Middle English anderne, aunderne, aundyre, from Old French aundire, aundirne, andire, andirne—compare French landier—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 of use of this term, see Citations:andiron.