axle (n.)

"pole or pin upon which a wheel revolves" (properly, the round ends of the axle-tree which are inserted in the hubs or naves of the wheels), 1630s, from Middle English axel-, from some combination of Old English eax and Old Norse öxull "axis," both from Proto-Germanic *akhsulaz (source also of Old English eaxl "shoulder," oxta, ohsta "armpit," which survived as dialectal oxter; also Old Saxon ahsla, Old High German ahsala, German Achsel "shoulder"), from PIE *aks- "axis" (see axis, which is from the Latin cognate of this Germanic word). Found only in compound axle-tree before 14c.

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