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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — farrier

Good evening, Netizens...

December 22, 2012

Word of the Day

  • farrier
  • audio pronunciation
  • \FAIR-ee-er\


: a person who shoes horses

Since he spent so much of his childhood around horses, it was not a surprise when James decided to apprentice to learn to be a farrier.

"Idling in her cramped workspace outside the Washington International Horse Show, where the day's first whinnies were echoing throughout Verizon Center, the longtime farrier saw a lame brown gelding and an anxious owner approach." — From an article by Jonas Shaffer in The Washington Post, October 25, 2012


"Farrier" is now usually applied specifically to a blacksmith who specializes in shoeing horses, a skill that requires not only the ability to shape and fit horseshoes, but also the ability to clean, trim, and shape a horse's hooves. When "farrier" first appeared in English (as "ferrour"), it referred to someone who not only shoed horses, but who provided general veterinary care for them as well. Middle English "ferrour" was borrowed from Anglo-French "ferrour" (a blacksmith who shoes horses), a noun derived from the verb "ferrer" ("to shoe horses"). These Anglo-French words can be traced back ultimately to Latin "ferrum," meaning "iron."


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.