The ulterior relations of these words are uncertain. Close affinity of sense is exhibited by the words derived from the Germanic root gerd- : gard- : gurd- , represented by gird v.1 (Old English gyrdan , Old High German gurten , Old Norse gyrða ) and girth n.1 (Old Norse gjǫrð , Gothic gairda ), and those derived from an Indo-European root ghort- , viz. Greek χόρτος farm-yard, feeding-place, food, fodder, Latin hortus garden, co-hors enclosure, yard, pen for cattle and poultry, cohort n., court n.1, Old Irish gort cornfield; but there are phonological difficulties in the way of equating both groups of words. (Old Church Slavonic gradŭ enclosure, town, Russian grad, gorod town, as in Petrograd, Novgorod, Lithuanian gàrdas hurdle, fold, are probably borrowed < Germanic.)
a. A comparatively small uncultivated area attached to a house or other building or enclosed by it; esp. such an area surrounded by walls or buildings within the precincts of a house, castle, inn, etc. Cf. back yard n., castle yard, chapel-yard n., court-yard n., inn-yard, palace yard, stable-yard.In Old English used in sing. and pl. = dwelling, house, home, the ‘courts of heaven’; also, region, tract (cf. middangeard middenerd n.).
b. spec. †(a) The ‘ground’ of a playhouse, orig. an inn-yard; (b) Sc. pl. a school playground; (c) = court n.1 3 (esp. in proper names, as Carter's Yard, Thompson's Yard in Oxford).
d. An enclosure attached to a prison, in which the prisoners take exercise. liberty of the yard (U.S.): see quot. 1828-32.
f. U.S. A college campus or the area enclosed by its main buildings; spec. at Harvard: the Yard, the quadrangle formed by the original college buildings.
2. An enclosure forming a pen for cattle or poultry, a storing place for hay, or the like, belonging to a farm-house or surrounded by farm-buildings, or one in which a barn or similar building stands. (Cf. barn-yard n. at barn n. Compounds 2, farm-yard n. and adj., poultry-yard.)
3. A piece of enclosed ground of moderate size, often adjoining a house and covered with grass or planted with trees; a garden. Now chiefly N. Amer. and dial., a kitchen or cottage-garden (cf. door-yard n., kail-yard at kale-yard n.). See also grass-yard n. at grass n.1 Compounds 2, green yard n.
a. An enclosure set apart for the growing, rearing, breeding, or storing of something or the carrying on of some work or business. Cf. brickyard n. at brick n.1 Compounds 3, dockyard n., dung-yard, hemp-yard, orchard n. (Old English ortgeard), shipyard n., tan-yard, vineyard n., †winyard (Old English wíngeard).
b. The piece of ground adjacent to a railway station or terminus, used for making up trains, storing rolling-stock, etc.; also an enclosure in which cabs, trams, etc. are kept when not in use.
c. the Yards, the stockyards where cattle are collected for slaughter, esp. in Chicago. U.S.
5. U.S. and Canada. An area in which moose and deer congregate, esp. during the winter months.
attrib. and Comb. (a) in sense 1, as yard-broom, yard door, yard gate, yard wall; yard-dog n. a watchdog kept in the yard of a house or dwelling. (b) in sense 2, as yard-bar, yard-dung, yard-liquor, yard-pond, yard-room; †(c) in sense 3 (Sc. and U.S.), as yard door, yard end, yard house, yard tack; yard-boy n. a general labourer; a gardener or gardener's boy (obs. exc. Caribbean).† yard-dike n. Obs. a garden wall. yard-grass n. a low annual grass, Eleusine indica, common in ‘yards’ about houses in parts of U.S.A.; also Cynodon Dactylon. yard sale n. U.S. a sale of miscellaneous second-hand items held in the garden of a private house. (d) in sense 4a, 4b, esp. relating to dockyards, ship-yards, cab yards, or railway yards, as yard clerk, yard craft, yard-keeper, yard-lighter, yard-master; yard-money n. fees payable by hirers of cabs from cab-owners to stablemen, etc. on returning them to the yard.
Draft additions 1993
W. Indies. Also yaad. A dwelling or house (including the land attached); also, a property composed of many rented dwelling units consisting of independent structures with shared toilet facilities (a tenant yard) or forming part of multi-family buildings (typical of a government yard); hence amongst expatriate Jamaicans: Jamaica, ‘home’.
y - ah - d
|j||y||as in yes|
|ɑː||ah||as in barn, palm|
|d||d||as in dig|
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