"boat, ship, vessel," from P.Gmc. *bait-
(cf. O.N. batr
, Du. boot
, Ger. Boot
), possibly from PIE base *bheid-
"to split" (see fissure
), with the sense of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship. French bateau
"boat" is from O.E. or O.N.