One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several breeds of sheepdog originating in Poland; a dog of one of these breeds. Usually with distinguishing word indicating a particular breed.
1940s. From Polish owczarek deputy shepherd (obsolete), sheepdog from owcz-, stem of owczy sheep's (from owca sheep) + -aŕ, suffix denoting profession + -ek, diminutive suffix.
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