One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Fortification. The earth used to form a rampart, mound, or embankment; the structure formed by this. Also, in extended use: the earth used to bring a depression in the ground up to a level.
Late 18th century. From French remblai earth used to form a rampart, mound, or embankment, rock, debris, etc., used to fill up the excavations made in a seam of coal from remblayer to embank from re- + emblaer.
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