One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A hole or passage to admit air; especially a hole in a layer of ice formed over deep water, providing a breathing-place for aquatic animals or divers.
rare Metallurgy. A cavity in a metal casting, produced by the escape of air through the liquid metal. Now rare.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Contract. From air + hole.
air hole/ˈɛː həʊl/
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