One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Eurasian and North African finch, typically with a bluish top to the head and dark wings and tail.
Genus Fringilla, family Fringillidae: two species, in particular the F. coelebs, which (in the male of the typical European form) has a pinkish face and breast
- ‘As I write, the old Bramley apple in our garden is occupied by a variety of finches: greenfinches, chaffinches and bramblings.’
- ‘The reserve is home to woodpeckers, chaffinches, bullfinches and blackbirds.’
- ‘Dog roses, bramble, nettles and thistles provide good for birds such as goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinches and the occasional rarity such as brambling or bullfinch.’
- ‘The list was impressive and included robins, starlings, a goldfinch, blackbirds, redwings, chaffinches, wood pigeons and black-headed gulls.’
- ‘The robin chaffinch blue tit and wren and green linnet collectively can put on a marvellous show as they take turns at feeding.’
Old English ceaffinc ‘chaff finch’ (because it forages around barns, picking seeds out of the chaff).
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