One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
2A hardware or ironmonger's shop, especially a French one.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Blackwood's Magazine. From French quincaillerie ironmonger's trade, ironmongery, hardware shop from quincaille hardware, ironmongery (although this is apparently first attested later: 1360 as quinquelle, quincalle; from the same (imitative) base as clinquant, with assimilation of the consonant cluster in the first syllable + -aille, suffix forming nouns: compare -al) + -erie.
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