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See also: Fodder



From Middle English fodder, foder, from Old English fōdor (feed; fodder), from Proto-Germanic *fōdrą (compare Saterland Frisian Fodder, West Frisian foer, Dutch voer (pasture; fodder), German Futter (fodder; feed), Danish foder, Swedish foder), from *fōdô 'food', from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (to guard, graze, feed). More at food.



fodder (countable and uncountable, plural fodders)

  1. Food for animals; that which is fed to cattle, horses, and sheep, such as hay, cornstalks, vegetables, etc.
    • 1598?, William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona,Act I, scene I:
      The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep.
  2. (historical) A load: various English units of weight or volume based upon standardized cartloads of certain commodities, generally around 1000 kg.
    • 1866, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 1, page 168:
      Now measured by the old hundred, that is, 108 lbs. the charrus contains nearly 19 1/2 hundreds, that is it corresponds to the fodder, or fother, of modern times.
  3. (slang, drafting, design) Tracing paper.
  4. (figuratively) Stuff; material; something that serves as inspiration or encouragement, especially for satire or humour.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      According to the audio commentary on “Treehouse Of Horror III,” some of the creative folks at The Simpsons were concerned that the “Treehouse Of Horror” franchise had outworn its welcome and was rapidly running out of classic horror or science-fiction fodder to spoof.
  5. (cryptic crosswords) The text to be operated on (anagrammed, etc.) within a clue.
    • 2009, "Colin Blackburn", another 1-off cryptic clue. (on newsgroup rec.puzzles.crosswords)
      In (part of) Shelley's poem Ozymandias is a "crumbling statue". If this is the explanation then the clue is not a reverse cryptic in the same was[sic] as GEGS -> SCRAMBLED EGGS but a normal clue where where[sic] the fodder and anagrind are *both* indirect.
    • 2012, David Astle, Puzzled: Secrets and clues from a life in words:
      Insane Roman! (4) [] Look in -sane Roman and you'll uncover NERO, the insane Roman. Dovetailing the signpost — in — with the hidden foddersane Roman — is inspired, an embedded style of signposting.



  • (cartload): See load

Derived terms[edit]



fodder (third-person singular simple present fodders, present participle foddering, simple past and past participle foddered)

  1. (dialect) To feed animals (with fodder).
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, OCLC 13320837:
      Straw will do well enough to fodder them with
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 34:
      "When I had foddered the horse, I went into the barn and took the handle of an old rake to chase the dog out with."


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English fōdor. Doublet of fother.



fodder (uncountable)

  1. fodder


  • English: fodder
  • Scots: foder, fodder, fother, fothir