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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

poetic word for "woman, lady" in old ballads; later "young lady, maiden;" c.1200, perhaps from Old English byrde "wealthy, well-born." Or a metathesis of bryd "bride." The masculine equivalent was berne.


n. ''poetic'' Maiden, young woman


Burd is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Bashar ibn Burd (714-784), Persian poet
  • Edward Burd (1749–1833), American Revolutionary War officer, lawyer and chief court clerk of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • George Burd (1793–1844), member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • James Burd (1726–1793), colonial American soldier in the French and Indian War; father of Edward Burd
  • James M. Burd (born 1931), former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • Lettie Cowman, née Burd (1870-1960), American writer and cofounder of the Oriental Missionary Society
  • Steven Burd (born 1949), President and Chief Executive Officer of Safeway Inc.
  • Walter Burd (1888-1939), Anglican Bishop of Saskatchewan, Canada

Fictional characters:

  • Burd Ellen, in two unrelated works: the ballad Burd Ellen and Young Tamlane and the fairy tale " Childe Rowland"

Usage examples of "burd".

College at Grovebury, under its able head-mistress, Miss Burd, had made itself quite a name in the neighborhood.

The door behind the row of palms and ferns was opening, and Miss Burd, in scholastic cap and gown, was ushering in the Mayor, the Mayoress, several Town Councilors and their wives, a few clergy, the head-master of the School of Art, and, to the place of honor in the middle, Sir James Hilton, the Member of Parliament for Grovebury, who was to conduct the ceremony of the afternoon.

Lispeth Scott, the head girl, went boldly to Miss Burd, and asked permission for those who liked to bring thermos flasks, cups, and bags of buns and cakes, and hold parties in the various class-rooms.

I promised Miss Burd not to let those intermediates get too outrageous, and I have to listen out for them.

Miss Burd wants us to get up a sort of Reconstruction Society in the school.

Miss Burd had great confidence in Lispeth, and consequently, when they had talked over the matter of the new society which she wished to be formed in the school, she decided to leave its institution entirely in the hands of her head girl.

Miss Burd, careful for the cause of discipline, made a new rule that any form showing a record of a single cross for conduct would be debarred for a week from the use of the asphalt tennis-courts, a decidedly drastic measure, but one that in her opinion was necessary to meet the emergency.

Miss Burd has given us authority and she likes us to use it ourselves as much as we can, without appealing to her.

Miss Burd if I may run over into the Abbey and leave it on the organ for him.

It was only a few hundred yards from the school to the Abbey, and Miss Burd readily gave the girls permission to take Dr.

Miss Burd was going away to allow her tired brains to lie fallow for a while, and most of the other teachers were looking forward to a well-earned rest apart from their forms.

Tuesday afternoon, therefore, with full permission from Miss Burd, she absented herself from the hostel tea-table, and walked home with Bess instead.

Four amazed and crestfallen damsels halted and turned back, to find Miss Burd, attired in a white dressing-gown, standing in the moonlight on the grass.

Miss Burd to let the hostel have a fancy-dress dance in the school garden.

At least fifteen seniors had accepted the invitation, and it was rumored that Miss Burd had invited a few private friends.