from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Inheritance; patrimony.
  • n. Stock; cattle.
  • n. A small inherited house-and-garden lot in a village or settlement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A garden plot, usually about half an acre.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Inheritance; patrimony; specifically, stock; cattle.
  • n. [D. erf.] In Cape Colony, some parts of the State of New York, and other regions originally settled by the Dutch, a small inherited house-and-garden lot in a village or settlement.


From Middle English erfe, erve, from Old English yrfe, ierfe ("heritage, bequest, inheritance, property, inherited property, property that passes to an heir, cattle, livestock"), from Proto-Germanic *arbijan (“heritage”), from Proto-Indo-European *orbho-, *h2orbho- (“orphan”). Cognate with Dutch erf ("inheritance, patrimony, ground, courtyard"), German Erbe ("heritage, legacy, inheritance"), Danish arv ("heritage, inheritance"), Swedish arv ("heritage, inheritance"), Gothic  (arbi, "inheritance"), Latin orbus ("orphan"), Ancient Greek ὀρφανός (orphanós, "orphan"), Old English ierfa ("heir"). Related to orf. (Wiktionary)
From Dutch erf ("patrimony, ground"), related to English erf above. (Wiktionary)



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