One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Anatomy and Zoology. Originally: a membrane or thin sheet or layer of tissue in a human or animal body; specifically (more fully "carnous pannicle", "fleshy pannicle") the panniculus carnosus. In later use: a sheet or pad of adipose tissue. Now rare.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Lanfranc's Science of Cirurgie. From Middle French pannicle, panicle, Middle French, French pannicule and its etymon post-classical Latin panniculus membrane (frequently from 1200 in British sources), specifically use of classical Latin panniculus small piece of cloth, rag from pannus cloth + -culus.
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