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LAWN, a very thin fabric made from level linen or cotton yarns. It is used for light dresses and trimmings, also for handkerchiefs. The terms lawn and cambric (q.v.) are often intended to indicate the same fabric. The word " lawn " was formerly derived from the French name for the fabric linon, from lin, flax, linen, but Skeat (Etym. Diet., 1898, Addenda) and A. Thomas (Romania, xxix. 182, 1900) have shown that the real source of the word is to be found in the name of the French town Laon. Skeat quotes from Palsgrave, Les claircissement de la langue Franfoyse (1530), showing that the early name of the fabric was Laune lynen. An early form of the word was " laund," probably due to an adaptation to "laund," lawn, glade or clearing in a forest, now used of a closely-mown expanse of grass in a garden, park, etc. (see GRASS and HORTICULTURE). This word comes from O. Fr. launde, mod. lande, wild, heathy or sandy ground, covered with scrub or brushwood, a word of Celtic origin; cf. Irish and Breton lann, heathy ground, also enclosure, land; Welsh Han, enclosure. It is cognate with " land," common to Teutonic languages. In the original sense of clearing in a forest, glade, Lat. saltus, " lawn," still survives in the New Forest, where it is used of the feeding-places of cattle.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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