One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In Scandinavia: a mountain pasture where cattle remain during the summer months.
2A dairy or farm on such a pasture.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Malthus (1766–1834), political economist. From Norwegian (Nynorsk) saeter, (Nynorsk and Bokmål) seter (Old Norwegian saetr) and its cognate Swedish säter from an es -, os -stem derivative of an ablaut variant (lengthened grade) of the same Indo-European base as sit; compare (with e -grade) Sanskrit sadas abode, dwelling place, ancient Greek ἕδος seat, stool, abode, dwelling place, Old Icelandic setr abode, dwelling place, setting (of the sun).
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