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English and French: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ragin ‘counsel’ + hard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’, which was introduced into England by the Normans in the form Re(i)nard. This was the name borne by the cunning fox in the popular medieval cycle of beast tales, with the result that from the 13th century it began to replace the previous Old French word for the animal. Some French examples may be nicknames for crafty individuals, referring to the fox’s reputation for cunning.