One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounIrish English, English Regional, North Midland, Scottish, Northern
A young cow, especially (formerly always) before it has had a calf; a heifer.
Middle English. From early Scandinavian (compare Old Icelandic kvíga, Norwegian kvige, Old Swedish qvigha (Swedish kviga), early modern Danish qwie, queye, qweghe (Danish kvie, † kvige)), further etymology uncertain: probably ultimately from the same Scandinavian base as Old Icelandic kýr. In Orkney and Shetland use perhaps via the unattested Norn reflex of the early Scandinavian word represented by the Scandinavian forms listed above.
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