The taxi trundles away from the train station passing rows of gray houses with clapboard shutters into the French countryside.
1520s, partial translation of Middle Dutch klapholt (borrowed into English late 14c. as clapholt), from klappen "to fit" + Low German holt "wood, board" (see holt). Cf. German Klappholz. Originally small boards of split oak, imported from northern Germany and cut by coopers to make barrel staves; the meaning "long, thin board used for roofing or to cover the exterior of wooden buildings" is from 1640s, American English.