One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small, stubby short-billed auk (seabird) with black plumage and white underparts, breeding in the Arctic; a little auk.
- ‘A patchy distribution of crustaceans (including T. libellula) in the NOW was indicated in a study of the diet of dovekies.’
- ‘The current study identified a close relationship between the great auk and the dovekie.’
- ‘Many of the bird species live on the water all year, only coming onto land to breed, such as the northern fulmar, greater shearwater, dovekie, common murre, and thickbilled murre.’
- ‘One would imagine this place to be a paradise of alcids of all types, guillemots, dovekies, puffins, razorbills, murres, and murrelets all splashing around in their black and white finery.’
Early 19th century (originally denoting the black guillemot, Cepphus grylle, also formerly called the Greenland dove): from a Scots diminutive of dove.
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