Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
"a line or band in cloth," 1620s (but probably much older), from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German stripe "stripe, streak," from Proto-Germanic *stripanan (cf. Danish stribe "a striped fabric," German Streifen "stripe"), cognate with Old Irish sriab "stripe," from PIE root *streig- (see strigil). Of soldiers' chevrons, badges, etc., attested from 1827.
"a stroke or lash," mid-15c., probably a special use of stripe (n.1), from the marks left by a lash. Cf. also Dutch strippen "to whip," West Frisian strips, apparently cognate but not attested as early as the English word.
Chevrons worn as insignia of noncommissioned rank; Crow Tracks (1827+)
as a punishment were not to exceed forty (Deut. 25:1-3), and hence arose the custom of limiting them to thirty-nine (2 Cor. 11:24). Paul claimed the privilege of a Roman citizen in regard to the infliction of stripes (Acts 16:37, 38; 22:25-29). Our Lord was beaten with stripes (Matt. 27:26).