with Horse and Hound

The Origins of “Ratcatcher”

“Where did the term ‘ratcatcher’ come from?” asks Carol Riggs, whipper-in to the Red Mountain Foxhounds in North Carolina. “I know there are many, many ideas about this, but I would love to know the real history of the term ratcatcher.”

When it comes to etymology, Steven Price, the newest member of our Panel of Experts, is the first person I would think to consult. For Steven, words are beguiling toys to play on, to savor, to manipulate. He is the author or editor of thirty-five books, including the Lyon’s Press Horseman’s Dictionary. Here’s what he had to say:

This content is for subscribers only.
Log In Join Now