One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A brownish-grey freshwater duck found across Eurasia and North America.
Anas strepera, family Anatidae
- ‘Other migratory birds observed in the shallow waters were bar headed geese, open bill storks, northern pintails, gadwalls, curlews, black tailed godwits, spoonbills, green shanks, red shanks and so on.’
- ‘On the sounds, widgeon, teal, gadwalls, pintails and black ducks concentrate following a freeze.’
- ‘During teal season, hunters must be careful not to shoot the occasional shoveler, pintail or gadwall flying alone, which provide no size reference, or rolling with a squadron of teal.’
- ‘Beyond teal, his hunters returned with mixed straps that included shovelers, gadwalls and mottled ducks.’
- ‘With their drab plumage, it is not unusual to mistake a gadwall for a hen mallard at a distance.’
Mid 17th century: of unknown origin.
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