Definition of harry
- harrying the terrified horses down out of the mountains
- —R. A. Sokolov
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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Was there once a warlike man named Harry who is the source for the verb harry? One particularly belligerent Harry does come to mind: Shakespeare once described how "famine, sword, and fire" accompanied "the warlike Harry," England's King Henry the Fifth. But neither this king nor any of his namesakes are the source for the verb. Rather, harry (or a word resembling it) has been a part of English for as long as there has been anything that could be called English. It took the form hergian in Old English and harien in Middle English, passing through numerous variations before finally settling into its modern spelling. The word's Old English ancestors are related to Old High German words heriōn ("to lay waste") and heri ("army").
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
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