- shore (n.)
- c.1300, "land bordering a large body of water," perhaps from Middle Low German schor "shore, coast, headland," or Middle Dutch scorre "land washed by the sea," probably from Proto-Germanic *skur- "cut" and according to etymologists originally with a sense of "division" between land and water, and thus related to Old English sceran "shear, to cut" (see shear).
But if the word originated on the North Sea coast of the continent, it may as well have meant "land 'cut off' from the mainland by tidal marshes" (cf. Old Norse skerg "an isolated rock in the sea," related to sker "to cut, shear"). Old English words for "coast, shore" were strand, waroþ, ofer. Few Indo-European languages have such a single comprehensive word for "land bordering water" (Homer uses one word for sandy beaches, another for rocky headlands). General application to "country near a seacoast" is attested from 1610s.
- shore (v.)
- mid-14c., "to prop, support with a prop;" of obscure etymology though widespread in West Germanic; cf. Middle Dutch schooren "to prop up, support," Old Norse skorða (n.) "a piece of timber set up as a support." Related: Shored; shoring.