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1510s, from Scottish, from or related to Gaelic plaide "blanket, mantle," of unknown origin, perhaps a contraction of peallaid "sheepskin," from peall "skin," from Latin pellis (but OED finds this "phonetically improbable"). The wearing of it by males forbidden by act of parliament, under penalty of transportation, 1746-82. As an adjective c.1600, from the noun.