coppice

Definitions

Agriculture

  • noun an area of trees which have been cut down to near the ground to allow shoots to grow which are then harvested. The shoots may be used as fuel or for making products such as baskets or fencing.
  • verb to cut trees down to near the ground to produce strong straight shoots

Origin & History of “coppice”

The notion underlying coppice is of ‘cutting’. Its ultimate source is the Greek noun kólaphos ‘blow’, which passed via Latin colaphus into medieval Latin as colpus (source of English cope and coup). from colpus was derived a verb colpāre ‘cut’, which formed the basis of vulgar Latin colpātīcium ‘having the quality of being cut’. Its Old French descendant copeïz came to be applied to an area of small trees regularly cut back. English borrowed this as coppice (and in the 16th century spawned a new contracted form copse).
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