mid-14c. (implied in retailing
), from O.Fr. retaillier
"to cut off, pare, clip, divide," from re-
"back" + taillier
"to cut, trim" (see tailor
). Sense of "recount, tell over again" is first recorded 1590s. The noun meaning "sale in small quantities" is from early 15c., from M.Fr. retail
"piece cut off, shred, scrap, paring."