1670s, "clasp, buckle, brooch," from Latin fibula "clasp, brooch; bolt, peg, pin," related to figere "to drive in, insert, fasten" (see fix (v.)). In reference to brooches, the modern English word mostly is used in archaeology. As "smaller bone in the lower leg" from 1706, from a Latin loan-translation of Greek perone "small bone in the lower leg," originally "clasp, brooch; anything pointed for piercing or pinning;" the bone was so called because it resembles a clasp such as that found in a modern safety pin. Related: Fibular.
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