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HERD (a word common to Teutonic languages; the O. Eng. form was heard; cf. Ger. Herde, Swed. and Dan. hjord; the Sans, ca'rdhas, which shows the pre-Teutonic form, means a troop), a number of animals of one kind driven or fed together, usually applied to cattle as " flock " is to sheep, but used also of whales, porpoises, etc., and of birds, as swans, cranes and curlews. A " herd-book " is a book containing the pedigree and other information of any breed of cattle or pigs, like the " flock-book " for sheep or " stud-book " for horses. Formerly the word " herdwick " was applied to the pasture ground under the care of a shepherd, and it is now used of a special hardy breed of sheep in Cumberland and Westmorland. The word " herd " is also applied in a disparaging sense to a company of people, a mob or rabble, as " the vulgar herd." As the name for a keeper of a herd or flock of domestic animals, the herdsman, it is usually qualified to denote the kind of animal under his protection, as swine-herd, shepherd, etc., but in Ireland, Scotland and the north of England, " herd " alone is commonly used.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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