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Hairy vs. harry

Hairy can mean either being covered in hair, or causing fear or difficulty. The word has carried this dual meaning since the middle of the 19th century. The word makes the forms hairier and hairiest.

To harry is to persistently attack or harass. It has been around since before the 12th century. Its derivatives include harriedharries, and harrying.


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Examples

Hairy pigs have been introduced to a Dorset nature reserve to improve the habitat for endangered birds species such as the Dartford warbler. [BBC]

So Google decided to employ one of its hairiest employees ever by strapping a giant, 360-degree Trekker camera onto the back of a camel. [NBC News]

Probably the most obvious quirk about the driving dynamics of the FPVs was that the front-end tendency to bounce around a bit – all well and good when you’re on a racetrack but a little hairy when the chosen track is a Coromandel back road.  [New Zealand Herald]

Things might get a little hairy if neither second-year player improves as hoped. [Bleacher Report]

Combined with Clive Palmer’s attack on the Chinese, business also started to express concern that Australia was starting to look like a rather hairy place to do business. [Australian Financial Review]

The path down the income statement gets hairier, with restaurant margins slipping 2.7%, and Yum! Brands’ operating profit plunging 12%. [NASDAQ]

Finally, we have a soft spot for the arts that, in many school districts, have taken a hit while harried administrators (and frugal councils) tried to find time and resources to build a 21st-century curriculum. [Bristol Press]

He runs, he harries defenders and he competes really well. [Nottingham Post]

That is to say that instead of flying around the pitch looking to lay heavy tackles, De Guzman looks to press and harry the man with the ball if he can, or look to cut off passing lanes if he cannot. [SB Nation]

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