Entries linking to door-yard
"movable barrier, commonly on hinges, for closing a passage into a building, room, or other enclosure," c. 1200, a Middle English merger of two Old English words, both with the general sense of "door, gate": dor (neuter; plural doru) "large door, gate," and duru (fem., plural dura) "door, gate, wicket." The difference (no longer felt in Old English) was that the former came from a singular form, the latter from a plural.
Both are from Proto-Germanic *dur-, plural *dures (source also of Old Saxon duru, Old Norse dyrr, Danish dr, Old Frisian dure, dore, dure, Old High German turi, German Tür). This is from PIE root *dhwer- "door, doorway."
Middle English had both dure and dor; the form dore predominated by 16c. but was supplanted later by door. The oldest forms of the word in IE languages frequently are dual or plural, leading to speculation that houses of the original Indo-Europeans had doors with two swinging halves.
Figurative sense of "means of opportunity or facility for" was in Old English. Phrase door to door "house to house" is from c. 1300; as an adjective, in reference to sales, by 1902.
A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. [Ogden Nash]
"patch of ground around a house," Old English geard "fenced enclosure, garden, court; residence, house," from Proto-Germanic *gardan- (source also of Old Norse garðr "enclosure, garden, yard;" Old Frisian garda, Dutch gaard, Old High German garto, German Garten "garden;" Gothic gards "house," garda "stall"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE *ghor-to-, suffixed form of root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose," with derivatives meaning "enclosure."
As "college campus enclosed by the main buildings," 1630s. Shipyard is from c. 1700. In railway usage, "ground adjacent to a train station or terminus, used for switching or coupling trains," 1827. Yard sale is attested by 1976.
updated on September 30, 2018