Origin of terrier
- Middle English from Old French (chien) terrier ground (dog), terrier from Medieval Latin terrārius of the earth from Latin terra ters- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old French (Middle French) chien terrier "terrier dog", or literally "earth dog," from chien 'dog' + terrier (itself ultimately from Latin terra 'earth').
- Compare Latin terere (“to rub, to rub away"), terebra (“a borer").