Items

Forums
A Horse By Another Name
 By Saferaphus   •   7th Jan 2018   •   388 views   •   0 comments


There are lots of different names for horses. Like the Inuit multiple words for snow, horses have been labeled by their type or use. The word we use for horse comes from Old English with its roots in ancient and Germanic and Norse languages. The word equine comes from the Latin equus.

There are many slang type or regional words for a horse as well. In the North American west, a horse was sometimes referred to as a cayuse. This is thought to be a from the Chinook peopleís language, a group of first nations people living in the Pacific Northwest region.

The old west gives us a few more words for the horse as well. There are bang tails and broom tails. A bang tail has had its tail cut just below the hocks, and a broom tail is uncut. A bang tail would have been a horse that is broke and owned by someone, while a broom tail would be wild.

More regional words for horse come from Australia. A wild horse is called brumby and in some areas, a horse may be called a yarraman, a word with its roots in pidgin English - a mix of several languages mixed with English when people try to understand each other.

Chargers, palfreys, destriers, rouncies are words to describe specific types of horses and predate many of our specific words for breeds. Chargers were fast horses and destriers were war horses, while palfreys were riding horses, often for women. Rouncies were general purpose horses, not much more than ponies, used by those below the class of courtiers and other gentry.

There have long been racehorses and coursers too. A courser was a fast horse that may have been used for racing. The word comes from the French word corsier which means Ďfast horse, or chargerí. Any horse, fast or slow can be called a mount, however.

Many horse words of course come from England when horses were used for transport and pulling power. A horse used for regular riding would have been called a hack. A bayard is also a common horse, and the word comes from the French name of magical horse given to Charlemagne.

We have words that specify the gender of a horse. These include stallion, mare, colt, filly, foal and stud. The word steed is familiar to most of us, and suggests a noble horse, fleet of foot and elegant. But, the word steed comes from the old English word for stud or stallion. It came to mean a high-spirited war horse, similar to how we would picture a steed today.

Cobs, steppers and sumpters were types of horses. Cob is a word that is still used to describe a sturdy, leg-at-each corner type of horse that might be ridden or driven. Steppers were so named for their high action and sumpters, a word with French origins, were pack horses, their drivers being called sommetiers. A dobbin was a farm horse. A hobby was a small, energetic horse. It was once spelled hobi, and comes from Latin roots.

Just as we might call a faulty car a lemon, people labeled less than desirable horses with names like screw, nag or plug. A screw is a British label for an old broken down horse. Jade is another archaic word meaning much the same, but started out as meaning a cart horse.

Plug is the North American term for the same. We think of nag as being similar, but nag originally specified a riding horse, rather than a draft horse.

Gee-gee is a slang word for horse, but itís not unusual to hear little kids call a horse a gee-gee. A moke too, is slang, but make come from someoneís name.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
 More News by Saferaphus
Equestrian and Horse Planners
18th Apr 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
How do you plan your time? Do you buy a dollar store notebook or do you prefer the space and feel of a Moleskine sketchbook? Or, do you head to a craft supply store and pick up an Erin Condren or Happy Planner. One thing is for su ...
Favorite Horse Gear
12th Apr 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
When it comes to horse equipment, Iím a bit of a minimalist. I wonít buy or keep anything I donít need. I think it comes from seeing other peopleís tack rooms and back porches stuffed with dusty tack they donít use. So I tend to k ...
Military on Horseback
10th Apr 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
As soon as man learned to ride horseback, they probably rode horses into battles, raids and other types of conflicts. But the earliest use of horses in battle, 3000 to 4000 years ago, was for pulling loads. Eventually the chariot ...
Security at Horse Events
7th Apr 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Horse show season is ramping up for many of us. Especially if you are in North America, youíll be noticing the show schedules being posted and perhaps lists of trail rides and other events you might be interested in attending. Alt ...
Wild Horses Safe For now
5th Apr 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
There is good news, at least temporarily, for those who are against the culling of wild horses in the American west. Last July, the House Appropriations Committee voted to remove from Interior Department budget passages outlining ...
Horse Hair Color Curls and Waves
3rd Apr 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Good nutrition and gentle grooming will help keep your horseís mane and tail healthy. Shampoos and conditioners made especially for horses can help add polish when you are showing. And, pulling, trimming, braiding, banding and ban ...
Happy Horse Easter
31st Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Bunnies, flowers, chick and eggs are the usual symbols of Easter. But, there are a few Easter traditions and rituals on and around Easter in which horses figure big. ...
Spring is Dirty
28th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Spring seems to have arrived early where I live. Iím not fooled. Just because the snowdrops are poking their heads up and the robins have returned doesnít mean winter is over. The horse ownerís sure sign of spring is stroking your ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2018   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
416 Members Online 239,299 Registered Members 2,417 News Articles 9,940,202 Unique News Article Views 215,635,302 Website Views