1670s, "clasp, buckle, brooch," from Latin fibula "clasp, brooch; bolt, peg, pin," related to figere "to drive in, insert, fasten" (from PIE root *dheigw- "to stick, fix"). 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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