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drawing of a harrier with a thought bubble over its head containing a rabbit leaping away.
figure 1  


harry. (verb) To torment or worry.

This appears not to be a dog word, deriving instead from the Old English here, for army.reference 1 I have to say I was disappointed.  I still feel that, origins aside, I can make an argument for this having some reference to dogs.  “Harriers” are a breed of hounds who harry hares while helping humans hunt them. It's a specific breed sometimes described as looking like “a beagle on steroids.”reference 2  It seems to me that harriers torment and worry their prey, the hares.


1. Neufeldt, Victoria, ed. 1994. Webster's New World Dictionary of American English. 3rd College Edition ed. New York: Prentice Hall.

2. Auborn, John. 1995. Harrier Information. Accessed Oct 23 2001 from http:// harriers/harrier_info.html.
small photograph of a jump jet
figure 2  
Harrier is also the name of a British designed fighter jet called a “jump jet,” that can perform VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) maneuvers. It doesn't take its name from the dogs either. It probably takes its name from a bird of prey also known as a harrier, because it too kills hares, by dropping straight down on them (stooping).
About the illustrations: The first uses the image of a harrier from the seal of the Harrier Club of America with the thought bubble and hare, or rabbit, collaged in by the author.

Figure 2 shows a Harrier jump jet on the deck of an aircraft carrier. I found it on a site for an apparently defunct on line journal devoted to multimedia gaming, Prospect. There was no attribution.

see also: running with both hounds and hares Last updated: July 5, 2008
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