Synonyms for sheep

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Antonyms for sheep

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SHEEP

I have in mind one old chap who used to herd the sheep on my uncle's farm.

What sheep he did not kill for the use of his men, he ordered to be bayoneted.

The first picture that attracted our admiration was a "Sheep scene," by Lambdin.

Wolves or watch-dogs, it was hard to say from which the sheep had most to fear.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

All the sales of sheep and lambs are by the "clad score" which contains twenty-one.

He has at least 30,000 sheep on his vast tracks of moorland on the braes of Lochaber.

The sheep were to be washed and sheared, too, and the awkward, weak-kneed calves to be fed.

But let us return to our sheep—which means the sea-lions of the Cliff House.

There's no sense to it, any way,—sixteen sheep stood him in two dollars apiece.

WORD ORIGIN

ruminant mammal, Old English sceap, scep, from West Germanic *skæpan (cf. Old Saxon scap, Old Frisian skep, Middle Low German schap, Middle Dutch scaep, Dutch schaap, Old High German scaf, German Schaf), of unknown origin. Not found in Scandinavian (cf. Danish faar "sheep") or Gothic (which uses lamb), and with no known cognates outside Germanic. The more usual Indo-European word for the animal is represented in English by ewe.

The plural form was leveled with the singular in Old English, but Old Northumbrian had a plural scipo. Used since Old English as a type of timidity and figuratively of those under the guidance of God. The meaning "stupid, timid person" is attested from 1540s. The image of the wolf in sheep's clothing was in Old English (from Matt. vii:15); that of separating the sheep from the goats is from Matt. xxv:33. To count sheep in a bid to induce sleep is recorded from 1854 but seems not to have been commonly written about until 1870s. It might simply be a type of a tedious activity, but an account of shepherd life from Australia from 1849 ["Sidney's Emigrant's Journal"] describes the night-shepherd ("hut-keeper") taking a count of the sheep regularly at the end of his shift to protect against being answerable for any animals later lost or killed.

Sheep's eyes "loving looks" is attested from 1520s (cf. West Frisian skiepseach, Dutch schaapsoog, German Schafsauge). A sheep-biter was "a dog that worries sheep" (1540s); "a mutton-monger" (1590s); and "a whore-monger" (1610s, i.e. one who "chases mutton"); hence Shakespeare's sheep-biting "thieving, sneaky."

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SHEEP

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.