1611, from Fr. omelette (16c.), metathesis of alemette (14c.), from alemelle "blade of a knife or sword," probably a misdivision of la lemelle (mistaken as l'alemelle), from L. lamella "thin, small plate," dim. of lamina "plate, layer." The food so called from its flat shape. The proverb "you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" (1859) translates Fr. On ne saurait faire une omelette sans casser des oeufs.