Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Popinjay \POP-in-jey\ , noun;
1. A person given to vain, pretentious displays and empty chatter; coxcomb; fop
2. British: A woodpecker, especially the green woodpecker
3. Archaic: The figure of a parrot usually fixed on a pole and used as a target in archery and gun shooting; a parrot

This word dates to the late 13th century as "a parrot" from Old French papegai, which was borrowed from Spanish papagayo. The Spanish word was borrowed from Arabic babagha', which was possibly formed in an African or other non-Indo-European language as an imitation of a parrot's cry. For a while it was used as a compliment in allusion to the beauty and rarity of parrots, but by the 1520's it could also mean "vain, talkative person."

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