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"kind of fine flexible leather," 1630s, short for Morocco leather, from Morocco, the country in northwest Africa, where the tanned leather first was made.
country in northwest Africa, from Italian, from Berber Marrakesh (properly the name of the city of Marrakesh), from Arabic Maghrib-al-Aqca "Extreme West." Cf. French Maroc, German Marokko. In English, the first vowel has been altered, apparently by influence of Moor. Related: Moroccan.