late 14c., hors, earlier hos, from Old English has "hoarse," from Proto-Germanic *haisa- (source also of Old Saxon hes, Old Norse hass, Dutch hees, Old High German heisi, German heiser "hoarse"), perhaps originally meaning "dried out, rough." The unetymological -r- is difficult to explain; it is first attested c. 1400, but it may indicate an unrecorded Old English variant *hars. It also appears in a variant form in Middle Dutch. Related: Hoarsely; hoarseness.
updated on October 28, 2016