"plaited tartan skirt," originally the part of the belted plaid which hung below the waist, c. 1730, quelt, from Middle English verb kilten "to tuck up" (mid-14c.), from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish kilte op "to tuck up;" Old Norse kilting "shirt," kjalta "fold made by gathering up to the knees").
"to tuck up," mid-14c., surviving in Scottish, a word of Scandinavian origin (compare Danish kilte "to truss, to tuck up," Swedish kilta "swaddle"); see kilt (n.). Related: Kilted; kilting.
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