One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of numerous short pieces of cord by which a rope is attached to the sides of a fishing net.
Old English (in an earlier sense). Cognate with Old High German nustil buckle, clasp from the Germanic base of Old High German nusta clasp + the Germanic base of Old High German -ilo; compare (with o -grade and with diminutive suffix) Old Frisian nestla, Middle Dutch nestel, nastel (Dutch nestel), Middle Low German nestel, Old High German nestel, nestila, nestilo (German (now regional) Nestel), early modern Swedish nästel, Old Gutnish nestli, all in sense ‘band, tie, cord’, (with o -grade and without suffix) Old High German nast-, Old Icelandic nest brooch, pin, Old Danish neste brooch, clasp, Old Gutnish nast buckle, clasp, and (with e -grade) Old Icelandic nist, nisti brooch, pin; further etymology uncertain: probably ultimately related (in a way that has not been satisfactorily explained) to the Indo-European base of node. The Germanic word was borrowed into Finnish as nasta pin, peg, and (with diminutive suffix) into post-classical Latin as nastula, nastola, nastale, nastila, nastilus, nastulus, in various senses including ‘brooch, clasp, cord’, and into Italian as nastro band, ribbon, tape.
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