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

lapwing (LAP-wing) - n., any of various large plovers of the genus Vanellus noted for their deep, irregular wingbeats in flight; (UK) specifically the northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), noted for its crest and shrill wailing cry.


The northern lapwing is the only species through most of Europe, and is often called just lapwing, as if that's the only one -- as well as being called peewit, pewit, tuit, or tew-it, all after its cry, or the green plover, for its plumage. All 24 species of lapwings are shorebirds, feeding in shallow water. Some are migratory (even highly so) while some stay in the same range all year. Many are noted for decoying predators away from nest. The name dates to Middle English, true origin uncertain, but folk etymology of that time linked it to Old English hlēapewince, from hlēapan, to leap + *wincan, to waver, describing the mode of flight.

You resemble the lapwing, who crieth most where her nest is not.
—John Lyly, Campaspe

---L.
Tags: l, middle english, noun, old english
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