One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An infectious disease of sheep and goats caused by a poxvirus, characterized by skin lesions and secondary bacterial infection.
- ‘Scabby mouth (contagious ecthyma, orf) is a highly contagious, viral disease of sheep, goats and occasionally humans.’
- ‘We made a clinical diagnosis of cutaneous orf, and the lesion healed without any complications within a fortnight, without further intervention or medication.’
- ‘Orf is a viral disease that is widespread in sheep and goats.’
- ‘The National Animal Disease Information Service has had many reports of orf in lambs this spring, according to NADIS vet Richard Laven.’
- ‘The condition of contagious pustular dermatitis or ‘orf’ in sheep is one exceedingly well known to veterinary surgeons and farmers.’
Mid 19th century: probably from Old Norse hrufa.
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