Etymology
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salt-cellar (n.)

"small vessel for holding salt, used on the table," mid-15c., a redundant formation from salt (n.) + saler "salt-cellar" (mid-14c.), from Old French salier "salt box" (Modern French salière) and Medieval Latin salare, from Latin salarium, noun use of adjective meaning "pertaining to salt," from a diminutive of Latin sal "salt" (from PIE root *sal- "salt").

As the etymological connection between saler and "salt" was lost, a redundant salt- was tacked on to the beginning of the word; the second element was influenced by Old French sel "salt" and by unrelated English cellar.

updated on December 05, 2021

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