In the classic scene, Princess Leia slams Han Solo by calling him a

stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder

While clearly this cuts Han to the bone, I'm curious what this actually means.

Presumably it is someone who herds "nerfs" for a living, but what is a nerf? Is there anything particularly offensive about those who herd nerfs?

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    Ha! I always thought it was, "scruffy nerve hurter" :) But you're right. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Jan 16 '12 at 14:19
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    I'm sorry, I'm voting to close as general reference. "Nerf" Wookiepedia page is the first result on Google search for "star wars What is a nerf?"; more importantly "Nerf Herder" Wikipedia page is #4 result on the same search and #2 result on "nerf herder" google search. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 16 '12 at 14:27
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    @DVK According to this meta, it seems consensus has been that wookiepedia does not count for "general reference". Searching for "nerf herder" or "what is a nerf" does not result in wikipedia giving relevant information (first gives a band, and second gives info on the foam toys). – Beofett Jan 16 '12 at 14:43
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    @Beofett - "what is a nerf herder star wars": result #4 is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Wars_creatures (which includes a Nerf). Wikipedia is general reference. And while Wookiepedia isn't a general reference per se, having a definition of the term show up as #1 Google result is more of a general reference than not, IMHO. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 16 '12 at 14:51
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    @Gilles and I stopped at "Nerf Herder is a punk band". Regardless of whether you read the article or skimmed it, you pursued what is clearly a resource that is only tangentially related in the hopes that it would lead you to more information. If the assumption on "general reference" is that anything that can be found by sifting through multiple articles on Wikipedia is off topic, rather than being the obvious result of searching for the question, our criteria for "general reference" should be updated. – Beofett Jan 16 '12 at 18:21

It's an animal not unlike a buffalo in appearance. They are an "antlered, herbivorous mammal found all across the galaxy."

Nerf, with herder

Source: Wookieepedia.

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