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illustration Andiron



Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 14th century


A metal support, typically one of a pair, that holds wood burning in a fireplace.

Examples of Andiron in a sentence

"The fireplace was missing its andirons, so burning logs sometimes fell directly against the grate."

"Once the fire has burned down to coals, Johnny likes to balance skewers of marshmallows on the andirons to roast them."

About Andiron

“Andiron” is based on the Middle English “aundire,” from the Old French “andier,” meaning “heifer.”

Did you Know?

Fire has long been a source of heat and light, and also a place to cook food. But when the blaze moved from the campfire to a contained fireplace inside homes, new vocabulary was needed to describe it. “Andiron,” a word describing a metal support to hold wood burning in the fireplace, was first noted in English in the 14th century. Many houses had some form of andirons — usually a pair — as part of their fireplaces. The word is based on “andier” — an Old French term meaning “heifer” — plus “iron,” the material used to make them. Andirons were often compared to animals; they were also called “fire dogs.”

illustration Andiron

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