Origin of andironMiddle English aundiren (with ending altered by associated, association with iron) ; from Old French andier ; from Gaulish an unverified form andera, andiron, heifer (so named from use of bull's head as ornamentation on andirons) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form andh-, to sprout, bloom from source Classical Greek anthos: see antho-
Origin of andironMiddle English aundiren, alteration (influenced by Middle English iren, iron) of Old French andier, probably from Gaulish *anderos, young bull (andirons often being decorated with ornaments shaped like the heads of animals); akin to Welsh anner, heifer. Our Living Language A number of words that formerly were limited to one region of the United States are now used throughout the country. Andiron was once Northern, contrasting with Southern dog iron and firedog. The Southern terms remain limited to that region, but andiron is now everywhere. Other formerly Northern words that have become national include faucet, contrasting with Southern spigot and frying pan, contrasting with Midland and Upper Southern skillet. Southern words that are now used nationwide include feisty and gutters.
Middle English anderne (aunderne, aundyre), from Old French andier (mod. landier), from Gaulish anderon 'calf' (compare Irish ainnir 'young woman', Welsh anner 'heifer, cow-calf', enderig 'bull-calf, ox', Breton annoar 'heifer, cow-calf'), because calves rather than dogs figured prominently on ancient Celtic firedogs. Altered in form under the unfluence of iron.