|"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
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.