One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large-headed, brightly coloured fruit-eating bird that has a stout bill with tufts of bristles at the base. Barbets are found on all continents, especially in the tropics.
- ‘‘We feed the birds in our garden and have enjoyed seeing several parents feeding their young - among them bulbuls, barbets, mousebirds and weavers,’ she says.’
- ‘Flying in the lower level of trees are the colorful Muller's barbet, and the Formosan bulbul, both of which are endemic to Taiwan.’
- ‘Lovebirds, barbets, tits and finches warm themselves in the cozy chambers built by the weavers.’
- ‘The green hills are a-quiver with babblers, bushchats, bulbuls, barbets, crow pheasants, and the laughing thrush of the Palni hills.’
- ‘Look at the coppersmith, or the crimson breasted barbet.’
Late 16th century (denoting a poodle): from French, from barbe ‘beard’ (see barb). The current sense dates from the early 19th century.
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