children's word to express a claim on something, 1915, originally U.S., apparently from earlier senses "a portion or share" and "money" (early 19c. colloquial), probably a contraction of dibstone "a knuckle-bone or jack in a children's game" (1690s), in which the first element is of unknown origin. The game consisted of tossing up small pebbles or the knuckle-bones of a sheep and catching them alternately with the palm and the back of the hand.
biblical betrayer of Christ, Latin form of Greek Ioudas, from Hebrew Yehudha (see Judah). He was supposed to have had red hair. As a name for a malicious traitor, it is attested from late 15c. Judas priest as an exclamation in place of "Jesus Christ" is from 1914. Judas tree (1660s) supposedly was the type from which Judas hanged himself. The Judas goat (1941) leads sheep to the shackling pen.
"female of the deer" (the male is a buck), from Old English da "a female deer," which is of unknown origin, perhaps a Celtic loan-word (compare Cornish da "fallow deer," Old Irish dam "ox," Welsh dafad "sheep"). The native word is hind (n.). Similar words in continental Germanic and Scandinavian (such as Old High German tamo) appear to be from or have been altered by influence of Latin damma "a deer." Doe-eyed, of girls, is from 1845.
Middle English sheren, "cut or clip, especially with a sharp instrument," from Old English sceran, scieran (class IV strong verb; past tense scear, past participle scoren; Middle English shorne) "to cleave, hew, cut with a sharp instrument; cut (the hair), shave (the beard), shear (a sheep)," from Proto-Germanic *skero "to cut" (source also of Old Norse and Old Frisian skera, Dutch scheren, German scheren "to shear"), from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut." Related: Shorn; shearing.
"to castrate," c. 1300, from Old Norse gelda "to castrate," said in Watkins to be from Proto-Germanic *galdjan "to castrate," from PIE *ghel- (3) "to cut." Related to other words which, if the derivation is correct, indicate a general sense of "barren." Compare Old Norse geld-fe "barren sheep" and geldr (adj.) "barren, yielding no milk, dry," which yielded Middle English geld "barren" (of women and female animals); also Old High German galt "barren," said of a cow. Related: Gelded; gelding.
c. 1300, "the killing of a person, murder; the killing of large numbers of persons in battle;" mid-14c., "the killing of a cattle or sheep for food;" from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse slatr "a butchering, butcher meat," slatra "to slaughter," slattr "a mowing," related to Old Norse sla "to strike," from Proto-Germanic *slagan- (see slay (v.)).
The form was perhaps influenced by Middle English slaught "killing, manslaughter, carnage; butchery of animals," the native cognate, from Old English sliht, sleht, slieht "stroke, slaughter, murder, death; animals for slaughter;" as in sliehtswyn "pig for killing."
mid-13c., "property" of any kind, including money, land, or income; from Anglo-French catel "property" (Old North French catel, Old French chatel), from Medieval Latin capitale "property, stock," noun use of neuter of Latin adjective capitalis "principal, chief," literally "of the head," from caput (genitive capitis) "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head"). Compare sense development of fee, pecuniary. Also compare chattel, which is a doublet.
in later Middle English especially "movable property, livestock" (early 14c.), including horses, sheep, asses, etc.; it began to be limited to "cows and bulls" from late 16c.
several words, probably unrelated, including: 1. "pendant point of cloth on a garment," late 14c., of uncertain origin; 2. "thin rain, drizzle, wet fog," Scottish, late 17c., from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse dögg, plural daggir "dew," from Proto-Germanic *daowo- (source of Old English deaw; see dew); 3. "kind of heavy pistol," 1560s, of uncertain origin; 4. "clot of dirty wool about the rear end of a sheep," 1731; 5. "tough but amusing person," Australian and New Zealand slang, 1916.
Old English flocc "a group of persons, company, troop," related to Old Norse flokkr "crowd, troop, band," Middle Low German vlocke "crowd, flock (of sheep);" of unknown origin, not found in other Germanic languages; perhaps related to folc "people," but the metathesis would have been unusual for Old English.
In Old English of humans only; extended c. 1200 to "a number of animals of one kind moving or feeding together;" of domestic animals c. 1300. The special reference to birds is recent (19c.). Transferred to bodies of Christians, in relation to Christ or their pastor, from mid-14c.
1802, from Modern Latin unilateralis, from unum, neuter of unus "one" (from PIE root *oi-no- "one, unique") + latus (genitive lateralis) "the side, flank of humans or animals, lateral surface," a word of uncertain origin. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) may have been the first to use it in the legal sense of "made or entered into by one party." Related: Unilaterally. Unilateral disarmament is recorded from 1929.
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion. [William Ralph Inge, "Outspoken Essays," 1919]