One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sheep in its second year.
- ‘Mr Goldsmith suffered loss by the drowning of fourteen ewe tegs, and Mr Jones by the drowning of eight little pigs.’
- ‘In the open class for tegs in the wool Mr Grundy took first prize with some very large sheep with plenty of wool, colour and size, and showing a useful mixture of the Hampshire and well suited for the butcher.’
- ‘Mr. Mitchell again won the challenge cup for the best pen of fat tegs, which sold at £5 7s each.’
Early 16th century (as a contemptuous term for a woman; later applied specifically to a ewe in her second year): perhaps related to Swedish tacka ‘ewe’.
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