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pebble (n.)

"small, smooth stone," c. 1300, pibel, from Old English papolstan "pebblestone," a word of unknown origin. Perhaps imitative. Some sources compare Latin papula "pustule, pimple, swelling." Historically there is no precise definition based on size other than that it is smaller than a cobble. Related: Pebbly. Pebble-dashing "mortar with pebbles incorporated" is by 1941 (pebble-dash in the same sense is by 1902).

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caliche (n.)
sodium nitrate deposits in Chile and Peru, 1858, from South American Spanish, from Spanish caliche "pebble accidentally enclosed in a brick; flake of lime," from Latin calx "limestone, pebble" (see chalk (n.)).
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calculous (adj.)
c. 1600, "of or pertaining to a bodily concretion;" 1670s, "stony, stone-like;" from Latin calculosus and (in the medical sense) directly from calculus "a pebble," diminutive of calx (genitive calcis) "limestone" (see chalk (n.)).
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hail (n.)
"frozen rain, pellets of ice falling in showers," Old English hægl, hagol (Mercian hegel) "hail, hailstorm," also the name of the rune for H, from Proto-Germanic *haglaz (source also of Old Frisian heil, Old Saxon, Old High German hagal, Old Norse hagl, German Hagel "hail"), probably from PIE *kaghlo- "pebble" (source also of Greek kakhlex "round pebble").
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silica (n.)
"hard silicon dioxide," 1801, Modern Latin, from Latin silex (genitive silicis) "flint, pebble," on model of alumina, soda.
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psephology (n.)

"the study of voting and elections," 1952, from Greek psēphizein "to vote" (properly "to vote with pebbles," from psēphos "pebble;" see psephocracy) + -logy.

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scruple (n.)
"moral misgiving, pang of conscience," late 14c., from Old French scrupule (14c.), from Latin scrupulus "uneasiness, anxiety, pricking of conscience," literally "small sharp stone," diminutive of scrupus "sharp stone or pebble," used figuratively by Cicero for a cause of uneasiness or anxiety, probably from the notion of having a pebble in one's shoe. The word in the more literal Latin sense of "small unit of weight or measurement" is attested in English from late 14c.
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psephomancy (n.)

"divination by means of pebbles drawn from a heap," 1727, from Greek psēphos "pebble" (a word of uncertain origin) + -mancy "divination by means of."

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psephocracy (n.)

"government formed by election by ballot," by 1966, from Greek psēphizein "to vote" (properly "to vote with pebbles"), from psēphos "pebble, small stone," especially as used for counting and calculating (a word of uncertain origin, perhaps related to psammos "sand"), + -cracy "rule or government by."

The common method of voting in Greek cities was by dropping pebbles in different marked urns, and thus the word for "pebble" figures largely in the ancient Greek vocabulary of democracy (e.g. isopsēphos "having an equal vote"). Also a psēphados was "a juggler." Related: Psephocrat; psephocratic.

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lapideous (adj.)
"stony," 1640s, from Latin lapideus, from lapid-, stem of lapis "a stone, pebble," from Proto-Italic *laped-, which de Vaan writes is "Probably a Mediterranean loanword," with cognates in Greek: lepas "bare rock, mountain," lepas "limpet," lepades "molluscs which stick to rocks."
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