One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The end of a plant stem, seed, etc., which is next to the root, or from which the root develops.
2In extended use: the end of a hair, nail, etc., nearer to the root; the extremity of a root of a tooth.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in William Harrison (1535–1593), historian and topographer. From root + end.
root end/ˌruːt ˈɛnd/
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