Etymology
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weld (n.1)
plant (Resedo luteola) producing yellow dye, late 14c., from Old English *wealde, perhaps a variant of Old English wald "forest" (see wold). Spanish gualda, French gaude are Germanic loan-words.
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weld (n.2)
"joint formed by welding," 1831, from weld (v.).
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weld (v.)
1590s, "unite or consolidate by hammering or compression, often after softening by heating," alteration of well (v.) "to boil, rise;" influenced by past participle form welled. Related: Welded; welding.
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welder (n.)
1828, agent noun from weld (v.).
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gaudy (adj.)
"showy, tastelessly rich," c. 1600; earlier "joyfully festive" (1580s), probably a re-adjectivizing of gaudy (n.) "large, ornamental bead in a rosary" (early 14c.) via the noun gaud + -y (2.). In early Modern English it also could mean "full of trickery" (1520s).

Or possibly the adjective is from or influenced by Middle English noun gaudegrene (early 14c.), name of a yellowish-green color or pigment, originally of dye obtained from the weld plant (see weld (n.1)). This Germanic plant-name became gaude in Old French, and thus the Middle English word. Under this theory, the sense shifted from "weld-dye" to "bright ornamentation."

As a noun, "feast, festival" 1650s, from gaudy day "day of rejoicing" (1560s).
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meld (v.)

"to blend together, merge, unite" (intransitive), by 1910, of uncertain origin. OED suggests "perh. a blend of MELT v.1 and WELD v." Said elsewhere to be a verb use of melled "mingled, blended," past participle of dialectal mell "to mingle, mix, combine, blend."

[T]he biplane grew smaller and smaller, the stacatto clatter of the motor became once more a drone which imperceptibly became melded with the waning murmur of country sounds .... ["Aircraft" magazine, October 1910]

But it is perhaps an image from card-playing, where the verb meld is attested by 1907 in a sense of "combine two cards for a score:"

Upon winning a trick, and before drawing from the stock, the player can "meld" certain combinations of cards. [rules for two-hand pinochle in "Hoyle's Games," 1907]

The rise of the general sense of the word in English coincides with the craze for canasta, in which melding figures. The card-playing sense is said to be "apparently" from German melden "make known, announce," from Old High German meldon, from Proto-Germanic *meldojanan (source of Old English meldian "to declare, tell, display, proclaim"), and the notion is of "declaring" the combination of cards. Related: Melded; melding.

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