Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day

Thursday word: peregrine

Over on my journal, I've been running a theme week of birds, and I realized that while we've had another form of this word, we haven't actually had:

peregrine (PER-i-grin, PER-i-green, PER-i-grayn) - n., a large falcon (Falco peregrinus) noted for its airspeed. adj., foreign, alien, coming from abroad; wandering, traveling.

The adjective meaning came first, with the bird named for its migratory practices. It is found pretty much world-wide (including my own city), outside of tundras, high alpine regions, and tropical rainforests anyway, and hunts the only other bird with an even greater range, the common rock pigeon, as well as other mid-sized birds. When stooping during an attack, the peregrine is the fasted animal living, routinely reaching speeds over 320 km/h (200 mph). Its eagerness to hunt and relatively calm disposition makes it an excellent bird for training to falconry, and it has been prized in pretty much every culture that practices it. Used since Middle English, adopted in the 14th century from Latin peregrīnus, foreign, a derivative of peregrē, abroad, lit. through/beyond the field, from per- + ager, field, + an adverbial ending -- so a cognate of pilgrim.

The peregrine falcon has one of the longest migrations of any North American bird.

Tags: adjective, latin, noun, p

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