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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Cur'

Cur Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    cur n
  1. an inferior dog or one of mixed breed [syn: mongrel, mutt]
  2. a cowardly and despicable person
Cur Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Cur \Cur\ (k[^u]r), n. [OE. curre, kur; cf. dial. Sw. kurre dog, OD. korre watchdog, and Icel. kurra to murmur, grumble, Sw. kurra to rumble, croak, Dan. kurre to coo, whirr; prob. of imitative origin.]
  1. A mongrel or inferior dog. They . . . like to village curs, Bark when their fellows do. -- Shak.
  2. A worthless, snarling fellow; -- used in contempt. What would you have, you curs, That like nor peace nor war? --Shak.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Cur'

Cur as slang refers to a type of random-bred, or mixed-breed dog. This article deals with Cur as an actual breed.

The derivation of the word "cur" dates from the 13th century. It is thought to be short for the Middle English "curdogge", which derives from the word "curren", meaning "to growl". If so, the word may be onomatopoeic. Cur and the word "mutt" mean almost the same thing. A mutt is also a mixed breed or stray dog.

Another plausible explanation is that the word may be a derivation of "cu", the Gaelic word for "hound".

Historically, the words cur and feist were used in England to refer to small hunting dogs, where "feists" were the smaller dogs and "curs" were 30 lbs or larger. The Elizabethans may have used the word "cur" to denote "terrier".

[See more about Cur at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]

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