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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. Skin; covering.

2. The grassy surface of land; that part of the soil which is filled with the roots of grass; turf. The sward was trim as any garden lawn. (Tennyson) Sward pork, bacon in large fitches.

Origin: AS. Sweard skin, covering; akin to OFries. Swarge, D. Zwoord, G. Schwarte, Icel. Svorr skin, sward of the earth.