It's time to explain the meaning of Hurd.

Hurd stands for Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons. And, then, Hird stands for Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth.

The Hurd has its share of linguistic debate. The subject of proper usage comes up quite often.

Although Thomas Bushnell states that the word Hurd is an acronym; we do not treat it as such, but rather as a concrete noun. We treat Hurd as a title rather than as a proper name: it requires an article, as in the Hurd. For instance: The ext2 filesystem is provided by the Hurd, not by Mach. Note that all of the following are incorrect: Hurd, HURD, H.U.R.D., The HURD, and the hurd.

Since the Hurd is part of the GNU Project, we also refer to it as GNU Hurd which is treated as a proper noun. We write the GNU Hurd instead of the Hurd when we want to emphasize that the Hurd is a GNU package. Once this has been made clear, we usually use the shorter form, without GNU.

The whole operating system includes not only the kernel and the system servers, but also many more programs. This system is called GNU, or the GNU operating system. The GNU programs can also run on other operating system kernels. We say GNU/Hurd when we want to put emphasis on the fact that this is the GNU system running on top of the Hurd, and to contrast it with the GNU/Linux system which is GNU using Linux as the kernel.

Finally, there is Debian GNU/Hurd. This refers to the distribution of the GNU system as created by the Debian developers. For example: What do you run on your laptop? Debian GNU/Hurd, of course.

The French generally write le Hurd--that is, they treat the name as masculine singular, capitalized as in English.

When we are referring to the microkernel, we say Mach and use it as a proper noun. For example: Mach uses the device drivers found in version 2.0.x of Linux. We sometimes say the Mach microkernel instead of just Mach.

To pronounce the word Hurd, you should say the English word herd. This is pronounced as hɚd using the International Phonetic Alphabet.