One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The pale wood of any of various beech trees; (also) a tree producing such wood, especially the American beech, Fagus grandifolia (now rare).
2Australian the pale wood of any of several tropical trees of the genus Gmelina (family Lamiaceae); (also) a tree producing such wood, especially G. leichhardtii of eastern Australia.
Early 18th century.
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