early 14c., from Old French oistre (Modern French huître), from Latin ostrea, plural or fem. of ostreum "oyster," from Greek ostreon, from PIE root *ost- "bone." Related to Greek ostrakon "hard shell" and to osteon "bone." The h- in the modern French word is a regular development; compare huile "oil" (Latin oleum), huit "eight" (Latin octo).
Why then the world's mine Oyster, which I, with sword will open. [Shakespeare, "The Merry Wives of Windsor," II.ii.2]
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