Sunday, November 27, 2011


Bier \beer\ , noun;
1. A frame or stand on which a corpse or the coffin containing it is laid before burial
2. Such a stand together with the corpse or coffin

If you're like me, you only see this word on beer bottles containing German brews. Turns out, it's an obscure English word as well!

Bier comes from Old Englis bær and ber ("handbarrow, litter, bed") from West Germanic *bero, which derives from Proto-Indo-European *bher-. It's related to Old English beran ("to bear") and originally could refer to anything used for carrying, with the specific funerary sense evolving later. French bière ("beer") influenced the word's spelling, which changed around the 17th century.

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