One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A dish or container for storing salt, now typically a closed container with perforations in the lid for sprinkling.
- ‘Souvenirs, of course, are also the product of more secular travel as were the famous ‘Afro-Portuguese’ ivory salt cellars and the carved ivory tusks from the Loango coast.’
- ‘In Britain, potteries in and around London and Liverpool and as faraway as Ireland supplied the growing demand and turned out numerous forms, ranging from plates to posset pots, salt cellars, and vases.’
- ‘You tip the salt cellar at the edge of your plate, and deposit just the right amount of salt there.’
- 1.1informal A deep hollow that is sometimes evident above the collarbone.‘you could see the salt cellars in her neck’
Late Middle English: from salt + obsolete saler, from Old French salier ‘salt-box’, from Latin salarium (see salary). The change in spelling of the second word was due to association with cellar.
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