One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A ribbon. In later use only in French-speaking contexts.
Late 15th century. From Anglo-Norman rubane, Anglo-Norman and Middle French, French ruban, probably a variant (with rounding of the stem vowel before a labial) of Anglo-Norman ribane and Middle French riban, reban, although attested earlier. Compare post-classical Latin rubantum, rubanum, Old Occitan ruban.
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