One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounShetland, Scottish, Orkney
A jutting or overhanging crag; a steep headland or promontory.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in John Brand (1669–1738), Church of Scotland minister and author. Probably from the unattested Norn reflex of the early Scandinavian word represented by Old Icelandic núpr, gnúpr (Icelandic núpur), Faroese núpur, Norwegian (Nynorsk) nup, Swedish regional gnup; further etymology uncertain: perhaps related to Lithuanian kniubti to incline, bend down,kneel with one's head down, kniubsoti to lie prone, knopsoti to stand or sit with one's head down, Latvian kņupt, knupt to sit or lie hunched up, bend, lie prone, although the exact relationship is difficult to explain phonologically.
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