1 – How Do You Say Herd in French?
The French translation for a herd or a flock is “un troupeau”. Plural: des troupeaux.
A new approach to learning both traditional and modern French logically structured for English speakers.
2 – French Herding Vocabulary
- Le bétail – livestock
- Les bêtes – the animals
- Une brebis – a ewe
- Un mouton – a sheep
- Des brebis/des moutons – sheep (plural)
- Un agneau – a lamb
- Un bélier – a ram
- La bergerie – the sheepyard/sheepfold
- Un enclos – a paddock
- Un berger, une bergère – shepherd/shepherdess
- La tonte – the shearing (of sheep)/the fleece one it’s shorn
- La toison – the fleece/wool (on the sheep)
- Tondre – to shear (also to crop your hair and also to mow the lawn)
- Une chèvre – a goat
- Une vache – a cow
- Un veau – a calf
- Un vacher – cowherd/cowboy
- Une estive = un pâturage dans les Pyrénées – the mountain pastures in the Pyrenees (where the farm animals go for the summer)
- Paître – to graze (grazing generally, and seen from afar)
- Brouter – to graze (the actual “eating” of the pasture)
- Le pastoralisme – pastoralism/animal husbandary
- Les éleveurs – breeder/livestock farmer (eg sheep)/raiser (eg cattle)
- Élever – to breed/raise
- Marquer le bétail – to brand the animal
- La transhumance – the seasonal “migration” of farm animals to mountain pastures
- Transhumer – to go to the mountains over summer (farm animals and their “carers” – not to go there on holiday!!)
- « Oh, la vache » ! – Holy Cow!!
- “Revenons à nos moutons” – Let’s get back on track!
This expression dates back to the Middle Ages in French (after a line in a medieval farce called “La Farce de Maitre Pathelin” and was used in the early 1900’s in English as “Let us return to our muttons”.)