Ever wonder why you eat beef and not cow? Pork and not pig? Because when the Normans ruled England, the commoners in the field used their word for the animal, and the French nobility in the castle used their word for the meat that was served to them:

In 1066, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England and the Anglo-Saxons. After the invasion, the Norman kings and the nobility spoke a dialect of Old French known as Anglo-Norman, while English continued to be the language of the common people. This class distinction can still be seen in the English language today in words such as “beef” vs. “cow” and “pork” vs. “pig.” The aristocracy commonly ate beef and pork, which are derivatives of Anglo-Norma, while the Anglo-Saxon commoners, who tended the cattle and hogs, retained the Germanic and ate cow and pig. Many legal terms, such as “indict,” “jury,” and “verdict” also have Anglo-Norman roots because the Normans ruled the courts. It was not uncommon for French words to replace Old English words; for example, “uncle” replaced “eam” and “crime” replaced “firen.” French and English also combined to form new words, such as the French “gentle” and the Germanic “man” forming “gentleman” (Bryson1990). To this day, French-based words hold a more official connotation than do Germanic-based ones. –From The Great Melting Pot of Language