shepherd: [OE] Shepherd is of course a compound of sheep and herd – but not herd ‘group of animals’. This is a different herd, meaning ‘herdsman’, which now survives only in compounds (cowherd and goatherd are other examples). It comes from the same Germanic source as herd ‘group of animals’. => herd, sheep
Old English sceaphierde, from sceap "sheep" (see sheep) + hierde "herder," from heord "a herd" (see herd (n.)). Similar formation in Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schaphirde, Middle High German schafhirte, German dialectal Schafhirt. Shepherds customarily were buried with a tuft of wool in hand, to prove on Doomsday their occupation and be excused for often missing Sunday church. Shepherd's pie is recorded from 1877.