchy of Schleswig.
Related entries & more 
clastic (adj.)

"consisting of broken pieces, breaking up into fragments," 1868 in reference to anatomical models, 1870 in geology, from Latinized form of Greek klastos "broken in pieces," from klan, klaein "to break," which is perhaps from PIE *kla-, variant of root *kel- "to strike" (see holt), but more likely of uncertain origin [Beekes].

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
clone (n.)

1903, in botany, "group of cultivated plants each of which is a transplanted part of one original," from Latinized form of Greek klōn "a twig, spray," related to klados "sprout, young branch, offshoot of a plant," possibly from PIE root *kel- (1) "to strike, cut" (see holt). Meaning "person or animal replicated from a single cell of another and genetically identical to it" is by 1970 (theoretical). Figurative use, "one who slavishly imitates another," is by 1978.

Related entries & more 
hilt (n.)

Old English hilt "hilt, handle of a sword or dagger," from Proto-Germanic *helt (source also of Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza "hilt," Old Saxon helta "oar handle"), of uncertain origin, possibly from PIE root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Formerly also used in plural in same sense as singular. Up to the hilts "completely" is from 1670s.

Related entries & more 
cataclasm (n.)

"a breaking asunder, a violent disruption," 1829, from Latinized form of Greek kataklasm "breakage," from kata "down" (see cata-) +  klan,klaein "to break," which is perhaps from PIE *kla-, variant of root *kel- "to strike" (see holt), but more likely of uncertain origin [Beekes]. Related: Cataclastic, in geology, in reference to a structural character due to intense crushing, 1885.

Related entries & more 
claymore (n.)

1749, "two-edged, heavy broadsword of ancient Scottish Highlanders," from Gaelic claidheamh mor "great sword," from claidheb "sword" (compare Welsh cleddyf), which is possibly from a PIE root *kel- "to strike" (see holt) + mor "great" (compare Welsh mawr; see more).

An antiquarian word made familiar again by Scott's novels. It was sometimes applied inaccurately to 16c.-18c. one-handed basket-hilted broad swords. Modern military application to a type of pellet-scattering anti-personnel mine is first attested 1962.

Related entries & more 
calamity (n.)

early 15c., "damage, state of adversity;" 1550s, "a great misfortune or cause of misery," from Old French calamite (14c.), from Latin calamitatem (nominative calamitas) "damage, loss, failure; disaster, misfortune, adversity," a word of obscure origin.

Early etymologists associated it with calamus "straw" (see shawm) on the notion of damage to crops, but this seems folk-etymology. Perhaps it is from a lost root also preserved in incolumis "uninjured," from PIE *kle-mo-, from *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Calamity Jane was the nickname (attested by 1876) of U.S. frontierswoman, scout, and folk-hero Martha Jane Cannary (c. 1852-1903).

Related entries & more