One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In the Sahara Desert, especially in Libya and Tunisia: a flat area of desert strewn with rounded pebbles and boulders. Compare "reg".
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Penny Cyclopaedia. Apparently from Arabic sarīr, lit. ‘bed’, the desert area being so called because it resembles a bed in being flat and level, covering an extended area, and often also being raised above the ground.
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