One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A set of pools in which seawater is left to evaporate to make salt.
- ‘In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries this open area of grassland and scrub was the site of salterns (lagoons for evaporating sea water to produce salt). The salt was supplied in large quantities to the Navy Fleet.’
- ‘Encystment is an outstanding feature of the complex life cycle of this crustacean adapted to life in marine salterns and inland hypersaline lakes all over the world.’
Old English sealtærn ‘salt building’ (the original use denoting a salt works).
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