piece of rind or skin, 1580s, from earlier pill, pile (late 14c.), from peel (v.)).
"shovel-shaped instrument" used by bakers, etc., c. 1400, from Old French pele (Modern French pelle) "shovel," from Latin pala "spade, shovel, baker's peel, shoulder blade," probably from PIE *pag-slo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten."
"to strip off," developed from Old English pilian "to peel, skin, decorticate, strip the skin or ring," and Old French pillier, both from Latin pilare "to strip of hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)). Probably also influenced by Latin pellis "skin, hide." Related: Peeled; peeling. Figurative expression keep (one's) eyes peeled be observant, be on the alert" is from 1853, American English.
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