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Origin of the Word 'Yard'

Date: 9/12/96 at 11:57:39
From: Tracy S. Jung
Subject: Origin of Word 'Yard'

Dr. Math,

Why do they call a yard, a yard?  Where does this originate? 
I'm curious but stumped.

    Tracy Jung

Date: 9/12/96 at 12:58:12
From: Doctor Tom
Subject: Re: Origin of Word 'Yard'

Hi Tracy,

My dictionary says it comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "gierd" or 
"gyrd", meaning rod, or measure.

To answer questions like this, your best bet is a good etymological 
dictionary; common sense is usually almost useless!

-Doctor Tom,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!   

Date: 9/13/96 at 0:3:55
Subject: Re: Origin of Word 'Yard'

Yes, that is what I thought, thank you. BUT then why is a lawn also 
called a YARD?


Date: 9/13/96 at 13:29:49
From: Doctor Tom
Subject: Re: Origin of Word 'Yard'

Well, my dictionary says "yard", meaning the stuff in front of
your house, comes from the Anglo Saxon "geard", a different word.
Unfortunately, I can't tell what it means in Anglo-Saxon.  I'd
guess something like "enclosure".

Just because two words sound alike, it's very dangerous to assume
they have the same root or meaning.  Sometimes they do, but you've
got to be careful.

-Doctor Tom,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!   
Associated Topics:
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Terms/Units of Measurement

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