A shire is a traditional term for a division of land, found in the United Kingdom and in Australia. In parts of Australia, a shire is an administrative unit, but it is not synonymous with "county" there, which is a land registration unit. Individually, or as a suffix in Scotland and in the far northeast of England, the word is pronounced /ˈʃaɪər/. As a suffix in an English or Welsh place name, it is in most regions pronounced /ʃɜr/, or sometimes /ʃɪər/.

In Britain, "shire" is the original term for what is usually known as a county; the word county having been introduced at the Norman Conquest of England. The two are synonymous. Although in modern British usage counties are referred to as "shires" mainly in poetic contexts, terms such as Shire Hall remain common. Shire also remains a common part of many county names.

The word derives from the Old English scir, itself a derivative of the Proto-Germanic skizo (cf. Old High German scira), meaning care or official charge. The system was first used in Wessex from the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement, and spread to most of the rest of England in the tenth century, along with West Saxon political control. In Domesday (1086) the city of York was divided into shires. The first shires of Scotland were created in English-settled areas such as Lothian and the Borders, (Bernicia) in the ninth century. King David I more consistently created shires and appointed sheriffs across lowland shores of Scotland.

The shire in early days was governed by an Ealdorman and in the later Anglo-Saxon period by royal official known as a "shire reeve" or sheriff. The shires were divided into hundreds or wapentakes, although other less common sub-divisions existed. An alternative name for a shire was a "sheriffdom" until sheriff court reforms separated the two concepts. In Scotland the word "county" was not adopted for the shires. Although "county" appears in some texts, "shire" was the normal name until counties for statutory purposes were created in the nineteenth century.

Read more about Shire:  Shire County, Shire Names in The United Kingdom, Shires in Australia, Shires in The United States

Other articles related to "shire, shires":

Shire Jama Ahmed - Language Issue - Official Introduction of The Af Somali Script
... the new administration elected to use Shire's refined Latin script as the official writing method for transcribing the Somali language ... that documents in government offices would feature Shire's Latin script ... Although Shire himself was not against the Arabic script, having personally studied the Arabic language while in Mogadishu as well as during his time in Egypt, he did not think it was the most practical ...
Shire Jama Ahmed
... Shire Jama Ahmed (Somali Shire Jaamac Axmed, Arabic شيري جامع أحمد‎) was a Somali linguist who is credited with having devised a unique Latin script for transcribing the Somali language ... Shire Jama's winning Somali Orthoraphy was chosen from eighteen competing new orthographies in 1972 by the Language Committee and the ruling party ... In the late 1960s, Shire and a few other Somali linguists presented before the Somali Language Committee, an organization in charge of settling Somalia's outstanding language issue ...
Shire Jama Ahmed - Education
... children first start Qur'anic studies), Shire began learning the Qur'an at his nearby dugsi or madrasah ... Here, Shire quickly attained complete knowledge of the Qur'an, which consists of 30 chapters of roughly equal number of verses or volume ... Jama Ahmed, Shire’s father, then decided to move his family to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia ...
City Of Mildura - History
... Swan Hill was incorporated on 8 July 1862, and became a shire on 14 August 1871 ... On 10 January 1890 the Shire of Mildura was incorporated from part of the Lower Murray Riding ... A new shire, Walpeup, was formed in western Victoria on 1 October 1911, taking in some southern areas of Mildura and sections of five other shires ...
Shire Of Yalgoo
... The Shire of Yalgoo is a local government area in the Mid West region of Western Australia, about 500 kilometres (311 mi) north of the state capital ... The Shire covers an area of 28,215 square kilometres (10,894 sq mi), and its seat of government is the town of Yalgoo ...