View Full Version : What is the origin of the term "spay"

Aug. 29, 2011, 02:53 PM
I was taking Lucy, my latest rescue, into the vet to be spayed today. On my way in, I started wondering why we call the operation to remove a female animal's reproductive parts "getting spayed". Technically it's an ovariohysterectomy (sp). So where did spay come from?

BTW, Lucy had her surgery and is recovering nicely. I'll bring her home tomorrow. She is a small hound mix and is very pretty, imo. I found her running down the highway Memorial Day weekend, skin and bones, filthy and covered in ticks. She has gained 9#, is reasonably clean and is tick free.

Aug. 29, 2011, 02:55 PM
From dictionary.com

1375–1425; late Middle English spayen < Anglo-French espeïer to cut with a sword ( Old French espeer ), derivative of espee sword; see épée