mid-15c., "small knot in cloth or thread," from Old French bourle "tuft of wool," which perhaps is related to the root of bur, or from Vulgar Latin *burrula "small flock of wool," from Late Latin burra "wool," a word of unknown origin. In American English also "a knot or excrescence on a walnut or other tree" (1868).
Old English eowu "female sheep," fem. of eow "sheep," from Proto-Germanic *awi, genitive *awjoz (source also of Old Saxon ewi, Old Frisian ei, Middle Dutch ooge, Dutch ooi, Old High German ouwi "sheep," Gothic aweþi "flock of sheep"), from PIE *owi- "sheep" (source also of Sanskrit avih, Greek ois, Latin ovis, Lithuanian avis "sheep," Old Church Slavonic ovica "ewe," Old Irish oi "sheep," Welsh ewig "hind").
mid-15c., "belonging exclusively to one person," also "special, particular," from Old French peculiaire and directly from Latin peculiaris "of one's own (property)," from peculium "private property," literally "property in cattle" (in ancient times the most important form of property), from pecu "cattle, flock," related to pecus "cattle" (see pecuniary).
The meaning "unusual, uncommon, odd" is by c. 1600 (earlier "distinguished, special, particular, select," 1580s; for sense development, compare idiom). The euphemistic phrase peculiar institution for U.S. slavery is by 1838. Related: Peculiarly.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to gather."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gramah "heap, troop;" Greek ageirein "to assemble," agora "assembly;" Latin grex "flock, herd," gremium "bosom, lap;" Old Church Slavonic grusti "handful," gramota "heap;" Lithuanian gurgulys "chaos, confusion," gurguolė "crowd, mass;" Old English crammian "press something into something else."
Old English heord "herd, flock, company of domestic animals," also, rarely, "a keeping, care, custody," from Proto-Germanic *herdo (source also of Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda "herd"), from PIE *kerdh- "a row, group, herd" (source also of Sanskrit śárdhah "herd, troop," Old Church Slavonic čreda "herd," Greek korthys "heap," Lithuanian kerdžius "shepherd"). Of any animals, wild or domestic, from c. 1200; of people, often in a disparaging sense, from c. 1400. Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1886.
1540s, "body of soldiers," 1540s, from French troupe, from Old French trope "band of people, company, troop, crowd" (13c.), a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Frankish *throp "assembly, gathering of people" or another Germanic source, perhaps related to Old English ðorp, Old Norse thorp "village" (see thorp). OED derives the French word from Latin troppus "flock," which is of unknown origin but also might be from the proposed Germanic source. Of groups of animals from 1580s. Specifically as "a subdivision of a cavalry force" from 1580s; of Boy Scouts from 1908. Troops "armed forces" is from 1590s.
late 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), "shepherd, one who has care of a flock or herd" (a sense now obsolete), also figurative, "spiritual guide, shepherd of souls, a Christian minister or clergyman," from Old French pastor, pastur "herdsman, shepherd" (12c.) and directly from Latin pastor "shepherd," from pastus, past participle of pascere "to lead to pasture, set to grazing, cause to eat," from PIE root *pa- "to feed; tend, guard, protect." Compare pasture.
The spiritual sense was in Church Latin (e.g. Gregory's "Cura Pastoralis"). The verb in the Christian sense is from 1872.
early 14c., "grow, sprout, blossom," from Anglo-French burjuner, Old French borjoner "to bud, sprout," from borjon "a bud, shoot, pimple" (Modern French bourgeon), a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Vulgar Latin *burrionem (nominative *burrio), from Late Latin burra "flock of wool," itself of uncertain origin.
Some sources (Kitchin, Gamillscheg) say either the French word or the Vulgar Latin one is from Germanic (compare Old High German burjan "to raise, lift up"). The English verb is perhaps instead a native development from burjoin (n.) "a bud" (c. 1300), from Old French. According to OED, it died out by 18c. except as a technical term in gardening, and was revived early 19c. in poetry. Related: Burgeoned; burgeoning.
early 14c., literally "a being driven" (at first of snow, rain, etc.); not recorded in Old English, it is either a suffixed form of drive (v.) (compare thrift/thrive) or borrowed from Old Norse drift "snow drift," or Middle Dutch drift "pasturage, drove, flock," both from Proto-Germanic *driftiz (source also of Danish and Swedish drift, German Trift), from PIE root *dhreibh- "to drive, push" (see drive (v.)).
"A being driven," hence "anything driven," especially a number of things or a heap of matter driven or moving together (mid-15c.). Figurative sense of "aim, intention, what one is getting at" (on the notion of "course, tendency") is from 1520s. Nautical sense of "deviation of a ship from its course in consequence of currents" is from 1670s. Meaning "controlled slide of a sports car" attested by 1955.
c. 1500, "consisting of money;" 1620s, "relating to money," from Latin pecuniarius "pertaining to money," from pecunia "money, property, wealth," from pecu "cattle, flock," from PIE root *peku- "wealth, movable property, livestock" (source of Sanskrit pasu- "cattle," Gothic faihu "money, fortune," Old English feoh "cattle, money").
Livestock was the measure of wealth in the ancient world, and Rome was essentially a farmer's community. That pecunia was literally "wealth in cattle" was still apparent to Cicero. For a possible parallel sense development in Old English, see fee, and compare, evolving in the other direction, cattle. Compare also Welsh tlws "jewel," cognate with Irish tlus "cattle," connected via the notion of "valuable thing," and, perhaps emolument.
An earlier adjective in English was pecunier (early 15c.; mid-14c. in Anglo-French), from Old French; also pecunial (late 14c.).