One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The branches of a tree; trees collectively. Now archaic and rare.
2Cultural Anthropology. In Polynesian ethnography: a cognatic descent group; a system of ranked descent groups.
Attributive Designating a (usually wooden) printing press, or part of one, designed by Adam Ramage.
Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From French ramage branches collectively, woodland, right to cut and collect branches in a wood, due for this right, (in genealogy) descent along collateral lines, birdsong in the trees from ram branch + -age, suffix forming adjectives. Compare Old Occitan ramatge, Catalan ramatge, both in sense ‘branches collectively’. Compare also post-classical Latin ramagium right to collect branches in a wood, due for this right<br>early 19th century; earliest use found in Hallowell (Maine) Gazette. From the name of Adam Ramage, a printer of Philadelphia.
Of clothes, fabrics, etc.: adorned with a representation of branches or foliage.
Middle English (in an earlier sense). From Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French ramage (French † ramage) (of a bird, especially a young hunting bird) untrained, wild, (more generally) of the trees, (of a forest) bushy, (of an animal) wild, untamed from ram branch + -age. Compare post-classical Latin ramageus, ramagius (in falconry) wild, untamed, having left the nest. Compare Old Occitan ramatge.
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