shingle (n.1)

"thin piece of wood, wooden tile for roofing," also one used as a writing tablet, late Old English scincle, scingul, variants of scindel, from Late Latin scindula (also the source of German Schindel), from Latin scandula "roof tile," from scindere "to cut, rend, tear asunder, split; split up, part, divide, separate" (from PIE *skind-, from root *skei- "to cut, split"). The form of  Late Latin noun likely was altered by influence of Greek skhidax "split wood, piece of wood, lath."

The meaning "small signboard" especially one announcing a profession, is attested by 1842. The sense of "woman's short haircut" is by 1924; the verb meaning "to cut the hair so as to give the impression of overlapping shingles" is by 1857.

shingle (n.2)

"loose, worn stones on a seashore," 1510s, probably related to Norwegian singl "small stones," or North Frisian singel "gravel," both said to be echoic of the sound of water running over pebbles. Century Dictionary (1891) reports it used "much more commonly in the British Islands than in the U.S." Related: Shingled.

shingle (v.)

in reference to a house or roof, "to cover with shingles;" 1560s, from shingle (n.). Related: Shingled; shingling. The agent noun shingler, "one who shingles roofs," is attested earlier (mid-15c.; late 13c. as a surname).

updated on September 10, 2022