1) To mark animals in the ear as a sign of ownership.

1642 It is a good way to earemarke lambs as they fall, for feare that some exchange a dead lamb for a quicke, Elmswell. The practice was taken to New England and a diagram in A Chronicle of Greenwich shows which was the ‘near’ ear and which the ‘far’. Clearly drawn on the topside and underside are marks named crop, halfpenny, hole through, nick and slit.

places Elmswell
dates 1642

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