One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An alloy of copper and zinc resembling brass, hammered into thin sheets and used to make monumental brasses and church ornaments.
- ‘Brasses were made of latten plate, an alloy of copper and about 18% zinc, and set into a slab to lie flush with the floor surface.’
- ‘Sea water would be collected in clay-lined pits in which mud would settle out before the brine was transferred to lead or latten pans heated over fires for the final evaporation.’
Middle English: from Old French laton, of unknown origin.
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