\ \ [14] English acquired brawn from Anglo- Norman braun or Old French braon, which meant ‘flesh, muscle’, but the word’s ultimate origins are not so much a matter of physiological substance as of suitability for cooking and eating. For the source of the French word was Germanic *brādonroast’, which can probably be traced back to Indo-European *bhrē- ‘burn, heat’ (ancestor also of English braise, breath, breed, and brood). Brawn was thus originally a ‘piece of meat suitable for roasting’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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