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

smew

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.

SMEWS.

---L.
Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/829191.html
You can comment here or there.
Subscribe

  • piebald

    piebald (PAI-bawld) - adj., spotted or blotched in white and another color, esp. black; of mixed character, heterogeneous. n., a piebald animal,…

  • patois

    patois (PAT-wah, PAH-twah, pa-TWA) - n., a regional dialect, esp. a rural dialect; non-standard speech, jargon, cant, argot. In French, the…

  • argot

    argot (AHR-goh) - n., a secret language or conventional slang peculiar to a group of people, esp. thieves, tramps, and vagabonds; the special…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 4 comments