Word Origin & History
1148, "saddle horse for ordinary riding (opposed to a war horse), small horse for ladies," from O.Fr. palefrei (11c.), from M.L. palafredus, alt. by dissimilation from L.L. paraveredus "post horse for outlying districts" (6c.), originally "extra horse," from Gk. para "beside, secondary" + L. veredus
"post horse; light, fast horse used by couriers," from Gaul. *voredos (cf. Welsh gorwydd "horse," O.Ir. riadaim "I ride"). The L. word passed to O.H.G. as pfarifrid, where in modern Ger. it has become the usual word for "horse" (pferd).