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Why is Horse Called Horse?

Horse is one of the most beloved and iconic animals in the world, and its name is as familiar to us as the animal itself. But, why is it called horse? The answer is rooted in language, history, and culture. Here, we’ll explore the fascinating story behind the name “horse” and its origin.

The Old English Word for Horse

The word “horse” has been used for centuries in English, with its roots traced back to the Old English word “hors”. This was a direct borrowing from the Proto-Germanic “hussaz”, which is derived from the Proto-Indo-European “kurs”. This means that the word “horse” is related to words for horse in other Germanic languages, such as Dutch and German.

The Evolution of the Word “Horse”

The word “horse” has gone through a series of changes over the centuries, with the spelling and pronunciation changing as the language evolved. In Middle English, the word was spelled “hors” and was pronounced with an “r” sound. By the late 15th century, it had changed to “hors” and was pronounced with a “sh” sound. This is the pronunciation that has stuck with us to this day.

The Etymology of “Horse”

The etymology of the word “horse” is somewhat of a mystery, though there are some theories. One theory is that it comes from the Old English word “hors”, which could be related to the Latin “equus”, which means horse. Another theory is that it is derived from the Old Norse word “hross”, which means horse.

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The Cultural Significance of “Horse”

Horse has been an integral part of human culture for centuries, with its name being used to describe everything from a form of transportation to a symbol of strength and power. In the United States, horses are often seen as a symbol of the Wild West and the freedom of the open road. In many cultures, horses are associated with courage, strength, and loyalty.

The Symbolism of “Horse”

The word “horse” has many symbolic meanings, which vary depending on the context. In some cultures, horses are seen as a symbol of nobility and power, while in others they are seen as a symbol of strength and freedom. In some religions, horses are seen as a symbol of fertility and rebirth.


The word “horse” is one of the oldest words in the English language, and its origin has been the subject of much debate and discussion. While the exact origin of the word is unclear, it is likely that it comes from an Old English or Old Norse word for horse. The word has held a great deal of cultural significance throughout the centuries, and it is seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and freedom.