Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!
late 14c. "trimming or lining of a garment" (implied c.1300 in surname Furhode "fur hood"), probably from Old French fourrer "to line, sheathe," from fuerre "sheath, covering," from Frankish *fodr or another Germanic source (cf. Old Frisian foder "coat lining," Old High German fotar "a lining," German Futter, Gothic fodr "sword sheath"), from Proto-Germanic *fodram "sheath."
Sense transferred in English from the notion of a lining to the thing used in it. First applied early 15c. to animal hair still on the animal.
I'le make the fur Flie 'bout the eares of the old Cur. [Butler, "Hudibras," 1663]As a verb, from c.1300, from Old French fourrer. Related: Furred; furring.
To promote a lively conflict; stir things up: When the Senator hears about this, he'll make the fur fly (1834+)
fine, soft, hairy covering or coat of mammals that has been important to humankind throughout history, chiefly for warmth but also for decorative and other purposes.