Word Origin & History
O.E. heord, from P.Gmc. *kherdo- (cf. O.N. hjorð, O.H.G. herta, Ger. Herde, Goth. hairda "herd"), from PIE *kherdha- "a row, group" (cf. Skt. sardhah "herd, troop," O.C.S. creda "herd," Gk. korthys "heap," Lith. kerdzius "shepherd"). The verb is first recorded 1393. Herdsman is O.E. heordman, but
not common until herd in sense of "keeper of domestic animals which go in herds" fell from use (cf. shepherd). Intrusive -s- appeared c.1600, on model of craftsman, etc. Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1908.