One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(More fully "great black-backed gull", "greater black-backed gull") the large Larus marinus, of the North Atlantic.
2(More fully "Southern black-backed gull") the kelp gull, L. dominicanus, of the southern hemisphere.
3(More fully "lesser black-backed gull") L. fuscus, of European coasts.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Pennant (1726–1798), naturalist, traveller, and writer.
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