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"strip of wood forming the border of a field," 1570s, from Old English sceaga "copse," cognate with North Frisian skage "farthest edge of cultivated land," Old Norse skage "promontory," and perhaps with Old English sceaga "rough matted hair" (see shag (n.)). The Old English word also is the source of the surname Shaw (attested from late 12c.) and its related forms.