ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,

Monday word: barrow, and its many meanings

barrow (br), noun
1.  A frame with two short handles at each end, used for carrying a load (wheel-less, and carried between two people); a wheelbarrow; a pushcart.
2.  A mound of earth or stones over a grave, a tumulus; a mound or hill.
3.  A castrated male pig.

All three uses of the word have part of their origin in Old English:
  -- Definition 1 originated in the 1300s and comes from bearwe (to bear, to carry), same as the verb 'to bear'.
  -- Definition 2 comes from Old English beorge (mountain, hill, mound); the definition of 'mound' or 'hill' (without a grave) is obsolete except in place names.
  -- Definition 3 comes from Old English bearge (which has something to do with castration or cutting); this use of the word originated before 1000.
There are many other less common (or archaic) uses of the word:
  -- barrow or barrow-coat:  a long flannel garment for infants, wrapped around the body under the arms and turned up and pinned about the feet; a pinning blanket.
  -- A burrow or warren.
  -- (salt works) A wicker case in which salt is put to drain.
  -- barrow or skate-barrow:  the egg-case of a skate or ray.
  -- (mining) A heap of rubbish or refuse.
Tags: b, noun, old english, wordsmith: ersatz_read

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