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Old 03-18-2013, 03:18 PM   #4802
Joined: Dec 2009
Oddometer: 75
Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post

Metal roads.

Thanks for clearing that one up for me. I've read some reports from N.Z. where the metal roads were mentioned and I thought they were talking about paved {hardened, toughened, metaled } and it turns out I was 180 degrees wrong.
Keep up the good work and haveing fun. I'm learning as you go !
Why is road metal called metal?

The original sense was much broader. The English word comes from Latin metallum, a mine or quarry. So a metal was anything useful that had been extracted from the ground. Since most of the substances men searched for were what we now call metals (gold, silver, tin, copper, and the like), the shift of sense is easy to understand. Another shift of sense, to a figurative one, plus a change of spelling, gave us mettle.
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