One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The greenfinch, Carduelis chloris.
2In plural With capital initials. The members of the 39th Regiment of Foot of the British Army, and its successors, whose uniform had green facings. Now historical.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in John Ray (1627–1705), naturalist and theologian. From green + linnet.
green linnet/ˌɡriːn ˈlɪnɪt/
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