Etymology
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shred (n.)

Middle English shrede "scrap or fragment; strip hanging from a garment," from Old English screade "piece cut off, cutting, scrap," from Proto-Germanic *skraudōn- (source also of Old Frisian skred "a cutting, clipping," Middle Dutch schroode "shred," Middle Low German schrot "piece cut off," Old High German scrot, "scrap, shred, a cutting, piece cut off," German Schrot "log, block, small shot," Old Norse skrydda "shriveled skin"), from PIE *skreu- "to cut; cutting tool," extension of root *sker- (1) "to cut."

shred (v.)

Middle English shreden, "chop, cut up into small strips or slices," from Old English screadian "to peel, prune, cut off," from Proto-Germanic *skraud- (source also of Middle Dutch scroden, Dutch schroeien, Old High German scrotan, German schroten "to shred"), from root of shred (n.). In reference to the destruction of documents, by 1906. Related: Shredded; shredding.

updated on September 03, 2022

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