One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A runic letter or symbol.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Aylett Sammes (c1636–c1679), antiquary. Partly a revival of Old English rūn-staef, with remodelling after stave, and partly from rune + stave after the Old English word or one of its cognates or parallels in other Germanic languages: compare Old High German rūnstab, Old Icelandic rúnastafr, Swedish runstav, Danish runestav.
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