Along with the “chattel”, this word ultimately comes from Latin capitale: goods, property, principal, as compared to interest. I’m interested that the singular form, a cattle, has been used historically. While in the 14th and 15th centuries the word referred to any livestock, its exclusively bovine connotation arose thereafter.
- 07.023 and as a man he keeps cattle
- 14.025 and cattle
“cattle, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 19 June 2016.
“chattel, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 19 June 2016.