One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A songbird with glossy black plumage and typically a long forked tail and a crest, found in Africa, southern Asia, and Australia.
- ‘Flocks of wintering water birds include the thrush, the kingfisher, the robin, the shama, the barbet, the bee-eater, the flycatcher, the sunbird, the bulbul and the drongo.’
- ‘Examples include the crown and tail feathers of birds-of-paradise, drongos, Bristlethigh Curlew, etc.’
- ‘A black coat-tailed drongo like a late night dinner guest is chased across the water by two enraged house sparrows.’
- ‘It's been going on for a few months now and until recently I dismissed it as the call of a mimicking fork-tailed drongo.’
- ‘I'd never seen anything like it, yet it behaved exactly as, and in every other respect was typical of a drongo, fork tail and all.’
2Australian NZ informal A stupid or incompetent person.‘I gave that drongo fifty dollars and he only gave me change for ten!’
idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clodView synonyms
- ‘When the Minister was asked whether she agreed with the respected former judge's comments about there being drongos in her department, why did she not tell the House whether she agreed, and will she do so now?’
- ‘He will not be amused at being associated with such a pack of drongos and losers.’
- ‘They wanted me to go along, the same as a few other drongos might do so, and just say, ‘Let's run around and look at the kerb-side collection, ‘rather than looking at the real issue and that is what is being collected.’
- ‘Justice will be done - except to us drongoes who pay taxes.’
- ‘He has made himself - and all of us - hostage to a drongo and a psychopath.’
Mid 19th century: from Malagasy. drongo (sense 2) is said to be from the name of an Australian racehorse of the 1920s which consistently finished last or near last.
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