One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small Eurasian songbird with generally drab-coloured plumage.
Family Prunellidae and genus Prunella: several species, including the dunnock
- ‘Additional subfamilies placed within Passeridae include: sparrows, accentors, weavers and waxbills (Estrildinae).’
- ‘However, only terrestrial species have been tested, such as barn swallows, tree swallows, dunnocks, alpine accentors, and acorn woodpeckers.’
- ‘In dunnocks, females may use song to compete for males, and in the alpine accentor, females attract males by song.’
- ‘Close relatives to Old World sparrows are pipits (family Motacillidae), accentors (family Prunellidae) and possibly finches (family Fringillidae).’
Early 19th century: from late Latin, from ad- ‘to’ + cantor ‘singer’.
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