"building for storage," 1855, earlier "light, temporary shelter" (late 15c., Caxton, shadde), possibly a dialectal variant of a specialized use of shade (n.). Originally of the barest sort of shelter. Or from or influenced in sense development by Middle English shudde (shud) "a shed, hut," which survives, if at all, in dialect, from Old English OE scydd.
"cast off," Middle English sheden, from Old English sceadan, scadan "to divide, separate, part company; discriminate, decide; scatter abroad, cast about," strong verb (past tense scead, past participle sceadan), from Proto-Germanic *skaithan (source also of Old Saxon skethan, Old Frisian sketha, Middle Dutch sceiden, Dutch scheiden, Old High German sceidan, German scheiden "part, separate, distinguish," Gothic skaidan "separate"), from an extended form of PIE root *skei- "to cut, split."
Of tears, from late 12c.; of light, from c. 1200. In reference to animals, "to lose hair, feathers, etc., by natural process," it is recorded from c. 1500; of trees losing leaves from 1590s; of persons and their clothes, by 1858, American English colloquial.
This verb in Old English was used to gloss Late Latin words in the sense "to discriminate, to decide" that literally mean "to divide, separate" (compare discern). Hence also Old English scead (n.) "separation, distinction; discretion, understanding, reason;" sceadwisnes "discrimination, discretion" (see shed (n.2)). Related: Shedding. To shed blood "kill by shedding blood" is from c. 1300 A shedding-tooth (1799) was a milk-tooth or baby-tooth.
updated on August 14, 2022