Etymology
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bleat (v.)

"make a sound like a sheep, goat, or calf," Middle Englishbleten, from Old English blætan, from West Germanic *bhle- (source also of Dutch blaten "to bleat"), of imitative origin (compare Greek blekhe "a bleating; the wailing of children," Old Church Slavonic blejat "to bleat," Latin flere "to weep"). Related: Bleated; bleating.

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collie (n.)

breed of dog, a kind of sheep-dog much esteemed in Scotland, 1650s, of uncertain origin. Possibly from dialectal coaly "coal-black," the color of some breeds (compare colley, "sheep with black face and legs," attested from 1793; Middle English colfox, "coal-fox," a variety of fox with tail and both ears tipped with black; and colley, Somerset dialectal name for "blackbird"). Or from Scandinavian proper name Colle, which is known to have been applied to dogs in Middle English ("Ran Colle our dogge, and Talbot, and Gerlond" [Chaucer, "Nun's Priest's Tale"]). Century Dictionary cites Gaelic cuilean, cuilein "a whelp, puppy, cub." Or perhaps it is a convergence of them. Border-collie (by 1894) was so called from being bred in the border region between Scotland and England.

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yean (v.)

Old English eanian "to bring forth" (young), especially in reference to sheep or goats, from Proto-Germanic *aunon (cognate with Dutch oonen), from PIE *agwh-no- "lamb" (source also of Greek amnos "lamb," Latin agnus, Old Church Slavonic agne, Old Irish uan, Welsh oen). Yeanling "young lamb, kid" is recorded from 1630s.

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fleece (n.)

"wool coat of a sheep," Old English fleos, flies "fleece, wool, fur, sealskin," from West Germanic *flusaz (source also of Middle Dutch vluus, Dutch vlies, Middle High German vlius, German Vlies), which is of uncertain origin; probably from PIE *pleus- "to pluck," also "a feather, fleece" (source also of Latin pluma "feather, down," Lithuanian plunksna "feather").

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sty (n.1)

"pen for pigs," Old English sti, stig "hall, pen" (as in sti-fearh "sty-pig"), from Proto-Germanic *stijan (source also of Old Norse stia "sty, kennel," Danish sti, Swedish stia "pen for swine, sheep, goats, etc.," Old High German stiga "pen for small cattle"). Meaning "filthy hovel" is from 1590s.

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nappy (adj.)

"downy, having an abundance of nap on the surface," c. 1500, noppi, from nap (n.1) + -y (2). Earlier, of ale, "having a head, foamy" (mid-15c.), hence, in slang, "slightly intoxicated" (1721). Meaning "fuzzy, kinky," especially used in colloquial or derogatory reference to the hair of black people, is by 1840. It also was used of sheep. Related: Nappiness.

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wether (n.)

"male sheep," especially a castrated one, Old English weðer "ram," from Proto-Germanic *wethruz (source also of Old Saxon wethar, Old Norse veðr, Old High German widar, German Widder, Gothic wiþrus "lamb"), literally "yearling," from PIE root *wet- (2) "year" (source also of Sanskrit vatsah "calf," Greek etalon "yearling," Latin vitulus "calf," literally "yearling").

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tonsure (n.)

late 14c., "shaving of the head or part of it," especially as a religious rite, from Anglo-French tonsure (mid-14c.), Old French tonsure "ecclesiastical tonsure; sheep-shearing" (14c.), from Latin tonsura "a shearing, clipping," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave, clip, crop," from PIE *tend-, from root *tem- "to cut." The verb is attested from 1706 (implied in tonsured). Related: Tonsuring.

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rot (n.)

early 14c., "decay, corruption, putrefaction," from rot (v.) or of Scandinavian origin (compare Icelandic rot, Swedish röta, Danish røde "decay, putrefaction"), or both, in any case from the root of the verb. From c. 1400 as the name of a disease in sheep, also generally, "condition of rottenness in a plant or animal, process or state of being rotten." Slang sense of "rubbish, trash" is from 1848.

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poke (n.3)

"an act of poking; a thrust or push, especially with something long or pointed," 1796, originally pugilistic slang, from poke (v.). Also (1809) the name of a device, a sort of collar or ox-bow with a short, projecting pole, fitted to domestic animals such as cows, pigs, and sheep to keep them from jumping fences and escaping enclosures. Hence slowpoke. Slang sense "act of sexual intercourse" is attested from 1902.

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