One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hard, compact kind of bituminous coal.
- ‘All but one of the Scottish disc bead necklaces so far analysed have been made using cannel coal or shale for the beads.’
- ‘The 4,000-year-old necklace, made of disc-beads of cannel coal with a jet fastener, is only 12 inches long and was probably either a child's necklace or a ‘choker’ for an adult woman.’
- ‘In addition to the famous seams of good quality coal which ran throughout the royalties leased by him, valuable seams of cannel coal and fireclay were discovered.’
- ‘The unique disc-bead necklace, made of cannel coal and jet, was found beside the remains of a child's skeleton in one of three early Bronze Age stone tombs.’
- ‘Some necklaces also used what are usually called ‘shale’ beads; and there is one variety of shale, sapropelite, related to cannel coal, which also takes up static electricity.’
Mid 16th century (originally a northern English usage): of unknown origin.
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