Word of the Week (144): DINMONT (probability 12667), by David Sutton

DINMONT is a Scots word meaning a wether between its first and second shearing, a wether being a castrated ram.

Not surprisingly given the importance of sheep to the agricultural economy, there are a good many words for sheep at various stages of their lives, as well as for various breeds. For example, a THEAVE is a young ewe, especially in its first year. A HOGG, HOGGET or HOGGEREL is a yearling sheep. A SHEARLING is a one-year old sheep from which one crop of wool has been taken. A TEG or TEGG is a sheep in its second year. A TWINTER is a two-year old sheep.

Breeds of sheep include HERDWICK, ROMELDALE, MONTADALE and DORPER.

And of course there are many kinds of wild sheep: the ARGALI, a great wild sheep of Asia also called AMMON, the AUDAD or AOUDAD of North Africa, the Himalayan blue sheep known as the BHARAL (also BURHEL, BURREL, BURRELL or BURRHEL), the Corsican MOUFLON (also MOUFFLON, MUFLON, MUSIMON or MUSMON), the OORIAL or URIAL of central Asia, with its reddish coat and long curved horns, and another Asian sheep the CARACUL or KARAKUL, which has a curly black fleece taking its name for Lake Kara Kul in Uzebkistan; this is not to be confused with the CARACAL, which is a kind of desert lynx.


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