One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
adjectiveShetland, Scottish, Orkney
Of Shetland sheep or their wool: of a mid-brown colour, between fawn and dark brown. Of a garment, etc.: made of moorit wool.
nounShetland, Orkney, Scottish
1A mid-brown colour.
2Moorit wool. Also (rare): a moorit sheep.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in John Sinclair (1754–1835), agricultural improver, politician, and codifier of ‘useful knowledge’. From the unattested Norn reflex of the early Scandinavian word represented by Old Icelandic mórauðr, Norwegian regional moraud, Danish regional murret, all in sense ‘yellowish brown’ from the Scandinavian base of Old Icelandic mór + the Scandinavian base of Old Icelandic rauðr.
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