One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The great skua (seabird).
- ‘The great skuas, known locally as bonxies, which live by stealing fish from smaller birds, are displaying disturbing behavioural changes.’
- ‘We followed a faint path south, passing a small loch below Sidhean Beag where bonxies were creating turmoil amongst the oystercatcher nests.’
- ‘Lots of fulmars and gulls, even a bonxie (not sure how you spell that) although it did not hang around for long.’
- ‘Although the numerous seabirds that surround it in spring are great too watch, be aware of the great skuas, or ‘bonxies’.’
Late 18th century: from Norwegian bunksi, from bunke ‘dumpy body’.
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