Fur vs fir

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Fur is a noun that means the hairy coat of an animal. Fur is also the skin of an animal which is covered with this fine hair, as well as a garment made out of fur. The adjective form appears before a noun, such as fur coat or fur trapper. The verb form means to affix fur to a garment or other item. Someone who is sick and has a coating on his tongue may be said to have a furred tongue. The British refer to the hard water coating inside a pipe or kettle, as fur.

Fir is an evergreen tree with erect cones and flat needles, firs belong to the genus Abies. Fir may also mean the wood of such trees. Generally, they grow in northern areas and higher altitudes. The origin of fir is probably the old Norse word, fyri.


Many labels — including Stella McCartney, Zara and H&M — still won’t use fur, but designers who use fur include some of the biggest names, such as Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, and Yves Saint Laurent. (Fortune)

“We are reenacting the 1750’s and the French fur trade of the Great Lakes area,” Smith said. (The Times Herald)

The Elaho Giant, estimated to be the third thickest Douglas fir on record, was caught in the middle of a 700-hectare fire that swept the woods outside Pemberton, B.C. over the weekend. (National Post)

The Doerner Fir is the tallest non-redwood tree on the planet, though an Australian eucalyptus is about the same height. (The Oregonian)