In English, as in other Germanic languages, the plough was traditionally known by other names, e.g. Old English sulh, Old High German medela, geiza, huohili, and Old Norse arðr (Swedish årder), all presumably referring to the scratch plough (ard).
The current word plough comes from Old Norse plógr, and therefore Germanic, but it appears relatively late (it is not attested in Gothic), and is thought to be a loanword from one of the north Italic languages. Words with the same root appeared with related meanings: in Raetic plaumorati "wheeled heavy plough" (Pliny), and in Latin plaustrum "farm cart", plōstrum, plōstellum "cart", and plōxenum, plōximum "cart box". The word must have originally referred to the wheeled heavy plough which was known in Roman northwestern Europe by the 5th century a.d.
Orel (2003) tentatively attaches plough to a PIE stem *blōkó-, which gave Armenian peɫem "to dig" and Welsh bwlch "crack", though the word may not be of IE origin.
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