One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A bird of the rail family with a short bill, such as the corncrake.
Family Rallidae: several genera, in particular Porzana, and numerous species
- ‘Looking over the balcony at Cassowary Lodge, Atwood watched rare red-necked crakes scratching about in the bushes.’
- ‘The inspiration for the book had come while she was sitting on a friend's balcony in Queensland, watching the endangered red-necked crake.’
- ‘Like other crakes the corncrake was more prone than most to colliding with overhead wires.’
- ‘Binoculars are supplied so you can view the black teal, swans, dabchicks, ducks and even the spotless crake or elusive bittern.’
- ‘Occasionally the spotless crake has also been seen.’
- 1.1 The rasping cry of the corncrake.
Middle English (originally denoting a crow or raven): from Old Norse kráka, krákr, of imitative origin.
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