Why turkey has the same name as Turkey


[spey] /speɪ/
verb (used with object), Veterinary Medicine
to remove the ovaries of (an animal).
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English spayen < Anglo-French espeïer to cut with a sword (Old French espeer), derivative of espee sword; see épée
Related forms
unspayed, adjective
Can be confused
spade, spayed. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for unspayed


(transitive) to remove the ovaries, and usually the uterus, from (a female animal)
Word Origin
C15: from Old French espeer to cut with the sword, from espee sword, from Latin spatha
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for unspayed



early 15c., "stab with a sword, kill," also "remove the ovaries of," from Anglo-French espeier "cut with a sword," from Middle French espeer, from Old French espee "sword" (French épée), from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unspayed in Medicine

spay (spā)
v. spayed, spay·ing, spays
To surgically remove the ovaries of an animal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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