caul

caul early 14c., "close-fitting cap worn by women," from Fr. cale "cap," back formation from calotte, from It. callotta, from L. calautica "type of female headdress with pendent lappets," a foreign word of unknown origin. Medical use, in reference to various membranes, dates to late 14c. Especially of the amnion enclosing the fetus before birth from 1540s. This, if the child is born draped in it, was supersititously supposed to protect against drowning (cauls were advertised for sale in British newspapers through WWI).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Caul — (k[add]l), n. [OE. calle, kelle, prob. fr. F. cale; cf. Ir. calla a veil.] 1. A covering of network for the head, worn by women; also, a net. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) The fold of membrane loaded with fat, which covers more or less of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caul — caul·dron; caul; nu·di·caul; rhi·zo·caul; fou·caul·di·an; …   English syllables

  • Caul — (or Caul Work) A sort of net used in the 15th and 16th centuries, as part of the head dress of ladies of distinction, composed of silk or gold threads (see Crespine) …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • caul- — cauli , caule ❖ ♦ Éléments, du lat. caulis « tige ». ⇒ Acaule, caulescent, 1. caulicole, caulinaire …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • caul — v. cauli . Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • caul — ► NOUN ▪ the amniotic membrane enclosing a fetus, part of which is occasionally found on a baby s head at birth. ORIGIN perhaps from Old French cale head covering …   English terms dictionary

  • caul — [kôl] n. [ME calle < OE cawl, basket, container, net < ML cavellum < L cavea, CAGE] 1. the membrane enclosing a fetus; esp., a part of this membrane sometimes enveloping the head of a child at birth: believed by some to bring good luck 2 …   English World dictionary

  • Caul — A caul (Latin: Caput galeatum , literally, head helmet ) is a thin, filmy membrane, the amniotic sac, that covers or partly covers the newborn mammal immediately after birth. It is also the membrane enclosing the paunch of mammals, particularly… …   Wikipedia

  • Caul — Or cowl, a membrane, in obstetrics and cooking. In obstetrics, the caul is the amnion, one of the two fetal membranes, the other being the chorion. To be born in a caul meant to be born with the head covered by the amnion (or be born within an… …   Medical dictionary

  • caul- — combining form or cauli or caulo Etymology: cauli from Latin caulis; caul , caulo from New Latin, from Gk. kaul , kaulo , from kaulos more at hole …   Useful english dictionary

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