Word Origin & History
"shrubby willow plant," O.E. sealh (Anglian salh), from P.Gmc. *salhjon (cf. O.N. selja, O.H.G. salaha, and first element in Ger. compound Salweide), fro PIE *sal(i)k- "willow" (cf. L. salix "willow," M.Ir. sail, Welsh helygen, Breton halegen "willow"). Fr. saule "willow" is from Frank. salha, from the
Gmc. root. Used in Palm Sunday processions and decorations in England before the importing of real palm leaves began.
O.E. salo "dusky, dark" (related to sol "dark, dirty"), from P.Gmc. *salwa- (cf. M.Du. salu "discolored, dirty," O.H.G. salo "dirty gray," O.N. sölr "dirty yellow"), from PIE base *sal- "dirty, gray" (cf. O.C.S. slavojocije "grayish-blue color," Rus. solovoj "cream-colored").