- handiron (obsolete)
From Middle English aundire, aundiren, from Old French andier—possibly from Gaulish anderon (“heifer”)—compare Welsh anner, annair (“heifer”), Breton annoar (“heifer”)—from Proto-Celtic *anderā (“young woman”), due either to their somewhat animal-like appearance of four legs or to the prominent figuring of bull and heifer design elements; compare its alternative names of fire-dog and dog-iron. Spelling influenced by iron.
andiron (plural andirons)
- A utensil for supporting wood when burning in a fireplace, one being placed on each side
- 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, chapter 7, in The House Behind the Cedars:
- The furniture was old-fashioned and massive. The great brass andirons on the wide hearth stood like sentinels proclaiming and guarding the dignity of the family. The spreading antlers on the wall testified to a mighty hunter in some past generation.
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:andiron.
- fire dog (chiefly US)