Online Encyclopedia

SUMPTER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 83 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SUMPTER, a pack-horse or mule, a beast for carrying burdens, particularly for military purposes. There were two words once in use, which in sense, if not in form, have coalesced. These are sommer " or " summer " and " sumpter." The first comes through the Old French sommier, a pack-horse, the other through sommelier, a pack-horse driver. Both come ultimately from Late Lat. salma, from sagma, a pack, burden, Old French somme, saume; Greek vayµa, burden, aarreu', to load. " Sumpter " in the sense of a driver of a pack-horse is rare, and the word is always joined with another explanatory word.
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