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Last edited 18 May 2022
Lumber in its broadest sense is an alternative word for timber. Initially it referred specifically to sawn planks, but it has come to mean various cuts of timber. Its use in reference to cut timber began in North America around the 17th Century where it is still used. In Europe it might be used in connection with timber that originates from Canada and America.
It is also found today in the names of some standardised and processed building products such as Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) or Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL), and is also commonly associated with the term lumberjack, a woodcutter (or in the UK perhaps a tree surgeon) who sources the timber or lumber at the initial stages from the forests.
It is thought to have originated in England, where the word appeared in lumber houses which were pawnshops or stores belonging to 14th century Italian immigrants, originating from the Lombardy region, who worked the banking and trade industries, also known as lombards or lumbards. It came to mean surplus or disused and stored items,with a theory that over time, through its adoption and migration to North America it came to mean more specifically timber planks for construction.
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