|"Der behexte Stallknecht" |
("The Bewitched Stable Boy")
Hans Baldung Grien (1544)
German Renaissance woodcut
This unfortunate stable boy has dropped his 16th-century currycomb on the stable floor.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Why Is It Called a Currycomb?
One of my earliest memories of livestock was watching our landlords daughter, Roxy, putting neat squiggles on the side of her wet Hereford, 4-H steer, using a round, metal currycomb with a red handle. Recently while using the same style currycomb with the same red handle I have wondered “why is it is called a currycomb?”
This is what I found. From the late 13th century Anglo-French word curreier comes the English word curry, meaning, to rub down a horse. The Oxford English Dictionary quotes a phrase from 1398 as “coryed wyth an horse combe.” So, logically, a comb used to curry a horse might come to be called a curry-comb.