"skin of a fur-bearing animal," early 15c., of uncertain origin, perhaps a contraction of pelet (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French pelete "fine skin, membrane," diminutive of pel "skin," from Latin pellis "skin, hide" (from PIE root *pel- (3) "skin, hide"). Or perhaps the source of the English word is Anglo-French pelterie, Old French peletrie "fur skins," from Old French peletier "furrier," from pel.
"to strike" (with something), c. 1500, of unknown origin; perhaps from early 13c. pelten "to strike," variant of pilten "to thrust, strike," from an unrecorded Old English *pyltan, from Medieval Latin *pultiare, from Latin pultare "to beat, knock, strike," or [Watkins] pellere "to push, drive, strike" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive"). Or from Old French peloter "to strike with a ball," from pelote "ball" (see pellet (n.)) [Klein]. Related: Pelted; pelting.
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