One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tall wading bird with mainly pink or scarlet plumage and long legs and neck. It has a heavy bent bill that is held upside down in the water in order to filter-feed on small organisms.
Family Phoenicopteridae: three genera and four species, in particular the greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
- ‘Wetlands are a lure for geese, swans, ducks, egrets, storks, herons and the icon of the Camargue, the pink flamingo.’
- ‘The islands are home to many bird species, including fish eagles, ospreys and flamingos.’
- ‘Other new attractions include flamingoes, water features and living sculptures.’
- ‘Outside the formal main bar was a pond, home to a dozen or more pink flamingos.’
- ‘These include ostriches, macaws, toucans, flamingos, storks and cranes.’
Mid 16th century: from Spanish flamengo, earlier form of flamenco (see flamenco); associated, because of its colour, with Latin flamma ‘a flame’.
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