One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1To uncover (something) by removing a cloth, covering, or wrapping; to remove the wrapping or covering from; especially to remove clothing from (a person, oneself, a corpse, the area of a wound, etc.).
2no object To open up, fold back, or remove (a covering, wrapping, etc.); to spread open or unfold (something folded or rolled up, especially (in early use) a letter or other document). Also without object or refl.: to become spread open or unfolded.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in The York Plays. From un- + lap.
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