Word Origin & History
O.E. heahfore, of unknown origin, not found outside Eng. The first element seems to be heah "high," common in O.E. compounds with a sense of "great in size." The second element may be related to O.E. fearr "bull," or to O.E. faran "to go" (giving the whole a sense of "high-stepper"); but there are serious
sense difficulties with both conjectures. In modern use, "a female that has not yet calved," as opposed to a cow, which has calved, and a calf, which is an animal of either sex not more than a year old. As derisive slang for "a woman, girl" it dates from 1835.