"coarse grass-like plant growing in wet places," O.E. secg, from P.Gmc. *sagjoz (cf. Low Ger. segge, Ger. Segge), from PIE base *sek- "cut" (cf. O.E. secg "sword"), on notion of plant with "cutting" leaves (cf. etymological sense of gladiolus, and possible connection to O.Ir. seisg, Welsh hesgreed "rush"). Often spelled seg, segg until present form triumphed early 1900s.