One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The superfluous or useless portion of a substance; refuse, dross, scum.
2Figurative. A superfluous or useless fragment, a remnant, a piece of rubbish; leftover or discarded material, rubbish, dregs.
Late 16th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin recrēmentum refuse, waste, dross (from re- + cernere + -mentum). Compare Middle French recrement, French récrément (collective) impurities mixed with a substance, waste products which remain within an organism.
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