Definition for GIRD

GIRD, n. [gurd; Sax. geard, or gyrd, or gyrda, a twig, branch, rod, pole, Eng. a yard; G. gurt, a girth, a girdle; Dan. gierde, a hedge, a rail. This word signifies primarily a twig, shoot or branch; hence a pole or stick, used in measuring. In measuring land, among our Saxon ancestors, the gyrd seems to have been a certain measure like our rod, perch or pole, all of which signify the same thing, a branch or shoot, a little pole. We now apply the word yard to a measure of three feet in length. In rude ages, gyrds, shoots of trees, were used for binding things together, whence the verb, to gird. See Withe. Gyrds were also used for driving, or for punishment, as we now use whips; and our common people use gird, for a severe stroke of a stick or whip. See Lye, under Gyrd and Weal-stylling.]

  1. A twitch or pang; a sudden spasm which resembles the stroke of a rod or the pressure of a band.
  2. In popular language, a severe stroke of a stick or whip.

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