Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for November 13, 2020 is:

farrier • FAIR-ee-er  • noun

: a person who shoes horses


“His first memory was of a mule his father owned named Hyacinth, and his subsequent memories were all of the saddlebred horses his father trained, or retrained…. His father had begun as a farrier, then added working with sour or broken-down animals and getting them back into the show ring.” — Jane Smiley, Horse Heaven, 2000

“To make sure she was suited to the work, Debi apprenticed with a veteran farrier in Florida. Then she signed up for training with Glace Rider, who runs the Pennsylvania Institute for Horseshoeing near State College. For nine weeks, Debi rode with him and learned how to trim hooves, rework shoes and treat laminitis and other foot problems.” — Kevin Kirkland, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 18 May 2020

Did you know?

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 the Anglo-French word of the same form, which referred to a blacksmith who shoes horses. That word derives from the verb ferrer (“to shoe horses”), which can ultimately be traced back to Latin ferrum, meaning “iron.”

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