Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day


smew (SMYOO) - n., a small Eurasian wild duck (Mergellus albellus) closely related to the mergansers, with the male being white and light gray with black and the female gray with a chestnut head.

Yes, seriously, the English name for this duck is smew. Smew. I'm not quite at the point of I can't even, but I'm definitely at I barely even. The name is first recorded in the 1670s, etymology unknown but conjectured to be related to earlier dialect smee, any type of wild duck, apparently cognate of Dutch smient, widgeon, and German dialect Schmeiente/Schmünte, also widgeon, or also sometimes any wild duck. For reference, here's pix of male (above) and female (below) smews:

black-and-white male (above) and gray-and-brown-headed female (below) ducks in water
Thanks, WikiMedia!

Yes, really, those are smews.


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