Kelps

kelp

[kelp]
noun
1.
any large, brown, cold-water seaweed of the family Laminariaceae, used as food and in various manufacturing processes. See illus. under stipe.
2.
a bed or mass of such seaweeds.
3.
the ash of these seaweeds.
verb (used without object)
4.
to burn these seaweeds for their ash.

Origin:
1350–1400; apparently dialectal variant of Middle English culp < ?

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World English Dictionary
kelp (kɛlp)
 
n
1.  any large brown seaweed, esp any in the order Laminariales
2.  the ash of such seaweed, used as a source of iodine and potash
 
[C14: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

kelp
1660s, from M.E. culpe (late 14c.), of unknown origin. Kelper "native or inhabitant of the Falkland Islands" is attested from 1960.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
kelp   (kělp)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of various brown, often very large seaweeds that grow in colder ocean regions. Kelps are varieties of brown algae of the order Laminariales, with some species growing over 61 m (200 ft) long. Kelps are harvested as food (primarily in eastern Asia), as fertilizer, and for their sodium and potassium salts, used in industrial processes. Kelps are also a source of thickening agents and colloid stabilizers used in many commercial products. See more at brown alga.
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