One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, Northern
Also with capital initial. A large dog, variously said to be a ghost, spirit, or monster, supposed to guard graves and to terrify travellers.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Francis Drake (bap. 1696, d. 1771), antiquary and surgeon. Origin uncertain; perhaps from pad + foot [interjection].
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