Etymology
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spur (n.)
Old English spura, spora "metal implement worn on the heel to goad a horse" (related to spurnan "to kick"), from Proto-Germanic *spuron (source also of Old Norse spori, Middle Dutch spore, Dutch spoor, Old High German sporo, German Sporn "spur"), from PIE *spere- "ankle" (see spurn). Related to Dutch spoor, Old English spor "track, footprint, trace."

Generalized sense of "anything that urges on, stimulus," is from late 14c. As a sharp projection on the leg of a cock, from 1540s. Meaning "a ridge projecting off a mountain mass" is recorded from 1650s. Of railway lines from 1837. "Widely extended senses ... are characteristic of a horsey race" [Weekley]. Expression on the spur of the moment (1801) preserves archaic phrase on the spur "in great haste" (1520s). To win one's spurs is to gain knighthood by some valorous act, gilded spurs being the distinctive mark of a knight.
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spur (v.)
c. 1200, from spur (n.). Figurative use from c. 1500. Related: Spurred; spurring. Old English had spyrian, but it meant "follow the track of, track down, investigate."
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larkspur (n.)
type of plant, 1570s, from lark (n.) + spur (n.); so called from resemblance of the calyx and petals to the bird's long, straight hind claw.
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cockspur (n.)

"sharp spur on the leg of a male gallinaceous bird," 1590s, from cock (n.1) + spur (n.).

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ergot (n.)
fungal disease of rye and other grasses, 1680s, from French ergot "ergot," also "a spur, the extremity of a dead branch," from Old French argot "cock's spur" (12c.), which is of unknown origin. The blight so called from the shape the fungus forms on the diseased grain. Related: Ergotic. An alkaloid from the fungus, ergotamine (1921) is used to treat migraines.
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stimulation (n.)
1520s, "act of pricking or stirring to action," from Latin stimulationem (nominative stimulatio) "an incitement," noun of action from past participle stem of stimulare "prick, goad, urge," from stimulus "spur, goad" (see stimulus).
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urticaria (n.)
"nettle-rash," medical Latin, from Latin urtica "nettle, stinging nettle" (figuratively "spur, incentive, stimulant), from urere "to burn," from PIE root *eus- "to burn" (see ember) + abstract noun ending -ia. Related: Urticarial.
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rowel (n.)

"small, spinning wheel with radial points on a spur," mid-14c., rouel, from Old French roelle, roel (Modern French rouelle), "small wheel" (see roulette).

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spoor (n.)
"track, trace," 1823, used originally by travelers in South Africa, from Afrikaans spoor, from Dutch spoor, from Middle Dutch spor, cognate with Old English spor "footprint, track, trace," from Proto-Germanic *spur-am, from PIE *spere- "ankle" (see spurn).
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heeled (adj.)
"provided with money," 1880, American English Western slang, from earlier sense "furnished with a gun, armed" (1866). This is perhaps transferred from the sense "furnish (a gamecock) with a heel-like spur" (1560s), which was still in use in 19c., a special use of heel (v.3).
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