One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Roman History. A loose outer garment or wrap worn out of doors, usually by a woman; an outer robe, a mantle.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Phillips's New World of Words. From classical Latin palla rectangular mantle, worn especially as an outdoor garment by women, in post-classical Latin also shroud (Vetus Latina), rich cloth, altar cloth, frontal, chalice cover, corporal, archbishop's pall, of unknown origin.
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