Word Origin & History
c.1200, breidan "to dart, twist, pull," from O.E. bregdan "to move quickly; pull; shake; draw (a sword)" (class III strong verb, past tense brægd, past participle brogden), from P.Gmc. *bregthan "make sudden jerky movements from side to side" (cf. O.N. bregða "to brandish, turn about, braid;"
O.S. bregdan "to weave;" Du. breien "to knit;" O.H.G. brettan "to draw, weave, braid"), from PIE base *bherek- "to gleam, flash" (cf. Skt. bhrasate "flames, blazes, shines"). The broader word survives only in the narrow definition of "plaiting hair," which was in O.E. The noun meaning "anything plaited or entwined" (especially hair) is from 1520s. Related: Braided; braiding; braids.