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Old English meos "moss," related to mos "bog," from Proto-Germanic *musan (cf. Old High German mios, Danish mos, German Moos), also in part from Old Norse mosi "moss, bog," and Medieval Latin mossa "moss," from the same Germanic source, from PIE *meus- "damp," with derivatives referring to swamps and swamp vegetation (cf. Latin muscus "moss," Lithuanian musai "mold, mildew," Old Church Slavonic muchu "moss").
Selden Moseþ þe Marbelston þat men ofte treden. ["Piers Plowman," 1362]All the Germanic languages have the word in both senses, which is natural because moss is the characteristic plant of boggy places. It is impossible to say which sense is original. Scott (1805) revived 17c. moss-trooper "freebooter infesting Scottish border marshes."
town and port, southeastern Norway, on the eastern shore of Oslo Fjord. Moss was founded in the 16th century. On Aug. 14, 1814, it was the site of the signing of the Convention of Moss, which ended the short war between Norway and Sweden that preceded their union. The town has paper and cotton mills, metalworks, shipyards, textile factories, breweries, and facilities for glass, asphalt, and tar production. The harbour is protected by adjacent Jel Island, called the "Pearl of Oslo Fjord" for its fine resort area and many large estates. The Moss River drains into Vann Lake and then flows through the town and into Oslo Fjord. Pop. (2007 est.) mun., 28,633.