Where does the term “farrier” come from?


Looking for where the term and name of a farrier came from? Origins, history etc.


Answer ( 1 )

  1. The term “farrier” may have it’s roots in England, as the word is of Anglo-Saxon origin. One of the first mentions of a farrier was from German born Alexander Neckam who noted that “a smith is an artist who understands horseshoes.”

    Neckam also wrote a book on bloodletting and became a doctor to both Henry I and Henry II. His treatise, De Urinis Regimine shows how he measured physiological substances such as urine against various health indicators -making him one of the first doctors to use something other than trial and error as their primary modality for determining disease.

    The early English term for the profession was “horseshoer,” which has over time morphed into “farrier.” The word itself is derived from the Latin word “ferrarius,” meaning blacksmith. The history of shoes goes back to 500 BC when horsemen did not know or did not care about how many nails were used in a shoeing. They just wanted their horses shod at low cost. These days people want everything done properly and don’t mind paying for it!



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