One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In medieval England: a type of black cloth from Lier in Brabant.
Late Middle English. From black + of + Lyre, the English name of a town in Brabant, now in northern Belgium (Middle Dutch Lier, Liere (Dutch Lier), Middle French Liere (French Lierre); compare post-classical Latin Lyra), where the cloth was originally made. The some forms show reduction of the preposition of in unstressed position.
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