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ciderkin

May. 25th, 2018 | 07:50 am

ciderkin (SAI-der-kin) - n., weak cider made by steeping apple pomace (left over after the main cider pressing) in water.


And then fermented, but as the alcoholic content is pretty weak (because not much sugar) it was considered an appropriate cider for children to drink. Also sometimes called water-cider. Formed from cider + diminutive ending -kin.

---L.

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rorqual

May. 24th, 2018 | 08:02 am

1word1day: rorqual

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ineluctable

May. 23rd, 2018 | 07:46 am

ineluctable (in-i-LUHK-tuh-buhl) - adj., not to be avoided, inescapable.


Both physical escape and abstract ones: an ineluctable conclusion. Though physical is the root sense. Adopted in 1623 from Latin inēluctābilis, from in-, not + ex-, out (of) + luctārī, to struggle + -ābilis, able -- not-struggle-out-able, originally with a wrestling use.

Ineluctable Justice
Thanks, WikiMedia!

---L.

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drey

May. 22nd, 2018 | 07:49 am

drey or dray (DRAY) - n., a squirrel's nest.


Yes, there's really a specialized word for it. In Australia, can also be a possum's nest. First appeared in the 17th century, origin unknown.

Drey of a grey squirrel
Thanks, WikiMedia, which has 5 drey pix

---L.

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anecdata

May. 21st, 2018 | 07:39 am

anecdata (an-ik-DAY-tuh, an-ik-DAT-uh, an-ik-DAH-tuh) - n., anecdotal evidence used as factual data.


With all the problems of (non-)controls for bias that implies. Those few things you happen to know aren't all that useful for proving anything. Coined in the 1980s (supposedly: the first hard citation I'm finding, though, is from 1992) from a blend of anecdote + data.

---L.

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parula

May. 18th, 2018 | 07:59 am

parula (PAR-yuh-luh, PAR-uh-luh) - n., either of two New World wood warblers (formerly genus Parula, now merged into genus Setophaga) with bluish plumage shading into a yellow throat and breast.


The two species being the northern parula (S. americana) and the tropical parula (S. pitiayumi). And yes, given they are warblers, they do sing -- very nicely. The name of the former genus is an alteration of the earlier genus name Parulus, from Latin pārus, titmouse + diminutive ending.

Northern parula is looking at YOU
Thanks, WikiMedia!


And that wraps up another week of birds. Back to the regular randoms, but there's more to fly with later. (That's not a threat. I'm just stating a fact.)

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/711916.html
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grackle

May. 17th, 2018 | 08:03 am

1word1day: grackle

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Thursday word: grackle

May. 17th, 2018 | 08:03 am

It is time for another bird? It's time for another bird with a name that's fun to say:


grackle (GRAK-uhl) - n., any of a dozen species of large American songbirds (genus Quiscalus and related genera) where the adult males have iridescent black plumage.


Also used sometimes for a few Indian starlings, such as the hill mynah (Gracula religiosa), but the true grackles are strictly New World beauties. The species that figured the most in the folklore of my childhood was the boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major):


Thanks, WikiMedia!

The species seen hereabouts, however, is the great-tailed grackle (Q. mexicanus):


Thanks, WikiMedia!

These guys have an astonishing range of calls, especially in early spring (when they get ... frivolous), and in Mexican folklore they were originally mute, until they stole seven songs from either (depending on the teller) seven different birds or a sea turtle. The common name comes from Latin grāculus, jackdaw, which is also a large black bird, but of entirely different sort.

---L.

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hawfinch

May. 16th, 2018 | 07:47 am

hawfinch (HAW-finch) - n., a Eurasian finch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) with a thick bill.


Most closely related to (and has a profile remarkably similar to, though with different plumage) the North American evening grosbeak. This was at best an only occasional bird in the British Isle until very recently -- it started nesting in southeast England only in the early 19th century -- which means despite the old-sounding name, it was coined in 1676 by ornithologist Francis Willughby from the haw of hawthorn + finch.

Hawfinch in winter
Thanks, Wikimedia!

---L.

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mynah

May. 15th, 2018 | 07:56 am

mynah or myna (MAI-nuh) - n., any of several south-Asian starlings (genus Gracula and related genera) some species of which are kept as pets for their ability to mimic speech.


The most common pet is the common hill myna (Gracula religiosa):

Common hill mynah
Thanks, Wikimedia!

Who's a pretty bird? The name was adopted in the 1760s from Hindi mainā, from Sanskrit madana, delightful/joyful, related to madati, it gladdens lit. it bubbles, from PIE root *mad-, moist/wet.

---L.

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