Etymology
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wool (n.)
Old English wull "wool, fine soft hair which forms the coat of some animals," from Proto-Germanic *wulno (source also of Old Norse ull, Old Frisian wolle, Middle Dutch wolle, Dutch wol, Old High German wolla, German wolle, Gothic wulla), from PIE *wele- (1) "wool" (source also of Sanskrit urna; Avestan varena; Greek lenos "wool;" Latin lana "wool," vellus "fleece;" Old Church Slavonic vluna, Russian vulna, Lithuanian vilna "wool;" Middle Irish olann, Welsh gwlan "wool").

Figurative expression pull the wool over (someone's) eyes is recorded from 1838, American English. To be literally dyed in the wool (1725, as opposed to dyed in the piece) is to be so before spinning, while the material is in its raw state, which has a more durable effect; hence the figurative sense "from the beginning; most thoroughly," attested from 1809, and especially, in U.S. politics, from 1830.
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wool-gathering (n.)
also woolgathering, 1550s, "indulging in wandering fancies and purposeless thinking," from the literal meaning "gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc.," an activity that necessitates much wandering to little purpose. See wool + gather.
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woolen (adj.)
also woollen (chiefly British English), Old English wullen, wyllen "made of wool," from wool + -en (2). Related: Woolens; woollens.
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wooly (adj.)
also woolly, 1570s, "resembling or made of wool," from wool + -y (2). Meaning "barbarous, rude" is recorded 1891, from wild and wooly (1884) applied to the U.S. western frontier, perhaps in reference to range steers or to unkempt cowboys. Related: Wooliness.
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lanolin (n.)
fatty matter extracted from sheep's wool, 1885, from German Lanolin, coined by German physician Mathias Eugenius Oscar Liebreich (1838-1908) from Latin lana "wool" (from PIE root *wele- (1) "wool;" see wool) + oleum "oil, fat" (see oil (n.)) + chemical suffix -in (2).
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linsey-woolsey (n.)
late 15c., originally a cloth woven from linen (perhaps directly from Middle English line "linen") and wool; the words apparently were altered for the sake of a jingling sound. Linsey by itself is attested from mid-15c., apparently meaning "coarse linen fabric." Some sources suggest a connection or influence from the place name Lindsey in Suffolk.
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dye (v.)

"fix a color or colors in the substance of by immersion in coloring matter held in solution," Middle English deien, Old English deagian "to dye," from the source of dye (n.). Spelling distinction between dye and die was not firm till 19c. "Johnson in his Dictionary, spelled them both die, while Addison, his near contemporary, spelled both dye" [Barnhart]. Related: dyed. For dyed in the wool (or grain) see wool (n.).

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flannel (n.)
"warm, loosely woven woolen stuff," c. 1300, flaunneol, probably related to Middle English flanen "sackcloth" (c. 1400); by Skeat and others traced to Welsh gwlanen "woolen cloth," from gwlan "wool," from Celtic *wlana, from PIE *wele- (1) "wool" (see wool). "As flannel was already in the 16th c. a well-known production of Wales, a Welsh origin for the word seems antecedently likely" [OED].

The Welsh origin is not a universally accepted etymology, due to the sound changes involved; Barnhart, Gamillscheg, Diez suggest the English word is from an Anglo-French diminutive of Old French flaine "a kind of coarse wool." Modern French flanelle is a 17c. borrowing from English.
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burl (n.)
mid-15c., "small knot in cloth or thread," from Old French bourle "tuft of wool," which perhaps is related to the root of bur, or from Vulgar Latin *burrula "small flock of wool," from Late Latin burra "wool," a word of unknown origin. In American English also "a knot or excrescence on a walnut or other tree" (1868).
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flock (n.2)
"tuft of wool," mid-13c., also found in continental Germanic and Scandinavian, all probably from Old French floc, from Latin floccus "tuft of wool, lock of hair," a word of unknown origin.
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