One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounShetland, Orkney, Scottish
A place where a boat can be hauled up and kept ashore; specifically a scooped-out trench at the edge of a beach surrounded by a shallow wall of stones.
Early 17th century. Probably from the unattested Norn reflex of the early Scandinavian word represented by Old Icelandic naust, Faroese neyst, Norwegian naust, Norwegian (Bokmål) (arch.) nøst, Danish nøst, all in sense ‘boat-shed’ from the Scandinavian base of Old Icelandic nór ship + the Scandinavian base of Old Icelandic -st, suffix denoting a place where something stands.
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